On Power and Russia -- Use it or lose it

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On Power and Russia -- Use it or lose it

Post by Original Quill on Fri Jun 08, 2018 7:04 pm

Yahoo News wrote:Obama official: 'We should have done more' on Russian interference in 2016 election

Michael Isikoff, Chief Investigative Correspondent,Yahoo News•June 8, 2018

Ben Rhodes, one of President Obama’s top national security advisers, acknowledged “we should have done more” to call attention to Russia’s information war during the 2016 election, noting that a much-heralded October statement from the U.S. intelligence community failed to even address a major part of the Russian attack.

“If you look at the October statement from the intelligence community, it doesn’t say anything about fake news,” Rhodes said in an interview with the Yahoo News podcast Skullduggery. “All it talks about is that the Russians hacked and release some of the material, which I think was only a small piece of their information war. … My own view is we could have done more and said more certainly about the information war and fake news dissemination.”

At the same time, Rhodes sharply criticized Facebook for not taking more aggressive steps to block Russian trolls from manipulating its platform and sharing information with the U.S. government.

“And frankly, I don’t think Facebook has had anywhere near the interaction with the government and frankly the scrutiny that is necessary to say, Look, it’s not enough to just mouth words about this,” Rhodes said. “Having your platform essentially hijacked for the purposes of a foreign adversary living in information boards is something we need to deal with just as aggressively as we dealt with ISIS using social media. And I don’t see that happening yet either.”

Rhodes’ comments — a rare on-the-record admission of a lapse by a senior Obama official — came during a discussion of his new book, “The World As It Is: A Memoir of the Obama White House.” The book recounts Rhodes’s role as a speechwriter and senior adviser throughout the Obama presidency, complete with fly-on-the-wall accounts of deliberations over the killing of Osama bin Laden, the Iran nuclear deal, the Benghazi attack that killed U.S. ambassador Chris Stevens and other episodes.

But in its chapter on the Obama response to the Russian attack on the election, Rhodes makes clear he bristled when he was told he was excluded from National Security Council deliberations in the summer of 2016 — purportedly because he was the White House’s designated liaison to the Clinton campaign. When he was told by his boss, Susan Rice, that he couldn’t participate in the debate over Russia, “I walked downstairs to my office and sank into my chair,” Rhodes writes in his book. “For eight years, I’d worked my way up to the place where I thought I’d always be in the room and now I was being kept out of the most important conversation of all. My mind raced with a mix of self-pity and self-blame.”

But Rhodes suggested that his exclusion might have made a difference because he — as well as former State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki — had sought to combat how the Russians had manipulated social media during the country’s military intervention in Ukraine, flooding the world with bogus accounts of the 2014 shoot-down of Malaysian airlines Flight 17 and other developments during the crisis in that country.

Obama officials as well as the U.S. intelligence community failed to understand how the Russians were taking their playbook from the Ukraine crisis and now deploying it against the United States, Rhodes said.

“You learn in government who’s in the room kind of dictates what’s on the agenda, and not only was I not in the room,” Rhodes said during his Skullduggery interview, “nobody who focused on communications was in the room.” Instead, “our government kind of put [the Russian attack] in a box of cybersecurity. You know, they hacked something, they released it, we have to protect the election infrastructure.”

“So, I think it’s maybe not just me, but if somebody with that communication perspective had been in the room, there might’ve been more attention on this other set of capabilities that we had been living with from Ukraine for years, that they were deploying in the United States,” Rhodes said. “Because, essentially, they took their war machine that they built in Ukraine and just brought it to America in 2016.”

Whether calling more attention to the issue during the election would have made a difference is another question. When he later raised the issue with Obama directly, and told him, “We’re going to be criticized for not focusing on this,” Rhodes said the president downplayed the issue. “His belief was that, essentially, the Russians had found soft spots in our media and society such that, if we were calling that out, the people who consume that fake news aren’t going to listen to Obama anyway, Trump’s going to say it [the election] is rigged.”

To repeat myself, this is the one thing I criticize Obama for: being a snowflake.  By not being an aggressive combatant, he not only let Democrats down, but the nation as well.

Obama knew the Russians were messing with the Americans elections to help Trump.  But he let it slide.  His reasoning: Trump is such a weak candidate, bound to lose anyway, that if I publicize that he and the Russians are in cahoots, and are working to mess with American democracy, it will look like I'm piling on in a rugby scrimmage.

So what?  Did you ever see a Republican--the inventors of modern day torture, revenge rape, rendition and Concentration Camp Guantanamo--back off in such a pussy way?  Their motto is: when you've got your boot on the other guy's neck, you break it.  You don't get stars for being a nice guy...you get snowflakes.

