Imagine that Vladimir Putin were not a murderous autocrat and kleptocrat who has spent his fourteen years in power living up to his KGB past and dragging Russia ever back towards Communist autocracy, illiberalism, and expansionism. Imagine that instead he were one of the greatest leaders that Russia has had, whose policies have helped produce a massive rise in living standards and life expectancy, recuperation of national pride, and enforcement of the rule of law, who has tackled kleptocrats and gangsters wisely and well, whose foreign policy has on balance been realistic, diplomatic, and conducive to peace, who has presided over a country of which the human rights record is considerably better than that of the United States and in which civil rights are improving, and who richly deserves the steady support of 65% – currently at a Ukraine-related high of 83% – of the population that he possesses.
Also, as is apparent to all Russians who are familiar with Russophobia, Russia is being criticised for the wrong things – and this is its most tragic irony. The country is far from perfect. Social security is miserably low; there is bullying in the army and prisons, and problems with racism, drugs, and domestic violence; health and education are under-funded; income tax is flat. But these are not the things for which Russia gets criticised, either by Westerners or their own so-called liberal parties, which are obsessively concerned with Putin himself.
The people who are suffering in Russia are not liberal opposition leaders with their abundant coverage in the Western press, but the poor.
And who apart from the Communists, and to some extent Putin, is talking about them?
Russophobia is composed of ignorance, a failure of scepticism and reasoning, pride, hypocrisy, condescension and churlishness, turned to the service of the military-industrial complex and NATO. It supports a one-sided Cold War against a country which is only just getting on its feet after collapse, is primarily focused on improving the living conditions of its people, wants war nowhere, and has no desire to be our enemy unless forced to defend itself. I wish it well.
The groundwork is being laid for America and NATO to go to war. Because of the spreading revolt within NATO to our clear provocations of Putin’s Russia and the anti-establishment revolution, a revolt that has yet to reach the point where it can only be contained with government coercive violence and martial law, the magnitude and destruction of whatever the neocon transnational fascists have in store for America and the world will have to be spectacular in order to ignite the irrational blood lust of an increasingly skeptical people. It is possible that there may be a string of false flag events that cumulatively drives the same level of fear and collective anger, fanned by the compliant media, but one way or the other, there must be a catalyst.
Again and again, governments use the tried and true methods of the past, even the same exact themes, from the Huns bayoneting babies to the Iraqis taking Kuwaiti babies from their incubators and smashing them on the hospital floors, war propaganda has remained consistent since Edwards Bernays came over “the pond” from the Tavistock Institute and lead Wilson’s Creel Commission in setting the stage for the machinery of American propaganda for years to come, even for Hitler’s Germany.
The drumbeats of war and global conflagration are beating. Hear them in the distance, they soon will drown out your passivity and your blood will boil.
The State Department’s Collective Madness – Consortiumnews
In early 2014, when the rebels held a relatively strong position, U.S.-arranged peace talks amounted to a rebel-dominated conference that made Assad’s departure a pre-condition and excluded Syria’s Iranian allies from attending. Not surprisingly, Assad’s representative went home and the talks collapsed.
Now, with Assad holding a relatively strong hand, backed by Russian air power and Iranian ground forces, the “dissenting” U.S. diplomats say peace is impossible because the rebels are in no position to compel Assad’s departure. Thus, the “dissenters” recommend that the U.S. expand its role in the war to again lift the rebels, but that would only mean more maximalist demands from the rebels.
This proposed wider war, however, would carry some very serious risks, including the possibility that the Syrian army could collapse, opening the gates of Damascus to Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front (and its allies) or the Islamic State – a scenario that, as The New York Times noted, the “memo doesn’t address.”
Currently, the Islamic State and – to a lesser degree – the Nusra Front are in retreat, chased by the Syrian army with Russian air support and by some Kurdish forces with U.S. backing. But those gains could easily be reversed. There is also the risk of sparking a wider war with Iran and/or Russia.
But such cavalier waving aside of grave dangers is nothing new for the neocons and liberal hawks. They have consistently dreamt up schemes that may sound good at a think-tank conference or read well in an op-ed article, but fail in the face of ground truth where usually U.S. soldiers are expected to fix the mess.
