Quick ninja post about a question I was asked earlier.
The question came from a friend of a friend in a discussion about Russia and was:
If the Russians cooked the American election, a last minute swing from sane to the nutters and chaos why don't we think they also did it to Brexit? And all the other shit currently going on in Europe?
Here is the thing.
In the US they spend in excess of $65 billion on the FBI, NSA and CIA who are the three agencies that should be defending against a foreign nation using undue influence in the US. The CIA and NSA covering the world and the FBI covering the states themselves.
In the UK we spend a relatively small £2,5 billion along with a growing £1.5 billion special security fund plus whatever black projects and funding is hidden away.
Now in the lead up to the election / referendum no one stepped up and said Russia had been caught rigging the votes, the US and UK governments did not impose any public action, we had nothing but a few rumours from the US that were more trying to smear Trump. As soon as either side became aware of such vote rigging you would expect them to be screaming the news from the rooftops.
There has been no recounts, no votes cancelled, no one arrested for vote rigging or for espionage (the US did kick out a few people for non election spying though). But the lead up to Brexit was months long, the lead up to the US election was the better part of a year, how is it over all that time that our security services noticed nothing. If Putin was paying tens of thousands of people to attend Trump rallies and paying people to not attend Hilary rallies you would think someone would have talked.
But suppose it did happen and no one noticed it until weeks or months after the votes had been counted, then what?
The question that has to be asked is, if our western security services completely failed to see Putin manipulating the two votes on such a massive scale, how exactly are they protecting us from terrorist attacks. If they can't see something that big how can they see a few people preparing an attack. Or to put it another way, where is the money going becasue is Putin did manipulate millions of voters then our security services should be spending some of it on glasses and contact lenses.
Putin and the Russians benefit from a break down in the unity of the Western alliances in two ways.
Firstly it shatters the unified opposition and allows for trade deals and negotiations with individual countries, it weakens the trade sanctions and is good for the Russian economy. But this is more or less what will happen when Trump relaxes or removes the sanctions anyway and Europe rushes to join in.
Secondly it breaks up the military alliance which is currently sabre rattling like mad and building up troop numbers along Russia's borders. NATO is daily warning about war with Russia while doing everything possible to provoke such a war. Again here Trump should defuse this without needing to break up NATO since he is more friendly to Putin, has a government with a vested interest in dropping the sanctions and pulling back US troops and is more focused on the threat from China who will become the boggey man of the next few years. The shout of 'THE REDS ARE COMING' will refer to the Chinese not the Russians.
So both Trump and Brexit benefit Russia in major ways. But in both cases we saw negative and piss poor electioneering, we saw some awful candidates, mud slinging and a rush to the bottom by everyone involved.
Trump certainly wasn't a strong candidate, but did the Russians bribe the Democrats in the US to make sure Hilary stood against him rather than Sanders?
The same with Brexit, did the Russians bribe everyone on the remain side to make sure they ran such a crap campaign of fear mongering?
Russia has spies in other nations and works to influence policies, so do the Americans, so do we. How many governments and leaders have we overthrown this century, UK bombs have been responsible for how many 'Elected' leaders being overthrown or murdered, UK / EU / US influence and spies have helped break up how many other governments.
Russia didn't fix the elections, if they were fixable the millionaires and billionaires on either side would have fixed them themselves, the pro Trump types represent a significant chunk of wealth, far more than Russia would be spending.
No, we are looking at the result of decades of political corruption and greed, decades of deliberate political manipulation by one party or another, by one leader or another, we are looking at deliberate dumbing down and the loss of critical thinking or analysis in the population, driven by the media.
The least worst candidate has become the norm, experts are hated, the media leads tribal voters around by the nose, headlines replace thinking.
Putin didn't make the western world nationalist, divided and stupid, he's just laughing his socks off as he watches it happen.
So ask me that question, I would say NO.