Tuesday, December 13, 2016

From Putin, With Love


I'm gonna start pre-publishing my newspaper columns here, because it drives me crazy that by the time they make it to a Saturday, much of it is old news and/or my thoughts (because they're not so brilliant as to never occur to anyone else) sound like I've copied them from elsewhere. So here's what'll probably show up in the paper on Saturday, possibly tweaked a little: 
Here’s a necessarily incomplete list of serious concerns regarding Russian interference with our electoral process: Holy crap, Russia interfered with our electoral process; the CIA has evidence their intent was to help elect Donald Trump; we don’t know why they wanted Trump; Donald Trump and everyone around him wants you to believe the CIA is lying; Mitch McConnell and others in Congress knew about it before the election; Mitch threatened to call any attempt to make it public an act of partisan politics (unlike their response to James Comey’s “leak”); after Mitch shut down news of the CIA’s findings until after the election, his wife got an appointment to Trump’s cabinet; Rex Tillerson, Trump’s choice for Secretary of State, does deals with Vladimir Putin; our president-elect has made several comments suggesting his foreign policy ideas (if that’s what they are) are more aligned with Mr. Putin’s aims than with our own… 
I could go on. 
Humbly, I suggest Trump-supporting readers ask their inner selves to assess their reaction had the above names been Hillary Clinton and Harry Reid, and if “R” were “D.” (You could go into your bathroom, close the door, cover the mirror, and wrap your brainal zone with tinfoil.) Yes, we all have glasses of differing colors through which we view the news and the world around us. But this is unprecedented. An unfriendly foreign power has messed with our democracy, arguably to an extent that affected the outcome of a presidential election, and we don’t know why. Can you tell yourself, and would yourself believe you if you did, that you’d be silent about it? That you wouldn’t be glued to Fox “news,” screaming? Can you justify silence now? How? 
Other than his financial ties to Russia, and those of his family, his advisors past and present, and his pick for Secretary of State, we know little of Trump’s connections to or intentions regarding Putin. What we do know is that we can’t expect truth about it from the incoming administration. Bolton called the hacking a false flag. "It's fake news," says Sean Hannity, who makes a living off it. Nor will Congressional Republican hypocrites ever allow a Benghazi-level special investigation. 
Dismissing the CIA report, Donald Trump snorted these are the same people who said Saddam had WMD. Wrong! In fact, the CIA warned that the evidence, especially the claims by “Curveball,” which became the signal justification for the invasion, was suspect. It was de-facto president Cheney who stovepiped the intel and sandbagged Colin Powell. More disturbing, our president-elect just stated he doesn’t need intelligence briefings because he’s “like, a smart person.” Stay in your bathroom long enough, Trumpists, to ask yourself how you’d have received such a statement from that tyrannical, arrogant, cocky guy still in the White House. Flush the toilet if you don’t want to hear your answer. 
Could it be as simple as oil? Russia, a petro-state, has been hurting since the price of oil tanked (thanks, Obama!) Trump denies climate change and so do all his cabinet appointees. He wants to drill everywhere. His choice for State is the foreign policy abecedarian CEO of Exxon-Mobil. When Russia invaded Crimea (which Trump said would never happen. After it happened) Obama’s sanctions killed a $500 billion Arctic drilling deal between that oil company and Russia’s. Think it’ll be back on? Might Trump’s cadre of hawkish generals agree to pressure OPEC so Exxon and Russia control oil prices? Has PEOTUS been promised a cut? Or is it about Putin's dream of weakening NATO?
Vladimir Putin understands that Donald Trump is narcissistic, inattentive, and greedy, unable to think past his own simplistic notions and incapable of internalizing new information; and that he craves adulation above all. He’s said of Putin, “If he says great things about me, I'm going to say great things about him.” For a former KGB intelligence officer, in other words, Trump’s a pushover. Stroke his boundlessly needy ego, grease his palm, get whatever you want. Trump is the Manchurian Candidate who required no brainwashing, a pre-strung marionette. 
In a non-Foxolimjonesified world, all Americans would be outraged, demanding answers. As it is, half the country, primed to look away, does.
[Image source]

6 comments:

Dr Strangelove said...

I can't dismiss the thought that Trump's skipping so many security briefings is somehow related to his denial of Russian interference with our democracy. Does he believe that avoiding the evidence somehow makes his denials more plausible? Is he afraid of looking ignorant and stupid in front of really smart people who actually have evidence? Or maybe it's not related. Maybe it's just another example of a lazy man who never really works at anything that doesn't line his pockets.

Anonymous said...

So...Putin interfered/intervened in our election. Say... Didn't someone else do that too? Oh yeah! I remember now; it was the Director of the FBI, right? Something, something about emails that had previously been checked and were OK but for some reason needed to be mentioned again...just before the election!

...Wonder why nobody seems to mention both of the interfering/ interventions together?

I guess I'll just go ahead and be the first!

EugeneInSanDiego

Anonymous said...

Oh Look, you did, always read the article carefully!

EugeneInSanDiego

Smoothtooperate said...

Yeah...There's so much wrong with this election and cuber attacks/defense in general. Like Watergate, was about the election...3 years later Nixon resigned. These things don't happen over night.

Dr Strangelove said...

Here's how one European artist expresses his opinion of our president-elect and the United States. He has several on his website.

http://doncar09.tumblr.com/image/154415424396

Smoothtooperate said...

That's actually kinda terrifying. Good job on that.

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