Many factors are at work in the drama that’s unfolding this week, and maybe the least important player is a whining toddler who will rant at at Joint Base Andrews, Wednesday morning, screaming for attention after running around the White House prying the letter “J” off keyboards and leaving doobies in the ventilation ducts. There will be worse.* And just-in-case, I’ve urged that Biden, Harris and Pelosi keep distant (social and precautionary) from each other, while offering us all words of hope that America is back, baby.
Three groups will matter a lot, now and for weeks to come: foreign friends, foreign and domestic enemies… and nerds. I’ll get to Vladimir Putin and his fear of renewed western skill, in a bit. but first, here’s a call for our friends around the world to celebrate for us.
== Dancing in the Streets ==
To our allies around the world and to all friends of freedom, enlightenment, science and progress -- please turn out, the Wednesday. Our domestic, home-grown enemies of progress -- many of them dear neighbors lured into furious madness by Fox/Sinclair/Goebbels liars, far more than by that pathetic toddler -- have triggered immune response by our protective services, locking down the American Capital and other cities when Joe Biden takes the oath of office, even more than we're compelled by a Trump-amplified pandemic.
As a result, Americans won't be pouring into the streets to celebrate nearly as much as we want to. But YOU, our allies in wanting an enlightened, forward-looking, fact-seeing and decently-just world, YOU can celebrate for us!
We ask that you fill your most famous streets with flags and balloons and signs that congratulate not just Joe Biden but all of us, including you fellow members of the Great Enlightenment Experiment! Oh, stay safely masked and distanced! But please, make a good show of welcoming America back.
Because we need encouragement, right now! It truly would help Joe & Kamala, a lot. And also because, well, a dynamic and forward-looking, scientific-creative and generous USA is still necessary, if we want a civilization worthy of the stars.
Certainly our enemies think so, given how hard they have striven to bring us down. Which brings us to...
== I wouldn’t be in Vlad’s shoes ==
I hope I’m wrong. I pray that I am wrong. But given the nearly 100% perfect record of Trumpian Republicans betraying the West and giving the Kremlin everything is wants (offer me large wager stakes on that: I will own your house), tearing down our sciences and alliances, weakening US entrepreneurship, waging war against all fact-using professions and instigating civil war, I have to worry whether the quarter million men and women in our security and intel agencies are even ready to teach Vladimir Putin that it’s time to back off.
1. For four years the top political-appointee slots atop those agencies have been people of at-best questionable qualification or loyalty. I have no doubt that skilled professionals isolated/cauterized the worst of them. But it is quite possible that an evisceration or rot-from-above has plunged deep into the ranks of those whose skill and professionalism won the Cold War and the War on terror, while treasonous, Sinclair agitprop demoralized them with slanders like “deep state.”
2. Putin is desperately getting in final licks. Yesterday he pulled out of the Open Skies Treaty that Trump formally exited a couple of months ago. I expected (and obviously so did Vlad) that Biden would rejoin almost instantly (along with the Paris Accords on climate) since the Open Skies Treaty VASTLY favored Europe and the West and Putin long chafed over allowing NATO planes to crisscross Russia. Giving Putin an excuse to quick-exit that treaty - and the Intermediate Forces Agreement and others - was among the countless favors performed for him by the Kremlin’s White House agent.
ALAS, not a single news report (that I’ve seen) has looked at this matter of timing. But watch. Don’t be distracted by Trump’s sudden tsunami of pardons! Vlad will do as many last-minute sabotages as Trump, these last few days.
3. On the other hand, Vlad’s got to be nervous. Surely some corner of our ‘deep state’ has been un-suborned, preparing options to offer the new president. Ways to - in some measured degree - at least smack the relabeled (but almost identical in staff, goals and methods) Soviet KGB across the snoot and say “back off!” Oh, how wonderful - for example - if the Russian people were suddenly to see how much of their nation is now owned by “ex” Soviet commissars, now relabeled as billionaire oligarch mafia dons.
Okay. Revenge doesn’t interest the mature… and we count on Joe to be mature and judicious. So I expect to be frustrated and angry at his levels of restraint! Because… well… I am not ‘mature.’
4. I’ve spoken relentlessly about what simply has to be the elephant in the room, in DC. What I expect will be revealed as a mountain of blackmail. We all saw in the recent Borat movie how trivially easy it is to lure many males into kompromat traps, and Russian spy services are much more adept at it than Sacha Baron Cohen. They have been doing it since the 1800s. Elsewhere I warn those newly arriving in DC to be wary!
If I’m right, then no event would so dramatically reverse our current troubles than a tidal wave of light. Some of the most blatant examples, for whom there is no other conceivable explanation than blackmail - Graham, Cruz, Rubio, Collins and Anthony Kennedy - could at any moment turn their legacy from zero to hero, by helping turn the tables on their tormentors. But don’t expect that. At least not till Biden establishes a Truth & Reconciliation Commission.
5. Extending that more generally, Putin knows his edifice will collapse if the West gets good intel. It's hard to retaliate or deter the current wave of relentless Muscovite attacks when we are blind! Part of that blindness will be solved when our defenders are no longer hampered by the quislings who were appointed over them by a Putin-blackmailed shill.
But that leaves out an even more significant factor. That HALF of our good intel during the Cold War came from defectors, who would regularly even the playing field by bringing over vast floods of information, counterbalancing excellent KGB spycraft and our disadvantages as an open society.
==The vital importance of the moral high ground ==
During the Cold War, defectors were attracted by three things. We offered:
2) Good prospects
3) The moral high ground.
I’ve tried to explain this - repeatedly - to large audiences at CIA, fer gosh sakes!** - how the patterns of FSB/Putin actions all fit an overall aim of demolishing western alliances (Trump accomplishment #1) plus systematically toppling all three pillars that brought us recurring waves of defectors from the USSR.
To that end, 'botched' assassinations of Russian dissidents were actually perfectly executed, achieving terror in potential defectors.
Above all, the Trumpian campaign to crush and despoil the US moral high ground has been Putin's greatest accomplishment….
…but that victory can be reversed if our friends around the world do that one thing - both for us and for themselves and the planet and their children and the future:
Celebrate for us!
Show the world that you know Donald Trump was an aberration! That the confederate side of our recurring American fever is and always has been a minority of fervid lunacy and when the blue is back, we can resume being a scientific, progress-seeking, problem-solving, egalitarian beacon and partner in making a better world.
And the forces of evil, trying to re-impose 6000 years of wretched, failed rule-by-oligarchy will fade under waves of cleansing light.
*Rent the first episode of the Kiefer Sutherland TV series DESIGNATED SURVIVOR.
** And yes I am regularly invited back.