This piece was originally written in 2018 and comes full circle with what is happening in Ukraine. rh
Since the end of the cold war the United States has been the world’s dominant military and political power. Except for Russia and the US’s ongoing hair trigger alert system we appeared to be moving away from the Mutually Assured Destruction rhetoric that dominated the last half of the 20th century. But with a new era of nuclear brinkmanship focusing on North Korea and Putin’s unstoppable nuclear tipped cruise missiles the Bulletin of Atomic Scientist’s famous doomsday clock shouldn’t be at 2 minutes but remeasured in months at this point.
America’s media establishment that includes print media and the left leaning MSNBC is walking us directly into a “showdown at high noon” with its goal of removing a sitting president, whether its by obstruction, collusion or both. The broad perception that we have a modern day Al Capone that is willing to do just about anything to protect himself in possession of the nuclear briefcase has no historic precedence. If the left wants to play a more important role in this growing crisis, it must shift gears immediately and focus on the impacts to bath water rather than the tub.
The argument of whether or not the Russiagate agenda is legitimate or not needs to be reframed about where the country is headed and what the impacts could be. Currently, the debate on the left about Russiagate can best exemplified by this review of a podcast between Glenn Greenwald and James Risen that clearly demonstrates the narrow frame our media has trapped itself into. Greenwald is the journalist that documented Edward Snowden’s massive data release while Risen is the former New York Times national security expert. Both now work at The Intercept.
Imagine, a country that is so internally split that its media elites are actually failing objectively to cover whose anti-Russian agenda should be acted on by the government in the broader context of the yet unspoken agenda to dismantle much of the federal government as we know it.
For quite awhile I felt that there were major missing pieces to the left’s (and by left i mean left, not liberal) fight over Russiagate. Yes, the US mainstream corporate media has been looking for a fight with Russia for nearly a decade, and most definitely been disinforming the public about the true reason why Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 election. The left’s core problem is that their views are marginalized and even worse manipulated by the corporate media and political elites that does pay very close attention to the left. So its easy for most Americans to dismiss the left’s US foreign policy bias because they have no clue what it is, especially in a post Soviet Era.
Unpacking Russia Stole the Election Claim
The mainstream media’s attempt to blame Trump’s victory on Russia is pathetic, but not the part about how serious it is to remove him from office as a partial rational for the tampering that did take place.
One of the most dramatically unreported stories by the Moscow Times
Again, a major summary of themes the US media fails to report on:
History of Gerrymandering in USA
History of under representation by US from 1929 house legislation
History Voter suppression – Jim Crow era – that include red lining home ownership tactics
History of Modern Voter Suppression in key voting states by republicans
History of Corporate takeover of our legal system
History of Corporate media’s role in federal election laws – Citizens United
History of 1971 memo
Sophia McClennen’s recent article suggesting that Americans are too ignorant to understand how they have been misinformed to sort out the kind of hack attacks that left us with the current government.
RU vs US
American culture is about making a game out of everything – which is at the heart of their socalled exceptionalist agenda. The one thing this anti-historic country is very bad about, however, is documenting its own wins and losses, and what the real impacts are. So, imagine creating compact score card between the ongoing competition between Russia and the U.S. and doing it in such a way as to remind people that first and foremost, we are living on a tiny planet that as far was we know is a pretty rare place that this current behavior could extinguished forever.
