“Trump's reign is the most visible sign of that weakness.”
The newly created Committee to Investigate Russia (CIR) released a video narrated by Morgan Freeman warning the US public about Russia. Freeman's rant exposed the CIR as nothing but a CIA-front group seeking to beat the drums of war with Russia. A quick look at the website gives all the information one needs to know about the CIR. CIR's advisory board includes former National Intelligence Director James Clapper and current Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) Max Boot. Deranged Hollywood personality Rob Reiner also serves on the board. With Trump increasingly aligning with the neo-con imperial establishment on questions of foreign policy, the war hawks in the US ruling class are preparing for a larger confrontation with the Russian Federation.
No evidence of Russian tampering is provided by either the website or the two-minute long video. The message, however, is clear. Freeman states in plain terms that "we are at war." He claims that Russia is interfering with democracies all over the world. Putin is depicted as a deranged, revenge-driven autocrat. His goal is simple: to disrupt democratic governance by way of cyber terror.
“Morgan Freeman states that ‘for 241 years, our democracy has been a shining example to the world of what we can all aspire to.’"
Freeman only needed one line to discredit the CIR's anti-Russia narrative. In the video, he states that "for 241 years, our democracy has been a shining example to the world of what we can all aspire to." Such imperial hubris doesn’t acknowledge the vast crimes of the US empire. These crimes include the genocide of indigenous and African peoples during much of the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. In the 20th century, the US imperial state managed to murder somewhere between twenty to thirty million people and interfere in the political processes of over fifty different nations. This includes US interference in the 1996 Russian election, whereby the US helped manipulate the results in favor of unpopular oligarch Boris Yeltsin.
This only skims the surface of the long list of examples of US-led criminality both domestically and abroad. The US is run by an international cartel of bankers, corporate executives, and state actors that protect the rule of the rich. It is only fitting then that five individuals connected to the US intelligence services would form an "non-profit" dedicated to disseminating anti-Russia narratives. A recent leak of Pentagon documents reveal that the US intelligence services have altered and interfered in over 1,800 movies and shows. That means Rob Reiner and Morgan Freeman are just as close to the intelligence services as the rest of the advisory board.
“In the 20th century, the US imperial state managed to murder somewhere between twenty to thirty million people and interfere in the political processes of over fifty different nations.”
Clapper, Boot, Sykes, and Ornstein all come from the Obama-Bush sector of the ruling class. Boot and Sykes are neo-conservative war-hawks. It should be noted that these war-hawks have been embraced by both corporate parties in the US. MSNBC’s favorite Democratic Party mouthpiece, Joy Ann Reid, recently interviewed that she finds herself having more in common with the likes of Max Boot than with the "far left." In other words, the Democrats and their media supporters will unite with anyone as long as it fulfills the objective of escalating war with Russia.
The Committee to Investigate Russia comes amid a number of efforts to strengthen what is now the dying narrative that the Russians hacked the 2016 elections in favor of Trump. Facebook recently announced that it will begin shutting down profiles deemed to be Russian creations. The New York Times recently reported that Facebook traced $100,000 worth of "anti-Clinton" ads back to Russian sources. Such a small investment and no proof to back the claim other than Facebook's word has placed the Russia election story on the verge of collapse. This prompted the US military state and their Hollywood allies to facilitate a new project to revive the useful myth.
“The US empire continues to lose ground in the world economic order.”
The US military state’s obsession with Russia is driven by the need to tame Trump and expand the war agenda at the same time. Balancing the two has driven the political situation in the US beyond the point of insanity. At the UN General Assembly, Trump spoke of the possibility of the US annihilating the DPRK and escalating tensions with Iran. Yet not even this was good enough for the US military state. Trump's proposed military budget increase of 54 billion dollars was bested by the Senate and House, both of which agreed to a 77-billion-dollar increase. The National Defense Authorization Act of 2017 passed by the Senate will add several hundred million dollars to "deter Russian aggression."
Washington's political elite in both houses have voiced disgust for Trump but praise him whenever he agrees with their war designs. They have also attempted to pressure him at every moment into even more dangerous war maneuvers. This could be seen in late July when the Senate agreed upon tighter sanctions against Russia, Iran, and the DPRK. The world finds itself dangerously close to a major confrontation not seen since the last World War. And even if Trump is at the helm when it occurs, it is certain that he won't be alone in ensuring the planet's nuclear destruction.
The US empire has never been more unstable and the drums of war never as loud as they are today. What is keeping the US military apparatus from setting the world ablaze in nuclear flames is the empire's own weakness. Trump's reign is the most visible sign of that weakness. The US empire continues to lose ground in the world economic order. Economic dislocation and state repression are producing unmanageable conditions inside of the empire's artificial borders. The question is not if, but when, a breaking point occurs when the masses of poor and exploited people say enough is enough.
Danny Haiphong is a Vietnamese-American activist and political analyst in the Boston area. He can be reached at [email protected]