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The reason the CIA got involved in overthrowing Allende had nothing to do with falsely making Allende out to be an extreme socialist leader
Except we know it had everything to do with that, because, again, the Church Committee helpfully declassified a lot of the internal goings-on. We know that they libeled Allende as plotting a coup, and we know that he wasn't - or at least US intelligence had no evidence or even indication that he was.

Similarly with Trump today, the allegations are not that he has a sensible Russia policy (which he pretended to have, although of course that evaporated as soon as he left the campaign trail). The allegations are that he is a Russian agent, and that the Russian state is actively colluding with him to illegitimately intervene in US elections.

What we do know from all that has been publicly acknowledged so far is that the Russians helped put Trump in the White House,
That is an exaggeration bordering on libel. Russia sponsors some English-language outlets for dissidents, most of whom are pretty crackpot. When the US does that to other people, it's called promoting democracy and a pluralist media landscape (and lord knows the US could use both, though I'm not convinced that the Kremlin is the best place to go learn about them). Everything beyond that is conjecture and claims of the same apparent veracity as the blood libels against Allende.

Trump, of course, is no Allende, so it's not laughably idiotic the way the smears against Allende were. But US intelligence has enough of a history of smearing Russia that merely passing the giggle test just isn't enough. Boy who cries wolf and all that.

This means, getting back to the argument of Luis's post, that we cannot use historical interpretations of national interests to explain what the US is doing anymore. We must include Russian interests in that analysis,
Except, of course, that Trump did a 180 on all of his sensible Russia and Syria policy as soon as he no longer needed to beat the Democrats over the head with the utter, blithering idiocy that was Candidate Clinton's Syria and Russia policies. He's gone right back to a very, very conventional American position on these matters since the coronation. The most parsimonious explanation that fits all the facts is that his campaign did a little polling and figured out that the rysskräck wasn't playing well with their target demographics, and that's really all there is to it. Now, maybe there's an elaborate conspiracy involved that only the brave patriots at the CIA have been able to penetrate, and which they can't prove because it would compromise their highly placed sources in the GRU. Maybe.

Or maybe the mirrorshade brigade is as full of shit as they usually are, and using the excuse of state secrets to avoid having to cop to not having done their homework. As usually turns out to be the case on those occasions where the public gets to read long courtesy of a subpoena or a whistleblower.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Feb 21st, 2017 at 10:05:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Russia sponsors some English-language outlets for dissidents, most of whom are pretty crackpot. When the US does that to other people, it's called promoting democracy and a pluralist media landscape (and lord knows the US could use both, though I'm not convinced that the Kremlin is the best place to go learn about them). Everything beyond that is conjecture and claims of the same apparent veracity as the blood libels against Allende.

Yes. That is the whole point. When the US does, in fact, fund democracy activities that benefit selected sides in political contests like elections, we know whose interests can no longer be separated from the interests of the United States. It does not matter at all whether such activities were even helpful or competent in any way. Just the fact that US made a serious effort to help one side in an election is enough to prove the connected interests of the beneficiary of US help and the US cannot be ignored.

For that reason alone, even if Russian help for Trump was ultimately amateurish, just the fact that they they sided with Trump and actively intervened in the election on his behalf, and whose isolationist policy changes across the board help Russia first and foremost, are enough evidence to conclude that Russian and US interests cannot be easily separated as long as Trump is president.

by santiago on Wed Feb 22nd, 2017 at 04:48:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Or maybe Russia just hates Clinton, and would seek to harm her even if she'd been running against a certified paranoia case like McCain. It's not as though they don't have plenty of reasons to have a personal grudge against the Clinton clan.

Or just generally destabilize the US, on the theory that anything that falls out of the chaos is going to be preferable to the previous trajectory. That's usually a stupid theory, but spies seem to like it. It's certainly one that the US mirrorshade brigade has subscribed to often enough.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Feb 23rd, 2017 at 09:22:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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