After 8 years of resetting relations to a much more mature realpolitik level under the careful direction of Barrack Obama, the world has awoken to the realization that suddenly the Russians with willing accomplices are undermining democracies. As if.
The nefarious Russians are apparently under every anti-liberal rock and a massive conspiracy at the level of Pearl Harbor and 9/11 is under way and must be ruthlessly expunged. We are at one of those wonderful hypocritical crossroads where liberal thought can’t maintain a single intelligence stream of logic, when it comes to America and its place in the world.
There was a time when liberals considered the efforts to identify and eliminate Russian influence as hatespeak. As told in mythic form in movies and coffee houses all over America, the fascist and drunken buffoon Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin initiated a witch-hunt in the 1950s to expose Russian communist influence in the American government, and created a holocaust upon American values in which liberal individuals with supposed communist ideals were accused of being influenced and influencing America at a time of great threat to our liberal notions of a free people. Now the left is asking for a witch-hunt to expose Russian influence in the American government, in which conservative individuals with supposed fascist ideals are accused of being influenced and influencing America at a time of great threat to our liberal notions of a free people. Light the Torches!
The first Russian mole in the government has been rousted out by the torch carriers, General Michael Flynn. President Trump, when he was just Donald Trump, found a soulmate in General Flynn that gave the candidate-to-be some gravitas. The general was no slouch. Flynn, who had rose to the illustrious three star rank of Lieutenant General in the United States Army, was considered a star in intelligence circles and had been named head of the Defense Intelligence Agency by President Obama in 2011. Opinionated and brusk, he did not easily mesh with the Obama Administration who saw only one strategic thinker, Obama, and retired in 2014. Post government, he continued to speak his mind and was unsettlingly comfortable at times with non-traditional relationships with foreign governments that spoke to his poor political antenna.
A former democrat like Trump, he saw in Trump a compelling figure who might be capable of injecting Flynn’s anti-Iran Great Power World order philosophy to American foreign policy. When the upset of upsets occurred on November 8th, 2016, Trump loyally looked to Flynn to be his National Security Advisor, placing him at his career pinnacle of power and influence. And thus, the first piñata to be broken in the Trump Administration was nicely positioned. In just three weeks, Flynn’s questionable contacts and difficulties in working with others, particularly Vice President Pence, the designated adult in the room, did him in, and he was asked to resign.
Unlike President Obama’s administration, it appears the Trump Administration understands the concept of resignation when the individual places the administration or country at dissonance with the stated values. General Flynn, a non-consensus character type, inappropriately positioned by President Trump in a job that is designed to achieve consensus opinion, did the right thing and resigned. The inarticulate President, who continues to attempt his own Russian reset, while mangling his outreach in lousy analogies and lousy syntax, allowed the myth of Russian ‘control’ of American democracy to rise from the position of Democrat Party excuse for its own brutal incompetence, to a story that implies the new found liberal Russia haters are evangelists for protecting American freedom and security. Again…As If.
That said, there are obvious issues in underestimating the malevolence of Putin or any other previous totalitarian Russian leader’s desire to influence, undermine, and confuse American resolve. The track record is there now, just like it was in the 1950s, when it was ‘laughed off’ by those who did not want to see the very real penetrations into the government in the form of Alger Hiss, the Rosenbergs, or the Hollywood Writers Guild. Free societies can protect free speech, without subverting itself to the darker forces, and Garry Kasparov deserves to be heard when the enemies of freedom extend their reach malevolently. At the same time, the slop that passed for internet security first when Hillary Clinton determined to engage in felonious behavior by utilizing an unprotected private server to expose confidential American information to any high school level hacker, then, the ridiculous sloppiness of the Democratic National Committee through John Podesta, who looked to confuse a grade school level hacker with the password to his account, Password, were no challenge to the first class hackers employed by our enemies. None of this was Trump’s or Flynn’s doing, and none of it required special Russian desire to infiltrate American politics. The losers of November 8th, 2016 set themselves up for their loss, all by their lonesome.
The real scandal is not that foreign governments will take advantage of our own sloppiness as we would take advantage of theirs, but that the means for the destruction of the National Security Advisor of the United States, was promulgated by the ‘hacking’ of confidential information by leakers within our own government, and released to the willing press hoping to take the new leader down a few notches. Putin doesn’t have to do anything to undermine a society that is willing to undermine its own values for political gain. The General is gone, but those who were willing to undermine him stay behind and are better moles than any Putin could hope to pay for. When the bureaucracy feels it is more important than the American experiment in governance by the People , it won’t take a Russian Czar to threaten our future. We will accomplish it all by ourselves.