And the score is: US – 20 — Russia – 16
Below are just a few of the known events that might be scored by any number of points when broken down by the sheer size and scale of impacts. Someone with more patience could make this much more detailed and certainly add other missing events that could be put on the score card including documentation links and time frames:
- US – One Point — Russian Oligarchs privatize ex Soviet industries
- Russia – One Point – Soviet era highly enriched uranium sold to US (1993-2013) to keep it secure
- US – One Point – Russian economy tanks – on a scale worse than US 1930’s Depression
- US – One Point – Russia agrees to block all sales of oil to Cuba or N Korea
- US – One Point – Missile Defense system setup in former satellite states
- US – One Point – Middle East global terrorist policy shift after 911
- US – One Point – US isolates former Russian allies and eastern block countries
- Russia One Point – Bush agrees to make Kazakhstan as global uranium bank (GNEP)
- Russia – One Point – Collapsed Soviet era oil industry rebuilt as main economic engine
- Russia – One Point – Europe pressured into major purchases of Russian energy
- Russia – One point – Global nuclear energy promotion campaign in dozens of countries
- Russia – Negative One Point – International Environmental groups evicted from Russia
- Russia – One Point – Putin gains control over – industries reinstated – Oligarchs removed from power
- Russia – Negative One Point – Gangster culture spreads across collapsed Russian Economy
- Tie – – One Point each – US & Russian Billionaires worldwide exposed in offshore money laundering
- Tie – One Point each – Both US and Russia are planets worst climate change deniers
- Russia – One Point – One of the largest global hacker cultures
- Russia – One Point – Up to half of US computers (hacked) & under control by alliance of Russian/Latin America Drug lords
- US – Negative One Point – Hackers expose US criminal activity
- US – One Point – Global criminal acts – Drones & depleted uranium warfare
- US – Five Points – Destabilization of the entire middle East for entire generation
- US – One Point – Secret computer attack of Iranian Uranium enrichment facilities
- US – One Point – false flag Nazi support of Ukraine
- Russia – One Point – Crimea broken off from Ukraine
- Tie – US and Russia agree to Iran Nuclear deal
- Russia – One Point – Likely bribery of Trump over inside real estate deals
- Russia – One Point – US election distraction by online propaganda campaign
- Russia – half point – GNEP process taken over by Russia’s Rosatom
- Russia – One Point – China & Russia (BRICS) move towards independent global financing model
- Result unknown – Russia – Iran – Syrian Alliance in favor of Assad Government holding
- Result unknown – Iran vs. Saudi Arabia (Shia vs. Sunni) tensions increase – Yemen – Israel
- Russia – One Point – decreased terrorist activity compared to the west
- Russia – One Point – Bannon calls for Putin to lead a European populist movement
- Russia – One Point – Snowden given refuge – unknown relationship with Assange
- U.S – One Point – Ongoing military activity in Afghanistan is primary reason for global Heroin trade
- U.S. – One Point – Finally agrees to phase out land mines in 2014
- U.S. – One Point – Uses drones to kill foreign nationals in undeclared wars across the middle east
General Overview –
Many leftists continue to ignore the far more complex nature of Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union. It has a larger block of leftists than in the US, but its current government is at best as worthless as America’s other than the fact that populist tendencies there show Putin having nearly 80% of country’s public’s support.
First and foremost, this is no defense of what the Main Stream Media (MSM) is attempting to do with its growing attacks upon Russia. The growing rift between the two countries stems from the Bush and Obama administration’s missile defense complex and the disastrous impacts to their society by “Oligarchs” that took over state owned industries that took place during the decade long financial collapse of the country.
American leftists have long played a US vs. Russia conversation suggesting that the later was politically more acceptable compared to the current American political culture. Especially when considering the growing antagonism that has escalated dramatically with MSM claims that Russia may have influenced the outcome of US elections – while refusing to probe the established voter suppression tactics that make up only a small part of the historic agenda of low voter turnouts – some of the worst in the world.
As well documented by Media analysts like Chomsky, the primary agenda of the MSM in the US is to filter its own corporate bias out of how it covers news content. There is no way currently possible for anyone to know what the current political makeup of that society would look like if such filters as well as leftist filters were removed in a real attempt to reduce any form of political bias.
The above list of offensive actions by the two countries speaks for itself. Russia is not a leftist country, yet far larger segments of that society can clearly be identified as leftist than compared to U.S. political values that have been dominated by corporate media outlets for generations. Attempts to create a new bad guy (Russia) political environment within the U.S. has become a self-fulfilling nightmare as it was this country’s manipulation of Russia going back to the cold war and its active propaganda operations that have setup the current state of affairs – where segments of Russian society have long held their own individual antagonisms toward the west.
