Tuesday, May 12, 2020

May 12, 2020

MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey

The Beast That Won’t Die: “The Russia Hoax” (Again) and What is Really Behind It

Once again Tucker Carlson on his prime time program, Tucker Carlson Tonight [May 11, 2020]—like Beowulf in the classic Anglo-Saxon saga against the monster Grendel—went to battle against the seemingly eternal Russia Hoax and its minions. Indeed, there are parallels between the mythic creature Grendel, "a creature of darkness, exiled from happiness and accursed of God, the destroyer and devourer of our human kind," and the media and political apparatchiks who continue without ceasing to foist upon us what may be the most horrific myth of our history, but also the most destructive perversion of what is left of our constitutional system.
At the very end of this column, I include a portion of Carlson’s opening monologue; I urge you to watch the first twelve minutes. And if you are hardy, then the following segment with former Representative Trey Gowdy who still defends, albeit a bit half-heartedly these days (and with some visible embarrassment), the unsupported narrative that “the Russians interfered with our elections.” Apparently, even supposedly well-thinking “conservatives” cannot let go of this theme, for to do so would be to admit that the Establishment elites not only got it wrong, but did so for nefarious and utterly self-serving reasons.
Over the past three and a half years I have written a dozen columns on the Russia Hoax and its deeper meanings. So, in a lead up to the Youtube of Carlson’s May 11 program, I offer excerpts of two previous essays, which summarize this background. These essays look at “why” this immense hoax was generated in the first place, what are the real reasons behind it, and, finally, what does it mean for us here in the United States.
First, I quote from MY CORNER, April 26, 2019, Did the Russian Really Interfere in Our Elections? If so, how?:
“The one issue that both Democrats and most Republicans seem to agree on, the issue which both say is ‘proven conclusively’ by Mueller is that the Russians ‘attempted to interfere and did interfere’ in our 2016 election.

“Interesting, is it not, that the Republicans who zealously defend the president and attack the obviously political nature of the Mueller Report would accept, as if on faith and without question, the accusations of Russian interference, also contained in the report?

“Turn on Fox and watch, say, Martha MacCallum (e.g., ‘The Story,’ April 24, 2019) declare ‘we all know now without doubt that the Russians tried to interfere’ in our elections, or listen to most any GOP congressman repeat that same narrative with unquestioning certitude.

“But that assertion—is it truly backed up factually?  Where is the evidence, other than largely questionable information sourced from our largely discredited intelligence agencies which, as we know, had a determined goal of overthrowing the president by any means possible?

“Almost three years have passed from the first fake news that appeared in the media on the subject of ‘Russian meddling’ and ‘collusion,’ a concerted effort launched to discredit first the Donald Trump candidacy and then sabotage his presidency, including his efforts to stabilize Russian-American relations.  

“As proof of Russian actions, the Mueller Report cites the indictments against twenty-five Russian citizens who were cited for attempted ‘interference’ (those Russians are, let us add, quite conveniently out of the country and thus not prosecutable). When those indictments were issued, Russia pointed out the flimsy, unsupported and transparently made-up nature of the charges, and demanded that, first, the Obama administration and then current American authorities, provide conclusive proof. Such requests were summarily rebuffed.

“In order to clarify the cases and evaluate the evidence, the Russian government proposed reestablishing the bilateral expert group on information security that the Obama Administration had terminated, which could have served as a platform for conversation on these matters. The American side was also invited to send Justice Department officials to Russia to attend the proposed public questioning of Russian citizens accused by Mueller. Additionally, Russia offered to publicize the exchanges between the two countries following the publication of the accusations of cyberattacks, exchanges which were conducted through existing channels during the ‘hot period’ between October 2016 and January 2017.

“Our government refused every offer.

“A careful analysis, in fact, fails to show any substantial evidence of Russian cyberattacks and attempts to ‘subvert democracy.’  By various estimates, approximately $160,000—a paltry sum—was spent by the Russians during 2016 on cyber activities in the United States.  Does anyone wish to discover and compare the amount the Chinese Communists or the Saudis would have expended during the same period, for their continued influence and power in Washington and inside-the-Beltway?”

