Okay….. I am tired of seeing one-dimensional characterizations of Belarus and I know that happens with all characters to some extent, but it is particularly bad with her. So here are some cool facts I found about Belarus that make her a more round character:
-she is really into the occult and is a great fortune teller
-she can see ghosts but Latvia says she’s so intimidating even ghosts would avoid her
-she may or may not speak Polish
-she zones out all the time. Her mind will just go blank and she’ll stare at something (like her bow) for hours on end. One time she watched white noise on tv for three hours. Occasionally she’ll have a jolt realization that the day has ended and night came without her noticing
-she is very strong, both physically and of heart and will, though the latter only shines through in negative ways
-she’s “extremely vulgar” in the calmest, most casual tone of voice
-she’s been into rock music lately
-she’s a good acrobat. Her gymnasium is her pride
-America took her in after the Soviet Union collapsed and she thought only bad things came from associating with Russia
-Russia values her opinion and /they can get along peacefully/. Belarus is pretty attached to Ukraine. Ukraine worries about her
-she has an EXTREMELY negative view of humans
-she thinks philosophically about death, specifically her own, a lot. Since she knows she will die eventually, she tries to appreciate the moment
-she loves her traditional clothing
-she is perpetually annoyed by American ghosts, who apparently don’t even bother hiding, like a normal ghost would
-she prank calls Lithuania. And you know that thing where someone calls you and doesn’t say anything, they just breathe into the phone? She does that to Poland
-when she lived with America she completely sapped that guy of all his endless energy; she made him so tired he started trying to get rid of her
Take your pick:  The CIA is wrong;  the CIA is right, but DT didn’t know;  the CIA is right, and DT did know.
You don’t really have other options.
But relax - many rush to reassure you - the CIA is wrong.
1. The Reassurances Are Not Reassuring
If the CIA is wrong, we are not okay.
If the CIA is wrong, that just means US intelligence agencies are now partisan power blocs struggling to boost their preferred candidates and sabotage their opponents.
That’s not crazy or impossible. The CIA has been wrong before, spoken too soon before, been caught out in lies before. In this case a case of speaking too soon is a fair guess. The known interference in political affairs of France, Italy, Greece, Austria, Ukraine, the Netherlands, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and the Baltic countries in the last decade means the CIA is probably not wrong. But it could be.
What if it is?
The FBI already intervened in the election for its favored candidate. Trying to argue all is well, “It doesn’t matter, everyone just needs to move on,” is also arguing the CIA is choosing to undermine the duly elected 45th president for partisan reasons.
Those insisting the CIA is wrong seem to feel that would somehow be calming or reassuring. In reality, if their “reassurances” were right, American democracy would already face disaster. Instead of serving the US government, the FBI and CIA would now seek to install and manage it. As with so many post-truth political statements, it mainly makes sense if you want it to.
As has become the norm, one side in this case argues from evidence, while the other argues from feelings and universal lack of trust. That, though, is another argument.
In this argument, if the deniers are right, it is still a disaster scenario.
The informed optimist’s hope is not “The Russians didn’t interfere,” it is “Donald Trump didn’t know he was being used.”
2. Is Trump Putin’s Lenin?
Let’s hope so.
I do not say that lightly. DT being a Russian pawn used to undermine the United States would be terrible.
A rival country is both willing and able to interfere in our elections. Nor is there any reason to assume this will change in the future. The incentive will remain, the ability has just been proven, and US elections may remain close enough for slight pressure to shift the result. They’ve done it before to many other countries.
For the immediate future, the Russians put him in office because he is friendly to their goals; because he is tied to Russian oligarchs by debt, relationship, and obligation; and because he is manifestly incompetent to oppose their foreign policy.
But let’s hope that is what’s happening.
Because if that is all that’s happening, we do have a Lenin situation, and Lenin was his own man. Sure the Germans saw him as a tool to be used against Russia, but the man himself had no interest whatsoever in helping Germany. His purposes were his own.
DT’s interests seem to line up only vaguely with those of Putin. He may leave the US to mismanagement through his notorious laziness and illiteracy. His appointees may devastate the lives and interests of citizens below the top 20% of incomes. He may complete the ruin of America’s moral leadership. But he’d be acting on behalf of Donald Trump, not Russia.
DT being an unwitting Russian pawn would be a terrible reality. But a worse scenario than the possible alternatives? No.
DT being a Russian pawn used to undermine the United States is the best case scenario.
The worst case scenario?
3. The Manchurian Candidate
If Donald Trump knew he was receiving Russian aid, and was in contact with those involved…. Well.
In that case, the president elect is a foreign intelligence asset of a hostile power. The only reasonable assumption is that any matter of national security disclosed to the president will potentially be made available to the Russian government.
The legal tools for pursuing a sitting president for such an absurd caricature of treason are unclear. The grounds for prosecuting a president elect, doubly so.
And the cure could be as ruinous as the disease.
Congress might be forced to first allow an enemy agent to assume the highest office in the land. Then begin the achingly slow process of impeachment while an enemy of the state controlled the levers of power. Even that makes the somewhat absurd assumption that Congress would put national interests before partisan ones at all.
In the meantime, orders given by the Russian puppet would remain technically legal. The military and national security agencies could choose to refuse all orders from the president, but so doing would in effect require a military coup. More likely, some would accept orders even if others refused, leaving a conceivable path to civil war.
And of course, the only way Donald Trump could protect himself - and the family he’s made complicit in everything he does - would be to end American democracy.
There is no possible interpretation of this news - left or right, anti-Clinton or anti-Trump - which is not profoundly bad for the future of the United States.
But if scenarios 1 and 3 are too terrible to contemplate, be reassured, the truth is probably answer number 2.