Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

September 4, 2020

Donald Trump, Russian interference, and Democratic Party ineptitude

Filed under: Counterpunch,Russiagate — louisproyect @ 3:42 pm


In April of this year, the Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee issued a two-part report concluding that Russia interfered in the 2016 election campaign. While ruling out the kind of collusion that MSNBC has been touting for the past four years, volume two is of some interest since it coincides with the front-page news this week that Facebook and Twitter are warning of Russian interference once again.

Like in 2016, the report accuses the Internet Research Agency in Russia for manufacturing fake social media accounts that spread talking points to boost Donald Trump’s fortunes. Going even further, the Russians hired real Americans to write for a new website called PeaceData that had the appearance of a legitimate news organization.

Graphika, a company specialing in tracking and exposing Internet disinformation, issued a blockbuster report that must have factored in Facebook and Twitter’s decision to cancel PeaceData. After reviewing their evidence, I am not convinced that such a botched operation could threaten American “democracy.”

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  1. I am disheartened that a well informed writer such as you can still fall for the obvious imperialist sliming of the Syrian government – chlorine gas? Please, it would be total nonsense for “Assad” to use chlorine (or any other chemical) as a weapon which has no miltary or strategic uses in a 21st century war. Those tweets you got weren’t all sent by the IRA, they were probably sent by folks trying to stop you from undermining your own arguments about propaganda and imperialism.

    Comment by Zsolt Sary — September 6, 2020 @ 3:19 pm

  2. Please, it would be total nonsense for “Assad” to use chlorine (or any other chemical) as a weapon which has no miltary or strategic uses in a 21st century war.

    Really? The day after the chlorine attack in Douma, the rebels fled to Idlib.

    Comment by louisproyect — September 6, 2020 @ 4:00 pm

  3. The damage the Russian initiatives in the US have done to the US left–scaled with the rust and riddled with the rust-holes of earlier forms of co-optation–far exceeds the damage they did and would like to do to what is left of liberal democracy in this country; an objective that the Republican and Democratic Parties are more than capable of attaining without Russian assistance. This piece sure-footedly treads the tricky path between bellicose Democratic Party propaganda against Russia and the reality of Putin’s actual bad actions (eg. in Syria)-realities that do not correspond to some operatic Manichean timeless struggle of light and darkness.

    I particularly like the delineation of how the Russians recruited young journalists whose careers had been truncated by the rising US tide of illiterate-ism, down-dumbing, and rejection of expertise and com[ and their indifference to the actual opinions of those they are using as long as those patsies are advancing what the Duginites see as the decline of the inherent unmanly decadence of US liberal democracy. Russian propagandists do not particularly mind occasional sharp criticisms of Russia as long as these are circulated only in the US. They do not care overmuch for our love or admiration–and they pay writers whom they find useful, not invariably an accurate assessment

    This is what Americans don’t get–Russian propagandists don’t always seek to sway you in favor of Russia if they think you can be useful in some other way. Few or no Russians will read these things anyway. We want to see white-coated Totalitarians brainwashing virile young Ronald Reagans in vast underground laboratories to spout some emasculated robotic party line. Not finding this, we assume there is no problem. Convenient–and disastrous for the US left.

    The Russians support the weaker elements in the moralistic and oversimple US left because they think those elements tend to weaken the US position as the World’s Only Superpower. One doubts that even Stalin wanted to see a communist USA, which is one reason why he allowed the fringes of the Popular Front to frolic more or less at will back in the day. No more does Putin, one suspects, give much of a damn about having a pro-Russia USA. I’ve thought of writing a thriller in which a communist takeover of the US might actually have happened. In my scenario, Stalin intervenes to prevent this, as no greater calamity could have befallen the USSR and Uncle Joe in particular than the emergence of a rival in the Western Hemisphere. A similar plot could be devised with Putin and Trump or equivalent.

    As long as the USA continues to pursue the Reaganite Single Superpower delusion–not questioned by either US political antiparty–we can be counted on to destroy ourselves far more quickly than any subversive external force. All the Russians have to do is stand by, keep themselves from collapsing first, and watch the fun as the whole house of cards comes tumbling down. But they are not supergeniuses any more than we are, and they think they have to intervene. Maybe they’ll go under first. It’s a melancholy prospect whatever happens.

    If Trump does make himself dictator, I’ll bet money that he won’t last. As soon as the pesky Constitution is out of the way, he’ll be ousted by a cabal of his own supporters–one or more of whom will prove capable of doing what Trump doesn’t really want to do–and isn’t capable of doing even if he wanted to. Or maybe the consitution will be “restored” by the Pentagon–at who knows what cost.

    The US left, IMO, has got to unite as far as possible given the intransigence of the idiots whose leftism has been neutered by Putin, if we want to be in position to take power. Thanks to LP for trying to lay out a way forward.

    Comment by Farans Kalosar — September 11, 2020 @ 11:04 pm

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