Anyone who thinks it takes bombs and bullets to win a war is an idiot doomed to lose every war he ever fights going forward.
Please — let’s not that idiot.
Call it asymetrical war, call it cyber war. Call it anything you like. Russia is waging it against us regardless of what we call it or even whether we acknowledge that we’re under attack.
For reference — the people living at Pearl Harbor had no idea the Japanese fleet was on its way — having declared war on America in general and on them specifically that day. You don’t have to know you’re under attack to “be” under attack.
The first thing we have to do — individually — is acknowledge what’s happening to us. Being a victim of childhood sexual assault, I know how easy it can be to go all “out of body” in the face of emotional trauma. Hell, I denied what happened to me for 45 years. Not for a second did it mean it didn’t happen to me.
It only meant that I was in denial about it.
We’re under attack. This is war — World War Three, in fact (we’re not the only country Russia is assaulting after all). We know that Putin created actual plans to attack us covertly. That he’s done it (and is still doing it) isn’t the shocker; it’s all the complicity on our side of the ledger that’s shocking. Trump is a given. He’s been involved with Russian mobsters and their money for decades.
How quickly so many Republicans succumbed to Trump — that’s the shocker. Between kompromat & campaign money (illegal cos it’s Russian), the Republicans must be guilty out the wazoo to judge by their loyalty to a man so obviously guilty of the highest crimes and misdemeanors.
It’s on us to fight back every day in evey way we can. Voting will be vital of course. But so is engaging with these pirates. Silence in the face of their crimes normalizes their crimes. Yeah, it’s a pain in the ass — and exhausting — having to keep up the righteous indignation. But every time we stop being righteously indignant, that’s another high crime we’re normalizing.
It’s the fact that we’re at war that turns Trump’s desperate need for cash into treason.
Make no mistake: this will get uglier than we can imagine. The republicans will refuse to own their betrayal to the bitter end.
They won’t like how that part of the Cyber War ends for them — in irons in a federal penitentiary for the rest of their lives. That’s if they’re lucky.
We all know the story of December 7, 1941. At around 7:15 a.m. the Japanese Imperial Fleet attacked the American naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
Just like that — America was “at war”.
But, the Japanese had set their war machine in motion years before — designing it for just such a scenario. In advance of that date — December 7, the Japanese moved their war machine into place. We’re talking a naval fleet and a wide expanse of ocean. Then, once the order was given to attack, it still took the Japanese hours to reach Pearl Harbor so they could open the attack — and make the fact that they were at war with us “formal”.
Looking back at the timeline, December 7, 1941 didn’t just pop up out of nowhere. I wonder if anyone at Pearl Harbor asked themselves — as they ran for cover, the bombs exploding all around them — how was it they (we) were so horribly ill-prepared for a war they (we) should have seen coming…
Okay — the whole point of a surprise attack is that the guy getting attacked doesn’t see it coming. But, c’mon…
A deer happily walking through the forest thinks her life is going along just fine. If a hunter has her in his sights however, she’s fooling herself. Her life’s about to end abruptly. She’ll just be the last to know it.
America is a lot like that deer. We still have it in our heads that our Democracy works like it’s supposed to. Nothing could be further from the truth. Our voting systems are as compromised as a Trump because the makers of those systems are mostly Trump supporters. And one has to wonder why the makers of VOTING SYSTEMS don’t want to guarantee the INTEGRITY of their VOTING SYSTEMS by always creating a paper trail.
Quick Life Hack? Any time anyone tries to hide the truth — no matter the tap dancing they do? It means they’re lying. It means they’re a criminal violating both the public trust and (probably) the law.
Russia declared war on us eons ago. It has been their intention going back to at least the Cold War to compromise us or neutralize us. We used to be much better at fighting back. Republican greed — for money and power — seem to have warn down their “resistance”. Seeing demographic extinction in their future, the Republican Party (their money) made a conscious choice to hitch their wagon to Donald Trump — even though they KNEW, for a fact, that Trump was a traitor.
That’s just stone, cold fact.
Russia declared Cyber War & Information War against us (they’ve certainly behaved as if they were at Cyber/Info War with us) and the Republican Party conspired with them as a means to impose permanent minority rule upon the majority.
