Could America’s worst nightmare—projected in the movie the Manchurian Candidate—turn out to be real?
In case you haven’t watched this political action drama, the Manchurian Candidate is a 1960s movie about the son of a prominent right wing political family who became an unsuspecting puppet assassin for North Korea after being brainwashed during his capture as a prisoner of war.
Based on Richard Condon’s 1959 novel of the same title—the first movie was in 1962 and was re-imaged and updated in 2004 in which a United States (US) representative from New York was scientifically manipulated into becoming a vice presidential candidate by people—including his ruthless mother, a US Senator—for nefarious motives.
Now Donald Trump may have had a stint at a US military academy, but he is no soldier even as he claims that he knows more about warfare than all the US generals combined and mocked prisoner of war survivor, the revered Senator John McCain of Arizona, who was also the Republican presidential candidate in 2008 and lost to Barack Obama.
As a young, energetic man with an athletic build, the Manhattan real estate mogul—now President-elect Trump—skipped five military drafts, thereby avoiding fighting in the Vietnam wars in which most patriotic young Americans fought.
But Trump’s behaviour is similar to the brainwashed soldier. I mean, the billionaire businessman has gone out of his way to praise former KGB operative and now despotic Russian President Vladimir Putin.
When President Obama kicked out Russian diplomats and spies from the US recently as sanctions against the Kremlin for alleged Russian hackings of US democratic institutions, including the Democratic Party and e-mail account of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign chairman John Podesta, Trump praised the Moscow strongman for not reciprocating Washington’s expulsions of its people.
“Great move on delay [by Putin]. I always knew he was very smart. Trump tweeted to his 18 million followers.
In an interview with MSNB in December 2015, Trump gushed about Putin: “He is running his country and at least he is a leader, unlike what we have in this country [meaning Obama.”.
Trump did not stop there. “If he [Putin] says great things about me, I am going to say great things about him. I have already said he is very much of a leader. The man has very strong control over his country.”
Look, everyone knows why Putin has control over his country. This is a guy who jails political opponents, sanctions killings of journalists and accepts no dissenting views—he is a dictator who pretty much does as he pleases. He operates in a subservient political system in which his word is almost always final.
The story is different with a US president who has to fight with Congress.
There are also democratic tenets and separation of powers that the US president has to abide by. And of course, in the US, government does not murder journalists critical of the administration nor do they jail political opponents (although Trump had vowed during the presidential campaign to lock up Hillary for offences that even the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), currently being run by a Republican, said she has not committed—they only admonished her for carelessness in the handling of sensitive material.
Hillary Clinton once accused Trump of being a puppet of Russia, to which the egocentric businessman said it was her, the former Secretary of State, who was the puppet.
It turns out it is Clinton who may have been right if what came out this week is anything to go by. US intelligence services have a dossier about Trump they say points to the possibility that the Russians may have damning personal and financial information about the US’s president-elect that may explain why Trump is so enthralled with Putin because he could be fearing that if the Kremlin releases that information, it would be the end of Trump.
Does that begin to explain Trump’s unabashed praise of a man who leads a country that even the most conservative of the Republican Party say is the gravest national security threat to the US?
Will Trump, therefore, be the Russian puppet beholden to Putin who will be doing Moscow’s bidding—just like the brain-washed Manchurian candidate who would have destroyed the US and the values that have made it the greatest country the world has ever seen.
Is that why Trump is so ready to weaken NATO—arguably the most effective deterrent to Russian’s aggressive behaviour? If Putin will be running Washington from Moscow—God forbid!—what kind of world will we be living in?
A world where powerful countries bully small and weak countries? A world where human rights are pissed over every day? A world where freedom of speech and freedom of the press get outlawed? A world where some citizens disappear for challenging those in power?
I am not saying there is credence to the dossier of opposition research that a former British spy has compiled on Trump.
But the claims are so scary that it gives enough reason to find a way of ensuring that Trump does not get any closer to the Oval office with so many unanswered questions about his ties to Russia. The risk to the world is just too great to ignore. n