- The American Conservative - https://www.theamericanconservative.com -

Christmas Crackers, Moscow-Style

My wife is English, so every Christmas we include in our celebration holiday crackers. For those unfamiliar with British traditions, the crackers are cardboard tubes wrapped in decorated paper. When you pull on the ends they pop open with a bang, and inside there is a paper crown to commemorate the visit by the three kings as well as a small gift item. This year my cracker would not pop open, a failure that I chose to attribute to Vladimir Putin.

On Facebook it is possible to find numerous accounts of mishaps where someone eventually comments, “Putin did it.” It is, of course, a joke—but it is a reflection of how the Russian president has been demonized to an absurd degree both in the media and by the American political class. The recent criticism derives largely from the allegation surfaced [1] by a Central Intelligence Agency report suggesting that Russia or its proxies hacked into email accounts relating to the recent U.S. presidential election and then exploited the information.

Initially, the story claimed that the Russians were trying to discredit and damage America’s democratic institutions, but the tale soon morphed into an elaborate account of how Moscow was operating covertly to help elect Donald Trump [2]. It is now being claimed in some circles [3] that the Russian intervention, together with public statements by FBI Director James Comey, was decisive in defeating Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, and it has also been alleged that Vladimir Putin himself ordered the operation. Without a doubt, if all of that is true it is a serious matter, and calls for a thorough investigation of what took place are not misplaced.

Initially, the FBI did not agree with the still-classified CIA report, but eventually it was convinced [4], and the report’s conclusion has also been publicly embraced by both Hillary Clinton and the White House [5]. Nevertheless, even though it has been nearly three weeks since the Washington Post initially reported the story, no hard evidence has been provided to identify the actual hackers or to link them to the Russian government, much less to President Vladimir Putin.

The allegation that Putin ordered the interference in America’s election is particularly troubling. As a former intelligence officer, I am aware that learning someone’s intentions is the most difficult task for a spy. Only someone in the president’s immediate circle would be privy to information that sensitive in nature, and there has been no indication that either CIA or any other Western intelligence service has that kind of agent in place. More likely, the CIA and now the White House are assuming, without any evidence, that such a high-level hack and influencing operation would have inevitably required Russian presidential approval. This assumption is certainly plausible, but it’s impossible to demonstrate, and lacking corroboration it should be considered as little more than speculation.

The most detailed examination I have seen of the alleged hack appeared at the The Intercept [6], concluding that the evidence for the Russian connection was “not enough.” More recently, [7] a cybersecurity firm hired by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to investigate the hack has concluded that the malware detected is related to malware used by Russian military intelligence units in Ukraine. That explanation is not completely convincing, as malware, once in place, is often picked up and used by other miscreants. Also, it would be unlikely that an actual government intelligence unit would be so reckless as to leave behind its own fingerprints when there are plenty of private-sector hackers available to serve as proxies.

And other quite plausible explanations have been offered. Former British Ambassador Craig Murray claims that he met in Washington with an associate of an American who worked for the DNC who provided the information to him [8] for passage to WikiLeaks. Murray is a collaborator of Julian Assange, who, like Murray, has denied any Russian involvement in obtaining the information that was later posted on WikiLeaks. It is significant that, if the story is true, it was a Snowden-style leak, reportedly by a disgruntled Bernie Sanders supporter who was outraged by DNC shenanigans to deny his man the nomination, rather than a hack that produced the relevant information. And even if the Russians or their proxies were simultaneously hacking sites connected to the U.S. elections, which might be the case, it would have been incidental to the damage being done by the leaker, which shifts the narrative considerably.

The White House could, of course, order the release of at least some of the evidence for Russian perfidy to end all the confusion, but that does not seem to be in the cards. President Barack Obama may be hesitating because he is protecting intelligence sources and methods, but he should also be aware of the fact that the continuous Russia-bashing will have consequences even if President Donald Trump does succeed in moderating the vitriol toward Moscow once he is in office.

change_me

Going after Russia has become a bipartisan sport in Washington, predictably coming from Republican senators [9] including John McCain and Lindsey Graham, but also being pushed by Chuck Schumer and a number of other leading Democrats, if only to explain how they lost an election that appeared to be theirs for the taking. There is no indication that the situation will improve in the New Year, and one might usefully note the predictable lining up of Washington media and think tanks seeking to bait the Russian bear. The neocon Hudson Institute has two feature articles entitled “Putin is no partner on terrorism” [10] and “How President Obama can retaliate against Russia,” [11] while the American Enterprise Institute posts an article [12] by Leon Aron headlined “Don’t Be Putin’s Useful Idiot.”