Whenever there is an option for America to support its friends, such as Egyptian President Sisi, or King Abdullah of Jordan or the Kurds in Iraq, Obama always chooses the other side. He’ll give people who, every Friday in the mosques preach death to America, a $150 billion dollars. He’ll have this “reset button” with Russia, thanks to Hillary Clinton, and afterwards Russia proceeds to invade Ukraine and threaten the rest of our NATO allies.
About six months before the deal with Iran, President Obama gave an interview to an Arab newspaper in the Middle East that of course nobody in America reads. The translation of the interview stated that President Obama admitted that Iran is still a state sponsor of terrorism. And then he goes and gives them $150 billion dollars.
Watch this segment of Hannity on Fox. He and his team has summarized very important data of the dreadful anti-woman, anti-gay laws and human rights abuses of a number of Middle Eastern countries who have donated millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation — Hillary Clinton who purports to be champion of women’s rights and gay rights. This type of information should be reported in the Huffington Post or New York Times if they actually believe in the values they spout. Clinton would be exposed for what she is — a person who loves power more than anything else and is prepared to say one thing while receiving money from people who say the exact opposite.
For the Left in the Democrat Party today, reality is optional. The Party has been kidnapped by the Alinskyites. For them, it is just the cause. They say whatever they like as long as they can maintain power. It’s not about truth anymore, it’s about staying in power and getting the millions of dollars.
Wherever you look, the world is on fire. In the Middle East. In Africa. In South Asia. Wherever Obama and Clinton have touched a region, our enemies are emboldened and our friends and allies are fearful. Whoever the next president is, it will be a job of Herculean proportions to win back the confidence of everybody who no longer trusts us because of Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy and the national security policy of Barack Obama.
NATO is continuing its military buildup and “exercises” on Russia’s borders, Moscow is taking “counter-measures,” while the US mainstream media remains silent.
By Stephen F. Cohen
(A minute of an annoying advertisement–worth suffering through it as the discussion is very, very important.)
Batchelor asks whether alarmed warnings by informed analysts, including three longtime Russian residents in the United States, that actual war may be imminent are plausible. Cohen thinks this worst-case scenario cannot be ruled out, for several reasons. The NATO build up is not episodic but intended to grow and be permanent, and be ratified at the NATO summit in Warsaw in July. No such hostile forces have amassed on Russia’s Western frontiers—now from the Baltic to the Black Sea—since the Nazi German invasion in 1941. (The inclusion of a German contingent among the NATO forces has further awakened that memory in Russia.)
The only explanation given by the US-led NATO is “Putin’s aggression” in Ukraine, but that was more than two years ago. (Claims that he is now menacing the small Baltic states and Poland are clearly without any basis in fact.) Not surprisingly, Cohen reports, Moscow is reinforcing its own conventional and strategic (probably nuclear) forces on its Western territories, bringing the two powers to a Cuban missile crisis–like confrontation.
Even leaving aside accidental military acts, there are many other potential tripwires, from Ukraine and Turkey to Syria.June 11, 2016 “Information Clearing House” – “The Nation” – Nation contributing editor Stephen F. Cohen and John Batchelor continue their weekly discussions of the new US-Russian Cold War. (Previous installments are atTheNation.com). This installment returns to the large-scale NATO military buildup on Russia’s Western frontiers, again on land, sea, and in the air, now featuring Operation “Anaconda-2016,” an “exercise” involving more than 30,000 American and other NATO forces in Poland.
Astonishingly, this looming possibility of war with Russia has gone largely unreported and entirely undebated in mainstream American media. Neither Batchelor nor Cohen can think of a precedent for such a media blackout or indifference. The situation, according to Cohen, is quite different in Russia, where NATO’s buildup is hotly debated on, for example, prime-time television talk shows. Opinions vary as to the actual threat, but one growing opinion is that “a scent of a great war is in the air” and that Putin has not done enough to ready the country at home or abroad. Analogously, a leading Russian journalist publicly criticized the Kremlin for not having intervened militarily in Kiev in February 2014, when the ongoing crisis began with the overthrow of a pro-Russian Ukrainian president. That is, Putin also has a public opinion to consider as he decides how to react to NATO’s buildup.