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Professor Steven Cohen analysis of the USA Russian relations: Architects of American policy towards Russia and Ukraine are destroying American national security

Stephen F. Cohen - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Stephen F. Cohen's grandfather emigrated to the United States from Lithuania (then part of the Russian Empire) only able to speak Lithuanian, Russian and [2]

Stephen Cohen was born in 1938 in Owensboro, Kentucky where his father owned a golf course,[3] and attended Indiana University Bloomington, where he earned a B.S. degree and an M.A. degree in Russian Studies. While studying in England, he went on a four-week trip to the Soviet Union, where he became interested in its history and politics. Cohen, who received his Ph.D. in government and Russian studies at Columbia University, became a professor of politics and Russian studies at Princeton University in 1968, where he taught until 1998, and has been teaching at New York University since.

Cohen is well known in both Russian and American circles. He is a close personal friend of former Soviet Pres. Mikhail Gorbachev, advised former U.S. Pres. George H.W. Bush in the late 1980s, helped Nikolai Bukharin's widow, Anna Larina, rehabilitate her name during the Soviet era, and met Joseph Stalin's daughter, citation needed]

Since 1998, Cohen has been professor of Russian Studies and History at New York University, where he teaches a course titled "Russia Since 1917." He previously taught at Princeton University. He has written several books including those listed below. He is also a CBS News consultant as well as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Cohen has a son and a daughter from his first marriage to opera singer Lynne Blair, from whom he is divorced. Cohen is now married to Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor of the progressive magazine The Nation, where he is also a contributing editor. They have one daughter.

... ... ...

Cohen asserts that US foreign policy is responsible for the continuation of Cold War hostilities between the two countries despite its ostensible end in 1991, citing NATO's eastward expansion as evidence for his hypothesis.[8][9]

Munk Debate[edit]

Cohen participated in a Munk Debate over the proposal "Be it resolved the West should engage not isolate Russia…" He, together with Vladimir Posner, argued in favor. They were opposed by Anne Applebaum and Garry Kasparov. The opposing side won by 10%.[10]


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[Feb 18, 2020] The West "Weeps" for What It Has Sowed by Stormy

Feb 16, 2020 | angrybearblog.com
At the Munich Security Conference the U.S. and its allies had no idea of how to handle China, a problem of their greed and stupidity. The West is divided, confused. What to do about Huawei? Really, what to do with China?

So when Mike Pompeo proclaimed "we are winning," the largely European audience was silent and worried in what sense "we" existed longer.
In the meantime, Europe, including the U.K, finds itself in a mincer between the U.S. and China

Unfortunately for us. China has followed the U.S. playbook and has outplayed the West, especially the U.S.

Walter Rostow of the Johnson administration, an avid anti-communist, wrote the playbook: How can an undeveloped nation take its place among the leaders of the world.

The answer : Industrialize as rapidly as possible. Do whatever it takes. China did just that.

In its five year plans, China acknowledged its debt to Rostow and started to industrialize. While I have described this process many years ago, I again outline it briefly here.

First : China entered the W.T.O. Bill Clinton and Congress were accommodating and instrumental:

Last fall, as all of you know, the United States signed an agreement to bring China into the W.T.O, on terms that will open its markets to American products and investments.
Bill Clinton speaking before Congress, March 9, 1998

Second : China offered dirt cheap labor, labor that had no effective right to bargain
Third : China did not require a company to obey any environmental regulations.
Fourth : China often offered a ten-year grace period without any taxation. If there were taxes they were less than those on its own indigenous firms.
Fifth : China manipulated its currency, making products cheaper to make but getting higher profits in the West.

The net resul t: Massive trade imbalance in favor of China. CEOs and their henchmen made enormous profits. Devastated American workers were told to go to school, to work harder, to make themselves invaluable to their companies. A cruel joke.

In droves, Western companies outsourced to China, emptying one factory after another. Anything that could be outsourced was outsourced. China, of course, was not the sole beneficiary of U.S. foolishness. India, Mexico, Vietnam wherever environmental standards were non-existent, wherever workers had no effective rights these were the third world countries the U.S. used. The health and safety of third world workers was of no concern. They were many–and they were expendable.

U.S. companies were so profitable that special arrangements were made to repatriate those profits back to the states: pennies on the dollar. Many billionaires should really be thanking China.

Americans were considered only consumers/ The more they consumed, the richer the rich became. Credit was made easy. George Bush's answer to 911 was: Go out and shop.+

Between The Financial Modernization Act of 1999 and Free trade insanity, the working class of American faced the crash of 2008.

China became the factory of the world, not through automation, but through dirt cheap labor. China poisoned its atmosphere and polluted its water. Face masks were everywhere. Nonetheless, China had become undeniable economic power, challenging the U.S.

At the same time, China educated great numbers of engineers, inventors, and scientists. Huwaii became the problem really, Huwaii is just an emblem of it.

The U.S. in its greed had became lazy. It poured money into weapons. The U.S. decided to build a space force. U.S. bullied countries with foolish sanctions if those countries did not make their billionaire class more profitable. Sanctions instead of competition became last gasp, the last grasp at profit. Flabby and greedy, the U.S.is no longer competitive. It has become just a bully, a threat to everyone.

Trump, of course, played both sides of the problem. He railed against the outsourcing, but has done little to correct it, giving instead massive tax breaks to the wealthy, gutting environmental regulations laying waste to everything he touches. Pelosi and Schumer pretend to care, but they have nothing to offer. Like Trump, they worry about China. Like Trump, they have no answer, except for more wars and more sanctions.

Hillary and Bill should take a bow. They began this debacle. Once things were made in the U.S.A. Go to any Walmart store and read the label: Made in China.

Pelosi and the free trade Democrats should take a bow as should all the Republicans. All of them should hold hands, give each other a quick hug and smile. They and their friends are rich.

To China belongs the future.


Terry , February 16, 2020 8:27 pm

Economics 101 says trade benefits all participants. The problem is not China but the United States. The oligarchs have sucked up all the benefits of trade and have bought the government to keep the good times going. Obama played along unlike FDR with the result that the oligarchs came out stronger than ever while everyone else had a second rate rather than a third rate health care system which Trump and the GOP are struggling to return to a third rate system. You can blame China or the "laziness " of Americans, but the real problem is the moneyed class who do not give a crap about the country or its citizens but only how to hang onto their privileged existence. I hate to even think it but I do not see this thing ending peacefully.

MARK LOHR , February 16, 2020 8:27 pm

And in turn funding China's considerable, unabated, and ongoing military expansion.
The screws are turning; the noose tightening.
That Western governments of all leanings have not counter-vailed for many decades now is a tale of enormous short-sightedness and cultural hubris.

davebarnes , February 16, 2020 9:24 pm

Didn't I read the same thing about Japan 20+ years ago?

MARK LOHR , February 16, 2020 10:50 pm

Yes. And to be sure, China faces all the limits inherent to a totalitarian system. However, unlike Japan, they have remilitarized and have demonstrated expansionist goals – artificial island military outposts, Belt and Road, etc.
Besides stealing/extorting etc our IP.

doug higgins , February 17, 2020 1:00 am

Mark,
Where do you get your information? China has one military base outside its borders. The U.S. has over 800. China does not pour its money into a military budge; the U.S. does.

Try the actual facts, for a change.

likbez , February 17, 2020 9:34 am

To China belongs the future.

I think it is too early to write down the USA. Historically the USA proved to be highly adaptable society (look at the New Deal). And I think that still there is a chance that it might be capable of jumping the sinking ship of neoliberalism. Although I have problems with Sanders's economic program, Sanders's victory might be instrumental for that change.

China adopted neoliberalism, much like the USA. It was just lucky to be on the receiving end of the outflow of the capital from the USA. It has a more competent leadership and avoided the fate of the USSR for which the attempt to the adoption of neoliberalism ( aka Perestroika ) proved to be fatal.

I suspect that the main problem for China is that Neoliberalism, as a social system, is incompatible with the rule of the Communist Party.

Fundamentally what China has now is a variation of the Soviet "New Economic Policy" (NEP) invented by Bolsheviks after the Civil War in Russia, and while providing a rapid economic development, China has all the problems that are known for this policy.

One is the endemic corruption of state officials due to the inability of capital to rise above a certain level of political influence and systematic attempts to buy this influence.

That necessitates periodic campaigns against corruption and purges/jailing of officials, which does not solve the fundamental problem which is systemic.

The other problem is that the Communist Party is such mode degrades into something like amorphous "holding company" staff for the country (managing state tier in the two tie economy -- state capitalism at the top; neoliberalism at the middle and the bottom)

Which necessitates the rule of a strong leader, the Father of the Nation, who is capable to conduct purges and hold the Party together by suppressing the appetite of local Party functionaries using brutal repressions. But the Party functionaries understand that they no longer conduct Marxist policies, and that undermines morale. That they are essentially renegades, and that creates a huge stimulus for "make money fast" behavior and illicit self-enrichment.

Which paradoxically necessitate the hostility with the USA as the mean to cement the Party and suppress the dissent. So not only the USA neocons and MIC are interested in China, China, China (and/or Russia, Russia, Russia) bogeyman.

That also creates for Chinese senior Communist Party leadership an incentive at some point to implement "Stalin-style solution" to the problems with New Economic Policy.

So it looks like Neo-McCarthyism in the USA has a long and prosperous future, as both sides are interested in its continuation 🙂

BTW another example of NEP as a policy was Tito Yugoslavia, which no longer exists.

Yet another example was Gorbachov's "Perestroika," which logically led to the dissolution of the USSR. With the subjective factor of the total incompetence of Gorbachov as a leader -- with some analogies as for this level of incompetence with Trump.

As well as general "simplification," and degeneration of Politburo similar to what we observe with the USA Congress now: the USSR in the 1980th has become a gerontocracy.

But the major factor was that the top KGB officials and several members of Politburo, including Gorbachov, became turncoats and changed sides attempting to change the system to neoliberalism, which was at the time on the assent; Russia always picks the worst possible time for the social change 😉

While neoliberalism is definitely in decline and its ideology is discredited, I still think there are fundamental problems in tis interaction with the Communist Party rule, that might eventually cause the social crisis for China.

But only time will tell

BTW Professor Stephen Cohen books contain very interesting information about NEP, Russia adoption of neoliberalism (and related dissolution of the USSR) and Russia social development in general

[Feb 16, 2020] https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-standard-of-living-in-Russia?share=1

Feb 16, 2020 | www.quora.com

Looking at various indices like median household income and average wage, it seems as if living standards in Russia are substantially below western European levels and even slightly below central Europe. (Estonia and Poland are consistently slightly higher, Hungary often a bit lower.) Compared to China, going by the same sources and others, Russian wages are roughly twice as high as China's

That creates separatist movements within the country, including Islamist movements in Muslim-dominated regions.

So their posture is strictly defensive, and probably is not much more than a mild defensive reaction to "Full-spectrum Dominance" doctrine and the aggressive foreign policy conducted by the USA neocons (which totally dominate NSC and the State Department, as we saw from Ukrainegate testimonies)

The USA coup d'état in Ukraine actually have a blowback for the USA -- it neutralized influence and political status of Russia neoliberal fifth column (neoliberal compradors), and if not Putin (who is paradoxically a pro-Western neoliberal; although of "national neoliberalism" flavor similar to Trumpism ) some of them probably would be now hanging from the lamp posts. They are really hated by population after hardships, comparable with WWII hardships, imposed on ordinary Russian during Western-enforced neoliberalization under marionette Yeltsin government and attempt to grab Russian resources for pennies on a dollar. "Marshall plan" for Russia instead of economic rape would be a much better policy.

I think Obama-Nuland plot to turn Ukraine into the USA vassal state was yet another very dangerous move, which hurts the USA national security and greatly increased chances of military confrontation with Russia (aka mutual annihilation)

It was worse then a crime, it was a blunder. And now the USA needs to support this vassal with money we do not have.

The role of NSC in militarizing the USA foreign policy is such that it neutralizes any impulses of any US administration (if we assume they exist) to improve relations with Russia.

Neoliberal Dems now is a second war party which bet on neo-McCarthyism to weaken Trump. They went into the complete status of psychosis in this area. I view it as a psychotic reaction to the first signs of the collapse of the USA-centered global neoliberal empire (which will happen anyway independently of Russian moves)

That's actually a very dangerous situation indeed, and I am really afraid that the person who will replace Putin will not have Putin steel nerves, diplomatic talent, and the affinity with the West. Then what ? another Sarajevo and another war?

With warmongering "raptured" crazies like Mike, "we killed up to 200 Russians" Pompeo, the situation can really become explosive like before WWI. Again, after Putin leaves the political scene, the Sarajevo incident is easy to stage, especially with such incompetent marionette of the military-industrial complex like Trump at the helm.

I believe antagonizing Russia was a reckless, very damaging to the USA interest move, the move initiated by Clinton administration and supported by all subsequent administration as weakening and possibly dismembering Russia is one of the key aspect of Full Spectrum Dominance doctrine. . And we will pay a huge price for this policy.

See also Professor Stephen Cohen books on the subject.

  1. Barkley Rosser February 16, 2020 9:19 pm

    JimH,

    Why do you pose this as antagonizing either Russsia or Iran? They are somewhat allied, so in fact antagonizing iran as we are doing also antagonizes Russia.

    Likbez,

    The relative economic position of Russia in terms of median income is no different today than it was 30 years ago before Yeltsin, except for the rise of China. It was behind the European nations to its west ,both those that were under its domination and those that were not, and it sitll is. So big ddeal.

    And somehow you have this fantasy that if it were not for Obama-Nuland, Ukrainians would just loooove to be under Russian dominatino. f you think this, you ser both foolish and very ignoratn.

  2. likbez February 16, 2020 10:30 pm

    And somehow you have this fantasy that if it were not for Obama-Nuland, Ukrainians would just loooove to be under Russian domination. f you think this, you ser both foolish and very ignorant.

    I might well be foolish and ignorant (I am far from being the specialist in the region), but I suspect Ukrainians do prefer the exchange rate ~8.5 hrivnas to a dollar (before the coup) to the current 25 hrivnas to a dollar.

    Especially taking into account stagnant salaries and actual parity of prices in dollars for many types of food (especially meat), industrial products, and services between the USA and Ukraine.

    I recently talked with one Ukrainian woman who told me that the "bribe" (unofficial payments due to low salaries for doctors and nurses in state clinics) for the child delivery was $1000 in Kiev in 2014 and she gave birth exactly at the time when hrivna jumped from 8.5 to over 20 per dollar. That was a tragedy for her and her family.

    And please remember that the average SS pension in Ukraine is around 1500 hrivna a month (~ $60). So to me, it is completely unclear how pensioners can survive at all while the government is buying super expensive American weapons "to defend the country from Russian aggression."

    I would strongly recommend you to read the recent Consortium news story https://consortiumnews.com/2020/02/14/understanding-the-ukraine-story/


[Jan 27, 2020] American Pravda Mossad Assassinations by Ron Unz

Jan 27, 2020 | www.unz.com

From the Peace of Westphalia to the Law of the Jungle

The January 2nd American assassination of Gen. Qassem Soleimani of Iran was an event of enormous moment.

Gen. Soleimani had been the highest-ranking military figure in his nation of 80 million, and with a storied career of 30 years, one of the most universally popular and highly regarded. Most analysts ranked him second in influence only to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's elderly Supreme Leader, and there were widespread reports that he was being urged to run for the presidency in the 2021 elections.

The circumstances of his peacetime death were also quite remarkable. His vehicle was incinerated by the missile of an American Reaper drone near Iraq's Baghdad international airport just after he had arrived there on a regular commercial flight for peace negotiations originally suggested by the American government.

Our major media hardly ignored the gravity of this sudden, unexpected killing of so high-ranking a political and military figure, and gave it enormous attention. A day or so later, the front page of my morning New York Times was almost entirely filled with coverage of the event and its implications, along with several inside pages devoted to the same topic. Later that same week, America's national newspaper of record allocated more than one-third of all the pages of its front section to the same shocking story.

But even such copious coverage by teams of veteran journalists failed to provide the incident with its proper context and implications. Last year, the Trump Administration had declared the Iranian Revolutionary Guard "a terrorist organization," drawing widespread criticism and even ridicule from national security experts appalled at the notion of classifying a major branch of Iran's armed forces as "terrorists." Gen. Soleimani was a top commander in that body, and this apparently provided the legal figleaf for his assassination in broad daylight while on a diplomatic peace mission.

But consider that Congress has been considering legislation declaring Russia an official state sponsor of terrorism , and Stephen Cohen, the eminent Russia scholar, has argued that no foreign leader since the end of World War II has been so massively demonized by the American media as Russian President Vladimir Putin. For years, numerous agitated pundits have denounced Putin as "the new Hitler," and some prominent figures have even called for his overthrow or death. So we are now only a step or two removed from undertaking a public campaign to assassinate the leader of a country whose nuclear arsenal could quickly annihilate the bulk of the American population. Cohen has repeatedly warned that the current danger of global nuclear war may exceed that which we faced during the days of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, and can we entirely dismiss such concerns?

Even if we focus solely upon Gen. Solemaini's killing and entirely disregard its dangerous implications, there seem few modern precedents for the official public assassination of a top-ranking political figure by the forces of another major country. In groping for past examples, the only ones that come to mind occurred almost three generations ago during World War II, when Czech agents assisted by the Allies assassinated Reinhard Heydrich in Prague in 1941 and the US military later shot down the plane of Japanese admiral Isoroku Yamamoto in 1943. But these events occurred in the heat of a brutal global war, and the Allied leadership hardly portrayed them as official government assassinations. Historian David Irving reveals that when one of Adolf Hitler's aides suggested that an attempt be made to assassinate Soviet leaders in that same conflict, the German Fuhrer immediately forbade such practices as obvious violations of the laws of war.

The 1914 terrorist assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, was certainly organized by fanatical elements of Serbian Intelligence, but the Serbian government fiercely denied its own complicity, and no major European power was ever directly implicated in the plot. The aftermath of the killing soon led to the outbreak of World War I, and although many millions died in the trenches over the next few years, it would have been completely unthinkable for one of the major belligerents to consider assassinating the leadership of another.

A century earlier, the Napoleonic Wars had raged across the entire continent of Europe for most of a generation, but I don't recall reading of any governmental assassination plots during that era, let alone in the quite gentlemanly wars of the preceding 18th century when Frederick the Great and Maria Theresa disputed ownership of the wealthy province of Silesia by military means. I am hardly a specialist in modern European history, but after the 1648 Peace of Westphalia ended the Thirty Years War and regularized the rules of warfare, no assassination as high-profile as that of Gen. Soleimani comes to mind.

The bloody Wars of Religion of previous centuries did see their share of assassination schemes. For example, I think that Philip II of Spain supposedly encouraged various plots to assassinate Queen Elizabeth I of England on grounds that she was a murderous heretic, and their repeated failure helped persuade him to launch the ill-fated Spanish Armada; but being a pious Catholic, he probably would have balked at using the ruse of peace-negotiations to lure Elizabeth to her doom. In any event, that was more than four centuries ago, so America has now placed itself in rather uncharted waters.

Different peoples possess different political traditions, and this may play a major role in influencing the behavior of the countries they establish. Bolivia and Paraguay were created in the early 18th century as shards from the decaying Spanish Empire, and according to Wikipedia they have experienced nearly three dozen successful coups in their history, the bulk of these prior to 1950, while Mexico has had a half-dozen. By contrast, the U.S. and Canada were founded as Anglo-Saxon settler colonies, and neither history records even a failed attempt.

During our Revolutionary War, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and our other Founding Fathers fully recognized that if their effort failed, they would all be hanged by the British as rebels. However, I have never heard that they feared falling to an assassin's blade, nor that King George III ever considered such an underhanded means of attack. During the first century and more of our nation's history, nearly all our presidents and other top political leaders traced their ancestry back to the British Isles, and political assassinations were exceptionally rare, with Abraham Lincoln's death being one of the very few that come to mind.

At the height of the Cold War, our CIA did involve itself in various secret assassination plots against Cuba's Communist dictator Fidel Castro and other foreign leaders considered hostile to US interests. But when these facts later came out in the 1970s, they evoked such enormous outrage from the public and the media, that three consecutive American presidents -- Gerald R. Ford , Jimmy Carter , and Ronald Reagan -- issued successive Executive Orders absolutely prohibiting assassinations by the CIA or any other agent of the US government.

Although some cynics might claim that these public declarations represented mere window-dressing, a March 2018 book review in the New York Times strongly suggests otherwise. Kenneth M. Pollack spent years as a CIA analyst and National Security Council staffer, then went on to publish a number of influential books on foreign policy and military strategy over the last two decades. He had originally joined the CIA in 1988, and opens his review by declaring:

One of the very first things I was taught when I joined the CIA was that we do not conduct assassinations. It was drilled into new recruits over and over again.

Yet Pollack notes with dismay that over the last quarter-century, these once solid prohibitions have been steadily eaten away, with the process rapidly accelerating after the 9/11 attacks of 2001. The laws on our books may not have changed, but

Today, it seems that all that is left of this policy is a euphemism.

We don't call them assassinations anymore. Now, they are "targeted killings," most often performed by drone strike, and they have become America's go-to weapon in the war on terror.

The Bush Administration had conducted 47 of these assassinations-by-another-name, while his successor Barack Obama, a constitutional scholar and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, had raised his own total to 542. Not without justification, Pollack wonders whether assassination has become "a very effective drug, but [one that] treats only the symptom and so offers no cure."

Thus over the last couple of decades American policy has followed a very disturbing trajectory in its use of assassination as a tool of foreign policy, first restricting its use to only the most extreme circumstances, next targeting small numbers of high-profile "terrorists" hiding in rough terrain, then escalating those same such killings to the many hundreds. And now under President Trump, the fateful step has been taken of America claiming the right to assassinate any world leader not to our liking whom we unilaterally declare worthy of death.

Pollack had made his career as a Clinton Democrat, and is best known for his 2002 book The Threatening Storm that strongly endorsed President Bush's proposed invasion of Iraq and was enormously influential in producing bipartisan support for that ill-fated policy. I have no doubt that he is a committed supporter of Israel, and he probably falls into a category that I would loosely describe as "Left Neocon."

But while reviewing a history of Israel's own long use of assassination as a mainstay of its national security policy, he seems deeply disturbed that America might be following along that same terrible path. Less than two years later, our sudden assassination of a top Iranian leader demonstrates that his fears may have been greatly understated.

"Rise and Kill First" ORDER IT NOW

The book being reviewed was Rise and Kill First by New York Times reporter Ronen Bergman, a weighty study of the Mossad, Israel's foreign intelligence service, together with its sister agencies. The author devoted six years of research to the project, which was based upon a thousand personal interviews and access to some official documents previously unavailable. As suggested by the title, his primary focus was Israel's long history of assassinations, and across his 750 pages and thousand-odd source references he recounts the details of an enormous number of such incidents.

