Opinion

Why the Russian Collusion Story is a Crock

For months now, we have been inundated with stories about Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. For many of us, we chose to believe or deny the story based on our political party—not on facts. When it comes to the truth, facts are all that count. When you look at the facts, it becomes clear that certain questions need to be answered.

According to public documents and multiple news stories, the Robert Muller investigation revealed that 13 Russian nationals and three separate Russian entities spent over $1.25 million per month on political ads during the 2016 American election. But could this all be a red herring?

Look, we have spent over a year investigating the “Russia Collusion” story. But no one seems to be even remotely interested in the over $18 million coming from Pro-Israeli lobbies over the same 2016 period. So, what makes Russia’s political advertising so much worse than Israel’s? Are certain countries welcome to influence our politicians while others are not? Are we allowed to influence elections and then cry foul when it happens to us?

Lest we forget, the Obama administration tried to hack the Israeli parliamentary elections, perhaps for the same reason the Russians might want to influence our election: To elect their preferred candidate. Obama wanted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to lose reelection, so he spent US taxpayer money trying to oust him.

According to the Washington Times, “the State Department paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayers grants to an Israeli group that used the money to build a campaign to oust Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in last year’s Israeli parliamentary elections, a congressional investigation concluded Tuesday.

“Some $350,000 was sent to OneVoice, ostensibly to support the group’s efforts to back Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement negotiations. But OneVoice used the money to build a voter database, train activists, and hire a political consulting firm with ties to Obama’s presidential campaign—all of which set the stage for an anti-Netanyahu campaign, the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations said in a bipartisan staff report.

“In one stunning finding, the subcommittee said OneVoice even told the State Department’s top diplomat in Jerusalem of its plans in an email, but the official, Consul General Michael Ratney, claims never to have seen them.” And this is just one instance of our interference overseas. So, for comparison, let’s look at Israel’s lobbying efforts in our country.

The Daily Conspiracy‘s Sox Deveroux stated, “According to University of Chicago Professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt’s London Review of Books essay, ‘The Israel Lobby,’ the pro-Israeli lobbies were in fact the key players that led the United States into many foreign wars.

“As the essay explains, while most Americans view the Iraq War as an attempt to garner oil, Israeli security was at the forefront of many official discussions. According to Philip Zelikow, a former member of the Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, the executive director of the 9/11 Commission, and formerly a counselor to Condoleezza Rice, the ‘real threat’ from Iraq was not a threat to the United States.”

Deveroux continued: “On 16 August 2002, 11 days before Dick Cheney’s pro-war speech at the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Washington Post reported: ‘Israel is urging US officials not to delay a military strike against Iraq’s Saddam Hussein.’”

According to former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, strategic coordination between Israel and the US had reached “unprecedented dimensions,” and Israeli intelligence officials had given Washington a variety of alarming reports about Iraq’s WMD programs. As a retired Israeli general put it, “Israeli intelligence was a full partner to the picture presented by American and British intelligence regarding Iraq’s non-conventional capabilities.”

“The campaign against Saddam Hussein is a must,” former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres told reporters in September 2002. “Inspections and inspectors are good for decent people, but dishonest people can overcome easily inspections and inspectors.” Some even have the shocking audacity to suggest that the virtual tin cans with 30-year-old traces of chemical gas found during the war justify the $2.4 trillion we have spent on the Iraq War alone.

Our recent aggressive stance in Syria was foreshadowed, or dare we say, orchestrated by Israel. Case in point: Nine months before then-President Obama pleaded with Congress to authorize military force against Syria, Israel’s aggression was already well underway. In January 2013, Israeli warplanes carried out a strike on a Syrian convoy believed to be carrying sophisticated aircraft weaponry.

An American official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to the New York Times, said Israel had notified the United States about the attack, which the Syrian government condemned as an act of “arrogance and aggression.” Moreover, while many have forgotten, even the false claims regarding Syria’s use of chemical weapons against rebels were initially propagated by Israel.

(Credit: YouTube/Mike Piper Report)

It ought to be abundantly clear by now that neither Syria nor Russia would ever use chemical weapons in any theater of war. As a matter of historical fact, Russia brokered the deal whereby the Assad government gave up their chemical weapons and transported them out of the country to be destroyed on board a specially equipped U.S. ship in the Mediterranean. Hence, Syria possessed no such weapons to use for that chemical explosion.

But that did not stop the narrative, or the push for military intervention.

Brig. Gen. Itai Brun, chief of research for Israeli military intelligence, told a security conference in Tel Aviv that there was strong evidence that a lethal chemical weapon, likely the nerve gas sarin, had been used in incidents near Damascus and Aleppo on March 19, 2013.

He said that photographs of victims with foam coming out of their mouths and contracted pupils were signs of sarin use. “To the best of our understanding, there was use of lethal chemical weapons,” Brun told the Institute for National Security Studies.

The following week, with no further investigation, Obama confirmed in a press conference that Bashar al-Assad had deployed chemical agents in the protracted Syrian civil war. Unfortunately for Syria, Obama and Israeli intelligence were wrong.

According to the Washington Times, “Carla del Ponte, a member of the U.N. Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria, told Swiss TV there were strong, concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof, that rebels seeking to oust Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad had used the nerve agent.”

A year later, in the report titled “Possible Implications of Faulty US Technical Intelligence,” Richard Lloyd, a former UN weapons inspector, and Theodore Postol, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), examined the delivery rocket’s design and calculated possible trajectories based on the payload of the cargo.

What they discovered would have been extraordinarily troubling to many Americans: the chemical weapons launched at rebels could not possibly have been launched from a Syrian controlled territory. It was impossible. So what does it mean? It means the American and Saudi-backed rebels were responsible for the incident…not al-Assad.  But yet, here we are bogged down in yet another foreign quagmire.

And now we hear that President Donald Trump on Tuesday withdrew the United States from the Iran nuclear agreement—making good on a longstanding campaign promise and slamming the 2015 accord as “a horrible, one-sided deal that should have never, ever been made.” But are we withdrawing for our own reasons, or once again because of Israel influence? After all, it was Netanyahu himself who briefed the world on the treasure trove of documents allegedly stolen from Iran. According to Netanyahu, these documents prove, conclusively, that Iran lied and that they were in fact developing a nuclear program.

But has anyone had any time at all to do any real “fact checking” on the claims made by Netanyahu?

We have been at war for almost all of my adult life. If you simply open your eyes and do a little research, a pattern begins to emerge. Connect the dots and you’ll see who is really keeping us at war. For example, you can go to opensecrets.org, which is an Internet site that tracks the campaign contributions of all politicians. Just take a look at where they get their money.

Case in point: Senator Bob Menendez was the politician who introduced the 2013 bill to attack Syria. From 2013 to 2014, he and his campaign collected nearly $17 million. So, how much of that came from pro-Israel lobbies and firms?

In America, we argue over peanuts—blaming our debt on red herrings like food stamps or education, or that our elections are being influenced by foreign governments—all while we spend trillions of dollars acting as an enforcer for Israel. And yet we have the temerity to claim Russian collusion.

Bottom Line: Foreign governments have been interfering and influencing our political process for decades. Hell, we even try to do it to other governments. So, who is the puppet and who is the puppet master? In short, with the information you now have, you can see the Russian collusion story has nothing to do with political influence or foreign interference in our political affairs. It has everything to do with taking down a president.

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Rene Sotolongo

Rene is an OpsLens contributor and retired Navy Information Systems Technician Chief Petty Officer.

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