If This Is Even Partially True…

Everyone has his or her theory about the roots of Americans’ current political and cultural hostilities. Most of those theories are rooted in history or sociology, but I recently stumbled across a very different analysis, offered in a lengthy letter from a Finnish reader to Talking Points Memo

The writer linked the growth of America’s internal divisions to a very external culprit: Russia. In his view, Russia has used America as a “tool”–a Western backdoor to its goal of weakening Europe and NATO

Since Western Europe and the USA together (in the form of NATO and otherwise) has been too strong for Russia to expand, and since the USA is the greatest military backup fortress of NATO/Europe, they simply circumvented Europe and went to the core of the power using the kitchen door, the internal political structure of the USA.

I understand you would like to see your heroic country as the navel of the world and as the main focus of any operation, but I am sorry to inform that, in this case, you are only cheap tools. You had to be weakened (and Britain manipulated to Brexit etc) in order to facilitate invasions to Ukraine, Belarussia and a list of other neighboring pieces of land in Putin’s future Menu.

So, as a KGB officer would plan, they came exactly from the opposite direction than where they were expected. They professionally built an operation web among the rural redneck cowboys, evangelical christians, the NRA, the most republican of all republicans, your law enforcement, some military people, big business etc etc. They popped up to the surface from within the “core americans”, but their long dive before that was planned and had started from the Kremlin’s operation board.

The writer goes on to say that the Russian plot nearly succeeded on January 6th, one of several efforts to incite and coordinate  seemingly “spontaneous” protests and prop up  “corrupt politicians like a welding flame to the same point and to the same moment.” He then adds, ominously, that “They just barely failed – for the time being!”

Had Trump succeeded to keep in power, the march of Putin to various targets in the Eastern Europe would have been more like an easy summer parade. NATO would be partially paralyzed by his loyal friends in the White House (who likely would have got their personal share of the profits).

It was no coincidence that some crucial (and criminal) incidents of the Trump term had to do with the Ukraine. It was one of Putin’s main targets already then. Trump was because of Ukraine, not vice versa! GOP (short for “Girlfriends Of Putin”??) just blocked any consequences for him.

After laying out this theory of Putin’s/Russia’s strategy, the writer comes to his major concern about what he clearly (and maybe correctly) sees as the fecklessness of the United States. We have yet to hold Trump or any significant member of the GOP accountable–and meanwhile, “the GOP is working in three shifts to make the next election even more rigged than the previous one. And you are just going to let it happen.. Tralala!”

So, if you really want to do something for the Ukraine, for the Europe and to any other decent country or person, please also Do. Your. Own. Homework! Show to both your home audience and to the rest of the world that also the western flank of Putin’s army, the one located in your country, is kept accountable! No special treatment, just f**king enforce your old existing laws to ultra-rich/influential white dudes, as well! You are just tools, but you are very important tools for Putin also in the European front. Don’t let him use you.

The letter ends with a declaration that, by our collective inaction, we Americans are facilitating the bad things that are happening in the whole world.

My reaction to this analysis–this diatribe, actually–is mixed. Geopolitical events are almost never reducible to simple “cause and effect,” after all. But it is impossible to ignore the basic outlines of our Finnish friend’s accusations, because most of the grounds of those accusations have been confirmed by U.S. Intelligence, journalists, and the January 6th Committee. We know that Russian bots influenced the 2016 election; and we know that they have been effective in disseminating conspiracy theories and disinformation on social media.

We also know that it is very unlikely that Russian activities in cyberspace were undertaken independently–i.e., without Putin’s knowledge or direction.

There is one area where I am in total agreement with the gentleman from Finland: the pressing need to hold Trump and his enablers accountable–and soon.


  1. I don’t believe that Russia is bothering itself with all this conspiracy theory requires. Our oligarchy has opposing interests and it would make sense to all if the free press began acting free again and used the power of the pen.

    The Koch network very much aligns with Russian interests in many ways. The Left is very much controlled by the Military-Industrial Complex and the financial oligarchy.

    How much of the financial oligarchy went to jail after collapsing the global economy in 2008?

