The Left’s Risk in Blaming Russia

Despite the lack of verifiable evidence, many progressives have jumped on the blame-Russia-for-Trump’s-victory bandwagon, but it’s a dangerous and dead-end ride for the Left, warns Norman Solomon.

By Norman Solomon

This week began with a mass email from the head of the Democratic National Committee, who declared: “By now, Americans know beyond any reasonable doubt that the Russian government orchestrated a series of cyberattacks on political campaigns and organizations over the past two years and used stolen information to influence the presidential campaign and congressional races.” DNC chair Donna Brazile went on: “The integrity of our elections is too important for Congress to refuse to take these attacks seriously.”

Donna Brazile, interim Democratic Party chairperson.

The importance of election integrity had eluded Brazile when she was a regular on CNN, posing as neutral in the Clinton-Sanders battle. “Brazile is not apologizing for leaking CNN debate questions and topics to the Hillary Clinton campaign during the Democratic primary,” the Washington Post reported last month. “Her only regret, it seems, is that she got caught.”

Many big factors affect any presidential race, and the Russian government may have tried to be one of them for the 2016 election — though it’s hardly the slam dunk that agencies like the CIA and U.S. mass media are now claiming. But in any event, this month it has become routine for a lot of progressive organizations and individuals to descend into a dangerous mode of partisan flackery.

Less than two weeks ago — as soon as unnamed CIA sources told journalists that the Kremlin was behind hacks of DNC and Clinton campaign emails — a wide range of progressive online groups, activists and commentators reflexively embraced the dominant media spin. High profile among them was MoveOn, which used its big digital footprint to spur the frenzy.

MoveOn matter-of-factly decried the “chilling news” of “Russia’s election tampering.” And, without a hint of media literacy, the group also informed its readers that “news broke that the Russian president himself was involved in the efforts to influence our November election — in favor of Donald Trump.”

Such eagerness to share undocumented spin as absolute fact has led many progressive groups to go with knee-jerk reactions. Bent on gaining a propaganda advantage over Trump, those reactions are helping to stampede this country toward a modern form of McCarthyism — as well as brinkmanship with Russia that could lead to a cataclysmic military conflict.

A Contagion

Zeal to blame Russia for a bad election outcome has spread like contagion among countless self-described progressives, understandably appalled by the imminent Trump presidency. But those who think they’re riding a helpful tiger could find themselves devoured later on.

Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Russian government photo)

If civil liberties instead of repression — and diplomacy instead of war — are progressive values, then all too many progressives — eager to tar Trump as a Kremlin product — have been undermining those values.

Already, from witch-hunt legislation in Congress to pernicious media blacklisting, the anti-Russia hysteria — being fueled by the high-octane election-intervention storyline — has gained enormous momentum.

Days ago, assessing the momentum of that hysteria, Russian studies scholar Stephen F. Cohen cited some of the key motives propelling it (the first of which touted extremely farfetched hopes):

–“One is to reverse the Electoral College vote.”

–“Another is to exonerate the Clinton campaign from its electoral defeat by blaming that instead on Putin and thereby maintaining the Clinton wing’s grip on the Democratic Party.” Thus, countless Bernie supporters have been unwittingly strengthening the Clinton wing of the party while beating on the anti-Putin drum.

–“Yet another is to delegitimate Trump even before he is inaugurated. And certainly no less important, to prevent the détente with Russia that Trump seems to seek.”

Of all the good reasons to “delegitimate” Trump, alleged Kremlin intervention in the election should rank quite low. Trump’s evils are huge, with a very incomplete list including vast greed, pathological lying, contempt for facts, enthusiasm for oligarchy, bigotry, environmental destruction, racism, misogyny, economic injustice, voter suppression and rampant conflicts of interest.

While echoing the anti-Russia themes belted out by Democratic Party officials and loyalists, the chorus on the left may think it’s merely grabbing the low-hanging political fruit of this historical moment. But the fruit is already turning rancid, and apt to become poisonous.

It won’t be the first time in recent decades when liberals and others thought they were being clever and politically adroit as they aided and abetted the suppression of principles found in the First, Fourth and Fifth Amendments, while helping to gear up the machinery of war.

In Bed with Neocons

This month, by following the line of the Democratic Party leadership, groups like MoveOn actually have helped to set the stage for pressurizing Trump to deter him from pursuing policies that may be (along with opposition to trade deals such as the TPP) the only ways in which he might be appreciably better than Hillary Clinton would have been as president.

The Washington Post building in downtown Washington, D.C. (Photo credit: Washington Post)

Let’s face it: Some of the fierceness of media attacks on Trump, such as from de facto neoconservative liberal-tinged entities like the Washington Post, is propelled by rage that his stance toward Russia lacks the neocon qualities that a Hillary Clinton presidency offered.

To be crystal clear: The election of Donald Trump as president is a horrific disaster, and his regime must be resisted on a vast array of issues with eternal vigilance. And, meanwhile, Vladimir Putin is a repressive ruler.

At the same time, it’s a rather glaring omission in the current outraged discourse that the U.S. government, from Egypt and Saudi Arabia to Central Asian nations and beyond, continues to avidly support regimes far worse than Russia’s.

As for intervening in foreign elections, the CIA has excelled at that anti-democratic game for many decades — and mainline U.S. media outlets have been inclined to nod or even cheer when the American government and allied U.S. operatives succeed in working their will on electorates overseas.

Oh, and must we forget that U.S. efforts to determine the government leaders of other countries have sometimes gone far beyond techniques like hacking and disseminating emails?

As Janine Jackson of the media watchdog group FAIR wrote, “in back of it all, what makes the umbrage of elite media so hard to stomach is the hypocrisy. This is, after all, the same elite media that supports outsider-induced ‘regime change’ anywhere and everywhere they see an official enemy, from Iraq to Honduras to Libya to Syria. … You can make ‘one law for me, another for thee’ your credo, but you can’t be too surprised when others are unimpressed.”