And then, earlier last year, in the MY CORNER of January 1, 2019, The America vs. Russia Conflict, I wrote at greater length:
“On several occasions in the past I have tried to get arms around, to examine and dissect, the generated hostility that exists presently between the United States and Russia. There are, of course, different levels where this hostility is reflected.
“Let me list some of the major ones:
--geopolitical differences between two major world powers—one of which no longer occupies the position it once had—and the necessary adjustment of those relations after the fall of the Soviet system. One could argue that these differences would be a normal result of those radical changes and dislocation, but the difficulty comes in that these differences have been greatly magnified by other issues;
--the increasingly divergent paths that Russia and the United States have taken since  August 1991, with Russia experiencing what can only be described as a reawakening of its pre-Communist legacy and traditions, the growing significance in Russian life of historic Orthodox Christianity, and a revived sense of Russian patriotism and nationalism. In a real and historical sense, post-Communist Russia has moved to the Right, seemingly against what has been heralded in the West as ‘the inevitable [Progressivist] tide of history.’  This has been noted by a number of perceptive writers, including Patrick Buchanan, in his column,   Is Putin One of Us? and Paul Gottfried, Misreading Putin, in  The American Thinker. And at the same time, arguably the United States has moved in what can be called an opposite direction: to the ‘Left’ politically, culturally, and, most especially in the area of both private and public morality (e.g., feminism, same sex marriage, transgenderism, etc.);
--the decision of the Hillary Clinton campaign, specifically selecting the ‘Russians Did It!’ explanation for why her once-destined-for-victory campaign foundered ignominiously on the rocks of voter disgust. This strategy most definitely fed into one of the more amazing turnarounds in American political history—a turnaround that had been metastasizing for more than a decade.
“Since the success of the October [November] 1917 Revolution in Russia, the American Left had been more or less enamored with Communism, in varying degrees, all the way from, ‘well, Marxist ideas are basically good, but not with all the violence and bloodshed, so here in the US just a milder socialist form,’ to a full-fledged, full bore, ‘the American capitalist system is beyond repair and must be destroyed even if it takes violence.’ But the fall of the Soviets and defeat of the KGB counter-coup in August 1991 (which was largely due to Vladimir Putin), began to change all that and those perceptions of Leftist pro-Russian favorability: the American Left, especially after the accession to power of the Russian nationalist conservative Putin, began a decided political pilgrimage away from Moscow;
--after the fall of the Soviet brand of Marxism, it was the descendants of the Trotskyite version, mostly in Europe and the  United States, that not only emerged as the chief enemy of historic Western Christian civilization, but soon dominated much of Western political discourse and culture. What is fascinating is that during nearly the entirety of the ‘Cold War’ with Moscow, the Trotskyite Left, in its secure and lauded academic sinecures in major American and European universities, and in Hollywood, was incubating a [post-Marxist] movement far more powerful, far more dangerous, and far more infectious than any threat from the old Soviet Union;
--the Neoconservatives, who historically trace their philosophical underpinnings and essential philosophical foundations to that same Trotskyism. That is, to the form of Marxism expounded by Leon Trotsky (d. 1940, at the hands of assassins under the orders of Josef Stalin). That variant is firmly internationalist, and in its evolved contemporary ‘conservative’ expression is explicitly anchored in a belief in global equality and liberal democracy, to be zealously spread by the United States—the ‘world’s unique super-power’ to quote Charles Krauthammer and Bill Kristol—to every benighted country in the world, even if it takes American arms (and the death of American boys) to achieve it;
--the conjoining, in one of those incredible but predictable embraces, of the Neoconservatives and the American ‘farther Left’ in blaming Russia for what occurred politically in the United States in 2016’s elections. The blamed action differs depending on whose political ox is being gored, but the responsible party—Putin’s Russia—is the same for both templates;
--similarly, a less discussed but just as significant template unites the dominant Neocons and the ‘further Left’: their essentially shared belief in ‘universalized human rights’ and, above all, in ‘equality.’ Certainly, both focus this template somewhat uniquely, with their own perspectives. But the general egalitarian principle on race and feminism is commonly held by both. 
“I heard an excellent example of this recently while in the car. By chance I tuned into the Glenn Beck program. I usually avoid Beck like the plague; I consider his ramblings on radio to be mostly inane and lesser-style Neocon detritus, and him to be something of a nut-case. His two sidekicks were discussing the NAACP’s latest exhortation for black Americans to only patronize black businesses this Christmas season. They were horrified, and then one of them—I don’t recall which one—commented:  ‘I would never patronize a business that would not permit or cater to gay customers, or to blacks, or to Jews… That belief is discriminatory and violates our American belief in equality.’
“And I submit that it is this statement that reflects the great heresy of modern Neoconservatism and thrusts it inevitably into the arms of the ‘farther Left,’ while illustrating its unmistakable origin in Trotskyite Marxism. The natural right of a businessman to sell to, to cater for, whomever he wishes is ingrained in our historic Western and Christian culture. To deny that is to deny a firmament of our true liberty.
“That this narrative now passes for standard ‘conservatism’ is a major factor that, yes, underlies the hostility of the American pseudo-Right to Russia.
“We only need to recall the strident protests not just from [the late] John McCain, but also from leading Neocons like Bill Kristol, Steve Hayes, James Kirchick, Max Boot, Brett Stephens, and Jonah Goldberg, over Russia’s enactment of ‘anti-gay’ legislation (protecting minors) or its penalizing of those lesbian rockers, ‘Pussy Riot,’ who profaned the very sacred Cathedral of Christ the Savior in downtown Moscow, to draw a connection…and also to lump in these so-called ‘conservatives’ with their supposed opponents on the Left, who have been saying practically the same thing.”

