RIP Stephen F. Cohen, a friend and guide who spent the last four years of his life standing against a tidal wave of hysterical
Cold War hostility with elegance and erudition. His intellectual courage was anchored in experience and scholarship his
antagonists could never match. Please watch the attached clip from CNN.
We are all reeling today from the shock that Steve Cohen is no longer with us. What an incalculable loss to the U.S.-Russia
field of expertise at a time when we most need Steve’s sane, seasoned voice coming to us from decades of his distilled wisdom.
Upon hearing of Steve’s passing, I instinctively went to my shelves and pulled down the book, “Stephen Cohen, the Soviet Union
and Russia”, the front cover of which shows Steve and Katerina, decades younger, standing with the Kremlin wall in the
background. This is a book of tributes and comments by Steve’s Russian colleagues. It is very telling that he was/is so honored
by Russians and Americans alike.
No one can fill Steve’s shoes, but all of us can redouble our efforts to get back to Russia today, to do the type of
sleuth work between cultures for which Steve was known. We can take up his mission to insist that Americans forego
propaganda and become aware of the great need to be better informed on relations between our two countries before it is too late.
Nothing would be more fitting to Steve’s memory than if his passing could stimulate a new wave of Americans seriously
exploring rapprochement between our two nations. Let us ponder in this direction and plan accordingly.
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.
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%.
After the Coup in Ukraine in 2014 for several years I listened weekly to the John
Batchelor show when he interviewed Russia scholar the late Stephen Cohen.
From those conversations I learned that Ukraine is politically divided EAST (pro European
Union) / WEST (pro Russian) (a bit like the United States is divided RED / BLUE).
Politically by vote Ukraine was close to 50% pro E.U., 50% pro Russia.
After the Coup Crimea voted to return to Russia thus making the political breakdown of
Ukraine more pro E.U.
Forbes Magazine in 2008 republished an interview with Soviet critic Alexander
Solzhenitsyn, among other things, noted 1) in 1919 Lenin in bringing Ukraine into the
Soviet Union gave Ukraine "several Russian provinces to assuage her feelings," 2) that when
in 1954 Khrushchev gave Crimea to Ukraine Sevastopol was not transferred to Ukraine as
Sevastopol was a military city subject to the Central Government of the U.S.S.R.
I would note that Khrushchev's transfer of Crimea to Ukraine violated Soviet Law /
Constitution as the people of Crimea were not asked if they wanted to be transferred.
At the time I did some searching about the history of Crimea and Ukraine and it turns out
that shortly after the fall of the Soviet Union Crimea wanted to separate from Ukraine and
the Central Government of Ukraine threatened to invade Crimea.
The Central Government of Ukraine in its Constitution gave Crimea a special status not
given other provinces.
I would note that in October 1962 Joe Biden was 19 years 11 months old and likely a
college student. In October 1962 the world came close to ending (at least a good deal of the
so called civilized world) with the Cuban Missile Crisis.
However, in 2014, ignoring the warning of Robert F. Kennedy of the need to put yourself in
the other Country's shoes, Biden supported the violent Coup which essentially included a
violent takeover of the Ukrainian Parliament (Rada) by violent protesters, much akin to the
Trump Taliban taking over the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.
It seems that Biden thought that NATO could just move into Sevastopol and take over not
just the port of the Russian navy, but the Russian Navy itself.
"... I hate virtually all of Trump's policies. I hate his stupidity in continually hiring people who hated him. He could have turned to members of the genuine left -- men such as Stephen Cohen -- for advice. ..."
"... n a classic act of projection, woke Dems accuse Trump of not conceding, whereas in fact they are the ones who never conceded the presidency in 2016. This is so obvious, and yet it has apparently become invisible to most!!! Memory hole opened up like a crack in the earth behind each step. ..."
"... The gullibility of Trump is astounding. He did everything to keep the swamp happy, to keep Israel happy, flipped on Nato and on Russia, had hawks left and right and at the end he will be discarded like a used condom. ..."
"... can't help but think that Donald Trump is a man with no common sense, lacking the real conviction of his words and just not very bright or he was to some degree willfully complicit in this now obviously dire state the U.S. finds itself. ..."
"... If anyone thinks there is some good news because this murderous, warring empire is coming to an end, I suggest you think again. The war machine is still fully intact and funded. The international bankers who are in complete control are buying up everything and are planning on a 'reset' dictated by them. To the world! Understandably, there will likely be a few countries who do not feel inclined to agree with this reset and it's terms. There will have to be war to correct this thinking, even if a billion or more are killed. The more the merrier. Less 'useless eaters' to deal with. ..."
I fear you are right. In this case it might be better if he weren't such a street fighter,
because standing up for himself to me isn't worth the price he will pay. He should get
himself and his family post haste to a country with no extradition and simply live the rest
of his life in peace. No one needs the vitriol that has been and will continue to be heaped
Trump _should_ spend the rest of his life behind bars -- for contributing to the deaths of
tens of thousands of human beings. Ordinary Syrians, Iranians, Cubans, and Venezuelans died
because of the murderous sanctions Washington put on their countries, and Pres. Trump did
nothing to help -- and in fact, intensified them.
Very similar to his indifference to the plight of Edward Snowden & Julian Assange.
Trump is a monster of self-centredness. In fact, in the words of his own former White House
Chief of Staff, he is 'the most damaged human being I have ever met.' Just the sort of
creature we would expect to find as head of the US empire
I'm afraid you are spot on -- Trump lies to the World when he was running for President
& then broke almost all of his promises -especially to drain the Swamp. He also
unforgivably allowed the Jews to take over Palistinian land etc. He has alot to answer for
even if he wasn't as War like as the 3 Presidents before him.
YOu re problably right, Jimmy.
But it turns out differently when one gets the point where Trump locked up prospect here is
not him but a whole lot of american people trying to get rid of globalism and the need for
Who might be buried up along with him.
I agree. If Trump deserves lockup, so do Obama, Bush, and the Clintons.
I hate virtually all of Trump's policies. I hate his stupidity in continually hiring
people who hated him. He could have turned to members of the genuine left -- men such as
Stephen Cohen -- for advice.
But that is not the point. Since 2016 those who tried to eliminate Trump did so not for
his real crimes but for made-up. Basically his crime of being president in the first
I n a classic act of projection, woke Dems accuse Trump of not conceding, whereas in
fact they are the ones who never conceded the presidency in 2016. This is so obvious, and yet
it has apparently become invisible to most!!! Memory hole opened up like a crack in the earth
behind each step.
Trump's crime, for which he may actually be locked up, was in truth just winning the
presidency in 2016 and humiliating Hillary (whom everyone hated anyhow). I am becoming quite
terrified of people I have known all my my life and even am related to.
Corrected assessment. His wealth and his 5 children (and their future) are too much of a
liability for him to do the necessary. His policy of appeasement will not work though with
the rabid bolshevik kabal.
I think he and his family will be persecuted and likely prosecuted unless the has the
foresight to move to Russia and save his skin.
The gullibility of Trump is astounding. He did everything to keep the swamp happy, to
keep Israel happy, flipped on Nato and on Russia, had hawks left and right and at the end he
will be discarded like a used condom.
Russia saw it from the get go, at the end he will have the full weight of both parties
against him, and instead of locking her up it will be the other way around. The cowards have
no sense of decency, they will not show any good will like he did.
Trump betrayed his base, failed to organize again and again, put his trust in all the
wrong people and now is done. I'll be surprised if he doesn't face jailtime on some trumped
For all his charisma and good intentions he turned out a clueless clown, sad clown at the
end. History will not be kind, and neither will the victors.
True Americans have seen their last train leave the station, it will take time to realize
that there are no more trains. Game over.
I thought this was a good summation by Dr. Roberts. I can't help but think that Donald
Trump is a man with no common sense, lacking the real conviction of his words and just not
very bright or he was to some degree willfully complicit in this now obviously dire state the
U.S. finds itself. Maybe he owed the Rothschild clan a favour.
If anyone thinks there is some good news because this murderous, warring empire is
coming to an end, I suggest you think again. The war machine is still fully intact and
funded. The international bankers who are in complete control are buying up everything and
are planning on a 'reset' dictated by them. To the world! Understandably, there will likely
be a few countries who do not feel inclined to agree with this reset and it's terms. There
will have to be war to correct this thinking, even if a billion or more are killed. The more
the merrier. Less 'useless eaters' to deal with.
Try to see something good in creation every day. Try to do good every day. This world as
it is does not have much time. Someone said that what cannot go on forever won't! At some
point, the One who gives life to all will say it is enough. Some of us just celebrated his
most blessed nativity.
Who better to preside over the collapse of the empire? The usual rules will apply: the
feckless Dems – always at their abysmal worst when they assume power – will blame
the "evil Reps" for everything that goes wrong (and there will be plenty – although
none of it will ever be discussed publicly!), and the Reps will be at their sterling
obstructionist best. Talk of impeachment for Biden – who will be nowhere in sight for
most of his term – will linger throughout his term, while Trump will soon be prosecuted
and jailed, his entire administration canceled from the official histories, with Queen
Hillary named "Presidentess in Exile" for 2016-2020 due to alleged Russian interference with
her rightful coronation. The Empire will trumpet from on high for all to hear that this
signals the glorious victory of US Democracy (angelic chorus sounds here) over the forces of
darkness, or some such agitprop; and the skies will clear, the birds will sing, and a rosy
glow will return to the cheeks of all the fair maidens and indeterminant gendered of our
great land. The masks, of course, will remain firmly in place, as the "new normal" slowly
becomes merely business as usual, and the sheeple graze contentedly in their prison stalls,
content in the knowledge that Big Brother is looking out for their health and welfare, at
least until the ritual sacrificial slaughter of the lambs should be deemed necessary. For the
good of all, of course. Should all make for some excellent reality TV.
Well the empire is going to collapse the citizens before it collapses, and even before the
empire collapse comes a global scare of epic proportions to shake and rattle the cage for
those whom are not prepared.
Trump isn't going anywhere. I was at the rally in DC and listened to his
entire speech on the ellipse. He stated that he would not concede. With
this assurance why would the demonstrators have any reason to aggressively
breach the Capitol building? The whole thing was a staged provocation by antifa.
There are videos of how this was staged all over the internet. Let us all
hope and pray that the Scarlet(Whore) color revolution against Trump is finally
eradiated and extirpated now that all the Deep Satanists have been exposed for
their participation in the coup and election fraud.
The question has been asked – what is the US military going to do? Will they just
stay put and watch the theft unfold?
Whilst many commentators were soiling themselves in phantasies of a pro trump military coup
to end the charade, drain the swamp and burn down DC, PCR had a very clear view (expressed
elsewhere): why would the military object to a new leadership if it promises more war, more
blood, more money? It won't, it will welcome it in fact.
Be it as it may, and despite all the stinkin' lies about the election I would think it is
too tall an order for a non-murrican to mourn the self-destruction of the most evil, ghastly,
ruthless hegemon the world has seen in the last 100 years.
I second the sentiment. It's not even that. The media are full of Muricans' moaning about
their fate. It's everywhere – and on top of that, the scumbags are accusing China and
Russia for their "tribulations".
We don't care and we don't want to hear about how hard the life is for Billy Bob who would
die for the very criminals that have condemned him to a life of meth, moonshine and
malingering – while telling him that he is solely responsible for his own miserable
There is a huge big world elsewhere that is currently booming – thousand flowers are
blooming despite the oppression by the parasitical cancerous sub-empire – and yet, we
obsess over whether Trump is a fraud or not.
I suppose it provides a great platform for ranting :-)
Earlier this year, our friend and colleague
Stephen Cohen passed away. His contributions to the field of Russian, East European, and
Eurasian Studies will be felt for years to come. Professor Cohen was a historian, but his
legacy extends far beyond his scholarly work. Every year, the Stephen Cohen
Fellowship -- established on Professor Cohen's initiative and supported by Katrina vanden Heuvel
and the Kat Foundation -- funds the graduate education for master's students in the Department
of Russian & Slavic Studies at NYU. Professor Cohen has also helped enable doctoral
students to conduct dissertation research in Russia through the Cohen-Tucker Fellowship .
