Though this site is dedicated to military history, the following piece is predicated upon military analysis in the political realm…
The ongoing trauma that US politicians, military leaders, and intelligence bureaucrats have been fostering as it regards the current Trump administration and its alleged ties to Russian influences that are also alleged to have interfered with the 2016 US presidential election has overtaken the US political infrastructure to such an extent that the federal government appears now to be totally paralyzed in accomplishing anything substantial. No doubt the Democrats in Congress have been quite substantial in fostering this upheaval while allowing the Republicans to accelerate their own continued self-destruction; people who have been working for longer and more ardently to bring the United States to wrack and ruin. Democrats maybe doing the same but their excuse is stupidity while for Republicans it is simply pure, degenerate malice.
It has now been nearly seven full months since the new year with Trump taking office in the latter half of January 2017 and the venom (much of it deserved) thrown at him from all corners of the US establishment have taken on a life of their own. Late night television and talk radio hosts appear to have had a steady stream of black humor and discussion that even at this late date seems to have no end in sight.
Not since the American Civil War/The War for Southern Independence in the 1860s has one issue become so overwhelming and polarizing that all other federal functionality has seemed to cease.
No doubt that without the current emphasis on Russian election hacking, the Trump administration would still be facing similar opposition from an entire spectrum of honorable progressives and conservative groups and organizations. A recent Jeffrey St. Clair essay (https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/07/14/the-idiots-tale-signifying-what/) provides a basic glimpse into the dysfunction of the Trump family in general. Too stupid even for the sophistication of a Greek tragedy, the St. Clair piece describes in essence a situation so foolishly concocted that one wonders how any of this could have come to pass. A simple understanding of basic law (something no doubt most of the Trump family has little interest in) should have prohibited most of it from ever happening.
Unfortunately, Donald Trump and his supporters (which does not include those who simply voted for him out of desperation) appear to be a mirroring of what the United States has become; a nation filled with ignorant people who have long ago abdicated any sense of civic responsibility to their country.
Energized by Trump’s vitriol towards anyone who may disagree with his dangerous and destructive policies, supporters of this neanderthal throwback (for want of a better description this is an insult to all Neanderthals) have now come to be the face of the United States citizenry.
Though there are about just as many in the US electorate, if not far more, who are just as repulsed by Donald Trump’s behavior and policies as those who still favor them, people in this latter group, many calling themselves progressives, have their own dysfunctional attributes within the US political system.
In fact, I would argue that the progressive side of the equation is even worse than the blowhard Trump supporters along with their counterparts in the deleterious Republican party.
In this regard, progressives have splintered into so many competing organizations that they present no real threat to the status-quo since each organization can only yield ineffectual, confrontational capabilities. Try writing to any one such organization about the possibility of uniting into a single political force and you are met with silence. It seems that the leadership and staff in these organizations fancy themselves more as feudal lords who want nothing to interfere with their narrow agendas than to even consider the possibility of a simple but polite response.
Nonetheless, citizens are bombarded on daily basis from these organizations with requests for donations or to sign this or that petition to stop the latest atrocity that the those in Congress have conjured up.
Seemingly, Americans have not taken into account that the entire world is watching this political freak show and some have been watching for quite a while. Russia has been one part of this world (among several others) that would have taken the greatest interest.
No I don’t believe that the Russians hacked our elections. Why should they when the United States is doing such a wonderful job with its own self-destruction? No help wanted is required here… move along…
However, when you consider the complete, corrupt mess US social and political fabrics have become over the years, one has to consider if Russia hasn’t taken a few cues from Sun Tzu’s long revered treatise, The Art of War (http://www.puppetpress.com/classics/ArtofWarbySunTzu.pdf).
No doubt quite a few US business leaders have studied this work on strategy and tactics in the past as such treatises in the 1990s and later have been popularized by business analysts proposing the way that such leaders could become tough and intelligent on the battlefield of commerce that to this day they haven’t quite grasped. Those that took up the challenge did so for all the wrong reasons garnering all the wrong conclusions.
Following Russian political strategies over the past several years as the Russian government has dealt with the US threats, prevarications, and disingenuous policies directed at Russian interests, astute military analysts could only come to only a single but frightening conclusion; that President Vladimir Putin and his senior ministers have become one of the most formidable forces on the world stage today.
If we look at just a few of the axioms that Sun Tzu proposed in his treatise, one could easily see some of their influence in the excellent political stratagems that President Putin and his lieutenants have come to embody and implement.
Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.
If your opponent is of choleric temper, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant.
If his forces are united, separate them.
Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected.
All warfare is based on deception.
