I have a Russian friend, Sergey (yes, Sergey). We play chess together. But recently I felt compelled to make him promise me he wasn’t a Russian
spy. I was already risking my own livelihood by being near him. For my own safety, I forced him to denounce any and all affiliation with the Kremlin,
Putin, or any Russian oligarchs. What else could I do? Given the breathless coverage of Russia by the political and media classes in the West over the
last couple years, not to mention the seemingly intimate ties between every single one of the 144 million residents of the Russian Federation, one
could never be too sure.
Besides, like every Russian diplomat, Russian news source, Russian official, Russian attorney, Russian UFC fighter, Russian lobbyist, Russian
diplomat, and every two-bit Russian celebrity, there was something nefarious, and—dare I say—Kremliny
about Sergey. He weeps a certain
je ne sais Putin
Certainly he has ties, however distant, to Russia’s most dangerous institutions: the KGB, the FSB, and the Russian Orthodox Church. They are all in
one way “linked”, after all. And at this point it’s a safe bet that anyone with an “ov” or “itch” in their name has such ties.
Sure, Sergey doesn’t use twitter, so I can’t say he is one of those “threats to democracy” we hear so much about. But he is an engineer, no
less capable of crippling Western infrastructure, institutions, and democracy as any Russian Twitter troll. One thing is for certain, if he had made
the mistake of talking to any member of the Trump campaign, his life, and the life of the person he talked to, would be ruined.
This is all due to what paranoid NYT columnist Max Boot called
“the worst attack on America since 9/11
”—the hacking of the DNC email servers. We cannot ignore something
like that. Sure, the DNC and Podesta, both private organizations, are not America, but we get the general gist of Boot’s assertions, if only because
we’ve heard it a thousand times before. Admittedly, life must be good if this was the worst attack since 9/11, not only because the casualties of
such attack were exactly zero, but also because the effects of that attack left no further residue beyond the paranoid dreams of those who believed
it. Those who ran into the towers at 9/11 and survived had to contend with cancer and various other ailments; those who survived the hacks of the DNC
and the subsequent Twitter meme-war need only keep their TDS in check.
Frankly, the DNC should have employed a good Russian hacker like Dimitri Alperovitch to protect its data. The world—or at least the press—might
not be in its current predicament. Alperovitch was so good at investigating Russian hacks that the FBI, the DHS, and journalists simply took his word
for it without doing their own investigation—and here we are.
I told Sergey to take note of the good Russians at work here. They are out there.
Other good Russians in recent memory include the sources of Christopher Steele’s now infamous dossier. These Russians, though unnamed and unknown,
were so good that they convinced a vast section of the western world to refuse their own leaders. Though their information ultimately led to division,
confusion, and misinformation, their actions were definitely not a form of Russian active measures, unlike the tweets of Russian bots.
Recently the UK accused Russia of poisoning and attempting to murder a Russian double agent working for UK intelligence. Why the Russians didn’t
murder him while he was wasting away in a Moscow prison, long before they returned him to the UK, we will never know. But it led to many western
countries dispelling a whole host of Russian diplomats, who were probably spies anyways. Those are the bad Russians.
After some convincing Sergey eventually denounced his Russian ties. I banished him anyways. I even banished his lovely Bulgarian wife, as well,
because of her obvious ties to Russians. Admittedly, I feel bad for them. Sergey seems like a decent Russian. But if our political class has taught
us anything, I should distance myself from anything to do with Russia.
Before we departed ways I shook his hand and wished him luck. As he left, solemn in stride, he turned and spoke one last time.
“How do I become a good Russian?” Sergey asked me, “I do not want to be deported”.
“It's obvious. Don’t support your president. ‘Matter of fact, you should actively oppose him. Then, and only then, will you be a good Russian in
their eyes. Hell, that’s also how you become a good American”.
edit on 1-6-2018 by LesMisanthrope because: (no reason given)