Thursday February 22, 2018
America’s ruling class has a curious attitude to democracy. It seems to be interpreted as something that’s good for the US and its allies but bad for critters who won't accept their role in the "America-led international order."
First off, let me be clear. I think all foreign electoral interference is wrong. In any country. And if it’s eventually proven that Russians meddled in America’s 2016 presidential election, I certainly won't condone it. But I’ve have always doubted that the Russian state organized some heinous plan to tilt the contest to Donald Trump, so I’ll be shocked if something of this nature is ever proven.
Instead, I’ve always imagined the greatest extent of Russian "interference" was probably some half-baked playing around by private individuals. Something akin to a “social media marketing campaign,” as the New Yorker’s Adrian Chan believes. And on a relatively minute scale, to boot. Because - given the billions of dollars swirling around American stumping - anything bar a full-scale FSB/GRU, all-hands-on-deck operation would probably amount to little more than a hill of beans.
By the same token, I was stunned back in 2011 when the Moscow Times (a pro-US title, overwhelmingly written by Westerners, despite its name) reported how ex-vice president Joe Biden had told fringe Russian opposition figures that “it would be better for Russia if Putin did not run” in the 2012 election. Indeed, when you see the opprobrium directed today towards US Green leader Jill Stein for once attending an RT banquet where Putin was present, its shows one hell of a double standard.