And the frenzy about Russia is also letting some of the loonies out of the closet. Former Acting CIA Director Michael Morell, a Hillary Clinton foreign-policy advisor, claimed before the election [13] that Putin had recruited Trump as an “unwitting agent” of the Russian Federation. He also called for covertly killing [14] Russians and Iranians in Syria to send a message, and he is now declaring that the alleged Russian hack is the “political equivalent of 9/11,” demanding a similar robust response. He identifies several ways he might have reacted in Obama’s shoes, including carrying out a major cyberattack, initiating devastating sanctions, and arming Ukrainians and encouraging others hostile to Moscow. In any event, his approach [15] would have “two key pieces to it. One is it’s got to be overt. It needs to be seen. A covert response would significantly limit the deterrence effect. If you can’t see it, it’s not going to deter the Chinese and North Koreans and Iranians and others, so it’s got to be seen. The second, is that it’s got to be significant from Putin’s perspective. He has to feel some pain, he has to pay a price here or again, there will be no deterrence, and it has to be seen by the rest of the world as being significant to Mr. Putin so that it can be a deterrent.” 

Morell seems oblivious to the fact that an overt attack on Russia by either cyber or conventional means is the equivalent of war, in this case without any hard evidence being produced that Moscow actually did anything. Unfortunately, Morell is not alone in seeking a vigorous response to Russia heedless of the fact that the one imperative interest that Washington should have in common with Moscow is to avoid crises that might escalate into a nuclear exchange. Those who are fulminating most effusively about Russia should perhaps step back and reflect on the fact that they do not actually know what happened with the DNC computers. And while Vladimir Putin’s Russia might not be to everyone’s taste, dealing realistically and cautiously with a powerful foreign leader who is not completely to one’s liking just might be better than starting World War III.

Philip Giraldi, a former CIA officer, is executive director of the Council for the National Interest.

39 Comments (Open | Close)

39 Comments To "Christmas Crackers, Moscow-Style"

#1 Comment By Fran Macadam On December 28, 2016 @ 5:43 am

The crazies have just less than a month.

#2 Comment By cka2nd On December 28, 2016 @ 7:35 am

Rachel Maddow especially appears to be in the full throes of Putin Derangement Syndrome, but then she was a shill for Clinton throughout the presidential race. More sadly, Chris Hayes seems to be following her, if more out of laziness than fervid belief.

#3 Comment By Kurt Gayle On December 28, 2016 @ 8:38 am

Philip Giraldi points out that “…no hard evidence has been provided to identify the actual hackers or to link them to the Russian government, much less to President Vladimir Putin.”

Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter Glenn Greenwald, who broke the NSA surveillance story and who is a co-founding editor of “The Intercept” (cited by Philip as the source of “the most detailed examination I have seen of the alleged hack”), says this:

“Anonymous claims leaked to newspapers about what the CIA believes do not constitute proof, and certainly do not constitute reliable evidence that substitutes for actual evidence that can be reviewed. Have we really not learned this lesson yet?”

MSNBC questioner: “Let’s stipulate that that evidence is necessary, that it has not come out, that it needs to be declassified…but would you say that all [that we have been told so far] adds up to circumstantially strong evidence as a general matter?”

Greenwald: “No, no! What circumstantial evidence can you point to? You just identified what agents have claimed, what agencies have claimed, agencies that have a long history of error, that are designed to desiminate disinformation, that are subject to group-think, that are political actors who have constantly desiminated claims that turned out to be false for whatever their motives might be. You have taken all of those agencies and you just described in your question to me what they claim. What evidence is there – definitive, or circumstantial, or otherwise – that they have presented that suggests that the Russian government is behind these leaks? There is none. What is the evidence?”

[16]

#4 Comment By Brian On December 28, 2016 @ 9:44 am

“And while Vladimir Putin’s Russia might not be to everyone’s taste, dealing realistically and cautiously with a powerful foreign leader who is not completely to one’s liking just might be better than starting World War III.”

This is a particularly lucid argument – one that more should be making loudly.