That sort of topic is obviously fraught with controversy, but Bergman's volume carries glowing cover-blurbs from Pulitzer Prize-winning authors on espionage matters, and the official cooperation he received is indicated by similar endorsements from both a former Mossad chief and Ehud Barak, a past Prime Minister of Israel who himself had once led assassination squads. Over the last couple of decades, former CIA officer Robert Baer has become one of our most prominent authors in this same field, and he praises the book as "hands down" the best he has ever read on intelligence, Israel, or the Middle East. The reviews across our elite media were equally laudatory.

Although I had seen some discussions of the book when it appeared, I only got around to reading it a few months ago. And while I was deeply impressed by the thorough and meticulous journalism, I found the pages rather grim and depressing reading, with their endless accounts of Israeli agents killing their real or perceived enemies, with the operations sometimes involving kidnappings and brutal torture, or resulting in considerable loss of life to innocent bystanders. Although the overwhelming majority of the attacks described took place in the various countries of the Middle East or the occupied Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza, others ranged across the world, including Europe. The narrative history began in the 1920s, decades before the actual creation of the Jewish Israel or its Mossad organization, and ranged up to the present day.

The sheer quantity of such foreign assassinations was really quite remarkable, with the knowledgeable reviewer in the New York Times suggesting that the Israeli total over the last half-century or so seemed far greater than that of any other country. I might even go farther: if we excluded domestic killings, I wouldn't be surprised if the body-count exceeded the combined total for that of all other major countries in the world. I think all the lurid revelations of lethal CIA or KGB Cold War assassination plots that I have seen discussed in newspaper stories might fit comfortably into just a chapter or two of Bergman's extremely long book.

[Jan 24, 2020] Dennis Kucinich, Antiwar to His Core by Adam Dick

Jan 10, 2020 | ronpaulinstitute.org

A Thursday article by Matt Taibbi at Rolling Stone discusses Dennis Kucinich's work in politics, from Kucinich's eight terms in the United Sates House of Representatives to his two presidential campaigns to his activities since leaving political office. Taibbi, in the article focused much on Kucinich's long-term devotion to advancing the case for peace, describes Kucinich as "antiwar to his core."

Read Taibbi's article here .

Kucinich is an Advisory Board member for the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.


Copyright © 2020 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.
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[Jan 12, 2020] The Politics Behind Banning Russia From the Olympics -- Strategic Culture

Jan 12, 2020 | www.strategic-culture.org

Michael Averko January 11, 2020 © Photo: Government.ru There've been ongoing propaganda pieces that skirt over some inconvenient realities, for those seeking to unfairly admonish Russia in the Olympic movement. One case in point is the January 2 Reuters article " Use 1992 Yugoslavia Precedent for Russians in Tokyo – Historian ". With a stated " some Russians ", that article suggestively under-represents the actual number of 2018 Russian Winter Olympians at Pyeongchang, while supporting a hypocritically flawed aspect, having to do with Yugoslavia in 1992.

The downplaying of Russian participation at Pyeongchang, is seemingly done to spin the image of many Russian cheats being kept out. At the suggestion of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the International Olympic Committee (IOC) closely vetted Russians for competition at the 2018 Winter Olympics. In actuality, the 2018 Russian Winter Olympic participation wasn't so off the mark, when compared to past Winter Olympiads – something which (among other things) puts a dent into the faulty notion that Russia should be especially singled out for sports doping.

At the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, Russia had its largest ever Winter Olympic contingent of 232 , on account of the host nation being allowed a greater number of participants. The 168 Russian Winter Olympians at Pyeongchang is 9 less than the Russians who competed at the 2010 Winter Olympics. Going back further, Russian Winter Olympic participation in 2006 was at 190 , with its 2002 contingent at 151 , 1998 having 122 and 1994 (Russia's first formal Winter Olympic appearance as Russia) 113 .

The aforementioned Reuters piece references a " historian ", Bill Mallon, who is keen on using the 1992 Summer Olympic banning of Yugoslavia (then consisting of Serbia and Montenegro) as a legitimate basis to ban Russia from the upcoming Summer Olympics. In this instance, Alan Dershowitz's periodic reference to the " if the shoe is on the other foot " test is quite applicable . Regarding Mallon, " historian " is put in quotes because his historically premised advocacy is very much incomplete and overly propagandistic.

For consistency sake and contrary to Mallon, Yugoslavia should've formally participated at the 1992 Summer Olympics. The Olympic banning of Yugoslavia was bogus, given that the IOC and the IOC affiliated sports federations didn't ban the US and USSR for their respective role in wars, which caused a greater number of deaths than what happened in 1990s Bosnia. The Reuters article at issue references a United Nations resolution for sanctions against Yugoslavia, without any second guessing, in support of the preference (at least by some) to keep politics out of sports as much as possible.

Mallon casually notes that Yugoslav team sports were banned from the 1992 Summer Olympics, unlike individual Yugoslav athletes, who participated as independents. At least two of the banned Yugoslav teams were predicted to be lead medal contenders.

Croatia was allowed to compete at the 1992 Summer Olympics, despite that nation's military involvement in the Bosnian Civil War. During the 1992 Summer and Winter Olympics, the former USSR participated in individual and team sports as the Unified Team (with the exception of the three former Soviet Baltic republics, who competed under their respective nation). With all this in mind, the ban on team sports from Yugoslavia at the 1992 Summer Olympics, under a neutral name, appears to be hypocritical and ethically challenged.

BS aside, the reality is that geopolitical clout (in the form of might making right), is what compels the banning of Yugoslavia, unlike superpowers engaged in behavior which isn't less egregious. Although a major world power, contemporary Russia lacks the overall geopolitical influence of the USSR. Historian Stephen Cohen and some others, have noted that post-Soviet Russia doesn't get the same (for lack of a better word) respect accorded to the USSR. This aspect underscores how becoming freer, less militaristic and more market oriented doesn't (by default) bring added goodwill from a good number of Western establishment politicos and the organizations which are greatly influenced by them.

On the subject of banning Russia from the Olympics, Canadian sports legal politico Dick Pound, continues to rehash an inaccurate likening with no critical follow-up. ( An exception being yours truly .) Between 2016 and 2019 , Pound references the Olympic banning of South Africa, as a basis for excluding Russia. South Africa was banned when it had apartheid policies, which prevented that country's Black majority from competing in organized sports. Russia has a vast multiethnic participation in sports and other sectors.

As previously noted , the factual premise to formally ban Russia from the Olympics remains suspect. The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) is set to review Russia's appeal to have the recommended WADA ban against Russia overturned, as Western mass media at large and sports politicos like Pound continue to push for a CAS decision against Russia.

[Dec 01, 2019] Stephen Cohen (one of the few pundits who actually knows something about Russia) about false narrative that persist in the Democratic Party

Dec 01, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

JohnH -> anne... , November 28, 2019 at 03:46 PM

Stephen Cohen (one of the few pundits who actually knows something about Russia:)

"Almost daily for three years, Democrats and their media have told us very bad things about Donald Trump's life, character, and presidency. Some of them are true. But in the process, we have also learned some lamentable, even alarming, things about the Democratic Party establishment, including self-professed liberals. Consider the following:

The Democratic establishment is deeply and widely imbued with rancid Russophobic attitudes. Most telling was (and remains) a core "Russiagate" allegation that "Russia attacked American democracy during the 2016 presidential election" on Trump's behalf -- an "attack" so nefarious it has often been equated with Pearl Harbor. But there was no "attack" in 2016, only, as I have previously explained, ritualistic "meddling" of the kind that both Russia and America have undertaken in the other's elections for decades. Little can be more phobic than the allegation or belief that one has been "attacked by a hostile" entity. And yet this myth and its false narrative persist in the Democratic Party's discourse, campaigning, and fund-raising.

We have also learned that the heads of America's intelligence agencies under President Obama, especially John Brennan of the CIA and James Clapper, director of National Intelligence, felt themselves entitled to try to undermine an American presidential candidacy and subsequent presidency, that of Donald Trump. Early on, I termed this operation "Intelgate," and it has since been well documented by other writers, including Lee Smith in his new book. Intel officials did so in tacit alliance with certain leading, and equally Russophobic, members of the Democratic Party, which had once opposed such transgressions. This may be the most alarming revelation of the Trump years: Trump will leave power, but these self-aggrandizing intelligence agencies will remain.

We also learned that, contrary to Democratic dogma, the mainstream "free press" cannot be fully trusted to readily expose such abuses of power. Indeed, what the mainstream media -- leading national newspapers and two cable news networks, in particular -- chose to cover and report, and chose not to cover and report, made the abuses and consequences of Russiagate allegations possible. Even now, exceedingly influential publications such as The New York Times seem eager to delegitimize the investigation by Attorney General William Barr and his appointed special investigator John Durham into the origins of Russiagate. Barr's critics accuse him of fabricating a "conspiracy theory" on behalf of Trump. But the real, or grandest, conspiracy theory was the Russiagate allegation of "collusion" between Trump and the Kremlin, an accusation that was -- or should have been -- discredited by the Robert Mueller report.

And we have learned, or should have learned, that for all the talk by Democrats about Trump as a danger to US national security, it is their Russiagate allegations that truly endanger it. Consider two examples. Russia's new "hyper-sonic" missiles, which can elude US missile-defense systems, make new nuclear arms negotiations with Moscow imperative and urgent. If only for the sake of his legacy, Trump is likely to want to do so. But even if he is able to, will Trump be entrusted enough to conduct negotiations as successfully as did his predecessors in the White House, given the "Putin puppet" and "Kremlin stooge" accusations still being directed at him?"

https://www.thenation.com/article/inconvenient-truths-2/

ilsm -> JohnH... , November 29, 2019 at 09:19 AM
The Russia thingie/falsehoods are part of corrupt demrats assault on the US constitution. They are even now predicting their loss in 2020 due to "interference" and people wanting to know how corrupt the DNC [front running] select has been!

Demrat allies in the shadow revolving door government of neocon humbug factories are denouncing Trump for his ignoring their war mongering imperial objects.

RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to ilsm... , November 30, 2019 at 08:31 AM
"...assault on the US constitution..."

[Adding assault to injury? The US Constitution was damning enough on its own. What are they thinking inside the deep state apparatus? Don't they know that power and privilege is reserved for holders of wealth by the US Constitution? Who do they think that they are really working for?]

RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to JohnH... , November 30, 2019 at 08:26 AM
Friend ilsm may be less nuts than it appears, but friend ilsm is not less incomprehensible than it appears. Would it be out of place to thank you for ilsm's sake?

Our two-party system was largely useless after FDR, but our two-party system has been largely destructive since 1968. Let me know if anything really changes.

JohnH -> anne... , November 28, 2019 at 03:54 PM
Aaron Maté: "Impeachment Non-Bombshells Endanger Democrats in 2020

Unmerited hype about Gordon Sondland's testimony has overshadowed the potential damage that the impeachment saga poses for the presidential election."
https://www.thenation.com/article/impeachment-sondland-democrats/

Have I ever said how pathetic the Democratic establishment is? As for Pelosi's vaunted tactical skills? What BS!

RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to JohnH... , November 30, 2019 at 06:25 AM
Pelosi has been wagged by her party's tail.
RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to RC (Ron) Weakley... , November 30, 2019 at 06:29 AM
not that I would be ordinarily predisposed to defend her. The problem with delusions is that they can easily become self-perpetuating, even easier with the right hand on the tiller.
RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to RC (Ron) Weakley... , November 30, 2019 at 06:34 AM
Sail Away

Pearls Before Swine

I have just come back from the land beyond the mountain
This is not a story I was told
When all the people are made out of wood
They build their houses of bones

Sail away, Oh sail away
The edge of the world is near
Sail away, Oh sail away from here

I have just come back from the land beyond the mountain
All the cigarettes are hand rolled
Nothing is bought and nobody is sold
And everything's made of gold

I have just come back from the land beyond the mountain
There a man with wounds I did see
Said: I do not want to escape from reality
I want reality to escape from me

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBn9Ytr9o-c

Pearls Before Swine - Sail away

[Oct 20, 2019] Unasked Questions About US-Ukrainian Relations by Stephen F. Cohen

Notable quotes:
"... Russia hating is the lynchpin of oligarchic deepstate MIC MSM propaganda. Take that away and the fat cats are revealed as the naked face of evil that they are. Hating Russia (and China) supposedly justifies all their crimes. ..."
Oct 20, 2019 | www.unz.com

The transcript of President Trump's July 25 telephone conversation with Ukraine's recently elected president, Volodymyr Zelensky, has ignited the usual anti-Trump bashing in American political-media circles, even more calls for impeachment, with little, if any, regard for the national security issues involved. Leave aside that Trump should not have been compelled to make the transcript public and ask: Which, if any, foreign leaders will now feel free to conduct personal telephone diplomacy with an American president directly or indirectly, of the kind that helped end the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, knowing that his or her comments might become known to domestic political opponents? Consider instead only the following undiscussed issues:

§ Even if former vice president Joseph Biden, who figured prominently in the Trump-Zelensky conversation, is not the Democratic nominee, Ukraine is now likely to be a contested, and poisonous, issue in the 2020 US presidential election. How did the United States become so involved in Ukraine's torturous and famously corrupt politics? The short answer is NATO expansion, as some of us who opposed that folly back in the 1990s warned would be the case, and not only in Ukraine. The Washington-led attempt to fast-track Ukraine into NATO in 2013 -- 14 resulted in the Maidan crisis, the overthrow of the country's constitutionally elected president Viktor Yanukovych, and to the still ongoing proxy civil war in Donbass. All those fateful events infused the Trump-Zelensky talk, if only between the lines.

§ Russia shares centuries of substantial civilizational values, language, culture, geography, and intimate family relations with Ukraine. America does not. Why, then, is it routinely asserted in the US political-media establishment that Ukraine is a "vital US national interest" and not a vital zone of Russian national security, as by all geopolitical reckoning it would seem to be? The standard American establishment answer is: because of "Russian aggression against Ukraine." But the "aggression" cited is Moscow's 2014 annexation of Crimea and support for anti-Kiev fighters in the Donbass civil war, both of which came after, not before, the Maidan crisis, and indeed were a direct result of it. That is, in Moscow's eyes, it was reacting, not unreasonably, to US-led "aggression." In any event, as opponents of eastward expansion also warned in the 1990s, NATO has increased no one's security, only diminished security throughout the region bordering Russia.

§ Which brings us back to the Trump-Zelensky telephone conversation. President Zelensky ran and won overwhelmingly as a peace-with-Moscow candidate, which is why the roughly $400 million in US military aid to Ukraine, authorized by Congress, figured anomalously in the conversation. Trump is being sharply criticized for withholding that aid or threatening to do so, including by Obama partisans. Forgotten, it seems, is that President Obama, despite considerable bipartisan pressure, steadfastly refused to authorize such military assistance to Kiev, presumably because it might escalate the Russian-Ukrainian conflict (and Russia, with its long border with Ukraine, had every escalatory advantage). Instead of baiting Trump on this issue, we should hope he encourages the new peace talks that Zelensky has undertaken in recent days with Moscow, which could end the killing in Donbass. (For this, Zelensky is being threatened by well-armed extreme Ukrainian nationalists, even quasi-fascists. Strong American support for his negotiations with Moscow may not deter them, but it might.)

§ Finally, but not surprisingly, the shadow of Russiagate is now morphing into Ukrainegate. Trump is also being sharply criticized for asking Zelensky to cooperate with Attorney General William Barr's investigation into the origins of Russiagate, even though the role of Ukrainian-Americans and Ukraine itself in Russiagate allegations against Trump on behalf of Hillary Clinton in 2016 is now well-documented .

We need to know fully the origins of Russiagate, arguably the worst presidential scandal in American history, and if Ukrainian authorities can contribute to that understanding, they should be encouraged to do so. As I've argued repeatedly, fervent anti-Trumpers must decide whether they loathe him more than they care about American and international security. Imaging, for example, a Cuban missile -- like crisis somewhere in the world today where Washington and Moscow are militarily eyeball-to-eyeball, directly or through proxies, from the Baltic and the Black Seas to Syria and Ukraine. Will Trump's presidential legitimacy be sufficient for him to resolve such an existential crisis peacefully, as President John F. Kennedy did in 1962?

Stephen F. Cohen is a professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York University and Princeton University. A Nation contributing editor, his most recent book War With Russia? From Putin & Ukraine to Trump & Russiagate is available in paperback and in an ebook edition. His weekly conversations with the host of The John Batchelor Show, now in their sixth year, are available at www.thenation.com.

Realist , says: October 4, 2019 at 12:06 am GMT

Trump is an agent of the Deep State, playing good cop to the bad cop Deep State. I have been saying this since mid April 2017. His multitude of actions belie his promises. Trump is a quisling to his supporters.

Here is an excellent article that comports with my view of Trump.

http://www.alt-market.com/index.php/articles/3949-trump-cannot-be-anti-globalist-while-working-with-global-elites

Ron Unz , says: October 4, 2019 at 3:35 am GMT
@Dan Hayes

I am puzzled why Cohen is permitted to publish in the Nation. Is it due to his marriage to its publisher or to the magazine's remnant infatuation with the Soviet state? Just asking.

The whole situation is a rather ironic

Prof. Cohen is certainly one of America's most eminent Russia scholars, and I think that for decades he was regarded as one of the most left-leaning ones, regularly denounced for his leftism by all the Neocons and other rightwingers. I remember I used to see him on the PBS Newshour, sometimes paired with a conservative critic of the Soviets. I'd guess that past history plus being married to the publisher of The Nation is what gives him his residual foothold there.

I'd suspect that if someone had told him a couple of decades ago that by the late 2010s he'd be blacklisted from the MSM and denounced as a "Russian agent," he probably would have been greatly saddened at the disheartening turn in American society, but not totally shocked. He probably would have regarded such a scenario as having a 10% possibility.

But if someone would have told him that the people denouncing and blacklisting him would have been the *liberal Democrats* and some of their most "excitable" elements would be accusing him of being a "Neo-Nazi White Supremacist Russian Agent" he would have thought the entire country had gone on LSD.

It's sad that our entire country has gone on LSD

The whole situation is actually a perfect parallel to the various past American purges I've often covered in my articles:

http://www.unz.com/runz/american-pravda-our-great-purge-of-the-1940s/


renfro , says: October 4, 2019 at 4:31 am GMT

Russia is the excuse for US actions in the Ukraine as it was in the ME.
What is America without a big bad boogeyman like Russia?.
Certainly not a “Superpower’ defending the world.
Without enemies like Russia we would be nothing but big rich country.
And all the Neos and Zios and politicians would have to use Viagra instead of war to squirt out their poison.

A lot of countries like the Ukraine have gotten a lot of US taxpayer money by ‘standing up to a Russian takeover’….and are laughing all the way to their bank.

sally , says: October 4, 2019 at 4:47 am GMT
How did the United States become so involved in Ukraine’s torturous and famously corrupt politics?

The short answer is NATO expansion <= maybe something different? I like pocketbook expansion..
NATO Expansion provides cover and legalizes the private use of Presidential directed USA resources to enable a few to make massively big profits at the expense of the governed in the target area.

Behind NATO lies the reason for Bexit, the Yellow Jackets, the unrest in Iraq and Egypt, Yemen etc.

Hypothesis 1: NATO supporters are more corrupt than Ukraine officials.
Hypothesis 2: NATO expansion is a euphemism for USA/EU/ backed private party plunder to follow invade and destroy regime change activities designed to dispossess local Oligarchs of the wealth in NATO targeted nations? Private use of public force for private gain comes to mind.

I think [private use of public force for private gain] is what Trump meant when Trump said to impeach Trump for investigating the Ukraine matter amounts to Treason.. but it is the exactly the activity type that Hallmarks CIA instigated regime change.

A lot of intelligence agency manipulation and private pocketbook expanding corruption can be hidden behind NATO expansion.. Please prove to me that Biden and the hundreds of other plunders became so deeply involved in Ukraine because of NATO expansion?

mark green , says: October 4, 2019 at 6:06 am GMT
It is more than ironic that the Dems (and their like-minded cronies in Big Media) are up in arms over Trump’s attempt in find ‘dirt’ about Joe Biden when the ‘dirt’ looks and smells like actual corruption. Have laws been broken? Was Biden selling influence through his son? Stranger things have happened. At the very least, it looks as though Joe Biden crossed an ethical line. This will likely cost him the nomination.

Similarly, the news media should–if it was doing its job–pursue leads that would help find the source behind the missing server and the Fake News that helped justify the toxic and duplicitous ‘Russiagate’ investigation. But they’d rather pursue Trump instead. I have never witnessed a more partisan and bloodthirsty Fourth Estate.

Why is the media so utterly uninterested in finding out who/how the fake Putin-Trump ‘conspiracy’ was cooked up in the first place? Doesn’t it make sense the Trump would want to find out more? Justice demands it. False intelligence can sow chaos and start wars.

Consider, for instance, the manufactured lies (Saddam’s phantom WMD, links to 911, etc) that were used to justify Zio-America’s annihilation of Iraq. What intelligence agency cooked up these falsehoods? Who spoon-fed these fairy tales to G.W. Bush and Colin Powell?

Not only have these questions never been answered, they are seldom even asked! The Deep State has gone rogue. And Big Media is covering it up.

animalogic , says: October 4, 2019 at 7:29 am GMT
This whole ridiculous drama may profit the Dem’s in the longer term — that is, by removing that corrupt, dementia ridden nit-wit Biden from the presidential competition.
As president, Biden would be a greater sock puppet than even GWB…of course, “sock puppet” maybe just what the Dem’s want….
Patric , says: October 4, 2019 at 8:13 am GMT
@renfro renfro said “And all the Neos and Zios and politicians would have to use Viagra instead of war to squirt out their poison.”

Very well said indeed!

Beckow , says: October 4, 2019 at 8:16 am GMT
The key question is what is the gain in separating Ukraine from Russia, adding it to NATO, and turning Russia and Ukraine into enemies. And what are the most likely results, e.g. can it ever work without risking a catastrophic event?

There are the usual empire-building and weapons business reasons, but those should function within a rational framework. As it is right now, the most likely outcome of the Western initiative in Ukraine will be substantially lower living standards than there would be otherwise for most Ukrainians. And an increase in tensions in the region with inevitable impact on the business there. So what exactly is the gain and for whom?

Mikhail , says: • Website October 4, 2019 at 8:33 am GMT
@Ron Unz Thanks to Tucker Carlson’s show, some folks on the left like Cohen, Mate and Greenwald, are more likely to get air time on Fox News than MSNBC and CNN.
Observator , says: October 4, 2019 at 11:15 am GMT
The current CIA talking point is that it is illegal for the President to seek foreign assistance for his campaign. One might also slant it that the President of the United States has an obligation to the people who elected him to require an allied, friendly government to reopen the investigation of Biden because there is adequate reason to suspect that the Democrats are running yet another corrupt criminal for President. Incidentally, this puts Zelensky in a very awkward position, as one of the backers of his transition from sitcom star to President of Ukraine was a principal in Burisma

It is not the threat of impeachment that will energize Trump’s base; it is the grotesque, constant character assassination in the (largely CIA manipulated) media that will return him to the White House. The American people have a sense of fairness. They have always been of better character than the reprobates we are allowed to vote for. Whatever happened to trusting the democratic process, instead of using intelligence assets to engineer domestic regime change?

