Russiagate Isn't About Trump, And It Isn't Even Ultimately About Russia
MSNBC's Chris Hayes recently asked a question of his Twitter following that was so heavily loaded it wouldn't be permitted on most interstate highways: "Aside from genuine cranks, is there anyone left denying it was the Russians that committed criminal sabotage in the American election?"
Hayes asked this fake question because he works for MSNBC and it is therefore his job, and he asked it in response to a report first made viral by deranged espionage LARPer Eric Garland that a Dutch intelligence agency had been observing Russian hackers attacking US political parties in advance of the 2016 election. Like all "bombshell" Russiagate reports, this one roared through social media like wildfire carried on the wings of liberal hysteria about the current administration, only to be exposed as being riddled with gaping plot holes as documented here by independent journalist Suzie Dawson. The report revolves around an allegedly Russian cyber threat now known in the west as "Cozy Bear", which as Real News' Max Blumenthal notes is not a network of hackers but "a Russian-sounding name the for-profit firm Crowdstrike assigned to an APT to market its findings to gullible reporters desperate for Russiagate scoops."
This "bombshell" overlapped with another as it was reported by the New York Times that at one point many months ago Trump had wanted to fire Robert Mueller, but then didn't.
Why does this keep happening? Why does the public keep getting sold a mountain of suspicion with zero substance? Over and over and over again these "bombshell" stories come out about Trump and Russia, Russia and Trump, only to be debunked, retracted, or erased from the spotlight after people start actually reading the allegations and thinking critically about them and see they're not the shocking bombshells they purport to be? These allegations are all premised upon claims made by the US intelligence community, which has an extensive and well-documented history of lying to advance its agendas, as well as porous claims made by an extremely shady and insanely profitable private cyber security company, and yet all we're ever shown is smoke and mirrors with no actual fire.
Why is that?
You can begin finding your way toward the answer to that question by envisioning the following hypothetical scenario. Imagine what would happen if, instead of promoting the Russiagate narrative, the faces of the consent-manufacturing machine known as the mass media began telling mainstream America that in order to ensure that the US will remain capable of dominating the other countries on this planet, there's going to have to be an aggressive campaign to re-inflame the Cold War with the goal of disrupting and undermining China and its allies.
That would be a very different narrative with a very different effect, wouldn't it? But that's exactly what's going on here, and if the US power establishment and its propaganda machine were in the business of telling people the truth, that's precisely what they'd say.
It's not a secret that China has been working to surpass the United States as the world's leading superpower as quickly as possible. Hell, Xi Jinping flat-out said so during a three and a half hour address last October, and many experts think it might happen a lot sooner than Xi's 30-year deadline. An editorial from China's state press agency about the Davos World Economic Forum asserts that the time has come for the world to choose between the “Xi-style collaborative approach” and Trump's “self-centred America First policy (which) has led his country away from multiple multilateral pacts and infused anxiety into both allies and the broader world”. China has been collaborating with Russia to end the hegemony of the US dollar, to shore up control of the Arctic as new resources become available, and just generally build up its own power and influence instead of working to remain in Washington's good graces as most western nations have chosen to do.
Preventing this is the single most important goal of the US power establishment, not just its elected government but the unelected plutocrats, defense and intelligence agencies which control the nation's affairs behind the scenes. This agenda is so important that in a letter to his successor the outgoing President Barack Obama made the "indispensable" nature of American planetary leadership his sole concrete piece of advice, and pro-establishment influence firms like Project for a New American Century have made preventing the rise of a rival superpower their stated primary goal.
This is what Russiagate is ultimately about. Democrats think it's about impeaching Trump and protecting the world from a nigh-omnipotent supervillain in Vladimir Putin, Trump's supporters think it's a "deep state coup" to try and oust their president, but in reality this has nothing to do with Trump, and ultimately not a whole lot to do with Russia either. When all is said and done, Russiagate is about China.
In an essay titled "Russia-China Tandem Changes the World", US-Russia relations analyst Gilbert Doctorow explains how the surging economic power China depends upon Russia's willingness to go head-to-head with America and its extensive experience with US attempts to undermine the USSR during the Cold War. Alone both nations are very vulnerable, but together their strengths are complimentary in a way that poses a direct threat to America's self-appointed role as world leader.
"Russia is essential to China because of Moscow’s long experience managing global relations going back to the period of the Cold War and because of its willingness and ability today to stand up directly to the American hegemon," writes Doctorow, "whereas China, with its heavy dependence on its vast exports to the U.S., cannot do so without endangering vital interests. Moreover, since the Western establishment sees China as the long-term challenge to its supremacy, it is best for Beijing to exercise its influence through another power, which today is Russia."