And Jackson added: “Whatever story there is to be told about Russia and the 2016 election, corporate media have squandered the credibility it would take to tell it.”

Now, a crucial choice is right in front of the progressive groups and commentators who’ve been echoing the anti-Russia barrage from U.S. mass media. Staying on course will help to undermine civil liberties at home and will help to escalate conflicts with Russia that could end with nuclear war. Doesn’t sound “progressive” to me.

Norman Solomon is co-founder of the online activist group RootsAction.org. His books include War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death. He is the executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy.

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68 comments for “The Left’s Risk in Blaming Russia

  1. December 22, 2016 at 2:56 pm

    Antiwar snuck onto the normally ultra cautious Off Guardian website as well. Newsbud, a genuinely progressive news outlet (so far) dissects Antiwar, whose offerings come from major media. OG’s readers however were having none of it. What’s up Robert?

    • Abe
      December 23, 2016 at 4:23 am

      On issues at the AntiWar site:

      “As the media focus quickly shifted from a ‘liberated’ but devastated Libya to a besieged Syria, there was disturbingly little to distinguish between mainstream reports and those in Antiwar . com. Apparently having forgotten the interventionists’ need to ‘limit and shape the information’ getting to the public, Antiwar . com managed to limit and shape it even further by providing a largely uncritical daily synopsis of mainstream reporting of suspect opposition claims, without even the mainstream’s caveat that ‘the opposition claims could not be independently verified.’

      “Its reliance on the interventionists’ ‘allies in the media’ for its ‘news’ on Syria can be gauged from examining its research editor’s choice of sources. In a survey of 10 news reports on Syria between December 14 and December 27, Jason Ditz linked to a total of 24 outside sources, 16 of which were from mainstream media such as the BBC, New York Times and Haaretz; two were from Voice of America, the official external broadcast institution of the US government and a key instrument of its regime change agenda; two from Monsters and Critics, a web-only entertainment/celebrity news and review publication with political commentary and news; and one was from Human Rights Watch, to which billionaire hedge fund manager and prominent ‘pro-democracy’ advocate George Soros (astutely described in an excellent February 2001 Antiwar column as a ‘False Prophet-At-Large’) pledged $100 million last year, enabling it ‘to deepen its research presence on countries of concern.’ The remaining three were taken from SANA, the Syrian Arab News Agency, whose claims were briefly mentioned only to be dismissed with a cynicism clearly absent in the credulous treatment of opposition sources.

      “The almost exclusive reliance on mainstream sources was clearly reflected in the content of the news reports […]

      “Throughout the crisis in Syria, dismayed readers have pointed out Antiwar’s complicity in the propaganda war, despite the clear parallels with previous interventions, particularly the most recent one in Libya.”

      Your Best Source for Antiwar News?
      By Maidhc Ó Cathail
      http://www.boilingfrogspost.com/2012/01/08/antiwar-com-%E2%80%93-your-best-source-for-antiwar-news/

    • Abe
      December 23, 2016 at 4:45 am

      Newsbud’s Warning on the Fake News Bucket List: Watch out for the Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O73ajATm_NE

      The AntiWar site has frequently joined MSM to attack independent reporters, authors & analysts. The sheep dipping at AntiWar continues apace with the elevation of Angela Keaton to Executive Director.

    • Abe
      December 23, 2016 at 3:43 pm

      While AntiWar does repost articles and links to reputable investigative journalism sources like Robert Parry and Nat Parry of Consortium News, and independent journalists like Jonathan Cook, the AntiWar site deliberately positions real investigative reporting as “Viewpoints” that it explicitly describes as “opinions”.

      On the other hand, AntiWar positions as “News” content primarily drawn from mainstream media sources.

      For example, under today’s “News” roster, AntiWar News Editor Jason Ditz published “Trump, Putin Both Seek More Nukes”. The sources cited by Ditz were by no means “alternative,” “progressive” or anti-war in nature: Reuters, Israel’s Haaretz, and the Washington Post.

      The Washington Post, one of the leading purveyors of “fake news” to support US military interventions, and a core partner of the Google-backed First Draft Coalition, is one of the most frequently cited sources for “News” at AntiWar.

      Nothing in the “News” post by Ditz challenged the assertions of the Washington Post article.

      In its current state, the AntiWar site is a sheep dipping operation for mainstream media war propaganda, bringing propaganda into such close proximity with independent investigative journalism that its difficult for ordinary readers to tell the difference

  2. Uranus Hertz
    December 22, 2016 at 6:51 am

    My limited understanding of the internet says every thing that is sent across the public network is broken down in to packets. These packets are numbered for reassembly at the receiving end and includes both the sending and receiving MAC addresses. MAC addresses are unique to every network device on the planet and never repeated. So a simple examination of correspondence will tell you who sent what to whom and what was said. What’s more, those MAC address are manufacturer specific which would make it easier to identify an end-user location.

    So from my simple understanding, it shouldn’t take a rocket scientist or millions of $$$ to track down who did what and when. All you need to do is data mine all internet correspondence to and from all networking devices used by Miss Hillary’s campaign staff to see who sent what and received what from whom. If there was a Russian hack, it will show up like a sore thumb.

    By the way, the No Such Agency has carte blanc legal rights to collect ” all ” internet activity [courts ruled once private correspondence touches the public network it automatically becomes public]. They have mass storage facilities holding all this captured traffic so it shouldn’t be that difficult to have them search and analyze the captured data. Note, it will contain that all important metadata that’s the Rosita stone that gives the life history of the device and applications. And that should be more than enough to answer the question without guessing.

