Like so many Americans, I’ve watched the unfolding of the Russian scandal with endless fascination and more than a little trepidation.
And despite the 24/7 news cycle available in as many political flavors as offered by the fabled ice cream store, there are always more questions than answers. But if I were the inquisitor, there are a handful of questions I’d ask.
Of course, in today’s world of flexi-facts and fake news, the answers hardly matter since there would be some people who would follow the party line – whatever that was – despite all evidence to the contrary.
For everyone else, here are the top 15 questions on my hit parade:
Why did Trump fire Comey?
Why does Trump want to fire Rosenstein?
Why did Trump ask Sessions not to recuse himself even in the face of a clear ethical requirement that he do so?
Why is Trump requiring a pledge of personal loyalty by people in a position to investigate his ties to Russia?
Why did the Trump senior campaign leaders meet with the Russians to get dirt on Hillary Clinton?
Why did they lie about the meeting and say it was about the Russian adoption policy?
What was the discussion on Air Force One concerning the release of Donald Jr.’s emails about the Russian meeting?
What did Trump’s sons Eric and Donald mean when they said that they didn’t need banks because they had the Russians?
How could Trump go from bankrupt in 2008 to alleged billionaire status a few years later?
Did Trump do real estate deals with Russians the way Manafort did with the Ukrainians, selling property at way above market value (can you say “money laundering”)?
What does Trump have to do with Deutsche Bank, the bank already proven to launder money for the Russians and the bank Jared Kushner has millions in loans with?
Why won’t Trump release his tax returns?
Why is Trump trying to undermine the credibility of the agencies that started the Russian investigation?
Why won’t Trump implement sanctions against Russia for election tampering even though those sanctions have already been passed by Congress and signed into law?
What leverage does Russia have on Trump?
As with most things, the ultimate answer is “Follow the Money.”
There was a reason Putin so dearly wanted Trump in office, and his manipulation of the gullible, social media transfixed, infotainment addicted American public yielded the exact result he’d hoped for. Not just sowing dissent and divisiveness within America to weaken the country and make room for a new mega-power – but because he knew he could control Trump.
And as alarming as the fact that the Russians were so easily able to subvert our alleged democracy with their tweets and posts and outright lies, is the fact that it isn’t new, it isn’t over, and America does the exact same thing to other countries – including Russia.
One of the great ironies of this whole melodrama is the fact that America has gone from country to country, often in the form of the CIA and other shadowy organizations, rigging elections, fomenting insurrection, installing puppet governments, arming dictators and rebels alike. Think Bautista in Cuba, the Shah of Iran, Pinochet in Chile, Noriega in Panama, Somoza in Nicaragua, the Taliban in Afghanistan (oh yeah, they used to be called the Mujahideen when they were fighting the Russians with our help), Saddam Hussein in Iraq … you get the idea.
So meddling in other countries' elections isn’t exactly new, and isn’t something America has shied away from doing on many occasions and over a host of years. Behind every clandestine operation to effect regime change was an economic incentive – and the people who benefited from those actions are the usual suspects who own about 99.9% of the world’s wealth. Because whether it’s oil, other natural resources or advantageous geography, when you follow the money, it always leads you to its home.
And now America has the nerve to complain about getting a dose of its own medicine? What, do we think we’re the only ones with astounding wealth and the desire to make the world in the image of our choosing? We’re not the only ones with Masters of the Universe making the rules.
As much as some would like it to be the case, we are not an island unto ourselves, and there’s not that much difference between the super-wealthy in any language – they all want to call the shots. It’s no different in Russia.
Newsflash people: considering that Russia succeeded in getting its proxy elected to the White House – the Russians aren’t coming … they’re already here.