We are living in a Tom Clancy novel, and we’re only in the opening chapters. It’s going to be a huge book. Huuuuuuuuuuge. There are going to be many chapters. I’m talking about a lot of chapters, folks.
How did we get here?
70 years ago the British Empire pretty much collapsed, the French were destroyed by the Germans, and the Germans were destroyed by a bunch of people who didn’t like fascism. This left a vacuum open for a single super power in the west. That’s us. The U.S.of.A. No one else had the financial power or military strength to do it, and no other nation could resist the hegemony of the United States of America; however, in eastern Europe things were a little different, because you see the Russians were also angry at Germany, and unlike the British and French, they actually came out of WWII looking not so bad. This started off the struggle between these two great powers, which ran from the late 40s up until the very end of 1991, when on Christmas day the Soviet Union formally dissolved. Capitalism won. Even China began to experiment with western economics. Only North Korea, a little backwater country with a lot of guns and foot soldiers, was left to threaten Uncle Sam in Asia.
I was six-years-old when the Cold War ended. It meant more to my step-father and mother than it ever could to me. My step-father spoke of Reagan’s victory over the Soviets like a preacher would of Matthew’s Gospel, and many who grew up during this time knew someone who spoke of Reagan the same way. Reagan could have traded guns with Iran and South American cartels, and people would have still liked him for overcoming communism. Little did I know then that when my generation grew into adulthood, the Cold War would resurface in new ways. The struggle between east and west is an old dance that never really ends. Like Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, it leaps into feverish pitches and intense portions, then subsides into a peaceful relaxing stage, only to unexpectedly be carried away into new dynamic heights. Symphony No. 9 does this for over an hour, which is pretty much forever for anyone who grew up listening to four minute pop songs. Putin’s rise to power was a new overture. His power grabs in the last decade have thrown the west off balance. Things are becoming really ugly in Eastern Europe, and conspiracy theories surrounding the Kremlin gain some legitimacy with the leaks and dead bodies over the last several years. Edward Snowden, whether you love him as a patriot or revile him as a traitor, became a mouth piece for Putin’s media war against the United States’ intelligence services. The song and dance continues.
There are many heights in this election that no one would have ever imagined possible in 1991, 2001, or even 2011.
Over those years between 1991 and the first decade of the 2000s, Donald Trump transformed from hugely successful ‘80s playboy and real estate magnate, to failed casino owner in the ‘90s, then resurfaced with some success after everything he owned went into bankruptcy — i.e. the government bailed him out. He also became friends with the Russians. You see big deals opened up in Russia after the Soviet Union fell. Big big deals. Huge deals. A lot of prime real estate. A lot. Now Trump’s relationship with Putin is yours to speculate, but a man who has an invested interest in Russia(Moscow has some of the most expensive and attractive real estate in the world) is not going to do something that would tank the people who are buying out that real estate.
As an entrepreneur, Donald Trump was quite the joke, losing in many of his investments. Trump University was a disaster, Trump Steaks went nowhere, he opened golf courses that no one swung on, a travel search engine that drew no travelers, a vodka that no one drank (one wonders how that happened with so many Russian partners), and a magazine no one cared to read. The magnate dodged catastrophic failure only by means of a tax loophole afforded only to the highest classes of American society. This is not an opinion guided by political preference. This is a fact provided by objective data. We know Trump went bankrupt. We know he failed with misguided business ventures. It happened.
Despite all his failures, Donald Trump always found success with his persona. Trump remained culturally relevant in the 2000s with the gift of his voice and style on his hit TV show the apprentice, and somehow managed to find a large following despite being exposed as a con man and failed plutocrat. Other billionaires and figures in media found they still had respect or use for him. He hosted Saturday Night Live, Conan O’Brian, appeared on day time talk shows, and even became a routine guest of Vince McMahon’s WWE. Every year Donald Trump’s fame took off in pop culture like it was the ‘80s all over again.
Donald Trump created a Twitter account in 2009, during the height of the birther conspiracy and the dawn of Tea Party politics in America, and he swung with the conservative movements against Obama. He is famously known for his political anecdotes going all the way back to the ‘80s, and a brief run for President as a Reform party candidate in 2000, but it wasn’t until social media took off that Donald Trump became a spokesman for the disenfranchised conservative base in America.
Then it happened. Trump announced his candidacy for President in the Republican party.
The business mogul and celebrity became the toughest dog in a yard full of religious fanatics and Koch cronies, and it appeared almost by accident that he ran over Hillary all over the country’s rural working class counties (we have a lot), but the CIA believe that Donald Trump had some very powerful friends in foreign places doing some dirty work to give him the extra digits.
The Central Intelligence Agency has fought a long war in the shadows against the Russians. They helped to bring down the Soviet Union, and for decades worked against governments that were allies of the former communist union. One would think that after the Cold War ended, that this clandestine game of geopolitical chess between the CIA and Russia’s secret services would have concluded too; however, the truth may be that this is far from over. In fact, the game may have taken itself to new heights that no one from our parents’ generation could have possibly imagined.
The Central Intelligence Agency alleges based on ‘insurmountable evidence’ that Donald J. Trump, 45th President-elect of the United States of America, has been helped into power by Russian agents who hacked the DNC and Hillary’s campaign. A television host and businessman with ties to Russia’s elite is going to be our President? Indeed, this is the stuff of fiction, but it’s real. The strong relations between Trump’s choice for Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Russian President Vladimir Putin are only fanning the flames of this conspiracy. Republican senators, like John McCain and Lindsey Graham have formed an alliance with Democrats opposed to Trump’s ascendancy. Electoral voters are under pressure to swerve from faithful voter bylaws to put Hillary in power. A unique and terrifying chain of events is now playing out on Capitol Hill. It could be nothing. It could be the start of some tale that mirrors Rome’s final days as a republic. Is our President-elect a Russian proxy? The world’s most powerful intelligence service seems to think so.
Trump believes that these CIA stories were planted in the Washington Post and New York Times to stir up anti-Trump sentiment in the aftermath of his November victory. John Bolton, one of the picks to be the deputy to the Secretary of State, called this CIA story a “false flag operation”, the work of an Obama administration desperate to save whatever chance it has left for the Democrats.
Whatever you believe, this was certainly the most bizarre election of our time, but it appears it will only become more outlandish. In a way, I long for the days when post-election madness boiled down to a simple Florida recount. The Central Intelligence Agency, America’s most prestigious office for digging up the most secret of secrets and all threats related to national security, is calling out Russia, our classic rival, for rigging our own election. The Cold War is alive and well again, and the CIA claims that our classic nemesis has put their own friends in power over the United States. Are the Russians strategically moving to make sure that this time the war doesn’t finish the same way?
It’s a real shame Tom Clancy is no longer alive to comment on this.