  3. jfmxl
    December 21, 2016 at 7:44 pm

    The Democratic and Republican Paths to Fascism

    With their pell-mell rush to construct a martial, McCarthyite domestic order, the Deep State Democrats have mooted the debate over lesser evilism. The orchestrated hysteria against Russians and their domestic “agents” and “front groups” targets as an enemy of the bipartisan State anyone that questions the rationale for imperial warfare and the rule of the rich. The shock of Donald Trump’s victory tore away the Democrats’ masks, revealing the fascists beneath. When Wall Street’s “core values” are threatened — meaning, the right to move money and jobs across borders at will, and to forcibly extend corporate power throughout the globe — civil liberties go out the window. Thus, all but a slim slither of the Wall Street-dominated Democrats now march in lock step with Republicans — the main difference being that the Democratic ranks are racially integrated. In Democratic America, the fascists adhere to the rules of diversity.

    Fascism moves on two tracks in the U.S.A. The corporate Democratic track moves on war. The Republican (White Man’s Party) track moves on racially coded law and order. Both tracks overlap, and both parties are switch hitters. Sometimes they conflict but, for Black and brown folks and white progressives, there can be no alliance with either faction. There is no gaming these gangsters, no fooling around with the CIA, which has assumed the political point position in the anti-Russian/Trump crusade.

    In the brief span since the election, the Democrats have reinvented and set in motion an actual fascist mechanism for political repression that threatens every movement that questions the prevailing social order and the U.S. drive for global dominance. Most Black Democratic politicians, like pitiful camp followers, have become War Fascists.

    The time for appealing to “progressives” to break their ties with the Democrats is past. Since November 8, the Democrats have definitively rejected peace, trashed civil liberties and gone over to “the dark side.”

    A good read. Along with consortiumnews.com, blackagendareport.com is one of the Bezos’ Blog’s “initial set of sites that ‘reliably echo Russian propaganda’”, that is, can be relied upon for cogent research and analysis.

  4. December 21, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    I really do not think it accurate or appropriate to refer to the Clintons and their close associates as “left.”

    Nothing in their record warrants that description.

    However, this deliberate conflating of the FBI’s legitimate investigations of Hillary as Secretary of State and a fantasy tale of Russian hacking is wrong on many levels, and an intelligent man like Bill Clinton well knows that it is, yet he proceeds to retail it everywhere as valid information.

    They have nothing to do with each other. The FBI was right to investigate when evidence appeared, and the only accurate criticism of their efforts is that they did not press a sound case.

    There would, of course, have been none of this controversy had Hillary not broken numerous federal laws with her well-known shady practices as Secretary of State. That, of course, is the key fact the Clinton’s would have everyone lose sight of, Hillary’s arrogant disregard for rules and ethics in high office.

    The business of Russian hacking is not only a red herring, it is a deliberate and unscrupulous use of old 1950s’ suspicions and fears about the Russians for the Clintons’ own benefit, damaging international relations for personal benefit. In other words, it represents yet more irresponsible Clinton behavior.

    Furthermore, even were the tale true, it is irrelevant. Insider tidbits about shady inner workings of a political party are not state secrets. They are investigative reporting.

  5. bji
    December 21, 2016 at 1:00 pm

    This is the far left looking for excuses, just as the far right did after Romney lost. The problem with extremists and true believers is that they are so invested in their beliefs that they cannot see reality. The reality was that Clinton was a bad candidate. Think of what a landslide it would have been if the GOP had nominated a qualified moderate instead of Trump. But the true believers can’t believe anything bad about Clinton, so they have to look for villains somewhere else.

  6. P Henry
    December 21, 2016 at 11:48 am

    Articles like this one have made Consortiumnews my default source for well researched journalism that squares with my experience in the real world. In the wilderness of mirrors created by the corporate media you’re a beacon of clear thinking and good sense. Much obliged.

  7. December 21, 2016 at 10:26 am

    Of lately the comments have become boring reading (that is if you read them all) by the same person posting comments over-and-over again sort of like posting a comment then go into the kitchen for a cup of coffee and meeting someone in the kitchen with one more idea, then going into the garden meeting next door neighbor over the fence with another idea and so on and so forth.
    Of all the commenters over the years I have learned to look for just one name (I will not list the name) this name does not post comments on every subject, like myself, but what this name comments on (seemingly based on life’s experience) is really worth reading because it is saying what you have to say and leave it at that. As they say in the of olden days gone by 2-way radio “Over and Out”.

    • Abe
      December 21, 2016 at 1:57 pm

      Note that comments containing more than one hypertext link typically default to moderation. Numerous commenters have expressed frustration with this technical feature of the site. Referencing multiple online sources may require a series of comments or sub-comments.

  8. Abe
    December 21, 2016 at 3:05 am

    To be crystal clear: The election of Hillary Clinton as president would have been a horrific disaster, however more or less horrific in certain ways than the election of Trump.

    And, meanwhile, Barack Obama has been a repressive ruler in his own right, however more or less repressive in certain ways than Putin.

    These are not mindless statements of moral equivalence. They are fair and accurate in multiple points of fact.

    In any event, the regime that must be resisted on a vast array of issues with eternal vigilance is the Zionist power configuration, aka ‘the Establishment’.

    Unless, of course, you are as Trump at the AIPAC conference declared he is, committed to perpetuating America’s dangerous and dead-end ride of foreign policy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQgDgMGuDI0

  9. Abe
    December 20, 2016 at 11:57 pm

    For the sake of fairness and accuracy in reporting:

    Why hasn’t Norman Solomon retracted or amended his recent uncritical promotion of Adrian Chen, a prominent writer in the anti-Russia barrage from U.S. mass media?

    More than two weeks ago, Solomon wrote about the Washington Post / PropOrNot imbroglio:

    “WPost Won’t Retract McCarthyistic Smear”
    https://consortiumnews.com/2016/12/05/wpost-wont-retract-mccarthyistic-smear/

    In a New Yorker article lauded as “devastating” by Solomon, Chen laments that the PropOrNot report “plays directly into the hands of the Russian propagandists”.

