July 21, 2018

Comedy?  Disaster?  Mental disorder?  Hearing loss?

Even days after President Donald Trump’s bizarre appearance in Helsinki 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 reporter’s 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. 

Copyright  Eric S. Margolis  2018


This post is in: Russia, USA

6 Responses to “MADNESS IN HELSINKI”

  1. Such hypocrisy… not that the Americans have ever ‘meddled’ in an election in a foreign country.


  2. Of the many things that occurred in Helsinki, was the day prior to the meeting when Putin stated that Hillary Clinton had receive illegally, $400m of Russian money. I gather this went viral in the social media with comments about the bombshell from Sarah Palin and so many more.
    The next day, after the meeting, Trump states that in his mind Russia did not interfere in the US election.
    The following day, Trump admits he made an error and meant to say that he thought Russia did interfere in the election. Soon after, Putin stated that he had made an error and that it was only $400,000.
    The timing makes me wonder if he was mimicking Trump while sending him a message, don’t cross me or else, by reducing the severity of his initial claim. It could also be that he in fact accidentally made an error or was worried that his lie would be exposed. (I gather the donor records show the parties gave $296,966 to the DNC and $200,000 to the Republicans).
    (“Putin Says He Misspoke Too” – The Intercept) Also the characters in the story are a seedy lot. Browder , Magnitsky (died in Russian detention) and other Russian oligarchs some around Putin himself. I wonder if we will ever know what is going on.
    Sadly, I think todays social media is prone to falsehoods used to push ideas and concepts into peoples heads. Election interference has and will persist I’m afraid. Several reporters in the US and Canada have mentioned that Trump is a very effective user of social media and little else.
    I try to tell young people, in this modern world and particularly in America, that one thing they could do is get out on the streets and try to effectively get rid of big money in politics. I was hoping Bernie Sanders would pull through, but Clinton and the DNC killed that.
    And yes America has done a lot of damage in this world, Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Latin America, Libya, Palestine and other places.

  3. Joe from Canada says:

    Thank you for another informative article, delivered outside the realm of common palaver. My best resource on these matters, so far, comes from this succinct account: https://sites.evergreen.edu/zoltan/interventions/

    Your article brings the above history of intervention to mind.
    Again thank you.

    Joe McGuire

  4. American has the most rigged election system since that African dictator won the election by a margin ten times the voting population of his country. Voter suppression, gerrymandering, electoral college, the media censoring any reporting of Bernie Sanders and the third parties, giving tens of millions of dollars of free advertising for Trump, having the least secure, least verifiable vote on the planet should make the idea that Russia gave the election to Trump laughable. Fortunately Americans have been dumbed down for decades so getting them to believe the bullshit is easy. What I fail to understand is how can Canadians and the British believe it.

    The world has to understand the media of the world is more than happy to lie its way into war to profit itself. William Randolph Hearst should have taught them that.

  5. Steve_M. says:

    Interesting analysis, although I don’t entirely agree with it. Although I believe that Russian operatives did get involved in the US election, I agree that their meddling was not enough to sway it against Clinton, except perhaps in Michigan, where the margin of Trump’s win was quite narrow (about 16,000 votes as I recall). Trump’s margins of victory in the other key swing states were over 100,000 in each case and I think he would have won them anyway – namely Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, and N. Carolina – in large part because the African-American vote did not turn out to support Clinton as strongly as it did Obama in 2008 and 2012. Eric is right that the US has meddled in far more foreign elections and much more egregiously so than Russia ever has in other countries’ elections, including the 2016 US elections. (Indeed, under Kennedy, the CIA was widely believed to have meddled in Canada’s 1963 federal election, to help the Liberals defeat Diefenbaker’s Conservative Party.) Even so, I do believe the US intelligence findings against Russia. But, by practically bowing down to kiss Putin’s feet and making it apparent that the Russian leader probably has something hanging over his head, Trump has significantly weakened America’s position vis â vis Russia.

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