As we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving in the United States, we give thanks to Stephen
Cohen for not only his work in the REEES field but for the generosity he, Katrina vanden
Heuvel, and the Kat Foundation have shown to budding Russia scholars. We honor him today by
publishing the testimonials of some of current and former students who have benefitted from
Natasha Bluth (Cohen Fellowship)
The Stephen Cohen Fellowship enabled me to continue my studies of the former Soviet Union,
not only easing the financial burden of graduate school, but also providing the opportunity to
merge journalistic training with area studies, engage with a wide range of scholars and
regional specialists, and conduct field research in Ukraine. The support and encouragement
Stephen Cohen offered at our annual fellowship alumni dinners also inspired me to pursue a PhD
in sociology in order to explore post-Soviet civil society, nationalism, and gender from a
Michael Coates (Cohen-Tucker Fellowship)
During the 2018-19 academic year, I held a Cohen-Tucker Dissertation Fellowship, which I
used to fund over a year of archival research in Russia on the history of the Great Soviet
Encyclopedia. The fellowship allowed me to visit more than a dozen archives in Moscow and Saint
Petersburg, and to copy thousands of pages of original documents. Had I not been able to carry
out this archival work, I would not have been able to write my dissertation. The travel that
the Fellowship enabled was also personally significant to me, because I had never been to
Russia before I arrived in Moscow for my research year, even though I had already been studying
the country and its language for several years. It is one thing to read books about a
particular place, but actually experiencing life there first-hand is quite another, and has
been essential to the development of my understanding of the region. I am extremely grateful to
Prof. Cohen and Ms. vanden Heuvel for their generosity in funding the next generation of Russia
Stephen F. Cohen performed a great service in the last four years as he relentlessly
refuted the great Russiagate hoax which not only distorted our political life but seriously
wounded US-Russia relations for years to come. That hoax is a threat to world peace and Prof.
Cohen from the very first saw through it. Both in his writings for The Nation and his near
weekly conversations with John Batchelor of ABC radio rebutted it clearly, eloquently and at
times with good humor. How very much he is missed.
Trump's election, Russiagate and the smear campaign against Julian Assange have deluded and
disoriented many "left" organizations.
"I was shocked at the virulent animosity to anything Putin."
I returned from a delegation to
Russia a year ago, so am now more sensitive to the pervasive and persistent anti-Russia
propaganda in this country. To prepare for my trip, I read Stephen Cohen's War
with Russia? , which I believe is an unimpeachable source of information. So I was
dismayed to learn of his recent death, because he was a voice of reason amidst the salivating
war fever. Caitlin Johnstone does justice to
his memory: " We should heed the dire warnings that Cohen spent his last breaths issuing. We
should...call for détente with Russia and China. We should begin creating an opposition
to this world-threatening flirtation with armageddon before it is too late."
The delegation was led by Sharon Tennison, founder of Center for Citizens Initiatives , which has been taking citizen
diplomacy delegations to the USSR and Russia since 1983. On her recent 84th birthday she
published a letter about where she sees current US/Russian relations ,
including the risk of nuclear war. I posted her letter to a listserv of the National Lawyers
Guild, an organization I have been a member of for 37 years. Although I have previously
exposed the NLG for losing its political compass, I was shocked at the virulent animosity
to anything Putin, or even Russian, in the emails it generated.
Unfortunately, this anti-Russia bias is not unique to the Guild. Trump's election,
Russiagate, and the smear campaign against Julian Assange have deluded and disoriented many
organizations and individuals with profoundly critical and activist traditions, including the
Democratic Socialists of America and Democracy Now! Since COVID, China is now in the US
crosshairs as well, with increased risk of catastrophe. The intent of this article is to expose
this extremely dangerous political tendency, with the Guild as but one example, because it is
increasing international hostilities, at our peril. What we desperately need is an anti-war
"China is now in the US crosshairs as well."
I shared with a retired lawyer and fellow-member of the Russia delegation that a Guild
member said I would create more chaos than clarity on the left if I exposed the Guild. She
responded "'You will create more chaos than clarity on the Left,' sounds like old-time,
1930's communism when it was politically incorrect to criticize any defects in the party. Any
organization, or any individual, that lacks the backbone to stand up to criticism and to
examine itself to see if that criticism is warranted, and to self-correct if it is or to
vigorously defend itself if it isn't, is weak, an empty box echoing platitudes it cannot
Tennison received many positive responses to her birthday letter, such as:
"I thank you for the gift of that wonderfully thoughtful letter!"
"I liked your perspectives on President Putin."
"I think you make a persuasive case."
"I am forwarding your message to others."
Apparently, it's controversial to publish group emails anonymously without the author's
consent. I told Tennison that the many Guild responses were largely hostile to her point of
view and asked if it was ethical to expose them. She said, " I think you should expose them
on their ungrounded biases. Tell them to go see the country that was collapsing from communism
and then robbed blind by the oligarchs in the 90s, then finally began to get up on its knees by
the early 2000s and today is in amazing shape.What do you mean when you ask 'what are
the ethics?' You should tell the truth! That's the height of ethics!!!"
"You should expose them on their ungrounded biases."
Guild responses, which echo what many "progressive" groups are saying, include: "This is
garbage propaganda... Anyone with a small amount of knowledge of Russia knows this article is
absolutely not true. No matter what you think of the current state of our government, we have
nothing to gain from Putin. There is nothing admirable about him as a leader and there is
nothing admirable about his government. I can't even fathom the motivation for disseminating
this....I am hardly a lover of American MSM propaganda, but I am getting tired of seeing
knee-jerk reactions to any criticism or negative news about Putin or RT...I don't know if
Tennison's piece is propaganda (implying some intent), but it certainly is misguided. I (and
probably a fair number of other folks on this list) have not met Putin and am not particularly
invested in this debate...move this offlist, or set up a 'debates about politicians foreign and
domestic' sublist...I was disputing the accuracy of the author's description of Putin's
character and questioning why Putin's character is being defended on an NLG listserv."
A former comrade, who still probably calls himself a socialist, claimed it is an electoral
issue: "Riva doesn't give a damn if Trump is re-elected by the electoral college,...She even
attacked the NLG for failing to oppose Russia Today having to register as a foreign agent. The
discussion is a total turn-off to new and veteran members alike." Others voiced election
concerns: " Support for Putin is support for Trump...When I see an article like this come,
apparently, out of the blue and unrelated to the NLG's mission, I wonder who benefits from
propping up Putin's character?...It's difficult for me to believe that there are NLG members
who want to rehabilitate Putin's image in order to help the Trump Administration...My fears are
that the election is the motivation for the email supporting Putin."
" Support for Putin is support for Trump."
A Guild member of over 30 years said, "When nonsense like that is sent out by Guild
members it contributes to making the Guild irrelevant." Several others claimed the wisdom
of age and Red-rearing: "My own father was in Local 1199 In the 1930s and recruited and
covered for the absences of NYC Health workers sent to Spain as medics and ambulance drivers in
the Spanish Civil War... what could be more " pinko " than that!...Putin and his boss Leningrad
Mayor Anatoly Sobchak visited Los Angeles in the 1980s on a visit arranged by the LA-St
Petersburg Sister City Committee ( on which I served along with the CEO of Lockheed and other
major LA area companies). A fruit of their visit was booking a float in the Rose Parade
featuring tourism in St. Petersburg! Can't make this up!" [What is wrong with that? I wish
we could build more sister city relationships in Russia. I recently tried to get San Francisco
to consider having a sister city in Russia, and was told it wasn't a good time to do so.]
Another long-term socialist comrade said " in defending, as you do, Putin and Putin's
Russia, you lose credibility with Guild folks who, I suspect, also share our desire to not see
a US-Western World conflict with Russia. It is one thing to defend against red-baiting...as one
called before HUAC during Vietnam, believe me, I am deeply opposed to red-baiting...it is
another to present a picture of Putin which, quite frankly, does not square with reality. (I
know, you believe the western press gives us a false picture of Putin. But there are plenty on
the left, and in the left media, that have a very different assessment of Putin than the woman
writing that letter you sent around.)" It is remarkable that people who challenge my
questioning of the groupthink on Russia, refuse to offer a coherent, written counter to my
perspective or a defense of the groupthink.
And the younger generation: " These kinds of threads are the reason people unsubscribe
from lists and/or are turned away from the NLG altogether. I'm a very new member and am very
disheartened to see this exchange from Guild members who set the example for my generation This
is setting a bad precedent for the Next Gen by putting this BS on the NLG List...Well, speaking
for myself, this Next Gen member is unsubscribing, having applied my own judgment values and
critical thinking skills to the situation...This is a barrier to the Guild's outreach and
membership development, and has encouraged me to channel my energy into other
"People who challenge my questioning of the groupthink on Russia, refuse to offer a
coherent, written counter to my perspective."
And of course people use the danger of fascism : "Many of us generally support radical or
left ideals. With the rise of fascism in this country, now, more than ever, we need to promote
inclusion and allyship rather than sectarianism and exclusion?" Does principled debate (let
alone simply posting a letter) imply "sectarianism and exclusion" and foreclose "inclusion and
allyship?" Others said there is an "expectation that we be collegial" and "good to each
One of the very few positive responses came from a member who recently visited Russia:
"I must say I agree with many of those who criticize Tennison's piece on Putin -- but
very much oppose the notion that this list should be reserved for local Guild work. People who
are offended by or oppose comments posted by NLG members shouldn't be able to shut down
contentious discussions. It's easy enough to simply delete a thread that you consider
'irrelevant' -- although I would hope most Guild members would want to engage in discussion
about the countries and leaders that our governing elites and the MSM are attacking in
promotion of US imperial power (i.e. Russia, China, Venezuela, and Iran, for starters).The Guild is an organization of internationalists -- and not limited to local
And there was this qualified support: "I agree that we should be very suspect of
Red-baiting news stories on general principle...while holding the nuance of resisting
authoritarianism includes using a critical lens."
A democratic organization requires open discussion and voting on controversial positions.
Until recently, since its founding in 1937, that occurred at the Guild's annual conventions. It
was through such a process that the Guild improved its position on Palestine. I have no problem
being a vocal minority in a democratic organization, but there must be debate for positions to
be clear. I have tried, unsuccessfully, several times over the Trump years -- and the New
McCarthyism -- to have such discussions. If there had been, I would have kept these issues
internal to the organization. The squashing of debate was the catalyst for my airing dirty
laundry, as well as its implications for the broad progressive community.
I was told that I will create "fissure" and "NLG folks will be on the defensive," (about
being called out on their anti-Russia bias?) and an old comrade says he will not respect me if
I expose the Guild's anti-Russia bias by pulling anonymous quotes from Guild members emails. As
to ethics, my Russia delegation comrade says: " Your old comrade favors quashing the truth
in order to present a good face. A false face, in fact. Is it ethical to do that? You are in
the boat that many of us are struggling to stay afloat in. Going against popular opinion
becomes a whole lot more than just a quaint quirk when the stakes are raised -- as they are
right now with the election in view and the Dems seriously worried. It is getting really nasty
Riva Enteen is a lifelong peace activist, social worker, lawyer, advocate for justice and
editor of"Follow the Money,"a
collection of Pacifica Radio's Flashpoints Interviews.
I draw your attention to the irrefutable fact that Mr. Cohen said that the Buk missile, which
brought down Malaysian Flight 370 over the skies of Donbas, was the Ukraine government "playing
with its new toys and made a big mistake." -- and I draw your attention to the irrefutable fact
that Mr. Cohen said that the Buk missile, which brought down Malaysian Flight 370 over the skies
of Donbas, was the Ukraine government "playing with its new toys and made a big mistake."
He was a real giant in comparison with intellectual scum like Fiona Hill, Michael McFaul and other neocons.
"... I tried to explain to American friends what was happening, but quickly realized that ultimately, even friends believe what they read in the newspapers, and the newspapers were pushing the Washington line. Except for Steve Cohen. Steve was the only major figure in America who insisted on remembering the Russian-speaking Ukrainians who, like my family members, distrusted and hated the new Kiev government. He spoke of neo-Nazi paramilitiaries who fought for the US-backed government committing war crimes against civilians in eastern Ukraine. He spoke the truth, regardless of how unwieldy it was. ..."
"... There's a lot to say about Steve. He was extraordinarily kind, never forgetting that in geopolitics, the ones who have the most to lose aren't strategists but everyday individuals impacted by policy. He was a consummate teacher, insisting on giving mentees the skills to navigate the world, a real proponent of the Teach a man to fish philosophy. He had facets and stories and memories; he lived life with empathy and gusto. ..."
"... Steve's insistence on speaking the truth about Ukraine and US-Russia relations drew all sorts of attention. America was hurtling toward a new cold war with Russia, and Steve well, from the perspective of Washington's foreign policy establishment, Steve was fucking up the narrative. Steve talked about inconvenient things, things like US-backed war criminals and America's own meddling in Russian affairs; in the process, he himself had become inconvenient. ..."
"... After all, this wasn't some random blogger. This was one of America's foremost Russia experts, a tenured professor at Princeton and New York University, someone who didn't just write about history but had dinner with it, had briefed US presidents, and was friends with legends like Mikhail Gorbachev. Steve had clout earned from decades of brilliant work; by 2014, he was using that clout to throw a wrench in the think tank world. ..."
