How Putin Felt The Bern- Detailing Russian Interference In The Sanders Campaign.

The name of Bernie Sanders did not appear on the ballot in a single state during the 2016 general election. But a large share of the blame for this disaster that is the current administration lies squarely on his shoulders.

The Bernie or Bust movement was a nightmare, the blatant racism and sexism shown by his campaign were a worse one. But in terms of national security, however, worst of all was the Russian support, particularly on social media, that kept his campaign alive long past the point of reason.

Using illegally acquired data from Wikileaks, emails that suggested little wrongdoing, the Russians successfully goaded Bernie, and his supporters showed his anger on the streets of Philadelphia, while inside the Democratic National Convention, Paul Simon played the first notes of “Bridge Over Troubled Waters”.

Bernie’s conduct, when questioned about this, has been defensive and rude, and this reaction has added to the number of raised questions that linger to this day about where the senator stands on the shadowy foreign figures who were once involved with his campaign.

The evidence is clear that Sanders became the Ralph Nader of 2016, peeling off just enough votes from the Democratic candidate to spoil the election. All the chaos he created on the left drained just as much support away from Hillary Clinton as it took for Donald Trump to win. By this point, the proof is huge and glaring that he, and to a less well-known and effective extent, Jill Stein, allowed themselves to be used as Putin’s other puppets.

Putin's Other Puppets.
Putin’s Other Puppets.

We had hoped he would be smart enough not to split the whole left by running again, but that is not going to be the case. So now that Bernie Sanders has formally declared his candidacy, a bad but not unexpected move, we’re coming across a lot of different questions regarding what manner of man he is.

Is he a socialist? Yes. He’s been calling himself a “Democratic Socialist” since the 1960’s. The word “Democratic” is not a qualifier; it is better off deleted. He means he’s a socialist, plain and simple.

Is he less than one hundred years old? We’re not sure, but he claims to be. Birth records support this claim, technically, but not by much.

Is he an escaped Walking Dead extra? No one can say for certain, either way.

All of these are good questions, and the disturbing answers to them raise serious concerns about his viability to compete in a general election. But the big questions are these. How much damage did Bernie Sanders do in 2016, and how bad were the Russians infested in his campaign apparatus?

The question of just how big of an effect did the Sanders campaign have on the final election can be gauged by looking at how bad he hurt her in the swing states where American elections are decided. Take a look at these numbers from 2016 Democratic primary exit polls taken from West Virginia- not a swing state, but dramatic and indicatory nonetheless.

Forty four percent is nearly half the Bernie supporters who voted in the West Virginian primary.
Forty-four percent! Nearly half the Bernie supporters who voted in the West Virginian primary planned to later vote for Trump. That speaks for itself.

In the three states that put Trump in the Oval Office, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, a high number of voters who voted for Sanders in the Democratic primary in those states crossed over and voted for Trump in the general election.

One in ten, to be exact. We’re talking thousands of people here. Registered Democrats who went so far as to actually vote for Trump.

Is it true that he and his campaign were involved in the Russian plot to interfere with our 2016 presidential election? The one that Trump says was fake news, but was actually so real it’s truly awful?

The answer to that question is a resounding yes, and we’re going to make the case for it thoroughly.

Let’s start by taking a look at the Russian motive, means, and modus operandi for giving Bernie Sanders a hand against Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary.

Motive: Vladimir Putin wanted to cost Hillary Clinton the election, by any means necessary. The most effective, obvious, and accessible ways for him to do it was to give her opponents a hand.

One of these opponents was Donald Trump, the obvious recipient of most of Putin’s goodwill. Another, Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, was physically present at the infamous December of 2015 dinner meeting with former National Security Adviser and Retired General Michael Flynn.  The third, and the focus of this article was Bernie Sanders, her primary opponent.

Far-right hardliner and former National Security Adviser Ret Gen. Michael Flynn dines with Russian President Vladimir Putin and far-left Green Party 2016 US Presidential election candidate Jill Stein. This dinner is a good look at what it looks like at the exact moment where the far left and the alt-right converge.
Far-right hardliner and former National Security Adviser Ret Gen. Michael Flynn dining with Russian President Vladimir Putin and far-left Green Party 2016 US Presidential election candidate Jill Stein. This dinner is a good look at what it looks like at the exact moment where the far left and the alt-right converge.

Former U.S. officials who worked on Russia policy with Clinton have laid out the reasons for this in detail. Vladimir Putin, of course, is the multibillionaire dictator of Russia who paid for all this to take place.

Hillary Clinton strongly condemned the validity of Russia’s parliamentary elections in December of 2011. This made Putin very unhappy. He had his anger communicated directly to President Barack Obama.

Politico’s Michael Crowley put the case together days after the riot-causing WikiLeaks email dumps in July 2016.

“Former U.S. officials who worked on Russia policy with Clinton say that Putin was personally stung by Clinton’s December 2011 condemnation of Russia’s parliamentary elections, and had his anger communicated directly to President Barack Obama. They say Putin and his advisers are also keenly aware that, even as she executed Obama’s “reset” policy with Russia, Clinton took a harder line toward Moscow than others in the administration. And they say Putin sees Clinton as a forceful proponent of “regime change” policies that the Russian leader considers a grave threat to his own survival.”

“He was very upset [with Clinton] and continued to be for the rest of the time that I was in government,” said Michael McFaul, who served as the top Russia official in Obama’s national security council from 2009 to December 2011 and then was U.S. ambassador to Moscow until early 2014. “One could speculate that this is his moment for payback.”

He ended up getting it, but not without a lot of domestic help. It came from the far left, and it came from the alt-right, suggesting strongly what we strongly believe: The alt-right and the far left are one.

Trump's SOTU Cheered for Anti-Socialist Theme he stole from us.
Trump and Bernie- Two sides of the same coin.

Means: Vladimir Putin may well be the richest man on Earth, by some estimates having more money than Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos combined. He more then had the means to pull off a job like this.

Hermitage Capital Management CEO Bill Browder told the Senate Judiciary Committee that he believes the Russian president is “the richest man in the world” with a net worth of $200 billion.

A spokesperson for the publication told Town and Country Magazine that was because they haven’t been able to figure it out. “While Forbes has been able to track money tied to Putin’s allies, we have not been able to come up with a defensible, provable estimate of his net worth.”

Everything that belongs to the territory of the Russian Federation Putin considers to be his,” exiled Russian banker Sergei Pugachev told the Guardian (Pugachev once earned the nickname “Putin’s banker.”) He said that “any attempt to calculate [Putin’s net worth] won’t succeed. He’s the richest person in the world until he leaves power.”

