publicidad
Vladímir Putin
Rev. Samuel Rodríguez
Opinión

Rev. Samuel Rodriguez is president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. He has been named by CNN and Fox News as “the leader of the Hispanic Evangelical movement."

Russia Won! How Putin succeeded in dividing America

Russia Won! How Putin succeeded in dividing America

Our political, racial, religious and economic rifts are glaringly obvious for all to see and they constantly assault our sense of national identity. What it means to be American is as fragile today as it’s ever been and this presents an easy opening for those who wish to do us harm.

Vladímir Putin
Vladímir Putin

One of the surest ways to gain an advantage over your political opponents is to sow disunity among them. Unfortunately, this tactic has been leveraged against the American people to great effect in recent times.

The strategy is relatively simple: isolate the divisions inherent in any population or people group and aggravate the underlying bitterness, distrust or even hatred that may exist.

Just how do you do this? Unfortunately history is littered with examples. From North versus South in the Civil War, Catholic against Protestant in Northern Ireland, Black and White in Apartheid South Africa, the Tutsis and the Hutus in Rwanda, to Hitler's genocide against six million Jews in WWII—if you can convince one side that the other is the root of all sorts of evils, you can turn brother against brother and even throw a nation into madness.

A more recent example comes to us from the Second Gulf War. Shortly after President George W. Bush infamously declared, “mission accomplished” from the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln, Al Qaeda militant, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, sought to trigger a wave of sectarian violence and thereby foil the United States’ goal of a democratic Iraq. A Sunni, al-Zarqawi knew that he could cripple Iraq’s fragile sense of national identity if he could pit Shia Muslim against Sunni Muslim.

After attacks on Shia shrines in Karbala and Baghdad in 2004, as well as the Al Askari Mosque in Samarra in 2006, al-Zarqawi’s ruthless plan was nearly accomplished. He had successfully antagonized centuries of deep-seated tribalism and distrust between the two groups and brought Iraq to the brink of civil war.

publicidad

Thankfully, al-Zarqawi was killed by a U.S. strike in 2006 before he could see his plan through to completion. And yet, the lesson is a relevant one for America in today’s world of unprecedented political and social division.

Our political, racial, religious and economic rifts are glaringly obvious for all to see and they constantly assault our sense of national identity. What it means to be American is as fragile today as it’s ever been and this presents an easy opening for those who wish to do us harm.

And it’s that vulnerability which the Russians exploited during our presidential elections.

Whether Russia wanted Donald Trump to win the election or simply hoped to delegitimize Sec. Clinton, assuming she would ultimately be president, they exacted their plan with stunning effect. Seizing upon the “two Americas,” (or said in other ways, the red states vs. blue states, white vs. brown, the haves vs. the have-nots, the Democrats vs. the Republicans) the fallout from Russia meddling in our elections has likely succeeded beyond their wildest expectations.

And yet the truth is their tactics have succeeded only as much as our divisions have allowed.

By injecting chaos into our electoral institutions, regardless of how effective their efforts may or may not have been on their own, it’s the resulting finger pointing and backbiting that has taken the most costly toll. Like stepping on an anthill or plunging a stick inside a wasp nest, after inserting the element of chaos, the Russians needed only watch us frantically scramble and squirm about, eating our own.

The Russians won because we allowed them to. We have given up our sense of togetherness and unity in exchange for throwing barbs at our fellow Americans.

Recent developments in Syria only serve to heighten this sense of disunity. While we were engrossed in infighting, the Russians have been playing geopolitics like a chessboard, embedding themselves deeply inside of regimes diametrically opposed to our values. While we talk of scandal at home, Russia has been busily disrupting Western democracies, the only formidable check on its ambitions.

When President Trump finally intervened in Syria, it sent shock waves throughout the civilized world. Why? Because it was a moment that finally lifted us all out of the day-to-day bickering we have become so accustomed to. I am reticent to support military intervention to settle international disputes, but I was thankful for a moment that reminded us what unity felt like.

As our country took action against the use of chemical weapons, we were again witnessed what evil truly looks like. Though the moment was fleeting, I remain hopeful it might mark an inflection point in our political and social discourse; that we would remember a house divided will fall, but together we are unbreakable.

If we remember all that binds us together—and what we stand for as a country—we can never be truly defeated. Our values, our ideas and our faith in each other will win the day.

