Institutions and Competition

Hollywood banks on Cold War and "McCarthyism"

August 7, 2018
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UPDATE 27 NOV 2018 There has been much discussion of populism lately, and buzz in mainstream and social media about "The New McCarthyism." But to understand the social dynamics of what a "new McCarthyism" might be or mean, it is best to go to the source. The 1977 film "Tail Gunner Joe" is a Hollywood examination of the life of Joe McCarthy, from his humble beginnings in the state of Wisconsin in America's heartland. It was made during the heady times of the post-Watergate Era, at a time when Leonid Brezhbjnev held power as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Ironically, McCarthy's "fixer lawyer" during his anti-Communist crusade was New York attorney Roy Cohn. A recent article in Washington Post notes that Roy Cohn helped mentor and was a "fixer lawyer" for a young Donald Trump. Readers of this blog should be able to connect to and stream the Youtube link free in most nations. Draw your own conclusions. This theme will be also be included the subject matter of a future op-ed style article.
UPDATE 11 OCT In an article published by the US "government" (which is also suported by citizen and foundation contributions) media resource NPR (National Public Radio) a former CIA operator (ex-station chief) gives the Hollywood "Russian Spy" movie "Red Sparrow" ( which has earned more than $153.5 million in gross revenue including home rentals) high marks for authenticity.
Philippe Thyraude de Vosjoli was a famous french spymaster during the Cold War era with intimate knowledge of the Cuban missile "crisis" that Hollywood used to produce the 1969 Alfred Hitchcock film "Topaz". Today, 40 years later, Hollywood continues to churn out films that encourage and benefit financially from the Western curiosity about "Russian" espionage like the 2017 movie "Red Sparrow." So far "Red Sparrow" has generated $151 million in gross revenue and earned a profit of $82.4 million, according to Box Office Mojo.
For the editors of Le Figaro, an article about de Vosjoli, the head of the old SDECE, who challenged the martinet president Charles de Gaulle, seemed approproate summer reading for the millions of french who now crowd the beaches and try to relax and get away from the agitated daily life of cosmopolitan France. Particularly since current president Macron is known to behave sometimes as a martinet (as deGaulle did), and there is nobody with the character of a de Vosjoli to step forward and challenge the "boy wonder" French leader, who could win an Oscar for his role as best supporting male actor in president Donald Trump's ongoing remake of "The Cold War."
Amidst all this krach (Шум) writers and intellects in the West rarely ask in the mainstream, or on social media utilities, the question 'if the Russians are indeed the bad guys... what do they think about war"... "Cold War" or "hot war" or "cyberwar" or "limited war", or war "rebranded" as various forms of "conflict" by a bevy of soft power think tanks and civil society groups, (infiltrated and maybe uninfiltrated).
If we employ contemporary Russian cinema as a barometer -- instead of the many popular and academic articles du jour that expouse the tenets of "soft power", the 2011 Russian film "The White Tiger" offers some clues. Viewers of this "World War 2" film, which was produced on just a $11 million budget, will walk away with the notion that the Great Patriotic War still defines "war" in the minds of many generations. And, moreover, the film suggests at its end, that, from the Soviet officer class, and proletarian soldiers, civilization is in a constant, dynamic state of war. How does "Fancy Bear" or "Red Sparrow" or China's alleged "hacker brigade(s)" fit into this context. A worthy talking point you aren't likely to see on Fox News, CNN, or RT.
You can watch "The White Tiger" (the "Tiger" was the name of a Nazi-developed panzer tank) free by clicking this link and then click please the box in lower right corner "pular anuncio" (to remove trailer advertisment).
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As for de Vosjoli and how he relates to today's neo-Cold War shenanigans ( Махинаций), he was a key player in the so-called Martel Affair (sometimes called the Saphire affair) that involved the penetration of the French and the U.S. intelligence communities by Soviet era intelligence. Some of the interrogation scenes involving a Soviet "defector" in the Spielberg film "Bridge of Spies" (about Col. Rudolph Abel) are based on the legend surrounding one A. Golitsyn. In addition, de Vosjoli provided some "Martel" information to U.S. sources involving the Soviet missile "build-up" in Cuba. Some of this information de Vosjoli also provided, for a fee, to his then "friend" Leon Uris. Misunderstanding over money Uris is alleged to have agreed to pay de Vosjoli resulted in a rather unpleasant legal action. A contemporary of de Vosjoli, General Paul Stehlin, who was also involved in the French intelligence community, met with less fortunate circumstances that aren't likely to be made into a movie. He allegedly walked into a bus...
Whether you are enjoying your Krimsekt in Sochi or a flute of Bollinger on the beach near Cannes, now you know a bit more gossip (Сплетни) about how Hollywood enhances our Cold War drama.
As an afterthought, discussing intelligence, and tank stories like the "The White Tiger", this blog has been posted at the 75th anniversary of The Battle of Kursk, (July-August 1943), which was one of the largest, if not the largest, tank and aerial battles in World War II (The Great Patriotic War). Some experts say the Red Army was victorious because it had superior intelligence gathering methods, a question Western media continues to wonder about in today's "post-truth" world.
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