#5 Comment By collin On December 28, 2016 @ 10:56 am

I tend to agree with the overstated Putin blaming here but I find very troubling that conservatives are not reacting to Russian hacking of our citizens. I care less of the intentions here but more of assuming away of hacking (which according to sources did hack the RNC as well). Conservative response is shut and take it!!! So we have an incoming President who publicly disagrees with our intelligence and trolls of half the voters as losers. Wonder why he is not popular.

I find this attitude very troubling and I assume conservatives would care if the Russians did hack ExxonMobile to understand their positions on oil deals. (Something that needs to be investigated.) Or if the Chinese hacked the RNC or Trump accounts.

#6 Comment By Sceptic On December 28, 2016 @ 12:49 pm

.. “dealing realistically and cautiously with a powerful foreign leader who is not completely to one’s liking just might be better than starting World War III.”

True, no doubt. But such prudence and caution would seriously detract from our exceptionalism. Undoubtedly only a Putin apologist would raise the further question as to whether our exceptionalism didn’t sometimes amount to exceptional hypocrisy, shortsightedness and even suicidal stupidity.

#7 Comment By Roberto On December 28, 2016 @ 5:26 pm

We’re still waiting for ‘evidence’ on MH-17 from the US government, who went silent shortly after making accusations, so don’t hold your breath on this one.

#8 Comment By Winston On December 28, 2016 @ 8:39 pm

Putin better than the Saudi vipers Hillary and Podesto are tied to if Trump has sense he will change petrodollar Kingpin during his term of office.

#9 Comment By Mary_Seu On December 28, 2016 @ 11:59 pm

//More recently, a cybersecurity firm hired by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to investigate the hack has concluded that the malware detected is related to malware used by Russian military intelligence units in Ukraine.//
—————-

BBC: “The developer of the program, artillery officer Yaroslav Sherstyuk, in his Facebook said the statement CrowdStrike – “stuffing rotten information” and that the program is fully under his control, and the presence of extraneous modules is excluded. He refused to communicate with journalists .

But Ukrainian volunteer Pavlo Narozhnyi, which deals with the spread of artillery programmes in Ukrainian artillery units, said bi-Bi-si, that, in his opinion, the possibility of hacking program Sherstiuk’s almost impossible, though “theoretically possible”. (с)

[17]
[18]
[19]

#10 Comment By Stal On December 29, 2016 @ 1:38 am

Buy Philip Giraldi.

#11 Comment By Fran Macadam On December 29, 2016 @ 3:21 am

It seems that liberalism is all it’s cracked up to be.

#12 Comment By Kurt Gayle On December 29, 2016 @ 9:35 am

Roberto wrote: “We’re still waiting for ‘evidence’ on MH-17 from the US government, who went silent shortly after making accusations, so don’t hold your breath on this one.”

Indeed! Last January of this year Robert Parry wrote in consortiumnews.com:

“One of the mysteries of the MH-17 case has become why the United States after asserting that it possessed information implicating ethnic Russian rebels and the Russian government has failed to make the data public or apparently even share it with Dutch investigators who are leading the inquiry into how the plane was shot down and who was responsible…

“[The US Director of National Intelligence] had U.S. intelligence analysts brief a few select mainstream reporters, but the analysts conveyed much less conviction than their superiors may have wished, indicating that there was still great uncertainty about who was responsible. The Los Angeles Times article said: ‘U.S. intelligence agencies have so far been unable to determine the nationalities or identities of the crew that launched the missile. U.S. officials said it was possible the SA-11 [the designation for a Russian-made anti-aircraft Buk missile] was launched by a defector from the Ukrainian military who was trained to use similar missile systems’…

“But, officially, the U.S. government never retracted or refined its initial claims. It simply went silent, leaving in place the widespread belief that the ethnic Russian rebels were responsible for the atrocity and that the Russian government had been highly irresponsible in supplying a powerful Buk system to the rebels.”

[20]

#13 Comment By Connecticut Farmer On December 29, 2016 @ 5:33 pm

Bottom line: I don’t buy the “Russian Connection.” Where’s the proof?

Disgruntled Sanders supporters and DNC apparatchiks may yet turn out to be the source of the hacks.

#14 Comment By VikingLS On December 29, 2016 @ 6:15 pm

@Collin

You, like many liberals here seem to be operating on the presumption that most conservatives believe that the Russians hacked the election as much as you do.

I think the reality is that most of us don’t know or care if it was the Russians that got into the DNCs email because to be blunt, not one thing in those emails made a difference we can see.

