The presidency of Donald Trump has been entrenched with controversy ever since the inception of his election in November of 2016. As time elapses, we are starting to ascertain more information about Russia and it’s geo-political and geo-strategical machinations of using social media and the internet to manipulate public opinion in order for the billionaire real estate developer and television star, Donald Trump, to ascend to the presidency of the United States. The Russians allegedly created fictitious social media accounts to troll the internet with propagandized messages in favor of Donald Trump.
In the middle of February 2018, Special Counsel, Robert Mueller, announced that the federal grand jury indicted 13 Russian nationals and 3 Russian companies for “setting a strategic goal to sow discord in the U.S. political system, including the 2016 presidential election.” The companies were Internet Research Agency LLC, AKA Mediasintez LLC, Concord Management and Consulting LLC, and Concord Catering, along with the 13 individuals who were affiliated with these companies whom conspired to manipulate the election.
In the midst of the issues of Russians allegedly meddling into the elections, Robert Mueller is investigating the Trump administration and its allies supposed collusion with Russia and before the Russian indictments, former foreign policy adviser; George Papadopoulos, former National Security Adviser; Michael Flynn, campaign manager; Paul Manafort and his deputy, Rick Gates, in which the aforementioned names except for Rick Gates entered plea deals. Russian president, Vladimir Putin, stated that he will protect the 13 Russian nationals and will not extradite them to the United States. The reasons being that the two countries don’t have an extradition treaty and in Russia, it’s illegal to extradite its citizens.
We all can agree that with what’s knowingly occurring within the internal affairs of the presidency is unprecedented and anomalous. On the other hand, meddling into elections isn’t anything new within global history and was in actuality common-place, especially from what country? The United States! The United States interfered with the elections of at least 85 countries, specifically during the Cold-War era from 1945-1991. The U.S. and the U.S.S.R. had an ideological war between the United States who supposedly promoted liberty, capitalism, rationalism, and individualism globally, and Russia supposedly promoted equality, collectivism, socialism, and redistribution. In actuality, the relative administrations of the United States had different perspectives and agendas on how different countries wanted their countries administered. For example, there were countries that were allies of the United States who, even though they didn’t subscribe to the socialist agenda of the U.S.S.R., were military dictatorships that violated the life, liberty, and property of its citizens. For example, the United States manipulated and influenced elections through bribery, withdrawing foreign aid, syndicating misinformation on socialist-oriented candidates, discrediting candidates who weren’t complimentary to “U.S. interests”, funding candidates over others, etc.
The United States’ covert operations also consisted of manipulating and instigating coup d’états through the funding, training, and militarizing of militia groups to overthrow socialist or socialist-affiliated governments for the sake of advancing and securing the United States’ interests. For example, the United States covertly orchestrated “Operation Ajax”, which catalyzed to the overthrowing of the democratically elected Prime Minister of Iran, Mohammad Mosadegh, in 1953 and the ascension of the military dictatorship of Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, which lasted until 1979. An example in Africa of U.S. intervention in another country’s elections and “regime-change” was in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which received their independence in 1960. The U.S. government was involved in Congolese elections before their independence by supporting pro-Western candidates who were against socialism and communism, and the CIA played a role in the assassination of its independence leader, Patrice Lumumba. In replacement of Lumumba, the United States was responsible in the funding and sponsoring of his successor, Moise Tshombe, and eventually, the military dictator, Joseph Mobutu, who assumed power in 1965 for close to 31 years.
Additionally, the CIA assisted the military junta in Guatemala that overthrew the democratically elected Jacobo Arbenz in 1954, after he legalized the communist party and supposedly attempted to expropriate the land owned by the lucrative United Fruit Company. Also, in Chile, former CIA director, Richard Helms, received direct orders from former National Security Adviser, Henry Kissinger, to prevent the democratic election of Salvador Allende in Chile, in which the CIA paid $6.8-$8 million to the right-wing opposition to Allende back in 1970. The United States funded regime change through elections and coup d’états in numerous destabilization movements. For example, in the Chinese Civil War from 1946-1949, the United States funded and militarily aided the Kuomintang of China, lead by Chiang Kai-sheck against the Chinese Communist Party. Starting in 1948, the CIA spent at least $65 million (some of it sent in suitcases) to their favorable Italian centrist candidates and published forged letters to discredit the communists in Italy.
Brazil, when Joao Goulart was democratically elected, legalized the communist party, recognized Cuba and other communist countries, controlled foreign capital, and attempted to institute land reform, and these policies were antithetical to U. S. interests. This lead to the U.S. government launching “Operation Brother Sam”, which catalyzed to the financial aiding and bribery of state governors who opposed President Goulart, and instigated relationships between him and General Humberto Franco and his senior military officers, which eventually lead to the 1964 coup. There are numerous examples that I can include in this article to compliment and corroborate my point, but to keep this article succinct, it has been proven numerous times in history of the U.S. meddling into other country’s elections and instigating regime change even as recent as the 21st century in Egypt, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, Ukraine and Kenya. I am not condoning these covert and overt operations of meddling into other country’s elections or internal affairs, but just wanted to present to the reader that this isn’t anything new and as a matter of fact, Russia attempted to interfere in other countries’ elections at least 35 times between the beginning of the Cold War era and the end of the 20th century.
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