Wednesday, December 20, 2017

The Russia Narrative Is About Deflecting Responsibility

The American political establishment has used Russia as the scapegoat for its failures, and the target in its project to create a demonized object of military aggression. In August the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity-the same group that’s helped destroy the Iraq WMD claims-published a report which unequivocally refuted the claim that Russia hacked the DNC. That version of history, already not supported by any hard evidence, was revealed by VIPS to not have been possible given the hacking capacity of the Internet in early July 2016.

After a period where politicians and pundits suddenly were no longer mentioning the DNC hacking story, the narrative changed into Russia having tried to hack into the election apparatuses of 21 states. That claim quickly collapsed as the election officials from those states found no such activities had occurred. Now we’re told Russia purchased social media ads to influence the election. This leaves out how 90 percent of those ads don’t even mention Trump or Clinton, and how they’re only traced to somewhere in the country “Russia” instead of specifically to the Russian government.
The contradictions go on and on: we no longer hear about Russia’s alleged hacking of the Macron campaign, which French intelligence has found to not have happened. Or of Russia’s hacking of American electrical grids, or of the German election, or of Qatari news media, or of an Illinois water pump-all of them have been debunked, and have vanished from media reports. The official version of reality is constantly revised. All that remains consistent is a renewed hatred for Russia, and a belief that, as the new Cold War’s propagandists have numerously lied, Russia has always been our enemy.
This campaign is reaching a climax as propagators of “Russia-Gate” promise Robert Mueller will imminently release proof that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia. The intelligence agencies would no doubt have come out with evidence for this charge by now if it had basis, but facts are not the priority. However the Mueller investigation concludes itself, a new Russia distraction will be created in its place. Mainstream media, particularly the Washington Post, warns us Russia will next rig the 2018 elections, and then interfere in 2020 by promoting Bernie Sanders. 
No matter that there’s no evidence Russia did either of these things in 2016, and that Russia won’t start doing them if they want to avoid further NATO aggressions. There are too many ways the ruling class benefits from perpetuating this hysteria around Russia: it justifies McCarthyite attacks on all who oppose the power establishment; its political weaponization against President Trump pressures the White House to act in the model of the neoconservative agenda; it reignites the Cold War, which has become a necessity for the American imperialists as Russia blocks U.S. regime change ambitions in Syria.
But most of all it lets the Democratic Party, and the rest of the despotic order that produced our crisis, deflect from responsibility. The deindustrialization of our cities through corporate trade deals, the perpetuation of catastrophic wars, the dismantling of the social safety net, the mass insertion of lies and demagoguery into our discourse, the creation of an Orwellian police and surveillance state, the murder of the biosphere, the destruction of democracy through a forty-year corporate coup, and the culmination of that coup with the theft of the 2016 Democratic primary can’t have mattered at all. Donald Trump’s election and the other unravelings of the empire are caused by Russia, and by the ungrateful masses who dared to rebel.
The Democratic Party leadership cannot be persuaded into acknowledging reality, any more than the oligarchy behind them can be reasoned with. These entities have the one, mindless goal of consolidating power. And their tactics in this new Cold War are copied almost identically from those of the previous one. That operation also began with the president-then Harry Truman-starting to disingenuously demonize Russia in his speeches. Both have created a paradigm of existential terror, where everyone knows nuclear catastrophe could come at any moment. (In this case the main source of that terror is North Korea, which, like Russia, shows no chance of attacking first).
They’ve also centered around the idea that Russia is not just the sole provocateur in the conflict but an insidious adversary, with the Soviets’ influence having been perceived at one point as reaching all the way into Hollywood. Both Cold Wars have precipitated military and authoritarian takeovers, with the civil rights, economic injustice, and anti-war movements put under suspicion. This has shown in the current Cold War as police have been heavily militarized, dissident websites and journalists have been censored by the CIA-controlled online companies, and the intelligence agencies have essentially declared war on those who oppose the corporate state.
“Except in today’s instance, The New York Times is prepping the American people for what could become World War III,” writes Robert Parry in Consortiumews. “The daily message is that you must learn to hate Russia and its President Vladimir Putin so much that, first, you should support vast new spending on America’s Military-Industrial Complex and, second, you’ll be ginned up for nuclear war if it comes to that.”
All that’s changed since that last effort is the advancement of computers, which the despots have used to create a “techno-tyranny” of universal surveillance. Corporation, military, police, media, and government have become the same entity. The Deep State, as the official term goes for an unelected structure, watches us from above just like when it took its current form seven decades ago. It seems like the situation will be the same seventy years from now, and then the same seventy years after that.
“We can date from January 1950 the strict governmental control of our economy and the gradual erosion of our liberties,” wrote Gore Vidal in The Nation magazine in 1988, “all in order to benefit the economic interest of what is never, to put it tactfully, a very large group-defense spending is money but not labor-intensive. Fortunately, all bad things must come to an end.”

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