Trump Russia, Russia, Jeremy discussed on Intercepted with Jeremy Scahill
And his latest book is race and America's long war. And he joins me now. Nikial welcome back to intercepted. Thanks, Jeremy. It's great to be here. You've been engaged in a kind of protracted critique of what the Trump Russia scandal. So to speak, has sort of done to the United States as a country or has revealed about the political dynamic in our country. And I'm hoping you can just kind of riff on that and explain what your thoughts are right now on Trump Russia and what it's done to the discourse in the United States. It's never seemed to me hugely controversial to recognize that Russia was involved in hacking the election that this is a problem that that's something that should be addressed. There should be countermeasures should be recognized for what it is, but the way that it has become inflated is something that we need to take the measure of. And we need to think about because I think that they're at least three. The context in which this operates. As far as I can see. The first context is the kind of long arc of the deterioration of US, Russia relations probably going back to nineteen ninety six when the US intervened in Russia's election President Yeltsin, he really supported the constitution. He supported the institution of the electoral process and he wanted Russia to be a free country that picked us leaders by elections. This'll he, he's got two reasons to be happy today in the context of advocating for NATO expansion neoliberal austerity and all kinds of other things. So so the first arc, it seems to me that we don't pay any attention to at all is the blowback from American actions overseas, including meddling in the internal affairs of other countries. The second context I think about is the degraded information ecology that has emerged around American politics that culminates in the two thousand six. Sixty election which has to do with certainly the Russian interference, but also with the influence of dark money. The crackpot billionaires were intervening in American politics, right? And left. We've slowly lost control over the capacity to adjudicate our politics in a way that is free of a variety of different kinds of agendas and interferences that are not transparent and are not visible to voting public's. And then I think the third context that is probably the most troubling to me because I think about this issue a lot is the intraparty war within the Democratic Party right now. In so far as some centrist Democrats have seized upon the Russian issue is the issue they want inflate and to make. The main issue of the moment is less really about the Russia hacking in some ways than about the proxy war that's going on and. Has been going on ever since the two thousand sixteen primaries centrist wanna run on Russia. They don't want to run on economic inequality. They don't want to run on radically overhauling and reforming the party. They're concerned about the move to the left. That's that's happening in various places around the country. And the use of Russia becomes a kind of way of deflecting from some of those kinds of challenges. You also the other day were quoting William apple men Williams from empire as a way of life talking about this phenomenon of Externalizing evil. And one of the citations you offered here was empire turns a cultural away from its own life as a society or community. What I read that it really resonated with me because my God Trump has engaged in the same wars that Obama did and his escalating some of those as in Yemen. For instance, he started off the week by doing it all. Cap, screaming, tweet that appeared to threaten nuclear annihilation of Iran. And yet a lot of the commentary about this is that it must be that he's serving Putin's agenda. It's like people are so model focused on this idea that Putin is calling every shot. Even when Trump does something that is antithetical to Putin and Russia's interest. It still is seen as will Putin must be behind this. There's an old joke that we play better with better players. You know, it's not really a joke. It's kind of a truism. I guess we play. We play better with better players, and we're playing with some of the worst players we've ever seen on the political stage. I mean, not only as Trump an extraordinarily poor imperial manager. There's not a lot of coherence. There's not a lot of clarity..