Monday, February 19

In the roots of Russiagate U.S. politics are not found. The highlights, in pictures.

The Key Incidents:

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Dmitry Medvedev, elected Russian President in 2008,  forge a surprisingly good working relationship

For the first time troops from NATO countries -- U.S., U.K., France (which had rejoined NATO just the year before) and Poland -- march in Red Square to celebrate Russia's WW2 Victory Day

Sitting together in the parade reviewing stand:President Medvedev, China's President Hu Jintao, Chancellor Merkel,and Vladimir Putin (in the office of Russia's Prime Minister) 

Despite Putin's great popularity in Russia, the largest street protests in the history of post-Soviet Russia 'spontaneously' break out across the country against the country's Duma (parliamentary) elections, with protestors claiming that Putin's political party rigged votes to pave the way for him to win the 2012 presidential election

Putin elected Russia's President with a majority of 63.64 percent. He dismisses his tears during the outdoor victory speech by saying they were caused by sharp winds

Chancellor Merkel and President Putin hit it off famously

Washington -- and London -- react

Leaders of Russia, Germany, France, and Ukraine, photographed below with Belarus President, Alexandr Lukashenko, establish The Normandy Format to work out a resolution to the Ukraine Crisis. American and European Union officials are excluded from the negotiations

There are important ramifications to the incidents I've highlighted, which readers with a background in NATO/EU doings should know or be able to infer. But if you accept my outline of the real roots of Russiagate, it's clear American political contests played virtually no role in the storm that struck Europe. 

The storm was Merkel's ruling party and the Kremlin determined to establish an entirely new security order on the European continent, one with no need for NATO and American leadership, coupled with the reaction from many European quarters and NATO against any such new order. 

Was Donald Trump aware of the seismic change underway in Europe while he ran for the presidency and during his first year in office? I think it's likely he knew, at least as early as his candidacy, or at least was aware of the gist of the situation. 

Either way, I'd say President Trump's stumble was that he overlooked how Britain's defense establishment, including its intelligence agencies, would measure the impacts of Brexit against a seismic change led by the EU's most powerful member -- Germany. They feared Brexit would completely isolate the U.K. in a new European security order. And given how much they'd invested in a continued NATO and their 'special' relationship with Washington, a genuinely Russia-friendly American administration would have been intolerable to them and their strongest supporters in the British Parliament.

To put it bluntly, charges that Moscow meddled in the American 2016 president campaign are probably better directed at London. Thus, the growing rumors that Russiagate was a product of GCHQ, and probably using various East European and Russian 'cutouts' or frontmen.

Proving the rumors to be factual would be hard. But in this reading of the roots of Russiagate, the Hillary Clinton campaign and its paid anti-Trump operatives were nothing more than useful idiots, as the Russians describe people who can't see much farther than their noses. It would have been the same for any in the Obama Administration who  played along.


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