(And How To Win It.)
Science confirms Donald Trump’s actions and inactions caused at least 40% of Covid-19 deaths in the U.S. Amid the grief, are we missing the reason he did it? Part 1.
How do you measure the toll? You can count the bodies or cite the unemployment rate but neither adequately captures the human loss of the last four years. Half-a-million lives taken, thousands more with long-term injuries, so many shattered careers, and the vanished hopes of many Americans.
We glaze over the numbers, and we sigh at the hopelessness of it all. It’s often felt like the world of pain will continue until our apocalyptic destruction. This outcome is neither true nor inevitable, yet just the thought of it paralyzes us into inaction.
We need to dislodge from that narrative and see our current situation for what it is. Nobody wants to be at war, especially not right now. Still, we can’t find our battle footing, we can’t unite against a common enemy, we can’t fulfill our promise to future generations if we don’t acknowledge the cold hard truth: we’re at war.
This war isn’t fought with tanks and missiles, but rather with deception and manipulation. The goal remains the same as traditional conflict: one nation(s) inflicts maximum damage and casualties until another country submits to its rule or demands.
The first shot of deception in this war was fired when Donald Trump was elected as U.S. president.
Although he was legitimately elected, Trump was not an American president. He is a Russian intelligence asset. According to former KGB officer Yuri Shvets in Craig Unger’s American Kompromat, the Russians began grooming Trump at the height of the Cold War when the KGB still existed. He remains under the influence of Russia’s intelligence services until today.
But even if you doubt Trump’s ties to Russia, or you shrug at his $200 Million loan from China, the tale of his presidential tape speaks volumes:
Trump will go down in shame. The only president impeached twice, whose approval rating never crossed over 50%, and the only POTUS to attempt a violent coup.
His overt and sycophantic appeasement of the autocrats who pulled his puppet or purse strings was an early public giveaway of his treacherous intentions. His policies made it clear he was acting on orders from the Kremlin, Beijing, or Riyadh.
As Hong Kong democracy protesters appealed for our help against China’s clampdown on democratic rights on the island, the U.S. didn’t respond. Trump’s silence will remain an indelible act of democracy’s submission to tyranny. His abandonment of the Middle East to archaic patriarchies and kingdoms has extinguished the hope that equality and freedom could have ushered in for the region’s people. Generations worldwide will equate America’s intentional collapse in response to coronavirus as the loss of American hegemony.
This is not how American presidents act. This is how a puppet president acts, who climbed to power in an unholy alliance of white supremacists, Christian fascists, catholic extremists and facilitated by a gang of foreign dictators and kleptocrats.
If it were up to me, Congress would strip Trump of his titles and rescind every action he took, including nullifying the appointments of three Supreme Court justices and hundreds of federal judges, and throw him in jail.
But it isn’t up to me. And while there are impressive efforts to reverse four years of destructive policies, and equally determined efforts to prosecute Trump, we cannot erase the last four years’ events, nor are we likely to see him gracefully exit the stage.
Trump was installed as an act of war against us and our way of life, and as long as he can antagonize Americans or sow chaos, he’ll remain a dangerous force in U.S. politics. He’ll be here until he and his enablers are banished; until we win the war.
A Wartime President, but not ours
We usually measure war by the physical destruction, by the number of deaths and injuries caused by combat or the miles ceded to the enemy. It’s hard to fathom we are the victims of war without seeing the actual destruction around us. But that does not mean the destruction is not happening.
General Valery Gerasimov is the Chief of Staff of Russia’s Armed Forces, the Kremlin’s top soldier and the author of a war doctrine that bears his last name.
The Gerasimov Doctrine declares you can achieve significant destruction using what the Russians call hybrid warfare, which blends soft military tactics, intelligence operations, influence and information campaigns, active measures and cyber warfare.
A hot war without bullets.
The results are often more dramatic than conventional war and come with a deepening sense of mystery and a frustrating inability to reciprocate. As one former KGB officer said, “It’s not easy to find the black cat in a dark room, especially if the black cat isn’t there.”
The alliances began well before 2015, but it entered a new phase that year when a gang of Middle-East leaders chastened by eight years of principled Obama rule and an Arab Spring joined an ill-conceived secret axis of powers behind America’s back.
Along with an already allied China and Russia, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman, his Emirati counterpart Mohammed bin Zayed, Israel’s Bibi Netanyahu, and Egypt’s Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi struck a new alliance.
