FROM CYBORG TO CYBER: RUSSIA, THE INTERNET, AND A REVISIT OF THE ...September 2, 2012
Now, this is going to be a complicated blog...I know this as I sit down to compose it, because I've had this percolating in the back of my mind ever since I saw an article that a friend (Mr. V.T.) sent to me, and began to muse on its deeper possibilities, implications, and the geopolitical context that nurtured it.
So, first, let's deal with the geopolitical context. As my friend Dr Scott DeHart and I pointed out in Yahweh The Two-Faced God, much of British, and then American, geopolitics has been obsessed with the idea of dominating that vast Eurasian heartland running from the plains of Eastern Europe through the steppes of Russia, and into central Asia, a vast, resource-rich region. Formulated as a concept by Oxford-educated geopolitician, Sir Halford MacKinder, this formulation became axiomatic for the western financial-military-intelligence power structure, what we may call the "central national security complex" of the British Empire and later the USA, centered around the Home Office, the Foreign Office, the Admiralty, and the City of London, and in the USA, Wall Street/Federal Reserve, the War Department, and the OSS/CIA and their affiliates (NRO, DIA, ONI, AFOSI, NSA, etc).
It became axiomatic, in this geopolitical world view, for the Anglo-American oligarchy to prevent, at all costs, any Russian expansion or dominance of central Asia, and to defeat any Russo-Chinese rapprochement to that end, and to defeat any Russo-German alliance, which would dominate the eastern European extension of this heartland. One may see in the foreign policy of a King Edward VII these principles clearly in operation, leading to a World War One that, effectively and from this geopolitical point of view, was simply a siege on a continental scale of the power that the West was not powerful enough to defeat, but that it could, at least for the moment, check. World War Two merely finished off the job. Sadly (at least, for these geopolitical goals), that power is still around, still powerful, and talking to Russia and China as never before... but that's another story.
At a deeper geopolitical level, and since 9/11, it is my conviction - shared with many others on the internet - that the "war on terror" was never about terrorism at all (a fact that, regardless of the model or interpretation of 9/11 that one prefers, would seem evident from any objective examination of the whole tragedy). It was about the projection of American power into the Middle East and Central Asia, both to control those resources (including drugs!), and as a riposte to the potential of Russian and Chinese incursions. It is this agenda that is behind the western-sponsored "uprisings" in Libya, Syria, and it is this agenda that is really driving the beat of war drums with Iran (though, as I shall blog about in the future, there are other possible reasons for the beat of war drums against Iran as well, and they have nothing to do with the idiot nutcases running that country, and everything to do with the idiot nutcases running the west and our own).
To this end, the West now appears to have shifted geopolitical gears somewhat, and appears to be ready to ratchet up its "spontaneous uprisings in support of 'democracy'" game in Russia itself, supporting the "opposition" to President Putin in an attempt to regain the influence it had under the Yeltsin days.
This takes me back to an episode during the early 1980s, an episode that Putin, a former KGB officer, will not have forgotten, nor should we, though it is an episode that only recently became publicly known since it was so deeply classified both in the USA, the USSR, and France. This episode concerns the French spy code-named "Farewell," who was in fact a KGB Colonel, Vladimir Ippolitovitch Vetrov (For the full account of this fascinating Cold War spy story, see Sergei Kostin and Eric Reynaud, Farewell: the Greatest Spy Story of the Twentieth Century). The episode is crucial to understand, because I believe it lies behind the moves now being made by Russia, including the recent Russian military withdrawal from Syria, a move that most likely was ordered by Putin himself.
To make the very long "Farewell" story short, Col Vetrov learned of Soviet plans to purchase some computer management software (remember folks, this was when INSLAW was just beginning to percolate as a scandal), and the French, who controlled him, shared this information with US intelligence. This state of affairs came about when French President Francois Mitterand decided to share the existence of a deep high level French mole inside the KGB with Ronald Reagan during their first meeting together. Having learning of the impending Soviet purchase, US intelligence snuck a "back door" program into the software that allowed it access to the Soviet computer networks...
...this was used to tamper with a crucial Soviet natural gas pipeline to such an extent that an enormous explosion - in the tactical nuclear weapon range - occurred in the Soviet Union as the pipeline ruptured and exploded. The explosion was visible from space to US spy satellites. With Russia's expanding role as an energy supplier to the world, and particularly, to Europe, and with growing Western covert operations in the former Soviet republics surrounding Russia, and within Russia itself, it is inevitable that the following should be the response:
We may rest assured that this is but the tip of the iceberg, and that the real intention here is to develop a similar if not equal capacity for cyber warfare against the West as the West has currently, and has used in the past, in Russia. This is a signal as well, that Russia is now playing a long term game, while the West and its oligarchs are playing a short term game... the reasons for both approaches, will require a bit of reflection....
...See you on the flip side...