Seeing Truth through Smoke- Disinformation Is Hazardous to Our Heads!

Thank You For Not Lying!

Dr. Alina Polyakova, the David M. Rubenstein Fellow for Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institution, is one of the world’s foremost experts on fake news and Russian disinformation. She had a brilliant idea the other day.

In the Western world, we’ve been playing catchup with the Russians for years, trying to find a way to counter the pesky disinformation tactics they’ve become famous for.

She came up with something just as simple as it is profound- to look for an analogous solution, based on the American anti-smoking campaign that started in 1964. These two completely unrelated subjects have some amazing similarities.

In the case of whether or not it’s a good idea to let the Russians loose like attic-bound raccoons in our cyber-grid, spreading disinformation and malware around like scat, the why-nots are obvious, just like with smoking. A rational person has no cause to misunderstand why this would be bad.

What we want to examine are the actual techniques used by the Surgeon General and others to paint cigarettes in the light they deserve- as filthy, smelly, cancerous sticks of death you’ve got to pay for.

That’s the way to go here.

First off, disinformation is dangerous. It leads to a gross devaluation of truth and a breakdown in the entire moral order. Though zany Russian hacker disinformation combos of race-baiting and coordinated cyber-lying may seem silly and random one at a time, they add up.

Ladislav Bittman, the former Communist Czechoslovak deputy chief of the disinformation department, compared the effects of disinformation to a slow acting poison, saying “One drop may not be a problem, but together a dose could be fatal.”

The same is true of nicotine, of course. And eventually, America caught on. But for years, the tobacco companies managed to convince Americans that the opposite was true. They did it with a carefully calculated and billion-dollar effort, based on pseudoscience, lies, and big advertising. It was exactly like what the Russians are doing now.

This is a significant concept for a few reasons. First, it’s always elegant when you can fit an old key in a new lock. She went rifling through the old Public Threat or Menace manual, found a campaign in the past that gave her precedent, and voila.

This is conduct to be emulated as much as possible, especially as that particular connection isn’t easy to see. Well done, Doctor!

Returning to our topic, people have been thinking this whole time that these Russian cybercrimes are all really stylish, powerful, interesting things to do. They think Russian hackers, and they picture this:

Thank You For Not Lying!
Thank You For Not Lying!

What they should be picturing, is this:

Mucky! Gives you cancer!
Disinformation gives you brain cancer!

Think back. When your mother first told you not to smoke cigarettes, did she give you any pamphlets on the subject? Did she cite scholarly sources to you? Or did she just do like mine did, and shout “No! Mucky! Gives you cancer!”

I got the point. Looked it up later.

This thing with the Russian disinformation is exactly the same. It is so obviously bad for America that the case cannot be overstated, and yet they are not listening. The whole thing has had to be completely infanticized, and it’s us who’s changing the diapers.

Inside those disinformation diapers are the images we need to show people.

Disinformation is gross. It’s like being smelly. Telling lots of lies is for the kid nobody wants to sit next to. That’s probably why he became a hacker, the poor schmoe- Glad I’m not that guy!

Disinformation is smoggy. It makes it hard to see, hard to breathe.

The people under its influence get bewildered and don’t know what is what anymore. They just know that they are angry and they want to hit out at something, like Trump is provoking his followers into doing to CNN reporters.

That’s why watching Fox News these days make people behave like they’ve been doing bathtub crank. There’s no bathtub-crank chic. Nobody is remaking Trainspotting, over bathtub crank.

Smoggy. Wasteful. Smelly. Stupid. Gross. These are the reasons people quit smoking. Once smokers realized that nobody was looking at them and seeing the Marlboro Man, they got red in the face and cut it out, en masse.

This will be the case with fake news trolls eventually also.

Sitting around inside all day plunking on a keyboard and trolling is not what healthy adults, ones with actual influence in life, tend to want to do. Many studies have shown this to be the case.

Recently researchers at Australia’s Federation University used an online questionnaire to look closely at the psychology of those who engage in online trolling.

Unsurprisingly, the researchers found that trolls tend to show higher levels of trait psychopathy and sadism.

Trolls also tend to be poor, unfit, unkempt, unhappy. This is not what you want to do. You’re acting out all this harm on yourself for a cheap thrill.

You might as well start smoking.

The modern-day, right-wing Cold Warrior.
The modern-day, right-wing Cold Warrior.

Going forward, the message we have got to get across is a very simple one.

Spreading disinformation and sowing dissent around in the form of fake news is a lousy, negative activity.

It isn’t writing, or programming, or art.

It destroys and does not create.

It does everyone in the world a huge disservice by destabilizing their nations and economies.

It’s gross, it’s stupid and it’s unhealthy. There’s nothing good about it. Cut it out.