    JP Morgan Chase has been charged with 5 felonies since 2008 but Jamie Dimon is still the CEO and not a single banker has been jailed. Regulators frequently state that Jamie Dimon runs Chase like the Gambino Family. Rate fixing and washing money for drug cartels.

    What has Merrick Garland done? Anybody?

    He’s kept Julian Assange in prison. A truth-teller who pissed off Hillary Clinton. 😉

  2. Amen to all of this. And for a current recap of HOW we got here, PBS Is offering a documentary this week

    IComing This Tuesday: An Inside Look at the Plot to Overturn the Election
    This Tuesday, March 29, at 10/9c on PBS, a new documentary from FRONTLINE and ProPublica traces hidden sources of misinformation about the 2020 U.S. presidential election and demonstrates how a handful of people have had an outsized impact on the current crisis of democratic legitimacy in the United States.

  3. As much as Russia was behind much of the mischief that happened during the 2016 election, what happened in 2020 and 1/6 was almost completely the fault of misguided Americans. As much as I’d like to blame it on Russia and say Americans would never on their own try to overthrow their government , I think that’s exactly what they did. I haven’t seen any credible information that Russia was behind 2020’s electoral shenanigans. It appears to have been entirely home grown.

  4. I think the analysis is spot on. The GOP has had some deep ties to Russia for several years. Aside from common greed, what is there for Russia to gain by this close affiliation with a party that, for decades, was the loudest to fight against Russian Communism? I believe that there has been a Russian plan for agitation in place for decades and when the USSR fell, we stopped working against it actively and we began loosening our laws that could have protected political processes against outside interference.

    The threat is not even remotely over. The GOP continues to undermine democratic processes intentionally. Democracy is a constant struggle, and we are losing ours day by day. We must begin holding bad actors accountable. Kick them out of Congress if it is proved they acted against the US. Prevent them from holding even a state office again. Do something, because I would like my children to still be able to participate in the political process.

  5. I would not be surprised if in the future we learn that many of the mouthpieces for 45 turn out to be deep cover operators for the KGB, such as Bannon, Carlson, Stone, Manafort, Hannity, Meadows, etc. Even if not they could not have been more effective than this group.

  6. While the Russians had some influence over the 2016 Trump election, that influence is small compared to that of the Koch network and Facebook. Trump credited Facebook and Facebook credited themselves.

    The Koch network did not support Trump in the primary, but once Trump won the nomination, the full scope, influence, money, and power of the network of right wing billionaires swung in behind him, and after he won, populated his cabinet and administration.

    If any of you have not read Democracy in Chains by Nancy MacLean, please do. Then most powerful enemies of democracy are within the US.

  7. Fundamentally, it’s a conspiracy theory. But, to be effective, there must be truths included within the framework, and there certainly are here. However, I think this puts too much emphasis on Putin, and not enough on your own prejudices and self-centredness. The conclusion is true, though, if the plotters aren’t held accountable, you’re lost.

    My country has its own issues in politics, especially as the U.S. right is beginning to infect us more and more. (As just one piece of evidence, consider the recent trucker convoy.) But, I spend more time paying attention to, and worrying about, American politics. This is because you guys are powerful, unlike any other country. You are financially, militarily, theocratically, and influentially powerful. The other big ones–India, Russia, even China–don’t compare. As you go, the world goes. And you guys have a history that is pretty terrifying, often interfering in other countries’ much more directly than Russia has. Just look at all the examples in South and Central America over the last half-century. And you care about some things but not others. You’re often completely amoral, even immoral, I’d say. Compare your behaviour towards Iraq and Iran versus your behaviour towards Saudi Arabia or the UAE. It’s great to be in full support of Ukraine, but what about Yemen? Why is the world sliding towards oblivion via climate change??

    Basically, you are very, very scary. You are Dr Jekyll and Mr Hide. I keep rooting for the Dr Jekyll side of the country (which includes most of the people who frequent this blog) but Mr Hide is always there (in the form of the GOP and others), and he is way more ruthless. I am desperate that the Mr Hide side of your country does not win out. For the future of the world.

