Miscellaneous Mental Musings of an Emerging Artist
Today, as former Acting AG Sally Yates testifies before Congress on the connections between the Russian government and disgraced former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, I find myself listening to an in-depth examination of the deadly political chess match that occurred between Josef Stalin and Leon Trotsky in the years following the death of Lenin.
I knew, as most people do, about the eventual assassination of Trotsky, carried out by a Soviet agent using a mountain climber’s axe upon the writer’s skull.
I did not know about the attempt on Trotsky’s life some two months prior, in which three teams of gunmen stormed his villa at night and fired over 300 rounds into his bedroom, failing even to injure him. Nor did I know that Stalin managed to turn this monumental failure into a political triumph, successfully sowing the narrative that the real reason Trotsky survived such a massive assault was that he had obviously staged it to curry sympathy with the Mexican populace and authorities.
Nine–NINE–Russian diplomats died under suspect circumstances over a course of five months surrounding our elections, and in March the lawyer for the family of a late Vladimir Putin political foe barely survived falling four stories out of his own Moscow apartment the day before he was due to testify in a suit related to fraud in the Russian government. Russian authorities were quick to say that they found nothing suspicious about the fall.
I understand that talking about this at all tends to make one look paranoid, but I also see a long history of powerful people carrying out devious deeds and then making the public believe that their suspicions are paranoid. We have been conditioned to prefer the notion that such ruthlessness is the stuff of fiction, and that conditioning then provides cover for people to behave so ruthlessly in real life.
Does this make me a conspiracy nut?
Perhaps it makes me a conspiracy nut.
But there are a lot of ways to end a human life, a lot of reasons a person might choose to carry out such an action, a lot of systems that insulate the person who orders that action, and an observable pattern of bodies and silences woven into the story of certain regimes. I am having trouble disbelieving what I’m being told to ignore.