I authored a long essay about this background and history back at the end of 2014 Examining the Hatred of Vladimir Putin and Russia, in which I highlighted the role of such anti-Putin publicists as Lesbian activist Masha Gessen. Appearing on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” television program with Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski [November 22, 2017], she clearly exemplified the “common front” critique of both the Neocon “right” and “farther Left” on Russia as anti-democratic, a persecutor of homosexuals, and a “reactionary” power that does not respect international “human rights,” equality and “liberal democracy.”
As she intoned on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, back in 2017:
“…the tragedy of Russia’s past is so enormous that things could never have been different…. I was trying to figure out how people turn away from democracy: we thought Russia was just going to be democratic because what else would it be? We didn’t realize that people can choose not to have democracy, they can have reasons to turn away from freedom. The corrupt Yeltsin regime brought social and political anarchy, leading many to want someone stronger. Russians didn’t reckon with the past state terror, instead people wanted to go back to an imaginary past that was simpler [implying that Vladimir Putin took advantage of these sentiments, going back to time of the tsars and when the Orthodox Church was supreme]. When Putin says he’s protecting ethnic Russians in Ukraine, he means he is protecting them from the many terrible things that come from the progressive West homosexuals marching in from Brussels.”
This is the view now prevailing in the West, shared by the post-November 2016 “farther Left” and the Russophobic Neocon Right. It is the view that is telegraphed continually by most pundits on “conservative” Fox News (e.g., Brian Kilmeade) to its millions of viewers (with the exception of Tucker Carlson who has featured on several occasions the more rational perspective of Princeton Professor Stephen Cohen). It is spewed forth by semi-literate congressmen like Adam Kinzinger and Dan Crenshaw, and even tacitly accepted by those who should know better (e.g., former Congressman Trey Gowdy). It is grounded in an essentially Progressivist vision of global egalitarianism and premised on a dangerously faulty ideological reading of history.
I continued with the January 1, 2019, MY CORNER:
“As Professor Paul Gottfried has written in The American Thinker, November 17, 2017:
“It is rather the attempt to view him [Putin] and his regime as an extension of the Soviet Communist one. This is a glaring misreading of the cultural and political changes in Russia since the 1990s. There isn’t much evidence that Putin was ever anything but a Russian nationalist, who worked for the Soviet rulers of the Russian empire before they fell from power. Identifying Putin as a left-over Soviet Communist is misleading, and perhaps like characterizing Mussolini in 1930 as a Marxist, because he was a socialist before the Great War. This linkage between Putin and Soviet Communism seems especially popular among geriatric Cold Warriors who may already be nostalgic for the Cold War. It also plays well among a GOP base that like to imagine that they’re still confronting the ‘evil empire’ that President Reagan famously denounced.”  [“Misreading Putin,” The American Thinker, November 25, 2017]

“But, as Gottfried, Buchanan and Cohen have noted, much has changed since the days of the ‘Evil Empire.’  And now the ‘united front’ attack on post-Communist Russia centers on the Russian ‘sins,’ its multiple failures in ‘human rights’ and ‘equality.’ It is a position shared by Neoconservative writers like homosexual activist James Kirchick and Max Boot, as well as hard-core Leftists:

“This Russian despot, complains Kirchik, has banned the presentation of homosexuality as an alternative lifestyle in Russian schools and has openly associated gay marriage with Western decadence. Putin has also gone out of his way to advance the moral and social teachings of the Russian Orthodox faith and attack current Western notions of secularism. At the same time he is refurbishing Orthodox monasteries and churches throughout Russia and boasts that in the last three years atheism has declined in his country by 50%. In June, 2015 Putin announced his intention of ‘reinstating what is left of the Russian royal family in their ancestral residence.” [Gottfried, The American Thinker]

“The times have changed—and changed dramatically and radically since the Gipper told thrilled Berliners: ‘Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.’ Now Vladimir Putin embraces Orthodoxy, attends Christmas Midnight Mass in the village of Turginovo and forthrightly and consistently condemns ‘abortion on demand, homosexual marriage, pornography, promiscuity, and the whole panoply of Hollywood values,’ to quote Pat Buchanan. ‘He is seeking to redefine the ‘Us vs. Them’ world conflict of the future as one in which conservatives, traditionalists and nationalists of all continents and countries stand up against the cultural and ideological imperialism  of what he sees as a decadent West.’
“This, then, is the world…turned upside down.
“Although the administration of President Trump must always assert American interests first as primary in how we approach world affairs, and certainly this may well portend competition and differences with post-Communist Russia, it is past time that our nation re-examine its relations with Putin and Moscow. As opposed to the ‘two faces’ of the xenophobic Russophobic common front, it is to the benefit of our country and those who hold to the traditional vision of our old republic to seek cooperation and alliance with a new ‘old’ Russia which defends the traditions and beliefs we also hold and which helped create our nation.”

With these thoughts and meditations in mind, I pass on Tucker Carlson’s latest sword thrust at the Russian Hoax Grendel. Assuredly, it will require many more such slashings; indeed, it will require a virtual counter-revolution, a rallying of those old “pitchfork brigades” which Buchanan summoned back in 1992. Either that—either the “normals” I have spoken about previously awaken and fight back with every ounce of strength, intelligence and grace that God may give us—or what we have inherited over the past twenty centuries, our Christian civilization, is finished.
To paraphrase the Duke of Wellington at the Battle of Waterloo, “I trust God will have mercy on us, for our enemies won’t!”

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