The Failure of Socialism- Bernie’s Legacy.

The Failure of Socialism- Bernie's Legacy.

Contrary to the ongoing narrative regarding the politics of our millennial generation in the media, not all millennials are in for socialism, or Bernie Sanders. Most of us are not. That narrative might have had some truth to it, once upon a time, but not anymore. Millennials have learned.

Hard and painful experience has taught us not to invest in a gambler, or his roulette table.

Since the upset victory of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez over New York Democrat Joe Crowley last month, there has been a lot of talk about this, and most of it has revolved around the question of socialism. The concept has come to be notoriously misunderstood, and most of the reason why is thanks to Bernie Sanders.

The prime minister of Denmark said it best when he pointed out that Bernie did not understand socialism in the context of Denmark; he could have added any other context and been equally right. Bernie didn’t understand socialism at all.

The Nordic countries have excellent social services, which to be fair were adapted from socialist theory. Governmental regulation and social work are both taken seriously there. But their economies are free-market, which means that they are capitalist. Completely capitalist.

The only countries that can legitimately lay claim to being socialist are those countries that have fully planned, one-size-fits-all, Big-Brother-is-watching style economies. Like Venezuela.

The mixup comes from a confusion over two terms, Social Democracy and Democratic Socialism. They sound a lot alike, but that is where the similarity dies.

Tempering the harshness of laissez-faire capitalism has been a good thing for the world, and is known as Social Democracy. Every civilized country, including the United States and Sweden, uses a type of social democracy to govern its people.

Bernie switched around the order of the words and called it Democratic Socialism. No one knows why Sanders insists on using that term, but in our opinion, it’s because he enjoys getting the attention that comes with being contrary and starting arguments all the time.

People have been going around repeating it ever since he first began, but in fact, the phrase doesn’t even have a precise meaning. Thirty seconds worth of using Google is enough to tell you that.

Socialism has been floating around for 188 years, since 1830, and not once in that time has it led to a successful society. Aspects of it have been implemented in normal societies and its influence in putting the social welfare of workers on the agenda is important.

As an overall idea, though, it has been a disaster, as nearly every country to have tried it has ended up with the goose-step and the concentration camp.

Back when it was just an archaic, discredited system, I thought it was kind of neat. I used to think about it while jogging. It was kind of like a Sudoku puzzle for me.

Once people started to take it seriously again, though, I stopped musing and started figuring out how to explain the inescapable truth- that socialism is a disaster, completely incompatible with human freedom and dignity.

Why can’t we learn from all the times it failed? All the horrible revolutions that produced even worse regimes? The thousands who had to die because of someone who wanted to apply ideas from a political theory to the real world?

Mark Perry, the creator of the popular economics blog Carpe Diem, referred to socialism in 1995 as “The Big Lie of the 20th century”. He reported in 2016 that he was shocked at its resurgence, such a short time after the fall of the Soviet Union, the so-called “Worker’s Paradise”.

“I perhaps assumed the failures of socialism were so apparent and obvious it would be forever considered only as a discredited system of the past, and never as a viable option going forward into the future!”

“Given the recent resurgence of socialism, especially as it is now being embraced by young Americans, I thought it might be a good time to review why socialism: a) failed in the 20th century, b) is failing in the 21st century (e.g. Venezuela, see photo above), and c) will always fail. And that’s because it’s a flawed system based on completely faulty principles that aren’t consistent with human behavior and can’t nurture the human spirit.”

This has always been the case. People are people. And while the socialists do join us in believing society can do better in many areas than it is doing now, the transcendental human change required as a prerequisite for socialism shows no sign of taking place next week.

Socialism does not mean Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders. It only begins there. It ends with Hitler and Stalin. Going forward, we’ve got to raise awareness about this until people understand. Socialism is a universal failure.

Thebalance.com did a piece called “Socialism and its Characteristics”, telling us that there are eight types of socialism, but really, the distinctions are semantical. There is only one type of socialism. The evil kind.

Tad Devine Of Sanders Campaign Spotted In Photo With Key Manafort Aide.

Top consultant to the Bernie Sanders 2016 presidential campaign Tad Devine, hanging out with Paul Manafort and Konstatin Kilimnik.

Tad Devine, a former senior advisor to the Bernie Sanders 2016 campaign, was in the news recently for the first time in a while. He was spotted in an old 2006 photograph enjoying himself with his then-coworker Konstantin Kilimnik.

In the picture, Kilimnik, a Ukrainian native, is pictured in an office setting with Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort and other key players in Manafort’s consulting firm at the time. One of those players was Tad Devine.

Kilimnik is known informally as “Manafort’s Manafort“, and has been a figure of interest in the Russia investigation from the start. He is believed to be back in Russia now, and he is considered to have strong ties to Russian intelligence.