"... It was something far colder, more sustained, something that ironically the Soviets did to dissidents: a relentless crusade to render the target untouchable, a leper without a platform. The barrage of articles and diatribes hurled at Steve in the national press painted him as not just a dissenter but a supporter of dictators and murderers. It was a vicious, prolonged assault carried out by think tank toadies, the kind of people who win races by kneecapping the competition. ..."
"... I'd often talk with Steve after a new hatchet job or smear on national television. Of course, the attacks were hurtful -- the only way to not be affected was to not care, and Steve cared. But I also noticed he was remarkably free of bitterness. Every time I thought he'd snap, he'd return the next day to write, discuss, keep fighting. ..."
"... It took me a couple of years to understand that what kept Steve going was faith in his beloved institutions. He believed in academia, in scholarship, in discourse, debate, and civility. He believed in the capacity of everyday people to explore and engage with their world, he believed in Russia, and he always believed in America. He believed in these things far more than he believed in the power of today's warmongers. ..."
"... In 1967 Noam Chomsky wrote an article in the NY Review entitled "the Responsibility of Intellectuals" the first sentence ran like this: "IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY of intellectuals to speak the truth and to expose lies.". Stephen Cohen did precisely that when all the parrots and pundits were lined up against him. ..."
"... Always I was skeptical of prevailing scholarly interpretive trends on the Soviet experience that were echoed by colleagues claiming expertise on the subject. Cohen provided the foundation for my skepticism and invigorated my lectures on American foreign policy. ..."
"... Once Cohen plied his knowledge against the hysterical narrative that culminated in 4 years of frothing neo-McCarthyism (by the freakin' "left," no less), we were no longer gonna see him on the PBS newshour any more likely than we would and will see chris hedges, chomsky, or margaret kimberly. ..."
"... His book War With Russia? was an oasis of counter-narrative when I picked it up. Losing voices like his is immeasurable as we hurtle toward total war with Russia and/or China, both of whom are finally, naturally, and perfectly predictably beginning to draw a line in the sand. ..."
I first reached out to Stephen Cohen because I was losing my mind.
In the spring of 2014, a war broke out in my homeland of Ukraine. It was a horrific war in a
bitterly divided nation, which turned eastern Ukraine into a bombed-out wasteland. But that's
not how it was portrayed in America. Because millions of eastern Ukrainians were against the
US-backed government, their opinions were inconvenient for the West. Washington needed a clean
story about Ukraine fighting the Kremlin; as a result, US media avoided reporting about the
"wrong" half of the country. Twenty-plus million people were written out of the narrative, as
if they never existed.
I tried to explain to American friends what was happening, but quickly realized that
ultimately, even friends believe what they read in the newspapers, and the newspapers were
pushing the Washington line. Except for Steve Cohen. Steve was the only major figure in America
who insisted on remembering the Russian-speaking Ukrainians who, like my family members,
distrusted and hated the new Kiev government. He spoke of neo-Nazi paramilitiaries who fought
for the US-backed government committing war crimes against civilians in eastern Ukraine. He
spoke the truth, regardless of how unwieldy it was.
And so I e-mailed him, asking for guidance as I began my own writing career. Of course,
there were many who clamored for Steve's time, but I had an advantage over others. Steve and I
were both night owls, real night owls, the kind who have afternoon tea at three am. It
was then, when the east coast was sleeping, that he became my mentor and friend.
There's a lot to say about Steve. He was extraordinarily kind, never forgetting that in
geopolitics, the ones who have the most to lose aren't strategists but everyday individuals
impacted by policy. He was a consummate teacher, insisting on giving mentees the skills to
navigate the world, a real proponent of the Teach a man to fish philosophy. He had
facets and stories and memories; he lived life with empathy and gusto.
But one thing Steve taught me is to stick to my strengths, and truth be told, there are
others who can describe his life better than I. I'll stick to what I learned during our
conversations at three in the morning, which is that, above all else, Stephen F. Cohen was a
man of faith.
Steve's insistence on speaking the truth about Ukraine and US-Russia relations drew all
sorts of attention. America was hurtling toward a new cold war with Russia, and Steve well,
from the perspective of Washington's foreign policy establishment, Steve was fucking up the
narrative. Steve talked about inconvenient things, things like US-backed war criminals and
America's own meddling in Russian affairs; in the process, he himself had become
After all, this wasn't some random blogger. This was one of America's foremost Russia
experts, a tenured professor at Princeton and New York University, someone who didn't just
write about history but had dinner with it, had briefed US presidents, and was friends with
legends like Mikhail Gorbachev. Steve had clout earned from decades of brilliant work; by 2014,
he was using that clout to throw a wrench in the think tank world.
The DC apparatchiks couldn't discredit Steve's credentials or track record -- he'd predicted
events in Ukraine and elsewhere years before they occurred. They couldn't intimidate him --
he'd faced far worse threats, like the KGB. Instead, they set out to turn him into an
America-hating, Putin-loving pariah.
This went beyond an ad hominem campaign. It was something far colder, more sustained,
something that ironically the Soviets did to dissidents: a relentless crusade to render the
target untouchable, a leper without a platform. The barrage of articles and diatribes hurled at
Steve in the national press painted him as not just a dissenter but a supporter of dictators
and murderers. It was a vicious, prolonged assault carried out by think tank toadies, the kind
of people who win races by kneecapping the competition.
I'd often talk with Steve after a new hatchet job or smear on national television. Of
course, the attacks were hurtful -- the only way to not be affected was to not care, and Steve
cared. But I also noticed he was remarkably free of bitterness. Every time I thought he'd snap,
he'd return the next day to write, discuss, keep fighting.
It took me a couple of years to understand that what kept Steve going was faith in his
beloved institutions. He believed in academia, in scholarship, in discourse, debate, and
civility. He believed in the capacity of everyday people to explore and engage with their
world, he believed in Russia, and he always believed in America. He believed in these things
far more than he believed in the power of today's warmongers.
Steve liked movies and would often end a lecture with a movie reference to drive home the
thesis. When I think of him, I think of the ending of The Shawshank Redemption , the
line about Andy Dufresne crawling through filth and coming out clean on the other side. Steve
didn't live in a movie; I can't claim he emerged unscathed. What he did was come through
without bitterness or cynicism. He refused to turn away from the ugliness, but he didn't allow
it to blind him to beauty. He walked with grace. And he lost neither his convictions nor his
Golinkin Lev Golinkin is the author of A Backpack, a Bear, and Eight Crates of Vodka,
Amazon's Debut of the Month, a Barnes & Noble's Discover Great New Writers program
selection, and winner of the Premio Salerno Libro d'Europa. Golinkin, a graduate of Boston
College, came to the US as a child refugee from the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkov (now
called Kharkiv) in 1990. His writing on the Ukraine crisis, Russia, the far right, and
immigrant and refugee identity has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los
Angeles Times, CNN, The Boston Globe, Politico Europe, and Time (online), among other venues;
he has been interviewed by MSNBC, NPR, ABC Radio, WSJ Live and HuffPost Live.
Pierre Guerlain says: October 1, 2020 at 12:42 pm
In 1967 Noam Chomsky wrote an article in the NY Review entitled "the Responsibility of
Intellectuals" the first sentence ran like this: "IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY of intellectuals
to speak the truth and to expose lies.". Stephen Cohen did precisely that when all the
parrots and pundits were lined up against him. He was a Mensch. History will bear him
the historian out.
Valera Bochkarev says to Lance Haley: October 1, 2020 at 11:09 am
Hmm, who's the apologist here ?
If the Ukraine is SO sovereign how is it I did not see any outrage in your diatribe
against 'Toria, Pyatt and the rest orchestrating the Maidan putsch or the $5Billion US spent
on softening up the ukraine for the regime change ?
I believe in numbers, as in the number of military bases any given country has surrounding
the ones it wants to subvert, in the amount of money allocated to vilify and eventually bring
down the "unwanted" regimes and the quantity and 'quality' of sanctions imposed against those
regimes; and the sum of all of the above perpetrated against humanity in the past 75 or so
Your vapid drivel, Mr Haley, evaporates almost without a trace once seen with those
parameters in mind.
Numbers don't lie.
Michael Batinski says: September 30, 2020 at 5:48 pm
Let me add from the perspective of an American historian who taught for forty years in a
midwestern university. From the start I depended on William Appleman Williams to keep
perspective and to counter prevailing interpretive trends.
Always I was skeptical of
prevailing scholarly interpretive trends on the Soviet experience that were echoed by
colleagues claiming expertise on the subject. Cohen provided the foundation for my skepticism
and invigorated my lectures on American foreign policy.
I will always be thankful.
Tim Ashby says: September 30, 2020 at 2:37 pm
The smothering agitprop in America trumps even Goebbels and co. with its beautifully
dressed overton window and first-amendment-free-press bullshit.
Once Cohen plied his knowledge against the hysterical narrative that culminated in 4 years
of frothing neo-McCarthyism (by the freakin' "left," no less), we were no longer gonna see
him on the PBS newshour any more likely than we would and will see chris hedges, chomsky, or
Let's face it, we were lucky to win the editorial fight to even give him
space in the Nation.
His book War With Russia? was an oasis of counter-narrative when I picked it up. Losing
voices like his is immeasurable as we hurtle toward total war with Russia and/or China, both
of whom are finally, naturally, and perfectly predictably beginning to draw a line in the
One of the most vibrantly alive people I met, André Vltchek, just died . Though he barely
made it past his mid-fifties he got in a lot more living than a hundred average Americans who
live to collect their pensions. Allah yarhamhu.
In honor of this great Truth Jihadi we're replaying this 2018 interview:
The West claims to be the "free world" -- the global leader in human rights,
humanitarianism, and free expression. Globetrotting independent journalist André Vltchek , who joins us from Borneo,
isn't buying it. His latest
Western culture is clearly obsessed with rules, guilt, submissiveness and punishment.
By now it is clear that the West is the least free society on Earth. In North America and
Europe, almost everyone is under constant scrutiny: people are spied on, observed, their
personal information is being continually extracted, and the surveillance cameras are used
Life is synchronized and managed. There are hardly any surprises.
One can sleep with whomever he or she wishes (as long as it is done within the 'allowed
protocol'). Homosexuality and bisexuality are allowed. But that is about all; that is how far
'freedom' usually stretches.
Rebellion is not only discouraged, it is fought against, brutally. For the tiniest
misdemeanors or errors, people end up behind bars. As a result, the U.S. has more prisoners per
capita than any other country on Earth, except the Seychelles.
Andre taunted rightwing elites and illness – with a passion. I guess one of them
Living hard seems like a death-wish, maybe it was. Staring at darkness messes people up
and he traveled again and again into the hearts of darkness across the planet because he
wanted to be a modern Wilfred Burchett. He was one of the greats. My condolences to his
family and friends.
Peace to Stephen Cohen too. You both will be missed.
André Vltchek was not an intellectual heavyweight. What is fascinating about his
life-story is how and who financed. That should be easy for insiders to fish out, and
insiders there be.
As to my humble opinion, Chomsky was neither. From all angles, his pre-fabricated
prestige, his in-group attitudes, his encrusted prestance, pettiness, pedantry, always within
convention, his factoid approach, the channels of communication, the lack of any systemic
approach, his "good guys bad guys" copper´ approach, did not warrant the few hours
listening in on his tune and omni-presence. His numb personality, contrary to the combative
Vltchek is noted as a minor.
Some "intellectuals" have half a page of original content in them over the course of a
life-time (not the same as career (n´est ce pas Pinker?)), most have none. "History
repeat itself", through the bull-horns of public intellectuals. They both practiced a sort of
journalism that is superficial (accent on the superficial) agenda driven.
Ex-CIA John Kiriakou stated that the CIA was attempting to recruit just about anyone that
they were able to starting in the sixties ranging from Hollywood actors/actresses, musicians,
writers, journalists, artists, business people, just about anyone. Operation Mockingbird is
still widely used even if it is no longer regerred to it as Operation Mockingbird.
André Vltchek (1962-2020) was the son of a Czech nuclear physicist father, and a
Russian-Chinese artist-architect mother, born in Soviet-era St Petersburg (then Leningrad).
He spent part of his childhood as well in the famous Czech beer city of Pilsen.
Western culture is clearly obsessed with rules, guilt, submissiveness and
What culture is not? Every single population on Earth wants to survive, Westerners want
non-Aryans to survive, but the mechanism is always the same. The Stasi, the Gestapo, the CIA,
the KGB – they all breathed air, and they all tortured dissenters. Turkey was almost
overthrown in 2016. The Shah of Iran was, as were Hosni Mubarak and Gaddafi in Egypt and
Libya. Bashar is facing quite a lot of criticism for being free – that critique comes
in the form of bombs and jihadi freedom fighters. The Saudi Prince is wise for strangling and
beheading Khashoggi. The USSR disintegrated after they had shut down the GULAG.
As a result, the U.S. has more prisoners per capita than any other country on Earth,
except the Seychelles.
