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Meet the spooks, mercenaries s and chickenhawk politicos enlisting as “North Atlantic Fellas Organization” (NAFO) trolls

The Grayzone, ALEXANDER RUBINSTEIN·OCTOBER 28, 2022 While fundraising for a notoriously brutal militia in Ukraine and trolling critics of the proxy war, the membership roll of “North Atlantic Fellas Organization” has filled up with NATO suits, congressional chickenhawks, neocon operatives, mercenaries and intel agents.

Whether they know it or not, anyone who has checked Twitter for recent coverage of the Ukraine proxy war has likely encountered at least one of the thousands of trolls that comprise NAFO, or the “North Atlantic Fellas Organization.” Thanks to the efforts of NAFO and its “fellas,” any journalist or prominent figure critical of Ukraine or NATO on Twitter is likely to receive hundreds of replies accusing them of being paid by Russian President Vladimir Putin (or even performing fellatio on him) from accounts with Shiba Inu dog avatars.

Since its inception several months ago, NAFO has earned gushing praise from the Washington Post, which hailed it for “show[ing] that the tables could be turned on Russia, when it came to trolling.” The arms industry-funded, Washington DC-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), meanwhile, hosted an online panel highlighting NAFO as an instrumental weapon in the Russia-Ukraine infowars.

Yet NAFO’s beltway boosters often gloss over its role as a fundraising machine for the Georgian Legion, a US-backed Ukrainian fighting group that stands accused of gruesome battlefield atrocities. Several former members of the Legion have produced first-hand testimony documenting its perpetration of war crimes, including the torture and execution of POWs and civilians. 

One NAFO founder explained that he chose the Georgian Legion as a funding recipient precisely because of the unit’s reputation as a band of “mercenaries and criminals” that was willing to carry out barbarous acts which could cause foreign governments to shy away from supporting it. Another NAFO founder has praised the Georgian Legion’s leader for “killing Russians since the ’90s.”

Among the Georgian Legion’s most notorious members are US fugitive and murderer Craig Lang, as well as Paul Gray, an American whose past involvement in several neo-Nazi organizations was never mentioned during the friendly primetime interviews he was granted by Fox News and its local affiliates. 

While providing a financial feeding tube to a militia that revels in its own atrocities, NAFO continues to attract effusive support from mainstream US journalists and think tankers who portray the operation as little more than a grassroots expression of online solidarity with Ukraine.

Obsessively online interventionists find meaning and purpose as “fellas”

Employing cartoon memes of the Shiba Inu dog breed, NAFO’s postmodern aesthetic, irreverent style and dedication to viciously trolling any critic of the Ukraine proxy war has garnered the adulation of Western media and interventionist government officials alike.

To outsiders, the lingo that flows through internal NAFO chats might seem unintelligible: “fellas” refers to members; “nafoarticle5” is a call to action that urges “fellas” to dog-pile on a particular social media post; “vatnik” serves as a pejorative for Russians and virtually anyone critical of the US-backed proxy war. Phrases such as “NAFO expansion is non-negotiable” and sarcastic claims that they are funded by the CIA (which they simultaneously claim “doesn’t exist”) are also ubiquitous.

Behind the anonymously named Twitter accounts of NAFO members lies a base of extremely online, mostly male civilians seeking a sense of purpose and community. Some participants have tattooed Shiba Inu avatars onto their bodies while others have published photos of their newborn babies in the arms of an adult sporting a NAFO shirt.

……. In public, NAFO leaders market the image of a charity-focused community of do-gooders, however, many posts by its fellas reflect the kind of psychologically deranged outbursts familiar to young adult men who spend endless hours ranting on a messaging platform built for gamers. In mid-October, for example, an administrator complained that she was forced to ban two members of the NAFO Discord for publicly plotting the murder of a third member of the community. 

While US corporate media have declared that within NAFO “there is no command structure,” effectively releasing the group’s founders from accountability for the fellas’ behavior, this reporter found all the hallmarks of an organizational hierarchy. The group’s Discord server is run by founders, assigned administrators, moderators, and “forgers” who make memes used for harassing people on social media. “Verified fellas” are granted access to otherwise locked channels, while regular “fellas” are assigned more mundane roles……………………………………more https://thegrayzone.com/2022/10/28/spooks-mercs-hawks-nafo-troll/

ED. This website has previously published ALEXANDER RUBINSTEIN ‘s detailed story on the North Atlantic Fella Oeganization (NAFO.

October 31, 2022 - Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, Ukraine

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