As I've mentioned before, the Kremlin has weaponized ideology by molding, shaping and radicalizing our own beliefs. This is the case on both sides of the political spectrum.
Had the GOP produced the Roosevelt and Truman administrations, I have little doubt the general public would have associated 20th century Soviet influence with the rightwing. As this was not the case, many Conservatives view Active Measures as a leftwing phenomenon. In many ways, as a Conservative, I can appreciate this perspective. The history of Active Measures in the UK, on the other hand, saw Soviet influence initially take root in the conservative Tory party.
But not only is this left vs. right perspective dangerous, it is incorrect.
Throughout most of the 20th century, Soviet influence in the United States was largely thought of as a Left-wing phenomenon. This view was changing however, even before the rise of the Alt-Right in America. And it's a good thing, since there's sufficient evidence to support the assertion Russia (and the Soviet Union before it) have *always* influenced both the political left and right.
For Conservatives who are honest, there is little question. Russia is deeply influencing the American political right. This includes rightwing media, politicians, political platforms, even fashion.
If you do not understand this, as an American Conservative, you enable.
Alas, there is another side to this.
Recent Russian meddling in our elections, most notably Russian hacking of a DNC server and Hillary Clinton's personal email server, has catapulted Russian influence into the consciousness of the American leftwing.
No longer are Russian Active Measures the subject of fantasy--not even to the left.
But we're in very dangerous territory now.
The problem is the American leftwing never acknowledged Kremlin influence among their own. This is demonstrated, for example, by the left's reluctance to acknowledge that Alger Hiss was working on behalf of the Kremlin.
It's not a question of evidence. There's plenty of evidence. The intelligence community has declassified much of the evidence now, leaving almost no doubt about Hiss' guilt.
More recently, we have watched as various leftwing personalities with apparent Kremlin affiliations have influenced our elections. These are just a few of them. There are MANY...
Yet there is still a disconnect, even among those on the left eager to combat them, in understanding that Active Measures are not solely a rightwing phenomenon.
The danger in this is the left's failure to understand how groups such as Black Lives Matter, Occupy and Anonymous are *literally* front organizations for Russian intelligence. In the interest of time, I can't gather up all my sources. However, I will provide you with a Russian state-sponsored PSA that ought to help demonstrate Russia's perspective, with regard to "Occupy":
Those familiar with Active Measures understand the importance of identity politics as a means for creating chaos. It is, in fact, fundamental.
The Ferguson and Baltimore riots recycled the altogether familiar narratives about racial injustices that we have seen decade after decade and always, ultimately, at the hands of Russian operatives.
|Courtesy, Wikipedia: "1930 print in Bezbozhnik, the Soviet magazine, showing a Black American being lynched, hanging from the Statue of Liberty"|
The 1960s saw the continuation of race-based agitation with the likes of KGB recruit Eldridge Cleaver, a leader of the Black Panther Party. Later in life, Cleaver forged ties with North Korean intelligence, likely via his conversion to fundamental Christianity and association with Sun Myung Moon, founder of the "Moony" religious movement.
The 20th century still holds many of its secrets, to the detriment of society. We have learned depressingly little from the errors of the 20th century. One of those lessons, which will be covered in future articles, are the deep and forgotten ties between the USSR/Russia and Islamic terrorism.
Unfortunately, given the prospect of Kremlin influence in the White House, which is to become reality on January 20th, 2017, we have very little time to all become Kremlinologists.
In the interim, we must all abandon partisan prejudices and weed out bad actors. But we cannot weed them out, if either side of the political spectrum refuses to acknowledge their existence.