The Middle East leaders wanted to realign the region’s balance of power by using brute force to solve previously intractable issues without much regard for human life or rights. This axis would later provide cover for Russia and Turkey to rampage across Syria to bolster Bashar al-Assad’s rule, driving out the Kurds, America’s loyal allies in the region.
But in 2015, the axis was missing one thing: an amenable U.S. politician who would not only back their plan but could be elected as U.S. president. They eventually found their candidate in Donald Trump.
Trump utilized an Israeli social media manipulation firm, PSY Group, to help engineer his victory. According to Volume 5 of the Senate Intelligence Report, the Saudis and Emiratis picked up the tab for part of that operation under Erik Prince’s direction. Prince is bankrolled by China.
They also found a domestic base of support in America’s wealthy, Christian, and often-racist white elite through Prince.
I call this partnership between these Axis powers and their domestic enablers the “enemies of democracy’; others use the terms ‘anti-democratic’ or ‘authoritarian’, but no matter what you call them, they represent an existential threat to America as we know it.
There are two mindset shifts we need now. The first is to behave as if we are at war because we are. The second is to allow ourselves a little imagination. More on the first later, but for the second, we need to expand our world view.
A PERFECT CONFLUENCE
Vladimir Putin spent the afternoon of the 2016 U.S. presidential election in the Kremlin with his Chinese counterpart Premier Li Keqiang. The two leaders inked a new deal to cement their countries’ alliance, while Trump was declared the next president of the U.S.A
Across the world in New York City, Putin’s trusted delegate Kiril Dmitriev received a text from a business associate. “Putin has won,” it read.
The next day, Putin congratulated Trump warmly on his victory. Xi Jinping followed with his congratulations and an invitation for the newly elected president to visit.
There is a tendency in the American mindset to organize events into specific categories. A pandemic falls into the health category and cannot possibly also be an instrument of malign foreign power. Foes are foes ,and friends are friends, but other nations don’t always share such binary thinking.
It’s even more challenging to accept that an American president was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans. Still, it’s now a matter of scientific fact that Trump’s failed response to the pandemic contributed significantly to the 500,000 deaths attributed to Covid-19.
500,000 is more people than died in combat in all of America’s wars against foreign enemies, combined. The U.S. represents only 5% of the world’s population but accounts for 20% of global Covid-19 deaths. How could the world’s leading economy with the leading scientific minds account for one-fifth of the world’s deaths?
A growing body of scientific research proves Trump’s failure to respond to the pandemic directly resulted in mass death. Among the most conservative but well-regarded estimates is that Trump caused at least 40% of all Covid deaths. That’s 200,000 deaths based on the current death toll.
And the U.S. also leads the world in the number of Covid-19 cases. That total number indicates an unimaginable long-term health crisis is on our horizon. Some studies suggest as many as one-third of Covid-19 sufferers face long-term health issues related to coronavirus six months after contracting the disease.
I can’t shake the memory of Trump’s super-spreader campaign events last August. He knew he was spreading Covid-19, especially after contracting it himself. The only reason he would be so cavalier and destructive is if Big Pharma, China or Russia somehow incentivized him to spread the disease.
On the global stage, China has reaped the rewards of Trump’s mishandling of coronavirus in terms of trade and foreign influence. Russia too has expanded its influence through military conquest, which Trump didn’t challenge and, in some cases, even supported. Russia and China have also combined efforts to expand their military footing in the Arctic, leaving the U.S. and Canada at greater risk.
Today, more than a year after the Coronavirus pandemic first tore through Wuhan, China, Xi is all but declaring victory over the U.S. “The biggest source of chaos in the present-day world is the United States,” Xi Jinping is quoted as saying. “The East is rising and the West is declining.”
This statement would have seemed foolish four years ago, but is far less so after Trump’s term in office.
It’s no wonder Putin and Xi Jinping were so quick to congratulate Trump on his 2016 election victory, and the Chinese leader was so eager to host Trump on a state visit to China. During that state visit, Trump showed Xi a video of his granddaughter Arabella serenading her ‘Grandaddy Xi’ in perfect Mandarin.
By contrast, it took Xi and Putin weeks to acknowledge President Biden’s win in 2020.
If 500,000 dead, a long-term health crisis, the devastation of our economy and our plummeting global standing are not the result of war, what is? Is there another way to rationally explain this confluence of tragedy that somehow struck the United States with such wicked timing?
To put it in blunt terms, Trump is a Russian asset and his negligence in dealing with the coronavirus, which originated in China, appears to have been to the net benefit of China and its Russian ally, and to the extreme detriment of the United States.
You can read part two of ‘The War We’re In‘ here.