    Had Solomon not been so devastated, he might have noticed that Chen displays a remarkable eagerness to share undocumented anti-Russian spin as absolute fact.

    In fact, in a June 2015 New York Times Magazine article titled “The Agency,” Chen made the dramatic claim that the “Russian Internet is awash in trolls”.

    To be fair, Chen’s NYT magazine article was a rewrite of a rewrite of a rewrite of propaganda promoted by Peter Pomerantsev and Michael Weiss of The Interpreter Mag (November 2014), originating from Vasily Gatov of the militantly anti-government English-language tabloid Moscow Times.

    To be accurate, Chen’s New Yorker article on the WaPo / PropOrNot debacle was primarily designed to promote the “professional” Twitter feed of Eliot Higgins, a leading purveyor of anti-Russian fake news via his Bellingcat site for “by and for citizen investigative journalists”/

    Chen lauded Higgins as “a well-respected researcher who has investigated Russian fake-news stories on his Web site, Bellingcat, for years”.

    But hey, let’s just give Chen a break. He’s not ‘really’ a reporter. He merely writes what he’s told.

    Guess that’s what passes for reporting in the mainstream media and lots of other places these days.

    Solomon apparently remains too devastated, or has no time for a closer look at his own writings, to comment on the matter.

    Does that mean Solomon, and Glenn Greenwald and Ben Norton of the Intercept, also deserve a break?

  10. jfmxl
    December 20, 2016 at 8:33 pm

    “By now, Americans know beyond any reasonable doubt that the Russian government orchestrated a series of cyberattacks on political campaigns and organizations over the past two years and used stolen information to influence the presidential campaign and congressional races.”

    They’ve eaten their own poisoned dog food. No ordinary American has fallen for any of this nonsense. During their electoral coup four times as many electors repudiated Clinton as repudiated Trump, or tried to: 5 actual + 3 attempts vs 2.

    Such eagerness to share undocumented spin as absolute fact has led many progressive groups to go with knee-jerk reactions.

    Someone posted a video of Keith Olbermann gone apoplectic a la the dangerous little man from Braunau am Inn, at which I first laughed aloud, thinking it a parody. But the little man was serious, intent on the teleprompter, reading the trash Goebels had given him and ‘acting’ for all he was worth.

    That’s the status of the Demoblican Party at this point. There’s still no question of who were the lessor of two evils in this past election, it was certainly not the Noble Peace Prize Laureate led war-mongering Democrats. And now they’ve gone over the edge, shown the depths of their derangement, and are even worse.

    At least they are transparent, seen by all as the bankrupt, incredibly bad actors they are and have been for at least the past eight years. We need to push all their political corpses into a common political grave, pick up our tools, and see to it that one chosen from among ourselves by ourselves, pledged to implementing a platform written by ourselves, fills the seat in each of our congressional districts in 2018, and in the White House in 2020.

    ‘Both’ political parties have proved to be made up of takfiri suicide bombers, it’s time for a peoples’ virtual party to pick up the pieces after their horrific blasts, sweep away the blood and the gore, and put our country back together.

  11. Dr. Ibrahim Soudy
    December 20, 2016 at 8:08 pm
  12. dltravers
    December 20, 2016 at 6:47 pm

    The left is pissing all over themselves and as they continue to do that they will ruin their credibility far worse than the mainstream media did with Trump. If Obama runs a shadow government, and that looks likely, then they will further isolate themselves.

    As they attack and attack they will turn more people off. They have voters but they are a basically a regional party of some cities and a few solid states.

    Trump may well demolish them if he gets something done. That looks to be a strong possibility. Capital unchained is a very powerful force, if directed with some cunning.

  13. Zachary Smith
    December 20, 2016 at 6:30 pm

    “Trump’s evils are huge, with a very incomplete list including vast greed, pathological lying, contempt for facts, enthusiasm for oligarchy, bigotry, environmental destruction, racism, misogyny, economic injustice, voter suppression and rampant conflicts of interest.”

    Heil-liar iou’s. At least he ain’t a prevaricating serial murdering money-launderer

    There is no point in beating up on the author for stating the plain truth. But as you say, voters looked at the two candidates and a majority of them (in Constitutional terms) concluded the short-fingered vulgarian was the smallest risk to themselves. Personally, I can’t disagree with their conclusions on that.

    BTW, the Pando link just might vanish when President Trump becomes an actual happening. Something to archive if you’re as paranoid as some of us.

    • restless94110
      December 22, 2016 at 7:01 am

      None of what the writer stated about Trump is the truth. The writer is just like the media in his lunacy about Trump. An otherwise good point of view in an article utterly destroyed by this insulting nonsense.

  14. Akech
    December 20, 2016 at 5:56 pm

    I neither voted for Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton. However, Trump is going to be the next commander-in-chief, tasked with securing the safety of all American citizens wherever they may be (here at home and abroad). To secure that safety for average citizens abroad, the POTUS needs the cooperation and assurances of those foreign leaders through diplomatic channels and not through threats!

    The Democratic party establishment and Hillary campaign, in collusion with MSM, failed to give American voters any valid reason to encourage them to be enthusiastic about her candidacy. Instead, they consciously embarked on “blanket bombing” the airwaves with messages that portraying Donald Trump not only as the most scary human species on planet earth that ever sought the office of president of USA, but also labeled his supporters as belonging in a “basket of deplorables.”!

    Even if these characteristics were accurate characteristics these American citizens, being racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic or, …, or arachnophobic (the fear of spiders or scorpions), the only thing the law makers can do is to ensure that there are laws prohibiting the citizens with these psychological phobias from going out there and inflicting bodily or economic damage against other humans who happen to be objects of their phobias (except for those poor spiders or scorpions)!