Okay. If the West is the least free society on the planet, why the heck do all these
third-world people keep trying to move there? It is plain that Vltchek's thinking flunks the
real-world reality test.
The reality is, the rest of the world is worse off than the West, or people wouldn't keep
trying to leave the third world for the West.
@Anon ey want to have freedom of their stupid religious beliefs, not freedom from
religion. They still don't know that freedom of religion is not worth anything if it also
doesn't guarantee freedom from religion.
Thomas Jefferson tried very hard to explain this to them, but Yankee morons have never
learned what Jefferson tried to teach them. (With some notable exceptions, though, who,
however, have absolutely no political power.)
Vltchek is/was right: American/Western civilization [sic] (siphilization, rather) is
bankrupt and inhuman. It can only offer an abundance of material goods and military weapons
as if the only goals of human life were material things and warfare.
"... Accompanying this overwhelmingly dominant political and economic ideology was an American geopolitical vision equally grandiose in ambition and equally blind to the lessons of history. This was summed up in the memorandum on "Defence Planning Guidance 1994-1999," drawn up in April 1992 for the Bush Senior administration by Under-Secretary of Defence Paul Wolfowitz and Lewis "Scooter" Libby ..."
"... In the early 2000s, when its influence reached its most dangerous height, military and security elites would couch it in the terms of "full spectrum dominance." ..."
"... Bhadrakumar describes how the 'west', through its own behavior, created a mighty block that now opposes its dictates. He concludes ..."
"... Quintessentially, Russia and China contest a set of neoliberal practices that have evolved in the post-World War 2 international order validating selective use of human rights as a universal value to legitimise western intervention in the domestic affairs of sovereign states. On the other hand, they also accept and continuously affirm their commitment to a number of fundamental precepts of the international order -- in particular, the primacy of state sovereignty and territorial integrity, the importance of international law, and the centrality of the United Nations and the key role of the Security Council. ..."
"... The rules are follow the dictates of our western neo-colonial institutions like the World Bank, the IMF et all. ..."
"... Its a pretty simple concept backed by the attack dog of the US military. ..."
"... 'Rules based order' was always a euphemism for exceptionalism of one kind or another. The term was invented to avoid having to say 'rule of law', which invited criticism because even the most minimal amount of law (such as Geneva conventions, ICC etc) was rejected in practice and in policy by the leading members of the actually existing world order. ..."
"... Rumor says the "Wolfowitz Doctrine" also envisioned the balkanization of Russia (the document is still classified, but it leaked to a NYT journalist at the time, who published a report on it). ..."
"... It is not over in the sense that the West hasn't given up in its attempts to take over the world. But as the "exceptionalist" western countries decline, they will go even crazier and crazier and there will be full blown hysteria. ..."
"... In this sense, the rule based order will be over as there will be only disorder and animalistic, crazed western rage and bullying. The West is like a trapped animal. It will start pouncing, raging and snarling like a wild animal. This is the real nature of the West. A hungry wild animal that needs to feed. ..."
"... But behind the liberal mask, there are hateful eyes and gnashing teeth, and hunger and greed for other people's resources. ..."
"... Expressed in words, the West's face says "I'm the best and you are nothing! Give me your stuff! And this is how it will forever be!" ..."
"... As Putin has said, the US is no longer agreement capable. ..."
"... Instead of bringing Russia into the Western liberal democracies (with the threat of major nuclear war now drastically reduced) the now Anglo-Zionist Empire just looted it. ..."
"... Actually the Trump Administration has done far more against Russia than all US administrations from the last 30 years. Do not listen what they say, look at what they do. Right now the US in a full blown Cold War with Russia with ever increasing attacks ..."
"... Rules based international order .... the U.S. functions as the the Supreme Court for the U.N. , 'we have invoked snapback sanctions and extended the arms embargo on Iran indefinitely and are enforcing it'. UN, 'but your vote failed'. ..."
"... Rules based International Order is the dog whistle for global private finance controlled economies. It is sad that we are in a civilization war with China/Russia about who runs international finance going forward and yet there is no discussion of the subject but instead all sorts of proxy conflicts. ..."
"... The US is not just facing relative decline -- the fact that others are catching up in key ways. The US is also facing absolute decline -- the fact that it is suffering a degradation of capacities and is losing competitive battles in key areas. Examples of absolute decline include the Russian and Chinese military-technological revolutions based on anti-ship and hypersonic missiles and air defense systems; Chinese 5G; China's demonstrative success in suppressing COVID and its overall manufacturing power; the declining quality of life for most Americans; and the collapse of American institutional competence. ..."
"... Related to this, we can't separate these dynamics from the political economy of the states in question. China, in particular, is showing that an interventionist state, with high levels of public ownership, is essential to qualitative power, human security, and economic and social development. ..."
"... Psssst, learning Russian is easier than Chinese and we already know a few Russian words, such as novichok. ..."
"... Russia after the Cold War was a shambles and today it remains a weak economy with a limited role on the world stage, concerned mainly with retaining some of its traditional areas of influence. China is a vastly more formidable competitor. If the US (and the UK, if as usual we tag along) approach the relationship with Beijing with anything like the combination of arrogance, ignorance, greed, criminality, bigotry, hypocrisy and incompetence with which western elites managed the period after the Cold War, then we risk losing the competition and endangering the world. [my emphasis] ..."
"... It is not over in the sense that the West hasn't given up in its attempts to take over the world. ..."
"... The contest between the Empire and the upstarts is not over by a long shot. What the West HAS lost is the "inevitability" argument. But for the upstarts to actually prevail in their "multi-lateral" vision, they have to actually entice countries to join them despite threats and intimidation from the Empire. ..."
"... The Empire's power-elite KNOW that Russia, China, and allies of Russia-China don't want to be subject to their "rules-based order". The Empire is actively working to undermine, subvert, and divide the countries that oppose it. While also securing their own territories/population via intimidation and propaganda. ..."
"... On rules based disorder and the capitulation of Merkel and her BND lapdogs to the 'hate Russia' fulminations of the UKUSA morons. I see that the German Parliament has NOT TAKEN its red pills these days and is reluctant to swallow the BS. ..."
"... My late father as an army officer prosecuted Japanese war criminals for their atrocities now the Anglo-Zionists are the pre-eminent war criminals and their leaders loudly proclaim "our values" as a pathological and propagandistic form of projection. Is it possible they are unaware of their blatant hypocrisy ? ..."
"... There is no "international law" and no "international order." There is only relative power. And when those powers clash, as seems inevitable, the world is in for a major nuclear war, and probably preceded by several more regional wars. Meanwhile, the US internally is collapsing into economic disaster, social unrest, political and social oppression, infrastructure failure, and medical disasters. We'll probably be in martial law sometime between November 3 and January 21 if not beyond that period, just for starters. ..."
"... America's "Rules-Based International Order" is a Goebbelsian euphemism for a Lies-Based Imperial Order, led by the USA and its war criminal allies (aka the self-styled Free World). ..."
"... The true nature of this America-led order is exposed by the USA's war of aggression against Iraq (which violated international law and had no United Nations sanction) and its decades-long War on Terrorism, which have murdered hundreds of thousands of people and maimed, immiserated, or refugeed millions of more people. ..."
"... The Empire is very much alive and dangerous. Ask Iran, ask Syria, as the Palestinians, ask the Russians, ask the Chinese. Ask numerous African nations. Even Pangloss was not so stupidly naive. ..."
"... quite right. 'Rules based order' was always a euphemism for exceptionalism of one kind or another. ie US and its "allies" is basically asking the rest of the world to finance their (the US et al) version of a welfare state. ..."
"... China and rest of the worlds foreign central banks stopped growing their foreign exchange reserves (on net) in 2014 leaving the US in a sort of limbo. ..."
"... "Major powers maintaining cooperation, at least not engaging in Cold War-style antagonism, is the important foundation of world peace. China is committed to maintaining cooperation among major powers, as well as being flexible in the balance of interests acceptable to all parties. The problem is the Trump administration is hysterically shaping decoupling and confrontation between Beijing and Washington, and has been mobilizing more forces to its side at home and abroad. Those US policymakers are deliberately splitting the world like during the Cold War. ..."
"... The first 'Cold War' was entirely contrived. The US knew the Soviet Union was weak and had no agenda beyond maintaining security and its own reconstruction after WW2. There was no threat of a Western European invasion, or of the USSR spreading revolution globally. All that Cold War ideology is a lie. And the same lying is taking place about China today. No difference. ..."
"... It's good to see discussion here of the nefarious role of the American far-right neocon warmongers in the State Department, intelligence services and military leadership just before the turn of the new century. What I have never seen clearly explained, however, is the connection between these very dangerous forces and the equally cynical and reactionary Israeli politicians and the Mossad, as well as Saudi Arabian officials. ..."
The 'western' countries, i.e. the United States and its 'allies', love to speak of a 'rules based international order'
which they say everyone should follow. That 'rules based order' is a way more vague concept
than the actual rule of law:
The G7 is united by its shared values and commitment to a rules based international order.
That order is being challenged by authoritarianism, serious violations of human rights,
exclusion and discrimination, humanitarian and security crises, and the defiance of
international law and standards.
As members of the G7, we are convinced that our societies and the world have reaped
remarkable benefits from a global order based on rules and underscore that this system must
have at its heart the notions of inclusion, democracy and respect for human rights,
fundamental freedoms, diversity, and the rule of law.
That the 'rules based international order' is supposed to include vague concepts of
'democracy', 'human rights', 'fundamental freedoms', 'diversity' and more makes it easy to
claim that this or that violation of the 'rules based international order' has occurred. Such
violations can then be used to impose punishment in the form of sanctions or war.
That the above definition was given by a minority of a few rich nations makes it already
clear that it can not be a global concept for a multilateral world. That would require a set of
rules that everyone has agreed to. We already had and have such a system. It is called
international law. But at the end of the cold war the 'west' began to ignore the actual
international law and to replace it with its own rules which others were then supposed to
follow. That hubris has come back to bite the 'west'.
Anatol Lieven's recent piece, How
the west lost , describes this moral defeat of the 'west' after its dubious 'victory' in
the cold war:
Accompanying this overwhelmingly dominant political and economic ideology was an American
geopolitical vision equally grandiose in ambition and equally blind to the lessons of
history. This was summed up in the memorandum on "Defence Planning Guidance 1994-1999," drawn
up in April 1992 for the Bush Senior administration by Under-Secretary of Defence Paul
Wolfowitz and Lewis "Scooter" Libby, and subsequently leaked to the media. Its central
While that 1992 Washington paper spoke of the "legitimate interests" of other states, it
clearly implied that it would be Washington that would define what interests were legitimate,
and how they could be pursued. And once again, though never formally adopted, this "doctrine"
became in effect the standard operating procedure of subsequent administrations. In the early
2000s, when its influence reached its most dangerous height, military and security elites
would couch it in the terms of "full spectrum dominance." As the younger President Bush
declared in his State of the Union address in January 2002, which put the US on the road to
the invasion of Iraq: "By the grace of God, America won the Cold War A world once divided
into two armed camps now recognizes one sole and pre-eminent power, the United States of
But that power has since failed in the wars on Iraq and Afghanistan, during the 2008
financial crisis and now again in the pandemic. It also created new competition to its role due
to its own behavior:
On the one hand, American moves to extend Nato to the Baltics and then (abortively) on to
Ukraine and Georgia, and to abolish Russian influence and destroy Russian allies in the
Middle East, inevitably produced a fierce and largely successful Russian nationalist
On the other hand, the benign and neglectful way in which Washington regarded
the rise of China in the generation after the Cold War (for example, the blithe decision to
allow China to join the World Trade Organisation) was also rooted in ideological arrogance.
Western triumphalism meant that most of the US elites were convinced that as a result of
economic growth, the Chinese Communist state would either democratise or be overthrown; and
that China would eventually have to adopt the western version of economics or fail
economically. This was coupled with the belief that good relations with China could be
predicated on China accepting a so-called "rules-based" international order in which the US
set the rules while also being free to break them whenever it wished; something that nobody
with the slightest knowledge of Chinese history should have believed.
The retired Indian ambassador M.K. Bhadrakumar touches on the same points in an excellent
series about the new Chinese-Russian alliance:
Bhadrakumar describes how the 'west', through its own behavior, created a mighty block that
now opposes its dictates. He concludes:
Quintessentially, Russia and China contest a set of neoliberal practices that have evolved in
the post-World War 2 international order validating selective use of human rights as a
universal value to legitimise western intervention in the domestic affairs of sovereign
states. On the other hand, they also accept and continuously affirm their commitment to a
number of fundamental precepts of the international order -- in particular, the primacy of
state sovereignty and territorial integrity, the importance of international law, and the
centrality of the United Nations and the key role of the Security Council.