Tad Devine is a figure of great interest in the Russiagate investigation, in our opinion. We’ve been expecting the special counsel assigned by the Justice Department to look into Russian meddling in our 2016 election cycle, Robert Mueller, to get around to him sooner or later.

If Manafort is the key to understanding exactly what the Russians were doing for Trump, Kilimnik is the key to understanding what Manafort did for the Russians. Devine is the key to what the Russians were doing for Bernie. He is by far the most likely connection between the Russians and the Sanders campaign.

Although it has been very hard for Sanders followers to face this, it is our opinion that Devine too was working with the Russians and that Sanders most likely knew he was getting help from Russians to defeat Hillary Clinton. That help came in some very strange ways.

By the time the Fourth of July rolled around in 2016, the Federal Election Commission repeatedly contacted the Sanders campaign with warnings that hundreds of his donors exceeded the $2,700 contribution limit, and that hundreds more may have been foreign nationals illegally giving Sanders money.

One of the letters they wrote him flagged more than 1,500 questionable donors. Soon after, Tad Devine was paid almost a million dollars in one month by the Bernie Sanders campaign.

Devine has known Manafort and Kilimnik for many years. He was Manafort’s right-hand man in Ukraine right alongside Kilimnik, at a time when all three were the property of Viktor Yanukovych, the former President of Ukraine, whom in turn was the property of Putin. They were over there fixing elections for him.

More than a decade before Russia was accused of surreptitiously trying to tilt the presidential election toward Trump, the records show that Manafort, Devine, and Kilimnik were all encouraging Russia to hone its efforts to influence global politics. They were busy developing techniques they might use to help that process along.

They used these techniques to fix the 2004 Ukranian elections on behalf of Yanukovych, but they were so blatant in their corruption that the Orange Revolution began and overturned the crooked and invalid vote. Yanukovych was defeated in the second vote.

None of this mattered to Tad Devine, however, who kept right along working for Yanukovych.

Even after his rival, Viktor Yushchenko, barely survived a poisoning attempt, obliging him to “campaign with his face half paralyzed and a catheter inserted into his back to inject painkillers into his spine”, Devine’s conscience did not serve him well as a guide. He decided to hang around.

We know that the Russians had been plotting to interfere for more than a year before the election took place. The Steele Dossier said the Russians have been cultivating Trump for at least five.

It is a very convenient coincidence that three of the top strategists who ran against Hillary Clinton has been doing Putin’s bidding in this capacity for longer than a decade.

Last Thursday afternoon there was a meeting of the Senate Intelligence Committee on the subject of Russian meddling into our 2016 election cycle.

During it, Retired Gen. Keith Alexander, former director of the National Security Agency, said that Russian operatives targeted both liberal and conservative voters in its disinformation campaigns during the 2016 election.

Democratic committee co-chair Sen. Mark Warner (VA) asked the panel if they had any doubt that Russia had attempted to interfere in some aspects of the 2016 election. Alexander said not only did he have no doubt, he could get very specific.

“Senator, I think what they were trying to do was drive a wedge within the Democratic Party between the Clinton group and the Sanders group,” said Alexander.

The supporters of Bernie Sanders were ruthlessly taken advantage of by the Russians, who used their genuine zeal and idealism as a hammer for smashing Democratic unity to bits. They were duped by false information that came from within the Kremlin itself, and thus unwittingly became Putin’s other puppets.

The man who was in the best position to act as a conduit between the headquarters of the Sanders campaign and the Kremlin was Tad Devine.

This picture provides a vivid reminder of what Democratic activists on Facebook and Twitter have been warning everyone about in the direst of terms since 2015, namely, that the Bernie Sanders campaign was just as lousy with Russian entanglements as the Trump campaign was.

Tad Devine may well hold the final piece of the puzzle as to how the whole rotten Russian conspiracy was put together. As Robert Mueller continues his journey to this discovery, our prayers will be with him.

Supreme Court Upholds Travel Ban, Ruptures American Dream.

And Justice For All.

The Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that Donald Trump acted lawfully when he called for the US to begin a policy of banning anyone, most notably persons of Islamic faith, who live in a certain seven countries last year and has upheld his right to continue doing so.

It’s a dark day for democracy worldwide. So the Republicans are actively celebrating.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) marked the Supreme Court ruling upholding President Trump’s travel ban by sharing a photo of himself with Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch.

McConnell’s campaign shared the image just minutes after the Supreme Court handed down its 5-4 ruling finding that the ban was constitutional. Gorsuch sided with the majority of justices upholding the ban.

Gorsuch is the guy Trump picked out to replace former Chief Justice Antonin Scalia after he died. He was brought in to rubber-stamp Trump’s decisions, and the whole Supreme Court has been corrupted because of it.

