On October 19, 2016, at the third and final U.S. Presidential debate in Las Vegas, Nevada, the following contentious exchange took place between debate moderator, Chris Wallace and Democratic Party Presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton:
“Secretary Clinton,” Chris Wallace asked, “in a speech you gave to a Brazilian bank, for which you were paid $225,000, we’ve learned from the WikiLeaks, that you said, ‘My dream is a hemispheric common market with open trade and open borders.’ Is that your dream, open borders?”
Clinton responded, “You are very clearly quoting from WikiLeaks and what’s really important about WikiLeaks is that the Russian government has engaged in espionage against Americans, they have hacked American websites, American accounts of private people, of institutions. Then they have given that information to WikiLeaks for the purpose of putting it on the Internet. This has come from the highest levels of the Russian government, clearly, from Putin himself, in an effort to influence our election… We’ve never had anything like this happen in any of our elections before.”
Clinton’s response is both a ridiculous dodge and an illustration of the U.S. government’s increasingly militaristic, anti-Russia hostility.
President Obama recently ordered Russia to be “officially” investigated by both the National Security Agency and Homeland Security, in response to Clinton and the DNC’s unsubstantiated claims. This week, Vice President Joe Biden went further, declaring that the U.S. government will launch a cyber attack on Russia as “retaliation.”
In addition to threats, the U.S. is encircling Russia’s borders with increasing numbers of U.S. soldiers and military firepower.
Bear in mind that, to date, neither Clinton nor any U.S. agencies have presented any evidence legitimizing Clinton’s claims of “Russian interference” in U.S. elections or the DNC’s emails being “hacked by Russia.” And still, this accusation is endlessly repeated.
In contrast, the U.S. government has done plenty of interfering in elections, and worse, including: the massacring of countless Indigenous people as it conquered its way westward; the funding, arming and training of death squads around the world; overthrowing democratically elected governments; the continued torturing of people and the continued “hacking” and data collection on innocent people domestically and outside the United States – the latter being revealed most recently through information made public by the Snowden, Assange and Manning leaks.
Most brutal of all, however, is the long history of the U.S. using its military to maintain murderous dictatorships worldwide. Here’s a woefully incomplete list, beginning with the Duvaliers in Haiti; Chile’s Augusto Pinochet (after assassinating democratically-elected Salvador Allende); Congo’s Mobutu Sese Seko (after assassinating the country’s founding president, Patrice Lumumba); Iran’s dictatorial king Mohammad Reza Pahlavi; Nicaragua’s Anastasio Somoza; the Dominican Republic’s Rafael Trujillo; and the current Saudi royal family.
Examples of “cyber-sabotage” include the so-called “Stuxnet” attack carried out first by the George W. Bush administration, then escalated by the Obama Administration. This culminated in 2012 when a thousand Iran nuclear centrifuges were targeted and destroyed by a combined “hack” carried out by the U.S. and Israeli governments.
Iran was not building nuclear weapons, unlike the U.S. and Israel. This U.S. “hack” was, however, an unprovoked act of war. Then again, so is the U.S. assassinating other countries’ leaders.
Left unchecked, the U.S. government can very quickly push its anti-Russian aggression to the point where Russia and the U.S. are actively shooting each other’s planes and missiles out of the skies over Syria.
Historically the only force capable of defeating the war-makers’ plans has been – and continues to be – a united front of working and oppressed people domestically and internationally. Regardless of whether Trump or Clinton wins the presidency, we will need to continue to organize against U.S. war and aggression.