  8. back in the day,when we used to criticise russia,in the old soviet block style of goverment. that was when i moved up to minnessota then SoDak,1982, the PIK program was in style, and reagan was anti communist bulwark. today,its barley heard. actully,no one brings it up. instead, its whatever fox news and whos yelling what the hardest. growing up anti communist,and east coast pro-union, didnt make me popular either here. though the local bean house was the talk of the area. seems when the wall came down so did the counter claims against russia. the fact seems that putin still has a bone to chew about democracy,and how to distroy it for his own pat on the back with his counter parts south and east of him. using any tool, he has developed a system to undermind,the weak minds. like before, spreading communism was russias main path. until we broke them $$$.. putin used trump like a floor rag. between the rich and those who swallowed up the states buisnesses in russia, all trump seen was wealth and property to exploit. putin lends a hand, the grand plan, to show America how ignorant the masses here are. the greed factor of the early 2000s was also a contributor. real estate. alot of wealth was gained by bimbo man and his cronies. many of them,still laugh and dispise him as a person. putins work to rearrange our status quo,it nearly worked,for now. with murdochs slander and stupid next door, whats next? the republicans(and many corp demos) as a whole in DC are nothing more than putin puppets except they have a ongoing game of a, putins style goverment. as long as they make money,who cares?
    whos going to lead,this country when people like Chomsky and the like Pass on? and become the Zinn of books? if defending democracy is so critical, then why are we stonewalled in developing a equal share for everyone,to keep our status quo alive?commercial and some forms of social media is defiantly pro billionaire,and greasing the hand of fate. theres no let down of anti whoever here in NoDak. my fight also consists of how these MFs keep their own next to poverty when theres a reason why we dont have a living wage,or, how to attain it. they have no discussion,they have putin style news and stupid. ive lived all my life working and making it, barely, no im not investing, its like stealing from those,like me who do the work. i could have had a buisness,so it could fail? i could have owned a home,so i could give it to a bank when i die. im perfectly happy with my decisions,no one made my bed. i am however sicken by a bunch of DC people who claim they represent me,and the working class while distroying delibertly my and everyone freedom to live happy,and, informed to,prevent this possible failure. the average joe here doesnt recognise the issue,in order to beaware of it..they are blinded by stupid,who only follows a putin like mass distruction of our own nation. my face to face discussions have made me a lone wolf, seems like they do get a reality check, but fail,to act on it.they all say, how do we change it? dont vote for those who are screwing you,, seriously,they havent a clue.. instead the status quo,they live with suits them fine as putins roto rooter shoves more more of our democracy down the sewer.

  9. I’m inclined to agree with his assessment except that he left out a key link and one that I believe Todd would agree: America’s oligarchs. Russia would likely had little success in turning the US body politic against itself without a LOT of inside help.

    Anyway, the best analysis I have read about this is Sarah Kendzior’s book “Hiding In Plain Sight”. Everyone I have lent the book to has been gobsmacked by it. Sarah seems to be getting more attention in social media and the cable “news” shows since the recent invasion of Ukraine. Some have complained that she isn’t getting her due because she’s young, female and attractive. Apparently, analysis of foreign affairs is still the province of older white men. Sarah didn’t get the memo. I highly recommend this book as well as her previous one: “The View From Flyover Country”.


  10. James,
    Manaforts greed made Ukraine come out of its shell, and stand up. after his help electing a KGB style head of state. i believe Ukraine woke up and seen the light, now,are we next?

  11. OK – add a conspiracy theory to the pile. I propose a new one, a conspiracy for truth, justice, decency and caring. What if we all worked TOGETHER for that?

  12. Remember that the last part of Rasputin is Putin. Since it is contrary to policy in DOJ to speak about ongoing investigations, we can only hope that Merrick Garland is preparing some indictments. Meanwhile, I have to ask what the New York District Attorney is on? When an experienced and highly effective prosecutor believes there is enough evidence of a crime to bring charges, he needs to be listened to. The jury would not be the US Senate.

