I recall the time when President George W. Bush claimed to have looked into Vladimir Putin’s eyes and seen a soul. My response: “Whose?”
In 2006, while I warned Putin was a Stalin-wannabe and enemy of the United States, the Swamp’s “sophisticated” foreign policy swells contemptuously chuckled at my antiquated “Cold War” paranoia. Six years later, when Mitt Romney argued Russia was the most dangerous threat to the United States, he found himself similarly dismissed. Two years after that, when House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chair Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) sounded the alarm over Russian information warfare against the United States, the Obama Administration ignored his warnings and approved Putin controlling 20 percent of our uranium deposits.
So much for Bush seeing souls and Obama’s reset. Sadly, we were but a few of the many voices over the past two decades derided and dismissed respecting Russia’s aims to undermine the United States at home and abroad.
But what of today? With the Swamp’s political class and the lemming media in full clamor over Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s announcement that 13 Russian nationals have been indicted for their attempts to to interfere in America’s 2016 election, one would be tempted to think the true nature of Putin’s revanchist kleptocracy is finally exposed and that those who formerly mocked concern over Russia might finally be ready to do what they can to impede it now.
But one would be wrong.
Given the immense scope of America’s intelligence, counterintelligence, law enforcement, and defense entities entrusted with monitoring the espionage and interference of other nations, why did it take a special counsel to catch this ham-fisted, half-assed gaggle of Russian spooks?
The present “concern” over Russia’s threat to the United States would be a welcome change from the past indifference and apologies from members of the Swamp in the pursuit of profit, if it were sincere. Yet, like fame, infamy is fleeting—especially when founded upon domestic American partisan political considerations. Thus, there exists the distinct danger that the newfound awareness of Russia’s malicious designs on our democracy will recede when the domestic political stakes of “Russia-gate” are ultimately settled.
Once one side is determined right and the other side wrong, both sides will return to attacking each other on the next “crisis” that affords them the opportunity of scoring more political points.
Therefore, in assessing and countering covert Russian aggression against the United States, clearly the current din over the indictments of these Russians is not evidence of a comprehensive solution. These slapdash indictments, in fact, are symptomatic of a larger problem.
In its fathomless hubris, venality and myopia, the swamp remains willfully blind to today’s true contest. The contest is not every four years between establishment Republicans and Democrats tickle fighting over the swamp’s spoils. It is the eternal contest between liberty and tyranny.
Just as in the fight against fascism, Communism, and Japanese imperialism in the 20th century, America and her sister democracies remain engaged in a “bitter twilight struggle” against rival models of governance such as authoritarian Russia, Communist China, and theocratic Iran. Fundamentally, democracy holds that individual liberty is the foundation of prosperity and security; these rival models of governance proffer that individual liberty is the enemy of prosperity and security.
Consequently, America and her allies in liberty must remain ever vigilant against theses rival models of government and their tyrannical brethren. They are playing a long game to win by any means necessary—including information warfare, cyber-hacking, and other covert subversions—all of which and more we must anticipate and counter if we mean to win.
One thing upon which America, her allies, and our common opponents can agree is that the stakes are great and the world is watching.
The world had better see a whole lot more from America than Mueller’s 13 indicted Facebook friends of Fancy Bear ensconced fat and sassy in Mother Russia while Putin laughs his ass off.