The Democrats were working with the press directly? Duh, they’ve been doing that for years.

Pay to play? Yeah, what else is new. It’s the Clintons.

The DNC favored Clinton, yeah we knew that a year ago, and they proved it with superdelagates a long time ago.

It’s Democrats, desperate to find a reason to explain their loss, that think that all of a sudden it was THOSE emails, that mattered.

#15 Comment By Fran Macadam On December 30, 2016 @ 1:00 am

Hell hath no fury, like a woman scorned.

#16 Comment By Johnny F. Ive On December 30, 2016 @ 3:50 am

Is this all part of the Great Game to in circle Russia or is it the conservation of enemies? If its hooked to the internet it can be hacked. Software vulnerabilities are constantly exposed and fixed. There are plenty out there that haven’t been fixed. If it were true it pales in comparison to what Jonathan Pollard did. This is just another irritating media story like the Y2K crisis. They are angry because it exposed their own character flaws and the character flaws of their candidate. They wouldn’t have anything to complain about if they acted honorably. The real outrage is how they treated Bernie. You have to be a friggin powerful and intelligent Oligarch with a huge combative personality to win the presidency against the shadow government and their puppets. The Ron Paul types don’t even have a chance.

#17 Comment By Sophistry On December 30, 2016 @ 8:41 am

What is most disturbing is seeing the Democrats use bureaucrat speak to inflate what the Russians are alleged to have done. So the fact that Podesta didn’t use simple email security practices when he got a google warning that someone in…wait for this…UKRAINE had tried logging into his email, suddenly it is “weaponized intelligence” and “tampering with election systems”.

There is something systemically wrong with the WAPO crowd and the D.C. bubble they reside in.

#18 Comment By Phil Giraldi On December 30, 2016 @ 11:13 am

For those who might be interested, I have reviewed the 13 page “Joint Analysis Report” that came out yesterday from the Department of Homeland Security and FBI. It is called Grizzly Steppe – Russian Malicious Cyber Activity but, apart from assertions of Russian activity connected to an unnamed political party, it provides absolutely no evidence that the alleged intrusions can be traced back to the Russian government. Nine of the thirteen pages of the report deal with advice on how to keep your system from being hacked.

The report’s first page has a disclaimer: “This report is provided as is for informational purposes only. The Department of Homeland Security does not provide any warranties of any kind regarding any information contained within.”

The report is completely useless for those seeking to learn the evidence behind the alleged Russian hack. The PNGing of 35 Russian alleged intelligence officers as a response to this report, as is being implied by some, is most likely political in nature, possibly seeking to tie Trump’s hands regarding the relationship with Russia. Putin has wisely chosen not to respond in kind.

#19 Comment By Yonatan On December 30, 2016 @ 11:55 am

Before the election Obama said US elections could not be hacked. Then, long time afterwards, the elections was hacked but the evidence to prove that is super-duper double jeopardy top secret.

That’s a solid argument and I, for one, am convinced. /sarc

#20 Comment By collin On December 30, 2016 @ 1:37 pm

My point was most liberals know the election ship has sailed so it is not worth over-investigation. (So I don’t want Rusghazi) And tracing the location of the hack is fairly easy to do so the intelligence community knows 75% of hacking without going into how high up the ladder in the Russian government. And finally, the e-mails really did not expose a lot here and probably only hurt HRC because it simply more E-Mail Headlines. I figure Obama response is lame and really not worth doing. (And rationalizing the DNC hack based on Primary results is really stupid. Bernie was polling 10% less than HRC in November 2015 and he ended up 10% less voters.)

On the other hand, Hacking is a serious issue and as I stated I hope conservatives care about hacking our private citizens more than they acting like. And now we have President siding with a foreign government over his citizens is dangerous as well. Should we not assist our corporations with hacking issues? Some embarrassing stuff could come out with ExxonMobile fairly quickly. Or does the Chinese hack the RNC here in the future?

#21 Comment By Fran Macadam On December 30, 2016 @ 2:57 pm

Phil Giraldi:

“The report is completely useless for those seeking to learn the evidence behind the alleged Russian hack.”

Let me amend my earlier comment:

Hell hath no fury like a soreloserwoman scorned.

#22 Comment By EliteCommInc. On December 30, 2016 @ 4:29 pm

“This year my cracker would not pop open, a failure that I chose to attribute to Vladimir Putin.”

