Russia's Alleged Meddling In Catalan Vote: Playing The Blame Game

Authored by Alex Gorka via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

Few people are able to recognize their own mistakes. Many prefer to deny the truth becoming willfully oblivious to obvious facts. Why assume responsibility if there is such a thing as blame shifting - a true-and-tried method to get away with it? Pointing a finger at someone else to divert attention serves the purpose.

There is method to this madness and Western politicians have been resorting to blame-shifting tactic increasingly often. Each and everything going awry in the world is the fault of Russia. The drive of peoples for independence is a good example. Take Catalonia to illustrate the point.

The Spanish government said on Nov.10 that it had noted news manipulation about the Catalan crisis on social media originating from Russia’s territory. Spain's government spokesman Inigo Mendez de Vigo said disinformation on social networks was a "serious issue." According to Spanish Defence Minister Maria Dolores de Cospedal, the government had established that "many messages and interventions via social networks come from Russian territory." She did not offer any specific examples to confirm the affirmation. Foreign Minister Alfonso Dastis said there was evidence of activity by Russian networks and hackers. The trolls are said to be spreading misinformation across social media to further "destabilize" Spain and the EU.

The issue was even raised at the EU foreign and defense ministers meeting on Nov.13-14, where Spain briefed the EU on the alleged interference. The debate comes after eight member states urged EU foreign service chief Federica Mogherini to build up the counter-propaganda cell in her service.

Spanish media have many times attacked Russia Today (RT) and Sputnik Spanish language services for instigating tensions in Catalonia, supporting the separatist movement. El Pais daily wrote an editorial on Nov. 10 denouncing "the intense campaign by Russian media that are close to the Kremlin," whose "propaganda machine" it accused of siding with the pro-independence movement.

NATO leadership chimed in. On Nov.9, US General Curtis Scaparrotti, the commander of NATO forces in Europe, called on Russia to stop “meddling” into European elections. He was concerned over Russia’s “malign influence’ in other countries. The Atlantic Council, a US-based think-tank close to NATO, has published a report suggesting that Russia was seeking to meddle in support of Catalan independence and to discredit the Spanish central government's position that the referendum on independence held on Oct. 1 was illegal. El Paisthe Washington Times and Politico all issued publications alleging that an army of Russian bots had perfected their techniques of online influence and thus ensured the October 1 vote went down the path of separation.

If the accusations were true, it would mean that Russia-backed media networks operate to undermine Russia’s official position on the issue made clear in a Foreign Ministry’s statement. Russia has consistently voiced its respect for Spain’s territorial integrity.

Can anyone of sane mind believe that Russia’s “meddling” is the real reason to make over 40 percent of Catalans support independence?

Has Russia been behind the 95-year-old independence movement in Catalonia?


Has Russia made the Catalans’ language and culture distinct?


Did Russia make Francisco Franco oppress the Catalan people?


Has Russia provoked the economic crisis in Spain, which has served to magnify calls for Catalan independence?


Has Russia made Catalans believe that the current tax structure is unfair?


Has Russia made Madrid unwilling to renegotiate Catalonia’s autonomy agreement?


Has Russia written Spain’s constitution, which expressly prohibits a region from breaking away unilaterally?


Did Moscow order Spanish police to use brutal force, while preventing the unconstitutional vote?


If it didn’t count, why take such pains to stop it?


Several world leaders and political figures condemned the violence specifically. Did Russia make them do it?


Did Russia make the EU abstain from mediation effort? And, finally, does Russia stand to gain from an independent Catalonia?

With many publications on the issue, no evidence has been produced to demonstrate a link between the Russian government and Catalonia vote.

Obviously, the use of the "Russian meddling" narrative seems to work as a distraction from the wrongdoing of the Spanish government. The fantasy provides a convenient scapegoat to avoid responsibility of the Spanish government for missing opportunities to launch meaningful political dialogue with Catalonia and mishandling of the vote.

 Spain is by far not the only country to use the narrative to its own advantage. As Karl Sharro, a well-known British architect and satirist, commented on the results of UK elections, “The most disappointing thing about the UK election is there wasn't even a hint of Russian interference. It's like we don't matter at all.”


LetThemEatRand Wed, 11/15/2017 - 02:05 Permalink

Trump won't talk to Assange who says he can prove the Russians did not hack the DNC.Sessions says that appointing a special prosecutor to look into Clinton pay for play would be wrong because it would be too political.But we're worried about the Russians?

GreatUncle LetThemEatRand Wed, 11/15/2017 - 05:56 Permalink

I blame your poor spelling of Isreali on the Russian's, seems about right.If anything goes wrong today I got a Russian flag to wave to attract the government intelligence agencies to advise them the Russians are meddling in my day.The Russian meddling also keeps popping up alt-media website and blocks MSM sites also.So when the FBI kicks the door in ... just say the Russian ran out the back door. Lol.

In reply to by LetThemEatRand

LetThemEatRand Wed, 11/15/2017 - 02:41 Permalink

Sessions presents, the best of the '70's.  All the greatest Moore hits including:"Don't take your love to town""She has was just 17, you know what I mean"and everyone's favorite, "Rape me"All of this could be yours for the low price of believing selectively, and there's Moore! 

idontcare Wed, 11/15/2017 - 02:43 Permalink

Putin has finally lost all composure and is now rolling about on the floor laughing uncontrollably.  The "Russia did it" meme is beyond overused at this point.  Even the ghost of Senator McCarthy is rolling his eyes, shaking his head, and having a good belly laugh.

css1971 Wed, 11/15/2017 - 03:03 Permalink

Casus belliPsychopaths seekung to get hold of the trillions that Russia is siphoning out of the EU through gas payments.We need better leaders. In reality we need better populaces.

