Dimwitted and dangerous

At some point during last year’s American presidential campaign, the Democratic Party decided that it would play the Russia card and accuse Donald Trump of being at best a Kremlin stooge, at worst a Russian agent. The Democrats then turned this card almost into the centrepiece of their campaign, repeating the charges against Trump again and again. Quite why they they though this strategy was a good one, I cannot imagine, as it merely reinforced their lack of connection with ordinary American voters, but I am guessing that after a while they had said it so often that they came to believe it.

We now know that following Hillary Clinton’s defeat, her advisors met to discuss how to react to their electoral disaster, and that they decided that the best option was to blame it on the Russians. Again, I can’t fathom why, except perhaps that it a) had now became a matter of faith, and b) it excused them from having to examine their own failings.

Since then the Democratic Party has been waging non-stop war against President Trump, focusing on his, and his close associates’, allegedly dubious connections with Russia. Abetting them have been members of the security and intelligence services who have been leaking information to the press at every appropriate opportunity in an effort to derail any attempted rapprochement between the USA and the Russian Federation. The ‘deep state’ (if you believe in such a thing) has been hard at work.

You might say that ‘all is well in love and war’, and that it’s quite fair to use whatever weapon one can in order to attack your political opponents. But in this case, I think, the attacks have not only long since became entirely divorced from reality but have also descended into gross irresponsibility.

Take, for instance, the latest allegations about Trump divulging secrets to the Russians. Horrified by this supposed abuse of power, unknown intelligence officials with the help of the Washington Post have divulged these secrets not merely to the Russians but to THE ENTIRE BLOODY WORLD. Personally, I’m not too bothered by this; my own short career in the world of intelligence persuaded me that it’s far less important than people think it is. Nonetheless, it is extraordinarily hypocritical of Trump’s critics to complain about breaches of secrecy while breaching secrecy themselves on a far grander scale. Trump’s enemies accuse him of being irresponsible, but who’s being irresponsible here?

Next – and I will go out on a limb here and make my biases very clear – I am firmly of the opinion that it is a positive thing if states have good relations with one another. And it’s especially important that powerful states do so. Which is better? A world in which the major powers are in conflict with one another, or a world in which they get on with each other? Obviously, the latter. Thus, IMPROVING US-RUSSIA RELATIONS IS A GOOD IDEA. When Trump said that during the election campaign, he was entirely right. However, his enemies are working flat out to achieve the opposite result. In an effort to undermine their president, they are doing all they can to sabotage US-Russia relations. In other words, they are jeapordizing their own country’s interests, and more broadly the security of the entire world, because they think it is a good way of gaining domestic political advantage. Again, I ask, who’s being irresponsible here?

Finally, in seeking to destroy Trump in this way, his opponents are threatening the internal order of their own country. Perhaps one other explanation for the obsession with Russia is that the ‘Never Trumpists’ aren’t seeking electoral advantage so much as some form of ‘soft coup’ or palace revolution. The hope isn’t to harm Trump’s electoral prospects in 2020, but to force him to resign or to get him impeached. They are, in essence, trying to get around the electoral process.

What makes this dangerous is that many Trump supporters are already convinced that the elites who govern the United States don’t care about their interests and have rigged the system to do them down. Now that they’ve finally got their man elected, they aren’t going to take too kindly to seeing him booted out in such a way. Were this tactic to succeed, it would alienate a large section of the population even more thoroughly than it is already, and could even, in the worst scenarios, have violent consequences (right-wing militias are already responsible for much more violence in the USA than any other type of political group). The Democrats and their allies in the security and intelligence services are playing with fire. Once again, who’s being irresponsible here?

Speaking in Sochi today, Vladimir Putin summed it up well, saying:

They are shaking up the political situation in the USA using anti-Russian slogans. Either they don’t understand what harm they are doing to their own country, in which case they’re simply dimwitted, or they understand fully, and then they’re simply dangerous and unscrupulous.

Personally, I think they’re both.

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14 thoughts on “Dimwitted and dangerous”

  1. It’s ironic but the behaviour of the democrats (republicans like john McCain) and their allies in the media and elsewhere are following exactly the script of the “colour” revolutions that have been promoted by the CIA in so many countries.
    They are good at achieving the breakdown of political systems and societies
    And they are doing this because of what? Hillary
    It truly is crazy and frightening.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Actually, they are following their own script which they wrote for the color revolutions, which were a main focus of the State Dept (esp under Hillary) and the CIA. Two arms of the same monster.

      Like

  2. It’s just another item in a long list (I’ve been keeping it since 1984) of evidence for the decline and fall of the American empire Since the election of Trump it has occurred to me that perhaps every empire has to have its Nero and its Caligula. Bush Jr. and Trump fill those slots — i.e., the end must be near.

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    1. Well, the Roman Empire lasted another three centuries after Caligula, with maybe the best times being the second and third century. Vespasian who came after greatly expanded the bureaucracy (for better and/or worse). There were big numbers like Hadrian and Constantine, but also a lot of emperors did not end their rule with a natural death.

      If there are parallels, it’s with some historians now claiming that a lot of the crimes attributed to Caligula are fake news/history, written as a contract job financed by those senators and guards who plotted against him.