Scalia was a miserable excuse for a man who was against everything except the death penalty. Little kids in cages? Banning entire populations of countries from so much as visiting here? He’d have loved this.

This is why the Republicans were so desperate to block President Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland.

This is not the first time the Supreme Court has been wrong. The Dred Scott case comes to mind. That very same court once ruled that it was acceptable to treat humans as cattle and that Africans were only 3/5 human.

The first Muslim elected to Congress, Keith Ellison, predicted on Tuesday that the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold President Donald Trump’s travel ban will end up in “the dustbin of history”, and this is almost certainly true.

During the interim, however, this is undoubtedly a tremendous win for both Trump and future holders of the executive branch of our government, and such a win could not have come at a worse time. It is certain to embolden both a man and a party who already have no respect whatsoever for the spirit of the law.

Fox anchor Abby Huntsman recently referred to Trump as a dictator, live and on the air, as he strolled around with his good buddy Kim Jong Un of North Korea, another guy who has no respect for human rights.

“I called both President Trump and Kim Jon Un a dictator”, Huntsman explained.

It’s Jong Un, ma’am, but we’re not going to quibble.

At the time, we had this to say about the aforementioned exchange:

The incompetence of the enemy is no longer funny, and in our opinion, it’s probably being done on purpose. The lady tried walking the statement back with an apology but the seed has been planted just the same. They’re sending subtle, almost subliminal cues, and if we listen carefully, we too can catch their meaning.

If Trump is a dictator, and Fox reports on it as being normal, then all of their viewers necessarily believe that they are now subjects and that democracy has fallen and they’re fine with it.

Several weeks ago, the senior United States Senator from Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren, was asked by news host Rachel Maddow if she thinks America is still a country who respects the rule of law. Her response?

“I hope so.”

These words ring true with even greater solidity now that Trump’s anti-Muslim travel ban, which violates everything about the spirit of American law, has been confirmed by the Supreme Court.

Going forward, our focus will be the raising of awareness that Trump really is walking down an autocratic road, and that Trump and the Republicans have decided to make themselves into active enemies of the American dream.

In order to get people to realize it, we’ve got to make the case. We’ve got to gather and arrange the evidence and lay it on the American people’s doorstep. Republicans have dropped the ball by every conceivable metric. They have failed us at every turn. Let’s make sure they are properly credited.

Israel and the Iran Deal Pullout- 45th Upends Middle Eastern Balance.

Trump ruins all he touches.

Donald Trump has dealt a severe blow to the global order with his decision to pull the United States out of the Iranian nuclear agreement, causing a major rift with European allies and raising tensions in the Middle East.

Concerns are growing daily that the recent decisions made by Donald Trump will do much to destabilize a region that has long been unstable anyway.

Israel and Iran, both of whom seemed emboldened in the face of the new situation, fired missiles at each other Wednesday across the Syrian border. They followed up with bristling threats in a steep escalation of tensions.

In days, we’re set to make the Israeli embassy move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, something other US presidents have held off on, due to their reasonable belief that it would not help us keep the peace down there.

The merits and flaws of the embassy move itself are not our points of focus here. It’s a separate issue.

We’d like to give our best wishes to the people of Israel and Iran, and all other people, for that matter. If everybody there is cool with the embassy being in Jerusalem, then we’re happy for them. But that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Our issue is the haphazard and ill-thought out manner in which the current executive administration made this decision. There is no sign at all that Trump fully understands just how serious his decisions have become. He’s not a reality TV star anymore.

We have also seen this recently in North Korea, as Trump boasts of his ability to “bring the North Koreans to the table”. The North Koreans bring themselves to the table, every time they need a few bucks. But Trump doesn’t get it. He seems to really think that Kim is giving up his nukes.

Kim is never giving up his nukes, of course, and neither will anybody else who manages to get them, now that they’ve seen how Trump reneged on the nuclear arrangement we had with Iran. What a mess. It’s been quite a while since Iranians were burning American flags in the streets, and screaming “Death to America!” But they sure are doing it now.

Former Mideast negotiator Dennis Ross, speaking on NPR, said Trump’s decision to abrogate the terms of the nuclear deal is likely spurring Iran to show the US that it will pay a price, which most likely led to the missile launches Wednesday.

Dr. Alina Polyakova of the Atlantic Council gave a talk on the world order last year, in which she illustrated its fracture points, meaning geographical locations that constitute stressors upon it. Ukraine was one, Syria was another. We can now add Iran and Israel to that list.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Europe could no longer depend on the United States, comments that were echoed by French President Emmanuel Macron. Both leaders had made eleventh-hour trips to Washington to try and talk Trump out of the leaving the Iran pact.