They knew we were under attack — THEY SAID SO OUT LOUD. Yet, did nothing. Didn’t call the FBI, for instance…
Wake up, America — please? Anyone who thinks you need bombs and bullets to wage or win a war will lose every war they ever fight going forward. Russia (or some other player) could shut down our electrical grid today and we’d be forced to sue for peace. Imagine: winning a war without firing a shot. It is absolutely possible.
The fact that we don’t KNOW — for a fact — that we’ve been under attack all this time is a tell that we’re living inside a giant FALSE NARRATIVE. Every time a TV talking head says about election 2016 that America voted for Trump, they’re spewing a false narrative. 1) the majority of Americans did NOT vote for Trump and 2) in the three states that put Trump over the top — Pennsylvania, Michigan & Wisconsin, Trump won by a combined 77,000 votes in states where Russia used proprietary polling data acquired from Paul Manafort (per the Mueller Report) to DIRECTLY IMPACT the voting in those states.
By the way, no one has ever done any forensics on any of the voting machines in those states. We don’t (may never) know what could have been done (easily by a committed actor) to those machines. Of course, if you don’t accept that you’re at war to begin with, you’d never think to look deeply at voting machines. You’d probably think it was absurd, over the top conspiracy thinking…
A spouse who’s being cheated on lives inside a false narrative that their marriage is secure. We live inside a similar false narrative — and marriage — with the Republican Party. They haven’t just cheated on us, they’ve sold the house out from under us.
Remember that deer I mentioned, the one being hunted? That’s us. Right here, right now. History is pretty consistent on this point. Being the last to know anything always works out badly.
I’m old enough to remember when the Republican Party wasn’t a racist, homophobic, misogynistic cess pit of White Nationalist tribalism and Trumpian treason.
I can remember when that “R” GOP-ers stick next to their names used to stand for “Republican”. Now it could just as easily stand for “Russia”. Or “Rape” or “Racist”.
I can remember when Republicans brought receipts (“receipts” being an “R” Republicans no longer have a relationship with). Now they bring lies and bullshit by the bucket.
And they bring treason. How must lifelong Republican Robert Mueller felt today, staring across the table at the Republican faces staring back — while they (totally without credibility) tried to undermine his. On paper it’s obscene. In reality it was even worse. Imagine how it must have felt to Mueller to be attacked by the likes of Representative Matt Gaetz from Florida (he of a dozen or so DUI’s) or Ohio’s Representative Jim Jordan (he who enabled all that sexual assault to go on on the Ohio State University wrestling team). Imagine, if you will, having to take shit from Louie Gohmert — easily the stupidest man in all of Texas.
Imagine arriving at what you know is a pivotal moment in American history and YOUR party-members are clearly doing everything in their power to obstruct justice while aiding & abetting the hostile foreign power that is attacking us as we speak. Just so we’re clear — America IS absolutely under attack. We are deep into a cyber war — and getting our asses kicked in large part because we refuse to acknowledge that this is what’s happening.
The citizens of Pearl Harbor had no idea that war had been declared on them. They did, of course, when the Japanese arrived and began bombing, but just because the bombs hadn’t started dropping doesn’t mean they weren’t coming. It doesn’t mean a state of war didn’t exist — that only one side knew was on.
That’s a lot like our situation. We’ve been slow to wake up to the fact that we’ve been cyber attacked. Are still BEING cyber attacked. That cyber attack includes disinformation warfare. As we know from experience — it’s incredibly effective.
Robert Mueller sounded the alarm bells. It was one of the few times he stepped outside the framework of his report. But he was emphatic. Russia is attacking us right this very second.
As he stared across the table at his fellow Republicans, Robert Mueller knew damned well — he was staring at people who were betraying not just his party and its supposed ideals but the country. Robert Mueller had to know today that his Republican Party doesn’t exist anymore.
Anyone who thinks you need bombs & bullets to win a war is going to lose every war they ever fight going forwards. Right now — that’s us.
We’ve been under intense Cyber attack ever since Donald Trump became part of our political process. That’s not hyperbole or conjecture — it’s material fact — contained right there in the Mueller Report. Russia didn’t just “meddle” in election 2016, they changed its outcome. They made Donald Trump the winner even though he absolutely was not.
