"The truth is, Russia has no more attacked American democracy than did the North Vietnamese at the Bay of Tonkin or the Spaniards on the Battleship Maine in 1898.
More importantly, no one else in the world thinks Russia is a serious threat – except the bureaucrats of NATO who make a living concocting such threats."
David Stockman was a two-term Congressman from Michigan. He was also Ronald Reagan's Budget Director. After leaving the White House, Stockman had a 20-year career on Wall Street.
This is an excerpt from a longer article entitled: Derangement and Danger on the Potomac
The American people are being brought to ruin by three institutions that are mortal threats to liberty and prosperity.
To wit, the Federal Reserve, the military/industrial/surveillance complex and a sinecured Congress that is burying unborn generations in debt – even as it sanctimoniously presumes that it is doing god’s work by servicing the beltway racketeers who keep it perpetually in office.
On the latter score, it is worth reminding once again. An incumbent House member standing for reelection has a smaller chance of losing his seat than did a Politburo member during the heyday of the postwar Soviet Union.
So it is no wonder that the Congress is filled by Warfare State lifers like Senator John McCain. This senile old fool appears to believe that he is some kind of latter day proconsul of the American Empire – who struts around Washington spreading bellicose lies and flagrant exaggerations about Washington’s self-created enemies.
So doing, McCain helps to keep the Imperial City in thrall to the defense contractors and military and intelligence bureaucracies that he champions out of sheer will to power and ornery bloodlust.
Not surprisingly, therefore, McCain was one of the principal authors and movers behind yesterday’s latest spasm of anti-Russia hysteria. The bill would impose new sanctions against Russia “in response to the violation of the territorial integrity of the Ukraine and Crimea, its brazen cyber-attacks and interference in elections, and its continuing aggression in Syria,” according to the deal’s sponsors.
Everyone of these assertions are blatant lies, of course. Russia is in Syria at the behest of its constitutionally established government; it is the CIA and its stooges among the Persian Gulf states which provides arms and billions to the head-chopping jihadist radicals, who are the real aggressors in what is now a desolate land of ruin and refugees.
Likewise, it was Washington’s aggression – via funding and political support – in February 2014 that led to a coup on the streets of Kiev and the overthrow of its honestly elected President. The latter made the "mistake" of spurning NATO and the EU in favor of a more palatable economic deal with Moscow – its historic suzerain.
Moreover, it was the virulent anti-Russian neo-Nazi putsch – handpicked by the US Ambassador to Ukraine – that led to insurrection against the Kiev regime in the historically Russian-speaking Donbas and Crimea regions; and then to the 90% referendum vote of the latter to rejoin Russia, which it had been an integral part of for more than 160 years after 1783.
As for Russian "interference" in the 2016 elections in America – the very idea of it is ludicrous. The overwhelming source of "influence" in the American election process is the respective political parties, the legions of self-interested lobbies and PACs and the mainstream media and cable channels, which are overwhelmingly and irrationally anti-Putin.
So where did this nefarious "influencing" come from? The RT television network?
Puleese! Your editor can attest to having appeared on that network several times and to have attacked with some vigor the three rotten American institutions mentioned above – the Fed, the military/industrial/surveillance complex and the Congress.
But never once did we get any instructions from the Russians on the formulation of our broadsides. We thunk ’em up all on our own!
More importantly, we never heard from a single American viewer, either. Perhaps that’s because RT apparently has fewer than a million viewers per day in the US.
So all the brouhaha is apparently about two-bit cyber-hacking that may or may not be the work of Russian State actors.
But so what? There exists a massive $200 billion per year Internet security business in the world because by its very nature the worldwide web begets legions of hackers, thieves and malicious trolls.
These hacking operations are overwhelmingly conducted privately for profit and malice, but there is one giant state actor that does operate for the purpose of political influence and meddling in the affairs of nearly every nation on earth.
We are talking about the massive multi-billion hacking operation at National Security Agency (NSA) called Tailored Access Operations (TAO). The latter spends billions not only trolling every agency and bureau of the Russian Government – and the French government and Canadian government, too, among others – but also engages in worldwide cyber-false flag operations designed to lay down the "footprint" of Russian and others foreign agencies on top of Washington’s own skull-duggery.
And that’s just NSA. The CIA has a counterpart operation in the same kind of worldwide hacking business, and these may only be the tip of the iceberg. After all, the total acknowledged budget of the 17-agency "Intelligence Community" (IC) is upwards of $75 billion or nearly 50% more than Russia’s entire military budget including aircraft fuel, soldiers pay and spare boots.
Needless to say, the self-appointed imperial proconsuls’ like McCain never stop to ask whether or not Washington’s massive cyber warfare operations might be expected to generate counteractions from those targeted as Washington’s enemies or, more importantly, something even more insidious.