“It’s another blow to the trans-Atlantic alliance,” said Sen. Bob Menendez(D-N.J.), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “The Europeans don’t know what to make anymore about how strong and how deep our alliance is with them. And we need them. We critically need them to achieve many of our goals, both as it relates to Iran and other things.”

Everyone in the world seems to get this, except for our 45th president.

Perhaps the situation was summed up worst by the National Security Council’s senior director for strategic assessment, Victoria Coates.

“I think it shows you that the President is absolutely doing the right thing here,” Coates said to reporters during a press conference held Friday. “It is not upsetting any regional balance; in fact, his leadership is what’s bringing the region together.”

Good thing Iran doesn’t have any nukes. In a few years, though, hold on to your hats.

U.S. And Allies Strike Syria- The Importance Of Law.

Respect the rule of law

Great Britain and France joined the United States in launching strikes against targets at three sites in Syria in the early hours of Saturday morning, the latest chapter in a years-long civil war that has drawn in half a dozen countries.

“I ordered the United States armed forces to launch precision strikes on targets associated with the chemical weapon capabilities of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad,” Trump said late Friday at the White House.
The strikes were launched at 9 p.m. ET. It was nighttime. Photos showed missiles streaking over the night sky in Syria, and witnesses told CNN they heard explosions in Damascus, as Trump was making his address.
The key thing to remember here is that in this case, it doesn’t matter who the President is. No U.S. President would have done anything else. Those strikes were earned, by the conduct of Assad. It’s important to realize we’ve got to stand by our nation, even if the current President isn’t competent.
From a military and strategic perspective, the strikes were actually not a bad idea. The situation demanded an unequivocal response. They sent a message that chemical attacks on human beings will not be tolerated in our world.
However, the rule of law dictates that the president take heed of the fact that Congress needed to authorize the strikes. The president does not have the power to do this on his own.
This whole thing is about the importance of law. Respecting it, obeying it, maintaining the spirit of it. That is why chemical weapons are not allowed in the first place.
That is why, when Assad gassed his own people the first time, in 2013, President Obama asked for a Congressional Resolution before hitting Syria.
Obama canceled his planned airstrikes in 2013 because congressional leaders refused to call a vote on it- all the while ripping him to shreds for not acting.
A few Republicans and more Democrats demanded Trump seek authority for future missile strikes from Congress, which under the Constitution and the 1973 War Powers Resolution is required to approve military action.
Unbelievably, Susan Sarandon tweeted an article about Hillary calling to bomb Syrian airfields. As if to say, “see? Hillary and Trump are the same!

A quick word as to the difference; HRC called for the air strike to prevent Assad from dropping sarin gas. Trump just randomly lashed out.

The lack of attention to law paid by our President cast a disturbing light on the incident; also disturbing is that Trump tweeted out that he was going to do it.

He, in essence, warned the Russians. France and the UK did not telegraph their intentions, for reasons of unsound military strategy.

A number of tweets popped up, saying Russian troops moved out before the strikes happened.
Why is a US president working with France and Britain, yet signaling to Russia our every move? One wonders what England has to say about that.

Putin clearly has something on Trump, and it’s hard to think that this can all go on right alongside everything else without the two incidents crossing paths.

 Mike Pompeo was boasting last week that in February, U.S. troops “killed a couple hundred Russians“, after a company of them crossed over the Euphrates, but it’s troubling they felt strong enough to try. Putin knows his economy is roughly that of Italy’s; it makes you wonder, what he thinks his leverage is worth.

Regarding Russia, the Pentagon’s fear, all along, has not been of their actual strength, but rather that Putin is getting old and sloppy and might be emboldened into making a fatal misstep.

And when he started threatening to attack our bases, if we did fire any missiles, it started reminding me of the Cuban Missile Crisis in the 60’s.

Millennials, this is how our parents must have felt, back in the day.

Going forward, we’ll be keeping a close eye on this and reporting on how it develops. For all those who live in dark times such as these, the task is given to spread light around all we can, and to bear witness for future generations. This is the news, after all, and will soon be part of history. These are our times, and this is our battle. We will raise awareness, and stay alert.

Blue Wave, Red Trough- World Comes Down on Trump and GOP.

#NeverTrump

Donald Trump and the Republican Party are both in full meltdown. Over the course of this chaotic week, we have seen just about everything go wrong for these people.

It was not even five full days ago that the FBI raided the office, home and hotel room of Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s personal attorney.

Since then, CNN Editor-at-Large Chris Cillizza has pointed out that there has been the staggering figure of twenty-six major headlines dealing with the Trump administration. With thanks to his assistance in compiling the list, we thought it was best left in the raw.

Monday:
Tuesday:
Wednesday:
Thursday:
Friday:

What a week.