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      1. Hmmm…. While I appreciate the effort, to spare me from a typical Lyttenburgh post which is too long and will take too much time to get through to check everything carefully, in keeping in mind with me using the internets to waste time at work from time to time and then remembering that I actually have a pretty demanding job so can’t troll comment sections for too long every day…

        In the future, please make sure to qualify these types of links with disclaimers such as: “This song does not get better after one minute. Please cease listening to it after that time if you don’t feel like killing too many brain cells”. Truly, a case of a Lyttenburgh post delivering too little information… 🙂

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      2. 2Blatnoi

        Awwh, c’mon! Everyone likes “horrible histories”! Their ratings show that ! 🙂

        Whic is true. I mean it – check out their ratings!

        And, seeing how much you liked the previous song – another one by them! Wheeeeee!

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  3. While I have no inclination to defend Trump, nor do I believe in the “lesser evil” reasoning generally, under the circumstances, you could do a lot worse than a Trump presidency.

    With all the scandals and his undiplomatic / impulsive / narcissistic personality, Trump is a weak president who can’t get much done. Pence would be (1) less buried by scandal and thus less weak, and (2) he is more purely right-wing/reactionary/militant on just about every issue.

    I’m not sure how getting Trump out helps the Democrats. Nor the Republicans for that matter. The 2016 election had both leading Rep. primary candidates being basically against the center of their own party – and Pence is also from this crowd.

    Trump has the fascinating quality that he gives anyone in Washington a perfectly valid excuse to basically avoid their goals or responsibilities, while at the same time making even long-discredited figures like GW Bush etc look sane in comparison.

    This all leaving aside the obvious issues that US politics and US elections are hardly without influence of clearly self-interested foreign players (Saudi Arabia, AIPAC, etc etc), and that US foreign policy is not shy about influencing politics and elections in other countries.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. http://www.unz.com/article/invasion-of-the-putin-nazis/

    “Personally, I think they’re both.”

    I think it’s neither. Also, I don’t think the ‘Democratic’ party is doing it; American ‘parties’ are not powerful institutions; rather, I believe, they are mere service providers for real powers.

    This thing is so well organized and coordinated. I read somewhere that it’s driven by the ‘intelligence’/secret services apparatus (siloviki?), but I’m not convinced. There’s also concept of the ‘deep state’, an informal network of powerful individuals, but that thing would not be able to produce such a coordinated campaign. So, who the hell knows.

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  5. “Again, I can’t fathom why, except perhaps that it a) had now became a matter of faith, and b) it excused them from having to examine their own failings.”

    Dialectically speaking – both.

    “The ‘deep state’ (if you believe in such a thing) has been hard at work.”

    It’s not a matter of the faith, Professor. It’s a reality. Substitute the “deep state” term for “Regime”. Here you go. Elections happen, presidents come and go, but the ruling Regime of the USA stays the same.

    “Next – and I will go out on a limb here and make my biases very clear – I am firmly of the opinion that it is a positive thing if states have good relations with one another. “

    [GASP]

    Such insurmountable bias you have, Professor! Horror, horror…

    “A world in which the major powers are in conflict with one another, or a world in which they get on with each other?”

    For whom? The MIC thinks it’s a godsend – for them. And they are the major benefactors of humanity.

    “What makes this dangerous is that many Trump supporters are already convinced that the elites who govern the United States don’t care about their interests and have rigged the system to do them down. “

    And in capitalism it is not?

    “Were this tactic to succeed, it would alienate a large section of the population even more thoroughly than it is already, and could even, in the worst scenarios, have violent consequences (right-wing militias are already responsible for much more violence in the USA than any other type of political group). “

    Meh. That’s why the Dems rely on importing their voter base. They don’t give a crap about filthy deplorable “natives”.

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  6. “Nonetheless, it is extraordinarily hypocritical of Trump’s critics to complain about breaches of secrecy while breaching secrecy themselves on a far grander scale.”

    And not just hypocritical. Utterly irrational. But irrationality has become all the rage.

    Great essay, Paul.

    Like

  7. I’m afraid I somewhat disagree; I agree that to the extent it is possible, powerful countries should enjoy good relations with one another. However, I just don’t see any way that is possible right now between Russia and the USA short of some major capitulation from Russia to satisfy the neoconservative ideologues in Washington. Perhaps if Moscow copped to ‘hacking the American election’, said it was sorry and would never do it again, it might pull the neocons’ nuts out of the fire enough that they would at least publicly back off. But I think the root of it lies in Lyttenburgh’s message above: “Elections happen, presidents come and go, but the ruling regime of the USA stays the same.”

    Who can dispute the accuracy of this? It is demonstrably true that the same influential names are threaded through the American political tapestry from one administration to the next, remaining enormously significant in policymaking whether in an official appointment or in opposition. And this aristocracy has decided that Russia must play the bogeyman, to frighten the nation’s children and its querulous librarians and salt-of-the-earth farmers, so that once again they see Russians under the bed. This determination will not be interrupted by any overtures from Moscow – instead, it will be interpreted as weakness, as a soft spot to be exploited. If Russia truly has chosen to write the USA off for a few years, I think that’s probably the wise way to play it; moreover, Russia should use that time to continue insulating itself against American influence and dependency, economically and otherwise.

    That opinion notwithstanding, this is an excellent piece and your analysis is both sound and refreshing.

    Like

  8. If the economy you own is based upon incarceration and war, you need criminalization, Sessions, and endless war, GE et al. The Dems can fold the Russia card and go ‘social security’, decriminalization, and green and quit beshitting themselves.

    Like

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