History is not made by nice guys. Trump has torn a big hole in the tissue of lies about what this country is and what it stands for, and that is too much for those who make their living deceiving us.

mike k , says: October 4, 2019 at 11:53 am GMT
Russia hating is the lynchpin of oligarchic deepstate MIC MSM propaganda. Take that away and the fat cats are revealed as the naked face of evil that they are. Hating Russia (and China) supposedly justifies all their crimes.
eah , says: October 4, 2019 at 11:55 am GMT
The Washington-led attempt to fast-track Ukraine into NATO in 2013–14 resulted in the Maidan crisis, the overthrow of the country’s constitutionally elected president Viktor Yanukovych, and to the still ongoing proxy civil war in Donbass.

Which exemplifies the stupidity and arrogance of the American military/industrial/political Establishment — none of that had anything to do with US national security (least of all antagonizing Russia) — how fucking hypocritical is it to presume the Monroe Doctrine, and then try to get the Ukraine into NATO? — none of it would have been of any benefit whatsoever to the average American.

[Sep 04, 2019] What We Still Do Not Know About Russiagate by Stephen F. Cohen's

Notable quotes:
"... It must again be emphasized: It is hard, if not impossible, to think of a more toxic allegation in American presidential history than the one leveled against candidate, and then president, Donald Trump that he "colluded" with the Kremlin in order to win the 2016 presidential election -- and, still more, that Vladimir Putin's regime, "America's No. 1 threat," had compromising material on Trump that made him its "puppet." Or a more fraudulent accusation. ..."
"... Was it plausible, for example, that Trump, a longtime owner and operator of international hotels, would commit an indiscreet act in a Moscow hotel that he did not own or control? Or that, as Steele also claimed, high-level Kremlin sources had fed him damning anti-Trump information even though their vigilant boss, Putin, wanted Trump to win the election? ..."
"... Nor was Russian "meddling" in the election anything akin to a "digital Pearl Harbor," as widely asserted, and it was certainly far less and less intrusive than President Bill Clinton's political and financial "interference" undertaken to assure the reelection of Russian President Boris Yeltsin in 1996. ..."
"... Nonetheless, Russiagate's core allegation persists, like a legend, in American political life -- in media commentary, in financial solicitations by some Democratic candidates for Congress, and, as is clear from my own discussions, in the minds of otherwise well-informed people. The only way to dispel, to excoriate, such a legend is to learn and expose how it began -- by whom, when, and why. ..."
"... Why did Western intelligence agencies, prompted, it seems clear, by US ones, seek to undermine Trump's presidential campaign? ..."
"... the repeatedly hapless Comey seems incapable of having initiated such an audacious operation against a presidential candidate, still less a president-elect. As I have long suggested, John Brennan and James Clapper, head of the CIA and Office of National Intelligence under Obama respectively, are the more likely culprits. ..."
"... First and foremost, Russiagate is about the present and future of the American political system, not about Russia. (Indeed, as I have repeatedly argued, there is very little, if any, Russia in Russiagate.) ..."
"... At every "debate" or comparable forum, all of the Democratic candidates should be asked about this grave threat to American democracy -- what they think about what happened and would do about it if elected president. Consider it health care for our democracy. ..."
Sep 04, 2019 | www.thenation.com

It must again be emphasized: It is hard, if not impossible, to think of a more toxic allegation in American presidential history than the one leveled against candidate, and then president, Donald Trump that he "colluded" with the Kremlin in order to win the 2016 presidential election -- and, still more, that Vladimir Putin's regime, "America's No. 1 threat," had compromising material on Trump that made him its "puppet." Or a more fraudulent accusation.

Even leaving aside the misperception that Russia is the primary threat to America in world affairs, no aspect of this allegation has turned out to be true, as should have been evident from the outset. Major aspects of the now infamous Steele Dossier, on which much of the allegation was based, were themselves not merely "unverified" but plainly implausible.

Was it plausible, for example, that Trump, a longtime owner and operator of international hotels, would commit an indiscreet act in a Moscow hotel that he did not own or control? Or that, as Steele also claimed, high-level Kremlin sources had fed him damning anti-Trump information even though their vigilant boss, Putin, wanted Trump to win the election? Nonetheless, the American mainstream media and other important elements of the US political establishment relied on Steele's allegations for nearly three years, even heroizing him -- and some still do, explicitly or implicitly.

Not surprisingly, former special counsel Robert Mueller found no evidence of "collusion" between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. No credible evidence has been produced that Russia's "interference" affected the result of the 2016 presidential election in any significant way. Nor was Russian "meddling" in the election anything akin to a "digital Pearl Harbor," as widely asserted, and it was certainly far less and less intrusive than President Bill Clinton's political and financial "interference" undertaken to assure the reelection of Russian President Boris Yeltsin in 1996.

Nonetheless, Russiagate's core allegation persists, like a legend, in American political life -- in media commentary, in financial solicitations by some Democratic candidates for Congress, and, as is clear from my own discussions, in the minds of otherwise well-informed people. The only way to dispel, to excoriate, such a legend is to learn and expose how it began -- by whom, when, and why.

Officially, at least in the FBI's version, its operation "Crossfire Hurricane," the counterintelligence investigation of the Trump campaign that began in mid-2016 was due to suspicious remarks made to visitors by a young and lowly Trump aide, George Papadopoulos. This too is not believable, as I pointed out previously . Most of those visitors themselves had ties to Western intelligence agencies. That is, the young Trump aide was being enticed, possibly entrapped, as part of a larger intelligence operation against Trump. (Papadopoulos wasn't the only Trump associate targeted, Carter Page being another.)

But the question remains: Why did Western intelligence agencies, prompted, it seems clear, by US ones, seek to undermine Trump's presidential campaign? A reflexive answer might be because candidate Trump promised to "cooperate with Russia," to pursue a pro-détente foreign policy, but this was hardly a startling, still less subversive, advocacy by a would-be Republican president. All of the major pro-détente episodes in the 20th century had been initiated by Republican presidents: Eisenhower, Nixon, and Reagan.

So, again, what was it about Trump that so spooked the spooks so far off their rightful reservation and so intrusively into American presidential politics? Investigations being overseen by Attorney General William Barr may provide answers -- or not. Barr has already leveled procedural charges against James Comey, head of the FBI under President Obama and briefly under President Trump, but the repeatedly hapless Comey seems incapable of having initiated such an audacious operation against a presidential candidate, still less a president-elect. As I have long suggested, John Brennan and James Clapper, head of the CIA and Office of National Intelligence under Obama respectively, are the more likely culprits.

The FBI is no longer the fearsome organization it once was and thus not hard to investigate, as Barr has already shown. The others, particularly the CIA, are a different matter, and Barr has suggested they are resisting. To investigate them, particularly the CIA, it seems, he has brought in a veteran prosecutor-investigator, John Durham.

Which raises other questions. Are Barr and Durham, whose own careers include associations with US intelligence agencies, determined to uncover the truth about the origins of Russiagate? And can they really do so fully, given the resistance already apparent? Even if so, will Barr make public their findings, however damning of the intelligence agencies they may be, or will he classify them? And if the latter, will President Trump use his authority to declassify the findings as the 2020 presidential election approaches in order to discredit the role of Obama's presidency and its would-be heirs?

Equally important perhaps, how will mainstream media treat the Barr-Durham investigation and its findings? Having driven the Russiagate narrative for so long and so misleadingly -- and with liberals perhaps finding themselves in the incongruous position of defending rogue intelligence agencies -- will they credit or seek to discredit the findings?

It is true, of course, that Barr and Durham, as Trump appointees, are not the ideal investigators of Intel misdeeds in the Russiagate saga. Much better would be a truly bipartisan, independent investigation based in the Senate, as was the Church Committee of the mid-1970s, which exposed and reformed (it thought at the time) serious abuses by US intelligence agencies. That would require, however, a sizable core of nonpartisan, honorable, and courageous senators of both parties, who thus far seem to be lacking.

There are also, however, the ongoing and upcoming Democratic presidential debates. First and foremost, Russiagate is about the present and future of the American political system, not about Russia. (Indeed, as I have repeatedly argued, there is very little, if any, Russia in Russiagate.)

At every "debate" or comparable forum, all of the Democratic candidates should be asked about this grave threat to American democracy -- what they think about what happened and would do about it if elected president. Consider it health care for our democracy.

This commentary is based on Stephen F. Cohen's most recent weekly discussion with the host of The John Batchelor Show . Now in their sixth year, previous installments are at TheNation.com .

Stephen F. Cohen Stephen F. Cohen is a professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York University and Princeton University. A Nation contributing editor, his most recent book War With Russia? From Putin & Ukraine to Trump & Russiagate is available in paperback and in an ebook edition. His weekly conversations with the host of The John Batchelor Show, now in their sixth year, are available at www.thenation.com .

[Aug 17, 2019] Debunking the Putin Panic by Stephen F. Cohen

Highly recommended!
Aug 17, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

STEPHEN COHEN: I'm not aware that Russia attacked Georgia. The European Commission, if you're talking about the 2008 war, the European Commission, investigating what happened, found that Georgia, which was backed by the United States, fighting with an American-built army under the control of the, shall we say, slightly unpredictable Georgian president then, Saakashvili, that he began the war by firing on Russian enclaves. And the Kremlin, which by the way was not occupied by Putin, but by Michael McFaul and Obama's best friend and reset partner then-president Dmitry Medvedev, did what any Kremlin leader, what any leader in any country would have had to do: it reacted. It sent troops across the border through the tunnel, and drove the Georgian forces out of what essentially were kind of Russian protectorate areas of Georgia.

So that- Russia didn't begin that war. And it didn't begin the one in Ukraine, either. We did that by [continents], the overthrow of the Ukrainian president in [20]14 after President Obama told Putin that he would not permit that to happen. And I think it happened within 36 hours. The Russians, like them or not, feel that they have been lied to and betrayed. They use this word, predatl'stvo, betrayal, about American policy toward Russia ever since 1991, when it wasn't just President George Bush, all the documents have been published by the National Security Archive in Washington, all the leaders of the main Western powers promised the Soviet Union that under Gorbachev, if Gorbachev would allow a reunited Germany to be NATO, NATO would not, in the famous expression, move two inches to the east.

Now NATO is sitting on Russia's borders from the Baltic to Ukraine. So Russians aren't fools, and they're good-hearted, but they become resentful. They're worried about being attacked by the United States. In fact, you read and hear in the Russian media daily, we are under attack by the United States. And this is a lot more real and meaningful than this crap that is being put out that Russia somehow attacked us in 2016. I must have been sleeping. I didn't see Pearl Harbor or 9/11 and 2016. This is reckless, dangerous, warmongering talk. It needs to stop. Russia has a better case for saying they've been attacked by us since 1991. We put our military alliance on the front door. Maybe it's not an attack, but it looks like one, feels like one. Could be one.


Disturbed Voter , July 30, 2018 at 6:32 am

Real politik. Don't bring a knife to a gun fight. Don't start fights in the first place. The idea that American leadership is any better than mid-Victorian imperialism, is laughable.

Jerri-Lynn Scofield , July 30, 2018 at 8:15 am

Here's the RNN link to part one: The Russia "National Security Crisis" is a U.S. Creation .

integer , July 30, 2018 at 7:12 am

AARON MATE: We hear, often, talk of Putin possibly being the richest person in the world as a result of his entanglement with the very corruption of Russia you're speaking about

Few appear to be aware that Bill Browder is single-handedly responsible for starting, and spreading, the rumor that Putin's net worth is $200 billion (for those who are unfamiliar with Browder, I highly recommend watching Andrei Nekrasov's documentary titled " The Magnitsky Act – Behind the Scenes "). Browder appears to have first started this rumor early in 2015 , and has repeated it ad nauseam since then, including in his testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2017 . While Browder has always framed the $200 billion figure as his own estimate, that subtle qualifier has had little effect on the media's willingness to accept it as fact.

Interestingly, during the press conference at the Helsinki Summit, Putin claimed Browder sent $400 million of ill-gotten gains to the Clinton campaign. Putin retracted the statement and claimed to have misspoke a week or so later, however by that time the $400 million figure had been cited by numerous media outlets around the world. I think it is at least possible that Putin purposely exaggerated the amount of money in question as a kind of tit-for-tat response to Browder having started the rumor about his net worth being $200 billion.

Blue Pilgrim , July 30, 2018 at 11:39 am

The stories I saw said there was a mistranslation -- but that the figure should have $400 thousand and not $400 million. Maybe Putin misspoke, but the $400,000 number is still significant, albeit far more reasonable.

Putin never was on the Forbes list of billionaires, btw, and his campaign finance statement comes to far less. It never seems to occur to rabid capitalists or crooks that not everyone is like them, placing such importance on vast fortunes, or want to be dishonest, greedy, or power hungry. Putin is only 'well off' and that seems to satisfy him just fine as he gets on with other interests, values, and goals.

integer , July 30, 2018 at 12:03 pm

Yes, $400,000 is the revised/correct figure. My having written that "Putin retracted the statement" was not the best choice of phrase. Also, the figure was corrected the day after it was made, not "a week or so later" as I wrote in my previous comment. From the Russia Insider link:

Browder's criminal group used many tax evasion methods, including offshore companies. They siphoned shares and funds from Russia worth over 1.5 billion dollars. By the way, $400,000 was transferred to the US Democratic Party's accounts from these funds. The Russian president asked us to correct his statement from yesterday. During the briefing, he said it was $400,000,000, not $400,000. Either way, it's still a significant amount of money.

JohnnyGL , July 30, 2018 at 2:54 pm

I hadn't heard about the revision/edit to the $400M, thanks!

Seems crazy to think how much Russo-phobia seems to have been ginned up by one tax-dodging hedgie with an axe to grind.

Procopius , July 31, 2018 at 1:11 am

There's something weird about the anti-Putin hysteria. Somehow, many, many people have come to believe they must demonstrate their membership in the tribe by accepting completely unsupported assertions that go against common sense.

Eureka Springs , July 30, 2018 at 7:58 am

In a sane world we the people would be furious with the Clinton campaign, especially the D party but the R's as well, our media (again), and our intel/police State (again). Holding them all accountable while making sure this tsunami of deception and lies never happens again.

It's amazing even in time of the internetz those of us who really dig can only come up with a few sane voices. It's much worse now in terms of the numbers of sane voices than it was in the run up to Iraq 2.

CenterOfGravity , July 30, 2018 at 12:52 pm

Regardless of broad access to far more information in the digital age, never under estimate the self-preservation instinct of American exceptionalist mythology. There is an inverse relationship between the decline of US global primacy and increasingly desperate quest for adventurism. Like any case of addiction, looking outward for blame/salvation is imperative in order to prevent the mirror of self-reflection/realization from turning back onto ourselves.

integer , July 30, 2018 at 9:28 am

we're not to believe we're not supposed to believe we're supposed to believe

Believe whatever you want, however your comment gives the impression that you came to this article because you felt the need to push back against anything that does not conform to the liberal international order's narrative on Putin and Russia, rather than "with an eagerness to counterbalance the media's portrayal of Putin". WRT to whataboutism, I like Greenwald's definition of the term :

"Whataboutism": the term used to bar inquiry into whether someone adheres to the moral and behavioral standards they seek to impose on everyone else. That's its functional definition.

Rojo , July 30, 2018 at 12:25 pm

Invoking "whataboutism" is a liberal team-Dem tell.

Amfortas the Hippie , July 30, 2018 at 2:20 pm

aye. I've never seen it used by anyone aside from the worst Hill Trolls.
Indeed, when it was first thrown at me, I endeavored to look it up, and found that all references to it were from Hillaryites attempting to diss apostates and heretics.

Jonathan Holland Becnel , July 30, 2018 at 8:22 pm

Eh, probably

John Oliver, whos been completely sucking lately with TDS, did a semi decent segment on Whataboutism.

Eureka Springs , July 30, 2018 at 9:52 am

The degree of consistency and or lack of hypocrisy based on words and actions separates US from Russia to an astonishing level. That is Russia's largest threat to US, our deceivers. The propaganda tables have turned and we are deceiving ourselves to points of collective insanity and warmongering with a great nuclear power while we are at it. Warmongering is who we are and what we do.

Does Russia have a GITMO, torture Chelsea Manning, openly say they want to kill Snowden and Assange? Is Russia building up arsenals on our borders while maintaining hundreds of foreign bases and conducting several wars at any given moment while constantly threatening to foment more wars? Is Russia dropping another trillion on nuclear arsenals? Is Russia forcing us to maintain such an anti democratic system and an even worse, an entirely hackable electronic voting system?

You ready to destroy the world, including your own, rather than look in the mirror?

rkka , July 30, 2018 at 9:52 am

You're talking about extending Russian military power into Europe when the military spending of NATO Europe alone exceeds Russia's by almost 5-1 (more like 12-1 when one includes the US and Canada), have about triple the number of soldiers than Russia has, and when the Russian ground forces are numerically smaller than they have been in at least 200 years?

" to put their self-interests above those of their constituents and employees, why can't we apply this same lens to Putin and his oligarchs?"

The oligarchs got their start under Yeltsin and his FreeMarketDemocraticReformers, whose policies were so catastrophic that deaths were exceeding births by almost a million a year by the late '90s, with no end in sight. Central to Yeltsin's governance was the corrupt privatization, by which means the Seven Bankers came to control the Russian economy and Russian politics.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semibankirschina

Central to Putin's popularity are the measures he took to curb oligarchic predation in 2003-2005. Because of this, Russia's debt:GDP ratio went from 1.0 to about 0.2, and Russia's demographic recovery began while Western analysis were still predicting the death of Russia.

So Putin is the anti-oligarch in Russian domestic politics.

Blue Pilgrim , July 30, 2018 at 12:17 pm

"While it's true that power corrupts"

I know of many people who sacrifice their own interests for those of their children (over whom they have virtually absolute power), family member and friends. I know of others who dedicate their lives to justice, peace, the well being of their nation, the world, and other people -- people who find far greater meaning and satisfaction in this than in accumulating power or money. Other people have their own goals, such as producing art, inventing interesting things, reading and learning, and don't care two hoots about power or money as long as their immediate needs are met.

I'm cynical enough about humans without thinking the worst of everyone and every group or culture. Not everyone thinks only of nails and wants to be hammers, or are sociopaths. There are times when people are more or less forced into taking power, or getting more money, even if they don't want it, because they want to change things for the better or need to defend themselves.
There are people who get guns and learn how to use them only because they feel a need for defending themselves and family but who don't like guns and don't want to shoot anyone or anything.

There are many people who do not want to be controlled and bossed around, but neither want to boss around anyone else. The world is full of such people. If they are threatened and attacked, however, expect defensive reactions. Same as for most animals which are not predators, and even predators will generally not attack other animals if they are not hungry or threatened -- but that does not mean they are not competent or can be dangerous.

Capitalism is not only inherently predatory, but is inherently expansive without limits, with unlimited ambition for profits and control. It's intrinsically very competitive and imperialist. Capitalism is also a thing which was exported to Russia, starting soon after the Russian Revolution, which was immediately attacked and invaded by the West, and especially after the fall of the Soviet Union. Soviet Russia had it's own problems, which it met with varying degrees of success, but were quite different from the aggressive capitalism and imperialism of the US and Europe.

Not every culture and person are the same.

BenX , July 30, 2018 at 3:28 pm

The pro-Putin propaganda is pretty interesting to witness, and of course not everything Cohen says is skewed pro-Putin – that's what provides credibility. But "Putin kills everybody" is something NOBODY says (except Cohen, twice in one interview) – Putin is actually pretty selective of those he decides to have killed. But of course, he doesn't kill anyone, personally – therefore he's an innocent lamb, accidentally running Russia as a dictator.

rkka , July 31, 2018 at 9:11 am

The most recent dictator in Russian history was Boris Yeltsin, who turned tanks on his legislature while it was in the legal and constitutional process of impeaching him, and whose policies were so catastrophic for Russians (who were dying off at the rate of 900k/yr) that he had to steal his re-election because he had a 5% approval rating.

But he did as the US gvt told him, so I guess that makes him a Democrat.

Under Putin Russia recovered from being helpless, bankrupt & dying, but Russia has an independent foreign policy, so that makes Putin a dictator.

Plenue , July 30, 2018 at 3:54 pm

"Does any sane person believe that there will ever be a Putin-signed contract provided as evidence? Does any sane person believe that Putin actually needs to "approve" a contract rather than signaling to his oligarch/mafia hierarchy that he's unhappy about a newspaper or journalist's reporting?"

Why do you think Putin even needs, or feels a need, to have journalists killed in the first place? I see no evidence to support this basic assumption.

The idea of Russia poised to attack Europe is interesting, in light of the fact that they've cut their military spending by 20%. And even before that the budgets of France, Germany, and the UK combined well exceeded that of Russia, to say nothing of the rest of NATO or the US.

Putin's record speaks for itself. This again points to the absurdity of claiming he's had reporters killed: he doesn't need to. He has a vast amount of genuine public support because he's salvaged the country and pieced it back together after the pillaging of the Yeltsin years. That he himself is a corrupt oligarch I have no particular doubt of. But if he just wanted to enrich himself, he's had a very funny way of going about it. Pray tell, what are these 'other interpretations'?

"The US foreign policy has been disastrous for millions of people since world war 2. But Cohen's arguments that Russia isn't as bad as the US is just a bunch of whattaboutism."

What countries has the Russian Federation destroyed?

witters , July 31, 2018 at 1:30 am

Here is a fascinating essay ["Are We Reading Russia Right?"] by Nicolai N. Petro who currently holds the Silvia-Chandley Professorship of Peace Studies and Nonviolence at the University of Rhode Island. His books include, Ukraine
in Crisis (Routledge, 2017), Crafting Democracy (Cornell, 2004), The Rebirth of Russian Democracy (Harvard, 1995), and Russian Foreign Policy, co-authored with Alvin Z. Rubinstein (Longman, 1997). A graduate of the University of Virginia, he is the recipient of Fulbright awards to Russia and to Ukraine, as well as fellowships from the Foreign Policy Research Institute, the National Council for Eurasian and East European Research, the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies in Washington,
D.C., and the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. As a Council on Foreign Relations Fellow, he served as special assistant for policy toward the Soviet Union in the U.S. Department of State from 1989 to 1990. In addition to scholarly publications
on Russia and Ukraine, he has written for Asia Times, American Interest, Boston Globe, Christian Science Monitor, The Guardian (UK), The Nation, New York Times, and Wilson Quarterly. His writings have appeared frequently on the web sites of the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs and The National Interest.

I warn you – it is terrifying!

http://npetro.net/resources/Petro-FF+Spring+2018.pdf

Carolinian , July 30, 2018 at 8:55 am

Thanks for so much for this. Great stuff. Cohen says the emperor has no clothes so naturally the empire doesn't want him on television. I believe he has been on CNN one or two times and I saw him once on the PBS Newshour where the interviewer asked skeptical questions with a pained and skeptical look. He seems to be the only prominent person willing to stand up and call bs on the Russia hate. There are plenty of pundits and commentators who do that but not many Princeton professors.

