J. Stewart Cook’s Canadian Commentary
To this day, Russia continues to deny that they interfered with the 2016 USA election. Does one believe this or not? In the event that Russia did interfere, what was their reasoning? What was their motive? Would they not be concerned with the fallout of their relationship with the USA (what relationship)?
Like many Americans, was Russia tired of the Obama/Clinton administration, the so-called “establishment or elite” in Washington? Perhaps they saw themselves as “international observers,” a third party ensuring that there was no interference, domestic or otherwise, in the election! On the other hand, they may simply have wanted to assist certain Americans in ‘DRAINING THE SWAMP” in Washington! I It It is well known that USA/Russian relations have been strained (I’m being generous) for a number of years. The loss of Obama and Clinton would not be much of a loss to Russia, however, they would probably welcome the “new sheriff in town,” Donald Trump!
It is pointless to enter into a long discussion on USA-Russian relations. These relationships change as the various White House administrations change. We all know when relations have been for the better or for the worse! So, what has “gotten the goat” of so many Americans…INTERFERENCE.
Yes, supposedly, Russia interfered in the 2016 election by using the “cyber world” to manipulate the outcome of the election. This has caused much concern amongst Americans, especially the politicians. Would this, however, just be part of the bigger picture called “cyber war.” Would such “cyber actions” be common place today and expected?
Let’s take a look at world events relating to political cyber attacks.
In the Netherlands, Dutch authorities counted paper ballots in a recent election by hand to prevent foreign governments—and Russia in particular—from manipulating the results through cyber attacks.
In Denmark, the defense minister accused the Russian government of carrying out a two-year campaign to infiltrate email accounts at his ministry.
In the United Kingdom, a parliamentary committee reported that it could not “rule out” the possibility that “foreign interference” caused a voter-registration site to crash ahead of Britain’s referendum on EU membership.
And in France, a cybersecurity firm discovered that suspected Russian hackers were targeting the leading presidential candidate.
And from the Group of Seven they commented, “We are increasingly concerned about cyber-enabled interference in democratic political processes,”
And yet, knowing this, American politicians are “pulling their hair out” as to why America may have been the target of electoral interference.
We know. Of course, we know. It really doesn’t matter who interfered (however, Russia is always a good target), since it’s all about manipulation and the election outcome.
I can picture Vladimir Putin in his office with two telephones, one to each ear. “Just a minute Donald, I must put you on hold. Sorry, Hillary, I had to take another call.” And what was the conversation about? Both were pleading with Vladimir…”if you can do anything to get rid of my opponent it would truly be appreciated. Do you mean interfere with the election by means of cyber attacks, said Vladimir. Yes, responded both candidates!
So, did Donald seek assistance from Russia, did Hillary? As mentioned above, was Russia tired of the pre-election administration and took it upon themselves to rid the USA of Hillary Clinton? It would seem that it was all about “WIN OR LOOSE,” for both the candidates and Russia!
Curiosity got the better of all. Now Hillary had her own agenda to seek the truth. If Donald did seek Putin’s assistance, and it was proven, in all likeliness Donald would eventually have to step down as President. However, the same could be said about Hillary, should she have taken the same path to eliminate Donald.
Russia has denied interfering with the US election. Furthermore, it has also denied hacking the other countries mentioned above. So, “where is the evidence?” In some cases, the evidence for state-sponsored interference has been minimal, if any. So far, there is no proof.
As reported by “The Atlantic,” what is novel today is: 1) the Russian government does seem to have revived its Cold War-era “active measures” against the political systems of rival countries; 2) the digital era has afforded the Kremlin and other state and non-state actors new tools in such efforts, from phishing attacks against campaign staffers to fake news distributed through social media; 3) the targeted countries are especially vulnerable to this type of sabotage at the moment; and 4) targeted countries aren’t sure how to respond to this modern form of political warfare.
As the expert on Russian issues, Fiona Hill, said “Vladimir Putin, in apparently ordering a campaign to hack and leak Democratic Party emails, didn’t create toxic partisanship or deep distrust of government in the United States. Instead, he exploited this political dysfunction by turning the strengths of an open, technologically advanced country into weaknesses. Barack Obama’s belated retaliation against Russia at the end of his presidency, and the beleaguered congressional investigations into Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election, speak to the U.S. government’s profound struggles to process Putin’s challenge to the soft underbelly of contemporary democracy.”
Perhaps Russia’s manipulation or interference in the 2016 USA election (if any), was their “top” prize! Perhaps the USA had this all wrong. Perhaps Russia was just trying their hand at breaking into a system responsible for administering the 2016 election.
But, then again, Russia’s interference may have simply been a kind offer, in assisting all those Americans who were tired of the “elitist governance,” to DRAIN THE SWAMP in Washington. In time, it will all be known!