For a guy like this, throwing a few tens or even hundreds of millions into manipulating the elections of other countries to make them more amenable to Russian interests is nothing. It would almost be strange if he didn’t do it.

Putin has paid for “destability” campaigns worldwide. The far right is not alone among radicals in getting plenty of Russian assistance. The far left, which has shown just as strong a resurgence as its counterpart since the Great Recession happened, is also getting more than its fair share. Russia, it seems, is never short of rubles to spend on troublemaking.

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

Director of the Political Capital Institute Peter Kreko has been recently involved in research regarding this matter. He concluded two facts about the intentions of Putin. First, that he is becoming the frontman of a worldwide anti-human rights movement, and second, that he is investing in, stirring up, and inciting radicals on both ends of the spectrum that are trying to “sabotage democracy in Europe”.

Kreko describes Russian tactics focused on destabilizing the EU and advancing Moscow’s ideology. This includes supporting parties and candidates on the margins, such as Bernie Sanders, or Jill Stein and the Green Party.

In America, we are experiencing many problems with so-called progressives who are still insisting, in the face of the overwhelming evidence that keeps piling up, that “the Russia thing” is simply a distraction from the main issue, that in their view being how the DNC cheated Bernie Sanders (it didn’t). These people are doing the entire human race a grand disservice.

By turning a blind eye to the machinations of the most nakedly aggressive power to arise in the world since Hitler’s Third Reich, for the sake of stoking a petty grudge, they are in fact helping to make possible the same specific chaotic social conditions that in the past allowed far-right populist movements like Germany’s National Socialism to thrive.

Angry socialist gathers his forces for battle on his own Party.
Angry socialist gathers his forces for battle on his own Party.

They don’t understand that they are being duped by people who long ago grew cynical and full of boredom regarding the sorts of dreams and theories Bernie Sanders is espousing. After all, they invented most of it, and more a hundred years ago.

The left’s affiliation with the Kremlin can be explained better via the “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” principle. Marx long taught that Communists should make any such alliances as are helpful toward the ultimate goal of dissolving the State.  Russia’s state-controlled economy, which promises to keep “big capital” in check, has proved attractive as a model for many anti-capitalists.

Democratic Socialists, such as Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, have clearly labeled themselves as anti-capitalist. This would have made them extremely valuable to Soviet propagandists working from inside the KGB. It still does.

Modus Operandi: Hiring hackers to spread dirt and lies around to influence elections is part of the Russian toolkit. The 2016 plan was not a new strategy, but rather a direct descendant of the original Cheka Disinformation Office, founded by “Iron” Felix Dzherzhinsky in 1923. Working both ends of the radical spectrum, left and right, to destabilize the interior of an enemy country. That is what they do.

Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs has a researcher named Ben Buchanan working for them, also a Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. The focus of his research lies in examining how nations use their capabilities for attack and espionage in cyberspace against one another and examining the strategies that drive this usage. His words in their unaltered form may help to shed some light.

“There is a demonstrated pattern of Russian cyber operations stretching back several decades. One major early case, dating from the late 1990s, is commonly referred to as Moonlight Maze. In that case, Russian hackers penetrated a wide range of American networks for espionage purposes. Since then, Russian cyber operations have continued to expand greatly, hacking into key military, political, and economic institutions.”

“These operations show adeptness in several ways. Perhaps most significant is that they demonstrate how the Russians have developed new digital methods to accomplish old tasks. A series of espionage cases show the Russian aptitude for gathering information using computer hacking. The 2007 attack on Estonia and 2008 attack on Georgia are an exhibit of how Russia uses cyber operations against democratic states. Though we have somewhat less information about it, the 2015 blackout in Ukraine—the first ever publicly known case of a power outage caused by cyber-attack—shows the potency of cyber-attacks that appear to be Russian in origin. And the 2016 election interference demonstrates that the Russians have married their longstanding history of influence operations with their more recently developed capacity for hacking.” -With thanks to the Wilson Center.

The particulars of how these political digital influence campaigns worked out in practice in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary will be only too memorial to any Democratic activist who was around in 2016. We’ve included an anecdote that sums up what they were trying for precisely.

Around September 14 in 2016, for example, one “account specialist” of a Russian-controlled Facebook group called “Secured Borders” was reprimanded for having a “low number of posts dedicated to criticizing Hillary Clinton.”

The specialist was also told, “it is imperative to intensify criticizing Hillary Clinton.”

Later on, Russian operatives used accounts they controlled — including an account called “Woke Blacks” and “Blacktivist” — to urge Americans to vote for third-party candidates or not to vote at all. “Choose peace and vote for Jill Stein,” one such message read. “Trust me, it’s not a wasted vote.”

Not for Russia, anyway.

No, indeed, Donald Trump was not the only candidate the Russians tried to help during the 2016 presidential campaign. One other name was mentioned specifically. Senator Bernard Sanders, I-VT. The Mueller indictments of a year ago offer solid confirmation of what we have been saying all along. The specific mention of Trump and Sanders shows that the Russian government decided early on to oppose Clinton.

A 37-page indictment resulting from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation makes it clear. Russian nationals and businesses definitely worked to boost the campaigns of Sen. Bernie Sanders and Green party nominee Jill Stein in an effort to damage Democrat Hillary Clinton, even as they did the same thing to Trump’s Republican opponents on the right.

The Russians “engaged in operations primarily intended to communicate derogatory information about Hillary Clinton, to denigrate other candidates such as Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, and to support Bernie Sanders and then-candidate Donald Trump,” according to the indictment, which was issued a year ago in February.

A personal anecdote, that I’ll admit to having shared before. The editor of Millennial Democrats was online alongside legions of others, out there for HRC from 2015 onward, every day, for many hours. Anyone who was there back then can tell you. It can be stated categorically that there was a tangible, palpable disinformation campaign going on against Hillary Clinton. It worked, too. The Bernie Bots truly hated us, and their viciousness knew no bounds at all.

This is what we're fighting.
This is who they are.

It still doesn’t.

In my experience, this blog and its affiliate Millennial Democrats Facebook Pages and Millennial Democrats Twitter account, which is a fifty state plus nationwide apparatus, has been attacked by Trump trolls maybe one out of ten in the ratio of how often it has been attacked by Bernie trolls. This has little to do with what side of the country we are talking about. It goes right across the board.

I’ve written in a 3 to 1 ratio of pieces targeting the right rather than the far left, although it is my deeply-held conviction and the conclusion pointed to by evidence that they are the same entity. But even when the week of Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation is taken into account this remains true. Any moderate Democratic activist online will tell you the same.

You would go into groups and talk to people, who were steadfast in their refusal to listen far beyond the bounds of reason or even fanaticism. These guys were professionals.