    The emphasis on these phobias have become the central theme by DNC, Hillary team and the muscled MSM. People with these psychological issues had absolutely nothing to do with why the jobs are being outsourced, crashing the economy and making people homeless!

    Quote
    DNC chair Donna Brazile went on: “The integrity of our elections is too important for Congress to refuse to take these attacks seriously.”
    unquote

    Really! Is this the same woman who lost her job at CNN for advancing debate questions to Hillary before debates??

    For any American citizen who is unemployed, underemployed, loaded with debts, or has one of those dead end jobs with zero of salary reviews in years, peddling fear does and will never cut it!

    Trump won the presidency legally. American citizens including those who did not vote for him should give him the same opportunity to fail on those issues for which voters elected him; unless his detractors are afraid he may succeed!

    • backwardsevolution
      December 20, 2016 at 11:53 pm

      Akech – good post. I would just point out that those “racists” really did embrace Obama. They desperately wanted to believe in his “hope and change”, and they really didn’t care what color he was. Just like all the blacks who voted for Trump.

  15. J. D.
    December 20, 2016 at 3:33 pm

    The so-called “left” today bears no resemblance to that of FDR and his tradition. While FDR, the greatest president of modern times, was deeply committed to economic progress and cooperation with the Soviet Union against both fascism and colonialism, today’s left is far less concerned with the problems of the poor and working class (“deplorables”) and more with “identity politics,” green environmentalism and regime change. JFK, who guided us through the Missile Crisis, sought common ground with the Soviets and ultimately payed with his life for his opposition to war with Russia over Cuba and then Vietnam. In his short tenure he not only launched the Apollo Program but foresaw “1000 nuclear plants by the turn of the century” and many more large scale, science driven, infrastructure projects . Trump ran against the hated “Establishment.” Hillary, an awful candidate running an awful campaign, was the Establishment poster girl and promised war against its most feared rival – Russia, and portraying anyone opposed to WWIII as a “puppet of Putin.” Trump won because he presented himself as a builder, opposed destructive trade deals and the endless wars of regime change.That was enough .

    • Bob Van Noy
      December 21, 2016 at 9:52 am

      Excellent short history J.D. Thanks for that. My hope is that we will soon be able to make our History post November, 1963 more accurate.

    • Richard Coleman
      December 25, 2016 at 6:20 am

      First of all, Trump didn’t win, he lost by almost 3,000,000 votes. Second, the Dems guaranteed a Trump “victory” by destroying the sure winner, Bernie Sanders. Third, the election was stolen by the lackeys of Trump, starting in 2013. See:

      http://www.gregpalast.com/election-stolen-heres/

  16. Dave Ryan
    December 20, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    I have become so disillusioned over the MSM’s propaganda. I was lucky to find your website which has impressed me with your level of journalism. I work for a defense company in the United States and have begun to feel the embarrassment that so many others are feeling. Fake News when it comes from our primary sources that were once credible is destroying us.

  17. Andy
    December 20, 2016 at 2:17 pm

    Cold War II is ramping up. Trump had better watch his back, literally, as was horrendously demonstrated in Ankara yesterday. Could this shooter have been another CIA handled assassin like Sirhan Sirhan or Lee Harvey Oswald? Very possible. The timing, a day before talks between Turkey, Russia, and Iran concerning the situation in Syria is revealing.

    • backwardsevolution
      December 20, 2016 at 11:44 pm

      Andy – agreed. I also think that ISIS and its now worldwide rebel force are absolutely over-the-top furious about the recapture of Aleppo by the Russians and Syrians. That was my first thought when I heard the Russian ambassador was shot, as well as the terrible incident in Berlin. I mean, they had been in eastern Aleppo for something like four and a half years, and all of a sudden they’re going home on buses. Humiliating for them.

      Yes, Trump had better be watching his back. Maybe that’s why he’s surrounded himself with generals.

      • Litchfield
        December 21, 2016 at 7:27 pm

        “Yes, Trump had better be watching his back. Maybe that’s why he’s surrounded himself with generals.”

        My thought exactly. And not only mine.
        Absolute loyalty to the president, the Constitution, and the United States is required.
        And, BTW, no more dual Israeli-American citizens, please, anywhere near the government.

  18. Bill Bodden
    December 20, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    Less than two weeks ago — as soon as unnamed CIA sources told journalists that the Kremlin was behind hacks of DNC and Clinton campaign emails — a wide range of progressive online groups, activists and commentators reflexively embraced the dominant media spin. High profile among them was MoveOn, which used its big digital footprint to spur the frenzy.

    MEMO TO DONALD TRUMP:

    If you decide to become a quasi- or real dictator you don’t have to worry about the political left. Most of its members have cravenly abandoned the American people and the principles they once espoused.

  19. Bill Bodden
    December 20, 2016 at 1:44 pm

    DNC chair Donna Brazile went on: “The integrity of our elections is too important for Congress to refuse to take these attacks seriously.”

    Donna Brazile also said on a CNN talk show that Condoleeza Rice was a friend of hers and that she had a lot of respect for her. This is the same Condoleeza Rice who engaged in fear mongering about Iraq’s (non-existent) WMDs and smoking guns and mushroom clouds to gin up support for the immoral and illegal war on Iraq and this crime against humanity.

    • Anna
      December 20, 2016 at 2:07 pm

      Donna Brazile talks about integrity?
      Was not Brazile in charge of derailing Sanders’s campaign (doing this on the dime of ordinary Democrats)?
      And it was Brazile who gave Clinton debate questions.
      Brazile is a dishonest opportunist, like her beloved war criminal Condi Rice.

