Thursday, March 23, 2017

"Lawyer for Russian Whistleblower’s Family Falls Out of Window" - WSJ headline today

It seems impossible to understand Russia without referring back to The Godfather, doesn't it?  It is government by The Mob, over and out.  Don't need to think more deeply than that.

Push into Crimea, into Ukraine?  "Because we can.  It used to belong to us, anyway." 

Cyber crime?  "Why not?  It's better than drugs, isn't it, I mean, we're not taking health away from these people.  They should be grateful we're not doing that.  We could, if we wanted."

Interfering with elections in US?  "She hit us first.  Did you see what she was doing in 2011, inciting people to go into our streets?  OUR streets!  And did you hear that broad from the State Department, Victoria Nuland, manipulating the Ukrainian coup?  This is disrespect.  This cannot be ignored."

And then listen to their representative in the US, Paul Manafort, Mr. Ten Million to further their interests.  If he doesn't sound like a hood, no one does.  "Hey!  Hey!  I'm standin' here!"


"Michael Corleone: My father is no different than any powerful man, any man with power, like a president or senator.
Kay Adams: Do you know how naive you sound, Michael? Presidents and senators don’t have men killed!
Michael Corleone: Oh. Who’s being naive, Kay?"

Interference with elections?  "Mossadegh, Arbenz.  Who are they to talk?"

Their English speaking representatives lie, lie, lie like they believe what they are saying.  Criminal lawyers don't make any money unless they represent the very guilty, and these guys do a very good job.

One definition of sovereignty is when the state has a monopoly on violence.  The nature of the regime simply rests on how the monopoly is expressed.  The Russian example shows how the Mob acts when it has the monopoly.  The Western examples show how our traditional leaders act, bound by agreements made centuries ago, or even millennia.  Culture and history is a powerful thing.  The Russian history is much different.  I've always thought, the Russians have much to contribute in the arts and in science.  In government, not much at all.

Generally, we get angry when people don't act "the way they should."  Anger represents a reaction to violation of norms.  We can get angry at Putin, but not as angry as we get at Trump and his minions; Putin doesn't act according to international norms, but he's Russian and his own tradition is different.  Hate him, yes; angry at him, that's a little different.  With Trump, we can be both to equal degree, because he is violating both international and national norms.  And both, of course, are violating Judeo-Christian norms.

Putin can say that international norms are rigged against Russia.  The Mob suggested that they were discriminated against, and given a chance, they would welcome entry of their sons to the ranks of the passanovante, but in the meantime, they would do what they had to do.  How different are they in how they feel excluded, discriminated against?  Hard to say.

They say that cops and robbers play the same game, their just on different sides.  Down the line, at the bottom of the org chart of the CIA, ties to the Mafia are known to have existed.  Same game, different sides, but maybe some cooperation.  You keep order in your neighborhood, we don't bother you.  Can you lend us a hit man?  It's the violent nature of man.  The question is, how much is this contained to that level, and how much seeps up.  With Watergate, it seeped up pretty high.  That's the problem, too, with the Trump-Russian connection.  Seeping up pretty high.

It seems to me that Trump is a poseur.   He would like to be tough, he thinks he's tough, but at heart, he's a rich man's son who just hung out at the construction yard.  He never really made his bones, his brothers and sisters and friends weren't kidnapped and killed.  The only thing that makes him fearful to others now is his polling numbers.  If they drop, if he can't ride into town and primary a recalcitrant Republican politician, he's got nothing.  That's not such a bad thing, though, actually.  He acts like a hood, and he's playing politics like a hood, but I doubt he would get violent.  That's his shtick, that's all.  In the end, he could be seen as the pitiful specimen that he is, and damage can be undone.

That's the hope, anyway.

Budd Shenkin

No comments:

Post a Comment