Breaking news from 100 years ago: Russia wants to meddle in our affairs.
After a century of Soviet efforts to infiltrate our government agencies, our nuclear and technology programs and institutions in our country from cultural to political, Robert Mueller’s assertion that Russian operatives posted Facebook ads to taint the 2016 elections is pretty pathetic. Mueller alleges, "The nationals had a strategic goal to sow discord in the U.S. political system, including the 2016 U.S. presidential election." Well, the entire Russian hierarchy has been thus engaged since its inception.
It’s ironic that the Democrats have finally latched onto something they can demonize Russia for. Their new-found indignance is of course a ruse to conflate Russians with Republicans. Another irony is that Trump is very likely to be Russia’s last choice, behind Little Miss Reset, who caved to them at every opportunity, and Bernie Sanders, who actually honeymooned there!
The actual and ongoing extent of Kremlin-caused damage to our current culture and society is largely unknown to most Americans. But it’s never too late to become more informed about what our long-time enemy is up to.
Decades ago, Soviet subversion expert Yuri Bezmenov, who defected in 1970 after grasping the extent of Communism’s depravity, laid out in detail the tactics that the former Soviet Union used to infiltrate and destabilize entire societies. In short videos, available here and here, to an extensive interview, as well as a nearly three-hour seminar, all Americans ought to be aware of his warnings – and certainly every conservative should be. Among other revelations, he outlines the diabolical ways foreign targets are compromised, recruited and then dispatched back to their home countries and he states that around 85% of Russian counterintelligence activity and funding is aimed at demoralizing and undermining their adversaries.
In the words of ancient Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu, “the highest art of warfare is not to fight at all, but to subvert anything of value in your enemy’s country.” A list of 45 Communist goals summarizing this strategy was compiled from Soviet sources by FBI Special Agent W. Cleon Skousen, published in his seminal book, The Naked Communist, and read into the Congressional Record in 1963. Perusing this list makes it clear how successful they’ve been. More than half the goals target our educational, religious, entertainment, media, labor, legal and political institutions and even the psychiatric profession. Recall that in 1964, more than 1000 members of the American Psychiatric Association said that Goldwater was mentally incapable of holding the office of president, despite never having clinically interviewed him. Moscow must have been pleased.
Bezmenov and Skousen were far from the first to sound these alarms. 1952 saw the publication of Witness, the definitive treatise on early Soviet spying by former American Communist Whitaker Chambers, which exposed the astonishing penetration of the U.S. government the Reds had achieved as early as the 1930s.
This infiltration was elaborated on by FBI director J. Edgar Hoover in an August 1956 article he wrote for Elks Magazine . More than 60 years ago, Hoover stated that Communism’s tyranny “has never been more deadly because it has never before been camouflaged with such shrewd effectiveness.” He further wrote that “during recent years more than six hundred groups and organizations have been designated as communist front organizations by official Federal, State, and municipal government agencies.” The obvious question is, has anything happened since then which would cause a reduction in that number?
A line from Matron, the strict headmistress character in the current spy drama Red Sparrow states that “the Cold War never ended — it simply shattered into a thousand pieces.” As a well-schooled Russian operative, she’s aware that her side never abandoned the conflict. But in real life, we reached the 1000-piece level long ago. At one time we declared victory in the Cold War – but then we went home. Today, despite the disintegration of the Soviet Union, a resurgent Russia is on the move worldwide. As can be seen in Ukraine, Crimea, Syria and elsewhere, Soviet adventurism is once again rearing its ugly head.
Sun Tzu, whose Art of War is studied extensively in Russia, offers another insight we’d be wise to heed: “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”
Ronald Reagan knew the enemy and won history’s biggest battle against them. But the war isn’t over. The U.S. and its citizens have much to learn and do if we’re to restore and preserve this last, best hope on Earth.