Don’t tell me about voting machines — how if no voting machines were impacted, how can the vote be effected. That’s just as ignorant and troglodytic as thinking cyber war doesn ‘t happen. First of all, no official forensics have ever been done on any of the voting machines in Pennsylvania, Michigan or Wisconsin (that I know of). Those are three of the four states for which Paul Manafort handed over proprietary polling data to Oleg Deripaska — who then gave them to the GRU (Russian military intelligence) for weaponization. Unofficial forensics on the numbers by terrific citizen journalists like Mike Farb and Jennifer Cohen have pointed to numerous clear anomalies. Counties with the exact same percentages of Trump v Hillary vote tabulations. it doesn’t pass the “what a coincidence” smell test.
The point is, we don’t KNOW if machines were attacked and their vote totals altered — we’ve never asked the question. It’d be easy enough to DO the forensics and put the conspiracy theories to bed. Wonder why they don’t…
If you honestly think a changed vote at the point of purchase — a voting machine — is the only way to flip an election, you will lose every election you run in going forward. That, too, is contained within the Mueller Report — how weaponized social media works — and rest assured it does. If one — ONE — single voter (their voter data stolen, weaponized and turned back on them via an ad on THEIR Facebook page) changed their vote or changed their mind about voting in the first place — that, too, is like changing their actual ballot. If you LIE them into NOT VOTING, their non-vote aids the opponent — it’s as good as a vote that’s been stolen because it directly impacts the election’s outcome.
One vote can change an election’s outcome. That means our tolerance for bullshit here can only be ONE VOTE. That is our margin for error.
Trust me on this — please — more than ONE VOTE was changed via weaponized (stolen) voter data. This virtual attack on our voting system was meant to directly alter the election’s outcome. It was meant to circumvent the will of the American people in order to put Vladimir Putin’s candidate — Donald Trump — in the White House instead.
Every word of that is true. And — it’s right there in the Mueller Report, too — Every member of the Trump Crime Family, their entourage and every member of the Republican Party knows it too. What else could you call this BUT an ACT OF WAR? If Putin shut off our power grid tomorrow — something he CAN DO apparently — we’d sue for peace immediately on whatever terms he dictated. We’d have to.
Imagine — a war fought and lost without a shot being fired.
Sound horrifyingly possible? Well, BE horrified — it’s happening. We’re living in. We are that frog slowly being boiled to death, completely unaware. Problem is, it isn’t us that’s being boiled away, it’s our Democracy.
Donald Trump knows the only thing standing between him and indictment for multiple crimes is a stupid Department of Justice rule meant to keep Spiro Agnew from pardoning Richard Nixon back during Watergate. Once out of office, Trump will be instantly indictable — and indicted. He has to fight tooth & nail to remain in office forever because the alternative will be criminal charges, prosecution and — cos he’s SO incredibly guilty — asset forfeiture. It’s a fact, being such a ginormous criminal, Trump has no incentive to leave power EVER.
It’s maddening that we’ve been so slow to see this — though Trump’s been sociopathic about it from the get-go. He’s projected every last bit of it (with remarkable candor actually) — that his presidency was totally illegitimate, that his election was “rigged”, that he is Putin’s bitch. He’s also projected from the start that he intends to stay in power forever. He’s told his followers that — and they love the idea.
Want to know the worst part of living through World War Three? It’s seeing so many Fifth Columns already fanning out (like in, say Oregon where armed militias SHUT DOWN THE STATE CAPITOL). It’s knowing that one of our broadcast networks is a propaganda wing for Trump — and therefore for Russia. What — it’s not bad enough we still have cable systems & satellite providers pumping RT into our homes? We need a “news” network propagandizing, too?
I think of our situation as being akin to the Hawaiians living at Pearl Harbor on the morning of December 7, 1941. The Japanese attacked at 7:22 a.m. — that’s when their first airplanes arrived and began dropping bombs. But, if we visited with those people at, say, 6:45 a.m. — and asked them — “Hey, are you at war with anyone?” They would have said no. That included Japan.
Just because you don’t know you’re at war doesn’t mean you aren’t. And just because a war wasn’t formally declared — well, bullets and bombs don’t care about your semantics. They’ll kill you even if you want to call them something kinder and gentler. You can call a bullet a marshmallow but when they bust that marshmallow inside your head, you’re dead.
A woman who doesn’t know the man she loves is cheating on her lives inside a false narrative — that her relationship is on solid ground.