Thye Rev Kev , July 30, 2018 at 9:04 am

It has been said in recent years that the greatest failure of American foreign policy was the invasion of Iraq. I think that they are wrong. The greatest failure, in my opinion, is to push both China and Russia together into a semi-official pact against American ambitions. In the same way that the US was able to split China from the USSR back in the seventies, the best option was for America to split Russia from China and help incorporate them into the western system. The waters for that idea have been so fouled by the Russia hysteria, if not dementia, that that is no longer a possibility. I just wish that the US would stop sowing dragon's teeth – it never ends well.

NotTimothyGeithner , July 30, 2018 at 9:45 am

The best option, but the "American exceptionalists" went nuts. Also, the usual play book of stoking fears of the "yellow menace" would have been too on the nose. Americans might not buy it, and there was a whole cottage industry of "the rising China threat" except the potential consumer market place and slave labor factories stopped that from happening.

Bringing Russia into the West effectively means Europe, and I think that creates a similar dynamic to a Russian/Chinese pact. The basic problem with the EU is its led by a relatively weak but very German power which makes the EU relatively weak or controllable as long as the German electorate is relatively sedate. I think they still need the international structures run by the U.S. to maintain their dominance. What Russia and the pre-Erdogan Turkey (which was never going to be admitted to the EU) presented was significant upsets to the existing EU order with major balances to Germany which I always believed would make the EU potentially more dynamic. Every decision wouldn't require a pilgrimage to Berlin. The British were always disinterested. The French had made arrangements with Germany, and Italy is still Italy. Putting Russia or Turkey (pre-Erdogan) would have disrupted this arrangement.

John Wright , July 30, 2018 at 11:11 am

>which is oddly not easy to locate on its site

It appeared to me that Aaron Mate knew he was dealing with a weak hand by the end of the interview.

When Mate stated "it's widely held that Putin is responsible for the killing of journalists and opposition activists who oppose him."

There are many widely held beliefs in the world, and that does not make them true.

For example, It was widely held, and still may be believed by some, that Saddam Hussein was involved in the events of 9/11.

It is widely believed that humans are not responsible, in any part, for climate change.

Mate may have been embarrassed when he saw the final version and as a courtesy to him, the interview was made more difficult to find.

pretzelattack , July 30, 2018 at 11:35 am

iirc he didn't say it was true.

Elizabeth Burton , July 30, 2018 at 7:18 pm

The Crimea voted to be annexed by Russia by a clear majority. The US overran Hawaii with total disregard for the wishes of the native population. Your comparison is invalid.

vato , July 31, 2018 at 3:37 am

"Putin's finger prints are all over the Balkan fiasco".How is that with Putin only becoming president in 2000 and the Nato bombing started way beforehand. It's ridiculous to think that Putin had any major influence at that time as govenor or director of the domestic intelligence service on what was going during the bombing of NATO on Belgrad. Even Gerhard Schroeder, then chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, admitted in an interview in 2014 with a major German Newspaper (Die Zeit) that this invasion of Nato was a fault and against international law!

Can you concrete what you mean by "fingerprints" or is this just another platitudes?

ewmayer , July 31, 2018 at 6:05 pm

"Somebody called it Trump derangement syndrome."

I believe that the full and proper name of the psychiatric disorder in question is Putin-Trump Derangement Syndrome [PTDS].

Symptoms include:

o Eager and uncritical ingestion and social-media regurgitation of even the most patently absurd MSM propaganda. For example, the meme that releasing factual information about actual election-meddling (as Wikileaks did about the Dem-establishment's rigging of its own nomination process in 2016) is a grave threat to American Democracy™;

o Recent-onset veneration of the intelligence agencies, whose stock in trade is spying on and lying to the American people, spreading disinformation, election rigging, torture and assassination and its agents, such as liar and perjurer Clapper and torturer Brennan;

o Rehabilitation of horrid unindicted GOP war criminals like G.W. Bush as alleged examples of "norms-respecting Republican patriots";

o Smearing of anyone who dares question the MSM-stoked hysteria as an America-hating Russian stooge.

[Jun 19, 2019] Washington's Dr. Strangeloves by Stephen F. Cohen

Notable quotes:
"... What is the significance of this story, apart from what it tells us about the graver dangers of the new US-Russian Cold War, which now includes, we are informed, a uniquely fraught "digital Cold War"? Not so long ago, mainstream liberal Democrats, and the Times itself, would have been outraged by revelations that defense and intelligence officials were making such existential policy behind the back of a president. No longer, it seems. There have been no liberal, Democratic, or for the most part any other, mainstream protests, but instead a lawyerly apologia justifying the intelligence-defense operation without the president's knowledge. ..."
"... As I have often emphasized, the long historical struggle for American-Russian (Soviet and post-Soviet) détente, or broad cooperation, has featured many acts of attempted sabotage on both sides, though most often by US intelligence and defense agencies. ..."
"... Now the sabotaging of détente appears be happening again. As the Times article makes clear, Washington's war party, or perhaps zealous Cold War party, referred to euphemistically by Sanger and Perlroth as "advocates of the more aggressive strategy," is on the move. ..."
"... Détente with Russia has always been a fiercely opposed, crisis-ridden policy pursuit, but one manifestly in the interests of the United States and the world. No American president can achieve it without substantial bipartisan support at home, which Trump manifestly lacks. What kind of catastrophe will it take -- in Ukraine, the Baltic region, Syria, or somewhere on Russia's electric grid -- to shock US Democrats and others out of what has been called, not unreasonably, their Trump Derangement Syndrome, particularly in the realm of American national security? Meanwhile, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has recently reset its Doomsday Clock to two minutes before midnight. ..."
Jun 19, 2019 | www.thenation.com

Occasionally, a revelatory, and profoundly alarming, article passes almost unnoticed, even when published on the front page of The New York Times . Such was the case with reporting by David E. Sanger and Nicole Perlroth , bearing the Strangelovian title "U.S. Buries Digital Land Mines to Menace Russia's Power Grid," which appeared in the print edition on June 16. The article contained two revelations.

First, according to Sanger and Perlroth, with my ellipses duly noted, "The United States is stepping up digital incursions into Russia's electric power grid. Advocates of the more aggressive strategy said it was long overdue " The operation "carries significant risk of escalating the daily digital Cold War between Washington and Moscow." Though under way at least since 2012, "now the American strategy has shifted more toward offense with the placement of potentially crippling malware inside the Russian system at a depth and with an aggressiveness that had never been tried before." At this point, the Times reporters add an Orwellian touch. The head of the U.S. Cyber Command characterizes the assault on Russia's grid, which affects everything from the country's water supply, medical services, and transportation to control over its nuclear weapons, as "the need to 'defend forward,'" because "they don't fear us."

Nowhere do Sanger and Perlroth seem alarmed by the implicit risks of this "defend forward" attack on the infrastructure of the other nuclear superpower. Indeed, they wonder "whether it would be possible to plunge Russia into darkness." And toward the end, they quote an American lawyer and former Obama official, whose expertise on the matter is unclear, to assure readers sanguinely, "We might have to risk taking some broken bones of our own from a counter response. Sometimes you have to take a bloody nose to not take a bullet in the head down the road." The "broken bones," "bloody nose," and "bullet" are, of course, metaphorical references to the potential consequences of nuclear war.

The second revelation comes midway in the Times story: "[President] Trump had not been briefed in any detail about the steps to place 'implants' inside the Russian grid" because "he might countermand it or discuss it with foreign officials." (Indeed, Trump issued an angry tweet when he saw the Times report, though leaving unclear which part of it most aroused his anger.)

What is the significance of this story, apart from what it tells us about the graver dangers of the new US-Russian Cold War, which now includes, we are informed, a uniquely fraught "digital Cold War"? Not so long ago, mainstream liberal Democrats, and the Times itself, would have been outraged by revelations that defense and intelligence officials were making such existential policy behind the back of a president. No longer, it seems. There have been no liberal, Democratic, or for the most part any other, mainstream protests, but instead a lawyerly apologia justifying the intelligence-defense operation without the president's knowledge.

The political significance, however, seems clear enough. The leak to the Times and the paper's publication of the article come in the run-up to a scheduled meeting between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G-20 meeting in Japan on June 28–29. Both leaders had recently expressed hope for improved US-Russian relations. On May 4, Trump again tweeted his longstanding aspiration for a "good/great relationship with Russia"; and this month Putin lamented that relations " are getting worse and worse " but hoped that he and Trump could move their countries beyond "the games played by intelligence services."

As I have often emphasized, the long historical struggle for American-Russian (Soviet and post-Soviet) détente, or broad cooperation, has featured many acts of attempted sabotage on both sides, though most often by US intelligence and defense agencies. Readers may recall the Eisenhower-Khrushchev summit meeting that was to take place in Paris in 1960, but which was aborted by the Soviet shoot-down of a US spy plane over the Soviet Union, an intrusive flight apparently not authorized by President Eisenhower. And more recently, the 2016 plan by then-President Obama and Putin for US-Russian cooperation in Syria, which was aborted by a Department of Defense attack on Russian-backed Syrian troops.

Now the sabotaging of détente appears be happening again. As the Times article makes clear, Washington's war party, or perhaps zealous Cold War party, referred to euphemistically by Sanger and Perlroth as "advocates of the more aggressive strategy," is on the move. Certainly, Trump has been repeatedly thwarted in his previous détente attempts, primarily by discredited Russiagate allegations that continue to be promoted by the war party even though they still lack any evidential basis. (It may also be recalled that his previous summit meeting with Putin was widely and shamefully assailed as "treason" by influential segments of the US political-media establishment.)

Détente with Russia has always been a fiercely opposed, crisis-ridden policy pursuit, but one manifestly in the interests of the United States and the world. No American president can achieve it without substantial bipartisan support at home, which Trump manifestly lacks. What kind of catastrophe will it take -- in Ukraine, the Baltic region, Syria, or somewhere on Russia's electric grid -- to shock US Democrats and others out of what has been called, not unreasonably, their Trump Derangement Syndrome, particularly in the realm of American national security? Meanwhile, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has recently reset its Doomsday Clock to two minutes before midnight.

This commentary is based on Stephen F. Cohen's most recent weekly discussion with the host of The John Batchelor Show . Now in their sixth year, previous installments are at TheNation.com . Ad Policy Stephen F. Cohen is a professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York University and Princeton University. A Nation contributing editor, his new book War With Russia? From Putin & Ukraine to Trump & Russiagate is available in paperback and in an ebook edition.

[Jun 02, 2019] Russiagate Is The #1 Threat To US National Security, Cohen

Jun 01, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

The systemwide US Russophobia that reached its nadir with Russiagate has created a "catastrophe" for both domestic politics and foreign relations that threatens the future of the American system, professor Stephen Cohen tells RT.

War with Russia could easily break out if the US insists on pursuing the policy of " demonization " that birthed Russiagate instead of returning to detente and cooperation, New York University professor emeritus of Russian history Stephen Cohen argues on Chris Hedges' On Contact. While NATO deliberately antagonized post-Soviet Russia by expanding up to its borders, the US deployed missile defense systems along those borders after scrapping an arms treaty, leaving President Vladimir Putin devoid of " illusions " about the goodwill of the West – but armed with " nuclear missiles that can evade and elude any missile defense system ."

" Now is the time for a serious, new arms control agreement. What do we get? Russiagate instead ."

https://www.youtube.com/embed/-wc94DRFCik

Cohen believes the conspiracy theory – which remains front-page news in US media despite being thoroughly discredited, both by independent investigators and last month by special counsel Robert Mueller's report – is the work of the CIA and its former director, John Brennan, who are dead set against any kind of cooperation with Russia. Attorney General William Barr, who is investigating the FBI over how the 2016 counterintelligence probe began, should take a look at Brennan and his agency, Cohen says.

" If our intelligence services are off the reservation to the point that they can first try to destroy a presidential candidate and then a president we need to know it ," Cohen says.

" This is the worst scandal in American history. It's the worst, at least, since the Civil War ."

And the damage wrought by this " catastrophe " hasn't stopped at the US border.

The idea that Trump is a Russian agent has been devastating to " our own institutions, to the presidency, to our electoral system, to Congress, to the American mainstream media, not to mention the damage it's done to American-Russian relations, the damage it has done to the way Russians, both elite Russians and young Russians, look at America today , " Cohen declares.

"Russiagate is one of the greatest new threats to national security. I have five listed in the book. Russia and China aren't on there. Russiagate is number one."

And the potential damage it could still cause is enormous.

Source:RT


Im4truth4all , 48 minutes ago link

Amazing, 30 million dollars spent for an investigation that produced nothing and some believe that Russiagate is still reality. This paranoia is unbelievable except for a psychotic public - pathetic.

Dickweed Wang , 2 hours ago link

If the neo-con/Nazi assholes embedded in the M.I.C. and the US government continue down this road of demonizing and antagonizing Russia it is not going to end well for the people of the US. Putin and the rest of the Russian leadership have made it crystal clear that they are only going to be pushed so far. The problem is when Russia snaps they are going to do their damdest to try to cut the head of the snake off in one shot. There's a good chance they could actually pull that off.

Snout the First , 2 hours ago link

Just exactly what did Russia do to "meddle" in our election?

- Did Russia hack the voting machines and change votes?

- Did Russia make illegal campaign contributions to Republicans?

- Did Russia facilitate people voting who weren't eligible to vote?

What exactly did Russia do?

[Jun 01, 2019] How Did Russiagate Begin by Stephen F. Cohen

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... War With Russia?: From Putin & Ukraine to Trump & Russiagate ..."
"... The relatively obscure Papadopoulos suddenly found himself befriended by apparently influential people he had not previously known, among them Stefan Halper, Joseph Mifsud, Alexander Downer, and a woman calling herself Azra Turk. What we now know -- and what Papadopoulos did not know at the time -- is that all of them had ties to US and/or UK and Western European intelligence agencies. ..."
"... The important news is Barr's expressed intention to investigate the role of other US intelligence agencies, not just the FBI, which obviously means the CIA when it was headed by John Brennan and Brennan's partner at the time, James Clapper, then director of national intelligence ..."
"... I argued in The Nation , Brennan, not Obama's hapless FBI Director James Comey, was the godfather of Russiagate, a thesis for which more evidence has since appeared . ..."
"... Thus far, Barr has been cautious in his public statements. He has acknowledged there was "spying," or surveillance, on the Trump campaign, which can be legal, but he surely knows that in the case of Papadopoulos (and possibly of General Michael Flynn), what happened was more akin to entrapment, which is never legal. ..."
"... Barr might ask Schumer what he meant and why he felt the need to be the menacing messenger of Intel agencies, wittingly or not ..."
"... But Barr's thorniest problem may be understanding the woeful role of mainstream media in Russiagate. As Lee Smith, who contributed important investigative reporting, has written : "The press is part of the operation, the indispensable part. None of it would have been possible had the media not linked arms with spies, cops, and lawyers to relay a story first spun by Clinton operatives." How does Barr explore this "indispensable" complicity of the media in originating and perpetuating the Russiagate fraud without impermissibly infringing on the freedom of the press? ..."
"... Ideally, mainstream media -- print and broadcast -- would now themselves report on how and why they permitted intelligence officials, through leaks and anonymous sources, and as "opinion" commentators, to use their pages and programming to promote Russiagate for so long, and why they so excluded well-informed, nonpartisan alternative opinions. ..."
"... The Washington Post ..."
"... Such is the seeming panic of the Russiagate media over Barr's investigation, which promises to declassify related documents, that The New York Times ..."
"... Finally, but most crucially, what was the real reason US intelligence agencies launched a discrediting operation against Trump? Was it because, as seems likely, they intensely disliked his campaign talk of "cooperation with Russia," which seemed to mean the prospect of a new US-Russian détente? ..."
"... Nor, it seems clear, did the CIA stop. In March 2018, the current director, Gina Haspel, flatly lied to President Trump about an incident in the UK in order to persuade him to escalate measures against Moscow, which he then reluctantly did. ..."
"... The New York Times ..."
"... "Spygate is the first American scandal in which the government wants the facts published transparently but the media want to cover them up." ..."
Jun 01, 2019 | www.thenation.com

... ... ...

The third possible explanation -- one I have termed "Intelgate," and that I explore in my recent book War With Russia?: From Putin & Ukraine to Trump & Russiagate -- is that US intelligence agencies undertook an operation to damage, if not destroy, first the candidacy and then the presidency of Donald Trump. More evidence of "Intelgate" has since appeared.

For example, the intelligence community has said it began its investigation in April 2016 because of a few innocuous remarks by a young, lowly Trump foreign-policy adviser, George Papadopoulos. The relatively obscure Papadopoulos suddenly found himself befriended by apparently influential people he had not previously known, among them Stefan Halper, Joseph Mifsud, Alexander Downer, and a woman calling herself Azra Turk. What we now know -- and what Papadopoulos did not know at the time -- is that all of them had ties to US and/or UK and Western European intelligence agencies.

US Attorney General William Barr now proposes to investigate the origins of Russiagate. He has appointed yet another special prosecutor, John Durham, to do so, but the power to decide the range and focus of the investigation will remain with Barr.

The important news is Barr's expressed intention to investigate the role of other US intelligence agencies, not just the FBI, which obviously means the CIA when it was headed by John Brennan and Brennan's partner at the time, James Clapper, then director of national intelligence. As I argued in The Nation , Brennan, not Obama's hapless FBI Director James Comey, was the godfather of Russiagate, a thesis for which more evidence has since appeared . We should hope that Barr intends to exclude nothing, including the two foundational texts of the deceitful Russiagate narrative: the Steele Dossier and, directly related, the contrived but equally ramifying Intelligence Community Assessment of January 2017. (Not coincidentally, they were made public at virtually the same time, inflating Russiagate into an obsessive national scandal.)

Thus far, Barr has been cautious in his public statements. He has acknowledged there was "spying," or surveillance, on the Trump campaign, which can be legal, but he surely knows that in the case of Papadopoulos (and possibly of General Michael Flynn), what happened was more akin to entrapment, which is never legal. Barr no doubt also recalls, and will likely keep in mind, the astonishing warning Senator Charles Schumer issued to President-elect Trump in January 2017: "Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you." (Indeed, Barr might ask Schumer what he meant and why he felt the need to be the menacing messenger of Intel agencies, wittingly or not .)

But Barr's thorniest problem may be understanding the woeful role of mainstream media in Russiagate. As Lee Smith, who contributed important investigative reporting, has written : "The press is part of the operation, the indispensable part. None of it would have been possible had the media not linked arms with spies, cops, and lawyers to relay a story first spun by Clinton operatives." How does Barr explore this "indispensable" complicity of the media in originating and perpetuating the Russiagate fraud without impermissibly infringing on the freedom of the press?

Ideally, mainstream media -- print and broadcast -- would now themselves report on how and why they permitted intelligence officials, through leaks and anonymous sources, and as "opinion" commentators, to use their pages and programming to promote Russiagate for so long, and why they so excluded well-informed, nonpartisan alternative opinions. Instead, they have almost unanimously reported and broadcast negatively, even antagonistically, about Barr's investigation, and indeed about Barr personally. ( The Washington Post even found a way to print this: "William Barr looks like a toad ")

Such is the seeming panic of the Russiagate media over Barr's investigation, which promises to declassify related documents, that The New York Times again trotted out its easily debunked fiction that public disclosures will endanger a purported US informant, a Kremlin mole, at Putin's side.

Finally, but most crucially, what was the real reason US intelligence agencies launched a discrediting operation against Trump? Was it because, as seems likely, they intensely disliked his campaign talk of "cooperation with Russia," which seemed to mean the prospect of a new US-Russian détente? Even fervent political and media opponents of Trump should want to know who is making foreign policy in Washington. The next intel target might be their preferred candidate or president, or a foreign policy they favor.

Nor, it seems clear, did the CIA stop. In March 2018, the current director, Gina Haspel, flatly lied to President Trump about an incident in the UK in order to persuade him to escalate measures against Moscow, which he then reluctantly did. Several non–mainstream media outlets have reported the true story. Typically, The New York Times , on April 17 of this year, reported it without correcting Haspel's falsehood.

We are left, then, with this paradox, formulated in a tweet on May 24 by the British journalist John O'Sullivan: "Spygate is the first American scandal in which the government wants the facts published transparently but the media want to cover them up."

This commentary is based on Stephen F. Cohen's most recent weekly discussion with the host of The John Batchelor Show . Now in their sixth year, previous installments are at TheNation.com .

[May 13, 2019] Russiagate Zealotry Continues To Endanger Western National Security

It is true that "Russiagate is the worst, most corrosive, and most fraudulent political scandal in modern American history."
Notable quotes:
"... But equally alarming, Russiagate continues to endanger American national security by depriving a US president, for the first time in the nuclear age, of the diplomatic flexibility to deal with a Kremlin leader in times of crisis. ..."
"... A major subject of the conversation was unavoidably the growing conflict over Venezuela, where Washington and Moscow have long-standing economic and political interests. Trump administration spokespeople have warned Moscow against interfering in America's neighborhood, ignoring, of course, Washington's deep involvement for years in the former Soviet republics of Ukraine and Georgia. Kremlin representatives, on the other hand, have warned Washington against violating Venezuela's sovereignty. Increasingly, there is talk, at least in Moscow policy circles, of a Cuban Missile–like crisis, the closest the United States and Russia (then Soviet Russia) ever came to nuclear war. ..."
"... To the extent, however remote, that Venezuela might grow into a Cuba-like US-Russian military confrontation, would Trump be sufficiently free of Russiagate allegations to resolve it peacefully, as President John Kennedy did in 1962? Judging by mainstream media commentary on the May 3 phone conversation, the answer seems to be no. Considering the mounting confrontation in Venezuela, Trump was right, even obligated, to call Putin, but he got no applause, only condemnation. ..."
"... Senator Amy Klobuchar and Representative Eric Swalwell, both candidates for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, also expressed deep suspicion regarding the Trump-Putin phone talk. Swalwell was sure it meant that Trump "acts on their behalf," that he "is putting the Russians' interests ahead of the United States' interests." (Voters may wonder if these candidates and quite a few others who continue to promote extremist Russiagate allegations are emerging American statesmen.) ..."
"... Russiagate's unproven allegations are an aggressive malignancy spreading through America's politics to the most vital areas of national security policy. A full nonpartisan investigation into their origins is urgently needed, but US intelligence agencies were almost certainly present at their creation, which is why I have long argued that Russiagate is actually Intelgate . If so, James Comey, then FBI director, was present at the creation, though initially in a lesser role than were President Barack Obama's CIA Director John Brennan and intelligence overlord James Clapper. ..."
"... Comey recently deplored Attorney General William Barr's declaration that US intelligence agencies resorted to "spying" on the Trump campaign. (In fact, Barr mischaracterized what happened: The agencies, first and foremost Brennan's CIA, it seems, ran an entrapment operation against members of the campaign.) Comey warned Barr that he will discover that Trump "has eaten your soul." ..."
"... It would be more accurate to say -- and certainly more important -- that baseless Russiagate allegations are eating America's national security. ..."
"... That, doc, is the raison d'etre of Russiagate. That's how far this coup d'etat in Washington has gotten. The showrunners/secret coupsters finally going public with the previously surmised fact that they, not Trump, are running the show and that DJT is just their official tweetsman. ..."
"... So fake news and fake collusion now rule the country? NOT! The President has more power now then he had prior to the Mueller Report being released, the report shows clear obstruction from the Mueller team as they failed to do the basics in investigation, ..."
"... the Mainstream Media has become a threat to democracy and the number one enemy of the American People while "endangering national security" for us all. ..."
"... The mainstream media is a wholly controlled subsidiary of the Military-Industrial complex, via secret government programs such as Operation Mockingbird and doubtless several others. ..."
May 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Russiagate Zealotry Continues To Endanger Western National Security

by Tyler Durden Sun, 05/12/2019 - 23:30 3 SHARES Authored by Stephen Cohen via The Nation,

If Venezuela becomes a Cuban Missile–like Crisis, will Trump be free to resolve it peacefully?