It was like they were getting paid per response. They all seemed to be equipped with the same list of hit points about Hillary Clinton. This became clear after a while because the very same slanders would be laid out every time, in sequential order. In many cases the wording was actually identical, although most took the time to switch about at least a thing or two. And they were just as prevalent on the left as on the right.

It got especially bad during the last month of the Democratic primary, which was a very horrible time filled with chaos and division.

During this time, we were savagely attacked. Anything we posted would be Reported as Spam/Abuse by political adversaries from both the alt-right and radical left. We were barraged with nasty messages and threats; as a matter of fact, we continue to get them. They just keep rolling in, day after day, month piled on top of month. It’s called gaslighting; they want to wear you down so you give up.

One particularly rabid group of Bernie Sanders supporters told one of our contributors that they hoped she was gang-raped.

The list is long, sick, and sordid. Drop by drop, it has convinced us to take an unequivocal stance of #NeverBernie– and stick to it.

Therefore, when we found out today that according to the indictment, Russia’s Internet Research Agency had a “strategic goal to sow discord in the US political system”,including the election, it was far from a surprise to us.
During the 2016 electoral cycle itself, nobody wanted to listen. Most Bernie supporters still will not listen; many today will actually go so far as to claim that Russia is participating in the campaign against Bernie.
This is the equivalent of a mugger calling for help as he snatches an old lady’s purse.
At any rate, back then, they could still lean smugly back and say, Show me the proof. Today, however, the evidence is laid flat out in any number of places, such as Robert Mueller’s February 2018 indictment of thirteen Russian nationals, who had posted “derogatory information about a number of candidates”.
They bought ads and communicated with people tied to the Trump campaign and others in order to coordinate political activities. They even went so far as to coordinate their activities on our soil.
The indictment also mentions a February 2016 memo to Internet Research Agency staff. The instructions given were to post political content on US social media sites and “use any opportunity to criticize Hillary and the rest (except Sanders and Trump — we support them).”
“Looks like we finally know for sure why Bernie would not vote to sanction Russia,” I wrote at the time, still in a state of shock at just how surreal it was for Bernie to reinforce all this by being one of two senators who refused to pass the bill for new sanctions in 2017.
He just called in sick for the vote to lift sanctions on close Putin ally Oleg Deripaska’s aluminum company recently. And this from a guy who very rarely misses work. Of the new crop of presidential candidates, only Elizabeth Warren has missed fewer votes than Bernie.
Bernie rarely misses work. But he did manage to be absent when it came time to vote to sanction Oleg Deripaska's aluminum company. Deripaska is a close friend and personal ally of Putin. He was also the owner of Paul Manafort's debt.
Bernie rarely misses work. But he did manage to be absent when it came time to vote to sanction Oleg Deripaska’s aluminum company. Deripaska is a close friend and personal ally of Putin. He was also the owner of Paul Manafort’s debt.

Unbelievably, he claimed he couldn’t show up for the Deripaska vote because he was meeting with the women who accused his campaign of sexual misconduct. Even the most rabid and dishonest and insane penner of political hit pieces could not make this stuff up. Truth really is stranger than fiction.

Bernie’s people have never wanted him to touch “the Russia thing”, and most even to this day will make claims about how “it’s not all about Russia” and we need to “Talk about the issues”. They want to laugh it off, even while when it comes time to talk about what Trump was doing. This is hypocritical. When Trump does it, it’s a big threat. But when Bernie does it, it’s as though it is just a little fun.
This gives you a look at how it was back then. It’s a Russian Twitter account called “Missouri News” (@MissouriNewsUS), which sent out pictures of Sanders and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt with the line “Bernie Sanders is basically a New Deal Democrat, #feeltheBern.”
Missouri News, a Russian troll account that Twitter has since deleted (they've been pretty cool about cleaning up their act, unlike Facebook or even worse You Tube) is shown here giving the Sanders campaign a hand.
Missouri News, a Russian troll account that Twitter has since deleted (they’ve been pretty cool about cleaning up their act, unlike Facebook or even worse YouTube) is shown here giving the Sanders campaign a hand.
Our entire intelligence community unanimously agrees that they’re targeting us. We know that they’ve been able to get malware into our power grids. We know also that they’re considered a complete menace in Europe, where they have demonstrated their ability to turn off the lights on huge swathes of Ukraine and take Estonia offline completely. But Bernie will not talk about it, so they simply will not look at it.
They will physically squirm in real life conversations. They remind me of Fox News devotees.
“A guy who was on my staff … checked it out and he went to the Clinton campaign, and he said, ‘You know what? I think these guys are Russians,’” Sanders said.
A former Clinton campaign staffer told Politico it was nonsense that Sanders’ campaign had reached out to Clinton’s about potential Russian interference. “No one from the Sanders campaign ever contacted us about this” — not in September, and not in “April and May.”
They never said or did a thing of that nature. Nothing of the sort ever happened. Not once. Not even after Bernie had offered his weak, half-throated endorsement of Hillary Clinton.
Guy on your staff, eh, Bernie? And just to think. All of this is before we’ve even mentioned Tad Devine.
Devine was Bernie’s chief campaign strategist, the most senior of advisers to the 2016 Sanders campaign. He was also the good friend and colleague of decades of Paul Manafort, who at the same time was running the Trump campaign. Devine was the first witness called at Manafort’s trial. Here is a picture of Tad Devine with Paul Manafort and the man suspected to be his contact within Russian intelligence, Konstantin Kilimnik, himself wanted by Mueller’s team for questioning and likely more.
Tad Devine and Paul Manafort together with Konstantin Kilimnik, the shadowy Ukrainian figure wanted for questioning by the special counsel Robert Mueller.
Tad Devine and Paul Manafort together with Konstantin Kilimnik, the shadowy Ukrainian figure wanted for questioning by the special counsel Robert Mueller.

The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank did a piece at the time, titled “The Deep Cynicism of Bernie Sanders’ Chief Strategist“. It pointed out how during his run as chief strategist for the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign, Devine was always the first to scream and howl about the corrupting influence of money in politics. He said “our economy is rigged,” that “special interests” buy politicians, that “all of the new wealth is going to the top of America,” that there is a “corrupt system of campaign finance” of which Hillary Clinton offered an “egregious” example.

Sanders, by contrast, “supported the little guy.”

But as we know by now, Devine had worked repeatedly to secure the election of one of the world’s most corrupt political figures and then his allies, Ukraine’s Viktor Yanukovych, a crooked pro-Putin autocrat.