While the U.S. wants a vague 'rules based international order' China and Russia emphasize an
international order that is based on the rule of law. Two recent comments by leaders from China
and Russia underline this.
China firmly supports the United Nations' central role in global affairs and opposes any
country acting like boss of the world, President Xi Jinping said on Monday.
"No country has the right to dominate global affairs, control the destiny of others or keep
advantages in development all to itself," Xi said.
Noting that the UN must stand firm for justice, Xi said that mutual respect and equality
among all countries, big or small, is the foremost principle of the UN Charter.
No country should be allowed to do whatever it likes and be the hegemon or bully, Xi said.
"Unilateralism is a dead end," he said.
International laws should not be distorted or used as a pretext to undermine other countries'
legitimate rights and interests or world peace and stability, he added.
The Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov went even further by outright rejecting the 'western rules' that the 'rules
based international order' implies:
Ideas that Russia and China will play by sets of Western rules under any circumstances are
deeply flawed , Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with New
York-based international Russian-language RTVI channel.
"I was reading our political scientists who are well known in the West. The following idea
is becoming louder and more pronounced: it is time to stop applying Western metrics to our
actions and stop trying to be liked by the West at any cost . These are very reputable people
and a rather serious statement. It is clear to me that the West is wittingly or unwittingly
pushing us towards this analysis. It is likely to be done unwittingly," Lavrov noted.
"However, it is a big mistake to think that Russia will play by Western rules in any case,
just like thinking this in terms of China."
As an alliance China and Russia have all the raw materials, energy, engineering and
industrial capabilities, agriculture and populations needed to be completely independent from
the 'west'. They have no need nor any desire to follow dubious rules dictated by other powers.
There is no way to make them do so. As M.K. Bhadrakumar concludes
The US cannot overwhelm that alliance unless it defeats both China and Russia together,
simultaneously. The alliance, meanwhile, also happens to be on the right side of history.
Time works in its favour, as the decline of the US in relative comprehensive national power
and global influence keeps advancing and the world gets used to the "post-American century."
On a lighter note: RT , Russia's state sponsored international TV station, has recently
hired Donald Trump
(vid). He will soon host his own reality show on RT . The working title is reportedly:
"Putin's Apprentice". The apprenticeship might give him a chance to learn how a nation that has
failed can be resurrected to its former glory.
Posted by b on September 22, 2020 at 17:59 UTC | Permalink
The rules are follow the dictates of our western neo-colonial institutions like the World
Bank, the IMF et all. We will own you and you will do what we say and those are the rules.
Any challenge to our authority will lead to war, economic ruin or both.
Its a pretty simple concept backed by the attack dog of the US military.
'Rules based order' was always a euphemism for exceptionalism of one kind or another.
The term was invented to avoid having to say 'rule of law', which invited criticism
because even the most minimal amount of law (such as Geneva conventions, ICC etc) was
rejected in practice and in policy by the leading members of the actually existing world
It is not over in the sense that the West hasn't given up in its attempts to take over the
world. But as the "exceptionalist" western countries decline, they will go even crazier and
crazier and there will be full blown hysteria.
In this sense, the rule based order will be over as there will be only disorder and
animalistic, crazed western rage and bullying. The West is like a trapped animal. It will start pouncing, raging and snarling like a wild
animal. This is the real nature of the West. A hungry wild animal that needs to feed.
All the liberalism is just self-congratulation about how exceptionalist it is. It is born
out of narcisism and self-obsession during the "good times" of the West.
But behind the liberal mask, there are hateful eyes and gnashing teeth, and hunger and
greed for other people's resources.
The real face of it is hateful and snarling. And it will be fully exposed during the next
10 years, as the West goes crazy and it becomes a hungry wild animal that desperately needs
Expressed in words, the West's face says "I'm the best and you are nothing! Give me your
stuff! And this is how it will forever be!"
Countries need to stay out from the wild animal and carry a big stick just in case, until
it succumbs from its internal hatreds and contradictions.
As Putin has said, the US is no longer agreement capable. As b. outlines. the US elites no
longer follow the rule of law. This is even true within the US. The US inherited the role
formerly played by the British Empire after WW2.
The national security apparatus of both the
US and the Soviet Union kept the Cold War going. Notice how soon after JFK was assassinated
Khrushchev was deposed. Gorbachev rightly stopped the Soviets superpower regime. As Dmitri Orlov points out - Empire hollowed out the Soviet Union and he sees it doing the same to the
Instead of bringing Russia into the Western liberal democracies (with the threat of major
nuclear war now drastically reduced) the now Anglo-Zionist Empire just looted it. The life
expectancy of Russians fell 7 years in a decade until rescued by Putin.
It can now be seen
that the Nixon-Kissinger opening up to China was not to gain access to its large market
potential but to gain access to hundreds of millions of cheap, disciplined, and educated
workers. The elites starting in the 70s became greedier. Jet travel,electronic communication,
and computers allowed the outsourcing of manufacture.
The spread of air conditioning allowed
even the too hot south to be a location. First in the US as the factories began their march
through the non union southern states onto Mexico. Management from the north could now live
in air conditioned houses, drive air conditioned cars and work in air conditioned offices.
The 70s oil inflation led to stagnation as the unionized labor were powerful enough to get
cost of living raises. With the globalization of labor union power in the US has been
destroyed. As Eric X Li points out China's one party rule actually changes policies easier
than the Western democracies.
So China's government hasn't joined in with the West in just
creating wealth for the top 1% and debt for the real economy.
As b. pointed out, the Anglo
Zionist policies created the mutual benefit partnership of Russia and China. The Chinese belt
and road initiative appears to be intent on creating a large trading zone that could benefit
those involved. The US is just using sanctions and the military to turn sovereign functioning
countries that don't go along with it into failed states and their infrastructure turned to
Now, the US is forced into puppeteering the UN in order to maintain the illusion of the
'rules based order,' even as it slides further and further away from any meaningful
Fortunately for the world, the United States took responsible action to stop this from
happening. In accordance with our rights under UNSCR 2231, we initiated the snapback process
to restore virtually all previously terminated UN sanctions, including the arms embargo. The
world will be safer as a result.
The United States expects all UN Member States to fully comply with their obligations
to implement these measures. In addition to the arms embargo, this includes restrictions
such as the ban on Iran engaging in enrichment and reprocessing-related activities, the
prohibition on ballistic missile testing and development by Iran, and sanctions on the
transfer of nuclear- and missile-related technologies to Iran, among others. If UN Member
States fail to fulfill their obligations to implement these sanctions, the United States is
prepared to use our domestic authorities to impose consequences for those failures and ensure
that Iran does not reap the benefits of UN-prohibited activity.
Actually the Trump Administration has done far more against Russia than all US
administrations from the last 30 years. Do not listen what they say, look at what they
do. Right now the US in a full blown Cold War with Russia with ever increasing attacks.
Pompeo talks more or less continually about "China's bullying behaviour". To me it is
wonderful that he can say this with a straight face. (Perhaps it is a result of his lessons
in the CIA on "how to lie better".)All the countries that have engaged with China have
benefitted from it, whether as salesmen or as recipients of aid or loans at advantageous
rates. The countries that have engaged with America have mostly (All?) lost. (The fifty+
countries invaded and wrecked since WW2 or the NATO "allies" or the countries attacked with
sanctions.) Either their economies were destroyed or billions upon billions of dollars were
paid to the US MIC. The NATO member countries have got what from their membership? Formerly,
they had "Protection" from an imaginary Soviet threat, more recently "Protection" from an
equally imaginary Russian threat! Some bargain, that!
Rules based international order .... the U.S. functions as the the Supreme Court for the
U.N. , 'we have invoked snapback sanctions and extended the arms embargo on Iran
indefinitely and are enforcing it'. UN, 'but your vote failed'.
U.S, 'we have the right to seize cargo between any two countries transported in
international waters based on U.S. federal appeals court decision even though the transaction
in no way involves the U.S. We call this Freedom of Navigation and why we need to have
aircraft carriers in the South China Sea and Arabian Gulf'
Rules based International Order is the dog whistle for global private finance controlled
It is sad that we are in a civilization war with China/Russia about who runs international
finance going forward and yet there is no discussion of the subject but instead all sorts of
Thanks for the posting b as it gets to the core myths around the global private finance
jackboot on the neck of countries in the West.
The US is not just facing relative decline -- the fact that others are catching up in key
ways. The US is also facing absolute decline -- the fact that it is suffering a degradation
of capacities and is losing competitive battles in key areas. Examples of absolute decline
include the Russian and Chinese military-technological revolutions based on anti-ship and
hypersonic missiles and air defense systems; Chinese 5G; China's demonstrative success in
suppressing COVID and its overall manufacturing power; the declining quality of life for most
Americans; and the collapse of American institutional competence.
Related to this, we can't separate these dynamics from the political economy of the states
in question. China, in particular, is showing that an interventionist state, with high levels
of public ownership, is essential to qualitative power, human security, and economic and
Capitalism might enrich a few, but it is the primary cause of America's relative and
US and allied military analysts have been talking over the last year or so of the need to
enter a single focus and total "wartime" posture throughout our societies, with all financial
and industrial output directed to the "war". This has influenced the information/ propaganda
efforts, but also the uptick in military manoeuvres around Taiwan and renewed NATO pressure
directed at Russia (including the recent provocative B52 flights). Don't think Russia/China
can be tricked into over-reacting, but some kind of loss-of-life military confrontation may
be what the rules-based side is looking for as the population at large will probably not
accept a "wartime sacrifice" regimen without such.
Whilst Russia and China are creating a truly new, unique and creative alliance and a
market of everything, in Australia the "authorities" are sicking their police dogs on poor
grannies sitting on park benches. This image of five brainless armed state goons in a show of
force over two quiet little grannies really puts things into perspective. It must be that New
World Order that Soros and puppets always talked about.
Psssst, learning Russian is easier than Chinese and we already know a few Russian words,
such as novichok.
The post scriptum stopped the clock for me. Has our host slipped into our drink there a
profound prophecy, disguised as jesting?
Many agree something big will happen (break?) soon, possibly with the elections. The other
thing is the Americans' ability to change course, drop all baggage, and run off in a new,
even the opposite direction with unfettered enthusiasm (and ferocity). No people has a
greater capacity for almost instant renewal, once it chooses to.
I also notice that the spoof takes good aim at The Donald's peculiarities, though in a
fair and human way. The proverbial Russian warmth, or a humorous invitation?
Meanwhile, I enjoy my newfound optimism in these dark times. Thanks b!
Thanks b and on Anatol Lieven in the Prospect story (fairy story?)...
Russia after the Cold War was a shambles and today it remains a weak economy with a limited
role on the world stage, concerned mainly with retaining some of its traditional areas of
influence. China is a vastly more formidable competitor. If the US (and the UK, if as usual
we tag along) approach the relationship with Beijing with anything like the combination of
arrogance, ignorance, greed, criminality, bigotry, hypocrisy and incompetence with which
western elites managed the period after the Cold War, then we risk losing the
competition and endangering the world. [my emphasis]
Lieven simply does not see it. Has it ever occurred to Lieven that colonialism just might
be rejected by both Russia and China and that there might be no competition? Does Lieven
watch too much football?
What is it that endangers the world in Lieven's petite cortex? This verbose Lieven
tosh is littered with fancy sentences trawled from here and there but always presented to us
from a narrow dimensional mind with limited analysis and seemingly zero interrogation.
again:- "then we risk losing the competition and endangering the world"...
So Lieven thinks the current behaviour of the US hegemon and its collaborator the UK is
innocuous? These were the two nations that blithely squandered the "peace dividend" from the
end of cold war as he describes and have led us to this time of perpetual war. A perpetual
war that he does not mention, does not allude to, does not treat as an important driver
behind the current global mistrust and disengagement from the USUK drive for global
Lieven is putting lipstick on his pig and screaming about losing the competition to the
imagined wolf outside his prison.
It is not over in the sense that the West hasn't given up in its attempts to take over
I agree. The contest between the Empire and the upstarts is not over by a long shot. What the West HAS lost is the "inevitability" argument. But for the upstarts to actually
prevail in their "multi-lateral" vision, they have to actually entice countries to join them
despite threats and intimidation from the Empire.
Passer by @Sep22 20:15 #14
Right now the US in a full blown Cold War with Russia with ever increasing attacks.
Yes. We still see the narratives like of Trump as Putin-lover despite the debunking of
Russiagate and the clear evidence of Cold War tensions. The incessant propaganda reeks of
<> <> <> <> <> <>
Some seem to think that the Empire is cornered.
Aha! We've got you now, you scoundrels!
The Empire's power-elite KNOW that Russia, China, and allies of Russia-China don't want to
be subject to their "rules-based order". The Empire is actively working to undermine,
subvert, and divide the countries that oppose it. While also securing their own
territories/population via intimidation and propaganda.
