EVENTS THAT HAVE NOT YET HAPPENED
EVENTS THAT HAPPENED LONG AGO
FIGMENTS OF THE IMAGINATION
That is what we are saddled with. This ad from 1975 personifies it.
It is not necessarily terror that cements Trump to Putin. The mindset of megalomaniacs is similar. They can run in tandem, like a team of chariot horses.
Russia sees itself as comparable to the U.S., made up of many cultures and having a Wild East instead of a Wild West. However, while the U.S. majority is made up the descendants of people who migrated from their homelands more or less voluntarily and developed a culture from scratch, Russia’s diverse populations have been subjugated in place and the failure of the Soviet Union is evidence that the effort to homogenize failed. Moreover, the educated ruling class is entirely derivative. That is, intellectual and technical achievements have their roots in Europe, specifically Poland and France and Germany. Being excluded from the European Union is psychologically quite devastating. On the other hand, the electronic culture lets them plug into the rest of the world, even during the isolating long winter months.
Indeed, I can easily imagine the election hackers as comparable to bored teens, just not sitting in basements, but in the high rise building above the Arctic Circle powered by the energy produced by nuclear submarines tethered just off-shore. Why can I imagine that? Because in 2005, in connection with the hundreth anniversary of the signing of the Russo-Japanese pact in Portsmouth, N.H. we hosted four wild and crazy Russian guys for a week. Although these guests, only one of whom was moderately proficient in English, were scheduled to attend all sorts of commemorative events and social gatherings, they were not interested in that. Instead, having arrived with international driver’s licenses and credit cards, they rented a car, went sight-seeing in the White Mountains and then down to New York City and back to Boston where they turned in their car before getting back on the plane to head home.
They left me their email addresses printed on their calling cards, but did not subsequently stay in touch. Nothing of interest at our house.
A somewhat compressed and mostly accurate transcript of a statement Dan Coats, the Director of National Intelligence, read to the Atlantic Council.