Back in the 1990s and 2000s, if anyone was paying attention, one could read about the grand strategy of Al-Qaeda – to draw the US into a land war in the Near East and drain it dry. After 9/11 they succeeded, and got he US bogged down not into just one but two wars. Bin Laden felt that the best way to stop US interference in the holy land was to draw it into a conflict and bleed it dry. Three words: Afghanistan and Iraq. He was successful beyond his wildest imagination.
So did Putin throw the election for his toy poodle aka POTUS? The hacking of the emails at the DNC and of Clinton’s campaign manager didn’t help, but neither did the willing journalists who thought and continue to think: email + anything vaguely associated with Clinton = worse than Watergate. And they blasted as much on the front pages throughout October.
No, Putin did not elect the POTUS in 2016, we did. But given the tight nature of the electoral college race, we may never know. His dictis . . . .
Putin is a former KGB operative and one of the most talented. He clearly wanted President Elect Flibberty-Gibbet in office, and his band of flying monkeys, with their Russian energy deals, and Ukraine connections didn’t hurt either. Putin has made it clear, given his ambitions, that a weak US is his kind of America. That is true on both a domestic and foreign policy level.
What better way to weaken the country than to weaken its domestic policy agenda – and who better to do that than to support the candidacy of a spectacularly unqualified demagogue? Putin knows the levers, and knows which ones to push. This time some 80,000 voters in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin did to us what the USSR never could, by delivering us democracy’s version of 9/11 on 11/9. We have been played; the few remaining resources of the middle class will now be transferred primarily to high earners, and we will see nothing in return. We will, however, have anger and chaos and further shredding of the social contract and safety net both.
I by no means believe that Russian interference is an ultimate cause in this election’s outcome, far from it, but it is hard not to consider it as a contributing factor to Black Tuesday. It was a redux of Al-Qaeda’s 9/11 strategy, and we’ll never know for certain, but it may have worked.