These independent forces like their extensive hacker subculture that is independent of that country’s government is far more akin to the gangster era that was unleashed here during the depression of the 1930’s. That said, Russia is not a unified lock step culture – just as California could be said to be completely alien to most small town southerners who despise the state and everything it has become.
What older leftists have to realize that as shown above, defense of Russia in general is not appropriate – but more to the point, its concerns should be directed at the US media that continues to frame Russia in cold war terms in its agenda to rationalize its agenda to update its nuclear war making agenda.
Russia today is nothing like the former Soviet Union. One of the most striking aspects of the country is the fact that even though there is still interest in communist values – the party itself makes up less than 20% of the public while the United Russia party controls nearly 75% of the country’s elected representatives in the Duma. This is Putin’s party, who is also immensely popular.
One of the more dominant themes that predates the current DNC – election meme by the US media is Russia’s history of hacking. The Moscow Times posted a history of the country’s nefarious hacker subculture that dates back to the 1990’s.
But to be completely fair and balanced, computer warfare by the U.S. is intentionally censored from coverage. The last major story to break in the media was the Stuxnet virus that U.S. intelligence agents used to cause physical damage to Iran’s nuclear infrastructure. In the last 20 years, every branch of the military as well as the country’s national security agencies all have developed cyber warfare divisions. One of the more deadly concerns about this growing push to attack computers worldwide is the growth of AI systems that could conceivably end up being independent of human control, or advanced systems that when unleashed destroy nuclear facilities, banks or other global networks.
By extension, following a series of releases by wikileaks and Edward Snowden governments worldwide have increased their spying on the public at the same time have declared hacking by private citizens to be acts of terrorism while they attempt to rationalize their own growing use of cyber warfare. And of far greater concern, that is all but censored by western media is the far greater spying upon citizens being done by corporate data warehousing of private information – that in turn has led to the growing interest in identity theft of these systems – with all plastic card financial data is being sold to advertisers.
Probably the most deadly concerns is how the Smart TV market was exposed for spying on its owner – not to mention bringing down the last vestige of privacy as its two way system databases what users are watching – to be sold off or used to further endanger privacy.
The last major concern how leftists have been framing their defense of Russia and the recent hacking claims was a combination of old leftist jargon – “keep your hands off our ally” vs. a weakly framed “innocent until proven guilty” message. This defense has all but collapsed as details of the sophisticated propaganda streams (advertisements on Facebook and twitter) by Russians finally started to come out.
Since July of 2016, leftists have been claiming that there is no evidence that Russian spy services, the domestic FSB and the military GRU were involved – that if anything it was a deep state setup or just the work of independent hackers rather than any coordinated Russian government activity. They have been losing this battle badly. At least one progressive outlet – Alternet – has been open to actively covering the ongoing story that is just barely starting to come out as the Mueller investigation has just barely started to release information. Probably the biggest eye opener in the story was late October claim by Trump’s CIA head saying that there was Russian influence but it had no impact.
Then we have the growing global impact on foreign lobbying over U.S. policy. The most astonishing example of this took place just prior to the 2008 election when tens of millions of dollars from India circulated into the hands of elected democrats in the house of representatives to gain their vote that allowed the country to enter into the global nuclear community. Back in 1974, the U.S. blocked any further involvement of India when it illegally tested its first nuclear device against global agreements. This deal allowed India to start buying uranium on the western market. A recent study by the NY Times acknowledged that many of this countries think tanks are now taking ever growing amounts of money from foreign sources. These same think tanks play a dominant role in who gain access to public policy circles.
A number of major themes has evolved since the end of Bernie’s campaign and what happens in the continued environment where corporate control over Americans is going through a serious identity crisis. The corporate attempt to lay claim to the center while both of the two long dominant parties splinter speaks volumes to what the center refuses to acknowledge – that the country can no longer be defined by this agenda – some analysts suggest up to six differing groups with at least several of these groups falling sway of Trump. Just imagine if each of these emerging political groups were given their own – political channel – free of corporate influence. And what that would look like. I think most people who have been around the block more than a few cycles would know what that looks like – how would you keep giant financial players from shifting the agenda?