On rules based disorder and the capitulation of Merkel and her BND lapdogs to the 'hate
Russia' fulminations of the UKUSA morons. I see that the German Parliament has NOT TAKEN its
red pills these days and is reluctant to swallow the BS. It would be satisfying to see the
collective wisdom of the Parliament to exceed that of the BND. But then that is a low bar.
"For our part, we more than once described a balanced and mutually acceptable framework
for future agreements in this sphere during our contacts with the American negotiators. Aware
of the difficulties on the path forward in light of how widely different our approaches are,
we proposed extending the New START as it was originally signed.
"We do not want any unilateral advantages, but we will not make any unilateral concessions
either. A deal may be possible if the United States is ready to coordinate a new document on
the basis of the balance of interests, parity and without expecting Russia to make unilateral
concessions. But this will take time. We can have time to do this if the treaty is
As predicted, the Outlaw US Empire makes an offer it knows will be refused so it can then
blame Russia for being an unreliable negotiating partner--a trick we've all seen before.
I agree. The contest between the Empire and the upstarts is not over by a long shot.
What the West HAS lost is the "inevitability" argument. But for the upstarts to actually
prevail in their "multi-lateral" vision, they have to actually entice countries to join them
despite threats and intimidation from the Empire.
Yes, the big question remaining is to predict what will happen and when. This is what the
real deal is. And I'm sure they are working on that in the Intel agencies. It can certainly be predicted that the US and the EU will be significantly weaker in 2030
that today. Will this be enough is the question.
We now have some new information about US long term health as published by CBO. Very
They predict lower population growth and lower GDP growth for the US than previously
estimated, as well as higher debt rates. US federal debt is to reach 195 % of GDP by 2050 under best case scenario.
Analysts also seem to agree that the Covid 19 crisis further weakened the US vis a vis
China, as the Chinese economy significantly outperformed almost everyone else this year, more
than expected before the crisis.
I will also mention two important recent numbers. This year:
1. China, for the first time, became the biggest trading partner for the EU, beating the
2. China's retail market overtook the one of the US.
Posted by: vk | Sep 22 2020 19:05 utc | 4 -- "....Eurasia is where most of human civilization
lives, it's the "World Island" - the world island not in the military sense, but in the
economic sense. Every path to human prosperity passes through Eurasia - that's why the USA
can't "let it alone" in the first place, while the reverse is not true, that is, Eurasia can
give to the luxury of letting the Americas alone."
Excellent observation, VK.
Even if the World Island (thanks for your formulation) trades with itself, within itself,
there is sufficient mass to last a century, during which the arrogantly exceptional West
might just wake up from their Century of Humiliation.
Meanwhile, inertia alone will ensure that the West forgets that their vaunted
"civilisation" was fed, watered, enriched by the Silk Route that came from the East -- from
the Middle Kingdom (China) and from the Middle East (which is "middle", as you pointed out
above, because all wealth passes through that region).
Yes there are rules which are observed more by their breach than their observance: The Geneva
Conventions. Just ask Julian Assange.
I find it incredible that the Anglo-Zionist captive nations can sign, ratify, incorporate
into domestic law and then sign the additional protocol, making themselves high contracting
parties, which requires them to report all and any breaches to Geneva, then ignore all the
above commitments. One of these commitments includes educating their citizens on the basic
provisions of the conventions. Again they haven't bothered, that could expose their hypocrisy
to the public.
Even the bandit statelet signed but I am yet to see just one example of its application in
the seventy plus years of its barbaric and bloodthirsty occupation of Palestine.
Interestingly, the conventions prohibit the occupied from signing away one iota of their
territory to the occupier. So much for what Claude Pictet's Commentary to the Fourth Geneva
Convention calls "alleged annexations." This book is available from the ICRC.
My late father as an army officer prosecuted Japanese war criminals for their atrocities
now the Anglo-Zionists are the pre-eminent war criminals and their leaders loudly proclaim
"our values" as a pathological and propagandistic form of projection. Is it possible they are
unaware of their blatant hypocrisy ?
It seems the New World Order has some familiar and unsurprising antecedents:
Anatol Lieven comes from an educated and cultured family in Britain's upper middle class
layer. His older siblings - he is the youngest of five children - include a High Court judge
(Dame Natalie Lieven), a Cambridge University professor / historian (Dominic Lieven) and a
psychologist / linguistics researcher (Elena Lieven). They haven't done badly for a family from the old Baltic German
aristocratic elite that used to serve the Russian empire as administrators for the
The British Lievens might see themselves as gatekeepers and interpreters of what the
ruling classes desire (or appear to desire) and communicate that down to us. Hence their
positions in intellectual and academic occupations - no engineers, technicians or academics
in the physical or biological sciences among their number.
Anatol Lieven is right though about "competition", in the sense I believe he is using it:
it is "competition" for supposed global leadership and influence as only the British and
Americans understand it. Life as British and American elites understand it is the annual
football competition writ large; there can only be one winner and the worst position to be in
is second place and every other place below it. Never mind that what Russia and China have in
mind is a vision of the world with multiple and overlapping leadership roles dispersed among
nations according to various criteria: this ideal is simply too much for the Anglosphere
elites to understand, let alone digest and accept.
Still, I wonder why Anatol Lieven is teaching in a university in Qatar of all places.
Family influence and reputation must only go so far.
if you aren't at least a little prepared for a
disruption in critical supplies, and choose instead to waste time commenting on online
forums, it won't matter how up to date you are on "rules based international order" vs.
"international law". at that point the reality will be something like this: if you aren't
holding it, you don't have it, and if you can't defend it, you won't be keeping it for long.
Got that absolutely right.
There is no "international law" and no "international order." There is only relative
power. And when those powers clash, as seems inevitable, the world is in for a major nuclear
war, and probably preceded by several more regional wars. Meanwhile, the US internally is
collapsing into economic disaster, social unrest, political and social oppression,
infrastructure failure, and medical disasters. We'll probably be in martial law sometime
between November 3 and January 21 if not beyond that period, just for starters.
This month is National Preparedness Month. I recommend watching the following videos from
well-known "preppers" who have been warning about this stuff for years.
And this one from The Urban Prepper, an IT guy who is exceptionally well organized and
logical in his videos. I recommend subscribing to his channel. He avoids most of the
excessive "doom and gloom" hype that afflicts a lot of prepper channels and is oriented more
about urban survival than "backwoods bushcraft" since most people live in cities. Prepping 101: Prepping
Architecture Diagram for Gear Organization
Meanwhile, inertia alone will ensure that the West forgets that their vaunted "civilisation"
was fed, watered, enriched by the Silk Route that came from the East -- from the Middle
Kingdom (China) and from the Middle East (which is "middle", as you pointed out above,
because all wealth passes through that region).
Posted by: kiwiklown | Sep 22 2020 23:41 utc | 39
Oh, and this one from Canadian Prepper in which he muses about whether and why we actually
*want* the SHTF situation to occur. This one would resonate with a lot of the commentary here
about the social malaise and the psychological reasons for it. Maybe nothing really new for
some, but definitely relevant.
Still, I wonder why Anatol Lieven is teaching in a university in Qatar of all places.
Family influence and reputation must only go so far.
Thank you that backgrounder explains a lot. Perhaps like Englanders before him he finds
Qatar, safe and rewarding PLUS mounds of finest hashish and titillating company. From my
understanding it is a grotesque abuser of human rights and everyone has a price.
America's "Rules-Based International Order" is a Goebbelsian euphemism for a Lies-Based
Imperial Order, led by the USA and its war criminal allies (aka the self-styled Free World).
The true nature of this America-led order is exposed by the USA's war of aggression
against Iraq (which violated international law and had no United Nations sanction) and its
decades-long War on Terrorism, which have murdered hundreds of thousands of people and
maimed, immiserated, or refugeed millions of more people. These crimes against humanity have
been justified by Orwellian American lies about "Weapons of Mass Destruction," "fighting
terrorism," or the curious events of Sept. 11th.
This America "Rules-Based" order is one drenched in the blood of millions of people--even
as it sanctimoniously disguises itself behind endless propaganda about defending liberal
democracy or the rule of law.
Truly, America and its allies can take their malignant Rules-Based Disorder back to Hell,
where they all belong.
"Thus your "side note" has no "relevance" whatsoever."
You sound like some podunk UN official from a podunk country trying to impress a waitress
in a NYC bar. The Empire is very much alive and dangerous. Ask Iran, ask Syria, as the
Palestinians, ask the Russians, ask the Chinese. Ask numerous African nations. Even Pangloss
was not so stupidly naive.
Thank you - YES that is the answer and always has been PLUS there will be no pipeline from
Iran through Afghanistan to Pakistan and on to China. There will be NO overland pipeline or
rail route to sound the death knell to the maritime mafia.
Please vote for trump 2020. no president destroy America from inside like what trump did. The goal is to accelerate American empire destruction and grip in this world.
What better way to put such clown along his circus in white house. he will make a mess of everything and will definitely bring
i hope he win 2020 and America explode into civil war and chaos. With America destroyed internally , they wont have time to invade
Venezuela or Iran
Remember , if Biden win 2020 , American foreign policy will revert into normalcy that means
seeking alliance with EU and 5 eyes in a more meaningful way , aka giving them preferential
treatment on trade..
all that to box in china and russia , reenable TPP , initiate the delayed venezuela overt
invasion other than covert
this is dangerous for the whole world , not that it will save US in the long run but it
will increase real shooting conflict with china and russia.. So focus on trump victory in 2020 , the more controversial the win the better , lets push america into chaos
I appreciate the time and thought that goes into a post like this; all without a popup ad
trying to sell me ANOTHER item I just bought via Amazon, in spite of the fact that I am among
the least likely to want another right now. Voice of reason crying in the wilderness and all
The rule The Capitalist Ogres promote as the heart of Civilization is simply the age-old
Golden Rule. Those with the gold, make the rules.
@ptb quite right.
'Rules based order' was always a euphemism for exceptionalism of one kind or another. ie US and its "allies" is basically asking the rest of the world to finance their (the US
version of a welfare state.
as US et al can no longer fund their own unaffordable welfare promises made to their own
electorates, they have to call on the rest of the world to do so (China has been effectively
funding the US budget deficit since they entered the WTO.
and the EU (mainly Germany) was doing the same before China's entry into WTO)
China and rest of the worlds foreign central banks stopped growing their foreign exchange
reserves (on net) in 2014
leaving the US in a sort of limbo.
Well, you're sorta correct; it was all those nations including China that bought Outlaw US
Empire debt. China certainly knows better now and for almost a decade now it's purchases--and
those of the rest of the world -- of said debt have declined to the point where a huge crisis
related to the debt pyramid threatens all those aside from the 1% living within the Outlaw US
Empire. The Judo involved was very instructive.
address censured" headlines Global Times article that reviews yesterday's UNGA.
Domestic BigLie Media didn't like what it heard from Trump:
"Commenting on the US' performance, many Western media tended to view US as being
'isolated,' and its unilateral efforts 'widely derided....'
"Some US media outlets cannot stand Trump's accusations. A WSJ report said many Democrats
blamed Trump for "isolating the US and diluting American influence in the WHO or other
It went on to say Trump's threat of withdrawal is often used as leverage to "influence
partner countries, or get allies to pay more for shared defense."
"Some US media linked Trump's address to his widely blamed effort to re-impose sanctions
on Iran, saying his address came as 'UN members push back against Washington,' AP
"Wednesday's Washington Post article reported that the Trump administration walked on a
'lonely path' at the UN where the US attacked WHO, and embarked on the 'widely derided'
effort to snap back Iran sanctions.
"A week before the UN General Assembly, US media NPR predicted that the US 'appeared to be
isolated' at this year's General Assembly, saying that Trump's 'America First' agenda left
him out of sync with America's traditional allies as it has a long record of pulling out of
international agreements, including one meant to tackle the world's climate crisis."
So, Trump's attack on China's environmental record was beyond hypocritical and ought to be
termed psychopathic prevarication. The best comment from the article well describes the
"'Trump's smears and attacks against China were apparently aimed at campaigning for his
reelection. Only his die-hard fans - those who do not care about truth but support him -
will buy his words ,' Ding Yifan, a researcher at the Institute of World Development of
the Development Research Center of the State Council, told the Global Times." [My
And isn't that really the basic issue--the truth? 75 years of lies by the Outlaw US Empire
to cover it's continuous illegalities and subversion of its own fundamental law while killing
and displacing tens of millions of people. Guardian of the Free World my ass! More like
Guardian of the Gates of Hell.