Now in its third year, Russiagate is the worst, most corrosive, and most fraudulent political scandal in modern American history. It rests on two related core allegations: that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an "attack on American democracy" during the 2016 presidential campaign in order to put Donald Trump in the White House, and that Trump and his associates willfully colluded, or conspired, in this Kremlin "attack." As I have argued from the outset -- see my regular commentaries posted at TheNation.com and my recent book War With Russia? -- and as recently confirmed, explicitly and tacitly, by special prosecutor Robert Mueller's report, there is no factual evidence for either allegation.

Nonetheless, these Russiagate allegations, not "Putin's Russia," continue to inflict grave damage on fundamental institutions of American democracy. They impugn the integrity of the presidency and now the office of the attorney general. They degrade the many Democratic members of Congress who persist in clinging to the allegations and thus the Democratic Party and Congress. And they have enticed mainstream media into one of the worst episodes of journalistic malpractice in modern times .

But equally alarming, Russiagate continues to endanger American national security by depriving a US president, for the first time in the nuclear age, of the diplomatic flexibility to deal with a Kremlin leader in times of crisis. We were given a vivid example in July 2018, when Trump held a summit with the current Kremlin occupant, as every president had done since Dwight Eisenhower. For that conventional, even necessary, act of diplomacy, Trump was widely accused of treasonous behavior, a charge that persists. Now we have another alarming example of this reckless disregard for US national security on the part of Russiagate zealots.

On May 3, Trump called Putin. They discussed various issues, including the Mueller report. (As before, Putin had to know if Trump was free to implement any acts of security cooperation they might agree on. Indeed, the Russian policy elite openly debates this question, many of its members having decided that Trump cannot cooperate with Russia no matter his intentions.)

A major subject of the conversation was unavoidably the growing conflict over Venezuela, where Washington and Moscow have long-standing economic and political interests. Trump administration spokespeople have warned Moscow against interfering in America's neighborhood, ignoring, of course, Washington's deep involvement for years in the former Soviet republics of Ukraine and Georgia. Kremlin representatives, on the other hand, have warned Washington against violating Venezuela's sovereignty. Increasingly, there is talk, at least in Moscow policy circles, of a Cuban Missile–like crisis, the closest the United States and Russia (then Soviet Russia) ever came to nuclear war.

To the extent, however remote, that Venezuela might grow into a Cuba-like US-Russian military confrontation, would Trump be sufficiently free of Russiagate allegations to resolve it peacefully, as President John Kennedy did in 1962? Judging by mainstream media commentary on the May 3 phone conversation, the answer seems to be no. Considering the mounting confrontation in Venezuela, Trump was right, even obligated, to call Putin, but he got no applause, only condemnation. To take some random examples:

None of these "opinion leaders" mentioned the danger of a US-Russian military confrontation over Venezuela or elsewhere on the several fraught fronts of the new Cold War. Indeed, retired admiral James Stavridis, once supreme allied commander of NATO forces and formerly associated with Hillary Clinton's campaign, all but proposed war on Russia in retaliation for its "attack on our democracy," including "unprecedented measures" such as cyberattacks.

Russiagate's unproven allegations are an aggressive malignancy spreading through America's politics to the most vital areas of national security policy. A full nonpartisan investigation into their origins is urgently needed, but US intelligence agencies were almost certainly present at their creation, which is why I have long argued that Russiagate is actually Intelgate . If so, James Comey, then FBI director, was present at the creation, though initially in a lesser role than were President Barack Obama's CIA Director John Brennan and intelligence overlord James Clapper.

Comey recently deplored Attorney General William Barr's declaration that US intelligence agencies resorted to "spying" on the Trump campaign. (In fact, Barr mischaracterized what happened: The agencies, first and foremost Brennan's CIA, it seems, ran an entrapment operation against members of the campaign.) Comey warned Barr that he will discover that Trump "has eaten your soul."

It would be more accurate to say -- and certainly more important -- that baseless Russiagate allegations are eating America's national security.


Real Estate Guru , 16 minutes ago link

President Trump Calls Out FBI Director Christopher Wray: "the director is protecting the coup gang"
Posted on May 12, 2019 by sundance
This is good to see. Finally President Trump indicates he is well aware of the intents and motives of FBI Director Christopher Wray covering for the illegal coup effort:

President Trump may have been aware of Chris Wray's corrupt disposition prior to today; however, this is the first visible indication he understands the internecine organization of it. Hopefully we can start the countdown clock to Wray's exit.

Next up, Chris Wray's #1 strategic hire, current FBI Legal Counsel Dana Boente.

Real Estate Guru , 20 minutes ago link

President Trump Calls Out FBI Director Christopher Wray: 'The FBI Has No Leadership; The Director is Protecting the Same Gang That Tried to Overthrow the President Through an Illegal Coup'....

He will be fired soon.

francis scott falseflag , 25 minutes ago link

Russiagate deprives ... a US president, for the first time in the nuclear age, of the diplomatic flexibility to deal with a Kremlin leader in times of crisis

That, doc, is the raison d'etre of Russiagate. That's how far this coup d'etat in Washington has gotten. The showrunners/secret coupsters finally going public with the previously surmised fact that they, not Trump, are running the show and that DJT is just their official tweetsman.

Sounds right to me.

would Trump be sufficiently free of Russiagate allegations to resolve it peacefully, as President John Kennedy did in 1962?

But Trump wouldn't be the one peacefully resolving anything. He was deprived of it by more important powers that be. So he'll only get an award from the MSM for his portrayal/impression of a 21st Century American statesman/politician.

Which will set the bar quite high for future Trumps-to-come.

VWAndy , 1 hour ago link

Corruption is the biggest threat to mankind. All this other stuff is just for show.

TeethVillage88s , 51 minutes ago link

GWB seized all kinds of power after 911, Bill Clinton got big power for Fast Track of WTO & NAFTA, Presidential Signing Orders or Executive Powers become Increased as I remember under GWB then expanded under Obama, Bill Clinton took extended time in bombing campaign in Balkans above congressional war powers act, but GWB seemed to have complete war powers in his admin, Dirty War Powers included,... Point is that Democrats & Republicans, the Money Party, the One Party conveniently forget that powers granted to Dems or GOP... are then available in corrupt universe of USSA...

Senator Amy Klobuchar and Representative Eric Swalwell, both candidates for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, also expressed deep suspicion regarding the Trump-Putin phone talk

How will Dims feel when the Next Obama get in and people want to witch hunt all his first phone calls for foreign leaders?

HopefulJoe , 1 hour ago link

So fake news and fake collusion now rule the country? NOT! The President has more power now then he had prior to the Mueller Report being released, the report shows clear obstruction from the Mueller team as they failed to do the basics in investigation, they also purposefully ignored the obvious to continue with the fake investigation in order to impede the President. The President is now more powerful as ever as the slow and methodical take down of the left deep state continues. In the coming weeks it will become more and more evident to the masses that the President was clearly correct and the attempted coupe of the President was real and has failed. The mainstream media will become even less relevant despite all of their efforts.

Congress will soon have no choice but to act in protecting free speech and the hand of all the CIA controlled media will be tied and bound for generations to come...

libtears , 1 hour ago link

The real Russia Gate is the Russians got all the classified emails from Hillarys server

VWAndy , 1 hour ago link

Everyone saw them except the US genpop. Russia,China,Israeli, UK everyone. Thats what she was selling is my guess. Prolly had the whole fn country up for sale. Like a ebay for selling off everything. Cops, judges, senators and congress people. Who is to say they were not just selling it off by the slice like pizza?

CaptainObvious , 1 hour ago link

And the Chinese, and the Koreans. Hell, I wouldn't be surprised to find the Nigerian scammers got a piece of that action.

LEEPERMAX , 2 hours ago link

THE RUSSIAGATE SCAM has shown us . . .

the Mainstream Media has become a threat to democracy and the number one enemy of the American People while "endangering national security" for us all.

IntercoursetheEU , 1 hour ago link

Christoper Steele is still at work: https://twitter.com/PoliPsyche/status/1127015531654070277

r0mulus , 1 hour ago link

The mainstream media is a wholly controlled subsidiary of the Military-Industrial complex, via secret government programs such as Operation Mockingbird and doubtless several others.

It is likely that the MIC, long puppeteered by shadowy financial forces through the Federal Reserve and Bank of England, is doing everything it can to prevent Trump from disturbing it's long running plans to encircle and subdue Russia via Mackinder's "Heartland" theory. Preventing Trump from reaching across the divide to constructively engage with Putin and Russia to break the economic stranglehold on their country is paramount to their strategy.

One would be right to wonder why the British government is so intimately engaged in all of these provocations. Could it be that they fear a loss of power and influence that could result from a continental Europe more closely aligned with Russian interests? This question is central to our current dilemma here in the states, unfortunately.

It's absolutely vital that the American people learn of the treachery of the British elites before it is too late. Perfidious Albion, indeed...

Real Estate Guru , 2 hours ago link

Compared to Nadler, Pelosi, Schiff, Waters, Comey, Hillary, Obama, Mueller, the MSM, CNN, PMSNBC, and all the rest of the loonatic left, Uncle Vladmmir Putin looks pretty good!

Dasvadaniya comrades!! (of course I am kidding you schmucks!)

LMAO!! what a joke these people are.

Do the declass Trump! And the IG Report!!! NOW!!!

[May 09, 2019] Russiagate Zealotry Continues to Endanger American National Security by Stephen F. Cohen

Notable quotes:
"... Stephen F. Cohen is a professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York University and Princeton University. A Nation contributing editor, his new book War With Russia? From Putin & Ukraine to Trump & Russiagate is available in paperback and in an ebook edition. ..."
"... What we are witnessing now is the almost complete ignorance in the MSM and among people like Clapper about the extraordinary damage done to the Russian economy under Clinton in the 1990s, a story well told by Mr. Cohen in the book "Failed Crusade." The immense hypocrisy of accusing Russia of interference in 2016 leaves me breathless. The US has been interfering in the affairs of every major country on earth, beginning with War of 1812 ..."
"... I recall an interesting comment by Mao Zedong about the Cuban Missile Crisis in which Mao said that Nikita Khrushchev was stupid to put missiles in Cuba and he was a coward to take them out. ..."
"... Based on the recent conversations between Stephen Cohen and John Batchelor, I'll paraphrase Mao's comment to say that the intelligence agencies were stupid to originate Russiagate and the Democrats and their media allies are cowards not to stop it. ..."
"... Pompous comes out and says the US is back and we're a force for good. This in the face of widespread destruction all over the Middle East, hundreds of thousands of dead, the creation of numerous groups of crazy zealots that we created, cultivated, and supported to be our proxies in the overthrow of elected governments. All of that death and destruction, including that perpetrated by our proxies is 100% the fault and responsibility of the United States. But Pompous and the American people in general are so myopic that they don't see all that. Thank you, worthless press. If the press actually told the American people what was being done in their name, I think most of us would be disgusted but they don't. They cheer lead for the beltway and their imperial pretensions. ..."
"... If Clapper and Brennan actually created a sting operation against the Trump Campaign, would you denounce that act? If Obama had approved such an operation, would you believe he was ethically entitled to do such? ..."
May 09, 2019 | www.thenation.com
N ow in its third year, Russiagate is the worst, most corrosive, and most fraudulent political scandal in modern American history. It rests on two related core allegations: that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an "attack on American democracy" during the 2016 presidential campaign in order to put Donald Trump in the White House, and that Trump and his associates willfully colluded, or conspired, in this Kremlin "attack." As I have argued from the outset -- see my regular commentaries posted at TheNation.com and my recent book War With Russia? -- and as recently confirmed, explicitly and tacitly, by special prosecutor Robert Mueller's report, there is no factual evidence for either allegation.

Nonetheless, these Russiagate allegations, not "Putin's Russia," continue to inflict grave damage on fundamental institutions of American democracy. They impugn the integrity of the presidency and now the office of the attorney general. They degrade the many Democratic members of Congress who persist in clinging to the allegations and thus the Democratic Party and Congress. And they have enticed mainstream media into one of the worst episodes of journalistic malpractice in modern times .

But equally alarming, Russiagate continues to endanger American national security by depriving a US president, for the first time in the nuclear age, of the diplomatic flexibility to deal with a Kremlin leader in times of crisis. We were given a vivid example in July 2018, when Trump held a summit with the current Kremlin occupant, as every president had done since Dwight Eisenhower. For that conventional, even necessary, act of diplomacy, Trump was widely accused of treasonous behavior, a charge that persists. Now we have another alarming example of this reckless disregard for US national security on the part of Russiagate zealots.

On May 3, Trump called Putin. They discussed various issues, including the Mueller report. (As before, Putin had to know if Trump was free to implement any acts of security cooperation they might agree on. Indeed, the Russian policy elite openly debates this question, many of its members having decided that Trump cannot cooperate with Russia no matter his intentions.) A major subject of the conversation was unavoidably the growing conflict over Venezuela, where Washington and Moscow have long-standing economic and political interests. Trump administration spokespeople have warned Moscow against interfering in America's neighborhood, ignoring, of course, Washington's deep involvement for years in the former Soviet republics of Ukraine and Georgia. Kremlin representatives, on the other hand, have warned Washington against violating Venezuela's sovereignty. Increasingly, there is talk, at least in Moscow policy circles, of a Cuban Missile–like crisis, the closest the United States and Russia (then Soviet Russia) ever came to nuclear war.

To the extent, however remote, that Venezuela might grow into a Cuba-like US-Russian military confrontation, would Trump be sufficiently free of Russiagate allegations to resolve it peacefully, as President John Kennedy did in 1962? Judging by mainstream media commentary on the May 3 phone conversation, the answer seems to be no. Considering the mounting confrontation in Venezuela, Trump was right, even obligated, to call Putin, but he got no applause, only condemnation. To take some random examples:

§ Democratic Representative David Cicilline asked CNN's Chris Cuomo rhetorically on May 3, "Why does the president give the benefit of doubt to a person who attacked our democracy?" while assailing Trump for not confronting Putin with the Mueller report.

§ The same evening, CNN's Don Lemon editorialized on the phone call: "The president of the United States had just a normal old call with his pal Vladimir Putin. Didn't tell him not to interfere in the election. Like he did in 2016, like he did in 2018, like we know he is planning to do again in 2020 . You just don't seem to want us to know exactly what was said . Nothing to see when the president talks for more than an hour with the leader of an enemy nation. One that has repeatedly attacked our democracy and will do so again." (Lemon did not say on what he based the expanded, serial charges against Putin and thus against Trump or his allegation about the 2018 elections, which congressional Democrats mostly won, or his foreknowledge about 2020 or generally and with major ramifications why he branded Russia an "enemy nation.")

§ We might expect something more exalted from James Risen , once a critical-minded investigative reporter, who found it suspicious that "Trump and Putin were both eager to put the Mueller report behind them," even for the sake of needed diplomacy.

§ Senator Amy Klobuchar and Representative Eric Swalwell, both candidates for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, also expressed deep suspicion regarding the Trump-Putin phone talk. Swalwell was sure it meant that Trump "acts on their behalf," that he "is putting the Russians' interests ahead of the United States' interests." (Voters may wonder if these candidates and quite a few others who continue to promote extremist Russiagate allegations are emerging American statesmen.)

§ Not surprisingly, a Washington Post opinion writer argued that the phone call meant "Trump is counting on Russian help to get reelected."

None of these "opinion leaders" mentioned the danger of a US-Russian military confrontation over Venezuela or elsewhere on the several fraught fronts of the new Cold War. Indeed, retired admiral James Stavridis, once supreme allied commander of NATO forces and formerly associated with Hillary Clinton's campaign, all but proposed war on Russia in retaliation for its "attack on our democracy," including "unprecedented measures" such as cyberattacks.

Russiagate's unproven allegations are an aggressive malignancy spreading through America's politics to the most vital areas of national security policy. A full nonpartisan investigation into their origins is urgently needed, but US intelligence agencies were almost certainly present at their creation, which is why I have long argued that Russiagate is actually Intelgate . If so, James Comey, then FBI director, was present at the creation, though initially in a lesser role than were President Barack Obama's CIA Director John Brennan and intelligence overlord James Clapper.

Comey recently deplored Attorney General William Barr's declaration that US intelligence agencies resorted to "spying" on the Trump campaign. (In fact, Barr mischaracterized what happened: The agencies, first and foremost Brennan's CIA, it seems, ran an entrapment operation against members of the campaign.) Comey warned Barr that he will discover that Trump "has eaten your soul."

It would be more accurate to say -- and certainly more important -- that baseless Russiagate allegations are eating America's national security.

This commentary is based on Stephen F. Cohen's most recent weekly discussion with the host of The John Batchelor Show. Now in their sixth year, previous installments are at TheNation.com .

Stephen F. Cohen is a professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York University and Princeton University. A Nation contributing editor, his new book War With Russia? From Putin & Ukraine to Trump & Russiagate is available in paperback and in an ebook edition.


Phillip Sawicki says: May 9, 2019 at 7:52 pm

What we are witnessing now is the almost complete ignorance in the MSM and among people like Clapper about the extraordinary damage done to the Russian economy under Clinton in the 1990s, a story well told by Mr. Cohen in the book "Failed Crusade." The immense hypocrisy of accusing Russia of interference in 2016 leaves me breathless. The US has been interfering in the affairs of every major country on earth, beginning with War of 1812.

In case people have forgotten, The US sought to annex Canada. The Canadians resisted, and so then the US set up a false flag attack in 1845 to start the Mexican-American War. Hundreds of interventions in other countries, but if someone is alleged to have done so to us, it's a capital crime. What arrogance!

Victor Sciamarelli says: May 9, 2019 at 4:17 pm

I recall an interesting comment by Mao Zedong about the Cuban Missile Crisis in which Mao said that Nikita Khrushchev was stupid to put missiles in Cuba and he was a coward to take them out.

Based on the recent conversations between Stephen Cohen and John Batchelor, I'll paraphrase Mao's comment to say that the intelligence agencies were stupid to originate Russiagate and the Democrats and their media allies are cowards not to stop it.

Another point is that the downside of the policy elites' belief in "American exceptionalism" is that it is also a trap. They claim our "indispensable nation" rests upon values and principles such as the rule of law, respect for human rights, and freedom of speech, even though reality often tells us something different.

Thus, if Putin is a thug, if not a murderer, who attacked the US, undermined our democracy, and is an autocrat who cares nothing about our values and principles, then what place is there for diplomacy because you can't negotiate or compromise our immutable principles and values.
Another observation is we often hear the statement that, "All options are on the table." This sounds tough to an American mind because it includes nuclear weapons. All options means all options. Nonetheless, someone else might interpret this to mean you are not confident or certain that your conventional forces are capable of doing the mission and you are more likely or willing to resort to a nuclear weapon. This can make any confrontation whether in Venezuela, Ukraine, Syria, or Iran more dangerous that it needs to be.

In addition, Trump has sent an aircraft carrier group to the Middle East. The Guardian on May 6, 2019, stated that according to one report, information passed on by Israeli intelligence contributed to the US threat assessment.

If we are now approaching war based on Israeli intelligence then I think we are also approaching our Dr. Strangelove moment.

Jeffrey Harrison says: May 9, 2019 at 11:55 am

Arrogance, myopia. Those two words define the US today.

Pompous comes out and says the US is back and we're a force for good. This in the face of widespread destruction all over the Middle East, hundreds of thousands of dead, the creation of numerous groups of crazy zealots that we created, cultivated, and supported to be our proxies in the overthrow of elected governments. All of that death and destruction, including that perpetrated by our proxies is 100% the fault and responsibility of the United States. But Pompous and the American people in general are so myopic that they don't see all that. Thank you, worthless press. If the press actually told the American people what was being done in their name, I think most of us would be disgusted but they don't. They cheer lead for the beltway and their imperial pretensions.

This Stavridis bozo is a prime example. "all but proposed war on Russia in retaliation for its "attack on our democracy," including "unprecedented measures" such as cyber attacks." I realize that we are in a post proof world where any claim, no matter how inane, is automatically taken as proven. No actual proof required. The "attack on our democracy" is based on this totally bogus claim (never proven) that Russia hacked into the DNC's e-mails (on a server that no law enforcement agency ever inspected to prove the claim of hacking) that undermined our democracy by revealing how corrupt and slimy the DNC actually is. All the while we're so myopic that we don't see the Republican party destroying our democracy from within with voter ID requirements for a non-existent problem, gerrymandering themselves into a permanent majority of a minority, voter suppression schemes such as purging voter rolls, closing polling places, and generally making it difficult for people to vote.

But this Stavridis bozo wasn't done yet. The Russians he claims perpetrated unprecedented measures such as cyber attacks. Really? The only cyber attacks that I'm actually aware of in the US were actually perpetrated by the Department of Homeland Security who was playing bureaucratic turf games. The admiral's ignorance is in full display when he forgets the STUXTNET worm that absolutely was a cyber attack on Iran by the US and Israel, and that the NSA hacked the personal cell phone of Angela Merkel, the Prime Minister of Germany, and the trick revealed by Ed Snowden that the NSA would open computer boxes destined for certain countries and install chips that would allow us to control the server, or that the only known backdoor in a piece of Hauwei equipment was installed there by the NSA.

I'm suspecting that we need to clean up our act a lot more that most of the rest of the world.

J McCormick says: May 8, 2019 at 11:57 pm

So much scorn heaped on members of the opposition party and the media and what I hear here is a call for respect for and deference to the office of the presidency.

If there is cause for concern and worry , and I fervently believe that there is , I leave it to others to offer up what they believe that cause might be.

History records that that the Congress relinquished powers that were properly theirs (trade, war powers) and now they so far appear impotent in the face of executive overreach when an effective check on the executive branch is critically needed.

Even if your opinion runs counter to mine I am reasonably certain we agree that dysfunction and chaos rule the day in Washington and beyond.

Clark Shanahan says: May 9, 2019 at 6:26 pm

"So much scorn heaped on members of the opposition party and the media"
Tell me, J., do you believe Russia is our adversary?
If so, when did they become such?

If Clapper and Brennan actually created a sting operation against the Trump Campaign, would you denounce that act? If Obama had approved such an operation, would you believe he was ethically entitled to do such?

