Peter Van Buren on Putin Paranoia

Things about America we’ve learned since November.

Our nation, the republic, democracy, our very system of government is more fragile than at any other time in American history. So fragile that everything has, or is in near-immediate danger of, collapsing, after only a two month jog from near-perfect to the edge of dystopia.

The cause of this is Vladimir Putin, who is an evil genius, spymaster, mastermind, brilliant, super criminal, chessmaster, but also a thug and dictator.

Only a few months ago, stuff like this lurked in the dank corners of the Internet, usually web sites that were designed in the 1990s, or on late night talk radio, or on six hour YouTube video rants. These were the same sources who found the Illuminati, Mossad, childhood vaccines, and chemtrails responsible for the impending end of our nation. We called this stuff conspiracy theories and if rational people mentioned them at all, it was as a punchline, with a shake of the head and a muttered “How can people believe this crap?”

Good times. But they are over.

We now live in a media world where what used to be crazy is now mainstream. Today’s example is from Salon, with a piece subtitled “The Soviet Union never attacked America as blatantly as Putin has – and we’re in danger of losing democracy.”

The article gets right to it, announcing this is

…the first time in modern history in which Russia has directly attacked the United States – on American soil no less, and precision-aimed at what matters most: the very integrity of our democratic process.”

How was this done? By hacking our election, hacking being a word that no longer means anything but something something computers I don’t really understand but it’s bad. Like when your mom calls you up and says her laptop was hacked because it lost the wifi link to the printer (just restart it, mom…)

Anyway, how was this hacking done? Social media. Russia ‘bots. Fake news. RT.com which no one watches. The upshot according to Salon? Millions of Americans

…were manipulated into acting as unwitting foot soldiers for Vladimir Putin’s invasion… Americans were suckered by and acted in accordance with Putin’s plot… [because] Americans are deeply vulnerable to digital manipulation and weaponized social media hoaxes.

More about how stupid our nation is in the face of Putin’s brilliance? Here you go, same article:

The blind acceptance of Russian propaganda, because it happened to include “facts” that some of us were starved to read, is what turned otherwise decent though gullible Americans into Putin’s infantry, virally blitzing the Kremlin’s message through the trenches of the political Internet, attacking and converting more voters with zombie lies. Trench by trench, Facebook group by Facebook group, Americans executed Putin’s attacks for him.

And then oh-my-God things really start to fall into place to somehow explain Hillary Clinton’s inexplicable loss:

The hacking of the DNC and Podesta aside, the effort to trick Americans into being recruited as Russian cyber-soldiers began by turning Democrats who supported Bernie Sanders against the predicted front-runner, Hillary Clinton. Using “bots” and human resources, Putin lobbed fake news and ridiculous conspiracy theories into social media. Voters who were predisposed to distrust Clinton willingly shared these stories, poisoning everyone who inexplicably wanted to be poisoned.

Knowing what we know now, it’s no longer a stretch to report that Trump was placed in office by Putin. But it only happened because millions of Americans unknowingly volunteered to serve as enemy combatants, undermining and betraying their own country.

So there it is, laid out in black and white: Americans were duped by Putin into destroying our own democracy by exercising our right to vote in a way Salon doesn’t like. Basically, our precious bodily fluids are at grave risk. Brilliant, evil, but brilliant.

BONUS: So in summary, some substantial number of Americans clearly and truly believe Putin engineered the results of our last election, not by manipulating actual ballot counts, but via influencing social media in a way that influenced some 50% of Americans to vote a certain way. And that the entire universe of factors that went into the election (advertising, endorsements, emails, you choose) did not have as significant an effect as Facebook and RT. And that as a result, the President of the United States is under the direct and immediate control of Putin and has and will continue to purposefully act against the interests of the U.S.

Seriously, that is some whack paranoid sh*t right there.

Peter Van Buren blew the whistle on State Department waste and mismanagement during Iraqi reconstruction in his first book, We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People. His latest book is Ghosts of Tom Joad: A Story of the #99 Percent. Reprinted from the his blog with permission.

17 thoughts on “Peter Van Buren on Putin Paranoia”

  1. Hillary lost because she is quite literally the only human being on earth more repulsive than Donald Trump. Until the Democrats realize and except this basic fact they will remain irrelevant to working people in this country. I don’t like Bernie Sanders but Bernie would have won and the Democrats and their media whores sabotaged his campaign at every step. If Democrats want to avoid eight whole years of that orange cretin in the White House they need to stop blaming Putin for their short comings and get their f**king sh*t together.

    1. Nobody could possibly be as bad as Trump, but many Americans didn’t know that at the time. It’s surprising that you are still saying that Hillary was worse now that you know how bad Trump is. He’s actually a threat of startinig WW3 but still you persist in the Hillary bashing.

      It’s most likely an indication of your immaturity in not coming to face facts even when there’s no longer any doubt about how dangerous Trump has proven to be.

      That’s no endorsement of Hillary, it’s just the plain truth. And what you didn’t mention is that most of the reason Hillary didn’t win is her personal appearance. That alone will come close to electing a politician in your country. You’re a nation of teens who haven’t matured mentally past 18 years of age. And at least a third of your citizens are frothing at the mouth racists, bigots, and haters. Trump’s third.

      It’s not getting better, it’s getting much worse and you’ve just shown you aren’t capable of rising above it.