Thanks to Mueller’s prosecution of Paul Manafort, who earlier this weekend saw a heavily redacted- to the tune of eight hundred pages- sentencing memo presented to the court on his behalf, the former Trump campaign chairman and business associate of Devine, we now have the glimpse of Devine’s possible role in organizing Russian help for Bernie.

Though he is hardly the first to grab cash from foreign leaders, the ease Devine had in making the switch from cold-blooded profiteer strategist to social reformer firebrand strategist seems reptilian to us in the very extreme. It’s exactly that type of bold callousness that the Russians would look for in an asset.

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.

Put it this way: If Manafort is the key to understanding exactly what the Russians were doing for Trump, and Kilimnik is the key to understanding what Manafort did for the Russians, then Devine, their old friend, 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. It is our view that this connection has not been explored anywhere near thoroughly enough, and we encourage our readers to write in with what they know. We would make responsible use of it.

Radio Free Europe provides some light on the situation by providing a March 31, 2014 email from Tad Devine to Rick Gates, who in 2016 was the chief aide to Manafort, and later became a star witness against him.

There we find that Devine was the one to write Yanukovych’s 2010 victory speech. That detail was found attached to his email to Gates, in the form of a draft agreement for Manafort’s firm to work on another Ukrainian’s campaign.

That all these people know each other so well cannot be a coincidence. No wonder Trump the other day said “I like Bernie”, all atwinkle in his smiling eyes.

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 had repeatedly contacted the Sanders campaign with warnings that hundreds of his donors exceeded the $2,700 contribution limit. They further warned him that hundreds more may have been foreign nationals illegally giving Sanders money. The Sanders campaign, however, did not take any action.

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.

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 bears repeating that it’s 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. This seems clear at this point to everyone but the willfully uninformed and the fanatically indoctrinated (and disingenuous Republican and other conservatives/libertarians).

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.

Devine may well hold an important piece of the puzzle here, which undoubtedly lies within the Sanders campaign. As Robert Mueller continues his journey to this discovery, our prayers will be with him.

By now this article has grown to prodigious length, and we applaud the reader who has followed the line all the way home. In his Rise of the Roman Empire, the ancient Greek Polybius said that the most important reason to learn history is so you have a chance to make good predictions about what may happen in the future. Russian interference is heating up for 2020 like never before, Trump has given no funding to the new national cyber-coordinator job, which basically leaves us on our own again, and we’ve got to be prepared for new forms of the same old tricks. Check out our article on Defense for Democrats.

Since this electoral cycle began, Sanders supporters have been joined and even overshadowed by the Tulsi Gabbard trolls.

One allied group of our friends recently created a Facebook page, Tulsi Gabbard Must Go. It’s been around all of a month, and yet, hundreds of trolls have fallen on it since then, like wild dogs. Some of them have shown up to troll the blog, also, like this charming lady.

Lisa Wolf
Edit
This wasn’t written by a millennial. This was obviously written by a neo-liberal, 3rd Way Baby Boomer and stinks of David Brock.
Reply

As for David Brock, we have good things to say about him and every other dedicated Democrat, but we don’t personally know the guy. What I will say, is that I like the smell of my hair pomade. The pleasing fragrance is half the point.

Getting back to Tulsi and Bernie and the rest of the fake left, none of this is very surprising. They’re collecting paychecks for it. Check out the amount of fake activity that accompanies everything she tweets. Keep in mind, Twitter is fighting this. Facebook is not. There are two billion people using Facebook. How incomparably worse must it be!

"Thousands of inauthentic Twitter accounts emerge when exploring tweets where @TulsiGabbard's handle appears (large highlighted cluster includes ~20K accounts) cc: @yoyoel @delbius @vijaya" Thanks to @GeoffGoldberg!
“Thousands of inauthentic Twitter accounts emerge when exploring tweets where @TulsiGabbard’s handle appears (large highlighted cluster includes ~20K accounts) cc: @yoyoel @delbius @vijaya” Thanks to @GeoffGoldberg!

From this, we can see that the fake left has found a new stronghold in Bernie’s close ally.

Going forward, raising awareness on all this will become more and more important, and although the story is long and multifaceted, the narrative is clear throughout. Russia and Vladimir Putin were definitely feeling the Bern. Look for them to feel him some more as we head into the next presidential cycle.

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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.

Cold War Two-US Helps Ukraine With Anti-Tank Missiles.

The battle continues.

The United States has authorized the sale of lethal Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine, to deter the Russians from attempting further aggression there.

This is the only smart thing we have seen this administration do since bringing retired four-star general John Kelly on board as Chief of Staff. Someone had a good idea and saw that it was successfully carried out.

One wonders who’s responsible.

Senator John McCain, for one, made it clear that he supported this plan, and urged Trump “to fully utilise security assistance funds provided by the Congress to enable Ukraine to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

This is unfortunately necessary. It’s all part of what has turned into the largest military buildup between Russia and NATO since the end of the Cold War.

Several months ago, two Russian warships armed with cruise missiles entered the Baltic Sea between Sweden and Denmark.

In response, a defence ministers meeting in Brussels was held later the same day. Germany, Canada and other NATO allies pledged to commit forces to Eastern Europe and the defence of Ukraine.

This current bout of trouble got started in earnest after Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March 2014. That move destabilized the whole region badly and has made it one of the weakest points in the global order ever since. The violence there has killed more than 10,000 people since then.

In order to understand the context of this struggle, it is necessary first to examine Russia’s strained relationships with most of its former satellite states, particularly Ukraine.

The Kremlin has always had a vested interest in controlling Ukraine. It is an important territorial asset. It allows them a highly profitable pipeline route to Europe. It is home to one of Russia’s few warm-water ports. And it presents a strategic buffer zone between Russia and the powers of NATO.

For all those reasons, Moscow has worked for generations to keep Ukraine in the position of a submissive younger sibling. It was the largest of their satellite states, and the one it took most effort to control. A great deal of bad blood on both sides remains.

Ukraine’s nearly three-year battle against Kremlin-backed separatists in the east erupted into the worst fighting in two years in late January. Exactly why the fighting intensified right then remains unclear. But they started right as Trump took power.

There’s concern this will worsen Russo-American relations, but it doesn’t seem likely given the subservience of Trump to Putin. It’s surprising Trump’s administration allowed this deal to go through, however. Not many saw it coming, including this contributor to Millennial Democrats.

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto summed it up best. “So far, whenever we tried to work, we had to face American pressure not to do it and European pressure not to do it.
Now … there will be no American pressure.

Unfortunately for the lovable Mr Szijjarto, Trump got caught and his influence neutered.

A sovereign nation has every right to prevent foreign tanks from constantly rolling through their lands. And Ukraine has been given the means to defend itself.