      • Joe Tedesky
        December 21, 2016 at 12:09 am

        Yes Anna you and I know that in a real world, a world made of sanity and fairness, that Donna Brazile having been caught in a debate scandal supplying questions to her favored candidate, would be enough of a disgrace as to warrant Brazile to say silent out of shame. Along with Hillary’s getting a pass from James Comey/Loretta Lynch, Ms Brazile apparently has the same double standard privilege of getting to stay relevant….don’t you or I attempt to do this, because with us they would lock us up, and throw away the key. No one of any stature in DC ever serves any accountability, or suffers any consequence, and for that the world suffers.

        • backwardsevolution
          December 21, 2016 at 3:37 am

          Joe – your use of the word “shame” is perfect. Most politicians, who lie with a straight face, who pass laws that the citizens are against, who pander to special interests exhibit this characteristic: they have no shame.

          If I was Hillary Clinton or Donna Brazile, Loretta Lynch, I would feel so much shame, I don’t think I’d want to come out of my house for years. But not them; they’re right back out there. And that is the difference between us and them: they feel no shame.

          The only way they’ll ever feel shame is if they catch a glimpse of what they’ve done wrong (what THEY’VE done wrong), and instead of blaming others for it, take responsibility for the wrongdoing themselves. So long as they keep blaming others, they’ll never see themselves for who they truly are.

          • Litchfield
            December 21, 2016 at 7:23 pm

            “The only way they’ll ever feel shame is if they catch a glimpse of what they’ve done wrong (what THEY’VE done wrong), and instead of blaming others for it, take responsibility for the wrongdoing themselves.”

            How can this be engineered?
            The film linked below shows German civilians being forced to take a walk over to Buchenwald days after the camp was liberated:

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NMLXpNtPsp8

    • GeorgyOrwell
      December 20, 2016 at 11:53 pm

      Donna Brazille, Debbie What’s Her Name Schultz, Charles Schumer and of course the toxic cunt HRC sicken and disgust this life long Democrat who has been procrastinating to reregister as an independent.

      The Democratic Party is a vile and corrupt as the Republican Party.

      • Bill Bodden
        December 21, 2016 at 2:05 am

        Debbie What’s Her Name Schultz

        Is that the ethically-challenged person Andrew Levine referred to as Debbie WTF Schultz?

      • Litchfield
        December 21, 2016 at 7:24 pm

        I have registered as unenrolled. Be sure that in your state there *isn’t* a party with the official name Independent Party. If there is, you will be in that party, not really independent.

  20. Bill Bodden
    December 20, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    Despite the lack of verifiable evidence, many progressives have jumped on the blame-Russia-for-Trump’s-victory bandwagon,

    If they jumped on the corporate media’s bandwagon and are behaving like cheerleaders then they are no longer progressives. Corporatism is more about regression for the people than progress.

  21. Gregory Kruse
    December 20, 2016 at 12:55 pm

    It is awe-full to contemplate the rage and wrath of Hillary Clinton.

    • Litchfield
      December 21, 2016 at 6:52 pm

      But also kind of fun!!

  22. December 20, 2016 at 12:17 pm

    The left has become the “left” in my eyes. Several things sunk this general movement towards human decency but the main issue is the general decline of Western civilization (much talked about in the past but never fully manifested until 9/11 and its aftermath) is that the tendency for willful ignorance and tribalism has infected the left. A resurgent left emerged in the period that marked the obvious flowering of the Iraq debacle. Anti-war sentiments were high and Bush/Cheney and the neocons were savaged not only in the anti-war movement but, to some extent, even in the mainstream media and certainly by the elites in the entertainment and academic world. Then, the great “white hope” of Barrak Obama appeared out of nowhere and did his job of engaging the left with vague rhetoric (I thought he was a bullshitter from the outset but the magic words “Harvard” and “black” obscured all this). After Obama’s election against someone who acted a lot like he threw the election (Sarah Palin?) he turned around bit his leftist supporters who, until the desperate attempts of Occupy, never raised their heads again until Sanders forced them out of the closets they had hidden in this election season. Again, they rolled out “hope” and were, again, kicked in the teeth. Now, like virtual victims of the Stockholm syndrome, the come out and bleat their upset feeling over Trump and become right-wing Republicans, pro-war, anti-Russian, pro-corporate media without skipping a beat.

    I first noticed the fascist tendencies of the left during the Bush administration when I was twice kicked out of Daily Kos for various reasons–it’s not being banned that was a big deal (they are a Democratic Party site) but the savagery with which they enforced conformity to a rigid and nonsensical ideology. The first time I was banned was for defending a newby who didn’t quite understand the rules of DK form the ugliest and most vicious attacks on the young man (the second was for criticizing Occupy tactics that did not fit into their narrow view of the matter). The left of my youth, for all its many faults was gone. Gone was the openness to new ideas, to discussiong and what was there was a fascist fanaticism at the heart and an aggressive movement towards stunning extremes of political correctness. Trump has completely unhinged those on the left interested in politics into a frenzy or tribalism and hatred for the “other.” Subconsciously, I believe, the cultural left has so admired the right for its realpolitik power-grab, that it now seeks to mimic that basic nihilistic movement. In contrast, the most dynamic force on the right (the alt right) has become more open to intellectual argument, more critical of mainstream ideas, more astute and logical in its positions such that it is now “the left” and the actual “left” is now the right.

    Many of us believed the right was going to take itself out of the political equation by limiting its appeal to the Confederacy and stay stuck in the past. This has proven not to be true at all–it is the “left” that has become stuck in the past, stuck in political correctness and authoritarianism. As an old radical leftist I find this tendency stunning. Thomas Frank critique of in his new book *Listen, Liberal* is right on as is Hedge’s book *The Death of the Liberal Class* which goes a bit deeper.

