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Полезный идиот

by on July 31, 2017

Полезный идиот

                                                                 by Marco M. Pardi

It not infrequently happens that persons without any other special qualifications than the drama of their lives are precipitated into important political positions.”

Charles E. Merriam (1876-1953) Political Power. 1934

“You learn to know a pilot in a storm.” Seneca the Younger (5BCE-CE65) On Providence

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All comments welcome.  To those readers who have been hesitant to comment or ask questions, please be assured you may do so freely. In recent days several new people have signed on as followers, enabling them to comment freely, and it is hoped they will. All previous posts are open for comment by clicking on “uncategorized”. Reader participation keeps this site vibrant. MMP

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The term Useful Idiot, rendered above in Cyrillic, first gained common parlance in Russia during the early Soviet era.  It was used to refer to those who blindly applauded and followed Lenin and Stalin even as millions died, many of starvation.  It reappeared in NSA intercepts of Russian conversations about at least one highly placed member of the Trump campaign.

As the Cuisinart Chaos we assumed would be a presidential administration intensifies some of the more high profile sycophants, such as Pence, Sessions, and Scaramucci have been trumpeting out claims of Donald Trump being a strong leader.  In fact, little more than six months into the presidential term, this president has shown he is the antithesis of a leader.  He is what the low intellect rabble who elected him wanted: a simple disrupter.  A simple disrupter has no goal beyond disruption, no vision of a better working system for all involved.  Yet, for powers behind him he is often a useful idiot.      

In 1961 I was summoned to the hospital at the airbase from which my small unit operated.  I was informed I had received a Congressional nomination to the Air Force Academy and was to spend the day taking a battery of physical exams.  But one of the examiners asked me to define leadership.  I blurted out, “The ability to coordinate people’s wills toward a common goal.” He angrily asked, “Were you coached for this?”

If the definition I offered makes sense to you, apply it to the syndicate now in the White House. Do you see it working? Or do you see a family cadre working toward their own ends while others around them try to keep their jobs, not knowing from day to day what the next Imperial Tweet holds for them?

After a grueling day of exams at the base hospital, especially vision, the Flight Surgeon took me aside and told me I was disqualified on a couple of factors.  I did not knowingly disclose that I was hugely relieved. Having already been in some minor leadership positions I wanted no part of that, especially as a military officer.  And, I did not want to be removed from field positions.  As we talked, he said it was evident I did not want the appointment.  And, he had my medical records in hand showing my two week recovery in that same hospital’s surgical unit from field injuries I had received a few months earlier, minor paralysis still evident down my right leg.  Oh, and I flunked the vision exam.  I also realized I did not want to be a follower; solo assignments were my greatest prize. 

True to this orientation, through the years since I have never identified as a member of any political party. I consider that childish, like fraternities and sororities.  But I do enjoy analyzing human systems.  And so it is that I find the current “administration” so puzzling; it seems to have no system, at least not for the good of the country.

The two main themes I detect are: preservation of one’s job through sycophantic adulation of a mentally impaired authority figure; and, desperation to deflect attention from what appears to be a long established family crime syndicate specializing in money laundering for dictators and oligarchs around the world.  The laundering service appears to be a network of golf clubs but the real money flows through associated hotels and rental homes with a portion for the developer/owner and the rest held for the oligarch of the day. The golf clubs are almost entirely money losers.     

Intelligence officers never retire; they just grow more detached.  But an intelligence officer still keeping his, albeit retired mind in the game quickly sees the players must be sorted.  Particularly when civil and possibly criminal charges may be in the offing.  In the public eye the latter category, the Trump syndicate, appears in charge.  The ultimate validity of that, given what appears to be a world wide closed and small network of uber-oligarchs, is open to question.  The former category, the for-hire sycophants,  are simply chameleons who change their colors for a job.  The deep “love” for Trump professed by Anthony Scaramucci, who had long blistered Republicans and recently the late-comer Trump, is only a blatant example.  So we see here a dyadic paradigm forming, Users and Useful Idiots.  Of course, the broadest class of Useful Idiots was the predominantly under-educated, evangelical, angry White men who answered the siren of the Morlocks and entered the voting booths. But their very existence matters only when it is time to rouse them.  Like farm stock, it is easy to determine what moves them and to supply that when needed.  Their intelligence will not improve; they are worth only watching and perhaps feeding as needed.  Being unintelligent is not a prosecutable offense.

Without documentation, however, it is more difficult to discern and prove the motivators, the driving forces of the syndicate.  But, as Jared Kushner, referring to the Trump Empire, said, “We get lots of money from the Russians”.  So, since money is the obvious driving force, a complete and thorough examination of all financial records, including tax returns, for every syndicate member is in order.  These records should also facilitate insights into the discovery of hitherto unnamed partners and beneficiaries, domestic and foreign of these transactions. Now, do you see the reason for the current president’s refusal to provide his tax returns?  

In the waning months of the Obama administration President Obama enacted the Magnitsky Act, named for a Russian financial expert who exposed the crime syndicate overseen by Putin, the main benefactor. Magnitsky was killed.  The Act froze all Russian financial assets in the United States and stopped further dumping of Russian money into U.S. banks and other American investment shelters.  Done as a sanction against Russia for annexing Crimea and its incursions into Ukraine,  it hit Putin and his fellow oligarchs precisely where it counts. But it also hit those Americans who were providing the shelters. Putin responded by freezing all American adoptions of Russian children.  

Well, gosh.  Do we now have some insight into why Trump likes to play kissy-face with Putin? Do we now have some insight into why the Russians supported the Trump campaign? And why the Russians concocted a code word “adoption” for meetings with high level syndicate members to, in fact, plan ways to revoke the Magnitsky Act once Trump was on the throne?

A consistent theme throughout this past election cycle was that Trump did not actually want to be president.  Shortly after his win even he bemoaned his fate, saying it was much harder than he thought.  Yes, it is harder.  Because there is more to do than just revoke one Act which frees up the money which was the sole driver of the run for president in the first place. And now we are stuck with a syndicate in place thrashing about internally as each person’s USEFULNESS is reassessed from day to day. The White House has been taken over by a new political party, the Opportunist Party.

As I write this I am receiving information that Anthony Scaramucci, who forced out Republicans Reince Priebus and Sean Spicer has himself been removed by General Kelly. Further, it is now clear that General Kelly, while Director of Homeland Security, called FBI Director Comey immediately after Comey had been fired to express his anger at the firing and threaten to resign.

It seems increasingly clear the factions in play are the family/friends Opportunist Party (syndicate) versus the Republican Party.  Each side apparently viewed the other as Useful Idiots to achieve its aims and both played the poorly educated White evangelical fundamentalists as Useful Idiots to get elected.

It makes one wonder about the rest of us.  Me, I’ve never been so happy to be truly useless.

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6 Comments
  1. Ray Z Rivers permalink

    Thought the real idiots were those who voted for the him – yes those useless idiots.

  2. Exactly, Ray. They were well played and will forever remain too dumb to realize it. Thanks, Marco

  3. Let’s not forget the majority of voters did not vote for the sitting president. Also, it becomes clearer everyday the election was stolen. I have never witnessed anything as crazy as is going on in the United States. Marco, you have witnessed many similar activities but I don’t think they happened in the U.S. I still believe there are people in our government and Intelligence agencies, who are there for the right reasons and will fight to restore our elections, democracies and protections.

  4. Thank you, Mary. Your point is well made. Despite il Douche’s claims to the contrary, the majority of Americans voted for someone else. Even as I write this more damning issues are coming to light. Watch the news if you can stand it.

    Yes, I’ve seen this in several other places, but of course had always to keep my head down with a straight face. I will attest to your conclusion there are many in the intelligence community who know what is going on, and are finding ways to counter it.

  5. Useless is one thing I would never call you, but if useless means of no interest to the reining regime, then I wish it for all of us. There are useful idiots among my friends and family, and it becomes increasingly difficult to hold an intelligent conversation with them.

    Thank you for writing such an enlightening blog offering. I have never claimed to be politically savvy, and this page has explained so many things for me which I did not understood before. Every day gets a little more strange, and a little more frightening. I am often forced to realize how many people actually support what’s going on, and I’m not sure how much longer I can take it. If ignorance was fatal, I honestly think half of the people I know would drop dead on the spot.

    • Thank you, Rose. Analysis of our current situation is challenging and interesting, like watching a car wreck from which you cannot look away. And, as I’ve said elsewhere, I particularly enjoy the discovery of relevance to other, more personal issues. Your discussion of those who surround you is a sad but realistic example. I am concerned about, as in your case, the deepening sense of isolation which ensues from realizing the frank and irreparable condition of those who surround us.

      Writing pieces such as this is cathartic and occasionally helpful to others. But we inhabit a narrow stratum.

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