For someone who was an impressionable youngster when they fried the Rosenbergs, the spectacle of the Dems’ Russia-baiting is hugely delicious. It seems like they just stole the well-worn GOP playbook. Any minute now, Schumer or Pelosi will come out waving a piece of paper, barking, "I have here in my hand a list of 205 Trump administration figures that were known to the President as selling out the US to Russia."
Our punditocracy suffers from ADHD and could use a heavy Ritalin dosage. Why are they totally obsessed with Russia’s election manipulation, and have they forgotten Clinton’s theft of the Democratic nomination? After all, Russia’s leak just caused already-limpid Democrat voter apathy to further stagnate, while what Clinton and the DNC did was collusion, a violation of Section 5 Article 4 of the DNC charter, and grounds for a pending class-action lawsuit. That’s why DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz was forced to resign without hesitation. Vice chair Donna Brazile subsequently resigned from CNN.
How did Clinton lock up 602 out of 650 superdelegates in the first place? The Donald surely sprayed his "It’s rigged" accusations too wide, but when he told Sanders the Democratic nomination was rigged, he was on the money. The DNC Chair’s job is to administer the primary process with absolute neutrality, but internal DNC memos show that it was pressing its heavy thumb on the scale, strategizing behind Clinton as early as March, 2015, and diverting funds earmarked to down-ticket candidates to Clinton campaign coffers. Sanders proved himself one the most naïve politicians ever, thinking he could win on merits — in the party of Richard J. Daley.
We always speak solemnly about how we must not retaliate against whistle-blowers, but why does that not apply to Russia in this case? After all, Russia did expose some serious wrongdoing on the part of Clinton and the DNC, enough to result in Wasserman-Schultz and Brazile’s resignations. If the British dossier somehow is not fake news, it pales in comparison, and its non-release is hardly an argument for leak favoritism.
Polls show consistently Americans think whistle-blowers are heroes, and it’s been that way since the Pentagon Papers. Exposing wrongdoing, on a purely moral ground, always supersedes privacy concerns and those now-mandatory fully-executed gag-order contracts. And governments will always seek to crush whistle-blowers’ media outlets; they tried and failed with Beacon Press in 1971, and they have the same urge to silence WikiLeaks today.
Trump was a big beneficiary of Russia’s exposure of DNC wrongdoing, and he egged them on loudly. Remembering the actual history of the Democratic nomination, we can choose to re-cast Russia’s leak as righteous whistle-blowing. Likewise, rather than falling into the age-old trap of fear of the Russian bear, why not try looking at Russia’s behavior in Syria and Ukraine with some historical perspective, too?
Assad is a butcher we’d all like to see living out his days in a cell right next to Charles Taylor. However, Russia had immediate buyer’s remorse after the UNSC Libya vote, and on a certain level, they were right. Qaddafi was aerated, but nobody had the faintest interest in nation-building, so chaos erupted in Libya, with Al Qaeda and ISIS stepping right in. The U.S. and EU keep going on about arming "fully-vetted" moderate Syrian rebels, but what kind of country would emerge if somehow they prevailed, with Western nations forever abstaining from "boots on the ground?"
Though only 3 percent of Crimeans speak Ukrainian, Russia gifted the peninsula to its sister Soviet state in 1954, and as Ukraine drifted westward, thought it could have it back. The Russian-speaking Eastern Ukraine rebels may be a nasty lot, but how is their struggle to re-draw borders any different than other ethnic border re-draws supported by Western powers, such as Eritrea and South Sudan, both which ended as disastrously as Libya?
Trump achieved success in business through ruthlessness, so it’s no wonder he admires the Shirtless One. After all, in a couple of years, Putin will have retained power in an unwieldy, multi-ethnic nation spanning eleven time zones for two decades. Democracy is a wonderful thing, but you can’t really imagine a Navalny, Khodorkovsky, or even Medvedev, running the place, can you?
Henry Seggerman managed Korea International Investment Fund, the oldest South Korean hedge fund, from 2001 until 2014. He is a regular columnist for the Korea Times, and has also been a guest speaker, written for, or been interviewed by The Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, Bloomberg Television, Reuters, and FinanceAsia — covering not only North and South Korea, but also Asia, as well as U.S. politics. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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