A US Senate Intelligence report released Monday notes Russian meddling in the 2016 election is far worse than imagined and continues to this day. This is not news, as this conclusion has been obvious for some time. Yet, seeing an official report gives it more gravitas.
But, it goes much further than influencing a division in American politics. Putin wants to divide and conquer all western democracies. Why? A de-unified western world is far easier for Russia to take advantage of. This is what Putin has done for most of his career dating back to when he first started with the KGB.
Which brings us to Brexit. Trump benefitted from Russian efforts, being involved far more than he lets on, but is it as far as what I believe to be true that he is a compromised asset? I also believe Putin had a hand in a disinformation campaign leading up to a favorable Brexit vote.
To be frank, just as Trump was involved to some extent with Russian meddling, I would not be surprised if Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson had some level of involvement with such a campaign on behalf of Brexit. I feel both men stirred up the Brexit pot and then bailed when the difficult work began. My guess is they want to ride in white horses to save the day, when things look so bleak.
This a key reason, I believe another Brexit vote is warranted. The British people were just as misled as the US people. I recognize fully linking Russian meddling with Johnsoh (he has been critical of Russia on the spy poisoning) and Farage is a less than reasonable claim. Yet, claiming Russia hard a hand in things, like they have done so in every important European vote, is not.
So, Prime Minister call for another Brexit vote and this time make sure it uses real data. It is that important.
Well, what I can say to that is, Americans are finally getting a taste of the medicine they’ve forcefully, often bloodily, been shoving down the 3rd World’s throat for quite some time, particularly since the end of WWII. Enjoy, people, it could be worse… and it will be worse yet. As for Brexit, the Brits need their own comeuppance also, for their collusion with the US military behemoth. Maybe, just maybe, there is a “Force” in the universe that dispenses justice, even if it seems mighty slow to respond at times. I’ve been waiting impatiently for this debacle of predatory capitalism for many long years – no crocodile tears from me over the downfall of the Hegemon.
Sha’Tara, you are person of strong opinions. My main concern is about people being affected by decisions not based on good faith discussions and information. Putin cleverly guides the arguments to inflame people’s fears for his own purpose.
As for Brexit and Trump, we live in a global economy. Retrenching from a global economy and working with others is not as beneficial as the opposite. Brexit will lead to less growth and, if done poorly, the defection of Scotland and Northern Ireland. Thanks for opining. Keith
I think this certainly begs the question, Is Trump an illegitimate president as I have thought from the start. Will our senate take any steps to prevent this disaster in the future or continue to place their own well being before the country not fully getting that they are working for the people not Trump and will someday have to answer for their lack of initiative.
Holly, you ask the big question. I believe he is guilty of multiple offenses – using his position to enrich himself, colluding with foreign powers like Russia and Saudi Arabia, obstructing justice, and lying to anyone and everyone.
Reading the articles on the Senate report, it is apparent how the words that came out of Trump’s mouth during the campaign are similar to the themes by Russian social media efforts. As a CIA agent testified eighteen months ago, Trump at the very least is an unwitting Russian agent. Keith
I believe he is an opportunist power, money hungry con man with not an ounce of patriotism.
Holly, he has only one allegiance – all things Donald. Keith
Sadly true. I see the Judge was not going to let Flynn continue his “conspiracy “ and plea guilty too. One or the other And Flynn was smRt enough to level , he was not tricked into lying to the FBI but knew it was a crime. Everyday…something absurd.
Holly, I love your line “everyday, something absurd.” How true. The Trump show is wearisome with its absurdity. Keith
Note to Readers: I feel sorry for the British PM. She has been left to play a poor hand with the EU being antagonistic in their efforts toward Britain. And, on the homefront, everyone has an opinion on what she is doing wrong, but anyone in that position would be a scapegoat. I purposefully highlighted Farage and Johnson as I find them both spineless. They dress up and sell Brexit and then step out to watch it fail. People should remember what they chose to do.
Negotiations are hard work. Collaborations are hard work. That is why so many don’t put in the effort. Back in the states, someone who worked for the US President noted his bragging on his deal making was well-overstated as one needs to know the details. Trump is not a detail guy. He had people who made deals. The NAFTA deal was done eight months ago until Trump interjected, eg, and unwound it.
After the last few weeks Keith I can put your mind at rest on one score, if Russia did interfere in the Brexit Referendum nobody noticed; the British were quite capable of making a complete mess of this by themselves.
