There’s no doubt that Kremlin-controlled hackers infiltrated and dumped the DNC’s dirty laundry just before their convention. The resulting carnage is evident, and will certainly hurt Hillary Clinton’s chances in November. This is clearly a case of a foreign power influencing an American election.
Barack Obama is no better than Vladimir Putin in this regard. His unabashed meddling in Israeli politics against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is all on the record. But that work was done through (mainly) legal means. We haven’t heard of the NSA sabotaging the Likud Party (I’m not willing to say for certain they didn’t but nobody has claimed it happened).
That’s what makes this statement by The Washington Post editorial board more disturbing:
Some political analysts doubt that KGB-style tricks will ultimately sway votes in a wide-open U.S. election — especially as Moscow has barely bothered to disguise its authorship. Yet the fact that Mr. Putin is trying is remarkable and disturbing — as is the motivation Mr. Trump has given him to meddle.
Even in the face of Obama’s V15 effort to oust the Israeli PM, which was linked to the State Department grant-funded nonprofit OneVoice Movement, Netanyahu prevailed. If there was any spycraft, hacking, or clandestine work by the U.S. government involved, they covered their tracks very well.
Putin, on the other hand, has no compunction about signing his work. Moscow controls thousands (even tens of thousands) of Twitter accounts, some are just tweet bots retweeting the Kremlin’s line on a variety of issues, while others plant (sometimes elaborate) stories in our press. He controls a very robust and effective cyber warfare operation, through the various arms of Russian state security and military sources, including mystery-shrouded “The Agency.”
Putin wants Trump to be president. Trump admires Putin, probably for the same reasons he admires himself. Putin is rich, ruthless, and unafraid to destroy his enemies (literally destroy). Trump has shown a penchant for Putin-style governing, which should disturb any American.
Trump has given Putin the best opportunity Russia has had since the 1930’s to influence American politics. Together, Putin/Trump will end NATO as an effective bulwark against a new Iron Curtain (an economic one), an assault on Europe, and a new Russian emergent empire.
There’s a reason Reagan called the Soviet Union an evil empire. Back in 2014, I warned about Putin and Russia’s new aggressiveness. I’ll just quote myself.
While Obama leads America to new heights of navel-gazing, carbon emissions limits, green energy, anti-child obesity, and universally-bad healthcare, Putin rebuilds the Russian Bear day by day.
Sarah Palin in 2008, and Mitt Romney in 2012 were not prescient or prophecy-laden. They were listening to the international experts who have been watching for the past 24 years, and had the common sense to see the Bear rising again.
The USA, with its eyes turned firmly away from such ugliness, chose to ignore common sense. And in an orgy of disarmament, declared that our Army should be cut to levels unheard of since 1979—the year that the USSR invaded Afghanistan. We were so weak then that the only response Carter could muster was “we won’t go to the Olympics in Moscow.” Eerily similar to today’s “we won’t go to the G-8 meeting in Moscow.”
The time of the Bear is rising again. Will we have a Reagan, a leader who is unafraid to use our economic might, international favor, and military power to counter the Bear, point for point? Or will we see another 70 years of an Iron Curtain, replaced by a Steel Ring, run from Moscow by a man unfettered by western morals, but skilled in crafting his own image at home, and abroad.
Those same Latvians, Estonians, Ukrainians, Poles, Czechs, Romanians, are all very concerned, and some are panic-stricken. Their very freedom is very much at risk. In 1991 we didn’t let them down. I don’t think they have the same confidence now.
I have a warning from the Department of Common Sense: get ready, because it’s coming.
The Bear is back.
Instead of a Reagan to stand up to Moscow, Putin is supporting Trump, an autocrat who will stand side by side with the new Russian Bear. I imagine the rest of the world is terrified. Why aren’t we?