A man unaware that a tumor is metastasizing inside of him is living a false narrative that he’s healthy and not doomed.
As they slept in their beds at 6:45, the morning of December 7, 1941, the citizens of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii were living inside a false narrative that our country was at peace with Japan and that war couldn’t possibly impact their lives. You don’t have to know the bullet is coming to get killed by it.
Christianity tries to sell a false narrative that the man who first uttered “Do Unto Others” lived a miraculous life — having a deity for a father and a virgin for a mother. Anyone who believes this actually happened and lives their life as if it did — they’re living inside a false narrative. You don’t have to believe the false narrative, by the way, to follow Jesus. Jesus never invented a false narrative (Paul did that), he just preached “Do Unto Others”.
We live inside the false narrative that Donald Trump “won” his election back in 2016 (even though he’s projected his own illegitimacy from the get-go because the secret that Russia won the election for him was too hard for him to keep).
We know for a fact that election 2016 wasn’t normal. We knew the night of the election — as reliably blue states began going inexplicably to Trump — that this election smelled. It wasn’t just losing that stunk. It was losing to such an obvious cheat.
Nothing we’ve learned since the election has disproven that conjecture. Take Russia out of the equation and Donald Trump doesn’t come close. And Russia dominated every bit of that equation. Russia received proprietary voter data from Paul Manafort; they weaponized it, turning it back on us as individualized Facebook ads that landed in the targeted voter’s Facebook feed. If these ads caused ONE voter to stay home — that’s one too many in my opinion. We know for a fact it was more than one.
Those voters were given a false narrative — about Hillary Clinton or the Democrats. It worked. Hillary won by more than 3 million popular votes — a victory by any real standard — the Electoral College being a throwback to slavery that, by design, overvalues rural voters while radically undervaluing urban voters. But we keep telling herself “she lost”. It’s insane to equate gaming the Electoral College with giving American voters what they voted for. The majority of us (not even including suppressed votes) voted for the exact opposite of what Donald Trump and the republican party have done.
But then, that was the point. Maintaining the false narrative that Trump won — that’s also the point. As is maintaining the false narrative the Mueller Report in any way exonerated him from either conspiracy with the Russians or egregious attempts to not only obstruct justice but circumvent it too.
Every time a journalist ascribes Trump’s victory in 2016 to anything other than Russia– they’re pitching a false narrative.
I write movies & TV shows for a living (and a book, too, which I just finished!) It’s not the most reliable way to pay the rent but when I do make a buck, I make it by making stuff up, writing it down and selling it. I take great pride in the fact that my imagination can go just about anywhere.
But no writer could possibly have made up the Time we live in. That’s not a revelation of course; I’m hardly the first person or writer to say that. But I might be the first writer to say out loud how much I resent that fact. It’s damned hard to come up with stories these days half as compelling as what’s on the news. A 240 year old experiment in self-government teeters on the brink of destruction. And we’ve got a front row seat.
There’s a famous scene in a great movie called “The Third Man”. Joseph Cotton stars as a Holly Martin, writer who goes to Vienna just after WWII because he believes his friend Harry Lime has died. Vienna is a divided city with a free side and a side behind Russian control. Harry Lime may have committed a crime — which explains the mystery surrounding whether or not Harry is really dead. Turns out (Spoiler Alert!) he’s not dead — he IS a criminal and he did fake his death so that he could hide out in the Soviet sector.
Orson Welles plays Harry who finally comes out of hiding to confront Holly — and to seduce Holly into coming over to the dark side and going into the black market with him. Holly turns him down which sets up the climax later when Holly tries (working with the British authorities) to lure Harry into a trap. But, before Holly says no, Harry delivers a great monologue (written by the book & screenplay’s author, Graham Greene). Write
Chaos seems to produce greatness in addition to chaos. An argument can be made that war itself has inspired some of the greatest statements of human artistic genius. Picasso’s Guernica comes to mind…
War movies, war literature, war art, war music (Beethoven’s Eroica — written with Napoleon in mind, that dedication was later withdrawn however), war everything — it makes us look deep inside ourselves for a few thoughtful seconds before we go back to killing and wholesale slaughter.