We by a majority voted for it, with our own home grown prejudices and inward looking mis-beliefs (On both the Right & The Left)
We over two General Elections managed to put into power two of the most hapless collections of leading politicians (It says much that even though I am very hard Left I feel Prime Minister May is the least worst of the current crew of the two major parties)
We as S.S UK sails on towards a very large iceberg and still squabbling over whether to go port, starboard or full steam ahead.
Roger, your perspective is valuable, far more than mine. With that said, the elegance of what Putin does is add fuel to existing fires. That is what his people did here in the states.
As for the poor leadership, I can relate. I see Parliament members just yelling at each other under some guise that they feel this is governance. Here we have people make speeches to empty rooms to get it recorded.
That is why another vote on Brexit will save these public servants from having to make a decision, as they don’t do it well. Keith
Thank you Keith for your kind words.
Sadly we have moved beyond what could be called the ‘Tipping Point’.
Both camps are now so entrenched there can be no element of compromise until the true measure of the chaos and hardship is experienced.
If there was another referendum, the millions who voted ‘Leave’ will call ‘Foul’ should they lose and the division at social level in the UK will go stronger.
(Actually on an administrative and procedural level it appears there may not be the time to organise one)
Corbyn leader of the Opposition does not want to Remain in Europe (due to one of the old Left-Wing tropes that the EU is a vast impersonal capitalist conglomerate- having forgotten the amount of funding the EU supplied to poor areas of the UK) and has this dream that if all goes to plan a General Election will sweep him to power…..which is unlikely as the general public have shown no confidence in a possible Labour Govt.
The ruling Party has ceased to be untied and thus cannot be truly said to be a government in the traditional sense.
Various wealthy members of the ruling party, The Conservatives have made no secret of their own attempts to grab the PM’s position and seeming to have forgotten the ordinary folk.
Overall this is turning out to be one of the most unedifying episodes in British Politics, with the voting population also being found wanting in their willingness to force the politicians to co-operate.
The Nation could well, gradually separate over the coming years into a shaky collaboration of a federation of lesser states each with its own agenda.
Meanwhile the govt has put 3500 troops on standby to assist in the event of possible chaos of leaving the EU with no deal
Roger, your comments should be read by many in both of our countries. If a new vote were to happen, I think the message would be knowing more about what a Brexit future would be, we feel an obligation to have another vote and we ask everyone eligible citizen to do so. Of course, folks will cry foul, but I think it is obvious the elected officials are not capable of making important decisions. Keith
Go full steam ahead, SS UK and hope climate change melts the berg before you hit it!
Not gonna happen Sha’ Tara, we are heading for one of our classic UK Does A Prat-Fall scenarios which have so enriched our history…..
Watch a Three Stooges Film and you’ll get the general idea of the level of debate not just amongst the political folk but also amongst the public…..
(I’m just off to check-out which are the best ‘Teach-Yourself-Practical-Chinese-For-The-Colonised’ courses…..oh History does love its Ironies)
Oh, don’t worry Roger, the Chinese aren’t going to care what language you speak. They’ll put you to work besides an AI robot and she’ll translate for you. Sooner or later, as you know, being a student of history, every colonizer must be colonized since Earthians refuse to evolve up a notch into a world where exploitation is no longer de rigueur. You reap what you sow… the chickens must come home to roost. I’ve been trying to explain that to Americans for decades and they still don’t get it. But they’ll get it, oh, they will, when it actually happens for real and there’s nothing they can do about it. For now it’s but an opinion from an old lady. 30 years from now there may be a few who will remember reading that and thinking, why didn’t we listen?
Yeh, but The USA is a young nation and like so many before has folk who feel it is immortal.
Actually a large ‘nation’ with so many diversities of cultures is liable at some stage to fracture into smaller nations.
The current climate within the USA suggests this could happen down the next century.
They rise, they fall, some rise again, then fall again. It is the way of nations.
To rise and fall, indeed the way of nations and empires. Why do we put so much stock in such pathetically weak inventions?
‘Cas we an’t used our ‘noddles’ (heads) to come up with something better…..
A SF commentator (Iforget which….of course) back in the 1970s said one of the sad things about all the stories they’d read of the far future is that writers kept on coming up with ‘Empires’ as if we couldn’t think of anything better.
We’re stuck on the ‘Big is Best’ notion (as Fred Flintstone used to say… ‘Ohh boy!’)