  13. Pre 20th century, men used to seek Divine guidance in governmental matters.

    There’s a particular book by “John A. Garraty” it’s a little dated, published in 1972. —

    “The Columbia History of the World.”

    “Men in western civilization have thus been thrown back holy on themselves, and they find themselves wanting”

    As it brings out, the more diversity in government brings about more opinions and wants by more and more self-interest groups. This leads to a paralyzation of governmental function, and that leads to more authoritarian type governments.

    This particular book was written before social media and iPhones and iPads let alone home computers. It makes it easier for people to not only be involved in the political movements, but those movements largely are antithetical to each other.

    Thusly, it actually makes it more difficult to come do any sort of consensus in government. Then, the use of archaic rules and chicanery stop so-called democratic governments secular civil function to provide for all the people, leads eventually to Authoritarianism.

    Interestingly, in Daniel 2:33, 41 – 43 it alludes to this fact.

    Zbigniew Brzezinski made this comment in Georgi Anne Geyer’s article, “our disintegrating world,

    “The factors that make for international instability are gaining the historical upper hand over the forces that work for more organized cooperation. The unavoidable conclusion of any detached analysis of global trends is that social turmoil, political unrest, economic crisis, and international friction are likely to become more widespread during the remainder of this century.” (1985)

    I would say his words were fairly prophetic!

    There really is no other direction to go, things are going to devolve into Authoritarianism on a global scale. The dye has been cast for a long long time.

  14. When I was a tadpole, way back there many lifetimes ago, my Arkansas grandma used to say about the crazy guy down the gravel road who drank rubbing alcohol and why she welcomed him into her home – he needs help and I’m just doing God’s work, God protects those who are too dumb to protect themselves. Now, I don’t subscribe to all that, but what in the name of any god is it that lets the Orange Jesus and his enablers get away with crimes the size of the universe? With each passing news story, I’m convinced that sob will die on his golden throne, completely free and over-fed. Sooner would be better.

  15. An unconfirmed official states Russia is planning an effective hurricane season for the US coastal cities and towns for 2022. Next,more rain than usual in Seattle. If you think about it,Russia is probably the source of California wildfires. I’m sure Russia has an active tornado season for Indiana in mind too!

  16. One other thing has been the cause of many of our problems that I didn’t see mentioned :: Fox News and Roger Ailes, who have used the repeal of the “Fairness Doctrine” to Russia’s benefit since 1991.

  17. Putin is the largest shareholder of Fox News. Putin probably had Taylor Hawkins killed. Just to make Bogota, Colombia look bad.

    Come to think of it,Russia was probably responsible for the Lincoln and Kennedy assassinations. Moreover, It’s highly probable Russia invented Cancer.

    Russia was behind the deaths of Janis Joplin. Jim Morrison. Jimi Hendrix. Marvin Gaye. Rick James. Yes,even Elvis Presley. The peanut butter-banana sandwich was created by the KGB.

    McDonald’s and KFC are Russian constructs. So are fried pickles.

    Russia was behind 911.

    Russia sank the Titanic and caused the Hindenburg to come crashing down.

    I will always believe Russia is behind the financing of films by/with Adam Sandler.

    Lastly,Russia invested heavily in the film Ishtar. Most likely to discredit our wonderful film industry.

    I think the last one is the cruelest of all.

  18. The GOP’s big money supporters and Russia have fossil fuel interests in common. These American Fossil Fuel interests have shown a willingness to distort science , truth and overturn democratic movements and government around the world and literally destroy the entire planet’s ecosystems in their quest for wealth. What would make one think that they would not do the same thing here. They are comfortable with kleptocracy and dictatorship as long as they have influence. The American oligarchs are relying on Putin’s efforts as well as there own propaganda organs Fox etc. to manipulate the base into support for their program of making war on progressive forces and democratic institutions here in the US.

