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Donald Trump is Vladimir Purin’s “Wasp” … How’s that Again? …

Alex Constantine - February 13, 2024

By Alex Constantine



SF writer Isaac Asimov, a military researcher during WW II, once blew Russell's cover after the war. But it was easy to miss, and the truth remains obscure.

He cut his teeth as an undercover intelligence officer who devised simple but brilliant schemes for defeating the Axis. America had Oppenheimer, England had Eric Frank Russell. But look him up in any open source, and his wartime assignment was "RAF signals officer."

His work was and remains highly classified, but after the war he evidently wanted to tell the world about it, was restrained by superiors, but gave a glimpse of it in the novel.

I stumbled across the book, age 12, at a bargain store, and read it straight through cover to cover. It's not long, roughly the size of The Great Gatsby, but it is unforgettable. (WASP has since been reissued under the SF Masterworks imprint.) A light went on in my head. The book made a lasting impression on me, adjusted my thinking about life in general, may even have altered my brain.

The plot is ingenious. Sixty years before the election of Trump, Russell's detailed how one man can enter a complex political system, and undermine it tactically with aggressive psychological techniques, planned chaos and terror, ultimately overthrowing an entire nation. War isn't necessary.

Amazon's description of a neglected SF classic:

"The war had been going on for nearly a year and the Sirian Empire had a huge advantage in personnel and equipment. Earth needed an edge. Which was where James Mowry came in.

"If a small insect buzzing around in a car could so distract the driver as to cause that vehicle to crash, think what havoc one properly trained operative could wreak on an unsuspecting enemy. Intensively trained, his appearance surgically altered, James Mowry is landed on Jaimec, the 94th planet of the Sirian Empire. His mission is simple: sap morale, cause mayhem, tie up resources, wage a one-man war on a planet of eighty million.

"In short, be a wasp.

"First published in 1957, WASP is generally regarded as Eric Frank Russell's finest novel, a witty and exciting account of a covert war in the heart of enemy territory."

Trump is a wasp. His entry into politics in 2016 came with a meticulous plan - conceived by a few of Putin's oligarchs, AI pioneer and proprietor of Cambridge Analytica, Robert Mercer (he gave the press the slip after the Facebook scandal, but before vanishing he was quoted admitting that he would continue the mission he began as Trump's biggest donor), and Seve Bannon (who has spoken of the plan openly) - for dismantling the American democratic system and bonding with Russia:

- Detach conservatives from reality by harping on "fake news."
- Define reality for them, gaslight until they don't know up from down.
- Encourage acceptance of Vladimir Putin as an ally, never criticize him.

- Discredit all democratic governments abroad.
- Subvert the electoral process and free elections with violence and terrorism.
- Gradually distance the country from NATO, alienate allies.
- Weaken the military by characterizing enlistees as "suckers."
- Discredit leaders who take their Constitutional oath seriously.

- Encourage violent gangs to assault political opponents.
- Open gates of power to those willing to accept Putin as a "friend of ours."
- Speak openly about discarding the Constitution, appoint judges who view the founding document with hostility.
- Cut funding to Ukraine (but try not to get caught).
- Launch a violent insurrection. Explore every legal means for countering elections via the courts.
- "Love" Putin's North Korean ally.
- Steal from the Middle Class, give to American oligarchs to build a network of influence that will accept Putin as one of their own.
- Plug into and expand a propaganda network that redeems Putin's reputation. Take over every sector of the press hostile to him.
- Convert a sizable share of Americans into anti-democratic Putin afficionados via the conservative press, cable networks, social media and the country's 1,500 right-wing radio stations.

And so on. The process accelerates during the Wasp's second term. Trump quietly turns the country over to Putin, but remains a puppet dictator for the rest of his life, beyond the reach of the electorate or justice system. The Russian military doesn't fire a shot. One bloated, treasonous clown, with a little tutoring, is capable of overthrowing a nation of complacent Americans more worried about keeping their weight down than salvaging the future.

Eric F. Russell, a Mysterious Fortean

  • From Eric Frank Russell's Wikipedia bio:

Russell was born in 1905 near Sandhurst in Berkshire, where his father was an instructor at the Royal Military College. ...

Russell's first novel was Sinister Barrier, cover story for the inaugural, May 1939 issue of Unknown—Astounding's sister magazine devoted to fantasy. It is explicitly a Fortean tale, based on Charles Fort's famous speculation "I think we're property", Russell explains in the foreword. An often-repeated legend has it that Campbell, on receiving the manuscript for Sinister Barrier, created Unknown primarily as a vehicle for the short novel (pp. 9–94). There is no real evidence for this, despite a statement to that effect in the first volume of Isaac Asimov's autobiography, In Memory Yet Green.

His second novel, Dreadful Sanctuary (serialized in Astounding during 1948) is an early example of conspiracy fiction, in which a paranoid delusion of global proportions is perpetuated by a small but powerful secret society.

There are two incompatible accounts of Russell's military service during World War II. The official, well-documented version is that he served with the Royal Air Force, with whom he saw active service in Europe as a member of a Mobile Signals Unit. However, in the introduction to the 1986 Del Rey Books edition of Russell's novel Wasp, Jack L. Chalker states that Russell was too old for active service, and instead worked for Military Intelligence in London, where he "spent the war dreaming up nasty tricks to play against the Germans and Japanese", including Operation Mincemeat. Russell's biographer John L. Ingham states however that "there is nothing, absolutely nothing, in his R.A.F. record to show that he was anything more than a wireless mechanic and radio operator". ...

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