Some time ago give, long before people were thinking seriously about the 2016 election a story scrolled through my twitter feed. It was a story on Sputnik(The Russian network) about how a solar storm in the cold war, almost ended life as we know it. This sparked my reply on one of their pages(I’m working from memory here, and I’ve slept since then) about the movie, the sum of all fears. I suggested, it would be wise, if we kept the back channels open, to avert such a thing from happening. I never received any reply of course but I suspect it did not go entirely unnoticed. I owned the domain overitall.org at the time and used that rather then my facebook profile(I really dont use facebook that much) to stay a bit more on the frosty side of Anonymous. Yes, I knew they had my IP address, but I didnt really care. We fast forward awhile, and the DNC hack happened. My opinion shifted to either side of it, but I reached the conclusion Guccifer was not necessarily “The Russians”.
I know this flies in the face of what Intel agencies have said, but as a retired hacker I prefer to handle my own attribution. I’ve probably forgotten more about hacking and cybersecurity then most people can be bothered to learn. I retired from it many years ago before the Einstein program was implemented. That is neither here nor there. I’ve done my share of reading on Mr. Putin, and following their news outlets, which I choose to view as their perspective rather then propaganda so we’ll just say “I’m learning”.
Some time after the sum of all fears post I saw what I thought looked like a peace overture from Moscow. I said so publicly from one of my twitter accounts. Of course as I dont sport many followers and have no diplomatic or political ties my post went ignored. Then we had the DNC debacle, and Crowdstrike quickly assigned the blame to Russia, as did many other ‘sources’ (all I believe jumping on the bandwagon for consensus rather then doing their homework).
Guccifer intrigues me, on a personal level as its a mystery begging to be solved. As I observed before though, he got mad when the Russians were “given credit” for his “work”. Anyone who has ever written their own code trying to breach a server will tell you theres a fair amount of trial and error when it comes to finding the right mix to give you that precious prompt on the remote system. I won’t even give him that much credit though, as it very easily could have been the use of tools from the dark web which he modified for his own purposes.
I digress, some time after the DNC hack, we had the election. Which some have concluded Russians targeted with ‘fake news’ and ‘propaganda’ According to some news stories Russia hired 1000 hackers who employed botnets to promote the anti-Clinton story line. This may or may not prove true, I personally have taken a wait and see approach, and being reminded how some are clinging to the #Resist hash tag and just generally hate the current President this seems a wise course.
Its brutal honestly time, I was very anti-Trump up until around the new year. At which time I moved on, to “Give the man a chance” and “He’s the President”. I went so far (if memory serves) to go to the whitehouse website, fill in the contact form, and offer my personal apology for my past conduct. I have no idea whether or not POTUS Trump read it or not but I admit I was disrespectful, and I regret it so if he hasn’t read it, and somehow were to come across this, Mr. President, Sir, I am sorry. I respect the office, and that will persist no matter who occupies it.
It is, in my opinion entirely unfair, and indeed even poisonous to the relationship between America and Russia to blame another country for ones personal dislike for our current President. If Mr. Trump has committed some crime, we have agencies and investigations for that but until then I am damn sure he is innocent until proven guilty.
I do not know it as fact, but quietly, unnoticed, I believe I have established a low key conversation of sorts with the Russians. I can appreciate their art, their music, their poetry, the culture that makes them unique and they take pride in and not love my country one damn bit less.
When I try to take a view of the world, I try to literally put myself in their shoes I can see the American perspective as easy as turning on the t.v. but what is theirs? Mostly surrounded by NATO and western allied countries, its not hard to imagine they might feel trapped and see NATO movements near their borders as hostile acts. Whether or not that is the reality, one can see how they might react as well, a bear backed up against a wall, its going to want to protect itself.
What are my personal thoughts on Mr. Putin and the Ukraine?
I am not going to address Ukraine and Crimea in depth, but I will say this there are those better versed on that situation then I am, and it is my sincere hope that dialog will take hold in place of force. This “we’re not talking until the situation changes” stance, is quite unproductive.
First, because I am who I am(lets just say not Christian, LGBT friendly), I do not believe Mr. Putin would seek a dialog. That thought however, is tempered by the belief that he is, a patriot and deals with a large variety of people as a head of state. I believe the man loves his country, even if he is a bit mindful of the soviet era as their territory was much more massive then. I’ve said he wants the Ukraine but perhaps, he would consider to come to think of it as the new Germany of sorts. Germany after the Second world war had that big wall it served as a clear barrier between the east as west. As long as it stays neutral(read independent) it can still serve as that buffer. A ‘bridge of spies’ if you will as large as a whole country.
I could be mistaken on my interpretation of subtle posts and trends. However, when it comes to pattern analysis, I have been doing that almost without thought for a good number of years.
What is the bottom line then, the point of this post? It is very simply this, politicians get caught up in politics and bureaucracy as I am not politician I am free of those chains. Whether or not it is ever openly acknowledged, I will do my best to keep those ‘back channels open’ Not just with Russia, but with those who would prefer peace to insanity of an armed conflict which might end us all. I can only hope, I am not the only one who believes in the promise of humanity and those who may not find the door wide open to business as usual may seek a back door solution in times where otherwise we might find ourselves on a slippery slope with no way out.
I do have more of a story to tell, but it will take time to lay those things out. Until then, I will do my best to respect those who would engage in constructive dialog and ask patience as culture is something that takes one a bit to learn in places one has never been and are at least an ocean away.