Saturday, June 17, 2017

The Putin Interviews: Slams Washington (Deep State) Hypocrisy

Stone's 'Putin Interviews' offend a US establishment drunk on its own exceptionalism

Oliver Stone’s documentary series on Vladimir Putin, you would think, is required viewing for Western audiences looking to see beyond the crude caricature of Russia’s president in order to gain an insight into his worldview.
Indeed, surely such an insight is absolutely necessary, what with Russia being the biggest country in Europe, a major nuclear power, and with the deepening tensions arising from Russia’s geostrategic differences and rivalry with Washington in recent years.
Yet for the Western liberal commentariat, condemnation rather than understanding is the order of the day, evidenced in the barrage of criticism with which Stone’s documentary series on the Russian leader has been received in the Western mainstream.
The interview the filmmaker did with liberal US talk show host Stephen Colbert on his project is a prime example.

Colbert’s line of questioning amounted to a regurgitation of the very caricature that Stone had set out to move beyond in over 20 hours of interviews on an abundance of topics with Putin – his upbringing, family history, career, thoughts on leadership, the challenges Russia faced during the dark days of the 1990s, his relations with various US presidents, NATO, and so on.
Yet for the likes of Mr. Colbert it’s much easier to go with the official narrative, contained in his first question of the interview: “What do you say to people who say that yours [Oliver Stone’s] is a fawning interview of a brutal dictator?” Not only the question, but also the casual and insouciant way in which it was delivered, confirmed the dumbing-down of news information, analysis and commentary that has been underway in the United States over decades.
The result is a culture so intellectually shallow it is frightening to behold, one in which ignorance is celebrated rather than scorned, in which national exceptionalism and arrogance is exalted rather than rejected. And woe betide anyone, such as Oliver Stone, who dares try to penetrate this fog of ignorance and sense of exceptionalism that has so corroded US cultural values.

Listening to Colbert’s studio audience laugh at Stone in response to his statement that Putin had been unfairly treated and abused by the US media, I was minded of the treatment meted out to the ancient Greek philosopher Socrates. Such a comparison is not as outlandish as some may think on first impressions.
Think about it: for daring to question the prevailing orthodoxy, received truths, and dominant ideas the philosopher was lampooned, ridiculed and ultimately condemned to death by the powers that be in Athens, considered at the time to be the home of democracy and liberty, just as Washington is – or to be more accurate claims that it is – in our time.

Interestingly, the clamor to condemn Socrates took place when tensions between Athens and its Greek city-state rival and adversary, Sparta, were still high just a few years after the end of the Peloponnesian War (431-404 BC).
As everybody knows, in times of war – whether cold or hot – a nation’s tolerance for dissent, for daring to swim against the cultural tide, evaporates, even though it is precisely at such times when dissent is most necessary. After all, in the case of the rising tensions that we have witnessed between Russia and the US recently, it is not people like Stephen Colbert who will be sent into combat should those tensions spill over into direct military conflict.
With this in mind, perhaps it would have been more to the talk show host’s benefit to have listened carefully to a man, in Oliver Stone, who has experienced combat, and who does have first-hand experience of a devastating war unleashed in the cause of the very national exceptionalism previously described.

While the criminal witch hunt against our President continues apace over the nonexistent collusion between Trump with Russia, here’s a blockbuster front page news story virtually ignored by the elite enemedia. The FBI offered a Russian hacker cash and citizenship if he would confess to hacking Hillary Clinton’s email for Trump. There was just one problem: he hadn’t.
These rogue Obama plants within the FBI and other agencies, who are even trying to fabricate evidence to frame Trump, must be removed and prosecuted, or they could be the death of the American republic.
“FBI Probe Into Clinton Emails Prompted Offer of Cash, Citizenship for Confession, Russian Hacker Claims,” by Tom O’Connor, Newsweek, May 11, 2017:

A Russian citizen accused of being a hacker by both Russia and the U.S. has claimed U.S. officials offered to cut him a deal if he admitted to interfering in the 2016 presidential election.

Yevgeniy Nikulin, 29, has found himself in the middle of an international dispute between Washington and Moscow, at the very center of which lies U.S. allegations that Russia sponsored a series of hacks targeting Democratic Party candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in favor of Republican candidate and current President Donald Trump.

