Thursday, 16 August 2018

the long game

Digg directs us to a fascinating article from The New Republic that traces the deep history of the KGB and successor organisation’s preening of their unwitting Manchurian Candidate, possibly going all the way back to Trump’s 1978 marriage to Ivana and subsequent visits to Czechoslovakia, with the real estate mogul becoming a person of interest who might provide insights into the soft power of celebrity.
Indeed, however, their plant turned out to be something like The Americans, only tawdry and dim and in reverse with the realisation that Trump and his circle had not only the potential for ingratiating themselves to politicians with the power to influence policy-makers but had were fools for flattery and the American oligarchs, the parasitical rich whose fortunes would not have materialised without heavy government subsidies and corporate bequests of to hollowed out institutions and services that the state used to provide, might be enlisted as statesmen themselves—either directly or indirectly.  There’s an exchange from 1986 recounted that would have otherwise appeared too dumb and conceited to be believed until this year with Trump fishing for information on nuclear weapons as a way to get a primer on how Gorbachev so he might be able to convince Reagan to invest Trump with plenipotentiary powers as an ambassador to the Soviet Union and of course, to open a hotel.  Arrogantly, Trump laid claim to his familiarity and confidence by linking himself to the administration through the lobbying firm of Black, Manafort & Stone who had helped orchestrate Reagan’s 1984 re-election victory who Trump had recently retained. It’s easy to concede that such vanity wouldn’t make for a plum asset.