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Intrigue: Putin Leads On Points
05-22-2017, 07:24 AM
Post: #1
Intrigue: Putin Leads On Points
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DDDid you miss the subtext—the real messages of power and mind control, the genuine threats and blackmail playing out in public view inside the James Comey incident? Did your partisan interest take you away from the real story? Did you follow the intrigue?

The subtleties of statecraft are lost if you don't look at the whole show and understand its systems and symbols. Statecraft is both rigid and fluid. It has process and purpose. The Spy functions—called intelligence—has diverted from discovering secrets, policy plans, military advances, to influence: influencing public and official opinion in real time over real events, to swing support for real outcomes.

Corporations and hedge funds are using this advanced model that goes further than the marketing plan, or if you are a government, the gathering of secrets. The new statecraft takes action. That action is in one of three forms: symbolic, psychological, and political—and all three engage and amplify each other.

The Three Forms In Action


During the campaign, Trump addressing inner city issues from an all-white exurb transmitted an invalid action; he wasn't speak to the inner city, he was speaking to suburban voters; his location telegraphed and marked conscience without commitment—his venue amounted to a safe distance from the place described by his litany of ferocity and strife.

The Oval Office is a global power symbol. A place where power and decisions come together. To enter its doors, by the symbolic passage, is to be deemed a good actor, a model global citizen, not actively busy in aggression and hostility—sharing a standard of non-interference. Russia passing through the doors, their photographs documenting their entrance into the executive suite of America's center of power instantly redefined Russia's image—from pariah to partner. All without a word!

The Psychology of Statecraft

The psychological features of statecraft are the ways it is used to influence others to take action or change perceptions. Symbols are strongly tied to psychology. Psychology, however, extends beyond symbols: it is a social analog. Trump's campaign's psychology concentrated on fear and hate—its symbols of separation the wall and the suburbs/exurbs; its message that America's greatness depended on enforcing and maintaining a firm separation.

That's why Trump's favorite president is Andrew Jackson! He is the President who ordered the forced removal of all Native Americans east of the Mississippi to points west; he mandated what is known notoriously as the Trail of Tears, the path of the forced march along which thousands of Native Americans died of hunger, cold, and illness, never receiving the care they were promised.

In the new statecraft, psychology is the structure that endeavors to shape belief, perception and image, especially about a nation's goals and priorities—it justifies who gets care. It is the arena that institutions engage in for their survival or destruction.

Trump thought the firing of Comey took the “pressure off” the investigation of Russian hacking and influence in the 2016 election. He missed the psychology. From his point of view, the firing made things worse. The firing intensified scrutiny, sensationalized new information about his dialogue with Russian officials, and resulted in the investigation into Russia disinformation and electoral influence becoming independent, removed from Trump's authority, following a public pledge that it will continue. The Justice Department reacted to the firing by appointing a special counsel, above Trump's authority.

[caption id="attachment_17776" align="alignright" width="300"]Flag bearer, illustration from Harpers Weekly. Flag bearer, illustration from Harpers Weekly.[/caption]

Psychology offered an important challenge in 19th century warfare. The flag barrier who carried the company or regimental colors in combat was charged with never letting the colors drop. Held high, their visibility was an an inspiration to all and an expression of courage in the face of death on the battle flag. Because of the psychology of values assigned to this symbol, the battle within the battle targeted the enemy's colors—the goal to bring them down. If they fell, another soldier was to pick them up, and so on, signaling their unfaltering commitment to bring the fight.

Trump has the commitment, the problem for him is he has no flag besides his own. As he picks fights, he comes face to face with a circular firing squad.

Psychological territory was the domain of Russia's social media blitz of disinformation. Russia has a long history and practice of using propaganda; their experience has allowed them to fine tune and recognize the effects of specific techniques and how and when they should be applied, to what purpose.

Comparisons: America and Russia

In contrast, Trump relies on blame, lies, and denial. It's somebody else's fault; his lies are extreme, often with a fearful or malevolent edge; he doesn't know much about the actions being discussed. Often, he contradicts his lies and denial: these contradictions have two purposes, to boast and to manufacture confusion. His instability often renders moot criticisms of him; he launches new positions so quickly, the criticisms are outmoded! But his invectives and insults gave him the appearance of a lack of decency or depth.

For now, the political side has not emerged as vitally important, except domestically, and even that is hindsight—the last election is settled. Its most important role internationally has been in popular protests, especially the march women organized globally the day after Trump's inauguration. Millions and millions of women in a 160+ countries took part. Republican town halls have seen an uptick in numbers and voices that support Obamacare, which Republicans once thought was going to be a great scapegoat.