The new American-made Javelin anti-tank missiles they have just been equipped with will cut through Russian tanks like a hot knife through butter.

Perhaps now the Russians will decide to go home.

One can only imagine what it must be like for these people, living as they are directly under the cleaver. The current war was started when the Russians came into these people’s town, gave money and guns to the local Mafia, and told them to go start fights around town, which they did. When the police showed up to pacify the situation, the Kremlin pounced.

Citing Ukrainian suppression of the Russian-speaking minority, the Kremlin used the domestic grievances of a sovereign nation as a cheap excuse to have at their robbery and slaughter.They wanted that Crimean port, and so they took it.

It’s sickening, and it forces us to ask a question, as we think back on the early days of Hitler- If we leave Ukraine to its fate, do we deserve better? Who will rescue our children, if we let theirs be fed to the beast?

By this logic, the Pentagon laid its plans.

 State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the US had decided to provide “enhanced defensive capabilities” to help Ukraine build its military long-term, defend its sovereignty and “deter further aggression”

The time after Communism collapsed was a hopeful one for humanity, and it’s really too bad Putin ruined that, but nevertheless it is a fait accompli. It’s best to be realistic about it and prepare the necessary restraints.

It’s crucial to remember that what happened to us was the latest in a ten-year timeline of Russian aggression, and not only cyber, as the Ukrainian example proves. This is an international struggle. Putin has his tentacles in every European country’s radical fringe groups, and he’s been causing trouble for everyone, not just us. This long-awaited show of solidarity is a good start.

 

 

U.N. Condemns Trump’s Recognition of Jerusalem- Global Stability On Edge.

Donald Trump has got us into the worst fix yet, this time.

The United Nations voted overwhelmingly to condemn his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Some 128 countries voted for the resolution, while nine voted “no,” and 35 nations abstained, including Canada, Mexico and Australia.

This was about the only respectable thing to do. Rash, reckless, and random is not what adult human beings are about.

US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley angrily issued a direct threat from the US to pull funding from the world body if it voted to condemn Trump’s decision.

“The United States will remember this day in which it was singled out for attack in this assembly,” Haley said. “We will remember it when we are called upon to once again make the world’s largest contribution” to the UN.

Haley said the US will put its embassy in Jerusalem regardless of the vote.
There was also a threat from Trump himself, who mentioned the UN vote at a Wednesday Cabinet meeting. “We’re watching those votes,” the President said. “Let them vote against us, we’ll save a lot. We don’t care.”
But only a few countries allowed themselves to be cowed by the bullying of Trump, who doesn’t even have the support of his own people, much less of the U.N. or NATO.
Millennial Democrats would like to express our solidarity with the rest of the world’s community. This is an outrage to most of us, too. We hate this awful guy. We fervently hope that the rest of Earth will forgive us his stupidity and sloven. We will make it right as soon as he is gone.
Nation after nation castigated the US at the emergency session of the UN General Assembly, and with good reason. The very fact that an emergency assembly had to be called, because something Trump did caused an emergency, is proof that this administration presents a terribly serious risk for world peace.
Furthermore, it is a violation of international law that leaves the United States and her citizens largely isolated.
And worst of all, we have now got a fracture point in the global order we can’t fix.
This is what Vladimir Putin has been after for a long time. Big trouble everywhere. Destabilization. A cloud of chaos, to cloak an evil plan of world domination. The whole thing reads more like a Japanese manga than it does a serious political discourse. But these are the times we live in.
Speaker after speaker at the UN emphasized their want to dissociate themselves from what Trump did as much as possible. We’re all but cut off because of it. It’s as if we’ve returned in time to the days of Charles Lindbergh, America First, and total isolationism as a policy.
Palestinian Ambassador Riyad Mansour declared that the decision destroyed Washington’s ability to act as a mediator in peace talks between them and the Israelis, which truly is deplorable. It’s as though Trump is determined to alienate every ally we’ve got.
“What does this decision serve?” asked Mansour. “It serves the powers of extremism … Does the United States not wonder why it stands isolated, and why even its closest allies couldn’t turn a blind eye to this decision?”
“Your threats imperil global peace,” said Venezuela’s representative to the UN, Samuel Moncada Acosta.
“This decision is an outrageous assault to all universal values,” Turkey’s Ambassador to the UN, Feridun Sinirliolu, said.  “You can be strong, but this doesn’t make you right.”
Trump isn’t right or strong, but he is in charge of the executive apparatus of the most powerful empire the world has ever seen. The capacity of the United States to exert influence is all but boundless, for good or for evil. And having a madman employed by a foreign dictator at the helm of it is a worst-case scenario waiting to happen for humanity.
Putin is playing the most dangerous game of Russian roulette in the history of mankind, and with the gun held to the head of all humanity. If we get unlucky, and things break down the wrong fracture point, we’ve got the power to kill ourselves completely. We didn’t have that before.
The Turkish president Erdogan is right about Jerusalem being a red line for Muslims. It’s a red line for Christians and Jews, also. And if history has proven one thing without a doubt, it’s that wars fought over religion get really ugly.
We are taking the position that something like the U.N. resolution had to happen, in order to try and calm this situation down. We’re grateful they did it. It’s a big relief to know that sane world leaders like Angela Merkel are still around to keep things from falling apart entirely. America is completely deadlocked with this shambles of a man in charge of it.
Donald Trump had better wake up and realize this is not a game before people start getting killed.

Putin Divvies Up Syria, Trump Spills Israeli Intel- The Puppet Strikes Again.

#demontroll
Earlier this week, Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted a trilateral summit with the presidents of Iran and Turkey in Russia’s Black Sea resort city, Sochi. Putin gave a warm welcome to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and declared that the three countries deserve all the credit for helping to maintain “stability” in Syria.
Turkey, which is still a NATO member and U.S. ally, announced that it may soon open talks with Bashar al-Assad’s government in Syria, in a joint effort with Russia and Iran to return stability to the region. America was not invited.
Trump seems to have agreed to back off in exchange for Russian help last year. As a result, the future of Syria is being largely determined without significant input from Washington, the world’s single superpower.

In related news, highly-classified Israeli intelligence was offhandedly revealed by Donald Trump to Russian officials earlier this year. Earlier this week we found out what it was.

The US President’s decision to spill the information during a meeting with foreign minister Sergei Lavrov was described as having brought Israeli spies’ “worst fears” to life.

During Trump’s meeting with Lavrov and Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak, Trump revealed the details of a covert Israeli operation that exposed ISIS plans to create bombs out of laptops and smuggle them aboard commercial airliners.

Israelis were horrified.

Earlier this month, the “dead” ISIS leader Abu Bakr al- Baghdadi was spotted in the hotly contested Syrian town of Boukamel.