  19. “Girlfriends of Putin” — priceless!
    patmcc – will be watching Frontline for sure
    Stephen F Smith – Yep!
    Cheryl — today or tomorrow would be fine!
    Peggy Hannon – the DA is on $$$$$ from the GOP, just like Manchin
    Frank Kashner — things like coups go better with Koch; Also “Democracy in Chains” – great book!
    Erik Barnett — do you think Ronnie is spinning in his grave????
    Lester Levine – I’m in!
    Patrick Wiltshire – will be looking into that book
    James — you are so spot on!
    Everybody — also remember the role of the Russian Orthodox Church + Christian right = God says its OK to call in the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse. – it all is coming together in the “Perfect Storm”. I see a “Bad Moon Rising”

  20. That the politics of the States formerly United became unglued due to Putin’s long-term strategy to save the world from freedom is, to me, a very plausible hypothesis. He is perhaps ahead of us in militarizing the Internet because he can’t afford to win a conventional arms race and he knows there would be no winner in a nuclear war.

    This is just another step in the field of international competition being leveled by asymmetrical warfare. Bring the competition to your home field, take advantage of whatever home-field advantage you have.

    Will the world be restabilized by Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s exceptional leadership?

  21. If Russia and the GOP are hand in hand. The Democratic Party is in bed with Banderites.

  22. Todd Smekens,


    This is what they do. “They” being Russian intelligence.

    The right have been completely corrupted by the Russians, just as the left were during the Cold War. Yes, the communists, socialists, and other extremist leftists during the Cold War were not fighting for labor, or fighting the capitalist oppressors, or fighting for what was right, but in fact fighting for the Soviet Union, unwitting soldiers for foreign dictators, fools to the very end. The right today are arguably worse, as they are less corrupted by their own stridency and cult-like thinking and more corrupted by mountains of laundered money, but corrupted they all were and are.

    International socialism was always a sad joke, as is international christian nationalism today, pathetic foot soldiers for oligarchic tyrants, the politics just window dressing for peasants so easily duped into fighting for peasanthood.

  23. There are some good suggestions in the comments for follow-up reading to gain context. I would add The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America by Yale historian Timothy Snyder. Written in 2018, it is essential to understanding what is happening in 2022. Snyder is a historian of central and Eastern Europe and the Holocaust.

  24. Ever since I read and heard from Trump’s son that the Trump Organization didn’t care whether New York banks would loan them money because they had “all the money they needed from Russian banks” I have been uneasy at best with tfg’s compromise as a very useful idiot in the geopolitical scheme of things. After all, why should Putin engage in an expensive war he cannot win when for peanuts he can achieve the same objectives bloodlessly and on the cheap, and that’s what he did. He literally bought off our foreign policy from a money-hungry president constitutionally charged with the conduct of foreign policy, and relatively speaking, for peanuts.

    We have since had eight Republican senators visit Putin on our Independence Day (speaking of appearances) and a poll that shows that Republicans favor Putin over President Biden! Are Republicans so fearful of sharing their Koch-supported socioeconomic supremacy that they would voluntarily prefer dictatorship over democracy? It would appear so since tfg has and still openly shows his admiration for such dictators and his wish to be one of them and few in the Republican Party are calling him out for fear of political reprisal.

    To do: Prosecute lawbreakers who attempted to overthrow our government and end our democracy whether president, senator, representative, enabler, funder, Supreme court justice,
    his wife, those who invaded the capitol, and anyone and everyone black or white Democrat or Republican who was in any way a conspirator in the planning and execution of such terrorist attack on January 6, thus thwarting Putin’s invesment in useful idiots to pull off his inside job. When? Before the statute(s) of limitations run, Merrick.

  25. We’re feeling impatience with the Justice Department, and Garland on bringing charges against those that were in Congress and the White House who planned, aided and abetted the attempted coup of 1/6. Seems like it’s time to air the facts of the 1/6 investigative committee, while Democrats are in control of Congress (barely), and can still influence the public narrative of their findings. If airing report is delayed beyond mid-term elections, Republicans might have more power to distort the narrative as they did with the Mueller Report & two Impeachment trials.
    Could the timing of the Russian invasion of Ukraine be in concert with Djt’s mounting legal problems? Trump’s “genius” business partner Putin seems to want to help keep the GOP strong.

