Outgoing Secretary of State Pompeo wrongly claimed that Russia is among the American people’s main enemies who’s purportedly seeking “to undermine [their] way of life, republic, and basic democratic principles”, but the truth is that the country doesn’t harbor any such intentions and actually has a lot more in common with the US than most people might think.
US Secretary of State Pompeo was wrong last week when he described Russia as among the American people’s main enemies while speaking to conservative talk show host Mark Levin. His exact words were as follows: “Mark, it is the case that I get asked all the time who’s our enemy, and the answer is we have lots of folks that want to undermine our way of life, our republic, our basic democratic principles. Russia is certainly on that list.” The reality, however, isn’t exactly how he portrayed it since Russia doesn’t harbor any such intentions and actually has a lot more in common with the US than most people might think.
It’s true that each country has its own form of “national democracy”, but it’s still structurally democratic nevertheless, albeit obviously imperfect in each example since no such thing as a perfect government exists. Elections are commonplace in both, and consumerism is pervasive throughout society. There are also divisions between liberals and conservatives, though these are much more pronounced in the US than in Russia nowadays. Nevertheless, many Russians actually admire America, especially its pop culture, and don’t hold any hostile feelings towards the American people unlike many of their counterparts regrettably do towards them.
On the topic of the American Republic, Pompeo seems to be implying that he’s finally submitted to his opponent’s discredited information warfare narratives alleging that Moscow meddled in the 2016 elections in Trump’s support. At the very worst that Russia can be accused of, all that might have happened is that some people carried out provocative social media research by impersonating Americans and posting divisively about domestic political issues. That, for as controversial as it may be, actually isn’t uncommon and pales in comparison by far to the US and other countries’ state-led efforts to manipulate foreign political processes.
The Secretary of State’s reference to Russia being an enemy of Americans’ basic democratic principles reaffirms his likely belief in that narrative, or at the very least his desire to propagate that false view among that population. Russia doesn’t care how Americans choose their leaders since its state representatives only interact with their counterparts, not the American people, and those same counterparts are usually always hostile towards Russia as it is. The issue is therefore a moot one which isn’t of serious concern to Moscow. After the latest elections, it’s also clear to many Russians just how utterly dysfunctional the US’ political system really is.
Pompeo’s defamatory attacks against Russia therefore aren’t all that sincere but are probably part and parcel of the State Department and CIA’s, his current and former employers respectively, information warfare against the Eurasian Great Power. He wants the American people to regard Russia as an enemy in order to justify his government’s aggressive policies against it which are aimed at restoring the US’ fading unipolar hegemony. That’s also likely why he fearmongered about Russia’s nuclear missile arsenal and accused Moscow of carrying out a recent large-scale cyber attack too.
To these points, Russia’s nuclear arsenal has always been purely defensive and the country has been urging the US to extend the New START for at least another year before its expiry in February in the interests of global strategic stability, something that Washington has thus far refused to do. Regarding the SolarWinds cyber attack, no public proof has been presented to back up the claim of Russian involvement. Thus far, it simply appears to be yet another attempt to blame Russia for everything that goes wrong in the US. The real culprits could just as likely be North Korea for example but the US might still blame Russia for “political convenience”.
One of the most troublesome aspects of Pompeo’s anti-Russian rant isn’t necessarily what he said since there’s nothing new to that at all, but the audience that he directed it towards. He was speaking to pro-Trump conservatives, which basically means that he parroted Democrat talking points to the people who have been the least likely to be influenced by them over the past four years. This suggests that the US’ liberal and conservative establishment factions, as well as the supposedly “anti-establishment” Trump Administration itself, all support this narrative.