German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Is Russia’s Next Target

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Is Russia’s Next Target

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Is Russia’s Next Target

It’s no surprise that Russia met President Obama’s expulsion of its diplomats, which he announced Thursday in response to the Kremlin’s efforts to manipulate the 2016 election, with a collective shrug. Moscow seems content to let the clock run out, knowing that on Jan. 20 Mr. Obama will be replaced by an admirer in the White House and an old friend in the State Department.
But the changeover is bittersweet; President Vladimir V. Putin has also lost a beloved boogeyman. For the foreseeable future, the United States can hardly serve as Russia’s preferred enemy of the state. So guess who qualifies best as a new, well, boogeywoman? Angela Merkel.
The German chancellor is a perfect target. Germany is holding general elections next autumn, and with politicians sympathetic to Moscow on the rise, she may well be running for her fourth term as the sole European leader willing to stand up to a newly assertive Russia.
Since the annexation of Crimea in 2014, Ms. Merkel has been the most consequential voice for punishing Russia. The next year, she welcomed a million refugees into Germany, and pushed the rest of Europe to do the same — thus, in the view of Russian ethno-nationalists, diluting European culture. And she still believes in a united, integrated European Union, a bastion of liberal values and, at least implicitly, a political and economic bulwark against Russia.
It seems that Russia may be planning to do to Ms. Merkel and her allies in 2017 what it did to Hillary Clinton and other Democrats in the United States in 2016.
After all, last year the same hackers who broke into the Democratic Party’s computers, known online as Fancy Bear or Sofacy Group, attacked the German Parliament’s network; they are also accused of stealing documents from individual members of Parliament. Every revelation about how Russia interfered in the American elections gives Germany a foretaste of what is already looking to be the nastiest, toughest, most exhausting election campaign in modern German history.
Here, we can draw valuable lessons from the Cold War. What Russia does today is very much the digital version of what we Germans, before 1989, termed “Zersetzung.” The term is hard to translate, but it’s best described as the political equivalent of what happens when you pour acid on organic material: dissolution and disintegration.
The methods of Zersetzung are to cast doubt on the basic norms of the Western liberal order and its institutions; to distort and thereby discredit the purposes of the European Union, NATO and the free-market economy; to erode the credibility of the free press and free elections. The means of Zersetzung include character assassination and, through the spreading of lies and fake news, the creation of a gray zone of doubt in which facts struggle to survive.

Read More @ Nytimes.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

8 + three =

Shareing Is Caring
Read previous post:
Cristiano Ronaldo's New Girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez Flaunts Her Pert Derrière As She Struts Into Their Hotel...
Cristiano Ronaldo’s New Girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez Flaunts Her Pert Derrière As She Struts Into Their Hotel…

Cristiano Ronaldo's New Girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez Flaunts Her Pert Derrière As She Struts Into Their Hotel... Every time they've been...

Close