The Iraqi Media News Agency quoted an anonymous source in Iraqi News as saying: ‘In a yellow taxi, Baghdadi fled Iraq and headed to Syria.’

The question of whether al-Baghdadi is dead or alive has been a continuing source of mystery and confusion. Russia claimed in June that he had “likely been killed” in an airstrike just outside of Raqqa. But they offered no proof, and there are many questions about the relations peculiar to the relationships of the parties involved.

Russia had a good working relationship with Iraq under Saddam. Although it always repeatedly denied giving military or security assistance to the Hussein regime, the Russian government under Putin expressed intense disagreement with the U. S.-led war on Iraq.

In April of 2003, after the fall of Baghdad, documents were found in a Baghdad office of the Mukhabarat, the Iraqi secret police under Saddam Hussein’s Baathist regime. Those documents showed that a Moscow- based organization had been training Iraqi intelligence agents as recently as September of 2002.

In other words, Russia was training some of Saddam’s best generals and their secret police. We know it went on for several decades. They spent billions of dollars on it.

The leadership of the Islamic State of the Levant consists primarily of former Baathist leaders, Saddam’s generals all coalesced again without him, like a hydra that grew back tens of thousands strong.

Of the six individuals who have been at the helm of the terror group, at least three of them served in Saddam Hussein’s army. Another is dead, and the very top guy, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was supposedly killed by Russian airstrikes back in June.

Imagine our surprise, seeing him strolling around in Syria healthy as a horse, and releasing more hate-filled videos calling for more terrorism. Claims of his death appeared to have been just more Russian disinformation.

If al-Baghdadi is alive, then Russia was most likely lying last summer, which was predictable. Russia lies about everything, routinely and by way of self-defence, like the ink-cloud of a giant squid. 

But what might Russia hope to gain by claiming the death of al-Baghdadi? What might they hope to gain?

A large amount of Turkish effort has been placed into acquiring this oil. Gaining energy autonomy to avoid having to depend on Russia for fuel has long been a goal of Turkish foreign policy.
But in spite of these attempts to diversify their energy sources and become more self-reliant, Turkey still depends largely on Russia for its energy needs, as do many other countries in Europe. They still have to depend on the goodwill of Vladimir Putin for things to run smooth.
Fortune 500 rated Vladimir Putin as the fourth richest person in the world last year, but some believe he is far wealthier than that. Hermitage Capital Management CEO Bill Browder believes Putin’s fortune to be in excess of $200 billion. Either way, if he wants things to stay that way, he’s got to stay in control of Russia.
Oil is obviously very important to us, but to Russia it is everything. Oil is essentially all that Russia has. It controls a huge mass of the world’s strategic oil reserve, and it comprises Putin’s fortune, which is sizeable by any standard, regardless of his Fortune ranking.
This dependence on oil as a source of wealth and income is also the case for Turkey and its leader Tayyip Erdogan.
Under President Bill Clinton, the United States and the EU engaged with and attempted to include Turkey as part of their efforts to strengthen the liberal international order, and it worked. They’ve been an ally for decades. Their fortunes in the Middle East were always fundamentally tied to ours. The Turks and the Russians have been rivals since the days of the Ottoman Empire.
And here is where we reach the ominous part of the story, the focal point of the developing narrative.
In spite of all these decades worth of progress strengthening American interests in the region, a perplexing area of cooperation between Russia, Turkey, and Trump seems to have arisen on Syria, with anti-EU undertones, and without American involvement.
Little by little, an outline begins to take shape. The way things looks from here, it’s a huge quid pro quo, in which Assad, Erdogan, Putin, and Trump came to an arrangement to simply leave alone Russia’s narrative about having killed al-Baghdadi.
For al-Baghdadi’s part, keeping the illusion alive would have given him months to regroup, lay low, and try to come up with something. In the meantime, there are those oil routes heading for Turkey, that the eyes of the world are not on. To all outward appearances, this is a strategic ceasefire if ever there was one.
 Assad gets to stay in power, and start seeing order restored to his country. Erdogan, who just survived a coup attempt last year, gets the sanctions applied by Russia for the fighter plane shot down in Turkish airspace in 2015 lifted and regains his ability to use Russia and the EU as a counterweight. Just last week, Erdogan and Putin met for four hours. Everybody’s happy- but all of them will soon be presented the bill.
Currently, Putin and his cronies are all smiles. They’re chopping up the spoils. And America was not invited. Trump seems to have agreed to back off in exchange for Russian help last year. As a result, the future of Syria is being largely determined without the world’s only superpower.
None of this could have happened without Putin, who will get the best that everyone has to offer. From Syria, a warm-water port in the Mediterranean Sea. This has been a dream of Russia’s for generations. From Turkey, restored good relations, and a subservient oil client. From Trump, an America weakened and thrown into chaos.
And from them all, Russia’s hold on the Crimea tacitly acknowledged, at the expense of ignored and pilfered Ukraine. Their criminal long game has become all too clear, and Trump is doing nothing. Please help us raise awareness.

Merkel Besieged by Far Right and Left- Stand With the Chancellor!

A terrible blow against world stability was struck on Sunday when coalition talks broke down between Angela Merkel’s conservatives, the center-right, pro-business Free Democratic Party (FDP) and the Green Party.

This has caused a great unrest in Europe, particularly in Germany. One man, who asked to be called Achim, said, “I constantly worry what Germany might unleash on the world, particularly with Britain leaving the EU, which just gives Germany more power in Europe. And I fear what might happen in this current climate of uncertainty if Merkel is unseated.”

The situation is so unstable that the parliament itself is in danger of being dissolved. There may have to be a new election held. The president of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, admonished the political parties on Monday that they had a duty to compromise and form governing alliances, rather than just call for a new election. But his role in Germany’s system is largely ceremonial. There is only so much he can do.

Nigel Farage and his #Brexit are infamous, and the hashtag #Dexit(for Deutschland Exit) has begun to rear its head. The division of their country would lead to a great division in the E.U. Putin wants to break us off bit by bit.

There’s already chaos here in America. Remember the #CalExit?

The day after the election, a small and previously ignored fringe movement called Yes California was trending on Facebook and Twitter, using the aforementioned hashtag, #CalExit. They’d been around since 2014, gathering signatures to get a vote for Californian secession in the voting referendum. It didn’t go very far back then, but in November of last year, a lot of people stopped at least long enough to give it a think.

For a week or two, in the chaos and despair surrounding the election of Trump, a lot of people were looking for answers and solace anywhere they could find them. In this terrible state of mind, California becoming its own country almost seemed like a good idea.