Rev. Samuel Rodriguez is president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. He has been named by CNN and Fox News as “the leader of the Hispanic Evangelical movement."

publicidad

Faith and Education Coalition is an initiative of the National Hispanic Christian Leaders Conference (NHCLC), with 2,568 members representing almost 3,000 local churches in 44 states.

publicidad
publicidad
Latino millennials account for almost half the 27.3 million eligible Latino voters in this election. But Latino turn out is traditionally far lower than black and Anglo voters. J.P. Dominguez asks “when are we going to wake up?”
A study by the Institute on Taxation and Economic policy found that undocumented immigrants pay $11.64 billion a year in state and local taxes. The undocumented pay on average 8% of their income on taxes while the wealthiest 1% pay only 5.4%. J.P Dominguez says that's "trumped up."
During the first presidential debate, the candidates took a chance to bring up each others past mistakes to affect their performance.
After the "Taco trucks on every corner" comment from the co-founder of Latinos for Trump, part of his immigration past emerged. This is JP Domínguez's take on the issue.
Donald Trump's wife and aspiring First Lady is an immigrant who says she always "went by the law" - but her story is a little 'SUS'.
Denuncian que en estados del sur de México se venden niñas como si fueran esclavas
De acuerdo con el Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Montaña Tlachinollan, en más de una década alrededor de 300 mujeres han tenido que casarse con sus compradores luego de que sus padres las intercambiaran por dinero o productos agrícolas, una práctica que incluso es permitida por las autoridades.
Madre de niño víctima de bullying rompe su silencio y se defiende de las críticas por fotos con bandera confederada
Kimberly Jones, la madre del niño que saltó a la fama tras aparecer en un conmovedor video en el que denuncia ser víctima de matoneo diariamente en su escuela de Tennessee, le concedió una entrevista a NBC News para hablar de la controversia que surgió tras la aparición de un mensaje racista y unas fotografías de la bandera confederada en sus redes sociales.
Demandan a ICE por engañar y manipular a inmigrantes para buscar indocumentados en sus viviendas
Abogados del Southern Poverty Law Center presentaron una demanda colectiva contra el Servicio de Inmigración y Control de Aduanas que exige daños y perjuicios para tres familias de Georgia que, alegan, fueron víctimas de engaños y manipulaciones por parte de los agentes de ICE.
publicidad
Miércoles parcialmente soleado, pero con temperaturas congelantes en Nueva York
La temperatura máxima será de 32 grados, pero con sensación térmica por debajo de los 10 grados y viento durante todo el día. En la noche podrían caer copos de nieve.
Así disfruta jugando en la nieve un caballo que ayudó en Puerto Rico tras el huracán
Bella, una yegua que participó en una misión para ayudar a recuperar caballos afectados por el huracán María, disfrutó revolcándose en la nieve que cubría Mason, en Michigan, ya de vuelta a casa.
Investigan el asesinato de un bodeguero de 80 años dentro de su negocio en Brooklyn
El hombre fue encontrado con una herida de bala en el pecho. Testigos indicaron que un joven entró al negocio y le disparó, pero la policía no ha reportado arrestos.
Autoridades buscan a un niño de 11 años reportado como desaparecido en El Bronx
El niño fue visto por última vez aproximadamente a las 5:00 de la tarde del martes en su escuela. Piden a la comunidad comunicarse en caso de tener alguna información.
Moisés Muñoz podría pasar del Puebla a la MLS
Nuestro analista Pablo Ramírez aseguró que Los Angeles FC estaría interesado en contar con los servicios del experimentado arquero de 37 años.
Las 10 cosas que deben hacer algunos equipos para el Clausura 2018
Contratación de refuerzos, técnicos que deberán demostrar su categoría, la lucha por la permanencia, y la necesidad de superar duros golpes del 2017, entre las urgencias para el nuevo año.
Félix Fernández, en ¿Lo compras o no?: auguró que Pedro Caixinha será campeón con Cruz Azul
Para nuestro analista, el nuevo técnico de la 'Máquina' le dará, por fin, un título a los cementero luego de años de sequía. Y también dijo que, si Cota sale de Chivas, "no conseguirá un portero con el mismo nivel".
Los increíbles números de los cinco nominados a Futbolista del año de la Liga MX
Los aspirantes a esta codiciada categoría los respaldan impresionantes datos. Varios de ellos marcaron goles en instancias definitivas. De estos cracks, tres son extranjeros y dos son mexicanos.