Category Archives: Russia

UPDATED: Political Tribes & The Donald Trump Jr. Contretemps

Conservatism, Democrats, Donald Trump, Individualism Vs. Collectivism, Republicans, Russia

I checked out social media before dipping the proverbial toe in the water, this morning. The Right—libertarian, conservative, Republican—is behind Trump, no matter. The Left is against him, no matter what. Tribalists all.

The reaction to Donald Trump Jr. contretemps epitomizes tribalism, if you ask me; but if you’re a tribalist, you won’t ask me.

The silver lining? Maybe we’ll finally be rid of Jared Kushner. Wife Ivanka follows him back to New York, in short order.

Fin.

AND FAT CHANCE.

The Story is Here. If you’re a member of Tribe I, you think it’s a non-story. If you’re a member of Tribe II; you’re into it. It’s your smoking gun.

UPDATE: But there is a truth here, beyond the two tribes’ positions. And the “What about when the Democrats did this or that” won’t cut it as an argument.

UPDATED (7/10): Solzhenitsyn On The West’s ‘Persisting Blindness Of Superiority’ (American Exceptionalism)

Left-Liberalism, Neoconservatism, Political Philosophy, Russia, The West

“But the persisting blindness of superiority continues to hold the belief that all the vast regions of our planet should develop and mature to the level of contemporary Western systems, the best in theory and the most attractive in practice; that all those other worlds are but temporarily prevented (by wicked leaders or by severe crises or by their own barbarity and incomprehension) from pursuing Western pluralistic democracy and adopting the Western way of life. Countries are judged on the merit of their progress in that direction. But in fact such a conception is a fruit of Western incomprehension of the essence of other worlds, a result of mistakenly measuring them all with a Western yardstick. The real picture of our planet’s development bears little resemblance to all this.”

In other words, American Exceptionalism. The West Doesn’t understand ‘other worlds.’

“A World Split Apart — Commencement Address Delivered At Harvard University, June 8, 1978.”

Disillusioned with the West, Solzhenitsyn returned to Russia, “leaving behind [what he perceived as a] dying civilization fatefully wedded to a democratic ideology.” In time, neocons and liberals rejected the great man, going on to adopt, instead, regime-changing, neocon, Russian dissidents.

… The West’s freedom, Solzhenitsyn declared … had degenerated into license, its media filled minds and souls with gossip and nonsense, its popular culture served only to coarsen and degrade, its people exhibited an unthinking sympathy for socialism and an inability to recognize evil.
… Overnight, those who had lionized Solzhenitsyn cast him into the outer darkness and adopted in his place the nuclear physicist and Western-oriented dissident Andrei Sakharov. A good and courageous man, Sakharov was a secularist and self-proclaimed socialist who had mastered the language—“democracy” and “human rights”—of Western liberalism. …
…Solzhenitsyn was [accused of being] a Russian nationalist and imperialist. In fact the great writer was a patriot who loved his country and expected others to love theirs; he explicitly repudiated nationalism and imperialism. More important, Mahoney recognizes that ‘a burning love for one’s motherland [is] compatible with humility before God and deference to a universal moral order.’

MORE. “Solzhenitsyn Wasn’t Western.”

UPDATE (7/10): FACEBOOK DEBATE IS HERE.

If Only Trump Had Russia Expert Stephen Cohen Speak For Him

Donald Trump, Foreign Policy, Media, Politics, Russia

Witnessed today, explains Stephen Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies at Princeton University, is “A new detente, anti-cold war partnership between Presidents Trump and Putin. Attempts to sabotage it [continue to] escalate. … [Still], this is the most fateful meeting between an American and Russian president since the wartime. The reason being that the relationship between the two countries is so dangerous right now. Trump could have been cowed by the Russia Gate attacks on him, yet he was not. Trump was politically courageous.”

Important things were decided upon. The president emerged as a statesman, contends Cohen, who had witnessed other summits with Russians under previous American presidents, including Bush I.

Professor S. Cohen is the man who ought to be speaker for the Trump Admin on Russian affairs, but he won’t be, because the president has surrounded himself with philosophical enemies, daughter included.