    • evelync
      December 20, 2016 at 6:22 pm

      ‘I first noticed the fascist tendencies of the left during the Bush administration when I was twice kicked out of Daily Kos for various reasons–it’s not being banned that was a big deal (they are a Democratic Party site) but the savagery with which they enforced conformity to a rigid and nonsensical ideology. The first time I was banned was for defending a newby who didn’t quite understand the rules of DK form the ugliest and most vicious attacks on the young man (the second was for criticizing Occupy tactics that did not fit into their narrow view of the matter).”

      hmmmm……sorry to hear about your experience, but not surprised. I’m also a refugee from DK…..from when Markos issued the “Ides of Kos’ edict censoring Bernie supporters after March 15th 2016 from any meaningful criticism of Hillary Clinton’s policies. After a few weeks of having some heretofore unseen diarists jump on my comments, I quit too. I never got banned but I’d wear that banning as a badge of honor like being on Nixon’s or J. Edgar Hoover’s “lists”!

    • Andy
      December 20, 2016 at 7:03 pm

      I should point out that Hillary Rodham was raised in a Republican household. She campaigned for Goldwater as a teenager. Obama seems to have some truly left influences from his youth but has abandoned them in his quest and acquisition of the White House. I suspect even though he had this left, even socialist contacts in his youth, he never took them to heart. As a senator he did author bills on military arms reduction, federal transparency as well as relief aid. He worked on lobbying and campaign finance reform, election reform, climate control and troop reduction. In the second year, he legislated for oversight of certain military discharges, Iran divestment and nuclear terrorism reduction. But these are pretty safe issues. I don’t see anything about controlling Wall Street, helping people in prisons, helping people losing their homes, …..Obama is a milk toast liberal.

      • backwardsevolution
        December 20, 2016 at 11:22 pm

        Obama is a narcissist. That doesn’t spell “left”. Talks a good game, though.

        • Litchfield
          December 21, 2016 at 6:50 pm

          “Obama is a narcissist”

          Yep, really. It’s really written all over him. I saw this absolutely clearly on his first Inauguration Day. In his face.

      • John
        December 21, 2016 at 12:10 am

        I cannot say that I have been banned from the Trump-colored echo chamber known as Daily Kos (I cannot call it DK, as I reserve that for the Dead Kennedys.) I never bothered setting up an account on that DNC Uber Allea mouthpiece.

        I have been banned from Common Dreams, apparently for asking how many Yemeni kids they killed per day by supporting Herr Hitlery (they’re with Herr). 1 Yemeni kid every 10 minutes is the apparent current rate of Herr war there.

        Obomber lost me when he was in the IL statehouse, representing the South Side of Chicago, as the John Burge police torture ring was coming to light, prompting the then Republican Governor to put a moratorium on the death penalty, yet Obomber never once went on record condemning police brutality (as his own constituents were having plastic typewriter covers held over their heads, electrodes attached to their genitals, and were being forcibly sodomized with mop handles.)

        Can we PLEASE stop referring to Dimocrats as “the Left”? The Left is anti-Capitalist. Anyone who supports Capitalism is on the Right (even though they are wrong).

        As far as I am aware, Putin has never signed a law claiming the legal right to kill anyone, anywhere, without charging them with a crime. Thus, it would seem that no rational person could call him “Authoritarian” in comparison to Obama.

        By the way, John Podesta’s password for his email was p@ssw0rd. He deserved to be hacked.

        • Jack
          December 21, 2016 at 4:14 am

          I could stand corrected but I believe that Russia has banned the death penalty and that, in my opinion, elevates Russia over the US.
          I am an Australian and consider the death penalty to be abhorrent. Unfortunately, I am under no illusions and my best guess is that the majority of Australians would support the re introduction of the DP.

        • Idiotland
          December 22, 2016 at 3:59 am

          Podesta probably thinks he was being clever. What a complete arrogant dumbass.

  23. Eric
    December 20, 2016 at 11:10 am

    Putin singlehandedly saved his country from being plundered (which it was by Western backed oligarchs, like Soros and Harvard’s Jeff Sacks). He is generally very popular, though i have talked with Russians who speak English, watch CNN and are just as brainwashed as typical Americans. The US literally stole democracy from the Russians, installing the drunk Yeltsin who shelled his own Parliament when they refused to go along with the rape of their country.

    And Putin, who turned that around is ‘authoritarian’? Any national leader who does not take orders from the US deep state is demonized as ‘repressive’. This shows just how dysfunctional even ‘leftists’ like Solomon are.

    • Bob Van Noy
      December 20, 2016 at 1:25 pm

      Eric thank you for your reply; l agree. I have been researching Russian history with particular interest in Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and was recently made aware of Mr. Solzhenitsyn’s interview with Spiegel Online where he speaks very frankly about his thoughts about Russian transition into Federation. It is fascinating to hear Mr. Solzhenitsyn give his “take” on his experience in America and the recent politics of Russia. Of note, Mr. Solzhenitsyn Thinks very negatively about Party politics and has high praise for local issues. Very interesting…

      http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/spiegel-interview-with-alexander-solzhenitsyn-i-am-not-afraid-of-death-a-496211

      • Bill Bodden
        December 20, 2016 at 11:22 pm

        While search for your suggested article I came across this: “With the death of Russia’s Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the world has lost one of the great figures of the past century. In Germany, though, editorialists criticize the role the Nobel Prize winner played in his later life in pushing Moscow away from the West”. – http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/the-world-from-berlin-the-solzhenitsyn-shock-a-570157.html

      • Bill Bodden
        December 20, 2016 at 11:27 pm

        Your link didn’t work for me. Is this the same article you had in mind? In an interview with SPIEGEL, prominent Russian writer and Nobel laureate Alexander Solzhenitsyn discusses Russia’s turbulent history, Putin’s version of democracy and his attitude to life and death. – http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/spiegel-interview-with-alexander-solzhenitsyn-i-am-not-afraid-of-death-a-496003.html

        • Bob Van Noy
          December 21, 2016 at 9:39 am

          Yes this is the article. Thanks for fixing the link… Fascinating discussion, don’t you think?

