Waging war in the 20th century followed the standard protocols of previous centuries – an invasion or attack was waged on the battlefield, across a border, against a military objective. Things changed in the middle of the 20th century.

After World War II, Joe McCarthy, a Republican conservative, learned that one can lie via the media, to win greatness.  He came to be elected on a false claim that he shot thousands of rounds of ammunition at the enemy during one day of the War, while on an island in the Pacific.  In fact, he had shot those rounds, but at no enemy – just into the open air, and perhaps a few coconuts.

McCarthy raised a great ruckus about Communism, particularly the Russians, and caused the widespread funding of disinformation campaigns by the United States through such things as “Voice of America” and other techniques.

Stalin, by this point, had spent considerable postwar effort to build Russia’s ‘sphere of influence’ from Latin America to Eastern Europe and Africa. Kruschev followed, adding military influence beyond his predecessor’s efforts.  Russians, being very inventive people able to learn quickly how to copy an idea, did so and developed their own disinformation systems. Part of that was the Sputnik, which kicked off an arms race, and the space race.

The KGB, not unlike the CIA, built an enormous network around the world of spies, collecting information and feeding it back to Moscow. One day, they realized that such spies could be used to spread information, as well as collecting it. The opposite of data collection is data dissemination.  They mastered the art of false news, initially by telling others how wonderful the Soviet government was, but later, influencing political activities from Egypt to Argentina.

McCarthy, with his buddy and sidekick, Roy Cohn, pushed so fiercely that they destroyed the careers of thousands of civil servants, largely in the State Department, and many of America’s greatest actors and directors from the film industry.

Now, Roy Cohn – an attorney and master of public relations, became a strong influence on the lives to two young men.  One was Roger Stone, and the other Donald Trump.  Cohn was an unusual man who, as a Jew, hated Jews and hid his faith, and as a homosexual who hated gays, lived his life in the closet, though most everyone then knew of his ‘hidden’ life.  He used the art of deception to protect and hide the sides of himself he disliked from public view, and sometimes even from himself.

It was from Cohn that Trump learned the art of deception, public relations, marketing and the manipulation of facts, and use of deflections to manage the press like a violinist plays his instrument. As with most things, the student eventually surpassed the teacher.

In the 1980s, Cohn died of AIDS, and Reagan influenced the end of the Soviet government. Two monumental events in Trump’s life. Trump saw the effectiveness of words and used the skills Cohn taught him to build his empire.

In the 1990s, the new Russian government, still influenced by the former Soviet, saw the rise of a young KGB officer into its highest political echelons – Vladimir Putin would quickly replace the unpopular Boris Yeltsin as President of Russia.

Fully aware of the former KGB’s disinformation campaign, he slowly, carefully used it, making sure no-one even noticed, influencing public opinion around the globe. The FSB replaced the KGB, in name if not in practice. Cognizant of Russian disinformation techniques, Trump began to apply them towards his political ambitions.

He used an ad campaign to attempt to destroy the lives of the Central Park Five, which proved he could influence public opinion with lies and bombast, even though they were innocent. Later, he built a whole campaign against President Obama on the basis of fake news that he was not American, Muslim and more – none of which proved true.

During Obama’s presidency, Trump persisted in his allegations about the birthright of Obama to be president. But also during that time, Russia used a disinformation experiment to test how far they could go – posting a petition on the White House website to return Alaska to Russia.

They used bots, and foreign agents to post more than 37,000 signatures. They’ve hired eagerly willing hackers and Internet trolls to publish fake news, much earlier than the 2016 election cycle.  This has been going on now for more than a decade.

The FSB learned that news can be manipulated, but mostly, two sides of news can be played to influence different spheres of political opinion towards similar ends.

Putin severely distrusted Hillary Clinton because she saw through his games, but also his goals of Russian expansion and personal gain. He could not allow her to win, but he also knew that the FSB had been manipulating and using Trump as an unwitting agent of disinformation.  Putin’s sphere of multimillionaires and billionaires could not only influence Trump financially, but the FSB had collected enough damaging information on him that they could keep him on target and on message indefinitely.

Trump, more than any of Clinton’s potential opponents, posed the greatest potential for Russian goals of expansion.  Through him, unlike any of his Republican primary opponents, Russia could influence the end or dramatic reduction of NATO, and diminish opposition to their actions in Georgia and Ukraine. The oligarchs could make great profit, influence foreign investment, and gain assets for Russia and themselves.

Thus, the election of 2016 required extreme activities by the FSB, and became a completely orchestrated, Russian managed political event that resulted in the loss for Hillary, but the win for Donald.  Many will tell you, she was a terrible candidate – perhaps, but she was so strong that she made Putin fear her presidency.   Others will say Trump was stronger – not without Russia’s support. We’re all seeing how childish he is, and how easily his opinions can be swayed by criticism – something he dislikes greatly.  He’s easily played, influenced and directed.

Perhaps this is why he is surrounded by so many with direct ties to Russia, from his sons and son-in-law, to General Flynn. Russia is using money and the promise of wealth to keep people working their message, around Donald, making sure he stays on target.

Even the selection of Rex Tillerson is about Russia’s goal to diminish the strength of the Department of State. If America becomes isolationist, keeps quiet in the United Nations, stops trying to buy support from other countries through our foreign aid programs, Russia can pick up support where the Americans withdrew. With weakened leadership, at the minimum, Russia can begin to dominate as the leader of the world, and achieve Putin’s goal – to rebuild and improve the great Russian Empire.

Recently, he began pressing to be named President for life. Don’t be surprised if he seeks to either become Czar of all the Russias, or the power behind a puppet czar. He’s certainly displaying all the trappings of his country’s imperial past.

We must resist, not as Democrats, Liberals or Progressives. It is the American thing to do to protect our history, our lives and our national integrity.  We must fight back against tyrannical rule and the Congress must act quickly or lose its authority, as the German parliament did in the 1930s.