One of the biggest stories in recent days is “US expels Russian diplomats over cyber attack allegations” – “The US has expelled 35 Russian diplomats as punishment for alleged interference into last month’s presidential elections, giving them 72 hours to leave the country”. The story has been widely reported. Of particular interest to me is exploring significant wider implications.
I am old and skeptical enough to know that everything is not as it seems. The Obama administration has claimed, with a degree of justification, although I suspect there is more to it than that and until the evidence has been fully made available it is hard to say to what extent, Russia had directed computer hacks against the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton’s campaign, and so influenced the recent Presidential election outcome in a way that Russia might have wanted, although Russia has denied any involvement and called the decision “ungrounded”. It is ironic that someone like Trump who is reckoned by many to be of the disposition that would make conflict more likely, than Obama and Clinton say, should be the preferred choice of the Russians, but in weighing up the war of words in recent months, I do see more hope in Trump striking a deal with Putin than Obama, a man who Putin clearly despises.
Even though some of the actions of the Russians while extending its sphere of influence were wrong and if it can be proved Russian cyber attacks took place, I doubt whether the US was right to take that action, given it is something that I daresay is widespread, the US has been just as guilty in the past and the motives for expelling are questionable, I suspect it was done in part at least to undermine the incoming Trump administration and secure his own legacy. With reference to a Times report “Trump sides with Putin” it is interesting to see the reactions of US President Elect Trump and Russian President Putin: “Donald Trump applauded President Putin last night for humiliating the Obama administration by shrugging off the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats. Mr Putin said that there would be no tit-for-tat measures against the United States — a move framed by the Kremlin as a benevolent new year gesture, contrasting with the last vengeful kick of President Obama”, and ask where this is leading. While I cannot condone cyber hacking, especially if with malicious intent, I can’t help feeling some of the revelations were in the public interest as it revealed official corruption, and Trump would have won anyway.
There are some conspiracy theorists who see this as a last ditch attempt by President Obama to hang onto power (see here) and maybe even pursue his own more sinister globalist agenda, and this on top of the recent vote in the UN to condemn Israel, the USA’s traditional ally, seen by many as an act of betrayal. While I maintain a healthy skepticism when it comes to accepting such theories, I find the situation nevertheless disturbing and sense there will be more significant developments to come. After all, if Clinton had won the Presidential election, a good part of the Obama legacy would have been maintained. It will be a bitter pill to swallow to see much of his work being undone. As it is, we have seen him being continually out-maneuvered on the world stage, especially by Russia, the latest example being the brokering of a cease fire deal in Syria, with the USA relegated to that of a mere interested onlooker.
There are many views I could present concerning the matter, but one that has particularly resonated with me was posted on Franklin Graham’s Facebook page: “Has Russian President Vladimir Putin been reading his Bible? Is he turning the other cheek? I don’t know, but I find it interesting that he’s not going to retaliate against President Obama whose administration has just ordered 35 Russian diplomats to leave this country and two of their U.S. compounds to close. We don’t even know if the hacking allegations are true—or, is this just more fake news? We need to pray for President-Elect Donald J. Trump and Vice President-Elect Mike Pence as they will be inheriting a very difficult situation. I cannot overemphasize the need for prayer—our world is in a very precarious position and all of our leaders need God’s help”.
Graham’s last statement is particularly pertinent and for those who have been watching the goings on the world in recent years that involve Russia and its Imperialist ambitions, it seems quite evident that Russia is becoming increasingly powerful in vying for the top position in the New World Order at America’s expense. It seems we are now seeing a new Cold War unfolding and while the lesser players and issues may be different, the main players are still the same – Russia and the USA. Without wanting to sound alarmist, the threat of a major conflict between the two nations, including use of nuclear weapons, is far from being out of the question. I hadn’t expected my last blog of 2016 to end on such a solemn note but it wouldn’t do if we ignored what is happening before our very eyes.
While I see troubled times before us, my biblical understanding leads me to see hope beyond that time. Let me make it clear, just as I don’t trust Obama or Clinton, I don’t trust Putin or Trump either, but I do trust God. We all need God’s help! Happy New Year!