If anybody thought the neoconservative Republican establishment would respect the platform that Donald Trump was elected on, events so far this year should indicate that was very naïve. The neoconservatives are wanting to send a message to Trump that it is them who still run things in Washington and are going to do all they can to push him in their globalist and war mongering directions. Most of all they want to detail his commitment to seeking positive relations with Russia and Vladimir Putin.
Nothing has communicated this better than the show trial the Senate Armed Forces Committee put on this week where Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told the committee what they wanted to hear, which was that Russia hacked the 2016 United States Presidential Election. The committee is chaired by the chief Republican neocon and failed 2008 Presidential candidate John McCain.
Senator McCain along with his fellow Republican neocon Senator Lindsay Graham (also a failed Presidential candidate) have just got back from an end of year tour of the Baltic states talk with those nations about using US NATO troops to deter Russian aggression. McCain leaves us in doubt regarding his views on the Russian President, stating “Vladimir Putin is a thug and a murderer and a killer and a KGB agent’.
Establishment Republicans never thought for a second to be grateful to Donald Trump that he delivered not only the Presidency but the House and the Senate. Instead both senior Republican leaders Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell have called for a bipartisan congressional investigation into the Russian hacking allegations. The Democrats, still bitter after their humiliating loss, are only too eager to join the calls for an inquiry as they see it as a way to delegitimize Trump’s Presidency.
In spite of this relentless push by the neoconservatives to provoke further hostilities between the United States and Russia Trump has stood firm. He has remained sceptical of the US intelligence community’s allegations of Russian hacking correctly pointing out that their intelligence hasn’t always been correct. Trump also praised Vladimir Putin for not responding to President Obama’s expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats in response to the alleged hacking.
This week the neocons have gone further this week with intelligence agencies releasing both a classified report to Trump and unclassified report to the public detailing the supposed hacking. Trump somewhat softened his scepticism to the allegations stating that Russia, China, other countries, outside groups and people “try to persistently hack US networks”. This is true as all countries even of friends have tried to breach the intelligence security of other nations.
But in the last 24 hours Trump has reaffirmed his commitment to seeking positive relations with Russia stating on twitter “Having a good relationship with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing. Only “stupid” people, or fools, would think that it is bad!” in a clear act of defiance against the neocons attempts to force him to submit to their anti-Russian agenda.
We’ve heard the allegation so many times about Russian hacking but what exactly does the term even mean? Well the recently released report accuses the Russians of being behind the WikiLeaks release of the DNC and John Podesta’s emails. This is despite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange consistently denying that they came from a government or state actor but instead came from DNC insiders. We also should remember that the release of these emails was a good thing as it exposed to the American people true information about how the political establishment really operated.
The second method of hacking they accuse the Russians of is where things start to get absurd as it alleges that Russia had used state-funded propaganda and paid “trolls” to make nasty comments on social media platforms. Right so it couldn’t have been that ordinary citizens who didn’t like Hillary Clinton expressed their dislike online, it must have been some grand conspiracy of a foreign government to flood social media with anti-Hillary comments. So is online trolling just a complete Russian government creation? Is every anti-Hillary blog including this one all part of a vast Russian propaganda network?
With regard to state funded propaganda I think everyone knows that Russia Today is owned by the Russian government and consume its news with that in mind. Plus Russia is not the only country with state funded propaganda arm. Where do the BBC, ABC, CBC, France 24 and Al Jazeera get all of their funding from?
But if you look at the report closely there is not one bit of direct evidence that Russia was involved with the WikiLeaks emails or were behind these so called internet trolls, it merely alleges those involved are Russian agents. The intelligence reports were designed to feed the neoconservative narrative that there is a great Satan in Russia that the American globalist empire needs to spend billions of dollars of taxpayers money fighting.
They claim the goal of these Russian attacks were to undermine confidence in the US liberal democratic order. Well I think US politicians themselves are doing a pretty good job of doing that themselves without any assistance from a foreign government. It is also hypocritical to decry Russia for allegedly interfering in the election of a foreign government given that it is what they through the CIA have been doing for years.
We have to keep in mind that this effort by the neocons to provoke a confrontation with Russia has started even before Trump has taken office. They are likely to scuttle his pick for Secretary of State Rex Tillerson because of his friendly relations with Russia. God forbid that a potential diplomat wants friendly relations with another world power.
It is also worth pondering for a moment where would we be if Hillary Clinton had won. Given her rhetoric against the Russian government throughout the campaign and promising retaliation against them we could have every well been on the brink of nuclear war.
It is clear the neocons are going to do everything in their power to sabotage Trump’s desire to have better relations with Russia and have a more peaceful world order. But he has thwarted them at every turn so far so he is not going to be deterred so easily. But the neocons through their control of the Congress can still be a great hindrance.
Our best hope is that in the next election cycle in 2018 that a lot of these establishment neoconservative Republican congressman are primaried by new Trump republicans and he can then work with a better Congress in the future.