Teddy Roosevelt gave us: Walk softly, but carry a big stick.  He forgot to add: ...and use it, dammit!

HLA Hart wrote Thucydides On Power, in which he identified the Greek historian's reasons to use power.  There are four: to win; to glorify yourself; to reward yourself; and, to respect (protect) yourself.

The fourth reason is the most subtle and incorporates a deeper psychology: it says, if you don't use your power, your glory diminishes and your enemies gang up on you.  Why not; they are left to conclude you're weak.  On the other hand, if every now and them you kick the shit outta them for grins, they are reminded why you are on the top of the mountain.  I call it the use it or lose it reason.

We sometimes lose that sense of the meaning of power.  We become erudite and cerebral, like Obama was, and we forget that we've got to get into the ring now and then and prove we are world champion.  We are reminded of it every Saturday morning on that show, Wild Kingdom--the the alpha bear has to occasionally fend off younger challengers--but we think ourselves as above all that. Well, we live in the same world and have the same incentives.

Thucydides had it right.  Every now and then you've got to kick ass lest they think they can take you.  Trump looked weak in 2016.  Obama took the occasion to lay hands off, when it was the perfect occasion to kick the asses of both Trump and Putin...and remind everyone who might be looking.

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“Little thieves are hanged, but great thieves are praised.” — Old Russian proverb, offered by Vladimir Putin to Donald J. Trump, Helsinki, July, 2018.

"I don't stand by anything."  ― Donald Trump, interview with John Dickerson, 5.1.17...

“That's libertarians for you — anarchists who want police protection from their slaves.” ― Kim Stanley Robinson, Green Mars
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Re: On Power and Russia -- Use it or lose it

Post by Didge on Sat Jun 09, 2018 12:17 pm

Man are you starting to wake up Quill

Now, if you are against the influence of Putin in America. Why are you not worried about his influence and policies to control in the Middle East?

Laters

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Re: On Power and Russia -- Use it or lose it

Post by nicko on Sat Jun 09, 2018 12:55 pm

Your eyes are opening Quill !
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Re: On Power and Russia -- Use it or lose it

Post by Original Quill on Sat Jun 09, 2018 5:10 pm

You both assume that I am some sort of peacenik.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  You should know that better than anyone, nicko, as we've had the discussion before.  It's just that I define my arena...the space in which I chose to kick ass.  Beyond that, my methods are far more brutal than either of you.

For example, my arena is here at home--no more military adventures overseas--but I want to see a broader war on the healthcare front, on the racism front, and on the democracy front.  Fook the middle east and other parts of the world that are not our business.  But at home, broaden the reach of health, equity and democracy.

My beef with Russia derives from the fact that Russia has declared war on the US.  Because Trump is an agent of Russia, I raise the point about being politically soft.  But, make no mistake, that is not another foreign adventure.  That is a threat we face here at home.

We need to start at home with real, tough liberalism.  That begins with kicking Republican and conservative ass without mercy.  Heretofore, Republicans have spent their time inventing cruel and illegal measures to pull on Democrats.  Now, Democrats should start inventing 'push-the-envelope' methods to destroy Republicans.

I am all for quiet wisdom on policy matters.  Advance medicine.  Improve the quality and spread of healthcare.  Eliminate racism.  Broaden democracy.  Advance engeneering, science and the well-being of all.  I don't tolerate racism, sexism and I don't tolerate 'we-they', or xenophobia on any level.  But distinguish all that from any sort of international American evangelism.  Let others determine their own lot.

End partisan adversarialism...it's our way or the highway.  But that's just for us.  

cheers


 Twisted Evil

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“Little thieves are hanged, but great thieves are praised.” — Old Russian proverb, offered by Vladimir Putin to Donald J. Trump, Helsinki, July, 2018.

"I don't stand by anything."  ― Donald Trump, interview with John Dickerson, 5.1.17...

“That's libertarians for you — anarchists who want police protection from their slaves.” ― Kim Stanley Robinson, Green Mars
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Re: On Power and Russia -- Use it or lose it

Post by nicko on Sun Jun 10, 2018 10:40 am

Quill, I saw that statement on the back of a Grunt, unfortunately it wasn't true, he was dead !
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Re: On Power and Russia -- Use it or lose it

Post by veya_victaous on Tue Jun 12, 2018 12:05 am

Didge wrote:Man are you starting to wake up Quill

Now, if you are against the influence of Putin in America. Why are you not worried about his influence and policies to control in the Middle East?

Laters

because Quill doesn't live in the Middle East

the World would be much better if more people were like Quill instead of holding Evil Colonialist attitudes that insist on sticking their nose in where it is clearly not wanted.

Your only worried About Putin's Influence because You Want YOUR influence there instead because you are every bit the same as Putin  Rolling Eyes  Rolling Eyes

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