Yes, I'm biased, but anyone seeking truth and invoking the Rule of Law would find themselves
at odds with the Outlaw US Empire. Today's Global Times Editorial makes
the following key observations:
"Major powers maintaining cooperation, at least not engaging in Cold War-style antagonism,
is the important foundation of world peace. China is committed to maintaining cooperation
among major powers, as well as being flexible in the balance of interests acceptable to all
parties. The problem is the Trump administration is hysterically shaping decoupling and
confrontation between Beijing and Washington, and has been mobilizing more forces to its side
at home and abroad. Those US policymakers are deliberately splitting the world like during
the Cold War.
"The impulse to promote a cold war is the ultimate version of unilateralism, and shows
dangerous and mistaken arrogance that the US is almighty. Everyone knows that the US is
declining in its competitiveness under the rules-based international system the US itself
initiated and created. It wants to build a new system more beneficial to itself, and allow
the US to maintain its advantage without making any effort. This is simply impossible."
My research is pointing me to conclude the First Cold War was contrived so the Outlaw US
Empire could impose privately owned finance and corporations and the political-economies
connected to them upon the world lest the collective forces that were the ones to actually
defeat Fascism gain control of their national governments and shape their political-economies
into the public/collectively owned realm where the benefits would flow to all people instead
of just the already powerful. That's also the intent of imposing a Second Cold War. Some seem
to think there's no ideological divide at play, but as I've ceaselessly explained there most
certainly is, thus the intense demonization of both Russia and China--the Strategic
Competition also is occurring in the realm of Ideas. And the only tools available for the
Outlaw US Empire to use are lies, since the truths involved would encourage any neutral
nation to join the Win-Win vision of China and Russia, not the Zero-sum bankruptcy pushed by
the Parasites controlling the Empire.
@ karlof1 | Sep 23 2020 15:56 utc | 84 and forward with the links and quotes...thanks
I do like the confirmation Pepe quote, thanks
It is sad to understand that much of the US population does not have the mental clarity to
see that Trump is no different than Biden when it comes to fealty to the God of Mammon. Way
too many Americans think that replacing Trump with Biden will make things all better.
The end of the rules based international order/global private finance cannot end soon
Thanks for your reply! As I discussed with the Missus last night, IMO only the people
regaining control over the federal government can rescue themselves from the multiple
dilemmas they face--the most pressing being the Debt Bomb and control of the monetary and
fiscal systems by private entities as exemplified by the Federal Reserve and Wall Street,
both of which employ the Financial Parasites preying on the nation's body-politic. Undoing
all the past wrongs requires both Congress and the Executive be captured by The People who
can then write the laws to end the wrongs while arresting and prosecuting those responsible
for the last 20+ years of massive fraud. The biggest components would be ending the Federal
Reserve, Nationalizing all the fraudster banks, writing down the vast majority of debt, and
disbanding NATO thus ending the overseas empire. Those are the most fundamental steps
required for the USA to avoid the coming calamity brought about by the Neoliberals. I also
have finally developed my thesis on where, why and how that philosophy was developed and put
The first 'Cold War' was entirely contrived. The US knew the Soviet Union was weak and had
no agenda beyond maintaining security and its own reconstruction after WW2. There was no
threat of a Western European invasion, or of the USSR spreading revolution globally. All that
Cold War ideology is a lie. And the same lying is taking place about China today. No
The key issues for the US were:
1. it needed western european capitalist states to buy US manufactured exports. Those
states had to remain capitalist and subordinate to the US, i.e. to avoid what Acheson called
'neutralism' in world politics.
2. the US wanted gradual decolonization of the British and French empires so that US firms
could access markets and resources in those same territories. but the US feared revolutionary
nationalism in the colonies and the potential loss of market access by the former colonial
powers, which would need resources from the post-colonial world to rebuild after WW2.
The key event which cemented the 'Cold War' in Europe was the division of Germany, which
Carolyn Eisenberg shows was entirely an American decision, in her important book, Drawing the
The driving force of all this, though, was the economic imperatives of US capitalism. The
US needed to restore and save capitalism in Western Europe and Japan, and the Cold War was
the ideological framework for doing so. The Cold War ideology also allowed the US to frame
its meddling in Korea, Guatemala, Iran, etc.
The late historian Gabriel Kolko wrote the best analyses of these issues. His work is much
better than the New Left 'revisionist' US historians.
I agree with your recap and second your appraisal of Gabriel Kolko. Eisenberg's work
somehow escaped my view but will no longer thanks to your suggestion.
But I see more to it all as the First Cold War had to occur to promote the
financialization of the USA's industrial Capitalism which began within the USA in 1913 and
was abruptly interrupted by the various market crashes, the failure of the international
payments system and subsequent massive deflation and Great Depression. A similar plan to
outsource manufactures to its colonies and commonwealth and financialize its economy was
began in the UK sometime after the end of the US Civil War. At the time in England, the
school of Classical Political-Economists and their political allies (CPE) were attempting to
rid the UK and the rest of Europe of the last vestiges of Feudalism that resided in the
Rentier and Banking Classes, the former being mostly populated by Royalty and its
retainers. Land Rent was the primary source of their income while it was the stated intent of
the CPE to change the tax burden from individuals and businesses to that of Land Rent and
other forms of Unearned Income. That movement came swiftly on the heels of the abolition of
the Slave Trade which was a vast source of Royal income. Recognizing this threat to the basis
of their wellbeing, the Royals needed to turn the tables but in such a manner where their
manipulation was secret because of the vast popularity of the CPE's agenda. Thus began the
movement to discredit the CPE and remove their ideas from discourse and later completely from
the history of political-economy. And there was another problem--German Banks and their
philosophy inspired by Bismarck to be totally supportive of German industry, which provided
the impetus for its own colonial pursuits primarily in Africa.
Within that paragraph is my thesis for the rise of Neoliberalism, much of which Dr. Hudson
documents but hasn't yet gotten to/revealed the root cause of the counter revolution against
the CPE. IMO, that reactionary movement underlies far more, particularly the growing
animosity between the UK and Germany from 1875 to 1914. As Eisenberg's research proves,
there's much more past to be revealed that helps to resolve how we arrived at the times we
Indeed, as Hudson and Max Keiser ask: Why pay taxes at all since the Fed can create all
the credit required. I've written about the pros and cons of Secession here before which are
quite similar to those existing in 1861. In Washington for example, how to deal with all the
Federal property located there. Just as Ft. Sumter didn't belong to South Carolina, the many
military bases there don't belong to Washington. Trying to seize it as the South Carolinians
attempted in 1861 merely creates the casus belli sought by Trump. Now if you could get the
vast majority of the military stationed in Washington to support your cause, your odds of
resisting would greatly improve.
IMO, trying to regain public control over the Federal government would be much easier.
Thank you brother karlof1, YES, the minotaur indeed but where is Theseus and Ariadne when
we need them? Please don't tell me that Biden and Harris are the 'chosen ones' - that would mock the
legend and prove that the gods are truly crazy :))
It seems to me that a review is required, that we need to turn back the clock to an earlier
analysis whose veracity has only been boosted by subsequent events. So here from
2011: "On November 3, 2011, Alan Minsky interviewed me on KPFK's program, 'Building a
Powerful Movement in the United States' in preparation for an Occupy L.A. teach-in." Here's a
brief excerpt to remind people what this is all about:
"Once people realize that they're being screwed, that's a pre-revolutionary situation.
It's a situation where they can get a lot of sympathy and support, precisely by not doing
what The New York Times and the other papers say they should do: come up with some neat
solutions. They don't have to propose a solution because right now there isn't one –
without changing the system with many, many changes. So many that it's like a new
Constitution. Politics as well as the economy need to be restructured. What's developing now
is how to think about the economic and political problems that are bothering people. It is
not radical to realize that the economy isn't working. That is the first stage to realizing
that a real alternative is needed. We've been under a radical right-wing attack – and
need to respond in kind. The next half-year probably will be spent trying to spell out what
the best structure would be."
It's good to see discussion here of the nefarious role of the American far-right neocon
warmongers in the State Department, intelligence services and military leadership just before
the turn of the new century. What I have never seen clearly explained, however, is the
connection between these very dangerous forces and the equally cynical and reactionary
Israeli politicians and the Mossad, as well as Saudi Arabian officials.
Like many others, I
have been slowly won over to the position that the attacks of 9-11, and especially the
totally unprecedented collapses of the three WTC towers, could only have been caused by the
precisely timed explosion of previously installed demolition materials containing nanothermite. But if one accepts that position the immediately subsequent question is "Who
planned and carried out the attacks?" Many people have claimed it was the Mossad, others that
it was the Mossad in concert with the US neocons etc., -- many of whom were Israeli/US dual
citizens -- but even now, so many years after the horrific events, I can find no coherent
account of how such conspirators, or any others for that matter, might actually have carried
out WTC building demotions. Do any of you know of sources on the matter that have made good
progress on connecting the dots and explaining what precisely happened -- the easier part --
and how exactly it was carried out, by whom, and how they have managed to get away with it
for all this time?
Lieven: If the US (and the UK, if as usual we tag along) approach the relationship with
Beijing with anything like the combination of arrogance, ignorance, greed, criminality,
bigotry, hypocrisy and incompetence with which western elites managed the period after the
Cold War, then we risk losing the competition and endangering the world.[my emphasis]
Uncle Tungsten: Lieven simply does not see it. Has it ever occurred to Lieven that
colonialism just might be rejected by both Russia and China and that there might be no
competition? Does Lieven watch too much football?
What is it that endangers the world in Lieven's petite cortex?
It is clear to me that Tungsten does not understand Lieven because Lieven does not cross all
t's and dot all i's. There can be two reasons for Lieven style: (1) a British style, leaving
some conclusions to the reader, it is not elegant to belabor the obvious (2) Lieven works in
a pro-Western feudal state and that particular piece appeared in a neo-liberal outfit where
it is already a clear outlier toward (what I see as) common sense. Neo-liberals view
themselves as liberals, "tolerating a wide spectrum of opinion", but with clear limits about
the frequency and content for the outliers of their tolerance.
Back to "endangering the world", how "loosing competition to China" can result in huge
mayhem? I guess that Tungsten is a little dense here. The sunset of Anglo-Saxon domination
can seem like the end of the world for the "members" of that domination. But a longer
historical perspective can offer a much darker vision of the future. First, there is a clash
of two blocks, one with superior industrial production, domination of markets of assorted
goods -- both as importer and exporter, etc, the other with still superior military
technology and combative spirit.
Recall (or check) the situation in east Asia ca. 1240 AD. One of the major power was Song
China, after a calamitous defeat roughly 300 years later, diminished Song China succeeded in
developing all kinds of practical and beautiful goods and vibrant commerce while having quite
inept military. The second major power was the Mongols. You can look up the rest.
USA stresses the military types of pressures, and seeing its position slipping too far,
they may resort to a series of gigantic "provocations" -- from confiscation of property by
fiat, like they did to Venezuela, to piracy on open seas, no cargoes can move without their
approval and tribute, from there things can escalate toward nuclear war.
More generally, western decline leads to decrease of wealth affecting the lower classes
first but gradually reaching higher, enmity toward competitors, then hatred, such processes
can have dire consequences.
Importantly, these are speculations, so stopping short of spelling them out is reasonable.
However, give some credit to Lieven for "the combination of arrogance, ignorance, greed,
criminality, bigotry, hypocrisy and incompetence with which western elites managed the period
after the Cold War".
On the rule-based world order. Scattered thoughts.
The article by Lieven was good in one aspect: it at least mentioned the crazy economic
template aka imho 'religion' that lead to a part of this mess. For the rest, hmm. The 'rules based international order' was always pretty much a phoney scaffold, used for
presentation to hide, cover up, legitimised many goings on (after WW2 I mean.)
Like a power-point extolling xyz product, with invented or 'massaged' charts and all.,
with tick boxes for what it positive or followed. (Fairness, Democracy, etc. etc. as
'Natural' 'Organic' etc. Total BS.)
In these kinds of discussions I am always reminded of the 'rights of the child' which in
CH are taught in grade 3-5, with a boiled down text, logo type pix, etc. It is very tough on
teachers, and they often only pretend to push the content. There are many immigrant children
in CH and the natives know that the 'rights' are not respected and not just in 'jungles'
(anarchist / animalistic hot spots) as they say. The kids go nuts - as they still more or
less believe that they 'have a voice' as it called -- the parents follow the kids, lotsa
troubles. OK, these are aspirations - but 'democracy' (purposely used as a calling card
following advice from a well-know ad agency..) is so as well. And presenting aspirations that
can't possibly be achieved in any way, when not a smiley joke about meeting God or flying to
Mars, and is socially important, is not well received.
Anyway, since the invasion of Iraq (totally illegal according to any standards) leading to
the biggest demos in the world ever, a loud indignant cry, which invasion the UN condoned,
ppl (in my experience, in CH, F, It) no longer have a shred of belief in 'international
rules'. Which of course makes them more 'nationalist' in the sense of acting in the
community, close at hand, as the Intl order is a shit-scene.
