Russiagate dominated American political news again last week. This situation very much reminds me of Watergate. I have a feeling that when all is said and done the old political axiom of the cover up being worse than the crime will again be proven true. I feel there is a big difference with Russiagate – it is part of a foreign government’s master plan. Let’s explore.
The crux of Russiagate is that the Russians tried to influence the outcome of the 2016 American presidential election. That much seems to be an accepted fact in America. Vladimir Putin denied it last week in a CNBC interview. Despite the facts that he incorrectly quoted George H. W. Bush and then attributed it to Ronald Reagan his denial wouldn’t have convinced too many Americans anyway. The questions are: Did the Trump campaign collude with the Russians? Did they coordinate with them? Assuming a relationship existed, did it continue into the transition team? If so did that carry over into the Administration? Who exactly was/is involved? Who knew what and when did they know it? Today I want to theorize on the “why”; specifically, why did Vladimir Putin authorize the operation in the first place?
Many feel Putin wants to return Russia to the glory days of the Soviet Union in terms of international prestige. Some feel Putin wants to go so far as reconstructing the former USSR. I think both of those are to some degree possible. What I am convinced of is that Putin wants Russia to again be perceived as a first class world power. There are two basic ways of achieving that goal: build Russia up or tear the competition down. The latter is easier to achieve and I think that is the primary path Putin has chosen.
The United States is considered the only super power left on the planet. We have the largest economy and the mightiest military. One of the few economies that is somewhat similar in size is that of the European Union (EU). Most of the members of the EU are also members of NATO. While Russia has a considerable non-nuclear military it is nothing when compared with America’s let alone America’s supplemented by its NATO partners. Can you see the pattern emerging?
Since you can’t defeat America straight up in an economic or military conflict why not weaken it? How do you do that? The answer is weakening it from within. First, erode confidence in it electoral system by meddling with it. In the process help elect an incompetent who is beholden to you; if you can find an incompetent who has let greed corrupt him that will expedite the process.
With the passing of almost every day it becomes more apparent that the Trump administration is basically an organized criminal enterprise dedicated to enriching the Trump family and a select circle of friends. Not unlike the oligarchy that dominates Russian business/politics. There is almost no line between business and politics in Russia. Is it any surprise that it is increasingly becoming that way in America under Trump? We are well on our way to eroding what is left of the average American’s confidence in government as well as making his lot in life worse. The “accomplishments” of the young Trump administration have almost exclusively been the rolling back of regulations designed to protect the environment and common man.
Trump is anything but a policy wonk. I find it telling that the only plank in the GOP platform his people fought to change was the one dealing with Ukraine. Russia annexed part of Ukraine because it contained its only warm water naval base.
Trump was a pro-Brexit guy. He doesn’t possess a good grasp of American political policy – “Who knew health care was so complicated” – why would he get involved in European economic policy? Could it be that Russia would rather face each European economy individually than collectively?
I don’t think that it is much of a stretch to think that the breakup of the EU would help bring about the breakup of NATO. Individually, and significantly without the backing of the United States, the militaries of many NATO member states are a joke when compared to the military might of Russia. Russia has already proven an appetite for military adventurism with its recent exploits in Ukraine. Remember Trump has been critical of NATO and even questioned the need for it.
Trump is incapable of serving America well; but he fits right into Putin’s Master Plan. I don’t profess to know all of its components, but I think I hit on three of them today.
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