Propaganda Watch: Russia and the Texas Secession Movement

Russian President Vladimir Putin superimposed into a Russian Flag. Image by Lenny Ghoul.

“The 1980s called. They want their foreign policy back.”

Then-President Obama infamously said that during the 2012 debates against Mitt Romney, teasing him about his statement that Russia was the number one threat to the US. Even as late as September of 2016, the idea that Putin and Russia could be any serious threat was laughable to many political players. So in September of 2016, when the Anti-Globalist Movement of Russia held a conference in Moscow and invited a number of worldwide secessionist groups, it was barely a blip on anyone’s radar. Some of the attendees represented Scotland, the Basque and Catalonians of Spain, Hawaiian and Native American separatists, among others.

Included in that group was Daniel Miller, president of the Texas Nationalist Movement, a group pushing for “Texit” since 2005. Miller had previously attended the International Russian Conservative Forum in March with representatives from European Nationalist and White Supremacist groups.

At some point it is suspected that Miller and the Texas Nationalist Movement joined forces with Russian agents to promote the secession movement with the “Heart of Texas” Facebook page (in the 2015-q3/2015-09 folder, also called “Time To Secede”). The earliest of their ads are almost silly in their stereotypes of Texas:

Or this gem:

The Facebook group organized a protest rally of an Islamic library in Houston (to which 10 people showed up). Russians also organized the counter-protest that was happening across the street from it.

At first I thought Russia had misjudged the popularity of the Texas Secession Movement and that was why they started putting out so many ads supporting it in September 2015. Then I learned something interesting: Russian media is equating its annexation of Crimea to the statehood of Texas. “How dare they criticize us when they did the same thing to Texas?” It becomes a two-for-one deal. The secession movement becomes yet another dividing point for Americans and also a rallying point for Russians.

THIS IS AN OPEN THREAD. Enjoy and remember, every time you irrationally hate, a Russian angel gets its wings.

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