That is, McCain and in his Capitol Hill war party do not even know for sure whether "fancy bear" and the other code-named Russian state malefactors constantly bandied about in the mainstream media are really anything more than a couple of fat guys siting at desks at NSA headquarters in Ft. Meade propagating false-flag cyber-attacks.
In any event, Senator McCain, was delighted with yesterday’s handiwork. The amendment allows:
"broad new sanctions on key sectors of Russia’s economy, including mining, metals, shipping and railways” and authorizes “robust assistance to strengthen democratic institutions and counter disinformation across Central and Eastern European countries that are vulnerable to Russian aggression and interference.”
Likewise, these new sanctions would be imposed on “corrupt Russian actors” and those “involved in serious human rights abuses". They would also target those who supply weapons to the Syrian government or who work with the Russian defense industry, as well as “those conducting malicious cyber activity on behalf of the Russian government” and “those involved in corrupt privatization of state-owned assets.”
In short, yesterday afternoon the US Senate just plain went nuts attacking a largely nonexistent threat emanating from a pipsqueak nation that has a GDP equal to only 7% of that of the US and no capacity whatsoever – other than one smoke-belching 40-year old aircraft carrier and a fleet rowboats – to attack the shores of New Jersey or any other place in the USA.
But those realities did not stop McCain from gassing effusively about his own dangerous handiwork:
“We must take our own side in this fight. Not as Republicans, not as Democrats, but as Americans,” said Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) before the vote. “It’s time to respond to Russia’s attack on American democracy with strength, with resolve, with common purpose, and with action.”
The truth is, Russia has no more attacked American democracy than did the North Vietnamese at the Bay of Tonkin or the Spaniards on the Battleship Maine in 1898.
More importantly, no one else in the world thinks Russia is a serious threat – except the bureaucrats of NATO who make a living concocting such threats; and some itinerant nationalist politicians in Eastern Europe who are never loathe to play the Russian card in their quest for power and attention.
Even the Donald’s own Secretary of State had this to say earlier in the week during his congressional testimony:
“I have yet to have a bilateral, one-on-one, a poolside conversation with a single counterpart in any country: in Europe, Middle East, even South-East Asia, that has not said to me: please, address your relationship with Russia, it has to be improved,” Tillerson said on Tuesday, testifying before the Senate appropriations subcommittee about the proposed State Department budget.
Folks, the point is quite simple. Unless Washington’s bloated and wasteful $700 billion national security budget is pared back drastically, there is not a snowball’s chance in the hot place of reestablishing fiscal discipline. As long the GOP hawks and pro-war Dems are pumping massive funding into the Deep End of the Swamp, the will be no cuts in domestic appropriations and no entitlement reforms, either.
Indeed, ever since Ronald Reagan’s mild assault on the Welfare State was decisively turned back on Capitol Hill in the spring of 1981, the "guns and butter coalition" has ruled the roost. And that insidious coalition has taken the national debt from $1 trillion to $20 trillion along the way – even has it has locked in an automatic growth to $30 trillion or 140% of GDP by 2027.
That is also why the Deep State and Washington’s bipartisan War Party will not desist until they have removed the Donald from office. And that’s for the unspeakable sin of suggesting that rapprochement with the Russians and Putin makes more sense than the path to war and fiscal bankruptcy that is underway today.
Self-evidently, hell hath no fury like the prospect for world peace and the dismantlement of Imperial Washington’s destructive global empire. A tiny step in that direction was all that General Mike Flynn undertook during his infamous calls with the Russian Ambassador in late December – -a welcome initiative for which he was unceremoniously fired and is now under unrelenting prosecution.
But it gets worse. Based on new leaks to the Washington Post it is now clear that the Deep State has used the Flynn Affair and the Donald’s naïve request to former FBI director Comey to "go easy" on Flynn as a pretext for obstruction of justice charges against the President himself:
The special counsel overseeing the investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 election is interviewing senior intelligence officials as part of a widening probe that now includes an examination of whether President Trump attempted to obstruct justice, officials said.
The move by Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III to investigate Trump’s own conduct marks a major turning point in the nearly year-old FBI investigation, which until recently focused on Russian meddling during the presidential campaign and on whether there was any coordination between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. Investigators have also been looking for any evidence of possible financial crimes among Trump associates, officials said.
In this context, it is truly amazing that the "markets" have not yet woken from their stupor. The drive to unseat the Donald will leave the Imperial City in ungoverned chaos during the interim – meaning an unending crisis over debt ceilings, continuing resolutions and government shutdowns.
Stockman is the author of three books, The Triumph of Politics: Why the Reagan Revolution Failed, The Great Deformation: The Corruption of Capitalism in America and TRUMPED! A Nation on the Brink of Ruin… And How to Bring It Back. He also is founder of David Stockman’s Contra Corner and David Stockman’s Bubble Finance Trader.