I'm pasting my answer to Rancid Honeytrap's post here, as his site looks to be the sort that has arcane and arbitrary rules and he is something of a sectarian loon who might block people.
Look, would it be too terribly bourgeois “view-from-nowhere” imperialist lapdog presstitute of me to ask why we can’t learn who the brocialist is who sent those rape threats to Sarah Kendzior? Shouldn’t that be reported? Shouldn’t there be a Human Rights Watch style naming and shaming? Shouldn’t the police be called? Couldn’t we get not only the name, but the content, so we can determine what the context is? That doesn’t diminish the problem of rape threats on line, or doubt a woman’s word, or diminish the problem (as some seem to imply) but only bolsters the factual approach needed to combat it. By implying we can’t ask this without being part of “rape culture,” we’re enabling future rape threat emails to be sent with impunity. There’s a curious authoritarian feminism convention at play here that says we have to keep an omerta on rape threats or acts, real or online, because otherwise we are re-traumatizing the victim or taking the oppressor’s side. Huh? Can’t we just have due diligence on the facts and due process and journalism here?
It’s important to see this latest provocation of Kendzior’s within a context of a long string of political provocations on the themes of authoritarianism and rights that mainly seem to be about either disrupting politics for the sake of disruption, or establishing a sectarian cadre network’s take on politics. I’ve summarized them here:
I’ve followed the Registanis for years. Yes, Hamm and Foust were DoD contractors, but Foust’s job before the current one at Eurasia Foundation was at the American Security Project, which is a liberal hawk think tank with John Kerry and others. He was let go when Kerry was made Secretary of State and Central Asian funds began to be wound down as the war in Afghanistan was announced to be “ending”. Casey Michel was in the Peace Corps and seems to be one of those Peace Corps volunteers who comes back with clientitis, in this case for the Nazarbayev regime.
As a supporter of the military but a critic merely of how they did this or that, Foust has a long controversial record as a gadfly, serial harasser of various human rights leaders like the regional directors of ICG, HRW, CPJ, etc. and regional activists against drones, etc. When he took his current job, he evidently was told to cool it with the endless Twitter wars he got into with all these people on a routine basis. Few people consistently stand up to him because he is so vicious (I have) — for their troubles they will find themselves endlessly libeled in the way he slams these Jacobin editors not just due to a misunderstanding, but to enabling of the highly sectarian and selective reading Kendzior has put on this.
The Registanis are not neo-cons. They’re too young to be true neo-cons and didn’t live through the Cold War. They themselves loathe neo-cons and constantly seek to disassociate themselves from them. Rather, they are a kind of establishment liberal hawk clique that promotes drones, but condemns the war in Iraq; intellectually facilitates the war in Afghanistan but is averse to strikes on Syria, and so on. They also flip-flop, particularly Foust.
Kendzior’s politics in fact have little in common with Freedom House, but she likely saw an opportunity to infiltrate this centrist organization with her own brand of sectarianism on both Internet and Central Asian issues. Whatever you think of them, FH is now a standard for annual surveys on the levels of freedom and democracy in countries, and she wrote the Uzbekistan chapter. BTW, it is a freelance job not a full-time job, and Kramer would not be her immediate supervisor on this consulting position.
The field of Eurasian studies is small and opportunities for work and publication are limited. Just about everyone in this field, regardless of their politics, publishes on RFE/RL, because they used to pay fees (now generally they don’t). There is nothing sinister about RFE/RL as it has not been a CIA program since the 1970s and long ago was put under the direction of a separate Board of International Broadcasting and funded by Congress, which gives it oversight and scrutiny. In the academic and regional fields, RFE/RL reporting is accepted as fairly free of bias. It is not seen as conspiratorial and is not propagandistic in the matter of the Kremlin’s RT.com.
You tend to spin conspiracy theories based on what you see as bastions of some kind of neo-con movement, but in fact, the neo-cons are almost non-existent today — they are ridiculed and have had to rebrand or disappear all over the place. Think tanks today are filled with International Affairs Realist School devotees — that’s what all these people at Registan are about. That makes them tend to be uncritical of Putin (Foust wrote an awful essay knocking Pussy Riot); they tend to believe we have to pragmatically deal with the tyrants of Central Asia for the sake of the Northern Distribution Network required to get supplies to troops, and so on. If you look up Mark Ames on Foust, you will see the trigger for his serial rant on Foust’s “failing up” was Foust’s minimizing of a terrible massacre of workers in Zhanaozen, and his joining in, along with Kendzior, of a disparagement of a lesbian Russian writer who reported more victims of this massacre than the state media would admit. That was a typical story at Registan.
Since leaving academia, Kendzior has worked for Al Jazeera and has swerved more to the left opportunistically but also because her own brand of liberal hawk politics in fact were decidedly old-school DSA although she is too young to have been trained in the DSA. But she shows the marks of training somewhere in some cadre organization as she is manipulative, uses classic psy-war techniques, and picks up popular SEIU-type socialist topics like internship pay and minimum wage.
Sarah in fact has not written much on Ukraine because it doesn’t fit her politics; Foust has been more vocal and for the first time in years has even had critical tweets against Putin, which was not his pattern before when he was in the reset business with Obama. But what she has written is awful, implying that journalists who care about Ukraine are day-trippers and war porn gawkers. Disgraceful. But that’s typical of her method of indirectly defending the status quo of bureaucratic socialist-oligarchic regimes in this region by attacking their liberal or leftist oppositions and exaggering their rightist oppositions. Her main thesis in all her Internet articles — to summarize what is a convoluted and cunning set of arguments — is that radicals who write too much about human rights violations are making the Internet get shut down for everybody, and therefore precluding incremental reform.
Kendzior and Foust are not part of the “kreakly” as the Russians call them (creative class) because they are pragmatic realists who defend the state here and abroad because that’s where their jobs are.
In the old days, this entire saga would be easier to call — we would learn that Moscow Center had decreed that Jacobin, once a loyal front group, had to die because it was too bourgeois and error-prone, and then nudges through the networks would be made until the proper agents of influence would be deployed to unleash the usual active measures. Today, it is all far more complicated than that.
Popovic is smeared in this account because Occupy was looking for scapegoats after its huge self-induced failures — taking USAID or NED or Freedom House grants doesn’t make you a tool of US intelligence, it just makes you good at grant-getting for your particular cause. Funny how you don’t slam Soros who put more into colour revolutions than the USG.
There’s lots more that I could say about this but you’re in another universe on most of these issues which we won’t agree about. I can only repeat that you have to see Kendzior’s provocation here within the context of a whole series of provocations ranging from her promotion of the “suicide girl” hoax in Uzbekistan to the knock-down of the woman who wrote “I Am Adam Lanza’s Mother”.