Asimov was the most prolific in spreading this idea along with a morbid fear of AI… though he (or those who completed his stories) tried a reversal at the end of the Daneel Olivaw saga as the old robot plotted to bring down the Empire (See the Foundation series). You see, it took an alien mind to do this, humanity had remained stuck in its pattern of conquest, subjugation and control. As we’ve seen time and again with our own puny empires, the machine of oppression can no longer be maintained. Then, and as we’re about to see with the American military Hegemon, it collapses, powerless, and its enemies gather to feed on the spoils until sated, then they too, begin the pattern all over again.
We have a limited time to evolve beyond this stage.
Roger, while we evolved in a number of technological fronts, leaders regardless of the government and economic construct, want to stay in power moreso than serve those who put them there. And, now with social media, the people can be so easily influenced and the truth gets drowned out by so much information being portrayed as such.
Many of the the world’s progress has spawned from grass roots movements and ingenuity. Great leaders help this flourish.
I am frustrated how many decisions are made by money, misinformation and squelching opposition. This is a key reason the US President admires Putin.
There are no perfect leaders, so we need to spotlight good examples when they occur. And, shame leaders when they act poorly.
With all this said, I am hopeful with the efforts of about 1,000 cities to share ideas about battling climate change. I see this as an example of mayors leading when others fail to do so. Keith
One of the problems in getting the news out and about is the Conspiracy Theory community, who in their constant anti-administration stances have made Opposition for its own sake ‘The Smart’ thing to do. It becomes, thus, difficult for some folk to accept the logical and the rational.
On a brighter note looking at your last paragraph Keith there can be seen echoes of the European eras prior to the concept of Nationhood as we recognise it now. Particularly in the eras of the 16th century and earlier on mainland Europe where cities or combinations of cities often had a degree of independence. (Hanseatic League and the Italian City states are good examples).
Wishing you Keith and your family a Happy Christmas.
Roger & Sheila UK
Well said. From what I understand the Mayans had a similar city construct. I am reading a book called “The Well-tempered City” which is noting how we are and should benefit more from copying various city designs from various historical cultures.
Happy holidays to your family as well. Keith
Thank you Keith.
As a race on a crowded planet we could do with more absorbing of each other cultures; we’ll achieve better understanding and tolerance.
You two are going deep. My concern is simple. Measures taken by Trump and with Brexit grease the skids for an ascendant China, which is happening anyway. Russian influence will increase, but it is too beholden to the fossil fuel industry to rival China. Venezuela found you need multiple industries.
Yet, we can set these machinations aside and focus on planetary environmental concerns which are real and will get worse with population increases and climate change, especially for people who are disenfranchised. The Syrian conflict started after severe drought hurt crops, water use and livelihoods. As water gets more dear and crops more challenged, the richer folks will seize resources and increase disenfranchisement.
These longer term trends scare this old fart more than anything.
I agree with you on planetary environmental concerns, where the culture of expansion and exploitation as well as the ever-burgeoning population is the crux and bottleneck to solving the global ecological crisis.
Even if we could indeed manage to find some ingenious ways to stave off an ecological crisis or environmental holocaust, we are still very much going to face certain latent, intractable and/or escalating issues and dilemmas. In a few decades or even much sooner, we could indeed end up with the futuristic scenario as depicted in my post published at https://soundeagle.wordpress.com/2013/03/02/facing-the-noise-music-playgrounds-for-biophobic-citizens/
Sound Eagle, thanks for the link. I left you a comment there. We have a huge reckoning ahead of us. One where coastal cities are largely consumed and fresh water and food are a concern. We can alter some of that future, but I do not think we can erase it all, Keith
I find that overall the Brits are more resistant to the concept that Russia through their cut outs played to the discontent already present in the population to push for Brexit, as this put a wedge between the UK and the EU. This has caused so much chaos, discord, malcontent attitudes among our brothers and sisters across the pond, that if Russia did have a hand in this mess, I wouldn’t be surprised.
I do follow Carole Cadwalladr who writes a lot on this subject for the Guardian and the Observer.
Gronda, I have enjoyed reading Roger’s perspective on this. To me, a revote is obvious as too many failed to vote and it should be clear that issues with Northern Ireland, Scotland and the EU would remain if Brexit occurred. I fear a hard Brexit would be malfeasance on the part of Parliament, but that may be where it is headed. Keith
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