Have you been keeping up with the #TrumpRussia story? I took most of the weekend off and was pleasantly surprised by what I found today. In short, because this could get very, very long, what appeared to be the work of a few bad apples in a couple of countries has been revealed to be a vast, long term game involving many characters of varying culpability and several countries with various motivations and end goals. I’m going to link you to a few good articles that you should read if you like words.
The “Grand Theory” – discusses the story with a focus on “Trump campaign’s Director of Digital Operations and his San Antonio-based marketing firm, Giles Parscale.” Lots of quoted sources, but doesn’t go super deep into things. Discusses how social media bots and ads focused on removing voters from the Clinton base instead of adding them to Trump’s base.
“Alfa Bank, Trump Tower and a Social Media Impeachment” – Louise Mensch unwraps the mystery behind Cambridge Analytica, SCL, the DNC hack, and the election tampering via social media and armies of bots. dated April 1.
“Carter Page Went to Moscow With a Tape of Donald Trump Offering Treason For Hacking” – Louise’s new article, piecing together what must be the Kompromat Putin has on Trump. Of course it’s not a pee tape. That would be laughable at this point. It must be Trump and possibly others agreeing to do certain things for Russia on tape. Who has this tape? Who has heard it? What exactly would it reveal? Fun things to think about!
At this point we have a lot of notes for a great novel. I really want to see a full timeline of everything we know so far. I suspect there are many floating around newsrooms, but to have it all laid out in a digestible format would please me. It would also take FAR TOO MANY HOURS of my own time to compile.
What’s new today? The whole Syria/Afghanistan/North Korea/China angle. Let me try to put this succinctly. This is a short list that doesn’t even touch the nepotism angle, the law angle, or the State Department angle. Holy moly! Want more? Look up the hashtag #COSINT and see what you find.
Russia needs to sell more OIL/Natural Gas.
Russia needs the price of OIL to rise. (So does Canada, but I digress.)
January: Trump appoints former CEO of Exxon and “Friend of Putin” award winner Rex Tillerson to Secretary of State.
April: The price of OIL spiked after Trump fired missiles at Syria.
What causes a rise in the price of oil quite as effectively as war? Not much, I tell you. Are we witnessing the escalation of Oceania vs Eurasia vs EastAsia?
China wants to expand its influence and make more money from trade. ASEAN is annoying and must be broken. Same with EU, NAFTA.
TPP is anti-China. It would unite most of the West against many of China’s strengths.
January: Trump kills TPP immediately.
March: China pays Jared Kushner & friends ungodly amounts of money for purported real estate deals. Extends amazingly huge debt to them for shits ‘n giggles.
April: North Korea tensions offered a nice distraction from the news about Carter Page.
Trump drops a MOAB (wrong ordinance for the purported task) during China’s visit to Mar-a-Lago. More likely to be a deterrent for Best Korea.
China goes home and immediately state-owned Chinese media calls Trump an idiot. Obviously less than impressed.
North Korea motions a fun new thing on their big day.
Pence arrives in South Korea. Trump moves carrier group closer to NK.
NK launches missile but it falls short, as they often do. Trump takes credit, saying Americans hacked it. Sure. Also possible: NK’s bluff was called and they couldn’t hit South Korea while Pence was there without it looking like a direct attack on the US. Also consider: the missile is constructed of Chinese parts. China may have hacked the missile to make Trump look good/NK look bad and keep the balance.
Assad is the dictator son of a dictator who seized power through a coup. The father allied with Russia in return for support against Israel. The eldest son, who was being groomed to take over, died in a car accident and the younger son, who had zero political experience, took power in 2000.
Assad plays a delicate game with ISIS/ISIL, prolonging civil unrest in order to consolidate his own wealth and power.
Iran has long fueled the Syrian conflict with weapons, cash, and transport. So has Russia.
April: Trump attacks Assad forces with missile strike. Target sustains little damage and Russia was warned pre-attack. US Congress was not warned. Result: Putin was not offended and it was proven there are no consequences for Trump to act without Congress’ permission. Attack against Assad is likely to still be all show, as Trump cannot speak a bad word about Putin much less engage him in armed conflict. Congress is purportedly preparing bills for sanctions against all players in this game. What have they actually done lately, though?
Tillerson wants to work with Russia on defeating ISIS/replacing Assad, and offers Russia the Tartus naval base and Latakia air base as part of the winner’s purse.
January: Trump rabidly spreads extreme anti-Muslim (anti-Arab) sentiment, starting with the travel ban(s.)
February: American Jewish cemeteries are vandalized. Trump publicly denies any domestic anti-Semitic threats.
March: Trump selects his Jewish son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to solve the “Peace in the Middle East” problem with Israel and Palestine. Immediately defeats the two state option. Kushner is a long time family friend of Netanyahu.
April: NYT article reveals Kushner met with GRU and FSB in a meeting he did not list on his disclosure statement. Some Democrats call for his security to be revoked. Will this have any effect?
December: Russia sells huge stage in Rosneft, state oil company to a Singapore “investment vehicle.”
January: Trump fires ALL ambassadors to other countries. For scale, there are 188 positions. 60 are still vacant.
March: only 6 people have been appointed by Trump to fill these vacancies.
April: KT McFarland, hard right-winger from Reagan’s camp with some NatSec experience/clearance, appointed to Singapore ambassador post.