For the purposes of posterity, every one of these things should be kept an eye on, so that we might raise awareness about them. But in the here and now, it’s only necessary to look at the general trend. You don’t have time to examine each drop of water in a flood, nor is that necessary, in order to understand that it’s time to seek high ground.

Nor have things been better for the other Republicans, which is good. Not in the history of America, have we seen a weaker and more morally bankrupt set of criminals stinking up the halls of our great government.

But at least one of them will soon be gone! Paul Ryan, the highest-ranking member of the House of Representatives is the latest to join a flood of Republicans to decide against seeking re-election. He wasn’t even the only one to do so that day.

GOP Representative Dennis Ross of Florida told his hometown paper that his fourth term in the House will be his last.

This is all very ominous, for the GOP. A Blue Wave, and a Red undertow.

In this world, there are few things certain, but one thing we can count on is being presented with bills to pay.

For Donald Trump and the GOP, the check has bounced.

As this was going to publishing, a determined Western coalition including the United States, Great Britain, and France launched strikes against targets at three sites in Syria in the early hours of Saturday morning, following a week of threats of retaliation for an alleged chemical weapons attack on civilians in the Damascus enclave of Douma.

The world is teetering on the brink of war, this morning, and the worst people in the country are in charge of running it.

Sleep well, America!

Syrian War Heats Up- Thanks, GOP, For Obstructing President Obama.

New chemical attacks cause new hostilities.

The Syrian Civil War has recently flared back up. A chemical attack in the suburb of Douma over the weekend killed at least 49 people. This has worsened relations between the United States and Russia, which are far from good already.

Assad’s government is a sham. It only exists because Putin has forces there propping it up. Even still, the Kremlin has rejected the conclusion that Syria’s military was behind the chemical attack, asserting that it was staged by militants to falsely blame the government and justify an American strike against the Assad regime.

Several weeks ago, on March 13th, top military officers who answer to Putin threatened to attack the U.S. military in Syria, if Trump orders our troops to defend the region.

Russian Army General Valery Gerasimov warned on Tuesday that the U.S. was preparing to launch raids against Moscow’s ally, the Syrian government, as it attempted to clear out pockets of insurgents- some of which were once backed by the West- in the suburbs of the capital city of Damascus.

Gerasimov, who acted as chief of Russia’s general staff and deputy defense minister, claimed that the U.S. would strike under the “false pretense” of a chemical weapon attack, and vowed to do us damage if we did.

Syrian use of chemical weapons, of course, is what led to President Barack Obama drawing a “Red Line in the Sand” in the first place, back in 2013, but the Russians won’t even admit that Assad is using them.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters in Moscow that they believe the United States is seeking to entrench itself in the country. “The U.S. is taking steps not to leave as President Trump said, and leave Syria for others, but to establish a foothold there for a very long time,” Mr. Lavrov said.

Lavrov repeated the Russian claim that our very presence in Syria is illegal, and demanded American forces leave the country immediately.

The scale of Russian lying, about this and every other matter, will be difficult for future generations to even conceive of.

Regardless of whatever else is going on, and no matter who is in the White House, America is not going anywhere at the beck and call of Russia or any other power. That’s out.

In America, the office of President is not absolute, which is why whatever Putin has on Trump did not prove to be enough to scare the rest of our great nation away. It is starting to look like we’re finally going to do something about Syria. 

The thing about it is that all this should have been done years ago, in 2013, when Assad used chemical weapons the first time.

President Obama had an excellent plan to deal with it. He declared it a red line and asked Congress for an Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) He was refused by the Republicans.

It was argued about for years, but ultimately the GOP-held Congress never took a full vote on an ISIS war authorization.

There were various excuses given, but it is the opinion of Millennial Democrats that the Republicans didn’t want Obama to have a chance to take care of the problem.

They wanted to be able to point backward and say well, Obama wouldn’t get tough on Syria, and look where we are.

The concern going forward is that the Republicans will be able to set this narrative down as history. It’s important for us to raise awareness of the fact that the Republicans made this mess.

They want to monopolize the concept of “war president”. It was the only good thing anyone ever had to say about George W. Bush, after all, and they like to think of themselves as hawkish and tough.

Except that in holding up the resolution and halfheartedly approaching the situation, they gave Russia the opportunity of a lifetime.

In the last analysis, allowing the Russians into Syria worked out very well for both them and the Republicans. The status quo of obstructing Obama had always included a policy of doing nothing. It must have been nice, lounging around the Congress all these years, goldbricking willfully on the taxpayer’s dollar.

The real question now is whether or not that comfortable state of affairs will reassert itself. If Putin backs off, it might, but that’s seeming less and less likely. The Russian tyrant has been emboldened greatly by Trump’s weakness.

There is no doubt that this has now become an extremely complex problem, but it’s got a simple solution. All we have to do is vote out the people who allowed it all. Vote the Republican party out of existence. Bring Democrats back in, and the best minds in the nation will solve the problem.