So the strategic value of taking Russia out of the equation is clear, and that's exactly what the US power establishment is attempting to do. California Representative Eric Swalwell, one of the lead congressional promoters of both anti-Russia sentiment and the Trump-Russia "collusion" narrative, admitted last year that he'd like to see tougher sanctions stacked up until they "isolate Russia from the rest of the world" after much badgering from Fox's Tucker Carlson about his incendiary claims that the alleged cyberattacks constituted an "act of war". It is worth noting here that despite Swalwell's repeated hysterical claims about Trump and Russia, he recently voted to renew the treasonous Kremlin-colluding president's godlike surveillance powers anyway.
Establishment muppets like Swalwell and the unelected elites who own them don't care about Trump, they care about crippling China's right arm Russia so that they can set about sabotaging the agendas of a potential rival superpower unimpeded by the skilful opposition of a nuclear superpower. But, getting back to the hypothetical situation I asked you to envision earlier, they can't just come right out and say that.
They can't. The US oligarchs, the oligarch-owned media outlets, and the oligarch-aligned intelligence/defense agencies can't just come right out and say "Hey America, we need to ensure our power structures remain unrivalled for the foreseeable future, so we're going to have to try and shut down Russia's influence using ever-tightening economic sanctions, NATO expansionism, proxy wars and troops along Russia's border to squeeze them until they lose the capacity to interfere with our ability to crush China. We'll also need a vastly inflated military budget to help facilitate our geopolitical agendas and prepare for a possible world war, please." A few Americans might consent to it, but by and large the US public would rather see those resources spent on making their lives better.
Just as importantly, the rest of the world would recoil in revulsion.
So they lie. They use America's deliberately constructed partisan enmity and culture wars to fan the flames of mass hysteria about a new president so that enough Americans will permit continuous escalations with Russia under the mistaken impression that they are helping to resist Trump. They think they're lying to you for your own good, because you can't understand how important it is that they do what they're trying to do. That's why there are so many gaping plot holes and none of this ever quite adds up; they're lying to you like a parent telling a child he needs to eat his broccoli if he doesn't want a lump of coal for Christmas. Except instead of eating broccoli it's consenting to dangerous escalations and military expansionism, and instead of a parent it's a class of elitist sociopaths, and you're always going to get coal.
And sure, an argument can be made that the world is better off under the watchful domination of the US power establishment than it would be with multipolar power arrangements, and I encounter many establishment loyalists who make precisely that argument. Personally I would argue that the death, destruction and mayhem caused by the intrinsically evil things the US establishment must do in order to maintain dominance completely invalidate that argument, but it's a debate that people deserve to have, and they can't have it when they're being lied to about what's really going on.
Insist on the truth. Keep pushing back against this pernicious psyop. Spread the word.
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This is an incredibly informative post, from someone that clearly understands the nested nature of propaganda, lies, and social control mechanisms that are used to drive us all into the perceptual corrals that keep us delivering our substance and value to our masters.
If there is any shortcoming in this analysis, it is the failure to recognize that there is no monolithic elite that work together like a well-oiled machine to disenfranchise us to share the wealth in some sort of communist paradise.
While they have common interests, essentially exerting control over the masses and profiting therefrom, it is conducted in a setting of rabid internecine conflict, marked by savage murder, and ruthless theft from one another.
Consider the recent killing of the Getty heir by anal trauma. This is not a group of comrades, but gangs of competing thugs. When they can seize assets from another player, without jeapordizing either themselves, or the game as a whole, such seizures are conducted with the most venal violence and acquisitiveness.
We are told by their lapdog liars, the media, that Seth Rich died in a botched robbery, and that Getty died from an ulcer. Rich was assassinated for leaking the DNC emails, and Getty was anally raped to death.
China isn't the enemy of the deep state. It is the goal.
There are nationalistic power bases that cannot profit from the China Social Credit System being globally promulgated, and these parties oppose that particular means of centralizing power, but they do not oppose centralizing power, and aren't a majority, or even a significant percentage of the might in play.
Any given policy or endeavor will be opposed by those whose power base is threatened thereby, as Shell will oppose Chevron. Both will completely support the dominance of petroleum based power production, and work together in lockstep for that purpose, but will adamantly oppose each other for control of that petroleum.
This same paradigm is reflected globally, in every level and regional contest for power.
Dogs will work together to bring down a deer, and then fight tooth and nail over the carcass.
That's the best description of politics I can offer.
Your words are delicious. I concur.
US corporate media aren't a failure - they are a huge success. Their job assigned to them by huge financial, military and resource extraction interests is to manufacture consent for bailouts to large banks, imperialist wars and to the aggressive seizure of foreign oil reserves to be exploited by US multinationals.
They always achieve these aims.
Great article @caitlinjohnstone!
I love this description:
I'm not sure why people have slept on John Piger's China containment theory but it's really right on the mark, imho.
upvoted and resteemed!