  26. Yes, it is not quite that simple. Many of the anti-American activities were pre-existing factions operated by Americans within the USA. Putin simply nudged their direction, propagandized them through the digital formation network, and added funding, including duping wealthy Americans to contribute.
    And none of that has changed in 2022.

  27. In this spirit: “Never assume malice when incompetence will serve.”, I’ll just venture that plain old “leave politics to the politicians” shoulder-shrugging by vast numbers of us explains the field in which these political onions have grown. And now rot.

    Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty, but vigilance is annoying. So it goes.

    Next stop, oligarchy. Maybe nukes.

    Todd is nuts.

  28. AZOV + Stepan and Conspiracy Crazy

    Proud of your nincomporary?

    You 3 are one and the same. So why all the chicanery? You’re writing style is identical. I kind of know why you’re doing it, but that why is still pretty stupid! I suppose that’s the point, it’s all about the stupid.

  29. Conspiracy Crazy and We Must Support The Azov Regime — Silly you – we all know that Jewish space lasers caused the wild fires

    Getting serious – To some extent, I agree with this Finnish commenter, but as Sheila pointed out, rarely is there a single cause. To another extent, the fracturing of American politics began long before this. Perhaps we can blame those who ignored the “Southern Strategy”, Reagan’s Philadelphia MS campaign kick-off, and the anti-American Tea Party. Even today, there will be Republicans and Independents who say “Gas prices are high, let’s elect the GOP to rule”, or the inevitable “I could never vote for a Democrat, so I will let Putin take over the GOP. I fought them in the primaries and lost, but I still vote Republican.” – Or even, “My ‘moderate’ won, although now he will follow the Trump line and never waiver, but at least he isn’t a Democrat.”

    On a related issue, I recently read a book review in Science (sorry, I recycled the issue, so no details). The author was looking at conspiracy theory adherents, beginning with flat-earthers. His premise was that these people “do their own research”, without discriminating sources, and that once they hit a “flat-earth” site, the search engines slowly direct them to more and more “out there” sites. Soon, that is all that they see. He also suggested that conspiracy adherents were likely to hop from one conspiracy to another (also helped by search engine algorithms) and were often Trumpster/the election was stolen believers.

    Ormand – well said

  30. “Rising Fascism in America: It Can Happen Here (Critical Interventions),” by Anthony DiMaggio https://www.amazon.com/Rising-Fascism-America-Critical-Interventions/dp/1032056207/ref=rvi_5/131-8881826-8438944?pd_rd_w=jUqqM&pf_rd_p=f5690a4d-f2bb-45d9-9d1b-736fee412437&pf_rd_r=VAQHN24G33SX4VE8NSTA&pd_rd_r=8b5ac3e2-bfc2-4fa6-9dac-e9f697a37fe0&pd_rd_wg=HxbMF&pd_rd_i=1032056207&psc=1

    Above is one of THE best current books out, incredibly sourced (for any conspiracy haters or lovers out there!) on the American political landscape going back 40 years. It uses the classic novel by Sinclair Lewis, “It Can’t Happen Here,” as a profound template. Recommend if you are interested in facts.

    Todd E Smekens, Gerald Stinson, Patrick Wiltshire, Cheryl, jack smith….well said, each of you.

    Ever since the 1% landowners of the American colonies got their noses out of joint watching their profits fly over the pond to King George’s purse and then convincing just enough blue collar laborers to join into their war against England, MONEY-POWER-MONEY has been America’s bread and butter. Politicians play engineers for the trains of Money Men, whether they be American, Russian, Chinese…anyone who has the cash to play.

    Another good read on that staple of political discourse is, “Gangsters of Capitalism: Smedley Butler, the Marines, and the Making and Breaking of America’s Empire,” by Jonathan M. Katz. Again, if you are NOT interested in facts, do not bother reading!!! I’m trying to get the last book in our store here at The National World War One Museum and Memorial where I volunteer a few days a week. So far, no surprise…folks look the other way.

    Ah, denial-ism. Even while we delude ourselves we live in a true democracy…

Comments are closed.