Methinks the insane hysteria over Russia needs to stop. It probably will not. For reasons of domestic and imperial politics the American public is again being manipulated into a war frenzy by Washington and New York. It is stupid, without justification, and dangerous.
The silliness over Russia is, obviously, part of the Establishment’s drive to get rid of Trump. Yes, the man is erratic, contradictory, shoots before he aims, backs off much of what he has promised, and may be unqualified as President–but that is not why Washington and New York want to get rid of him. It is about money and power, as is everything in the United States. Wall Street, the Pentagon, the Neocons, and the Empire run America. Trump has threatened their rice bowls.
He has threatened to cut the F-35, a huge blow to Lockheed-Martin and hundreds of subcontractors; to pull US troops out of South Korea, a blow to the Empire; to end the wars, a blow both to the Empire and the military industry getting rich from them; to pull troops out of Okinawa, crippling the Empire in the Pacific; to start a trade war with China with a forty-five percent tariff of Chinese goods, threatening American corporations with factories there; and to chase out illegal immigrants, an important source of cheap labor to businesses.
He has called NATO “obsolete,” when leaving it would be the death knell of the Empire; and threatened to establish good relations with Russia, when the lack of a European enemy would leave NATO even more obviously unnecessary.
Thus New York and its branch operation in Washington resuscitate Russia as a bugbear to terrify the rubes, meaning most of the public. Money. Power. Empire.
What sense does this make–apart from money and power? Russia is an economically challenged nation of 145 million, less than half of Europe’s population and much less than half of America’s. Its economy is a small fraction of the combined economies of Europe and America. It is not on a war footing. It is not moving forces into position for an invasion. It is not mobilizing. To satellite photography, to NSA these things would be as obvious as leprosy on a prom queen. The Establishment would be screaming to high heaven if there were the slightest trace of preparation for war. The whole business is manufactured.
I frequently see the assertion that Russia “hacked” voting machines to give the election to President Trump. The majority who are excited about this, I suspect the very great majority, have not the foggiest idea what they are talking about. Hacking to most people means something they saw in a movie, with some bright kid going clickety-click-click on a laptop and penetrating NORAD. It is a vague menace lacking specific content. To them I would say:
If you cannot program in assembly language, you do not know how computers work. If you do not know TCP/IP from DHCP, you do not know how the internet works. If you cannot tell a dictionary attack from stack overflow, you don’t have a housefly’s idea how hacking works. If you have not investigated the various kinds of voting machines to see what would be involved in changing their vote totals, you probably ought to take up stamp collecting.
This is all orchestrated. So is the constant Putin bashing. His sin of course is that he doesn’t knuckle under to Washington. It is also the sin of Iran, China, Cuba, and North Korea.
The con is often silly. From time to time we see screaming headlines headlines, RUSSIAN BOMBER FLIES OFF AMERICAN COAST! Or somebody’s coast. Recently it was A SPY SHIP! The “bomber” is usually a Tu-95 Bear (NATO designation), an ancient four-engine prop job, though a beautiful aircraft, converted for reconnaissance. The idea that Moscow would send one lumbering plane to bomb America is too stupid–well, no, nothing is too stupid.
Tu-95. First flew in 1952. Yes, it can carry nuclear weapons. So can a Volkswagen Jetta.
Then there is the assertion that Russia hacked the DNC and gave its emails to Wikileaks. This is possible, but how would we know? (And would not revealing misbehavior be a service to the voting public?) Note that many people had an incentive to do it, from disgruntled Democratic insiders to anyone who stood to lose by Hillary’s election or gain by Trump´s, to the Trump campaign itself, to the many talented freelancers who just enjoy raising hell. Maybe .1 percent of the population, certainly not including me, have the expertise and access even to guess intelligently.
If you believe same intel agencies that lied us into Vietnam and Iraq, and that apparently are very much involved in anti-Trumpian machinations, you are the Establishment’s ideal citizen. For political reasons, specifically hostility to Trump, they will say anything that suits their purposes. and only inadvertently include the truth. If this seems an extreme claim, reflect:
In 1964 the CIA was running various kinds of attacks against North Vietnam, without admitting it. Two intelligence vessels, the Maddox and the Turner Joy, claimed that they had been fired upon by the North. They had not, and if they had been it would not have been unreasonable since the United States was inserting teams of saboteurs into the north. The result, and intention, was to chivy America into wars which devastated three countries and lead to millions of deaths. It worked.
After Nine Eleven, the government, using the intel outfits, deliberately led most of the public to believe that Iraq was developing the dread WMD, and thus get the United States to attack for the benefit of the oil industry, Israel, and the imperial lobby. It was nonsense and Washington had to know it. At the time Iraq was probably the most watched real estate on the planet. The result was destruction of an innocent country and the bloody mess that is now the Middle East. Which, note, had nothing to do with the interests of the United States or the well-being of its people.
All of America’s wars are for the benefit of others than Americans. Do you think you would be made better off by a war with Russia? China? Does the unending butchery in Afghanistan improve your life? Would you feel more secure if NATO–Washington’s puppet troupe–had bases in Montenegro? Wherever the hell that is?
The same game is now being played with Russia. Almost daily we read that Washington is sending troops to Poland, Bulgaria, Norway to confront the Russians, who are doing nothing that needs confronting.
Deter it from what?
This morning: “Germany Will Send Tank to Russian Border.”
A recent move was to send naval forces to the Black Sea, which is not America’s concern. What, precisely, are those ships supposed to do? Steam fiercely in circles, bowwow-grrr-woof? Do they have a purpose other than domestic American consumption? Are they to attack something, defend something in danger of attack, forbid the Russians to do–what?
Russia is not going to invade Europe, and Washington knows it perfectly well, so why put tiny combat forces on its frontiers? If there is going to be a deliberate war, Washington is going to have to start it. Attacking Russia with minor forces, or at all, is probably an idea nuttier than even Washington can invent. One hopes that Europe would not allow Americans to do what they usually do, get others to fight its wars in other people’s countries.
The danger with letting pasty neocons in New York play with military forces is that brinksmanship, fun for fern-bar Napoleons, can have not-fun consequences. If Washington puts naval forces in Russian waters in the Black Sea, the Russians will feel compelled to shadow the ships, to keep fighters flying overhead. A mistake occurs–mistakes do occur–and one side downs a plane belonging to the other.
The wounded side feels obliged to respond. We have a shooting war. In closed waters bordering Russia, the US Navy would not win. Washington would then feel that it had to defend its ego by expanding the war. Wounded ego is important to the vast combative vanities who so often rise to power.
And there is no way to rein in these lunatics. They send the military where they like, attack whoever they choose, and we read about it after it has been done. One could almost wish we had constitutional government.
But I dream.
Fred Reed, a keyboard mercenary with a disorganized past, has worked on staff for Army Times, The Washingtonian, Soldier of Fortune, Federal Computer Week, and The Washington Times.