I think you could have stopped here. My washing machine, dishwasher pumps and a 120 outlet all went out with two weeks. Clearly the Russians are attempting to keep me from cleaning.

I don’t have any evidence but apparently among the well placed and highly educated elite — evidence is an inconsequential nuisance.

#23 Comment By VikingLS On December 30, 2016 @ 5:38 pm

“And now we have President siding with a foreign government over his citizens is dangerous as well. ”

@Collin

Well I’m glad that you’re at least acknowledging yourself that the outcome wasn’t a game changer.

However, you are making the false presumption that conservatives, particularly the ones here, are convinced we even know who did it.

And to be quite blunt, if you want a rational conversation about this you’re going to have to wait until your own side stops being irrational about it. So far that hasn’t happened.

#24 Comment By Rome In A Day On December 30, 2016 @ 8:06 pm

Well, I’m still not satisfied that we’re doing what we can to keep Russia and other foreign countries out of our electoral, defense, and national security apparatus.

Friends in a position to know have told me that members of Congress of both parties have taken money from foreigners have helped foreign companies get contracts or helped foreign workers find jobs INSIDE our defense and national security sector.

That’s a bigger shock and a far worse threat to national security than the DNC’s self-inflicted cyber-security issues.

#25 Comment By Stan On December 30, 2016 @ 8:57 pm

Blaming Putin is simply and amateur attempt at misdirection. The most obvious point here is that it really wouldn’t matter who leaked/hacked the Hillary/Podesta emails IF they weren’t so discreditable. Blaming a hacker is simply attempting to shoot an alleged messenger while ignoring the reprehensible message!

#26 Comment By dan On December 30, 2016 @ 9:54 pm

Philip Giraldi,
Do we know all of Trump’s debts owed to Russian interests? If not, why?

#27 Comment By Fran Macadam On December 30, 2016 @ 10:14 pm

In this crisis manufactured by ruling elites, whose propaganda exceeded its effective limits this time, the animating spirit of Edward Bernays lives on, that first American master of Fake News!

[21]

#28 Comment By Fran Macadam On December 30, 2016 @ 10:15 pm

“Friends in a position to know”

I don’t necessarily disagree, BUT… mere anonymous assertions are lately losing authority.

#29 Comment By EliteCommInc. On December 31, 2016 @ 7:41 am

“Do we know all of Trump’s debts owed to Russian interests? If not, why?”

Oh that the issue. The concern here is foreign influence by way of foreign debt.

23% of all US debt is owed by foreign states. I am all in that the chief executive must free on entanglements that will hinder their ability to serve the country. That’s fine. The executive must be beholden to none but the citizens of the US.

And I think I can understand the current executives decisions. If the CIA and the FBI both make claims that a foreign power has violated US law and subverting the US then certainly it would be an odd choice for the executive to do nothing. It would take some serious integrity and courage to openly tell two directors

“Nuts”.

I remain deeply troubled that major admin. departments are making bold accusations without having to provide evidence. It remains clear that Mr. Assange and others confessions going to be ignored for some greater cause to instigating animosity to justify feeding a military buildup.

What is also frightening is how willingly the leadership is willing to be played and in turn the play the people they serve.

I seriously doubt members of Congress want a financial professional and personal war disclosure war. But maybe that will be the cleaning the country needs.

#30 Comment By SteveM On December 31, 2016 @ 9:03 am

Real question to Phil Giraldi:

It is speculated that the U.S. slaughter of Syrian troops in September was actually a directed tactical act of intimidation against the Assad regime. I.e., those troops were targeted for death by U.S. war planes.

Given that, is it too much to assume that the U.S. will now actively attempt to subvert the Russia – Turkey – Iran peace process for Syria by any means since Washington is being shut out? I.e., the U.S. (Obama) prefers chaos to peace when it/he feels he has been “dissed”.

#31 Comment By Jack On December 31, 2016 @ 9:59 am

RED HERRING. It’s been a generation since the end of the Soviet threat, and now this old playbook has been dusted off and edited for the digital age. If you ever doubted the Left’s dishonor or their contempt for the people whom they want to control, remember that most of them embrace the slogan ‘by any means necessary’. Truth is always the first casualty to such an approach.

Thanks for championing truth, PG.

#32 Comment By TR On December 31, 2016 @ 12:37 pm

Hillary didn’t lose the election because of the hacking. But why the hyperbole about World War III? The cold war is back on, as Trump will soon find out, but it will stay cold.

