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Who’s interfering with our “free and fair” elections?

(Ed. note: this is an excerpt from Noam Chomsky speaking on Democracy Now!)

Take the issue of interference in our pristine elections. Did the Russians interfere in our elections? An issue of overwhelming concern in the media. But it’s really a joke.  First of all, if you’re interested in foreign interference in our elections, whatever the Russians may have done barely weighs in the balance compared with what another state does, openly, brazenly and with enormous support. Israeli intervention in U.S. elections vastly overwhelms anything the Russians may have done.  Even to the point where the prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, goes directly to Congress, without even informing the President He speaks to Congress, with overwhelming applause, to try to undermine the President’s policies…  This is what happened with Obama and Netanyahu in 2015.

Did Putin come to give an address to the joint sessions of Congress calling on them to reverse US policy, without even informing the President? And that’s just a tiny bit of this overwhelming influence. So if you’re interested in foreign influence on our elections, there are places to look. But even that is a joke.

[Trump’s] perfectly right when he says we should have better relations with Russia. Being dragged through the mud for that is outlandish.  Right at the Russian border, there are tensions that could blow up anytime and lead to what would be a terminal nuclear war, terminal for the species and life on Earth.

First, we should be doing things to ameliorate these tensions. Secondly, we should ask why. Well, it’s because NATO expanded after the collapse of the Soviet Union, in violation of verbal promises to Mikhail Gorbachev under Clinton and first Bush. Then Clinton expanded NATO right to the Russian border and further under Obama. The US offered to bring Ukraine into NATO. That’s the heartland of Russian geostrategic concerns. So, yes, there’s tensions at the Russian border—and not, notice, at the Mexican border. Well, those are all issues that should be of primary concern. How much attention is given to these things as compared with  whether Trump lied about something? This seems to me a fundamental criticism of the media.

On August 21, men and women in prisons across the…