Saturday, July 21, 2018

Madness in Moscow

By Eric Margolis - July 21, 2018 at 10:10AM

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Comedy? Disaster? Mental disorder? Hearing loss?

Even days after President Donald Trump’s bizarre appearance in Moscow alongside a cool, composed President Vladimir Putin, it’s hard to tell what happened. But it certainly was entertaining.

In case anyone in the universe missed this event, let me recap. Trump met in private with Putin, which drove bureaucrats on both sides crazy. So far, Trump won’t reveal most of what was said between the two leaders.

But after the presidential meeting, Trump replied to reporters' questions by saying he believed Russia had no role in attempts to bug the Democratic Party during the election. Outrage erupted across the US. ‘Trump trusts the Russians more than his own intelligence agencies’ went up the howl. Trump is a traitor, charged certain of the wilder Democrats and neocon Republicans. Few Americans wanted to hear the truth.

In fact, so intense was the outrage at home that Trump had to backtrack and claim he had misspoken. Yes, he admitted, the Russians had meddled in the US election. But then he seemed to back away again from this claim.

The whole thing was black comedy. Maybe it was due to Trump’s poor hearing or to jet lag and travel fatigue.

Hillary Clinton did not lose the election due to Russian conniving. She lost it because so many Americans disliked and mistrusted her. When the truth about her rigging of the Democratic primary emerged, she deftly diverted attention by claiming the Russians had rigged the election. What chutzpah (nerve).

Yet many Americans swallowed this canard. If Russia’s GRU military intelligence was really involved in the run-up to the election, as US intelligence reportedly claimed, it’s alleged buying of social media amounted to peanuts and hardly swung the election.

Back in the 1940’s, GRU managed to penetrate and influence Roosevelt’s White House. Now that’s real espionage. Not some junior officers and 20-somethings on a laptop in Moscow.

Besides, compared to US meddling in foreign politics, whatever the Ruskis did in the US was small potatoes. Prying into US political and military secrets is precisely what Russian intelligence was supposed to do. Particularly when the US Democratic Party was pushing a highly aggressive policy towards Russia that might lead to war.

For the US to accuse Russia of meddling is the ultimate pot calling the kettle black. The neocon former US Assistant Secretary of State, Victoria Nuland, admitted her organization had spent $5 billion to overthrow Ukraine’s pro-Russian government. US undercover political and financial operations have recently been active in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Yemen, Somalia, Uganda, Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan, to name but a few nations.

Democrats and Republican neocons are in full-throat hysteria over an alleged Russian threat – Russia, whose total military budget is smaller than Trump’s recent Pentagon budget increase this year.

What we have been seeing is the fascinating spectacle of America’s war party and neocons clamoring to oust President Trump. Included in their ranks are most of the US media, led by the NY Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and TV’s war parties, CNN and NBC.

It’s also clear that Trump’s most ardent foes are the big US intelligence agencies whose mammoth $78 billion combined budget exceeds total Russian military spending. The bloated US intelligence industry fears that Trump may slash its budgets, power and perks.

The uproar over Putin has revealed just how fanatic and far to the right were the heads of the US national security state operating under the sugarcoating of the Obama administration. Straight out of the wonderful film, ‘Dr. Strangelove.’ We now see them on CNN, snarling away at President Trump.

Speaking of far right generals, one is also reminded of the brilliant film, `Seven Days in May,’ in which a cabal of generals tries to overthrow the president because of a peace deal he made with Moscow. Could there be a real plot against the president? Watching US TV one might think so.

Now, completing the childish ‘Reds Under Our Beds’ hysteria comes the final touch, the evil Russian temptress-spy who managed to infiltrate the National Prayer Breakfast, of all silly things. This dangerous Jezebel is now in the hands of the FBI. If this is the best KGB or GRU can come up with they need urgent help from Congolese intelligence.

Reprinted with permission from EricMargolis.com.

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