[May 02, 2019] Mueller's Own Mysteries

The investigation was weak and biased: the real McCarthyism witch hunt. Mueller Mifsud blunder now will be played by Nunes and other republicans to the fullest extent possible, althouth this is only a tip of the iceberg of Mueller corruption. Other parts are too dangerous to expose and will be swiped under the carpet.
Notable quotes:
"... Mueller begins, on Page 1, with this assertion: "The Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion." Maybe so, but Mueller, who is not averse to editorializing and contextualizing elsewhere in the report, gives readers no historical background or context for this large generalization. ..."
"... Readers might wonder if, had Hillary Clinton won the 2016 election, there even would have been a Russiagate and Mueller investigation. ..."
"... Mueller repeatedly attributes to Trump campaign members and Russians who interacted in 2016, potentially in sinister or even criminal ways, a desire for "improved U.S.-Russian relations," for "bringing the end of the new Cold War," for a "new beginning with Russia." ..."
"... As reflected in the text and footnotes, Mueller relies heavily on reports by US intelligence agencies , but without treating the recorded misdeeds of those agencies, particularly the CIA under John Brennan , in promoting the Russiagate saga. ..."
"... Mueller reports that Mifsud "had connections to Russia" (p. 5), although a simple Google search suggests that Mifsud was indeed an "agent" but not a Russian one, as widely alleged in media accounts. ..."
"... Toward the end of the first volume (pp. 144, 146), Mueller produces a truly stunning revelation, though he seems unaware of it. After the 2016 US presidential election, the Kremlin "appeared not to have preexisting contacts with senior officials around the President-Elect." Even more, "Putin spoke of the difficulty faced by the Russian government in getting in touch with the incoming Trump Administration . Putin indicated that he did not know with whom formally to speak and generally did not know the people around the President-Elect." ..."
"... So much for all the shameful Russiagate allegations of Trump-Putin collusion, conspiracy, even treason. Surely it means the United States needs another, different investigation, one into the actual origins and meaning of this fraudulent, corrosive, exceedingly dangerous, and still unending American political scandal. ..."
May 01, 2019 | www.thenation.com

Special prosecutor Robert S. Mueller III's two-volume " Report on the Investigation Into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election " is not an easy read -- not unlike those manuals that come boxed with "easy to assemble" multipart children's toys on Christmas Eve. Nonetheless, considering the exceedingly damaging effects Russiagate has had on America at home and abroad for nearly three years, the report will long be studied for what it reveals and does not reveal, what it includes and does not include.

Because of my own special interest in Russia, I read carefully the first volume, which focuses on that country's purported role in the scandal. I came away with as many questions about the report as about the role of Moscow and that of candidate and then President Donald Trump. To note a few:

So much for all the shameful Russiagate allegations of Trump-Putin collusion, conspiracy, even treason. Surely it means the United States needs another, different investigation, one into the actual origins and meaning of this fraudulent, corrosive, exceedingly dangerous, and still unending American political scandal.

This commentary is based on Stephen F. Cohen's most recent weekly discussion with the host of The John Batchelor Show . Now in their sixth year, previous installments are at TheNation.com .

[Apr 20, 2019] Is Trump for Detente or Militarism - RAI with Stephen Cohen (2-5)

Notable quotes:
"... Great points, Mr. Cohen....this protracted attack on Russia via the phoney "Russiagate" investigation has set back relations with Russia for years to come. ..."
"... That Trump represents a thinking that the post Soviet reality is not of a uni-superpower world, but one of a multi-polar world dominated by US economic empire. ..."
"... After reading "Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century" in 2005, I came to the idea that the most dangerous section of the American elite were those that posited this uni-superpower world order idea; ..."
"... The problem is the incorrigible Big C (Capital) that wanted to eat away Russian minerals that Putin stopped in national interest. Any subsequent cooperation from the Russian side was probably was only for strategic cooperation with the U.S. to have world peace. ..."
"... Not a word in Cohen's appraisal about US criminality. Jay was pushing in that direction. I hope they get around to the criminality of the Deep State Mafia. ..."
"... Despite all the chaos and the moral panics that keep rocking the White House, Trump's three National Security Advisors - Flynn, McMaster, Bolton - had one core commonality: they want war with Iran. Watching the sinister neo-con Jim Woolsey betray the frothing neo-con Flynn to Joe Biden was a comedy of neo-con infighting. A major part of Russiagate was the older 'Atlanticist' neo-cons boxing in the boorish 'Trumpist' neo-cons. Whether Atlantic Council or US-homegrown both flavors of neo-conservatism want war with Iran. ..."
Apr 20, 2019 | therealnews.com

PAUL JAY: Welcome back to Reality Asserts Itself on The Real News Network. I'm Paul Jay.

And we're continuing our series of discussions with Stephen Cohen. And his biography is down below the video player, and you really should watch the first few segments anyway and you'll get where we are. Thanks for joining us again.

STEPHEN COHEN: Thank you.

PAUL JAY: So I've watched several of your interviews. You've done Larry King and others, and you've been positive about Trump's attitude towards sort of a detente, lowering tensions with Russia. And in terms of my personal view, I think you're right. I think anything that lowers tensions between two nuclear powers is a good thing, and I think this self-righteous American attitude towards Putin and Russia– when you look at the scale of crimes committed by countries internationally, there is nothing that Russia has done that compares to the Iraq war, and go on and on with the United States has done, and to have some self-righteous attitude Two, it's clear it's so hypocritical to worry about political rights in Russia, because it's clear in terms of U.S. foreign policy if you can ally with Saudi Arabia, the Israeli occupation, and you name it how many dictators the United States has supported over the years, it's not about democracy.

So whatever Trump's intent is, I think I agree that this is a good thing. I actually think Trump framed it quite well himself, where he said, "Russia is not our adversary, they're our competitor, the way other big capitalist countries are our competitors." I think all that makes sense. Where I push back is I think you need to add that one of the prime reasons Trump wants to diminish tensions with Russia–assuming he really does, because some of the people that work for him, Nikki Haley in the UN and others, have said as outrageous stuff about Russia as any Democrat has said.

All that being said, I think the Trump presidency is one of the most dangerous presidencies ever, and he is planning and his whole foreign policy agenda has been regime change in Iran. And I think that if they don't accomplish that through economic warfare against Iran, with John Bolton there, the possibility of some kind of at least bombing attack on Iran before 2020 is very possible. One of the reasons I think he wants to lower tensions with Russia is so he can go after China. His acting defense secretary justified this new military expenditure, the new budget, the 765 billion dollar budget, with three words, "China, China, China." Their strategic vision–and you can see this in Steve Bannon's interviews and language–is diminish the tensions with Russia, go after Iran and go after China. And I think one needs to say this, otherwise it kind of looks like Trump is some kind of peacenik. And far from it, I think they're militarists.

STEPHEN COHEN: Not sure what the question is, though. Is it about–

PAUL JAY: Well, my question is, I think when you are saying positive things about Trump diminishing tensions with Russia, which I think is correct, but I think you need to add this guy does not have peaceful intentions, he's very dangerous.

STEPHEN COHEN: I live in a social realm–to the extent that I have any social life at all anymore– where people get very angry if I say, or anybody says, anything positive about Donald Trump. When Trump was campaigning in 2016, he said, "I think it would be great to cooperate with Russia." All of my adult life, my advocacy in American foreign policy–I've known presidents, the first George Bush invited me to Camp David to consult with him before he went to the Malta Summit. I've known presidential candidates, Senators and the rest, and I've always said the same thing. American national security runs through Moscow, period. Nothing's changed.

In the era of weapons of mass destruction, not only nuclear, but primarily nuclear, ever more sophisticated, the Russians now have a new generation of nuclear weapons–Putin announced them on March 1, they were dismissed here, but they're real–that can elude any missile defense. We spent trillions on missile defense to acquire a first strike capability against Russia. We said it was against or Iran, but nobody believed it. Russia has now thwarted us; they now have missile defense-evading nuclear weapons from submarines, to aircraft, to missiles. And Putin has said, "It's time to negotiate an end to this new arms race," and he's 100 percent right. So when I heard Trump say, in 2016, we have to cooperate with Russia, I had already become convinced–and I spell this out in my new book, War with Russia?–that we were in a new cold war, but a new cold war more dangerous than the preceding one for reasons I gave in the book, one of them being these new nuclear weapons.

So I began to speak positively about Trump at that moment–that would have been probably around the summer of 2016–just on this one point, because none of the other candidates were advocating cooperation with Russia. And as I told you before, Paul, all my life I've been a detente guy. Detente means cooperate with Russia. I saw in Trump the one candidate who said this is necessary, in his own funny language. Mrs. Clinton, on the other hand, was very much a hawk. When she said publicly that Vladimir Putin has no soul, you could not commit or utter a more supreme statement of anti-diplomacy, and particularly addressing the Russians, who put a lot of stock in soul. To say somebody has no soul and then go on to equate him with Hitler, I found that so irresponsible. I didn't vote for Trump, but I did begin to write and broadcast that this was of vital importance that we have this discussion, that we needed a new detente because of the new and more dangerous Cold War.

Since he's been president, I think he's been ineffective in regard to pursuing detente with Russia for a couple of reasons. I think that the people who invented Russiagate were the enemies of detente, and they piled on. So they've now demonized Russia, they've crippled Trump. Anything he does diplomatically with Putin is called collusion. No matter what Mueller says, it's collusion. This is anti-democracy, and detente is pursued through democracy. So whatever he really wants to do–it's hard to say–he's been thwarted. I think it's also one of the reasons why he put anti-detente people around him.

PAUL JAY: Why didn't he pull out of the arms treaty?

STEPHEN COHEN: So this is a separate issue now, and a complicated one. We have been in violation–let's be clear for folks which treaty we're talking about. We're talking about the so-called Intermediate-Range Treaty. This band of deployment of missiles that could fly roughly from 500, I think, to 3000 miles, they were exceedingly dangerous. The American ones have been based in Europe. They were very dangerous because they tested high-alert systems. They flew low, fast, they could elude radar. They were dangerous. Reagan and Gorbachev abolished them in 1987, correct? Now, stop and think for a minute, Paul. What Reagan and Gorbachev did in 1987 was the first ever, ever in history, act of nuclear abolitionism. They abolished an entire category of nuclear weapons. That was a sacred act. It needed to be cherished and preserved forever, no matter what difficulties emerged.

But then comes the history, and we need to remember the history. In 2002, the second President Bush withdrew the United States unilaterally from the Antiballistic Missile Treaty, correct? Now, this treaty was related, because it forbid the deployment of so-called missile defense in a way that either side, American or Russian, could think that it had such great missile defense, it had a first strike capability. And everybody agreed nobody should think that. Mutually assured destruction had kept us safe in the nuclear age. But if Russia or the United States gets a first strike capability, then you don't have assured mutual destruction, and some crazy person might be tempted to risk it. So how did the Russians react to that? They began to develop–as I said before, when we began to deploy missile defense–a new generation of weapons. In other words, you're getting this classic action, reaction, action, reaction that drove the previous nuclear arms race, and now it's happening again.

So that brings us to Trump's decision. We don't know yet where it's going to lead, because Trump has said we're withdrawing. He said the Russians have been in violation. But in fact, we've been in violation since we deployed the missile defense systems. Just for the record, by the way–and professor Theodore Postol at MIT has been very good about this–these missile defense installations that we've installed around Russia, land, air, and sea, can actually fire cruise missiles. They are in violation of that Intermediate-Range Treaty, so we've been in systematic violation. Pushes come to shove, we withdrew, the Russians have now withdrawn. But Trump has said two things that are interesting and maybe correct, that technically the treaty was out of date because of the new weaponry. And secondly, who has the most cruise missiles? China. 30 years ago in 1987, it was only the United States and Russia, the Soviet Union. But now China, because of its vast regional presence, has all these intermediate range missiles.

So Trump says offhandedly, maybe in a Tweet, "Have you ever looked at the military budget of Russia, China, and the United States? It's obscene. We should cut it." What does that mean? What does that mean? It's a good idea, right? Then he said, "We can't have such a treaty without China." The Russians know this too, so let us hope that what they're stumbling toward is a new, modernized intermediate-range ban that would include China. China, however, will never sign it. But if they begin the negotiations and China doesn't deploy any more during the negotiations, and the negotiations go on indefinitely, we are safer than we now are. Now, do I think that Trump is cunning and thought this up? I'm not sure, but he's got China on the mind, and I don't quite agree with you that–he's got a kind of dualistic attitude toward China. It's a threat, but every time he makes a new trade deal with China, he brags on it that it's great for us.

You would agree with that, right? He's always talking about, "We're going to have this wonderful trade agreement with China, it's going to be so good for us." So in his mind, Trump's mind, China is kind of potentially–in his businessman mind–this big economic plus that he alone is going to get right. Let him try.

PAUL JAY: I don't know how much of this policy at all is Trump or not Trump. I think the brains behind a lot of this policy now is Bolton and some of the other neocon crazies around him.

STEPHEN COHEN: But Trump has been saying the same thing about cooperating with Russia long before he took on Bolton. There's two ways to look at this.

PAUL JAY: But his attitude towards China–

STEPHEN COHEN: Well, just stay for one minute on Russia, because the China thing is worth talking about too. But he says, almost alone, for the first time–how long has it been since we had a president really pursue detente? It's been a very long time. Obama called it a reset, but it was fraudulent. It was basically saying to the Russians, "Give us everything, and we aren't going to give you anything." It was doomed from the beginning. Plus, they wagered that Putin wouldn't return to the presidency. Do you know, by the way, speaking of meddling, that Biden went to Moscow and told Putin not to return to the presidency in 2012?

PAUL JAY: No.

STEPHEN COHEN: Wrap your head around that a minute. The vice president of the United States goes to Moscow and tells Putin, who's now prime minister because he termed out, but he could return, "We don't think you should return to the presidency." So you know what I'm wondering, I'm wondering whether Biden's calling up Putin today and asking Putin whether Biden should get into the presidential race here. I mean, what the hell? What the hell? And we talk about meddling? So the point about Trump, to finish this, is for the first time in many, many years, a presidential candidate, one that I didn't vote for and didn't care for, had said it's necessary to cooperate with Russia.

PAUL JAY: OK, but I've got to contextualize it. Because it's not enough–because first of all, Trump's a big liar, and everyone, from beginning to end, for real.

STEPHEN COHEN: Politicians lie, Paul. Welcome to the world,

PAUL JAY: No, but I think he lied on Russia.

STEPHEN COHEN: About what?

PAUL JAY: Well, on two things. I think number one–I think two things drove his Russia–

STEPHEN COHEN: Let me get my word in. Then I'll give it to you, I promise I'll pass it right to you, because this is going to set you up beautifully. When he said, Trump, 2016, "It's necessary to cooperate with Russia," there are two ways to interpret that. He was wise and smart, or the Kremlin had something on him.

PAUL JAY: No, I don't think either of those are true.

STEPHEN COHEN: And then we go straight to Russia.

PAUL JAY: Neither of those are true.

STEPHEN COHEN: Well, I'm not saying you say that, but that's the way it was taken.

PAUL JAY: No, I think there's two things drove the Russia thing. Number one, they wanted sanctions lifted because Tillerson and the American oil companies, especially Exxon, wanted a big energy play in Russia, and they needed to lift the sanctions to do it, and Tillerson was all positioned for it. And if it hadn't been for this whole Russiagate stuff, they would have sailed along, had a detente, lifted the sanctions, and had a whole realm of new energy.

STEPHEN COHEN: You mean under Trump.

PAUL JAY: Under Trump. And I think that would have been a good thing. I'm not critiquing that in the sense that anything that reduces tensions between the United States and Russia is a good, thing normalizing, even if it's exploitive and ripping off the Russian people in their oil, I don't care. The nuclear threat is so paramount, anything that reduces those tensions are good. But these are not peacenik intentions.

STEPHEN COHEN: Where do we disagree? You've lost me.

PAUL JAY: I'm not saying we necessarily disagree on this. The second part of it is–and this is where I think is the dangerous part. Because I think sometimes when Trump and Putin get together and talk quietly, part of that conversation could well be about Iran. Because when they had the first big round of sanctions on Iran, Russia supported them, Russia came in on it. And if your foreign policy objective–and clearly it is, between whether it was Flynn, or whether it was Mattis, or whether it was Bolton, all of them are "regime change in Iran is the prime objective." And if you want to do that, wouldn't you want Russia to at the very least step back a little bit?

STEPHEN COHEN: I got you now, I see where you're going.

PAUL JAY: Number one. And number two, the big strategic guns are focused on China. So if you want to focus on China, wouldn't it be nice to have a strategic normalization with Russia, try to split Russia from China? Because in their minds, the real enemy is not Russia, the real enemy is a superpower economy–

STEPHEN COHEN: In whose mind?

PAUL JAY: Much of the American foreign policy establishment, both Democrat and Republican.

STEPHEN COHEN: The real enemy is ?

PAUL JAY: China. Because that's the global economy, that's going to be the competing superpower.

STEPHEN COHEN: Let's say you're right.

PAUL JAY: And that doesn't in any way say it's still, in the final analysis, a good thing if Trump can diminish these tensions. But let's give it the whole context.

STEPHEN COHEN: Well, but it doesn't–I'm not sure what the whole context is. It seems to me you just said to me that Trump or these people were playing for Russia's support against Iran in China.

PAUL JAY: As one piece of this, yeah.

STEPHEN COHEN: Well, if so, it's a fool's folly. Russia is leaving the West. I mean, it can't leave the West geopolitically, because Russia is so big, it's half in the West and a half in the un-West geographically. But American foreign policy, NATO expansion, the unwise policies made in Brussels and Washington, are driving Russia from the West.

PAUL JAY: No doubt.

STEPHEN COHEN: And when you leave the West, where do you end up, Paul?

PAUL JAY: They are pushing exactly the kind of a line–

STEPHEN COHEN: Where do you go?

PAUL JAY: Well, with China, of course.

STEPHEN COHEN: And not only China, where else? All major powers that are not members of NATO, including Iran. So when Putin came to power, he was very much in the tradition of Gorbachev and Yeltsin. He wanted a strategic alliance with the United States. Who was the first person to call up Bush after 9/11? Putin. And he said, "George, anything." And if you go back and look at what the Russians did to help the American ground war in Afghanistan against the Taliban, whether you think it was a good idea or not, that ground war, Russia did more to save American lives–Russian soldiers fighting in Afghanistan–than any NATO country did.

PAUL JAY: No, Iran did more than any NATO country to help America.

STEPHEN COHEN: But Russia had assets, unbelievable assets, and corridors for transportation, and even an army, the Northern Alliance, that it kept in Afghanistan. It gave it all to the United States. Putin wanted a strategic alliance with the United States, and what did he get in return? He got from Bush, the second Bush, more NATO expansion right to Russia's borders, and as I mentioned before, American withdrawal from the Antiballistic Missile Treaty, which had been the bedrock of Russian nuclear security for 30 or 40 years. He got betrayed, and they use that word, "We were betrayed by Washington." This is serious stuff.

The pivot away from the West begins there and continues with these crazy policies that Washington has pursued toward Russia. It doesn't mean that Russia is gone forever from the West, but if you look at the billions of dollars of investment, you look at which way the pipelines flow, you look at Russia–Putin meets like six times a year, maybe more, with the leader of China. They've each called each other their best friend in politics. Trump meets with Putin and we think, "Oh my god, how can he meet with him." I mean, it's normal.

PAUL JAY: Netanyahu just met with Putin; nobody said a word.

STEPHEN COHEN: But the point here is that Russia has been torn between East and the West forever. Its best policy, in its own best interest, is to straddle East and West, not to be of the East or the West, but it's impossible in this world today. And U.S.-led Western policy since the end of the Soviet Union, and particularly since Putin came to power in 2000, has persuaded the Russian ruling elite that Russia can not count any longer, economically, politically, militarily, on being part of the West. It has to go elsewhere. So all this talk about wanting to win Russia to an American position that's anti-Iranian and anti-Chinese is conceived in disaster and will end in disaster. They should think of some other foreign policy.

PAUL JAY: I agree, but I think that's what Trump's–the people around Trump that wanted the detente–

STEPHEN COHEN: We should get new people.

PAUL JAY: Well

STEPHEN COHEN: I'll tell you truthfully, if Trump really wants to cooperate with Russia for the sake of American national security, if we forget all this Russiagate stuff and we say, "The guy is a little dim, but his ideas are right, you've got to cooperate with Russia," he has to get some new advisors. Because the people around him don't have a clue how to do it.

PAUL JAY: I don't think that is the intent, the intent is make money. I don't think there's any other intent. Make money for arms manufacturers, fossil fuel–

STEPHEN COHEN: Well, hope dies with us. I just don't see that constant bashing of Trump demeaning him, though it's so easy to do, helps us think clearly about American national interests.

PAUL JAY: I don't think bashing Trump by dredging up the demons of the Cold War is anything but war mongering. On the other hand, I don't think we should create any illusions about who Trump is.

STEPHEN COHEN: So let me give you the part with a paradox. We shouldn't have any illusions about who Trump is, that seems like–

PAUL JAY: Or who the system is, really.

STEPHEN COHEN: OK. So let's say–I mean, that seems a sensible point of view. But let me ask you a question. Why was it that American presidents since Eisenhower could do detente with Soviet communist leaders, and they weren't demonized after Stalin, but we're not permitted–and certainly Trump is not permitted–to do detente with a Russian Kremlin anti-communist leader, which Putin is? Did we like the communists better than the anti-communists in the Kremlin?

PAUL JAY: No. I'll give you what I think, it's just a layman's opinion. I think the foreign policy establishment, the elite, they were absolutely furious that after all these decades of trying to overthrow the Soviet Union, and they finally accomplish–although I think it was mostly an internal phenomenon, but still–and then they get Yeltsin and they have open Wild West, grabbing all these resources. I think they were really pissed that a state emerged, led by Putin, that said, "Hold on, it may be oligarchs, but they're going to be Russian, and you Americans aren't going to have a free-for–all, taking up the resources and owning the finance. We're not going to be a third world country to your empire."

STEPHEN COHEN: That's correct.

PAUL JAY: And they're pissed off at that.

STEPHEN COHEN: They, meaning ?

PAUL JAY: The Americans.

STEPHEN COHEN: Our people.

PAUL JAY: Our people. Well, I don't want to even take ownership for it.

STEPHEN COHEN: Don't run away. I don't know your age–

PAUL JAY: I'm 67.

STEPHEN COHEN: So we've established that I'm older than you.

PAUL JAY: No doubt. But you look younger, and I'm pissed at that.

STEPHEN COHEN: Well, that's a separate subject.

PAUL JAY: You've got more hair.

STEPHEN COHEN: I've got more hair. You've distracted me. What we share, despite the age difference, is that we grew up at a time when we were told–whether you or I believed it or not, but our generations, two generations, were told we are against Russia because it's communist. We were told that for decade after decade after decade. Now, Russia, the Kremlin, is not communist, it's anti-communist, and we're still against Russia. How do Russian intellectuals and policy-makers interpret that turnabout, that it was never about communism, it was about Russia? There's a saying in Russia formulated by a philosopher, his name was Zinoviev, he passed on but he was very influential, they were shooting–meaning the West–they were shooting at communism, but they were aiming at Russia.