          • Bill Bodden
            December 21, 2016 at 1:49 pm

            Agreed. Very interesting comments by Solzhenitsyn. Thank you for posting the lead.

      • evelync
        December 21, 2016 at 4:13 pm

        From Bob Van Noy’s link to the Solhenitsyn interview:

        “SPIEGEL: But Russia often finds itself alone. Recently relations between Russia and the West have gotten somewhat colder, and this includes Russian-European relations. What is the reason? What are the West?s difficulties in understanding modern Russia?

        Solzhenitsyn: I can name many reasons, but the most interesting ones are psychological, i.e. the clash of illusory hopes against reality. This happened both in Russia and in West. When I returned to Russia in 1994, the Western world and its states were practically being worshipped. Admittedly, this was caused not so much by real knowledge or a conscious choice, but by the natural disgust with the Bolshevik regime and its anti-Western propaganda.

        This mood started changing with the cruel NATO bombings of Serbia. It?s fair to say that all layers of Russian society were deeply and indelibly shocked by those bombings. The situation then became worse when NATO started to spread its influence and draw the ex-Soviet republics into its structure. This was especially painful in the case of Ukraine, a country whose closeness to Russia is defined by literally millions of family ties among our peoples, relatives living on different sides of the national border. At one fell stroke, these families could be torn apart by a new dividing line, the border of a military bloc.

        So, the perception of the West as mostly a “knight of democracy” has been replaced with the disappointed belief that pragmatism, often cynical and selfish, lies at the core of Western policies. For many Russians it was a grave disillusion, a crushing of ideals.

        At the same time the West was enjoying its victory after the exhausting Cold War, and observing the 15-year-long anarchy under Gorbachev and Yeltsin. In this context it was easy to get accustomed to the idea that Russia had become almost a Third World country and would remain so forever. When Russia started to regain some of its strength as an economy and as a state, the West?s reaction — perhaps a subconscious one, based on erstwhile fears — was panic.”

        wow!!! ain’t that the truth. thanks for posting this link to the Solzhenitzyn interview. what a thoughtful man.

        The NEOCONS and NEOLIBERALS have made such a mess in this country at home for sure and definitely abroad. And the National Security State is designed I think to permit even less scrutiny over their failed costly policies.

    • Emanuel E Garcia
      December 21, 2016 at 2:25 pm

      Right on! Thank you for telling the damned truth.

    • Litchfield
      December 21, 2016 at 6:41 pm

      “And Putin, who turned that around is ‘authoritarian’? Any national leader who does not take orders from the US deep state is demonized as ‘repressive’. This shows just how dysfunctional even ‘leftists’ like Solomon are.”

      Agree. POintless, and missing the point.
      As long as Solomon feels obliged to vilify and insult both Trump and Putin, his judgments will have limited currency, even if he does occasionally hit on a good idea.

      And how well is “democracy” working in the USA? The party system stinks, the results of the system’s workings stink: military interventions abroad and immiseration at home, plus a ridiculous health care system that is the worst and most expensive in the “developed” world. Plus 17% of toddlers are obese and 75% of the population has one or more chronic diseases. Way to go, America!!! Plus, the infrastructure is disintegrating. Have any “progressives” come up with any good ideas at all? Obamacare is a disaster for many of those forced to hand over $$$ to Big Insurance.

      Come on, don’t waste your breath on demonizing Putin. Their country might be working a heck of a lot better than ours—no thanks to the USA, by the way. Their military, education, and health-care systems seem to be working more efficiently than the USA’s. Of course, that is a petty low benchmark.
      What do you get out of directing snide comments to Trump and Putin?
      Sick of the Russia bashing, Mr. Solomon. Please try to do some second-level thinking.

  24. Oz
    December 20, 2016 at 10:49 am

    Describing MoveOn as “progressive” is a bit of a stretch.

    • Anna
      December 20, 2016 at 1:49 pm

      Agree. MoveOn has transformed into a malignant presstitute organ.

      • Litchfield
        December 21, 2016 at 6:32 pm

        I agree.
        I wonder what happened. Move ON seemed like such a good thing after the 2000 Bush debacle.
        Or, are they and/or were they always an animal of Soros?

    • jo6pac
      December 21, 2016 at 10:56 am

      My thought also, no true Progressive would be a member of move on or the demodog corp. party.

      • Kent Bott
        December 21, 2016 at 1:03 pm

        Well … a “true Progressive” just might not join the right-wingers by assigning purity tests as to what constitutes a “true Progressive” like you just did, since doing so is not the least bit progressive.

  25. Josh Stern
    December 20, 2016 at 10:49 am

    Washingtons Blog put together this strong piece summarizing how weak the evidence for Russian Govt. role in DNC hacking is:
    http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2016/12/hacking-evidence-russia-extremely-weak.html

    The public evidence for insider leakers and/or other non-govt. hackers is actually much stronger.

    Supporting the CIA claim here implies that one is here trusting, the usually lying FBI/CIA dynamic duo, in the belief that it actually has some hidden slam dunk evidence.

  26. Clabots
    December 20, 2016 at 10:06 am

    Very good article, I don’t share your views and I’m certain Trump will tackle real problems unlike his predecessors. But still glad to read this finally some non “against” article.

    • Sam F
      December 20, 2016 at 5:47 pm

      My objection is that giving any attention to the Dems trashy distractions from their own corruption by money is just playing their game to lose. Obviously it does not matter how their corruption was revealed!

      The story is that the Democratic Party is run by Israel and Saudi Arabia!

      if the Dems distract from their corruption by money, they will just field another fake liberal to catch the backlash from Trump in four years, funded again by Israel/KSA and the MIC/WallSt/zionist oligarchy. They will go on ruining the world for Israel.

      Don’t be distracted by their scams! We need a true progressive party. Dump the Dems.

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