Therefore the skillful leader subdues the enemy’s troops without any fighting; he captures their cities without laying siege to them; he overthrows their kingdom without lengthy operations in the field
These few samples of the quotes written by Sun Tzu are emblematic of the strategic style that the modernizing Russian Federation appears to have embraced, formulating them to their own purposes as necessary for the current circumstances that Russia is facing.
Given this, what we are now experiencing with this political clown show that currently promotes itself as the legitimate government of the United States, one has to ask if the foundations have been laid down allowing Russia to take advantage of the serious dysfunction that now affects the United States.
On the foreign policy side of US politics, policy distortion as a result of increasing Zionist influence has grown to be quite extensive since starting in the 1950s with the advent of Cultural Darwinism. Noted political philosopher, Gilad Atzmon, in his recent publication, Being in Time, provides a fairly good, short history as to how this political abnormality came about using such examples as the Women’s Liberation Movement, which gave rise to such things as the sexual revolution and the movement of women into the US workforce.
Cultural Darwinism, in definition, is the process by which society is changed through a shift in sociological constructs. As Gilad shows, such sociological shifts in US cultural memes have shifted significantly over these years towards the favoring of Zionist and Israeli interests, which endeavored to break down the cohesive social memes of the American populace. By doing so, Zionist influence could more easily manage echelons of the US political system to their own advantage.
And while Zionists and their American supporters in the US were conjuring up their own sociological brews, other avenues of support for their endeavors came in the form of what were originally known as American Trotskyites, people who either emigrated from Soviet Russia and became US citizens or natural-born Americans who took up the calling, both feeling abandoned by the Stalinist autocracy. Eventually these people morphed into the current neoconservatives promoting a twisted form of neoliberalism that was originally envisioned by Austrian economist Friedrich Hayek; a man who had designed a form of capitalism with a Humanitarian side to it that mirrored some of the social contracts between employer and employee in the United States in the late 1940s and 1950s.
In Hayek’s vision he saw not only capitalism as an acceptable form of economic foundation but at the same time expected the wealthy to contribute fairly to a social services network for the less able. Unfortunately, for Hayek, his theories were taken into account by Chicago economist Milton Friedman and the Chicago University School of Economics, which turned them into the economic nightmare the US is now experiencing along with subsequent resulting traumatic disruptions in South America as well as many parts of Western Europe practically all caused by US economic lunacy with the only outside help coming from England’s Margaret Thatcher who was as economically ignorant as any other neoconservative today.
Along the way, US political institutions picked up the Radical Christian Right, a sect of original Christian evangelists, who are by no means any longer related in any way to the actual American Evangelical Community, who saw no reason that Jesus would not want such believers to be wealthy and prosperous. Hence, the new super churches dotting the American landscape with thousands of members all believing that their goals are above the simplistic admonitions that their ancient messenger brought to Earth.
Combined with these sociological upheavals in the US social space, economic upheavals were sparked by greedy US capitalists beginning in the 1970s who aligned themselves with such warped sociopathic thinking, which then went into high gear with the election of Ronald Reagan to the presidency. The result has been a massive deterioration in original, American sociological cohesiveness that at the present rate may no longer be irreversible. And there is no indication that such destructive political and economic thinking has been abated even with the exposure of so much of it to the public as the following recent report details… http://billmoyers.com/story/deep-history-radical-right/
Into this toxic stew comes Donald Trump who only won the Republican primaries not due to any substantial brilliance on his part but instead as a result of the massive incompetence of his Republican rivals. In military analytical parlance, the 18 clowns who were competing against Trump in the primary races “lost”; Trump did not win, demonstrating only that the wealthiest monster among them was more capable in public relations not in substance.
Hillary Clinton’s campaign only boosted her to the top of the Democratic primary races as a result of her collusion to defraud the campaign of Bernie Sanders of its ability to compete equitably in these races. And even knowing this, Sanders went along with Clinton in the end by endorsing her demonstrating not only his lack of integrity but his enduring allegiance to the very organization that did so much to destroy his campaign. The result on this side of the political fence was that Hillary outwitted her major opponent not by any capacity for intelligent political maneuvering on her part but instead by deceit, which set up the 2016 presidential election for the most disreputable, political campaigns in modern US history.
If American political observers and analysts thought for a moment that Russian intelligence analysts, social scientce specialists, and political scientists were not watching these events with great concern, interest, and care they were sadly mistaken.
Like many other nations in Europe as well as in Asia, Russian thinking takes into account the requirements that would serve not only their short term interests but those in the long term as well.
This is simply part of the psychology of European and Asiatic thinking, though Western Europe has shown a recent tenacity for disabusing themselves of such a positive, psychological trait. Into this evolving, toxic stew of American politics, Russia had little need to actually “hack” any of the many already dysfunctional voting systems in the American states. All the Russians really had to do was leave the impression that they they did and the trap would have been sprung as it most certainly was.