Another argument can be made that American comedy hasn’t been this robust since Richard Nixon was president. My point — there are benefits to living in Remarkable Times. There are laughs to be had — bitter ones, perhaps but — laughs all the same. There’s that feeling of “chumminess” we all feel when we hear the latest stupider-than-stupid thing Donald Trump said on TV or via Twitter and we all think “What an asshole!” at the very same time.
I didn’t used to be a news junkie. I was a daily consumer of news product but my diet was a lot more balanced back then before Trump “won” in 2016. I used to be a regular Howard Stern listener. I was hard core. But Trump winning changed everything for me. I couldn’t listen to characters I loved anymore because they were worried about trivial shit (funny but trivial) while the world was ending around us all. I have been news 24/7 ever since.
This is not good for us but the answer isn’t sticking our heads in the sand. The 75th anniversary of D-Day brought Tom Brokaw out into the light again — and his book The Greatest Generation. I grew up in the war’s shadow; my parents were the Greatest Generation’s children. A baby boomer, I grew up in the 1960’s, part of a generation that was, in a way, the diametric opposite of the Greatest Generation. We weren’t fighting a war, we were protesting it (well, to be fair, by the time I got to college, the Vietnam war was 5 years over and done with. We were still deep into our wound-licking phase.
Baby boomers, Gen-X-ers, Millennials — we’ve all lived through interesting times but not very interesting times. Yeah, yeah, the Soviet Union died — but it didn’t die spectacularly like Nazi Germany did. Until Donald Trump ran for president — and “won” (he didn’t — fact o’ life — he lost both the popular and he absolutely lost the EC too.) That’s what Robert Mueller’s report teases us with.
The Donald Trump story — and the corrupt Republicans story — and the we’re under cyber attack right now story — these are all remarkable stories all by themselves. Lucky us for getting gang-tackled by them all. This will get far, far worse before it starts to get better. When we get to the part where ALL the shit starts flying from ALL the nooks & crannies, this will get exponentially more ugly. Never mind the awful, treasonous things the republicans have all done, when the American public get a firm grip on what this story is — how deep, dark & horrible it is — and how the republicans continue to play them for suckers and rubes — this will turn thermo-nuclear.
Bill Barr and Donald Trump have succeeded in muddying a narrative they desperately needed to muddy. The Truth will not set them free. It will however send them to prison for the rest of their lives. It may even expose them to execution — still one of the punishments for treason. And, yes — this IS treason because ARE at war. We’re at Cyber War.
Oh — but it’s “undeclared”, you say? Well, it’s just as “undeclared” as the state of war that existed in Japan’s mind when it attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Just because the Americans being bombed by the Japanese didn’t know they were at war didn’t mean the bombs didn’t kill them just as dead. You don’t have to know you’re at war to BE at war.
I used to feel a lot more certain that I knew how this would turn out. I’m a lot less certain now. The pleasures of living in remarkable times have worn thin. I suspect we all long for this to end and for something we used to call “normalcy” to replace it (and reign for a thousand years if it wants to).
There’s a Chinese curse: May you live in interesting times (in other words, may you be inundated with chaos). We’re learning — the Chinese knew what they were talking about.
Ever been cheated on in a relationship? Ever discover the cheating was going on practically forever? What hurts most about it is the deception, right? YOU thought your relationship was one thing but, in fact, your relationship was something else entirely: YOU were the dummy.
Just because you didn’t know you were living a lie doesn’t mean you weren’t.
I honestly believe that, when we get a chance to see our times with some perspective (if we ever get to), we’ll come to see that we’ve been living through a literal World War Three this whole time. Russia (but also Saudi Arabia, The UAE, Israel, Turkey, Iran and China) have all been engaged in an ongoing Information War against the United States. They have weaponized our own mass media against us. Russia especially.
Think of it, as the title suggests, from the point of view of the folks living at Pearl Harbor the morning of December 7, 1941. You’re sleeping soundly in your bed in Paradise. You have no idea that an armada is steaming your way hellbent on attacking you. Killing you. YOU don’t know it but the Japanese sure do — a State Of War exists.
America didn’t officially “declare” a formal State of War until Franklin Roosevelt went before Congress the next day, December 8. But Roosevelt said that even as he declared a State of War, it already existed because of what Japan had done. America — Americans — were just the last to know is all.
Japan was breaking up with us. Had broken up with us already. You know how it is.