Trump was Russia’s dog, and we were not willing to live under Putin’s thumb. So it felt to many like we had to come up with something. And so, Yes California gained some adherents and raised some enthusiasm.

But then, in December, a very unlikely visitor showed up in Russia, as a fresh emigre.

It was Lous Marinelli, the self-proclaimed leader of the #CalExit movement.

Speaking to a room full of reporters in Moscow, flanked by photos of Vladimir Putin and Hugo Chavez, Marinelli went on to bitterly rail against American hegemony. From Washington’s foreign policy to the difficulties of the U.S. immigration system, Louis Marinelli decided, he could “no longer live under a U.S. flag”, and that henceforth he would make his home in the southern Ural Mountains.

On that day, near the end of 2016, Marinelli unveiled his primary project. With its logo emblazoned on a banner unfurled behind him, Marinelli welcomed visitors to the “Embassy of the Independent Republic of California.”

The whole episode just goes to show that the far right is not alone among radicals in terms of problematic Russian entanglements.  The far left has its fair share as well.

Currently, Germany stands on the brink of a collapsing government and new elections because bipartisan support for Angela Merkel is lacking. The right-wing Free Democratic Party(FDP) under Christian Lindner is the chief culprit, of course, but her opponent in September’s elections also has categorically ruled out any renewal of what they once called the Grand Coalition.

That opponent was Martin Schulz, leader of the Social Democrats (SPD), who has been referred to as the Bernie Sanders of Germany.

Germany’s Die Linke party, which literally means “The Left”, has outdone itself in support of Russia. One of its leading figures declared that Crimea legally belongs to Russia, a sore point throughout all of NATO.

The day after Donald Trump referred to NATO as obsolete, German opposition leader Sahra Wagenknecht on Tuesday added her voice to calls to dissolve it. In terms of policy, one would not consider those two figures similar. What links them is their ideological extremity, and their ties to Russia.

The radical left group European United Left/Nordic Green Left in the European Parliament supports the Kremlin with words and votes (in 78% of the cases), in the Council of Europe.

If Putin can pull off ruining Germany it will render the EU as helpless as America now is, and give Russia a free hand everywhere. This is why they are never short of rubles to spend on troublemaking.

Keeping the European Union and the United States in a perpetual state of crisis is a tremendous boon to the Russians. Crisis and chaos are prerequisite conditions for radicalism, and whether it’s right or left doesn’t matter a bit. They’re trying to use each other.

This is another reason why they are doing to Al Franken over here. Of course, Russia has been helping that along all it can.

During George W. Bush’s tenure in office, and for the same reason, Karl Rove and Company paid for Ralph Nader commercials in Florida. Their goal is the same now as it was back then- to destabilize and de-unify progressive liberals- all of us on the left- who they know to be political adversaries.

The GOP grew gangrenous at least fifty years ago, and by now, it really stinks. They will do or say anything to get into power. What we saw with the infiltration of Bernie Sanders groups last summer fits their M.O. perfectly.

Millennial Democrats would like to thank the patriots among the Sanders wing of the party, who loved their country enough to share this information across partisan lines. And once again, we would like to stretch out our hands to those who want to find a way off the crazy train. As we have repeated many times before, #WeWillEmbraceYou. Give us a chance.

Tad Devine, senior adviser to the Bernie Sanders campaign (and also Paul Manafort’s right-hand man whilst both were under the employ of deposed Ukrainian dictator Victor Yanukovych) once said, “Crisis is our brand”.

From the perspective of leftists, this is the only motive that makes sense, as the new Russia is just as much the ideological rival of the left as the Soviet Union was the right.

The left’s affiliation with the Kremlin can be explained better via the “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” principle. Marx long taught that Communists should make any such alliances as are helpful toward the ultimate goal of dissolving the State.

Russia’s state-controlled economy, which promises to keep “big capital” in check, has proved attractive as a model for many far-left anti-capitalists, but there are a few unpleasantries they keep wanting to sweep under the rug. More than half the country’s criminal groups have ties to its government. It is naked, unregulated, brutal capitalism at its worst, without any of the kindnesses our social democracy displays.

The trouble is that all this crisis and empowered radicalism gives both sides many opportunities to incite mayhems. We all saw what happened in Charlottesville. There were violent clashes in Berkeley, CA not long after that. If these tendencies are not held in check by a strong and involved middle class, they will polarize our entire political atmosphere. That would be to the mutual detriment of all Americans, which is precisely what Putin is after.

Linda Curika, a spokesperson for NATO Strategic Communications in Latvia, said Russian support for extremists of either persuasion is all part of the Kremlin’s larger strategy “to weaken political support for the European Union and NATO.” Putin wants to make Russia great again. At our expense.

Director of the Political Capital Institute Peter Kreko has been recently involved in research regarding this matter. He concluded two facts about the intentions of Putin. First, that he is becoming the frontman of a worldwide anti-human rights movement, and second, that he is investing in, stirring up, and inciting radicals on both ends of the spectrum to “sabotage democracy in Europe”.

Kreko describes Russian tactics focused on destabilizing the EU and advancing Moscow’s ideology. This includes supporting parties and candidates on the margins(such as Bernie Sanders, or Ralph Nader’s Green Party) and friendly media outlets. Vladimir Putin spoke highly of Bernie Sanders all the way through the primary.

In America, we are experiencing many problems with who are still insisting, in the face of the overwhelming evidence that keeps piling up, that “the Russia thing” is simply a distraction from the main issue, that in their view being how the DNC cheated Bernie Sanders. These people are doing the entire human race a grand disservice. 

By turning a blind eye to the machinations of the most nakedly aggressive power to arise in the world since Hitler’s Third Reich, they are in fact helping to make possible the same specific chaotic social conditions that in the past allowed far-right populist movements like Germany’s National Socialism to thrive in the first place.

They don’t understand that they are being duped by people who long ago grew cynical and bored regarding the socialist dreams and theories Bernie Sanders is espousing. After all, they invented most of it, and more a hundred years ago.

By now it has become clear to all but the deliberately blind and woefully ignorant that what happened in November here in America was not an isolated event, nor one that should have been unexpected. Rather, it is part of a consistent and growing phase of aggressive Russian attempts to rebuild at the expense of NATO and the United States. It is this generation’s turn to manage the old and fundamental struggle of authoritarianism vs. benevolence.

 If Angela Merkel falls now, her fate will be perceived across the world as a big setback for the liberal and internationalist ideas that she has championed. Hillary Clinton was ruined in this same way and for this same reason. This will be a giant setback to everyone on the left. We must come together and stand with the Chancellor now.

The Washington Post’s Tory Newmyer summed it up well in an article earlier today. It is clear that a large part of the German chancellor’s current difficulties come from the rise of the far-right and the far-left in Germany.