Ask yourself this; do you really believe that Russian leaders, their lieutenants and the massive array of highly competent specialists and analysts at their disposal would actually want or need to deal with such a dysfunctional personality as Donald Trump or even that of Hillary Clinton? Not if you have been carefully watching the strategic excellence that President Putin has brought to the international table of global politics. It appears more that they were interested in that candidate that would more quickly bring the insane policies of the US government to an end through dissolution, which either of these candidates would have done admirably. Clinton was certainly no marvel of intelligence given her disastrous record of incompetence as a public servant.
Russia’s forays into the Syrian Civil War is a classic example of the Russian integration of lessons gleaned from Sun Tzu’s treatise on warfare. In this case, Russian involvement in the Syrian conflict has only been to the level required that the Syrian Forces needed to be able to stand on their own and support the goals of the Assad government.
Today, Syrian governmental military forces are now the most battle-hardened in the region, along with its supporting military auxiliaries of Hezbollah and Iranian and Chinese support forces; something that no doubt terrifies Israel where its own forces hardly have the capacity on a soldier to soldier basis to defeat such rising competence to their north. Thus, Israel’s only maneuver is to continue causing interference in the Syrian Conflict by supporting the very terrorist groups that the United States has proclaimed as the worst offenders to democracy on Earth while executing combat missions that support them as well.
Taking Russia’s level of involvement in Syria as a median, any astute analyst could conclude that whatever Russia does on the international scene it does so with a minimal amount if maneuvering capability only using as much as is necessary any situation required.
The US political firestorm that the 2016 presidential election was ramping up to be, hardly needed any in-depth meddling by Russian operatives; all it required was a little nudge.
Everything was in place for the subsequent political trauma that is now engulfing the entire US at the federal level; from rabid Republican right-winged sociopaths along with many of their counterparts in the Democratic party, psychopathic business leaders who were tearing the economic foundations of the country to pieces, and progressive organizations that were so fragmented that they were almost completely ineffectual in their endeavors. Nonetheless, some such organizations were quite well thought out such as economist Richard Wolff’s group, which promotes Worker Cooperatives as England’s Labor Party, headed by Jeremy Corbyn is planning to implement in Britain (see this excellent discussion by Wolff on this subject at http://www.democracyatwork.info/rdw_at_google?utm_campaign=071217_google&utm_medium=email&utm_source=democracyatwork).
For those who are still distracted by US elites and their supporters who are still trying to crucify the Trump administration as well as the entire family as a result of alleged their collusion with Russian meddling, understand the following.
it would have been quite costly for Russia to directly “hack” any US voting systems as to the potential for exposure, even if Russian specialists were successful in using indirect IP addresses to hide the origins of such attacks
It has already been well documented by credible research organizations that follow voting system legitimacy as to the gross lack of cyber-security protecting such systems providing easy avenues of attack from literally anyone who was capable in such activity. Nonetheless, the ongoing public claims by intelligence agency leaders that Russia “hacked” the US elections was already found to be nothing than a “red herring”. In a memorandum developed by several former senior intelligence computer analysts, including the US top crypto-analyst/computer scientist and former technical director of the NSA, William Binney, which was released in December of 2016, describes the impossibility of Russia being capable of hacking the United States’ election systems without detailed evidence being available to this agency. To date, the NSA has never provided such evidence that would provide enough detail that would be credible for prosecution in a court of law (see… https://consortiumnews.com/2016/12/12/us-intel-vets-dispute-russia-hacking-claims/).
The Reality Winner fiasco, which was immediately promoted as proof of Russian election hacking was nothing of the sort. As intelligence analysts have have stated on several occasions who have studied this claim all have agreed that Reality Winner “leaked” the information that came under her purview, which is what Chelsea Manning has been accused and convicted of in the past. A “leak” is NOT a “hack” of a computer system since no unauthorized, external access to a computer system was required or executed.
Finally, in a recent conference held by all the state secretaries of state at the National Association of Secretaries of State Winter Meeting in 2017, the question was put to the lead panel if individual state election systems could be “hacked”. As the transcript at the following like demonstrates, this question was answered with a definitive “No” (http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/q-and-a/2017/03/election-security-in-america).
