Why Should You Care About Russian Interference?
John McCain
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This article is so full of glaring double standards I almost took it for satire, but then I realised it was written by a politician so it is probably supposed to be serious.

You want to “respond to Russia’s attack on American democracy?” You talk about Putin’s “dark and dangerous” view of the world: Really? Are you writing fairy tales to frighten children? You then gleefully predict the dark and dangerous vision of yet more NATO militarism in its relentless expansion in Europe; and you do so as only a politician can, without any hint of irony. You talk about the Adriatic now falling within “NATO’s borders” as if that is a good thing for anybody other than NATO itself. “How far do “NATO’s borders reach and by whose mandate, and for what purpose? You don’t say. Do you really think people want to host this dangerously unstable and recklessly aggressive military machine in their countries? Most of them do not which is why they are generally not consulted and which is why American intelligence agencies invest a lot of time and resources buttering up Eastern European governments and bullying and threatening those who are not on board with NATO’s grand vision.

You pontificate about democracy, but nobody voted for NATO. You talk about peace but you lionise a warlike military alliance that has brought war and terror and instability all over the world.

The only attacks I can see on American democracy are coming from Americans, not Russians. Did Russian government agencies attempt to influence the American presidential election? I don’t know, but I would be very surprised if they didn’t. That is after all pretty much what intelligence agencies and propaganda machines are for; to try to influence events in other countries. I hate to break the news John, but all countries have them. The United States has been trying to influence election results all over the world since at least the end of the First World War. From 1945 until the present day in particular, the United States has interfered in the democracy of more countries than any other power in history; and when the usual packages of bribes, threats or propaganda does not work, then that interference usually comes in the form of missiles and bombs.

I don’t know if Russia was behind an alleged coup attempt in Montenegro or not. Russian propaganda is no more trust-worthy than its American counterpart. But if Russia was involved in a coup designed to keep Montenegro out of NATO then that was a good call by Putin and it’s a pity it failed.

I also assume that both Russian and American intelligence agencies did their best to interfere in the French elections, just as the French have also done their fair share of interfering in other countries. You may have forgotten that the United States pulled out all the stops to attempt to influence the “Brexit” referendum for example.

You also use the same verbal slight of hand that I am familiar with from the US media; conflating attempts to “influence,” which is perfectly legal and acceptable behaviour, with “attacks.”

Russia is no innocent party either, but there is no comparison between Russia and the USA in terms of the amount of interference they have inflicted upon other countries. In terms of bare faced aggression, the United States has violently attacked more countries than any other power in history with the possible exception of Ancient Rome.

You see if a politician from the Czech Republic or Chechnya accused Russia of being aggressive, then they might have a good point. But when an American politician accuses Russia of aggression, it just sounds almost comically hypocritical.

I would have thought that you of all people would understand that.

As for this “Russian aggression” you shriek so loudly about: Once again Russia had been aggressive in pursuit of its interests in the past, just not nearly as aggressive as the United States.

Since the collapse of communism the history of Russia and the United States has been one of Russia withdrawing voluntarily from its former vassal states and NATO, led by the USA, moving in almost immediately. The Warsaw Pact disbanded, and NATO suddenly found itself without a raison d’être; so people like you have been busy trying to manufacture new ones ever since.

NATO is building military bases within miles of Russia’s borders and encouraging anti-Russian sentiment all over Eastern Europe. NATO deliberately plunged Ukraine into the turmoil that it is still struggling with. NATO holds massive military war games in the Baltic and in Poland for no other reason than to bait Russia.

NATO and American behaviour in Eastern Europe not only deliberately destroyed a wonderful opportunity for an end to the arms race and the cold war: It has seriously damaged the futures of several European countries and it has caused massive re-armament programmes in Russia. NATO’s behaviour has been recklessly dangerous beyond belief and it has done nothing but make the world more dangerous. In fact NATO’s bellicose behaviour is not only endangering the peace in Europe and threatening Russia, it is also putting US citizens in danger and damaging both the security and the reputation of the United States.

Next time you feel like babbling nonsense about “Russian aggression” take a look at a map of the world. See if you can count how many countries NATO has attacked or interfered in. See if you can count how many bombs NATO had fired at defenceless countries or how many NATO bases there are world wide. Now compare that with Russia. I have no doubt that the Russian government will do anything in its power to prevent NATO from gobbling up more countries close to Russia. Given that NATO is a military alliance that is expressly anti-Russian, that is hardly surprising.

Russia was after all the victim of the largest and most brutal invasion in human history, and that invasion came from a western military alliance that sought to abolish Russia and annihilate the Russian people. That is burned deeply into the cultural memory of the Russian people, and Russian foreign policy is mostly concerned with making sure that doesn’t happen again. American politicians might be wise to understand that, because clumsily poking Russia in the eye might have made Barrack Obama feel like a tough guy, but it usually doesn’t end well.

If Russia wanted more territory; if it really wanted Poland or Ukraine; then Russian troops would still be based in Kiev and Warsaw. All Russia cares about is securing its own borders and keeping NATO as far away as possible. Everything that Russia has done in the last ten years reflects that defensive strategy.

When Russian forces are building missile bases on the south bank of the Rio Grande, and conducting war games off the coast of California, then you will finally be able to claim that Russia is behaving aggressively without sounding like a bought and paid for mouthpiece for NATO.

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