164. Knock me down with a feather

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The Venezuelan stuff made me think of another narrative.

Once upon a time there was an orange-haired, narcissistic man who stood for the US presidency. He bragged to his mates about “grabbing women by the pussy” and mithered about building “a big, beautiful wall” and getting Mexico to pay for it. Many called him a clown and hustler, many more a misogynist and bigot. He came from a murky, quasi-mafia real estate and casino background that did not strive to make the world a better place. Given a dollop of decency, you wouldn’t hang around with this bloke.

Yet, in November 2016, he was voted in. Because enough Americans were fed up with the way the country had been run, and how Hilary Clinton showed no inclination to change things. My auntie and cousin in New Jersey were among these. Lovely people who ooze kindness and gentleness. “We needed a change,” said my mum’s sister, the last of her siblings. Obama and the Democrats had promised everything but instead looked after Wall Street and big business, she said.

It’s a true story. Shit happens. But for some of the people that run America, it seems the wrong guy won. What followed was an unstinting, probably unprecedented effort to remove an American president from office based on little more than narrative. Fed down to the masses, this insisted that the Kremlin infiltrated the highest levels of the US government sufficiently to swing the 2016 election.

For the last two- and a half years, the liberal corporate media has been shoving this story in our faces on a daily basis, without any redeeming factual evidence, or precise explanation of how this ‘infiltration’ translated into votes. To lend this steaming pile of horseshit narrative the appearance of legitimacy, special prosecutor Robert Mueller was appointed to conduct an official investigation in May 2017.

As an aside, I remember being taught in my history lessons that McCarthyism (the anti-Russia hysteria of the 1950s) was something to be avoided again at all costs, and something which the bravest souls stood up against. Russia has all sorts of murky stuff going on, like every other nation. Nonetheless it lost 26 million people in the fight against Hitler, the biggest loss of any Allied power. In the here and now it has played the biggest role in ensuring that the black flag of ISIS did not fly over Syria. That past sacrifice and present achievement are worthy of huge respect, to these eyes.

Inevitably, the Mueller story sent the BBC, Guardian, Times and most US and Western media scurrying off into a near-maniacal anti-Russia feeding frenzy. No evidence, just bollocks. Not just bollocks but dangerous bollocks that has been manipulated to whip up support for escalating tensions with a nuclear superpower. The ever-changing Skripals story had so many holes in it I ended up laughing at the television, and then switching it off.

Back in the US, the long-awaited conclusion of the Mueller investigation was submitted to Attorney General William Barr last week. It has emerged that Mueller is recommending no further indictments. No proof was found that Trump is a Russian intelligence asset, or that he personally conspired with Vladimir Putin to steal the presidency from Hillary Clinton. The grand total of Americans charged with Russian conspiracy is exactly zero. Well fuck a duck and knock me down with a feather. Surprise, surprise.

At some stage, most of the anti-Trump camp forgot the need for facts. They wanted to bring down Trump so badly that they were willing to turn off their critical thinking skills. Never mind that Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalist and Washington Post associate editor Bob Woodward – he of Watergate fame – gave them a strong reality signal in September 2018. He clearly stated that during two years of investigating his book, ‘Fear’, that he found no evidence of collusion or espionage between Trump and Russia. Woodward said he looked for it “hard” and yet turned up nothing.

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Just think of all that energy wasted over the last two and a bit years on a classic illustration of how the so-called ‘Fake News’ phenomenon works. Even now, I wonder if it has finished or whether Mueller will be accused of being a Putin sympathiser, to help extend the mass media blitz. Whether the cry will go up to bring in a special prosecutor to investigate the special prosecutor.

The BBC, the Guardian and their peers, God help them, are already intimating that something is still being hidden from public view that will damage Trump. Not a chance of an honest, humble acknowledgement that the Russian collusion allegation belongs somewhere in the pages of the Beano, right up there with Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Destruction. If only they had focused on Trump’s corruption, they might have got somewhere. The sole positive is that another disreputable chapter in the recent history of journalism hopefully bites the dust.

The fact remains that Trump was voted in, and can be voted out again, on a principled basis. Two Democratic female candidates are already coming up with decent-sounding manifestoes for 2020. Tulsi Gabbard, a Hindu from Hawaii and Muslim Ihlan Omar, of Somali-Ethiopian descent. Both would have to be a hundred times better than Trump or Hilary.

 

 

Unfortunately Trump is shrewd enough to leverage what has happened into sympathy and support in his reelection campaign. All the lemmings who have been selling and buying the ‘Russiagate’ narrative handed him this weapon. So thanks a bundle for lining up the prospect of another four years of this arsehole.

 

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