Image from the Financial Express
Dorogoy tovarishch (Dear Comrade),
I imagine you in an office somewhere in Russia, or Europe, or the United States engaging in cyber warfare with the democracies of the world – sitting at your computer, reading the posts of Americans on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and special interest websites. Peeking in on families posting birthday party pictures, reading the notes of women about their favorite holiday recipes, watching puppy photobombs, listening in on the lives, opinions, hopes and dreams, challenges, medical issues, bowling scores, and gardening plans of millions of Americans.
Based on reports in our media, I can imagine you joshing with your work friends while developing scenarios and responses to try to stir up division and spread hatred between Americans, and between America and her allies. Do you ever reflect on the harm you are doing to the world? Not just to us, but to the world that will be left for your families? Is this how you want to spend the talent of your life? Is this the best you have to offer?
Do your schools teach that Russia and the United States were once allies…in two world wars? Together with Britain and France and other nations the nationalism and aggression of Germany was checked – twice. The human cost was almost unimaginable. Your nation paid an especially high price for the right to maintain the Russian Empire free from German rule. Perhaps you, personally, had grandparents and great-grandparents who made the ultimate sacrifice of their lives to preserve your nation. Do you honor them by enabling Russian aggression, lying and participating in hostile conversations with Americans? They didn’t die in order to attempt to dominate and control other countries. They didn’t die trying to be a war mongering nation. They died to defend mother Russia.
I have to admit, I don’t understand. Russia is the largest country in the world. You don’t need more land. Your nation is rich with natural resources. You don’t need resources. Your people are strong, talented, and creative. You don’t need to dominate people from other countries in order to succeed. Your people persevere despite the rule of despotic monarchies, tyrannical revolutionaries, and now greedy oligarchs. From time to time there seems to be a desire by the people of Russia to gain real personal freedom and join together to live in peace. Why do you want to contribute to an effort to destroy the West? Why do you want to use your talents to destabilize the world? Why do you want to abolish democracies? What will you gain by inciting riots in American cities and disrupting our government? Wouldn’t you and your families be safer with world political stability?
You have enough. If Russia was successful in its quest to destroy the West, would the benefit go to you? Or would the Russian oligarchs simply become that much richer – bigger yachts, bigger estates, tighter control over the lives of Russian citizens and crushing the people of Europe and America? What is the benefit to you and your families of your effort?
The truth about nuclear war, and trade war, and cyber war is that no one wins. Families and individuals don’t win. If you are successful in your efforts to undercut the political stability of the world, you won’t win. Only the autocrats and plutocrats and tyrants will be enriched. Your family, and mine, will lose.
I am appealing to you as one human being to another, as a family member, and a parent. Consider what you are doing. Consider the consequences for all of us living on this precious world together. Walk out. Find a different job. Clue us in when you are meddling in our private lives. Do what’s right.
Having now recognized the cyber warfare, we will adjust. We will become smarter. We will call you out more often when you intrude in our conversations with family and friends. Now that we are aware that you are in our homes, we will react. We will defend ourselves.
How much better it would be if we (you as a human being who happened to be born in Russia, and all of us who happened to be born in the United States) refused to commit our talents to destruction and the enrichment of tyrants whose only goal is corruption and power? Maybe we could create a world that uses all of its vast technology to free people from the fear of war, and famine, and disease. Wouldn’t that be a better use of your time and talent than sitting at your computer pretending to be a cowboy from Wyoming who hates people who like tofu?