And the view, very widespread among the Russian policy intellectual class today, is that Washington, in particular, will never accept Russia as an equal great power in world affairs, regardless of whether Russia is communist or anti-communist. And if that is so, Russia has to entirely reconceive its place in the world and its thinking about the West. And that point of view is ascending in Russia today due to Western policy. But just remember the view that all during the previous Cold War, they claim they were shooting at communism, but it was really Russia. And they still are today.

PAUL JAY: Yeah, I agree with that. I just–

STEPHEN COHEN: But we don't–you and I may agree, but we don't want Russians to think that way.

PAUL JAY: But I think the view coming out of World War II about being the global hegemon, the superpower, what that also means is you can't have any adversarial regional powers. And whether it's Russia or Iran, if you're not in the smaller American sphere of influence, the umbrella, you can't be there.

STEPHEN COHEN: It's funny you say that. I mean, I'm not a Putin apologist or a Trump apologist, but I do like intellectual puzzles. If you're saying that we have to give up our thinking about a multipolar world, so to speak, that there'll be other regional superpowers or great powers, then isn't Trump the first American president who seems to be OK with that? I don't see in Trump much a demand that we be number one.

PAUL JAY: Oh, I think Make America Great Again?

STEPHEN COHEN: But he didn't say Make American Number One Again. Maybe that's what he means, but you don't have Trump–

PAUL JAY: I don't think it kind of matters what the hell Trump thinks or says. And I think–

STEPHEN COHEN: Have you heard Trump say this thing that Obama and Madeleine Albright ran around saying for years, that American is "the indispensable nation?" Do you know how aggravated that made other states in the world? I mean, stop and think about it. Who runs around saying "we're indispensable?" I haven't heard Trump say that, maybe he has.

PAUL JAY: I just don't think we should put too much weight into whatever Trump says. I think he's a vehicle, he's a vessel.

STEPHEN COHEN: You take what you can get these days.

PAUL JAY: He's a vessel, first and foremost, for the arms manufacturers, for the fossil fuel industry. He's a vessel for right-wing evangelical politics. He's not a philosopher king. He's not a peacenik.

STEPHEN COHEN: You have to have priorities.

PAUL JAY: I think he's rather banal.

STEPHEN COHEN: Yeah, probably, but you have to have priorities. My priority in international affairs is to avoid a military conflict with Russia. In my book, my new book, War with Russia?, when I start writing that book in 2013, I never intended to give it that title. But as I worked and watched events unfold since 2013 to 2019, for the first time in my long career, I thought war with Russia was possible. I didn't even think there was going to be a war–as I remember it, I don't remember it vividly–during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Today, I assure you, the new Cold War is fraught with multiple Cuban Missile Crises. Take your pick; in the Baltic area where NATO is building up, in Ukraine where we've got ourselves involved in a proxy war, in Georgia where NATO is trespassing again as we talk, in Syria where American and Russian forces are flying and fighting on the ground in close proximity. By the way, Trump was absolutely right in withdrawing those–what were they–3000 Americans in Syria because whatever, Russia had killed just one of them.

With Trump in the White House, the trip wires, a war between nuclear Russia and nuclear America, are far greater and more multiple than they have ever been. That's the danger. Therefore, at this moment, if Trump says it's necessary to cooperate with Russia, on that one issue we must support him. It's existential at this moment. And believe me, and believe me, people love to hate on Putin in this country; "Putin's evil, Putin's bad." It's nonsense. Putin is a recognizable leader in Russia's tradition. Putin, as you said I think before, came to power wanting an alliance with the United States. He's spoken of his own illusions publicly. Leaders very rarely admit they ever had an illusion, rights, it's not something they do. He is reproached in Russia, reproached in Russia, for still having illusions about the West. You know what they say about him in high places in Russia? "He's not proactive, he just reacts, he waits for the West to do something abysmal to Russia, and then he acts. Why doesn't he first see what's coming?" What do they cite? They cite Ukraine.

PAUL JAY: Well, that's the next segment, because my question to you is going to be, "Did Putin make a mistake in Crimea?" So please join us for the continuation of our series of interviews with Stephen Cohen on Reality Asserts Itself on The Real News Network.


Pax et Bonum 2 days ago ,

In a country where the media runs the lives of gullible citizens, it is easy to believe that all the moves are being made for the peace and well being of all. Behind the curtains, a narcissistic and egotistic machine is hard at work trying to sell war for peace. This business only benefits a few and causes great suffering on others ... but who am I kidding, no one cares, as long money is being made ... no one really cares!

0040 Pax et Bonum 2 days ago ,

The US Constitution and other supporting documents have long stymied attempts at direct democracy in the US. Beware of anyone claiming to be a strict Constitutionalist ! They hate democracy and embrace slavery in all its disguises.

Marilynne L. Mellander 19 hours ago ,

Great points, Mr. Cohen....this protracted attack on Russia via the phoney "Russiagate" investigation has set back relations with Russia for years to come....of course, even here in Bezerkeley, there were signs posted everywhere before the 2016 election: "Hillary=WWIII (just sayin')".....even the libs around here knew the Clinton cabal wanted a war with Russia ASAP

Michael Holloway 18 hours ago ,

That Trump represents a thinking that the post Soviet reality is not of a uni-superpower world, but one of a multi-polar world dominated by US economic empire.

I think that's true.

After reading "Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century" in 2005, I came to the idea that the most dangerous section of the American elite were those that posited this uni-superpower world order idea; an impossibility in this age of technology (one in which even small economies like Canada could lead the world in nuclear physics understandings and implementation, and one where our collective wealth of scientific understanding and method, plus systems management, can 'leap' a large agrarian/industrial economy (China) to a 2nd generation industrial world power in 50 years, proves that understanding).

gchakko 20 hours ago ,

I haven't read the first part. But what the second part reveals is not that unravelling. American power is despotic. No principles. Money gain only. Russia turned democratic after enlightened brains like Yuri Andropov (Jewish-born ex-KGB Chief), old fox Andrei Gromyko, Gorbachev plus- plus, decided to change the system. In other words, Russia was willing for openness. But American oligarchs wanted to usurp Russian wealth with a hand stroke after Soviet State implosion.

Second, why did Rothschild-Rockefeller Banker vassals like Henry Kissinger, Schultz under Edward Teller influence, sabotage the Reagan-Gorbachev understanding to eliminate nuclear weapons entirely in Reykjavik, insisting unilateral Star Wars capability for the U.S. to remain as sole Superpower.

The problem is the incorrigible Big C (Capital) that wanted to eat away Russian minerals that Putin stopped in national interest. Any subsequent cooperation from the Russian side was probably was only for strategic cooperation with the U.S. to have world peace.

Steve belongs to that lone group of handful, distinguished U.S. intellectuals who see problems as they are in eventual meaningfulness for objective U.S. politics. I admire his talent and courage and support him.

George Chakko, former U.N. correspondent, now retiree in Vienna, Austria.
Vienna, 20/04/2019 06:05 am CET

Fat 18 hours ago ,

Not a word in Cohen's appraisal about US criminality. Jay was pushing in that direction. I hope they get around to the criminality of the Deep State Mafia.

That is the narrative that will get the most results. Trump is greedy and the neocons have already attacked him on two fronts: Russiagate and his need for money. He will likely do what the New World Order folks want him to do. Russiagate will turn out to be a benefit as long as he sticks with the program that the Neocons want. Who has pushed the US hard to get into war with Russia? Hilary, Obama, Cheney, now Bolton --all New World Order soldiers who will commit any crime to rule the world. This is what we are facing.

Jack Lomax a day ago ,

Trump like every POTUS since JFK does the bidding of the Zionist masters. Every POTUS except Nixon and Carter that is, and they were demonised and side tracked respectively. Nixon for his feral decision to recognise China and Jimmy Carter for being a dangerous liberal. But Trump is a normal run of the mill POTUS minus the PR masking tape. Perhaps the system has decided that the nice respectable masking tape is now an unnecessary add-on and every future president (if there are any or many) will do the will of Wall St and Tel Aviv as openly as does Trump and the msm will assure us that this is good and necessary. Good fo the economy and necessary to protect the poor suffering Jewish nation from the anti Semitic hatred of the deluded Palestinian lovers

nina sakun a day ago ,

and finally i think Putin is for Russian greatness, trump is for money for himself and his family, but also for a white America if that can fit in with his money making schemes.

mikjall • a day ago ,

I'm sorry, but Paul Jay, whom I sincerely admire, though with some reservations, sounds in this--very important--interview as if he were suffering from attention deficit syndrome. You see it most of all in the transcript. Stephen Cohen attempted to keep the discussion coherent and focused, and Paul injected irrelevancies. Paul, please keep your eye on the ball. Stephen Cohen is presenting an important message. It's OK to disagree with it, if you have coherent reasons, but it's important even if it's wrong.

michael nola a day ago ,

I think it's a mistake to take Trump at his word on anything that doesn't directly benefit himself. He is two things; an economic animal and a con man, and his motives are no more complicated than those of a cat. Unlike HRC, Bolton, Cheney Bush etc. he's no ideologue for war, however, I don't think he has any deep seated dislike of it either, so taking him at his word, either for or against any military action is foolish; basically, he's running a con and seeing where it goes, especially if there's any money in it for him or his family, a very obvious characteristic of his relationship with the Saudis and his continuing support of their genocidal war in Yemen, a gift he inherited from our Nobel Peace Prize president.

In the long run, there will be no stopping an alliance between the PRC and Russia, especially given our political elites' inability to see we are living in a world they can no longer dominate through an institution, the military, that few have ever been in, and those of Vietnam war draft eligibility, avoided at all costs, and they will continue that losing effort until the combined economic might of those nations and their geographic location on the world's most important land mass, Eurasia, and its proximity to resource rich Africa, eventually bring about the downfall of the American Empire.

antiparasites 2 days ago ,

1) Trump personally doesn"t want wars, never mind a war with Russia, though he's no philosopher or angel.

2) the neolibs, who almost had Russia in the bag before Putin came to power, have been pissed off at Putin and want regime change in Russia.

3) the same neolibs also want to pit russia, iran, and china against each other, in order to complete and maintain their New World Order.

4) the same neolibs panicked at Trump's election victory but has reined him in since with Russiagate. so whatever Trump wants matters not at the moment.

5) the same neolibs have miserably failed in their pursuit of 2) and 3) because of the alliance of the three, russia, china, and iran. now the entire arab world has declared independence from the US of Israel, because they now see an alternative bloc of russia, china, and iran to work with.

all the above are true. more and more people see the truth and reject the neolibs that the DNC leadership represents.

Trump will be reelected in 2020, if he fires bolton / pompeo / mnuchin / abrams etc. so far, he's been all bark but no bite, which is a good sign.

Yo 2 days ago ,

Ever noticed how contradictory people you know can be? Ever noticed how contradictory in yourself, in your own attitudes and deeds you can be? So why be surprised that Trump can be Stephen Cohen's Trump as much as Paul Jay's Trump? No problem really :-)

Luther Blissett • 2 days ago ,

There is no contraction between Cohen's observation that Trump is a voice of sanity on Russia (it just shows how bad US discourse on Russia is) and Jay's concern that detente with Russia is part of larger plan for war (economic, kinetic or hybrid) against Iran and China.

Real or fake, Trump's isolationism has produced no more peace than Obama's tepid liberalism did and Trump's veto of a bipartisan resolution to forced an end to American military involvement in Yemen has shown any arguments for an 'anti-war' Trump were pure self-delusion.

Despite all the chaos and the moral panics that keep rocking the White House, Trump's three National Security Advisors - Flynn, McMaster, Bolton - had one core commonality: they want war with Iran. Watching the sinister neo-con Jim Woolsey betray the frothing neo-con Flynn to Joe Biden was a comedy of neo-con infighting. A major part of Russiagate was the older 'Atlanticist' neo-cons boxing in the boorish 'Trumpist' neo-cons. Whether Atlantic Council or US-homegrown both flavors of neo-conservatism want war with Iran.

0040 2 days ago ,

Wonderful article with Mr Jay playing the role of village idiot ? Mr Cohen speaks with extreme clarity on Russia, which is totally unacceptable in for profit America by all sides, where arms sales are us. In regards to Crimea , I'd ask Mr Jay, did Bush 1 make a mistake in Panama where we killed 4 thousand civilians in keeping China from acquiring an interest in the Panama canal?

Doug Latimer 2 days ago ,

There are so many contradictions under the tent of Killer Clown's circus that it really isn't possible to make clear sense of them, is there?

I'll just say that he absolutely pimps "Amerika über alles", as it's the putrid patriotic red white and blue meat he throws his base.

Does he buy his own sales pitch? He does whatever his tiny but tricky little mind tells him is to his benefit. He'd be perfectly happy as a Russian oligarch or Saudi prince (as long as Putin or MBS let him bloviate to his heart's content).

His only allegiance is to the state of his ego and bank account.

[Apr 20, 2019] Is Russian 'Meddling' an Attack on America - RAI with Stephen Cohen

Notable quotes:
"... Sanctions are road rage. When you don't have a real policy, you do sanctions. But what's the logic of the sanctions? The sanction is we put this punishment on you. But when you change your behavior we will remove the punishment. Isn't that what we say with sanctions? Therefore sanctions have to be discussed if you're going to have diplomacy. So I would expect an American president to say to the Kremlin we need to have a lot of discussions, including the discussion of sanctions. The ones we've imposed. ..."
"... Actually, by now, depending on what comes next, I don't think the Kremlin cares very much. They've coped very nicely with the sanctions. Though it's hurting their ability to roll over their loans with Western banks, it's true. But generally speaking, they've managed. And Europe wants the sanctions ended, because it's hurt European manufacturers, I think there's 9,000 German firms that were or are making a profit in Russia. It's hurt European -- we have almost no trade with Russia, the United States. Sanctions is -- hurting Europe. ..."
"... Flynn was a professional intelligence officer. Let's repeat that. A professional intelligence officer. He knew everybody was listened to. It didn't bother him. The president had told him to have conversations with the Russian ambassador. There was a tradition of doing this. He had nothing to hide. ..."
"... The psychopaths in the Clinton campaign had no concern that the Russiagate meme would cause enormous consequences in the US relationships with important governments around the globe. Hillary Clinton attempted to damage Trump, the candidate that she wished for the Republicans to nominate, by alleging he was "Putin's puppet." More importantly, Clinton wanted to change the subject from her corruption that was evidenced in her leaked emails (likely by the murdered Seth Rich to Assange). The emails, among other things, proved that she and her toady Debbie Wasserman Schultz et al schemed to steal the nomination from Bernie Sanders. ..."
"... It's about Russian interference alright, but not in the election, rather with Washington's hegemonic ambitions in Eastern Europe (Ukraine), then in the Middle East (Syria) and now in South America (Venezuela). Charles Krauthammer's "unipolar moment" is over, the Bear is back. ..."
Apr 20, 2019 | therealnews.com

PAUL JAY: Welcome to Reality Asserts Itself on The Real News Network. And I'm Paul Jay.

People that follow this show know I particularly like to interview people that stick their neck out and stick to their guns for what they believe in, what they're fighting for. And our next guest is someone who's done both of those things under a lot of pressure. So this is the story, to begin with, of Stephen Cohen. Stephen is emeritus professor of politics at Princeton University, professor emeritus of Russian studies and history at New York University, and his most recent book: War with Russia? From Putin and Ukraine to Trump and Russia. Thanks for joining us again.

STEPHEN COHEN: Thanks, Paul.

PAUL JAY: So a lot of people were rather happy with Barr's summary of the Mueller report. And as we sit here talking today we haven't seen the Mueller report, it hasn't been given to Congress yet, and it may even happen tomorrow. We don't know. And it may change what we think of what I'm about to ask, but I don't think it's going to change too much about what I'm going to ask.

Obviously President Trump's pretty happy so far with the no collusion argument. And that was pretty clear from what Mueller said; what Barr says Mueller said. There's a quote from Mueller in Barr's summary. But I thought some people who've been critical of Russiagate were a little bit too happy about this, because the more important, I thought, substance of what Mueller says is that, in fact, Russia did interfere in the elections. And he takes it very seriously. And the more important part of Russiagate narrative, I don't think, was ever the collusion part. In fact, we all knew Mueller was not heading down any big collusion road anyway, because as you pointed out in one of your interviews, I don't know if it was Larry King, you know, you could see from how other people were being charged, Manafort and others, there was no breadcrumb leading you to a collusion argument with Trump. The real problem is the underlying idea is that this is an existential threat to American democracy, and Mueller more or less confirms that.

And I thought people shouldn't be so happy about that part of it, because the substantial argument -- and I'll quote you again -- is that whatever they did it was low-level stuff. It happens all the time between these countries. They all interfere in each other's elections. And then it gets raised to the existential level. That's the problem. And Mueller more or less confirms that.

STEPHEN COHEN: You are absolutely right, only not right enough. This expression, which has become a truth in the media and for too many politicians that "Russia attacked America during the 2016 presidential election" is both exceedingly dangerous and a complete falsehood. Why is it dangerous? Because if a great power is attacked, that great power has to eventually attack back, counterattack. This is a ticking time bomb in relations with Russia. No attack on America occurred in 2016. I was awake, present, and observant. I saw no missiles descending on our country. No Russian paratroopers. No Russian submarines. No Russian combat planes. Nothing. It's a complete fiction.

It's a form, I guess, of hyperbole. Did the Russians meddle? Some Russians? I don't know. I'm not even sure the Kremlin knew anything about it. But the Russiagate story is that Putin decided he wanted Trump to be in the White House. So he attacked American elections and rigged it. So Trump is now in the White House. I don't know how many people actually believe this. But too many continue to say it, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC. Too many influential news outlets are putting out an exceedingly dangerous fiction which is a form of warmongering. It didn't happen, but they won't let go of it.

So I agree with you. There was no attack on America. But they're keeping this up. Was there meddling? As you say, sure. So let's do the -- briefly -- the history of Russian-American meddling in each other's politics. Where would you like to begin? Should we begin with the American intervention in the Russian Civil War in 1918? I mean, Wilson sent about 8,000 American troops to try to help overthrow the new red Communist government. Was that meddling? Really, is it meddling? You tell me. Sounds like meddling to me.

PAUL JAY: It's armed intervention.

STEPHEN COHEN: It's armed intervention. All right. What about, to leap forward, 1996? I was in Moscow, I observed it. Then-president of post-Soviet Russia Boris Yeltsin stood no chance of being reelected. No chance whatsoever. He was like 3 percent in the polls. But the Clinton administration desperately needed to keep him in power. So they meddled, big time. They sent electoral experts -- not unlike, by the way, Paul Manafort. Guys who make a living advising other countries about how to rig elections. We've got lots of them who do this for big money. So they set up in the presidential hotel. You could see them. Clinton arranged, I think, it was $10 billion, I may be wrong there, IMF loan to Yeltsin so Yeltsin could pay pensions and salaries he hadn't paid for five years. I mean, we did the whole -- I mean this was a massive intervention into Russia's election. And basically we kept Russia, Yeltsin, in the presidency. Is that meddling? Is that meddling?

PAUL JAY: Yeah, of course.

STEPHEN COHEN: What happened with Russian meddling in 2016, compared to the kind of meddling both sides have done, was jaywalking. The only reason it became one of the worst scandals, and I think most damaging in American history, because of the loathing for Trump and because the Clinton people couldn't accept that she was defeated fair and square. So they made up a story. You know, there's this book Shattered which tells about how they sat around and said we'll blame it on the Russians. However, it's exceedingly unpatriotic. It's warmongering. It's damaging our institutions of the presidency.

I mean, if it's true -- for example, let's say it's true that the Kremlin can put Trump in the White House. Then evidently our electoral system in this country is not reliable. And why not a governor, or a senator, or a member of the Congress that Putin likes? And what about the next one? I think it's going to erode confidence in our electoral system on the part of American voters. And what about the presidency itself? I mean, people actually say that a Kremlin puppet sits in the presidency. Do they think that the damage done to the institution of the presidency is going to end when Trump leaves? And do they think Republicans aren't going to do something similar to the next Democratic president?

And the media's scandalous coverage of this, abandoning their own standards. I mean, you don't get your virginity back quite that easily. I mean, they've got a lot to atone for, but at the moment they're not even prepared to say they did anything wrong. Just the other day the heads of these -- CNN, the executive editor of the New York Times and the Washington Post -- all said they thought their coverage of Russiagate had been great. I mean, really? Really? I mean, that's like a brain surgeon missing cancer, and then saying he thought he did a good job. I mean, it's preposterous.

So we have a major problem here. And the myth -- there was no Russian attack. The Russians meddled. Mainly what made the meddling different from the kind of meddling that went on, for example, when there were Russian-backed American communist parties, for example, in this country, is social media. It was a social media thing.

And a final point. Let's say that the Russians -- they didn't -- launched a major social media attack to distort the thinking of American voters, and were successful. Because that's one of the premises, right? People are saying that, right?

PAUL JAY: Yeah.

STEPHEN COHEN: What does that say for American voters? What contempt people have for American voters. So-called American Democrats have contempt for American voters. And now what are they doing? They're out busy censoring social media so that we won't get any information that might disorient an American voter. You can't -- if you don't believe that the electorate will reach a rational decision in voting by whatever interests individual voters have, you're not a democrat. I don't mean a member of the Democratic Party. You're not a democratic person. If you don't believe in voters you can't be a democratic person. Then you're an authoritarian.

PAUL JAY: The story that got completely lost as they focused on low-level meddling that was mostly -- that I think anyone can determine rather ineffective -- was the Cambridge Analytica story, and Bannon, and the use of troll farms, American-controlled troll farms, to do this targeted social media manipulation. And that's out there, including an arm of Cambridge Analytica which helped shape the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom. And the role of Robert Mercer, who funded Bannon and Kellyanne Conway and originally backed Cruz, and then helped create Trump as president, I mean, that's the real story of the Trump presidency. Not this low-level meddling. And they've never really told that story in mainstream media. We did a whole documentary on it on The Real News. This whole thing's been lost about the real kind of sinister dark side to the 2016 elections.

STEPHEN COHEN: What worries me more, though, is the way Russiagate, Russiagaters, the zealots of Russiagate, have criminalized contacts with Russia. I think that this Clinton organization -- what's it called, Center for American Progress, or something, CAP, which has a website called Thought Progress or something -- has some posted 150 Trump-related contacts with Russia. I mean, I've had most of those contacts with Russia. I mean, I've had contacts with Russian intelligence agents. One was a good friend of mine. Five or six of them I worked with in a historical archive, and we did smoking breaks and lunch breaks together, and we talked. I mean, I've had all sorts of contacts in my nearly 50 years of dealing with Russia. There was a time when contacts were supposed to be good because it was a way of understanding and avoiding conflict. Part of detente. Part of diplomacy. But Russiagate, the allegations -- and I don't believe any of them, by the way -- the allegations have criminalized contacts.