RationalLuddite css1971 Wed, 11/15/2017 - 11:34 Permalink

Agreed CSS. The leaders are unfortunately an antennae of the populace at large, and they couple with the frequency of the masses. It's so much easier only to focus on the genuine psychopaths and their narcissist flying monkeys around them.  But after a few years of close observation it is clear the only reason such basic childish ad hominems work is because the public is both infantile and 1st order logic capable only. Can't walk and chew gum at the same time. Yes many are busy and distracted by legitimate life. But in truth even a mildly intelligent 13 year old should be able to spot and be automatically skeptical by the behavior of the accusers even if they lack detailed knowledge of the accused. But apparently no. Our uber narcissistic dishonest leaders appear to be merely a distillation of the broader epidemic of delusional,  magic thinking narcissists of the population.  Like a morphic resonance,  or a sewer where the concentrated scum perculate their way to the top to form a scum. Putin doesn't have to do anything. A few individuals (Duganists, individuals with motivation, or like us here, those pissed off at the western malaise in general) might troll, and yes RT pushes a certain line, but a necessary one to counter the globalist brainwashing on every other outlet!  But aside from the Duganists the others wear their opinions openly in simple dielectic persuaion, not the insidious and cynical Orwellian propaganda and psychOps that apparently are now considered innocuous "marketing" or the only non-thoughtcrime view permitted in the West. Putin doesn't have to do squat, in fact to interfere would be a bad move when your opponent is already self mutilating daily.Interesting take on it here from a balanced, even hostile, observer…

In reply to by css1971

Don Diego Wed, 11/15/2017 - 03:12 Permalink

40% of Catalans support independence? but but but here at ZH all the articles said most of the Catalans were in favor...WTF?BTW, even though the EU and Spain's claim of Russian meddling is bullshit, it is true there has been some Russian trolling on the issue. A payback, deserved by the way, for the meddling of the EU on Russian affairs.

Don Diego kenzo7 Wed, 11/15/2017 - 05:50 Permalink

The RT News position on the issue was heavily biased in favor of the Catalibans. Especially the RT News channel in Spanish, which is staffed by South American marxists. Again, no problem with that, after all the European media also says crap about Russia, so it was fair payback.

In reply to by kenzo7

GreatUncle Don Diego Wed, 11/15/2017 - 05:51 Permalink

Honestly I think Catalonia should have a single fair and free referendum on the independence not to break something just to fix what has just been broken. Without it the rift is now set, it will fester and decay until it rots away very much like what happened over decades in the UK.I think the number anybody says cannot be stated when not everybody voted.The media meddling on any side, happens when you have an open network across national boundaries and on that one the real fault is what the US built when it created the internet. The vehicle of choice for spying on the global population ... but that assumed the spying would not be used to spy on those doing the spying which is all that has happened.The internet needs blocking so nations do not have to put up with USA, Russian or any other states spying.On a global scale if you permit your population to be spied on by other nations you are guilty of treason against the population and should be prosecuted accordingly.

In reply to by Don Diego

africoman Wed, 11/15/2017 - 03:13 Permalink

Actually, Russia or Russian media saved the day for Spain by reporting the real agenda of Catalan secession.Now let me ask you Mr accuser or whoever behind it? Where were you when the alleged hack come from Russia and what were you doing?Exactly that was what I thought.Dr spin, goto French election 2016 Russian interfering job.

NuYawkFrankie Wed, 11/15/2017 - 04:33 Permalink

How long can this "Blame Russia" Game - that has already reached the Apex Of Absurdity - possibly go on?

Pretty soon, even Dumb Americans, Thick Brits & Idiot Eurotrash and gonna start thinking "Gee... who coulda possibly knowed... but maybe it was all a smoke-screen.... to cover their fckin asses.." when the impending disaster brought on by the pillaging of their respective ruling Oligarch/Kleptocrat/Warfare Class hits them smack in their dumb faces.

RationalLuddite GreatUncle Wed, 11/15/2017 - 10:59 Permalink

Apparently,  "Da". The mentality now is so simple, like a half formed, arrested development child's mind, with binary abstraction abilities only. Also the Sheeple's inability to detect serial, blatant liers is a genuine concern - most people USED TO understand that when someone makes an accusation but then comes up light or totally empty on evidence,  that this is a flashing neon sign to discredit the slanderous unethical accuser. But no - crude, unevidenced ad hominem smears appear to be all the semi-autistic masses (i mean that technically,  not as a facile abuse) need, and even a pattern of deceit, a proven track record of making assertions that are later proven to be outright lies, appears not to awaken their sedated cortexes too. No ability to analyze.  No basic pattern analysis. Comatosed cognitive dissonance. Well, at least it makes us feel like adults in a see of children 

In reply to by GreatUncle

Gold_Spot Wed, 11/15/2017 - 05:47 Permalink

If RT and Sputnik can rock up the world it means that their staff is way above the mainstream media in terms of IQ, EQ and all the rest, which in this case, the mainstream media should all resign, as it seems they're good for nothing. If I support Catalan independence it means that I am paid by Russian government?How more stupider the eurotrash and USSA politicians can get?They're made of the same trash genetic material as blacks that blame the rest of the world for their inability. incompetence and ineptitude to find a lucrative niche in the great scheme of the world. The process is called "niggerization".

Last of the Mi… Wed, 11/15/2017 - 07:48 Permalink

"Russian meddling" is nothing more than extreme socialist NGO's blaming the reds for their own subversive actions. The idea is that most people can only handle good and bad, one of each, while the reality is that both are powerful subversive organizations and both need to be robbed of any influence in an open constitutional society with a truly open, honest and free press. Which by the way, we do not have.