As we enter the new year, we can already see that, as in 2018, China and Russia will continue to dominate the international news cycle. This is thus a good time to pause, reflect, and understand the nature of the genuine threats to our national security.
Contrary to the depictions of the mainstream media (MSM), Russia is not behind every development in the Western world that favors the Individual against the Collective. Whether its Brexit, the Trump phenomenon, or the recent Paris demonstrations, these all were grassroots movements against the world’s unresponsive bureaucracies — not the work of a few malevolent “Ivans” - as some would have us believe.
I find it ironic that with the Western MSM’s affliction with “Russian Fever,” we now see various European governments (EU) and the D.C. Swamp in fact imitating what they profess to hate the most: Russia’s government and the paranoid aspects of that society. Specifically, the MSM seeks to find Russia’s role "behind the scenes" — even when there likely isn’t one.
I was in Azerbaijan in 2004 when the Tulip Revolution broke out in Kyrgyzstan.
I well remember the swift reaction of the Russian government: it was not, could not be the result of a ground swell of frustration against a corrupt, ineffective leader (and Russian shill) Askar Akayev. What the Russian government promulgated was that this revolution (which led Akayev to flee to Moscow) was obviously a project of the “Western Special Services” to embarrass Russia and “control” Kyrgystan (which, offers little else except beautiful, mountainous countryside).
Much like a hapless alcoholic peasant in a Dostoyevsky novel, everyone was to be blamed — but the peasant himself for his besotted condition.
The Soviets and Russians have always excelled at this type of spin — because, let's face it, it’s a bit embarrassing to admit that the Communist model was/is a dismal economic failure, or that corruption is endemic or admit any other inconvenient truths.
Much better to instead blame the American CIA for why the last cotton crop failed or why Baikonur exploded — or why there was a Prague Uprising in 1968.
Blaming foreign “influences” or better yet, Western intel services for regime shortcomings, and making it resonate within a reflexively xenophobic Russian culture was a helluva lot better than saying, “Our bad." Sorry for that Holodomyr thing…. Farm Collectivization was maybe not such a hot idea.”
This gambit allowed the Soviets to duck as much accountability (and blame) as possible — until they overplayed their hand, blaming too much on the “foreign” straw men until no one in Soviet society continued to believe it.
The evil of “foreign influence” remains a favored repressive technique of dictatorships spanning the globe. Although Intelligence services of course do spy on such countries, these regimes regularly overstate the threat in order to silence legitimate opposition and to control restless populations.
Xi’s present crackdown is cut from the same cloth: Western Christianity is a threat to the Chinese Communist system — which has embraced western capitalism as its model!
The modern prize for this tactic, however, goes to Maduro’s Venezuelan Communist “paradise,” where every societal affliction can be blamed on the U.S. government. It works well… until it doesn’t.
The curious phenomena we now see happening originates within the “Elite” of our Western Society. They seem to have adopted the tactics of those regimes they pretend to despise.
There has been an alarming trend recently that Western Elites, be they in government, MSM, or the private sector (Bezos, Zuckerberg) now reflexively blame an “outside force” for its influence on the People… because after all, a normal person would be on board with our Program for:
1) Staying in the EU (Great Britain)
2) Electing Hillary
3) Censoring only Conservative voices on Social Media
4) Politicizing everything
5) Increasing the middle class cost of living in the name of environmentalism (France)
6) Unrestricted immigration (U.S. and EU)
If an individual is not on board with this agenda, they are clearly the pawn of some evil organization such as:
- The NRA
- The Conservative Movement (obviously White Supremacist)
- Or: simply a hater
As such, they must be destroyed — if not in a well-orchestrated Stalinist Show Trial, then instead banned from social media, much as Stalin airbrushed purged “traitors” out of photographs of his Inner Circle.
The great historian Victor Davis Hanson recently stated that there has been “no consequences for the wrongdoing by elites in (our) society” and warned that “republics and successful states fall apart when the elites fall out of touch with the people.”
The Elites, so used to running roughshod over the people, are "shocked, shocked" to see the People reject their Divine Will! That Elites don’t believe the “Foreign Influences” charge themselves is immaterial; Stalin didn’t believe his accusations either — but such charges are important for maintaining “face” and deflecting the blame that is very much theirs.
None of the Liberal Progressive leadership believes the Russian Collusion charge levied against President Trump… although the rank-and-file “useful idiots” might.
But if that is the story which deflects why Trump defeated a thoroughly corrupt Hillary Clinton, they will go with it.
Do the Russians — and the Chinese — take advantage of civil strife in all its forms in the Western World? You better believe it! In fact, they are better positioned to take advantage of our problems than Western Intel Services are able to leverage discontent in the closed societies of China and Russia (and believe me — they have massive problems).
Just because the Russians/Chinese are able to, however, does not mean they are effective, or are driving these headline events.
Has Russia capitalized on the Paris Protests? I certainly would if I were Russian intel! Does that mean, however, that Russia also masterminded the European Refugee Crisis and the rabid environmentalist movement which hurts Europe and benefits the Third World? No… that would be people like Merkel and Macron.
The self-inflicted wounds of the West serve to empower our enemies. The United States must be wary of a Putin, but the greater threat to the everyday security of the American people are the corrupt federal officials and Progressive politicians who have inflicted more injury upon us than a Nikita Khruschev would ever have dreamt of. I well remember, as do millions of others, that we have sworn to be on guard against all possible threats, “foreign and domestic.”
Scott Uehlinger is a retired CIA Station Chief and Naval Officer. A Russian speaker, he spent 12 years of his career abroad in the former Soviet Union. In addition to teaching at NYU, he is a frequent questsin TV and Fox Business TV commentator, and has a weekly podcast, "the Station Chief," that can be found on iTunes or at thestationchief.com. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.