However, such a statement has to be qualified if in fact true. If state election systems are not in any way connected to the Internet than all this means is that remote hacking is not possible. Nonetheless, state election systems are at some point either connected to a close-looped network that allows uploading of data from state databases to a national database though in general no Internet access is capable, or the data at the individual stations is collected physically and then uploaded to a networked state level database and subsequently then to a national database. Thus, the capacity to hack such systems is still there but on a more limited basis in that hacking would have to come from personnel working within the constraints of these systems. Thus for the Russians to accomplish such a task, they would most inevitably require people “on the ground” to support their intentions; a somewhat doubtful proposition for Russian intelligence services. Besides, given that Trump won his victory based upon the Electoral College and not on the popular vote, this means that such hacking would have to have supported the Electoral College tallies more than individual state tallies, which would have been a more centralized and thus easier target to interfere with since it only exists at the national level for presidential elections. However, we have heard of no such interference reported.
To understand how literally insane the idea of Russian hacking of the 2016 presidential has become, one should read Professor Andrew Levine’s recent essay on the subject, RussiaGate, at the following link… https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/07/14/russiagate/
Though somewhat of a rant, Levine’s piece provides some very common-sense point of views that makes interest by Russian hackers somewhat of a moot point considering as I mentioned earlier that the US is just doing fine on its own self-destructing.
The best tactical and strategic thinkers on combat promote their plans more by deception than actual engagement. Why waste valuable lives and resources when you can convince your opponent to either leave the battlefield on their own or instead simply allow him or her to self-destruct by their own devices?
President Putin already knew by the antics of the lunatics inhabiting the halls of Washington DC prior to the 2016 election that no matter what he did he would be blamed for something or other when it came to this quadrennial circus in the United States. If Clinton won, Trump probably would have trotted out the same useless accusations on Russian hacking. However, with his track record of buffoonery it is doubtful that he would have done anything substantial as the Democrats have done. But what’s a poor Russian president to do but use whatever the outcome to his or her advantage.
Whatever the outcome of the 2016 election President Putin had no need to involve any Russian agencies to influence the results. All he had to do was leave the impression that there was a possibility that Russian influences were involved. In other words, he would let the US political class go bat-shit crazy without being able to provide any substantial evidence that Russian agencies were indeed involved in attempting to alter the outcome of the election.
Since Trump’s inauguration into the US presidency the US political environment has been consumed with ongoing claims of Russian election tampering, again without any substantial evidence. However, much of this could also be construed as a political; smokescreen for other nefarious activities such as actual involvement by Israel and its agents in Congress in formulating policy. For example a little known news item showed up on the Internet detailing AIPAC’s new push for the introduction of new law that make it a felony for either people or companies to publicly support the BDS movement (see… https://theintercept.com/2017/07/19/u-s-lawmakers-seek-to-criminally-outlaw-support-for-boycott-campaign-against-israel/).
This is nothing new for AIPAC and their lackies in Congress and to be sure at this point the new effort hardly has enough Congressional support to move it into law. However, this doesn’t mean the effort will not be ongoing and if successful there is no doubt that Trump would then sign the bill. How this will sit with the Supreme Court is another matter as such a law will surely go before it. However, in the interim how many people’s lives may be destroyed by it, simply for voicing their political beliefs which they certainly have a right to do.
On the other end of the domestic front we have just come through a grueling nightmare of a Republican Congress attempting to repeal the Affordable Care Act in order to provide billions of dollars in savings to America’s wealthy. With that failure, the Congress is turning to their next attempt at defunding the safety-nets that millions of Americans rely on by making substantial cuts to Medicaid, with additional targeting of Medicare and Social Security. This all appears to be Congress’ Plan B.
It is more likely however, that the intense Russian bashing that has been ongoing in the US is not a smokescreen given the nature of declining diplomatic relations with Russia as well as ongoing incidents with Russian military forces in Syria. Instead, it is a result of what was intended all along by an extremely intelligent and strategically crafty leadership in Russia’s Kremlin.
If we view the US political landscape from a historical perspective, it is one which appears to be to be on the precipice of imploding. And given the directions and goals that Russia along with its growing allies around the world, it is certainly feasible to consider that President Putin would be more than happy to see the US government completely disintegrate, which it is seemingly in a position to suffer.
Willing to take the heat for fantastical claims by US politicians, if the gambit works than Russia’s end game would have succeeded.
No doubt Russia does not want to see the entire US economy collapse given that such a deleterious result would have catastrophic consequences on all economies around the world. However, there is no doubt in many people’s minds that the US government is no longer a rationally thinking entity making it severely dangerous to the world at large.
Given this, Russia’s President Putin most serious intent would be to shove the US government into such a dubious reaction as to cause internecine mayhem as we are seeing now. The hope would be that US citizens would finally come to their senses and take this government down replacing it with something far more realistic.
With what is currently going on in the Republican controlled Congress with its buffoon president, President Putin would have had to actually done very little to send US politicians and its degenerate supporters over a very steep cliff leading the American population into open revolt.
Its not there yet but its quickly moving in that direction.
A war is coming…