#33 Comment By Aaron On December 31, 2016 @ 8:10 pm

It is simply amazing to me that Conservatives are opposed to investigating whether Russia tried to influence our election. You ask for proof, but balk at attempting to uncover any proof. Compare this to the unending investigations into Benghazi. If state department talking points surrounding an attack on our embassy command four years of congressional hearings, perhaps we can spend a few months to determine whether Putin tried to help elect our next president.

#34 Comment By collin On January 1, 2017 @ 1:55 pm

And to be quite blunt, if you want a rational conversation about this you’re going to have to wait until your own side stops being irrational about it. So far that hasn’t happened.

No I don’t see that that much irrational about it (In the modern age there is always irrational stuff out there) and especially since our leader Obama did not comment until after the election. Secondly, conservatives are now going to be IN CHARGE and the incoming President is doing nothing to deal with these fears. In fact, he is trolling the Ds already before reviewing the facts and dealing with the concerns. If one of Obama’s problems was not working well with Rs in 2009, Donald is doubling down on this mistake and he won’t have much HRC/Obama to kick around by March 2017 as the nation is fairly good shape already.

And finally, I don’t get the Russian hawk stuff but I don’t get the Russian dove stuff either. I don’t think Russia is innocent with Ukraine or Syria actions and long term I suspect they will regret the Syrian military action with Assad as they are now a bigger target for radical Islam.

#35 Comment By Dr. Diprospan On January 2, 2017 @ 3:37 pm

It seemed to me that the tradition to place a note with the predictions into cookies belongs to the Chinese. Englishmen is only slightly altered it. And vice versa, there is the so-called Chinese water drop torture, invented by an Italian Jesuit monk in the 13th century. People experiencing unspeakably unpleasant feelings from long-term recurring cold drops falling on your head:
[22]
Endless repetition of Putin, Putin, Putin can cause severe fatigue and hypnotic sleep or severe irritation. It depends on the type of the human nervous system. For whom is torture of Putin?
Probably for the citizens who are interested in politics, for people who make decisions.
I can tell you based on my experience that in the outback ordinary Americans are not very clear about where is Russia. They are interested in how many hours can take a flight from the US to Russia, really is there so much snow and concentration camps in Russia?
I think the image of a polyvalent, multipotent Putin created in the American media to manipulate the consciousness of establishment. Nothing irritates influential people as a constant reminder that there are still more influential than they are.

#36 Comment By Aaron On January 2, 2017 @ 10:38 pm

I’ve actually been scouring the internet for proof of Russian involvement in the hacking of the DNC. As of yet, I’ve not found much that was solid. Only one quality piece of circumstantial evidence, based on what a single “unnamed official” said to a CNN reporter.

I’ve written about this on several sites, here’s a link to my thoughts on this, posted to quora.

[23]

At the end of the day here, the name of the game is to avoid detection. That’s why it’s so hard to prove it was the Russians, since there is a 100% chance that a skilled attacker would have taken extreme steps to hide their identity. They very likely went as far, as to create a separate persona in another country, speaking another language, and using a rented VPS (or compromised system) in that country.

These people are highly intelligent. Anybody who says it’s 100% Russia has no idea how sophisticated these attacks actually are.

#37 Comment By Matthew Fisher On January 4, 2017 @ 5:50 am

Aaron says: “They very likely went as far, as to create a separate persona in another country, speaking another language, and using a rented VPS (or compromised system) in that country.”

You’re right. It was probably a monolingual American operating out of the DNC. After all, we know their systems were compromised after Podesta fell for that lame phishing scam and gave away his own password.

Was Podesta the mole? We may never know.

#38 Comment By PAXNOW On January 5, 2017 @ 4:21 pm

I hate this dichotomy liberals and conservatives. Lately it is the party of war vs. those wishing peace through diplomacy and reasonable restraint. Who is pushing all these wars, threats of war, and why? A war with Russia will play out well beyond CNN-TV. Careful!

#39 Comment By David Smith On January 6, 2017 @ 5:14 pm

If Vladimir Putin dropped dead tomorrow, the War Party would have to scramble to find a replacement. A cold war with Russia is necessary to maintain our control over Europe, which was one of the results of World War II. Why do you think NATO still exists a quarter century after the Soviet Union disappeared? What do you think the European Union is all about? Give them something to be afraid of, something that they need us to protect them from.