      1. You keep posting here, and seem to be infatuated with Trump – why don’t you marry the fucker already.
        Elections and voting are store front window sales for the rubes, but this time a candidate/intruder got by the owners/deep state – don’t expect it to ever happen again, but it was delicious to see their vaunted Hildebeast put out to pasture – which is exactly you need to be, right there with her.

  2. I read Peter’s articles wondering with every paragraph if he’s being serious or sarcastic. He’s really not very good at this.

      1. And once again Thane. Are ‘your’ words sarcasm or serious? I found noting funny in it, just uninformed nonsense and guesses at what’s happening with Putin and what and who is trying to be.

          1. Which only tells me it’s one of the other. Why not say something straight out and be done with it? What is your opinion of this writer? So far I’m just assuming that you find him useless the way I do.

    1. I always find all of your comments to be useless. That’s your thing though, isn’t it?

  3. Dropping a bomb on RT wont work out the same as it did with Al Jazeera. I guess they’re stuck flinging poo at them from over the fence for now…

  4. BONUS: What you’ve said in that Bonus Peter, is the whack paranoid sh*t. That’s not what 50% of Americans think. Only some much smaller % of Americans believe that Putin engineered the results. And the idea of Trump being under direct and immediate control of Putin has to be something out of your own head

    Which brings up the question on why you don’t try to write something out of your own head and stop trying to interpret what you think others are saying about the topic? You’re just not interpreting most of it right.

    1. Your reading comprehension is poor. Peter didn’t say 50% of Americans believe anything about Putin; he just said that 50% of Americans voted a certain way in the presidential election, and that a “substantial number” of Americans believe that the 50% were influenced by a Putin-engineered social media campaign. Maybe you have trouble with Peter’s long sentences.

  5. Matt Drudge says congress is sabotaging the Trump agenda. Awww…poor little stuck up elitist mouthpiece for the Far Right Extremists… but the congressmen who are blocking or “sabotaging” him… those would be the same Democrats who were told they would not be able to do anything to challenge The Fascist Racist Trump Regime.

    It’s a really simple thing, you know? Except for Military and maybe the White House staff Nobody Is Under Any Obligation To Obey Trump. The Republican congress critters have been under the threat of a torchlight and pitchfork parade every time they go back to their districts. They know which side of their toast is buttered. The electoral college doesn’t extend to Congressional elections. Now they want to let go of his coattails. And people speak of them as being “traitors”. Thing is, more people voted against him than for him. No mandate, no landslide.Ms Clinton would have had the same problem with trust and validation. Except she’s a lawyer and trained to not confess to crimes loudly and often.

    So, what if Putin has Mafia type gangsters on his team, so does the U.S. government at just about all levels. There are no saints. Except for me of course. But the rest of you are just going to Hell.

    People in high government power did all they could to gain that power, because they want the power. Altruism isn’t in their vocabulary.

    And the Mafia types have mostly the same business ethics as Wall Street, difference being the Wall Streeters won’t get their delicately manicured hands dirty. That’s what peasants are for.

    What if the focus really isn’t on Putin but the local ruffians, with whom he has obviously no control? The ex-Gulag folks. They would be the go-to guys to launder money in Russia. Where Trump does have a lot of businesses, and keeps telling us to shut up and quit demanding to know what he’s doing for and with his money.

    So what if the Russians he’s partnered are NGOs? Instead of the State.

    And just like here, the Russian government doesn’t have discretionary funds to hire The Best Hackers. Government salaries are notorious for being paltry.
    Middle class, maybe.

    1. I’m not going to hell either brother because I know it’s all sky fairy nonsense. We have an unusual situation where the Dems are solidly against Trump, for obvious good reasons. But we don’t have the ordinary situation where the Repubs are supportive of Trump. They’re mostly silent on all the important foreign policy issues, as well as domestic issues.

      Foreign policy issues won’t break Trump because Americans are pretty solidly prowar, but domestic issues might. The Republican congress knows that the current situation needs to come to an end before the next election and so they will have to get what they can out of Trump’s rightist agenda soon, before they abandon him to to the wolves.

      One thing for sure, as long as the Dems can continue to destroy Trump on his nonsense words on US/Russia relations, they will. And Trump’s vanity won’t allow him to just admit that he didn’t mean a word of it!

      Not a bad status quo if one discounts the possibility of Trump starting a major war with another super power!

      And also for sure, Raimondo is never going to get the one piece of vindication from Trump that he so desperately needs!

      1. Oh, I don’t intend to edit anybody’s religious or non-religious beliefs. I’m not perfect so any such manipulation would also be flawed. What I do by quoting scripture and juxtapose it to the actual conduct of the Christian and sometimes Jewish, what’s that term for people who are politically Pink instead of Reds? Fellow Travelers. Put into a religious context because people who profess faith in Moses and Jesus but believe that those precepts are for OTHER people and not for their own lives, they’re really a big part of the War Community. Every bit as much as the reported excesses of the Islamic people or the allegedly atheistic anti-Christ Communists. The richest in all these political, ethnic and religious power blocs are breaking their own secular and religious laws and moral standards by increasing their wealth by killing other people, by proxy.

        What I strive to do is remind them of the hypocrisy of their actions measured against their stated beliefs. I firmly believe in conscience.. Some people don’t show many signs of remorse or other forms of human empathy.

        We all say that all of humanity is basically good and certainly equal in rights, even if our governments and other institutions say that, but act differently. Sometimes it works.

        Atheists at least don’t hide their actions behind God.

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