Friday, March 31, 2017

More warnings of the need for realism on the Trump-Russia issue

"To defeat Trump, we need to see clearly the complex, contradictory world in which we live, not the Cold War movie we fantasize about."

So says Bruce Shapiro, looking at the hazards of the current politics of fear connected to the Trump-Russia scandal in We Must Investigate the Russia Hacking Charges—Without Cold-War Hysteria The Nation 03/23/2017:

The delusional world of Trump and his inner circle is evident to all except his most ardent followers. But increasingly, the president’s opponents have been gripped by wide-ranging fevers of our own, racing far ahead of the evidence on issues ranging from the alleged Russian sexual kompromat aimed at the unshameable Trump to purported deep-state machinations aimed at US news consumers. It’s understandable; we’re all in disorienting waters. But it is easier for Democrats to obsess over the e-mail hack than to focus on their own calamitous failure in the election; easier for John McCain and Lindsey Graham to pound the drum against Vladimir Putin than to contend with the GOP’s surrender to Trump and Steve Bannon.

This is a dangerous and short-sighted game: From the Alien and Sedition Acts onward, exaggerated fear of foreign subversion has always damaged America more than any genuine external enemy has. And in the long run, a climate of threat—regardless of its source—is exactly what Team Trump wants: Such an atmosphere corrodes, rather than advances, any progressive American vision.

But if promoting a new Cold War is no answer, neither is denying the reality of Russian hackers meddling in the election, or minimizing Putin’s web of toxic nationalism, political corruption, and mobbed-up oligarchy, which now has its US analogue — and perhaps partner — in the White House. The fact that America has its own long, appalling track record of interference in the politics of other nations doesn’t amount to grounds for impunity regarding the DNC hack. Breaking into the e-mail accounts of a US presidential campaign is a criminal conspiracy undermining the integrity of our elections, and it needs to be investigated that way. The line of accountability needs to be followed wherever it leads, including the Kremlin.
Glenn Greenwald also warns of superficiality and carelessness on the issue:

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