With deeper insight into the elements of subtext, and given the context and themes coupled to Comey's firing, here's the unreported story between the lines.

It begins with Trump, with his scrabble for absolute power; his aspiration for total dominion as President of the internal life and institutions of America, and his methods of pursuit. The other half is his failure to grasp the power and interests of government, especially agencies stacked with skilled in-fighters, including the FBI. He perilously underestimated the challenges of the government's institutions that serve justice and security—the area where, by law and custom, his power was weakest and the motives for his moves would be most easily exposed.

Trump's popular community contended the firing was his right--the investigation had yielded nothing. This argument depends upon missed facts and bad logic. Fact: his campaign was managed by a person with strong connections to Russia and who advanced Russia's interests in America's politics in the Congress. Fact: his chief foreign policy adviser accepted money for speeches given in Russia.


Trump's Secretary of State received the Order of Friendship from Russia, given to him by Russian President Vladimir Putin himself. Trump's campaign officials fought and won the removal the plank in the Republican platform calling for sanctions against Russia for its aggression and invasion in Crimea. Also, his campaign and Trump himself adopted and used a social meme Russia created and put out in social media: America's elections were rigged.

Not for their rightness or wrongness, or their criminality, but for their influence—for insights into how this pattern emerged and was there Russian benign control, the investigation should continue, especially after Trump's told the Russian foreign minister in a Oval Office meeting, the day after Comey's firing, the “pressure is off.”

Bad logic is revealed the immediate demands for evidence and proof. Government legal reviews of conversations, relationships, patterns, computer hacking, social media use--cases against corporations or organized crime, or major fraud take up two or three years to develop.

Putin Wins

What few are saying in print is that Trump was clearly out of his league. His skill set was too limited to deal with the issues of security he denies he put at risk; his ego needs too obvious not to be exploited, his strategy of responding in the moment made him both vulnerable and predictable.

His troubles are double-sided. Domestically, they rested with making enemies of America's intelligence communities, the seventeen agencies that gather and interpret small and large sets of data that help forecast the moves of America's adversaries. When you endorse and openly admire these leaders of dictatorial, non-democracies, calling them “strong,” you are positioning yourself to be unmasked.

Trump has never understood the greater strength is to work within the democratic system of checks and balances and power-sharing that occludes autocracy. The strength of flexibility builds consensus, something Trump has been unable to do.

Putin, on the other hand, is an autocrat who understands and easily facilitates the flexibility of statecraft. Putin has patience, Trump does not. Trump forgoes flexibility for the knock-out punch. But government is too unwieldy and the press too skeptical of his absurd counter-narratives and claims. His shtick is old, repetitive and wearing thin. It meets with deaf ears and isn't rallying a base even smaller than the three million popular votes he lose by.

[caption id="attachment_17780" align="alignright" width="240"]In Egypt, 2017. In Egypt, 2017.[/caption]

Putin relishes statecraft; Trump is lost in its depth. Putin's subtle humor was flaunt with his offer to provide Congress with a transcript of Russia's notes from the Oval Office meeting. The offer had one condition: he would only do so at Trump's request! Here, in plain sight, was both a bluff and black mail, both a take down and put down of Donald Trump. It was slick and nasty. And classically double-sided.

Though it appeared to be directed at Congress, its real audience and focus was Trump and the White House. Putin's offer to Congress directly pointed to Trump's ineptness. For Putin, a former KGB director, ineptness is weakness of the worst kind. It means a mind unable to escape traps and unable to anticipate situations easily predicted.

Trump broke Reagan's cardinal rule for dealing with the Russians: “Trust but verify.” His eagerness and craving to be one of the unstoppable big boys who makes his own rules, leaves him overreaching and exposed and puts America at risk.

If you are blaming the media, you are missing the real subtext.

[caption id="attachment_17778" align="alignleft" width="624"]Crimea, 2014, Crimea, 2014,[/caption]
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Intrigue: Putin Leads On Points #1 - walterrhett - 05-22-2017, 07:24 AM
RE: Intrigue: Putin Leads On Points #2 - jaxx - 05-22-2017, 10:07 AM
05-22-2017, 10:07 AM
Post: #2
RE: Intrigue: Putin Leads On Points
DT is the wrong person to have presidential powers. He can't handle the pressure and unwittingly (or not) always sides with dictators and the seamy side of any meeting of the minds. DT is a crook and a conniver, he'll do and say anything for the "win".

My President is Barack Obama.
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