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Soup number116
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Vatnik’s professionSoldier
Vatnik’s country of originSpain
In SpanishPedro Baños

Pedro Baños

In today's #vatnik soup, I'll introduce a Spanish writer, colonel and attention-seeker,Pedro Baños. He's best-known for his takes on "geostrategy" (his Twitter handle is @geoestratego), for his hate on "Anglo-Saxon" world and for his long-lasting, low-key support for Russia.
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Baños started his long military career in the early 80's, and he was even the head of Counterintelligence and Security of the European Army in Strasbourg during the early 2000's. In 2017 he published a book called "Así se domina el mundo" ("How They Rule The World").

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The book focuses on the idea that world is ruled via realpolitik, a system of politics based on practical rather than moral or ideological considerations. British writer Jeremy Duns compared the Spanish and English versions of the book, and noticed that Baños had deleted...

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...around 30000 words from the English version. In these deleted passages,Baños had referred to the Jewish Rothschild family in connection with the antisemitic fabricated text and conspiracy theory called The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, first published in Russia in 1903.4/24 Image
In the TV show "Cuarto Milenio" he flirted with the idea that the Rothschilds together with Israel were behind the JFK assassination. Still back in Jan, 2022, he claimed in a YouTube show that the world was in the hands of "ten-twelve families who run everything".

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Back in 2008, when Russia invaded Georgia, Baños condemned the attack and called it a "Pyrrhic victory" for Putin. His views on both Russia and the US apparently changed around 2014, after the Russians annexed Crimea and started their false flag operation in Donbas.

After the shoot down of MH17, he suggested on an interview on RT that, according to "alternative sources", it might have been shot down by a Ukrainian fighter jet.

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During the Syrian War, Pedro accused the US and president Obama of "imprisoning Russia through NATO". He also supported the Russian version of the Douma chemical attack, denying the use of chemical weapons by the al-Assad regime. A year later his stance on this battle of...

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...empires became even more evident, when he wrote an article for the Spanish military publication "Ejército", praising Putin's ambitions to return Russia to its "former glory". Baños stated that the EU's sanctions to annexation of Crimea was an "unnecessary mistake".

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In Jun, 2018, he was going to be appointed as the director of National Security of Spain, but the nomination was contested by Partido Popular and Ciudadanos parties due to Pedro's "public positions in favor of the Kremlin", and he was never chosen for the job.

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Spanish political analyst and political scientist José Ignacio Torreblanca (@jitorreblanca) went as far as comparing him to Michael Flynn, a US general with solid pro-Russian connections and who also believes in various conspiracy theories.

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Baños also downplayed the Russian interference during the 2017 Catalonia referendum, blaming the journalist, Nicolás de Pedro (@nicolasdepedro), who wrote about the incident to be employed by a "fake think tank" funded by the British secret service MI6.

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NYT had earlier uncovered that the group calling for the independence met with FSB colonels and that even the infamous GRU unit 29155, a group best-known for the Salisbury poisonings, was somehow meddling with the independence process.

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In Nov, 2021, when Russia was gathering its troops along the Ukrainian border, Pedro called those who warned about the invasion "warmongers". When Zelenskyy was preparing Ukraine for war, Baños called it a ruse, "steering away the attention from internal politics".

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Baños spent the months before the invasion on mocking analysts who were warning about it. In Apr, 2022, he said in an interview that "providing weapons to Ukraine is not the right way". In another interview he predicted that "hundreds of thousands could die of cold" in...

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...wintertime due to the sanctions on Russia. Pedro's comments haven't gone unnoticed in the Spanish media: an article by Julio Valdeón (@JulioValdeon) on El Mundo explicitly accused Baños of being paid by the Kremlin.

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Lately Baños has been going around every possible TV show, touting about classic Kremlin propaganda like Ukrainian biolabs and COVID-19 being a US experiment.

It is rather alarming when colonels and "geostrategists" mix conspiracy theories and strong anti-US and NATO rhetoric with geopolitical views. His fandom for Putin & his regime has been evident on many occasions, and even though he has condemned Russia's illegal invasion,...18/24 ImageImage
... he keeps on promoting the "mistakes of the Anglo-Saxons", barely mentioning the genocidal events conducted by Russia in Ukraine.

Baños seems to love attention and being in the spotlight. I mean, the man is 63 and has an active TikTok account.

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He also attempts to control the narrative: after I announced that I'm looking for help in translating Spanish for project "Pedro Baños", he immediately went into damage control mode, even suggesting that there's a "disinformation campaign" against him, and that #NAFO...

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...mostly consists of bots. He claimed that this campaign is organized from Finland, and his friend, claiming to be "digital analyst", continued that it this might cost "as much as 10 000 EUR" each month.

Why is Baños doing this? For money and fame, of course. Since he lost his cozy job in the military, he now somehow has to stay relevant, which is why he makes silly TikToks, spreads conspiracy theories on populist TV shows and blames people for plotting against him.

So, @geoestratego, here's a litmus test: Let us know what you think of the massacres in Bucha and Izium, tell us how you feel about the FSB-organized kid's torture chambers in Kherson, please enlighten us with your thoughts on the mass bombings of civilian targets,...

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...conducted by the Russian troops. This would be the moment to truly condemn Russia's war atrocities and illegal invasion.

This thread will be published also in Spanish in the near future. Thank you for the sous-chef @Victor_Vas_Her for helping me to deliver this soup.

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