Vote Democratic. This year, and every other year, until the end of time.

Cold War Two- The West Is Not Anti-Russia. Just Anti-Putin.

#NeverTrump

Cold War Two is heating up, as the diplomatic conflict between Britain and Vladimir Putin, caused by the murder by poison of ex-double agent Sergei Skripal is reaching a fevered pitch. Moscow’s embassy in London has been urging Russians against traveling to the UK or sending children to school there.

Putin’s orders to the embassy were to tell their citizens that British authorities may single out Russians for various persecutions, citing “the anti-Russian policies and an escalation of the British side’s threatening rhetoric”.

The Russian embassy even urged fans of football team CSKA Moscow flying to London for Thursday’s Europa match with Arsenal to exercise “extra vigilance” because of Britain’s “anti-Russian campaign”.

Britain does not even have an anti- Russia campaign.

It doesn’t even have an official anti-Putin campaign, although it needs one.

Everything everywhere needs to have an anti-Putin campaign. Not anti-Russia. Anti-Putin.

The two are not synonymous. Russia produced Stalin and Putin, it’s true, but it gave us Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, and Alexei Navalny as well. Russian people are not our foes unless they’re here on Putin’s orders to disrupt and destroy our countries. And even then, they’re just extensions of Putin.

Millennial Democrats would like to extend our sympathy and solidarity with Russia’s people, and with all good people everywhere who are stuck beneath the heel of that tyrant, or any other tyrant.

Putin has continuously kept pushing this matter. He’s not going to just let it go. He’s angry because he’s finally met resistance where there didn’t use to be any.

Next, Putin ordered the summoning of British ambassador Laurie Bristow on Friday. He wanted to tell her that London is being given a month to cut the number of diplomatic staff in Russia to the same number Russia has in Britain.

The measure came after Russia expelled 23 British diplomats, closed a British consulate in Saint Petersburg and halted the activities of the British Council educational and cultural organization last month.

Bristow was evicted by Putin along with the heads of missions from 23 other countries, almost all of whom are EU member states.

Russia suggested parity. The British side has more than 50 more people,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told AFP.

Parity? Did we come into your lands, and poison anyone you granted asylum, Vladimir? It probably wouldn’t be too hard to get at Julian Assange, the pet rat you keep in that Ecuadorian embassy cage(they just shut off his Internet! LOL!), but we don’t, out of respect for the rule of law.

There’s no parity in Putin expelling a single one of those diplomats. We didn’t do anything to him. We’re not the ones extending tentacles of chaos all throughout the world, encouraging ethnic violence and poisoning people we disagree with. We are also not the ones who keep on with continuous escalation.

The Pentagon’s concern this whole time has been not that Putin is strong, or fearsome, but rather that he’s getting old and sloppy.

They fear that he’s finally deluded himself into thinking he’s rebuilt the Soviet Union- Russia’s economy is a sixth of what the Soviets enjoyed- and will make a gross miscalculation that leads us all into war, as Hitler eventually did.

The way in which Putin is encouraging distrust among his people against any outsiders is also Hitleresque. A tyrant needs to have his country’s population scared and angry so that they will fight like desperate men, if he wants to try and conquer the world by force.

But he had better realize he will never have enough power. You cannot kill the human desire for freedom. And you cannot push us into giving up what we hold sacred. Donald Trump will not be in power forever.

Hitler found this out, too, once upon a time. The Western powers are goodhearted and kind and will give you the benefit of the doubt. But don’t be fool enough to delude yourself into thinking that means you can push us past a certain point. Or sooner or later, you will find two things out the hard way.

First, that the West has a very hard core.

And second, that we do not like being cheated.

Theresa May, Show Us the Way! TOUGHER RUSSIAN SANCTIONS.

Great Britain expelled 23 Russian diplomats on Wednesday over the poisoning of former Russian spy Nikolai Glushkov on British soil, raising tensions between the two countries to a level not seen since the heights of the Cold War. In a speech, Prime Minister Theresa May vowed to crack down on Russian spies, corrupt elites and ill-gotten wealth in Britain.

GOOD.

We have been wondering all year: When are we going to get sick of this? We’ve been getting walked all over by Putin, for years now. The stories fill many volumes of books. Now they come into Britain and they kill a man given exile by the British. Not for the first time, either. We all remember the Alexander Litvinenko case. Turns out those men were directly tied; Glushkov was a witness in the Litvinenko trial.

This is not the first time history has seen the Russians do something this ugly. Far from it. This is exactly what Stalin did to Trotsky. He sent a task force, under a general, onto foreign soil and in blatant contravention of the Monroe Doctrine, to murder a private citizen under the legal protection of a sovereign power. That general sent a man named Ramon Mercader to bury a claw hammer in the back of Trotsky’s brain.