Nikulin was detained in the Czech Republic for allegedly hacking the servers of major sites LinkedIn, Dropbox and Formspring between 2012 and 2013. While awaiting trial, he claims in an undated letter reportedly given to U.S. Russian-language news site Nastoyashchoe Vremya by Nikulin’s lawyer, Martin Sadilek, that the FBI visited him at least a couple of times, offering to drop the charges and grant him U.S. citizenship as well as cash and an apartment in the U.S. if the Russian national confessed to participating in the 2016 hacks of Clinton campaign chief John Podesta’s emails in July.

“[They told me:] you will have to confess to breaking into Clinton’s inbox for [U.S. President Donald Trump] on behalf of [Russian President Vladimir Putin],” Nikulin wrote, according to The Moscow Times.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, doubtlessly having reached his fill of mudslinging by the U.S. political establishment — which insists Russia tampered, somehow, in the presidential election to throw the election in favor of Donald Trump — reiterated to filmmaker Oliver Stone in an interview those yet-unproven allegations amount to the United States pompously throwing stones from inside a glass house.

For the final segment of the long-anticipated documentary series, Putin Interviews, on Showtime Thursday night, Putin recounted how the U.S. government effectively meddled in a number of Russian elections via diplomatic staff and through funding non-governmental organizations — which, the Russian leader asserted, “are frequently financed through a number of layers and structures either from the State Department or some other quasi-governmental sources.”

Washington influenced Russia’s elections, Putin told Stone, “in 2000, and in 2012, this always happened. But especially aggressively in 2012. I will not go into details,” but, he added, the U.S. has done the same with elections in every nation spawned through the breakup of the Soviet Union.
“As one of the most glaring examples,” Russian state-run RT reports, “Putin pointed out that US diplomatic workers had actually campaigned for the Russian opposition.”

Diplomatic staff, Putin noted, should be attempting to “establish interstate relations,” but Washington’s pawns instead “gathered opposition forces and financed them, went to opposition rallies,” thus, actively interfering in a sovereign state’s affairs.
Putin balked at the running contention in the U.S., insisting the ongoing narrative of Russian election tampering is a mere “lie” manipulated by D.C. establishment as “a tool in the intra-political fight in the United States.”

Election meddling, ironically enough, is so common a tactic by more powerful nations as to be virtually expected in elections at every level of government — but Washington’s obdurate stance on Russian hackers having penetrated voting machines or other electoral infrastructure has not been proven, despite months of supposed investigations into the matter.
But at least one glaring instance of election meddling decades ago proved influence over the popular vote can indeed be accomplished by a State determined in its goals.
“Since the early 1990s, we assumed that the Cold War was over,” Putin continued. “We thought there was no need to take any extra security measures because we were an organic part of the world community.”

In 1996, Washington attempted successfully to prop up the re-election campaign of Russian President Boris Yeltsin — whose approval ratings had plummeted, but whose politics matched the U.S. agenda.
TIME Magazine’s Michael Kramer authored Rescuing Boris on July 15, 1996 — an in-depth exposé covering admitted election manipulation by the United States, whose subtitle summarily extinguishes all firey sanctimony from the current politik on just about anything blaming The Russians:


Kramer’s expository should be required reading for the American public, not to mention D.C. politicians, amid this astonishing revival of Red Scare propaganda; but one statement explaining the gist from an insider involved in the effort — George Gorton, then-California Governor Pete Wilson’s longtime top strategist — as told to the TIME journalist truly encapsulates the hypocrisy Putin underscored.
“We were brought in to help win,” Gorton told Kramer, “and that’s what we did. The Russians are prideful and say that people like us won’t be necessary in the future because they’ve learned what to do. You hear that everywhere after the hired guns have done their work — and it may be true. All I know is that for every guy who thinks he can go it alone, there will always be another guy who knows he can’t.”
Perhaps Washingtonian pols would appreciate a reminder from their constituents that election rigging has traditionally been a two-or-more-way street — and the pomposity of mounting a political high-horse on the topic is little more than farcical façade covering guilt over similar or worse tactics in a succession of years.

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