Eric Garland is always spreading unsubstantiated nonsense on Twitter about the heroic whistleblower Chelsea Manning's supposed ties to Russia. He can go fuck himself.
Where would we have been without John Pilger?
I disagree, pretty seriously with any viewpoint that is not alarmed about Russia's obvious deep integration with the Trump organization, campaign, and Trump's personal finances.
Anyone who overlooks these things, i.e. that our president owes shit tons of money to these Russian oligarchs, loses my credibility immediately.
You are not allowed to have secret debts to foreign powers as even an fbi agent or normal government contractor. You can't have gambling debts to get those jobs, much less have giant real estate loans to frickin alfabank and blackrock, two of the most mafioso entities on the planet.
What is going on is that the russian influence in the white house is conflicting with the israeli's outright treacherous purchasing and control in full psy-op fashion of the congress and media.
So the oval office is a sort of chess game for whose interests will be most served by Trump, who himself is a feather in a suit, blowing whicher direction will get him the money that might get him out of debt(i.e. charging the u.s. government for ridiculous things like golf cars and 24 million dollar refrigerators, to be installed probably by Putin's personal handymen, comprimising the security of the white house and air force one to the point any sane future president would have to scrap both.
Israel wants to expand, as always. China has now through subtle means said that if Israel invades syria that they would have to fight china too, that's why for now Saudi Arabia is working at the proxy war in Yemen to spread Iran's front.
The lines, at least finally, are more clearly drawn.
But ignoring that Trump is a russian traitor, and an israeli traitor, I cannot do with my intelletual self respect intact.
With this knowledge of course, Trump is guilty of treason and should not just be impeached, but at least imprisoned for a long time, with most of the republican party, for whom a post like this is ultimately shilling whether you know it or not.
If you really want something that will curl your toes... review the following https://betterdwelling.com/operation-sidewinder-csis-rcmp/ -- I have not yet figured out how to convert the document to text so it can be uploaded to the blockchain -- but it would be a good idea to grab this document... while it's still online. It's a report that was whitewashed by the Canadian Government officials about how China had infiltrated every level of Government within Canada -- according to CSIS work on the file. This report was issued in 1997 -- So it's been 20 years and the pernicious effect of China's corrupting influence on our democracy is 1000 times worse today. Journalists will not cover this story, as some who have looked into it have ended up threatened. This is a vital bit of research for those who have come to the conclusions you have about China-US geopolitical situation.
In the last few days, we've seen a noticeable increase in anti-Pakistan rhetoric. Is Pakistan about to pay the price for siding with Russia and China?
I like your posts
I am listening to your latest podcast right now and heard you were on here! I am so happy. I just got off twitter at the beginning of the year, no FB for a long time, so I have to go to medium to get your articles. I don't like that platform either, so I'm thrilled you are here!
You're the best, Caitlin. Resteemed. I discovered you through your friend who Lee Camp tweeted about otherwise, don't know how lucky I'd be finding you.
wow!!!!! that's really nice po[email protected] johnstone..i like your post thanks for share the post
Hmm, could Russiagate in fact be about nothing other than the USSA?
Great articles. Thank you.
Another absolutely brilliant article @caitlinjohnstone and thank you so much for citing my work, that is really kind of you. Looks like you're going well on Steemit congratulations!!!
wow!!!! what a nice post @caitlinjohnstone for Russiagate Isn't About Trump, And It Isn't Even Ultimately About Russia thanks for share the post
Max Blumenthal tweeted @ 26 Jan 2018 - 22:22 UTC
Chris Hayes tweeted @ 25 Jan 2018 - 22:20 UTC
Max Blumenthal tweeted @ 26 Jan 2018 - 22:16 UTC
Eric Garland tweeted @ 25 Jan 2018 - 21:13 UTC
Disclaimer: I am just a bot trying to be helpful.
Nice post. I've followed you here from fb (although suzi3d also influenced the decision) since I have been reading your posts there since last fall. We'll see where this goes . . . Just something to think about . . . What I think needs to be expanded upon is the actual nature of this oligarchy/kleptocracy that we are dealing with . . . what is specific about it, what is specific about the context/contingencies in which it has developed . . . ?
