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Beneath the tips of the iceberg

Jill Stein (1) and Michael Flynn (2) with Vladimir Putin (3), December 10, 2015. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

The historian Heather Cox Richardson, in her daily post this morning on Facebook, is clear about the right-wing plan:

“Today‚Äôs invasion of democratic Ukraine by authoritarian Putin is important. It not only has broken a long period of peace in Europe, it has brought into the open that authoritarians are indeed trying to destroy democracy.”

Richardson always chooses her words very carefully, aware that she is writing the first draft of history, and so “brought into the open” are the right words. It has been easy enough to identify, by connecting the dots, the most deadly struggle in the world today. That is the coordinated attempt by the kleptocratic global oligarchy to defeat democracy, to install corrupt right-wing governments everywhere possible, to reverse the post-World War II order, to keep oil billionaires rich for as long as possible, to subvert the rule of law to serve kleptocracy while using the law and the prisons against the opposition, and to force as many people as possible to live in right-wing police states, slaving for as little pay as possible, without social safety nets, to make the rich richer. Not only is it clear now what they are trying to do, it’s also clear who is on which side.

The installation of Donald Trump in the White House and Putin’s invasion of Ukraine are features of the same plan. Yes, Putin meddled in the 2016 election. Yes, Trump has some sort of connection to Russia or Russian money that we still don’t know about. Many of the agents of the oligarchy have been exposed, for example Michael Flynn, who actually became Trump’s National Security Advisor. As Wikipedia mentions, “Flynn suggested the president should suspend the Constitution, silence the press, and hold a new election under military authority.” Just what Putin wanted.

It’s all of a piece, all part of the same plan. Though Trump failed to retain power long enough to back Putin’s military moves toward the west, Trump succeeded spectactularly at making the Republican Party part of the fascist project and educating susceptible Americans as fascists. The American systems of right-wing propaganda and Putin’s propaganda were aligned, leveraged by the malevolent use of technology. Just imagine how much more hopeless the global situation would be today if Trump were still in power, if the United States supported Russia’s military moves against democracy, if Trump was still in a position to strangle NATO, and if Americans were still being propagandized by a Trump White House.

There is still much that we don’t know, of course. The full extent of Trump’s criminality and treason is not yet known. The full details of the global plan to destroy democracy are not yet known by the public, though no doubt the Jan. 6 committee in the U.S. House of Representatives will reveal a great deal in its hearings this year. One of the elements of the plan that continues to puzzle me, though, is how some left-wing extremists came to be a part of it. I am thinking of the Green Party’s Jill Stein, and of so-called journalists — but actually propagandists and conspirators — such as Glenn Greenwald and Julian Assange.

Who knows what Putin still has up his sleeve. But the invasion of Ukraine, I suspect (and hope) was a Hail Mary move. If Trump were still installed in the White House, then crushing Ukraine would have been a cakewalk. Putin is said to be a gambler and a risk-taker. The odds for Putin may look poor at the moment, with the United States and NATO up against him. Nevertheless, many people will die, and the economic destruction will be felt around the world. I am not the first to say it by any means, but it’s worth repeating: We are all Ukrainians now.


  1. Chenda wrote:

    I will be interesting to see how China involves itself in all this. China’s huge energy imports from Russia and the security of the River Amur border in theory give it huge leverage with Moscow. But whats in it for President Xi ?

    Thursday, February 24, 2022 at 3:31 pm | Permalink
  2. daltoni wrote:

    Hi Chenda: At the very least, no doubt Xi is watching closely to see what Putin gets away with.

    Thursday, February 24, 2022 at 3:55 pm | Permalink
  3. Dan wrote:

    Great post, David.

    I think Xi is watching Putin to see what he himself can get away with regarding Taiwan.

    Wednesday, March 2, 2022 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

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