Incidentally, as we talk, this young Russian woman, Marina Butina -- sometimes pronounced here BuTIna, but it's BUtina, B-U-T-I-N-A -- has been sitting in an American prison for more than six months, most of it in solitary, for doing nothing other than what many Americans do in Russia, and that is go around talking about how good the American political system is to Russia, Russians. She went around bragging on Putin and the Russian political system here. For that she's been kept in prison, and was, as Russians say, finally broken. Literally. That's how Russians break people. They lock you away to you confess. We call confession a plea. So she -- and she's still in prison, even though she pled.

What did she plead guilty to? Coming here and advocating Russian perspectives without registering as a foreign agent. This is a Soviet practice, Paul. One of the things that worries me is that Russiagate has generated too many Soviet-style practices by American authorities. The use of informers. People who were sent to inform on members of Trump's team, like Papadopoulos, for example. Holding people's families hostage. I mean, Mueller held General Flynn's son hostage, essentially, until Flynn pled. And Flynn never should have pled guilty. Never. In fact, he said the other day he regretted it.

Let's talk about Flynn, for example, to see how bogus this is. Flynn was taped, as he knew he would be, making contact after Trump was elected, before Trump came President, with the Russian ambassador, correct? That was how the story began.

PAUL JAY: And they had to know they were being listened to.

STEPHEN COHEN: Of course they [inaudible].

PAUL JAY: Or he should have.

STEPHEN COHEN: Well, so you would say if he knew he was being listened to, why would he go forward and have this meeting, or discussions, with the Russian ambassador? Because Trump had told him to do it. And the reason is very simple to anyone who knows even a little history. At least since Nixon -- maybe since Eisenhower and Kennedy -- but at least since Nixon, every American president-elect has made a so-called back channel connection with the Russians, with the Kremlin, before taking office. End of story. And we know -- I mean, Kissinger did it for Nixon.

PAUL JAY: But Nixon did it with the North Vietnamese, and Johnson called it treason.

STEPHEN COHEN: I don't care. The point of it is it's become traditional standard practice for the president-elect to reach out to the Russians to say basically chill out, we're going to discuss everything. I mean, you got to remember what happened. I mean, this was dangerous. Obama, to his eternal disgrace, threatened the Russians with a cyberattack. He threatened them. He said we've implanted in your infrastructure some kind of cyber thing.

PAUL JAY: And passed sanctions.

STEPHEN COHEN: But forget the sanctions. Forget the sanctions. He threatened them with a secret attack on their infrastructure. Did it mean their medical system? Did it mean their banking system? Did it mean their nuclear control system? And then the nitwit Vice President -- Obama's -- goes out and tells jokes about it on late night TV. Yeah, hey, we got him. What kind of behavior is this?

So I think Trump did absolutely the right thing. He told General Flynn, after Obama had made this reckless statement, but after Trump was elected, but not yet president, told Flynn, go tell the Russians not to overreact to what Obama said. Don't do anything crazy. We'll sort this out when I take office. I personally am grateful he did that, because there were people in Moscow arguing to Putin that they had to wage some kind of counterattack first. I mean, this was a very dangerous moment that Obama created, unnoticed in this country. Unreported on.

But not only was it the tradition that the president-elect made contact with the Russians. Backdoor. Everyone had done it. But in this case it was essential, because the crazies in Moscow were urging Putin to do something based on what Obama had said. By the way, who's vanished. On the question of Russiagate, Obama has disappeared himself. I mean Russiagate began on Obama's watch as president. You'd think he'd have something to say. He hadn't said a word.

PAUL JAY: But let me counter. I mean, I think the sanctions Obama put on Russia for Russia's meddling in the U.S. elections was uncalled for; aggressive, and so on. And a continuation of a bunch of aggressive policy. But their argument is Obama was the president, and the sanctions had been implemented. And Trump was saying to Putin, don't worry, we're going to get rid of them.

STEPHEN COHEN: No there's no record. This is-

PAUL JAY: I thought that was Flynn's conversation.

STEPHEN COHEN: No. No. What Flynn told Kislyak, so far as we know, I haven't heard the tape, was do not overreact to this statement by Obama that your infrastructure is going to be attacked, and we will discuss everything, maybe he said including sanctions, when Trump takes the White House.

Now, let's back up a minute. Why shouldn't we discuss sanctions? The logic -- I don't believe in sanctions. They're road rage. I mean, as we talk, a few nitwit senators are up on the Hill trying to think up some new sanctions. And if you ask them what they're sanctioning Russia for today, they couldn't tell you. Everything. In fact, they do tell you. It's called for Putin's malign behavior in the world. It's not about Crimea anymore. It's not about voter interference. It's just basically he's a malign character, and you can't have too many sanctions.

Sanctions are road rage. When you don't have a real policy, you do sanctions. But what's the logic of the sanctions? The sanction is we put this punishment on you. But when you change your behavior we will remove the punishment. Isn't that what we say with sanctions? Therefore sanctions have to be discussed if you're going to have diplomacy. So I would expect an American president to say to the Kremlin we need to have a lot of discussions, including the discussion of sanctions. The ones we've imposed.

Actually, by now, depending on what comes next, I don't think the Kremlin cares very much. They've coped very nicely with the sanctions. Though it's hurting their ability to roll over their loans with Western banks, it's true. But generally speaking, they've managed. And Europe wants the sanctions ended, because it's hurt European manufacturers, I think there's 9,000 German firms that were or are making a profit in Russia. It's hurt European -- we have almost no trade with Russia, the United States. Sanctions is -- hurting Europe.

PAUL JAY: Well, let's get back to Flynn. How could he not know that's being listened to? And I guess they assume that this was not abnormal for an incoming president to have a conversation like this.

STEPHEN COHEN: Flynn was a professional intelligence officer. Let's repeat that. A professional intelligence officer. He knew everybody was listened to. It didn't bother him. The president had told him to have conversations with the Russian ambassador. There was a tradition of doing this. He had nothing to hide.

PAUL JAY: OK. There's a part of this that I don't think we're going to agree on, and we're going to talk about that in the next-

STEPHEN COHEN: I don't even know you were disagreeing with me. Those are just facts I gave you.

PAUL JAY: I didn't disagree up until this point. We might agree on something and then disagree in the next segment. So please join us for the next segment of our series of interviews with Stephen Cohen.


Infarction 4 days ago ,

Stephen Cohen: "... [B]ecause of the loathing for Trump and because the Clinton people couldn’t accept that she was defeated fair and square. So they made up a story. You know, there’s this book Shattered which tells about how they sat around and said we’ll blame it on the Russians."

The psychopaths in the Clinton campaign had no concern that the Russiagate meme would cause enormous consequences in the US relationships with important governments around the globe. Hillary Clinton attempted to damage Trump, the candidate that she wished for the Republicans to nominate, by alleging he was "Putin's puppet." More importantly, Clinton wanted to change the subject from her corruption that was evidenced in her leaked emails (likely by the murdered Seth Rich to Assange). The emails, among other things, proved that she and her toady Debbie Wasserman Schultz et al schemed to steal the nomination from Bernie Sanders.

0040 Infarction 3 days ago ,

In fact Billary won the "election" by 3 million votes. But since we are not a democracy it did not matter. Trump was appointed by America's elites, claiming otherwise just serves the status quo. I'm sure Mr Cohen knows that?

Putin Apologist 4 days ago ,

It's about Russian interference alright, but not in the election, rather with Washington's hegemonic ambitions in Eastern Europe (Ukraine), then in the Middle East (Syria) and now in South America (Venezuela). Charles Krauthammer's "unipolar moment" is over, the Bear is back.

antiparasites 4 days ago ,

right on point, Mr. cohen, right on the money. looking forward to the next installment.

RandyM 4 days ago ,

Just a question Paul. Who is "too happy" that no collusion was found? Can you name names? Russiagate debunkers like Glenn Greenwald and Aaron Mate may feel vindicated, but I don't see happiness in the fact that the whole episode probably helps Trump.

antiparasites RandyM 4 days ago ,

truth should set good people free and thus make them very happy. you're not too happy? well then you know what you are.

Marko 4 days ago ,

"But I thought some people who’ve been critical of Russiagate were a little bit too happy about this, because the more important, I thought, substance of what Mueller says is that, in fact, Russia did interfere in the elections..."

If there was interference , it was , as Cohen says , on the level of jaywalking in its seriousness. What would really constitute "an existential threat to American democracy" is if this whole affair began and continued as a fabricated-from-whole-cloth stitch-up of a candidate and then sitting President , orchestrated and implemented at the highest levels of the CIA , FBI , Justice and State Depts. , etc., and possibly all the way up to ex-Pres. Obama. If the origin of this whole mess is ever investigated properly , as it should be , I hope TRNN will cover it and the ramifications of its findings at least as thoroughly as it has the hoax itself , and will invite Stephen Cohen back to contribute to that analysis. You certainly won't hear from him on the MSM , where such honesty and clarity of thought are effectively banned.

EarthView 4 days ago ,

Where is part 2? What is it that Paul Jay disagrees with Cohen? Sanctions are utterly stupid. ALL sanctions against all countries should be removed, including those on Russia, Iran, Venezuela, China and even North Korea. No self-respecting counties will submit to the ridiculous demands of the terrorist empire because of sanctions.

0040 EarthView 3 days ago ,

Sanctions, embargoes, and tariffs, are a forms of taxation that harm the masses in the state that applies them, while their rulers blame others for the resulting shortages and higher prices.

antiparasites EarthView 4 days ago ,

fewer and fewer parties are concerning themselves about the US sanctions. not "even" north korea, according to their latest communique. maybe that's why cohen says "forget the sanctions."

Mark Swanson 3 days ago ,

Okay, Mr. Cohen spends a lot of time trashing the Clintons but is almost an apologist for the Trump administration. He states correctly that the U.S. has meddled in Russian politics in the past, notably in the 1920s and 1990s, which we probably shouldn't have done but that does not make it okay for the Russians to do the same to us. His position seems to be, tit-for-tat, eye-for-an-eye, so what, forget it. He dismisses, with contempt, the idea that Russia meddled at all, but no one knows how much they meddled or what the effects were because no one has looked into it.

Mr. Cohen states that Russia did not attack the U.S. by which he means militarily with troops and missles. Obviously, that is true but so what. Is cyberassault not something the U.S. should worry about? Also Mr. Cohen seems to imply that Vladimir Putin is not that bad as leaders go, despite the poisonings, the assassinations, the imprisonment of critics and banning of political opponents, and most egregious, the invasion of the Ukraine and occupation of Crimea. He seems to think invading other countries is okay and that the Europeans don't care because sanctions against Russia cause them economic hardship. I suspect that many Europeans care very much about European countries invading each other. He criticizes President Obama for placing sanctions on Russia and states that Obama did so because the U.S. doesn't have a strategy regarding Russia. How does he think the U.S. should respond? What does he think U.S. policy should be towards Russia?

Mr. Cohen defends Michael Flynn stating all new administrations contact Russia to reassure them. Maybe so but that doesn't explain why Mr. Flynn failed to register as a lobbyist for Turkey. Mr. Mueller would not have been able to hold Mr. Flynn's son "hostage" if neither Flynn or his son had not done something illegal. Cohen also defends Ms. Butina even though she was in contact with the National Rifle Association.

Altogether I don't find Mr. Cohen persuasive because of his dismissive arrogance of everything supporting the Russiagate scandal. At this point no on is in a position to accurately critique Russiagate until the report by Mr. Mueller is released.

It would have helped his case if he had expressed as much contempt for the Trump Administration as he did of the Clinton and the Democrats such as some acknowledgement that Trump is a dispicable, cruel, vicious and pathological narcissist. It also did not help that Mr. Jay seemed embarrassed to question or critique Mr. Cohen's assertions. Unfortunately in making his points Mr. Cohen takes too much information out of context and leaves out far too many details of the Russiagate scandal.

Paul McArthur Mark Swanson 3 days ago ,

I think if you listen more to professor Cohen (try Stephen Cohen John Batchelor show) , you find acknowledgement of all of Trumps faults as well that you accurately described and realize his "dismissive arrogance" relates to his informed knowledge of the Russiagate scandal.

Oracle Mark Swanson 3 days ago ,

I couldn’t have put it any more coherently. I don’t find Mr. Cohen persuasive at all, particularly after watching the Russian intelligence and counter intelligence cohort at the House Intelligence Committee hearing. (They were extremely knowledgeable.) After hearing them, this guy seems unbelievable to me. But! Paul got his anti-Mueller report guy. At this point, this country is like a boulder ready to roll down a cliff and finish democracy for good. Two of the issues I found ironic was that Mr. Cohen 1) feels that Democrats must not think voters are very smart if they are swayed by the Social Networks (ha!) and 2) he really believes (straight face) that our voting system and elections in this country are solid and uncorrupted. Where has he been? Thank you, Mark Swanson, for your eloquent analysis.

Marilynne L. Mellander 19 hours ago ,

Finally - an interview with someone who doesn't suffer from Trump Derangement Syndrome - great stuff!!

TomG 3 days ago ,

So simple yet so true, "Sanctions are road rage. When you don't have effective policy, you implement sanctions."

Maricata • 4 days ago ,

The NYT or WAPO, both, are CIA outlets that ALWAYS lied to the world

miomyo 4 days ago ,

I say, now is the time to invest in tinfoil.

0040 4 days ago ,

An historically factual and informative article once again based based on a false premise. Trump was not elected. Billary won the election by 3 million votes. Trump was appointed POTUS by the Electoral College, as Bush2 was appointed by the SCOTUS and then employed a government official in Ohio to stuff electronic ballot boxes to secure himself a second term, and the US media forced fed to desperate but credulous Americans the empty suit Obomber turned out to be to. The US is not and has never been a Democracy, more a police state run by Plutocrats . Mr Cohen simply trumpets the corporate approved narrative offering incrementalism for obedience. Kissinger and friends, investment advisers to most of the worlds tyrants, continues to facilitate Putin's end run around US sanctions helping him invest his enormous fortune.

antiparasites 0040 4 days ago ,

you don't like the rules? then change the rules first. Trump won the election fair and square, following the rules. if the rules had been different, voters and candidates would have behaved totally differently as well in terms of campaign strategies and voting. Trump could have won the popular vote by a landslide. ever thought about that? no.

0040 antiparasites 3 days ago ,

The rules are , there are no longer any rules just the cloying greed of our rulers, whose minions will promote/support any lie in their service.

[Apr 01, 2019] Amazon.com War with Russia From Putin Ukraine to Trump Russiagate (9781510745810) Stephen F. Cohen Books

Highly recommended!
Important book. Kindle sample
Notable quotes:
"... Washington has made many policies strongly influenced by' the demonizing of Putin -- a personal vilification far exceeding any ever applied to Soviet Russia's latter-day Communist leaders. ..."
"... As with all institutions, the demonization of Putin has its own history'. When he first appeared on the world scene as Boris Yeltsin's anointed successor, in 1999-2000, Putin was welcomed by' leading representatives of the US political-media establishment. The New York Times ' chief Moscow correspondent and other verifiers reported that Russia's new leader had an "emotional commitment to building a strong democracy." Two years later, President George W. Bush lauded his summit with Putin and "the beginning of a very' constructive relationship."' ..."
"... But the Putin-friendly narrative soon gave away to unrelenting Putin-bashing. In 2004, Times columnist Nicholas Kristof inadvertently explained why, at least partially. Kristof complained bitterly' of having been "suckered by' Mr. Putin. He is not a sober version of Boris Yeltsin." By 2006, a Wall Street Journal editor, expressing the establishment's revised opinion, declared it "time we start thinking of Vladimir Putin's Russia as an enemy of the United States." 10 , 11 The rest, as they' say, is history'. ..."
"... In America and elsewhere in the West, however, only purported "minuses" reckon in the extreme vilifying, or anti-cult, of Putin. Many are substantially uninformed, based on highly selective or unverified sources, and motivated by political grievances, including those of several Yeltsin-era oligarchs and their agents in the West. ..."
"... Putin is not the man who, after coming to power in 2000, "de-democratized" a Russian democracy established by President Boris Yeltsin in the 1990s and restored a system akin to Soviet "totalitarianism." ..."
"... Nor did Putim then make himself a tsar or Soviet-like autocrat, which means a despot with absolute power to turn his will into policy, the last Kremlin leader with that kind of power was Stalin, who died in 1953, and with him his 20-year mass terror. ..."
"... Putin is not a Kremlin leader who "reveres Stalin" and whose "Russia is a gangster shadow of Stalin's Soviet Union." 13 , 14 These assertions are so far-fetched and uninfoimed about Stalin's terror-ridden regime, Putin, and Russia today, they barely warrant comment. ..."
"... Nor did Putin create post-Soviet Russia's "kleptocratic economic system," with its oligarchic and other widespread corruption. This too took shape under Yeltsin during the Kremlin's shock-therapy "privatization" schemes of the 1990s, when the "swindlers and thieves" still denounced by today's opposition actually emerged. ..."
"... Which brings us to the most sinister allegation against him: Putin, trained as "a KGB thug," regularly orders the killing of inconvenient journalists and personal enemies, like a "mafia state boss." ..."
"... More recently, there is yet another allegation: Putin is a fascist and white supremacist. The accusation is made mostly, it seems, by people wishing to deflect attention from the role being played by neo-Nazis in US-backed Ukraine. ..."
"... Finally, at least for now. there is the ramifying demonization allegation that, as a foreign-policy leader. Putin has been exceedingly "aggressive" abroad and his behavior has been the sole cause of the new cold war. ..."
"... Embedded in the "aggressive Putin" axiom are two others. One is that Putin is a neo-Soviet leader who seeks to restore the Soviet Union at the expense of Russia's neighbors. Fie is obsessively misquoted as having said, in 2005, "The collapse of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the twentieth century," apparently ranking it above two World Wars. What he actually said was "a major geopolitical catastrophe of the twentieth century," as it was for most Russians. ..."
"... The other fallacious sub-axiom is that Putin has always been "anti-Western," specifically "anti-American," has "always viewed the United States" with "smoldering suspicions." -- so much that eventually he set into motion a "Plot Against America." ..."
"... Or, until he finally concluded that Russia would never be treated as an equal and that NATO had encroached too close, Putin was a full partner in the US-European clubs of major world leaders? Indeed, as late as May 2018, contrary to Russiagate allegations, he still hoped, as he had from the beginning, to rebuild Russia partly through economic partnerships with the West: "To attract capital from friendly companies and countries, we need good relations with Europe and with the whole world, including the United States." 3 " ..."
"... A few years earlier, Putin remarkably admitted that initially he had "illusions" about foreign policy, without specifying which. Perhaps he meant this, spoken at the end of 2017: "Our most serious mistake in relations with the West is that we trusted you too much. And your mistake is that you took that trust as weakness and abused it." 34 ..."
"... <img src="https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/S/amazon-avatars-global/default._CR0,0,1024,1024_SX48_.png"> P. Philips ..."
"... "In a Time of Universal Deceit -- Telling the Truth Is a Revolutionary Act" ..."
"... Professor Cohen is indeed a patriot of the highest order. The American and "Globalists" elites, particularly the dysfunctional United Kingdom, are engaging in a war of nerves with Russia. This war, which could turn nuclear for reasons discussed in this important book, is of no benefit to any person or nation. ..."
"... If you are a viewer of one of the legacy media outlets, be it Cable Television networks, with the exception of Tucker Carlson on Fox who has Professor Cohen as a frequent guest, or newspapers such as The New York Times, you have been exposed to falsehoods by remarkably ignorant individuals; ignorant of history, of the true nature of Russia (which defeated the Nazis in Europe at a loss of millions of lives) and most important, of actual military experience. America is neither an invincible or exceptional nation. And for those familiar with terminology of ancient history, it appears the so-called elites are suffering from hubris. ..."
Apr 01, 2019 | www.amazon.com

THE SPECTER OF AN EVIL-DOING VLADIMIR PUTIN HAS loomed over and undermined US thinking about Russia for at least a decade. Inescapably, it is therefore a theme that runs through this book. Henry' Kissinger deserves credit for having warned, perhaps alone among prominent American political figures, against this badly distorted image of Russia's leader since 2000: "The demonization of Vladimir Putin is not a policy. It is an alibi for not having one." 4

But Kissinger was also wrong. Washington has made many policies strongly influenced by' the demonizing of Putin -- a personal vilification far exceeding any ever applied to Soviet Russia's latter-day Communist leaders. Those policies spread from growing complaints in the early 2000s to US- Russian proxy wars in Georgia, Ukraine, Syria, and eventually even at home, in Russiagate allegations. Indeed, policy-makers adopted an earlier formulation by the late Senator .Tolm McCain as an integral part of a new and more dangerous Cold War: "Putin [is] an unreconstructed Russian imperialist and K.G.B. apparatchik.... His world is a brutish, cynical place.... We must prevent the darkness of Mr. Putin's world from befalling more of humanity'." 3

Mainstream media outlets have play'ed a major prosecutorial role in the demonization. Far from aty'pically', the Washington Post's editorial page editor wrote, "Putin likes to make the bodies bounce.... The rule-by-fear is Soviet, but this time there is no ideology -- only a noxious mixture of personal aggrandizement, xenophobia, homophobia and primitive anti-Americanism." 6 Esteemed publications and writers now routinely degrade themselves by competing to denigrate "the flabbily muscled form" of the "small gray ghoul named Vladimir Putin." 7 , 8 There are hundreds of such examples, if not more, over many years. Vilifying Russia's leader has become a canon in the orthodox US narrative of the new Cold War.

As with all institutions, the demonization of Putin has its own history'. When he first appeared on the world scene as Boris Yeltsin's anointed successor, in 1999-2000, Putin was welcomed by' leading representatives of the US political-media establishment. The New York Times ' chief Moscow correspondent and other verifiers reported that Russia's new leader had an "emotional commitment to building a strong democracy." Two years later, President George W. Bush lauded his summit with Putin and "the beginning of a very' constructive relationship."'

But the Putin-friendly narrative soon gave away to unrelenting Putin-bashing. In 2004, Times columnist Nicholas Kristof inadvertently explained why, at least partially. Kristof complained bitterly' of having been "suckered by' Mr. Putin. He is not a sober version of Boris Yeltsin." By 2006, a Wall Street Journal editor, expressing the establishment's revised opinion, declared it "time we start thinking of Vladimir Putin's Russia as an enemy of the United States." 10 , 11 The rest, as they' say, is history'.

Who has Putin really been during his many years in power? We may' have to leave this large, complex question to future historians, when materials for full biographical study -- memoirs, archive documents, and others -- are available. Even so, it may surprise readers to know that Russia's own historians, policy intellectuals, and journalists already argue publicly and differ considerably as to the "pluses and minuses" of Putin's leadership. (My own evaluation is somewhere in the middle.)

In America and elsewhere in the West, however, only purported "minuses" reckon in the extreme vilifying, or anti-cult, of Putin. Many are substantially uninformed, based on highly selective or unverified sources, and motivated by political grievances, including those of several Yeltsin-era oligarchs and their agents in the West.

By identifying and examining, however briefly, the primary "minuses" that underpin the demonization of Putin, we can understand at least who he is not: