Monday, February 13, 2017

Russia Meddling In French Elections

After its success in electing Putin poodle and pathological liar Donald "Rump" Trump, Russia has its sights on European members of NATO. It's being reported that Russian interests are planting fake news stories and attacks by Russian-backed internet trolls to thwart the campaign of French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron of the En March! Party, who is leading in the polls. That is of concern to Russia, who favors far-right xenophobe candidate and Rump fan Marine LePen. France's general elections in May are being targeted by Russia, according to En Marche! Party leader Richard Ferrand, in much the same way, and for much the same ends, as they did in the U.S.: to install a Moscow-friendly (or Moscow-controlled) head of government.

Russia's long-term goal is to fragment Western Europe by breaking up the European Union and undermining the NATO alliance, so that it may reimpose its former hegemony over Eastern Europe and beyond, without organized resistance from the West. The first major hurdle has been cleared with Rump's election, who has repeatedly refused to criticize Russia or its autocratic thug Vladimir "Vlad the Invader" Putin. To Putin's delight, Rump has questioned NATO's usefulness and applauded Britain's exit from the EU in the past. We'll know how at some point, but he's probably been compromised in some way by Russia, either through financial investments or personal scandal or both.

There is a French proverb which goes, "plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose." It translates, "the more things change, the more things stay the same." It doesn't have to be that way. European governments are aware of Putin's mischief, and have to take steps to counter it even if we didn't.

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