Russia is not a friend to US and democracy
This letter is in response to Janos Keoni Samu’s rebuke (TGI, July20) of my letter criticizing Councilmember Cowden’s praise of Russia in her column.
The main tactics used in his rebuke are conflation and obfuscation. Good work, comrade!
My criticism has nothing to do with whether Russia is a nice country and its people love it. Rather, it was about the corrupt Putin regime’s continued attack on our Democratic elections since 2014. The fact that a country can be good, have good people and still have a corrupt government are separate issues from Mr. Samu’s main points. (See USA and Donald Trump.)
Of course, no one he has spoken to said they were influenced by the Russians. How many people are going to openly admit they fell for Russian intelligence propaganda like the Seth Rich murder story or Pizzagate, in which Hillary Clinton was supposedly running a child sex ring in the basement of a pizza parlor which coincidentally has no basement? And yet, hundreds of thousands of people believed those stories, shared those stories and others and they voted or didn’t vote based on stories like those, which are provably traceable directly to the GRU — Russian Military Intelligence.
The fact that there are good things and good people in Russia in no way excuses their government’s bad actions toward America recently. The example Mr. Samu gives about our military’s planting of malware in the Russian grid is a countermeasure, meaning we did it in response to Russia’s first bad actions.
I have met Ms. Cowden face to face and discussed my concerns. We are not in normal times. We do not have a normal state department that would properly advise American citizens or public servants on proper precautions being made.
We also are in a country sliding toward fascism. The 2020 elections, in my opinion, will make or break whether American is a legitimate democratic republic or a sham democracy like Putin’s Russia, Erdogan’s Turkey, or Duterte’s Philippines.
Putin’s government has bolstered far-right parties in America and Western Europe in order to splinter democracies. See the US 2016 election, see Brexit, see Ukraine, see Italy and see the last election in France.
All of these have Putin’s fingerprint’s meddling all over them. In his own country, legitimate opposition leaders are jailed, attacked and not allowed to oppose him in elections.
Nonprofit “Freedom in the World” has documented 2018 as the 13th year in the world that people in the world are less free, and there’s a rise of authoritarianism globally.
A country can be very good and have very corrupt leadership. Please excuse me if the hair on the back of my next rises up as I choose to speak out in favor of protecting our Constitutional Democracy while we still have one.
Jason Blake, Kauai