Trumping Russia

Greetings, Comrades!

This week was a very busy one in the political sense, with the Trump and Putin meeting in Helsinki, and many of you on Facebook and Twiter had asked me to give my insights and opinions about the current events because of that. So…obviously, I complied. Now, this one might sound a bit rambly again, and goes off topic – but the sheer chaos of everything that has been going on, and the fact that we now, truly, do live in very interesting times, means that I had to condense a lot of information. Not particulary proud of this episode, frankly…but I hope it’ll provide you with a fresh look and maybe make you think about the recent events a bit deeper. Enjoy!

The Eastern Border
The Eastern Border
Trumping Russia
About Curonian 6 Articles
The humble creator of this podcast - living in Riga, Latvia, and trying to give you the best that I can.

5 Comments on Trumping Russia

  1. Howdy,

    Started listening to the show after you were interviewed by Prof. CJ, and appreciate much of the historical perspective on the history of the Soviet Union and the record of communism that you put on display.

    I have to take issue with a few elements of this episode, first with your understanding of American media and journalism (rarely have the two come together in recent years.)

    With regard to coverage of Trump, you really can’t trust *anyone* in the mainstream media. Most of all, network television media. I’ve never seen the political climate as polarized as it is now, and how rationality has been tossed out the window when *he* is an element of the conversation. You have the news outlets that were once regarded as fairly serious sources of journalism openly writing partisan headlines as “journalism,” and places like CNN, MSNBC and Fox completely abandoning any sense of neutrality of coverage.

    In the US, the vast majority of people knew the media was screwed up by various public choice theory and corrupt interests, but they never dropped the pretense of neutrality until the Trump campaign.

    Their biggest issue, on the left, has been the Russiagate nonsense, and they’ve relied entirely on making assertions and having viewers fill in the blanks with their partisan proclivities. They say “collusion,” but they don’t specify exactly and specifically what that means. They say “meddling,” and the best they can come up with for *actual and specific* evidence is the troll farm, some guys on Twitter trolling people. *That* is not how Trump got elected.

    I never voted for Trump, and I never will, partly because I’m a (small “L”) libertarian, but the reason he won was because he faced the absolute weakest candidate the dems have ever nominated. Not only that, but the DNC leaks and Podesta emails pulled back a small portion of the veil over how political parties rig elections and colluded with the media to shut out Bernie Sanders from the Dem nomination. It also showed how the Clinton campaign worked to ***promote*** Trump in the Republican primary because they thought (sensibly enough, perhaps) that he would be the easiest nut to crack. (Pun intended.)

    Trump made enemies on both the right partisan spectrum, nd definitely the left during the campaign, and so much of the Military-Industrial-Media complex was fiercely opposed to him. The recent inspector general’s report didn’t have much information on Russian “meddling” or “collusion,” but it did feature FBI agents on the record as saying they were going to “stop Trump” from winning in 2016.

    The Russians might have a KGB strongman, but the US has an enormous number of corrupt interests, each jockying for their own political power. At the head of the Russiagate nonsense was Hillary Clinton, who couldn’t accept the fact that every average American of any political persuasion hated her guts and instead searched for *anything* that might offer an alternative explanation for her and the DNC’s corruption.

    It was an existential threat to the DNC that caused them to promote the Russiagate narrative, and by virtue of repeating *vague* accusations with almost no real evidence over and over, their side of the media picked it up because it’s in the interest of “polite society” in Washington DC to hype up the Russian threat as much as possible. By “polite society,” I mean the entrenched interests like the Washington Post, Lockheed, Raytheon, the centrist interventionist think tanks.

    I know you have a historical context which gives you good reason to have animosity toward Russia, but I have to just encourage you to not interpret US politics through that lens. It was bad enough when it was MaCarthyism, but at least back then there was a semblence of order to it. Now it’s just Alex Jones- level conspiracizing, and anyone with a more balanced view is automatically a “Russian troll.” (Or if you criticize Trump, the right might go back to the Bush era and say you hate America.)

    All this is to say don’t trust US media sources on Russiagate. They’ve stopped doing actual journalism and are just either doing unabashed commentary or parroting anyone in the government they can get, if it fits their agenda.

    The second element I had is something I’ll be less strident about because you live much closer than I do. It has to do with Crimea and Ukraine.

    1. Doesn’t your understanding of events in Ukraine have to be understood in the context of the US government’s coup? (The whole Victoria Nuland episode, caught on the phone saying “f%$# the EU,” and orchestrating a coup.)

    And 2. Has there been any polling done in Crimea that suggests a majority of opposition to the Russian annexation? My understanding is that it was pretty popular among the people living there, especially right after the coup.

    Anyhow, if nothing else, I have to encourage you: don’t buy into the DNC’s Russia crap. It’s such nonsense.

    • Man, I don’t want this comment to seem like I’m attacking you either, especially after the work you’ve done putting the Soviet record on a podcast accesible to the West.

      There is a podcast episode I’d recommend by Scott Horton, an antiwar author interviewing Peter van Buren, a former State department officer. It’s also an interesting take on Trump’s goofy behavior at Helsinki.

      Scott Horton would be highly recommended by prof CJ.

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