That was bad enough in 1940. It’s 2018. When are we going to get fed up?

Former world chess champion Garry Kasparov, who is also an exile living in Britain, has been trying to tell the world for years what it’s like to live in fear of being assassinated by Putin. Putin is a dictator and if he isn’t stopped he will get worse. He used to be a local problem. Now he’s everywhere.

Today it is only other Russians he orders dead for speaking out against him. If we don’t speak up and fight for them, tomorrow it will be foreign critics too.

The writer of this article will admit to feeling fear, just for writing this. Russian hackers are probing this blog all day long, trying to get in and hack it and do God knows what. To our work, and to us. Our entire email inbox is filled with notifications our Sucuri plugin gives us of these people trying to hack us.

Creepy.
Lviv is a very famous place, world renowned for the quality of its IT experts. 
Bored, uncreative loser who tried to hack me
An example of one stinky turd who tried to hack us.

Nor is it just Russians. It’s also the entire, vast, right-wing network of thugs that have linked hands all across the world. It’s actually quite interesting to note where the hacking attempts come from. It shows you exactly where their enclaves and strongholds are. It illuminates who is making this thing with Donald Trump their fight.

Had it not been for the fact that they tried to hack our site, we would probably not have discovered, for example, that there is a rabid Chinese support for Donald Trump in many circles. They’ve even got their own version of the word “libtard”. They call us the “White Left”.

Adelaide, Australia. Beauharnois, Quebec. Here’s one from London itself, speaking of which; this could have been Glushkov or Litvinenko or Sergei Skripal’s poisoner, for all we know. A fresh one from Ukraine, that’s really nice there. Provo, Utah, a whole bunch from Chicago.

All for what? For telling the truth, and for raising awareness.

The struggle that is taking form here is a very old one. The West, vs. the East. It’s Greece attacked by Xerxes again. It’s Rome being sacked by the Huns. We have been here before.

The hostile world power that is Russia has crafted a meticulous plan to realign the European order as subordinate to the interests of the Kremlin. Their big obstacle was America. So they hatched a plot to remove us from the playing board. Our nation has been victimized. So has that of the British. So also France, whose new president, Emmanuel Macron, was to have been assassinated on the same day they held a parade in Donald Trump’s honor.

Since Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March 2014, we have been marched down the road to war piece by piece, and it’s so much like Hitler and the Nazis that it’s really uncanny. Russia and England fought a war once before, over the Crimea.

As this article was being written, Putin went to visit the Crimea, on his way to the elections. It looks like the Cold War goalposts have been dragged out of the closet, so this guy can rattle his saber.

Everyone thought that everyone was happy about the end of the Cold War. It used to be not so hot, living under the constant threat of nuclear annihilation. Putin, however, values Russian control and power over world peace and stability.

Putin has expressed the unkind and ungrateful view that the West “would like Russia to be down at the heels”. He said, “I sometimes get the impression that they love it when they need to send us humanitarian aid. These so-called ruling circles, elites — political and economic — of those countries, they love it when we are impoverished, poor and when we come hat in hand. As soon as we start declaring some interests of our own, they feel that there is some element of geopolitical rivalry.” This is mostly unfair, considering that much of the over $22.6 billion dollars raised by the International Monetary Fund created to aid the Russians in their post-Soviet reconstruction was raised by the United States, who never got any of it back.

Mighty Russia, for all its cyber-terror and nuclear weaponry, still has only around the economic strength of little Italy. Every thought Putin has, every strategy that motivates him is how he can continue to assert strategic control over all those resources.

We are constantly being told that Putin is popular in Russia, and we’ve been hearing it a great deal lately.

Perhaps George W. Bush, for once in his life, summed it up best. “People say, ‘He’s the most popular guy in Russia.’ I say, ‘Yeah, I’d be popular too if I owned NBC,’” not to mention all the other networks.

The main opposition leader, Boris Nemtsov, is not available to run. He got murdered within sight of the Kremlin three years ago. Today’s main opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, is not available to run either. He’s not dead yet. He has suffered various physical attacks, but he’s still above ground. He is simply barred from running. He’s also usually in prison.

Putin’s actual opponent is known as the Paris Hilton of Russia. I’d take Perez Hilton, over Putin.

Putin’s ultimate goal is to reassert Russian international power with himself at the helm. To Make Russia Great Again. He wants it to resume what he considers its rightful place as a respected world power- which it already is- although he will settle for being merely feared.

To secure this world power, he must first shore up and be in firm control of Russia’s domestic power. An understanding of all of this is where U.S. policy must begin, as British policy has. Millennial Democrats would like to thank and support the people of Great Britain for drawing a line in the sand. We stand with you.