Friday, December 30, 2016

America Changed and Our Enemies Got Hope

Good grief, the season of peace on Earth and good will toward men is pretty busy with conflict this year. I guess the soothing balms of hope and change really don't work.

Relations with Russia--which Secretary of State Clinton "reset" and President Obama pledged "flexibility" in giving Russia concessions and Secretary of State Kerry earned Russian approval for setting a new "tone"--have gotten so bad that President Obama answered that call from the 1980s and gave us our Cold War foreign policy back:

The U.S. government released the proof that Russia was behind the hacking of networks of the Democratic Party in 2016 and the subsequent release of documents showing bad behavior by Democrat politicians and party officials. The U.S. proof consisted of a 13 page NCCIC document that did not deliver. There was a summary and disclaimer page that contained assertions but no proof of Russian involvement. This was followed by nine pages of useful but standard advice on how to protect yourself from the kind of hack (spearfishing) that caused most of the damage. There was a page diagraming the Russian groups believed responsible but not with any evidence that would stand up in court. Finally there were two pages of diagrams and a some computer code showing how the attack was carried but again, no evidence of who did it much less any links to Russia. Worse, the report makes no mention of Wikileaks, which admitted releasing the documents in question and denying that Russia was the source. There was nothing like what recently leaked NSA documents presented. These described American hacks used against foreign governments and Americans at home. No matter, the outgoing U.S. government had promised retaliation and this was it.

The Russians say they won't retaliate for now. Which is rich considering we are retaliating for what Russia did.

I have little doubt that the Russians are involved. This is what they do. Heck, the Russians sided with the reelection of President Obama over Mitt Romney in 2012. Really, they opposed Romney. Granted, as far as we know the Russians didn't do any more than express their opinion, so I'm not saying that it is the same thing. But Democrats did not get worked up, did they?

Even if Russian involvement in 2016 was winks and nods level that let the friendly hackers know that Russian agents would not be coming after them, this is Russia at work.

But note the speed of the so-called investigation and action to expel Russian diplomats. And new sanctions are involved. The speed of action is noteworthy, is it not?

And the fact that this is the Russian action that got our president angry.

Mind you, I'm fine with penalizing the Russians for this action. For this and many other hostile actions they deserve our efforts to send more body bags back to Russia from Ukraine and Syria.

But the sudden steely resolve of Democrats, of all people, to face down the Russian threat is hard to take without comment on what finally got the Democrats angry with Russia--standing (inadvertently, I believe) in the path of Hillary's coronation.