The conclusion I have come to is this: American intelligence agencies may in the course of their operations tell a lie (untruth) or they may tell a truth. Which they do is totally dependent on what they want to accomplish. To them, either is correct. They are equal. Somehow I always see the comment that they are (lying) and it always seems like an attempt to shame them back to some moral grounding. Impossible, they have no moral grounding. The basis of their operations is results, victory. Why are these agencies always seen as moral and (good) at some base level and treated like a wayward son. I am not trying to excuse them. I just want to draw a distinction between a moral society with a set of laws and a society (agencies) which is amoral, “having no moral standards, restraints, or principles; unaware of or indifferent to questions of right or wrong” who would very much like to be above and apart from the laws governing our society. If perhaps we viewed them for what they are we would address the issues surrounding them differently. Perhaps we would analyze how and why this is the case rather than treating the symptoms - Lying. My quick analysis: These are agencies tasked with “law enforcement”. Laws are formed from moral and just assumptions. Morality as a component of law introduces a good vs. evil dynamic. Good vs. Evil lends a conscious and subconscious association to conflict. Conflict leads to war. War has to rules or (laws) just win for goodness sake. See how easy it is to sucked in. How to put a stop on that whirling little tornado in a human society where morality is in perspective and dialog is chaotic and biased. First I believe we need to work on grounding and sustaining logical and reasonable dialog. Dialog that produces a product that is not perishable.
You’ve gotten yourself into a false dichotomy here, which started, by my reckoning, when you bought into this “Russia is China’s right arm” business. You really need to check with the left on this one, to see whether it knows what the right is doing. China and Russia have been civilizationally at odds for millennia. That’s not going to change overnight. Russia is busy shoring up Siberia against an onslaught of Chinese settlers. Russia goes toe-to-toe with China daily over influence in the former CIS countries, and elsewhere. Russia and China may strategically cooperate on some matters concerning the U.S., but it is a very tenuous cooperation, as the Russians have been burned and betrayed on this before, and are not keen to be seen as having been fooled twice.
Remember it was Nixon who stretched out a tricky appendage to China, both to shore up domestic sentiment and to burn Russia. And he didn’t do it by having the State Department and other relevant branches of government complete scholarly evaluations and weigh in on possible ramifications. He sent in Kissinger, then his head of National Security (not his Secretary of State, Rodgers, who was kept in the dark about this) to accomplish through skullduggery what should have been a broadly considered matter of public policy.
Henry Kissinger happily sold U.S. interests down the grand canal, and every other administration has followed suit (with some hemming and hawing). Clinton’s administration might have been the most egregious, with his allowing China to join the WTO without proper safeguards in place — essentially gutting the trade structure then in place — and certifying China as a place where working standards, environmental practices, and other aspects of human and labor rights were “essentially equivalent” to the U.S., under the ostensible premise that, as China’s market economy expanded, it would automatically become more democratic. That hasn’t happened, and China has grown more draconian with the surgical precision afforded by enhanced computerization and expanded technical sophistication.
Clinton welcomed partnership between Walmart and the guys on the other side of the Great Wall. China gained unheard of access to U.S. markets, on par with Japan, along with exchange rates fixed to be as favorable. The theory justifying this might have been that Global Corporatist Financiers would emerge mega-profitable, while the stuff just somehow got made and American coped with the results. Whatever the rationale, Clinton’s campaign was caught with their hand in the Lippo Corporation cookie jar — the same Chinese firm that increased Senate House Leader McConnell’s wealth from one to eight million in the last seven years. Contrary to your assertion that America has tried to suppress China’s rise, they’ve done very much to enable it. In addition to rescinding, curtailing, or never initiating the myriad of trade inducements, market access, and technology transfers proffered; the U.S. could have objected to China building military installations throughout the South China sea, but chose instead to look the other way. Now, as a fait accompli there’s little they can do about it other than outright war.
If the U.S. were genuinely concerned about curtailing China’s rabid territorial expansionism; restraining Beijing’s culturally genocidal policies toward Tibetans, Uyghurs, and Mongolians; protesting internet censorship; and a myriad of human rights, environmental, and other abuses, the U.S. would partner with Russia. On the contrary, the Russophobia campaign is, if anything, an indication that the Globalist Neoliberal elites who backed Mrs. Clinton see a strong role for China as partners in the exploitation and immiseration of the masses. They seem to believe they can reign in the CCP’s hancentrism and chauvinism.
The reasons for Russia being targeted for estrangement could be considered convoluted in a way different way from the one you suggest. Partly, it’s domestic reasons. Partly, it’s convenient. Americans have been conditioned for several generations to fear and loathe Russia. Power struggles within the government, between government factions, have been won by playing the Russia card.
Thinking that concern about Chinese totalitarianism is limited to a binary axis where U.S. planetary leadership is the only factor on the other side does a great disservice to the cultures, nations, and peoples in China’s path who are concerned that their fates will not mirror those of the Tibetans, Uyghurs and Mongols who got caught within China’s ever-expanding boundaries. Keeping Russia and America at loggerheads advances the Chinese cause. Russia is not China’s right arm and would blanch at the suggestion.
There’s something deeply wrong with the way America is projecting foreign power throughout the world (albeit for a different set of reasons in disparate regions), and something deeply wrong about the way U.S. citizens are being manipulated domestically. There’s something deeply wrong about China’s foreign power projection and domestic manipulations as well. This combination of Wrong + Wrong does not add up as you suggest.