UPDATE II (6/22): THE WAR ON TRUMP: The Big Picture for Conservatives, Libertarians & Liberals

Bush, Business, Donald Trump, Foreign Policy, Iraq, Pop-Psychology, Psychiatry, Russia

THE WAR ON TRUMP: The Big Picture for Conservatives, Libertarians & Liberals” is the current column, now on Daily Caller. It connects the atavistic dynamic undergirding two wars waged by the American establishment. An excerpt:

Periodically, America experiences episodes of mass, hysterical contagion.

What is “hysterical contagion”? A sociologist explains it as the spread of symptoms of an illness among a group, absent any physiological disease. It provides a way of coping with a situation that cannot be handled with the usual coping mechanism.

For example, in 1983, girls in the West Bank fell ill, one after the other. Soon, all the schools and finally the entire community was engulfed, affected with the same symptoms. Arab doctors implicated the Israelis. But of course. The Israeli Occupation had poisoned the girls by gas to reduce their fertility. When real doctors arrived on the scene to examine the neurotics; the girls were pronounced physically healthy.

The frenzied behavior known as mass hysteria or hysterical contagion is well documented. The Trump-Russia “collusion,” “obstruction of justice” probe qualifies, with an exception: This particular form of mass madness involves a meme, a story-line, rather than the physical symptoms observed in the West Bank.

Rumor recounted as fact for which no evidence can possibly be adduced: Indeed, the Establishment and opposition elites have poisoned the country’s collective consciousness. However, it’s the emotional pitch with which the Trump-Russia collusion group-think is delivered, day in and day out, that has gripped and inflamed irrational, febrile minds.

What sociology terms “a collective preoccupation” is fueled by organizational- and communication networks. Friendship networks (the liberal kind) and work organizations (government departments infested with like-minded individuals) serve as nodes in a system that transmits faulty signals across the synapses of this collective, damaged brain.

The storyline du jour is manufactured by America’s gilded elites. During the era of Bush II, DC operative Karl Rove put it plainly: “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality.”

When you’re the most powerful entity in the world, as the US government certainly is—the only government to have dropped nuclear bombs on civilian populations (“good” bombs, because dropped by the US)—you get to manufacture your own parallel universe with its unique rules of evidence and standards of proof. What’s more, as the mightiest rule-maker, you can coerce other earthlings into “sharing” your alternate reality. Or else.

The manufacturing of Fake News by the Deep State, circa 2017, is of a piece with the anatomy of the ramp-up to war in Iraq, in 2003. (Chronicled in achingly painful detail in Broad Sides: One Woman’s Clash With A Corrupt Culture.) Except that back then, Republicans, joined by diabolical Democrats like Hillary Clinton, were the ones dreaming up Homer Simpson’s Third Dimension.

Conscripted into America’s reality, Iraqis paid the price of this terrible American concoction. Hundreds of thousands of them were displaced and killed due to “Operation Iraqi Freedom.”

Because of Fake News generated so effectively by the likes of Judith Chalabi Miller, the Gray Lady’s prized reporter at the time, American soldiers paid dearly, as well. Miller shilled for that war over the pages of the New York Times like there was no tomorrow. She’s now a Fox News “specialist.”

To manufacture consent, elements in the intelligence community worked with neoconservative counterparts in Bush 43’s administration, in particularity with “the Office of Special Plans.” And while Fake News babes did wonders to sex up the cause of senseless killing—the dissemination of Fake News, vis-a-vis Iraq, was hardly the exclusive province of Fox News. With some laudable exceptions, Big Media all was tuned-out, turned-on and hot for war.

Now, it’s all-out war on Trump. Then it was war on Iraq. …

… READ THE REST. “THE WAR ON TRUMP: The Big Picture for Conservatives, Libertarians & Liberals” is now on Daily Caller.

UPDATE (6/20/017): I’ll be on:  The Bill Meyer Show (southern Oregon’s AM-1440 KMED). Day:  June 21, 2017. Time: 8:10 AM PST. Topic: “The War On Trump: The Big Picture for Conservatives, Libertarians & Liberals.”

UPDATE II (6/22): Neocons, statists and party loyalists (categories not mutually exclusive) will reject the thesis is this column. It’s to be expected. (I still thank them for reading.) The column, after all, touches on a deeper truth.

The column was titled more accurately on a libertarian site thus:

“Beware The Atavistic Dynamics Undergirding Two American Wars.”

Open yourself up to seeing the way our mindless establishment—media-military-government, cheering only for itself—stumbles about the world, on “our behalf”; and you’ll come closer to freedom.