It’s a shame that simply by pointing some of these things out, a lot of people are going to get mad. It is not our intent to hurt feelings or point fingers. We fully realize that most of Bernie Sanders’ supporters in 2016 stood with him out of genuine conviction. We know they are good people. It is not as though we enjoy being the bearers of bad news. We find it regretful that these things have to be discussed at all.

But the simple fact remains. Moderates have been savaged by a whole galaxy of various dirty tricks. We are up against some really rough customers here. They attack from unexpected angles. We are asking for the help of the progressive wing of the party. Please share with us what you know.

The problem does not belong just to the far right alone, although it’s true that they’re usually the ones paying for it. It has infected the left as well, and not only the green wing. The recent betrayal of Donna Brazile comes to mind. It affects us all, and we will come to the table with anyone who is earnest about finding a way to solve the biggest problem of our times.

Sooner or later, we’ve all got to calm down, shake hands, and start to figure out what we’re going to do. We might as well start now, while we still have time. Soon it will be too late.

Democracy Must Defend- Russia Has Hacked Our Power Grids.

The cyber-war with the Russians may be about to enter a terrifying new phase. A series of highly sophisticated system penetrations at electric companies and nuclear plants this year has been discovered and traced back to a Russian hacking group.

Alternately called “Dragonfly” and “Energetic Bear”, this group has been involved in about 100 such breaches since the start of the year, half of them in the U.S., according to a new report from the system security firm Symantec.

This finding is worrisome in the extreme. Dragonfly is one of very few hacking groups with specific expertise in the power-grid systems that turn off and on circuit breakers.

A separate Russia-linked hacking operation has twice demonstrated the Kremlin’s ability and willingness to use that kind of expertise to cause electrical blackouts—once in December 2015, and a second time a year later, both in Ukraine.

Symantec believes the U.S. breaches may be moving into similar terrain. Simply stated, this means they can shut our power off and attack us, anytime they want.

“The original Dragonfly campaigns now appear to have been a more exploratory phase where the attackers were simply trying to gain access to the networks of targeted organizations,” the Symantec report concludes. Now, “the attackers may be entering into a new phase, with recent campaigns potentially providing them with access to operational systems, access that could be used for more disruptive purposes in future.”

Meanwhile, Russia has been holding a set of “strategic command exercises” called the Zapad war games that are looking an awful lot like a preparation for war this week, due to run until September 20. Moscow says almost 13,000 Russian and Belorussian service personnel are taking part.

NATO officials, however, have said they believe the exercises involve more troops than Moscow has disclosed. Complaints have been made about the lack of transparency regarding the exercise. It has long been feared that Russia has been planning to use virtual assaults on Western power-grids in order to pave the way for a sudden physical assault.

The world has been experiencing virtual assaults from Russia since April 27, 2007, the day known to history as the Estonian 9/11. They called it Web War One. The problem started over an old war soldier statue, like the Robert E. Lee statue that has caused so much trouble in Charlottesville. We have got to be careful when it comes to those old statues.

In the ten years that have followed, we have seen Russian attempts to disrupt and destabilize the affairs of other countries become more and more of a problem, culminating in their hacking of the United States 2016 presidential election. We have got to place a high priority on finding more effective forms of defense. 

In other parts of the world, most notably in Europe, they have been dealing with this problem a long time, and they have developed a number of systems we might look to as models.

The Czech Republic set up a team on Jan. 1. 2017.

The German Interior Ministry has proposed the creation of a “Center of Defense Against Disinformation.”

The Ukrainian organization StopFake.org has accomplished amazing results, tracking down and reverse-engineering Russian propaganda pieces. These have provided us key glimpses into how the Russian disinformation machine operates and what types of methods it uses. Incidents such as Brexit have ensured there will be no shortage of cases to study.

Russia has proven its ability to extend tentacles and roots with terrible speed, and it has done so all over the world in the wake of the massive disruption that has been Donald Trump. Its cyber-warfare apparatus is the digital upgrading of its Dezinformatsiya, or disinformation office, which was formed in 1923. Russia has been experimenting with campaigns of state-sanctioned lying for nearly a hundred years. This is a good thing to keep an eye on.

From the way Russia defines cyberwarfare, to its employment for strategic use, Russia has developed a big edge over its western counterparts. As James Wirtz, Dean of the Naval Postgraduate School in California, has noted, “Russia, more than any other nascent actor on the cyber stage, seems to have devised a way to integrate cyber warfare into a grand strategy capable of achieving political objectives.”

CIA chief Mike Pompeo recently said “It’s tough. You now have not only nation states trying to steal our stuff, but non-state, hostile intelligence services, well-funded. Folks like WikiLeaks, out there trying to steal American secrets, for the sole purpose of undermining the United States and her democracy.”

For all the trouble that Russia manages to cause, and for all its miles and hundreds of millions of citizens, it has an economy about as large as that of Italy. The state of California alone has an economy that is far more robust then Russia’s. In order to make Russia great again, Putin has to find a way to fix that. Redistribution of world wealth underneath his control is what he’s after.

The Russian cyber-warfare apparatus allows him an inexpensive and shockingly effective way to cripple, entangle, and do literal physical harm to the infrastructure of anything that opposes his will. 

To understand why these attacks on the rest of us are being committed by Russia, it helps to understand two factors. First, Russia’s domineering and abusive relationship with its former satellite stakes, most notably Ukraine, its largest neighbor to the west. Second, its need to develop a way to compete with NATO in a manner that doesn’t cripple its economy with excessive military expense. 

Nuclear deterrence is becoming obsolete, as mutually assured destruction is unpalatable even to the Russians, and new ways are being found to fight. The most ancient struggles for power and dominance are being played out in our very newest world. Cyberspace has become a very dangerous place, but it’s a place we all spend a lot of time in. Therein lies the crux of the problem. 

Donald Trump thinks that by not using email, he can protect himself from the dangers of a digital world. But no matter what he would like to think, the solution won’t be found by returning to the golden age of post-It notes and Rolodexes. The computer isn’t going away any more than the firearm.

It is the opinion of Millennial Democrats that going toward the future, U.S. policy should include the immediate and thorough modernizationof the U.S. Cyber Command. After last year, we should take the offensive. An overt, popular, and well- financed American cyber- force would overtake the efforts of the Russians within months.

As soon as our highest office has been vacated by the impeachment of Donald Trump, a man that Putin has been cultivating for five years and is the property of, it will be a top priority to attain world preeminence in this area as well.

America created the Internet, and that makes its governance our responsibility. We consider this a sacred duty, and we will not shirk in its upholding.