Colm O'Toole @ 26, Uncle Tungsten @ 32, David G @ 33:
I am also sad to hear of Andre Vltchek's passing. He used to be an occasional contributor
His death is being treated as suspicious by Turkish police authorities. I myself am rather
puzzled by the decision to travel overnight by car from Samsun to Istanbul, given his state
of health (according to the report that Colm O'Toole linked to) and the length of the car
journey (about nine hours) when he could have travelled by plane.
"... Cohen had the courage to take on the entire ruling elites of this country and their messianic supremacist ideology by himself, almost completely alone. ..."
"... He opposed the warmongering nutcases during the Cold War, and he opposed them again when they replaced their rabid hatred of the Soviet Union with an even more rabid hatred of everything Russian. ..."
First, he was a man of immense kindness and humility . Second, he was a man of total
intellectual honesty . I can't say that Cohen and I had the same ideas or the same reading of
history, though in many cases we did, but here is what I found so beautiful in this man: unlike
most of his contemporaries, Cohen was not an ideologue , he did not expect everybody to agree
with him, and he himself did not vet people for ideological purity before offering them his
Even though it is impossible to squeeze a man of such immense intellect and honesty into any
one single ideological category, I would say that Stephen Cohen was a REAL liberal , in the
original, and noble, meaning of this word.
I also have to mention Stephen Cohen's immense courage . Yes, I know, Cohen was not deported
to GITMO for his ideas, he was not tortured in a CIA secret prison, and he was not rendered to
some Third Word country to be tortured there on behalf of the USA. Stephen Cohen had a
different kind of courage: the courage to remain true to himself and his ideals even when the
world literally covered him in slanderous accusations, the courage to NOT follow his fellow
liberals when they turned PSEUDO-liberals and betrayed everything true liberalism stands for.
Professor Cohen also completely rejected any forms of tribalism or nationalism, which often
made him the target of vicious hatred and slander, especially from his fellow US Jews (he was
accused of being, what else, a Putin agent).
Cohen had the courage to take on the entire ruling elites of this country and their
messianic supremacist ideology by himself, almost completely alone.
Last, but most certainly not least, Stephen Cohen was a true peacemaker , in the sense of
the words of the Holy Gospel I quoted above. He opposed the warmongering nutcases during the
Cold War, and he opposed them again when they replaced their rabid hatred of the Soviet Union
with an even more rabid hatred of everything Russian.
I won't claim here that I always agreed with Cohen's ideas or his reading of history, and I
am quite sure that he would not agree with much of what I wrote. But one thing Cohen and I
definitely did agree on: the absolute, number one, priority of not allowing a war to happen
between the USA and Russia. It would not be an exaggeration to say that Stephen Cohen dedicated
his entire life towards this goal.
first "met" Steve through
"Bolshevism and Stalinism." His cogent, persuasive, revisionist argument that there are always alternatives in
history and politics deeply influenced me. And his seminal biography,
and the Bolshevik Revolution
, challenging prevailing interpretations of Soviet history, was to me, and many, a model of
how biography should be written: engaged and sympathetically critical.
At the time, I was too accepting of conventional wisdom. Steve's work -- and soon, Steve himself -- challenged me to be
critical-minded, to seek alternatives to the status quo, to stay true to my beliefs (even if they weren't popular), and to ask
unpopular questions of even the most powerful. These are values I carry with me to this day as editorial director of
, which Steve introduced me to (and its editor, Victor Navasky) and for which he wrote a column ("Sovieticus") from
1982 to 1987, and many articles and essays beginning in 1979. His last book,
was a collection of dispatches (almost all posted at
distilled from Steve's weekly radio broadcasts -- beginning in 2014–on
John Batchelor Show
he experiences we shared in Moscow beginning in 1980 are in many ways my life's most meaningful. Steve introduced me
to realms of politics, history, and life I might never have experienced: to Bukharin's widow, the extraordinary Anna
Mikhailovna Larina, matriarch of his second family, and to his eclectic and fascinating circle of friends -- survivors of the
Gulag, (whom he later wrote about in
) dissidents, and freethinkers -- both outside and inside officialdom.
From 1985 to 1991, when we lived frequently in Moscow, we shared the intellectual and political excitement, the hopes and the
great achievements of those
We later developed a close friendship with Mikhail Gorbachev, a man we both deeply admired as an individual and as a political
leader who used his power so courageously to change his country and the world. Gorbachev also changed our lives in several
Our marriage coincided with
In fact, Steve spent the very first day after our wedding, our so-called honeymoon, at the United Nations with Gorbachev and
the news anchor Dan Rather (Steve was consulting for CBS News at the time). Then, on our first anniversary, in 1989, we were
with President Bush (the first) and Gorbachev on Malta when they declared the end of the Cold War. And we think of our
daughter, Nika, now 29 years old, as a
because she was conceived in Russia during the Gorbachev years, made her first visit to Moscow in July 1991 and since then has
been back some 40 times. In a moving moment, a year after Raisa Maksimovna died, Gorbachev remarked to Steve that our marriage
and partnership reminded him of his with Raisa because we too seemed inseparable.
Steve has often regretted that many of the Russian friends he made after 1985 did not know about his earlier Moscow life. He
first visited the Soviet Union in 1959. But it was those pre-
1975 to 1982, that gave Steve what he once told me was his "real education. Not only in Russian society but in Russian
politics, because I began to understand the connection between trends in society, trends in the dissident movement, and trends
in the nomenklatura." They were "utterly formative years for me."
They also informed his writings, especially his pathbreaking book
the Soviet Experience
, which was published at the very time Gorbachev came to power. "There was a lot of tragedy," Steve
used to say, "but also a lot of humor and warmth when people had little more that personal friendships and ideas to keep them
company." From 1980, when I first traveled to Moscow with Steve, to 1982 when neither of us could get a visa (until 1985 when
Gorbachev became leader), we lived in that Russia, spending many nights in friends' apartments and kitchens drinking into the
night, and listening to uncensored, often pessimistic, thinking about the present and future of Russia.
I later became Steve's collaborator in smuggling
out of Russia to the West, and bringing
back to Russia and distributing them. By the time I joined him, Steve had managed to send dozens of such books to Moscow, and
satisfying friends with a selection ranging from Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Varlam Shalamov, George Orwell, and Robert Conquest
and, of course, the
of Steve's own book on Bukharin. I learned from Steve that one had to keep forbidden documents and manuscripts on one's person
at all times, knowing that the KGB frequently searched apartments and hotel rooms. At a certain point, Steve's shoulder bag
became so heavy that he developed a hernia on his right side. After surgery, he started carrying his bag on his left side, but
developed a second hernia there, as well. He liked to say that the worst the KGB ever did to him was to cause him two hernias!
In fact, it was
that first brought us together. In 1978, Steve heard that I had a diplomatic passport, which would have exempted me from a
customs search, and was about to travel to Moscow. (At the time my father was the United States representative to the United
Nations in Geneva.) Through a mutual friend, Steve asked if I would bring out
being held for him in Moscow. I would have been happy to do so, but Steve had been misinformed. I didn't have a diplomatic
teve could sometimes seem like a tough guy, but those who won his trust knew he was a person of great generosity,
loyalty, and kindness. He was known in our New York City neighborhood on the Upper West Side as an impresario/organizer and
longtime supporter of basketball tournaments for local, often poor, kids. In the United States and Russia, Steve mentored and
supported young scholars. In the last decade, he set up fellowships for young scholars of Russian history at the several
universities where he'd he studied and taught: Indiana University, Princeton, New York University, and Columbia. He lent his
support to the establishment of Moscow's State Museum of the History of the Gulag -- and to its young director and team.
Life with Steve was never boring. He was supremely independent, the true radical in our family, unfailingly going to the root
of the problem. He spoke his mind. He had a CD with a dozen variations of "My Way" -- from Billy Bragg to Frank Sinatra. And as
Chronicle of Higher Education
subtitled its 2017 profile of Steve, he "was the most controversial Russia expert in
SUPPORT PROGRESSIVE JOURNALISM
If you like this article, please give today to help fund
Through all our years together, Steve was my backbone, fortifying me for the battles
must wage (often with their own writers, sometimes including Steve!), and giving me the personal and political courage to do
the right thing. But never more so than when we entered what might be called the "Russiagate era."
While Steve liked to say it's healthy to rethink, to have more questions than answers, there was a wise consistency to his
political analysis. For example, as is clear from his many articles in
in these last decades, he unwaveringly opposed American Cold War thinking both during the Cold War and since the
end of the Soviet Union. He was consistent in his refusal to sermonize, lecture, or moralize about what Russia should do. He
preferred to listen rather than preach, to analyze rather than demonize.
This stance was no recipe for popularity, which Steve professed to care little about. He was courageous and fearless in
continuing to question the increasingly rigid orthodoxies about the Soviet Union and Russia. But in the last months, such
criticism did take its toll on him. Along with others who sought to avert a new and more dangerous Cold War, Steve despaired
that the public debate so desperately needed had become increasingly impossible in mainstream politics or media. Until his
death he'd been working on a short article about what he saw as the "criminalization of détente." The organization he
established, the American Committee on East-West Accord, tried mightily to argue for a more sane US policy toward Russia.
He fared better than I often did confronting the controversies surrounding him since 2014, in reaction to his views on
Ukraine, Putin, election interference, and more. Positions he took often elicited slurs and scurrilous attacks. How many times
could he be labeled "Putin's puppet"? "Putin's No.1 American apologist"? Endlessly, it seemed. But Steve chose not to respond
directly to the attacks, believing -- as he told me many times when I urged him to respond -- that they offered no truly substantive
criticism of his arguments, but were merely ad hominem attacks. What he did write about -- he was increasingly concerned about
the fate of a younger generation of scholars -- was the danger of smearing those who thought differently about US policy toward
Russia, thereby silencing skeptics and contributing to the absence of a needed debate in our politics, media, and academy.
ikhail Gorbachev often told Steve how deeply influenced he was by his writings, especially his biography of Bukharin.
Steve first met Gorbachev in 1987 at the Soviet Embassy in Washington. It was a reception for America's "progressive
intelligentsia" -- which Steve found funny, because he considered himself a maverick and didn't like labels. But he was there
that day, and within a few minutes a Kremlin aide told Steve that the general secretary wanted to talk to him. Minutes later,
Mikhail Sergeevich approached and asked Steve, assuming the author of Bukharin and the Bolshevik Revolution must be eminent
and of a "serious" age: "
[really] -- you
wrote the book, or was it your father?"
Steve finally achieved that "serious" age Gorbachev spoke of! But his heart, spirit and mind remained youthful till the very
end. Maybe it's because of his love of Jerry Lee Lewis's rock and roll, or New Orleans blues or Kentucky bluegrass, or his
passion for basketball (shared with our daughter Nika and his 16-year-old grandson, Lucas), or his quest for a good anecdote
(his annual anecdote lectures at Princeton and later NYU drew large crowds). Maybe it's because we continued our walks in
nearby Riverside Park for as long as was possible -- walks full of loving and spirited argument and talk. Perhaps it's because,
while Steve was a very serious person, he didn't take himself seriously.
n Saturday, Mikhail Gorbachev sent these words about Steve:
Please accept my sincere condolences on Steve's
passing. He was one of the closest people to me in his views and
understanding of the enormous events that occurred in the late 1980s in Russia and changed the world.
Steve was a brilliant historian and a man of
democratic convictions. He loved Russia, the Russian intelligentsia, and
believed in our country's future.
I always considered Steve and you my true
friends. During perestroika and all the subsequent years, I felt your
understanding and unwavering support. I thank you both.
Dear Katrina, I feel deep sympathy for your
grief and I mourn together with you and Nika.
Blessed memory for Steve.
I embrace you,
or 40 years, Steve was my partner, companion, co-conspirator, best friend, fellow traveler, mentor, husband (for 32
years), co-author. I will be forever grateful to him for introducing me to
, to Russia, for a life that has been full of shared adventure, friendship and passion, and for our beloved
Katrina vanden Heuvel
vanden Heuvel is editorial director and publisher of
, America's leading source of progressive politics and culture. She served as editor of the magazine from 1995 to
September 22, 2020 at 11:53 pm
My condolences for the passing of Stephen who fought the post Cold War policies against Russia with a balanced analysis--so
contradictory to the intellectuals who gloat in our victory and are unrealistic to the "threat" posed by Russia which desperately
needs peace and friendship with the West and, especially, us.
He has shown that you can criticism and condemn Stalinism
while also condemning our anti-Soviet policies. He walked that tightrope which I applaud. May his memory be a blessing.
September 22, 2020 at 10:44 pm
Dear Katrina, at this time of America's political confusion, pain and intellectual despair, the lost of Steve is really big.
He has been a source of inspiration to many, and the true defender of Russia in the middle of political adversity. Steve being an
intellectual giant always exposed his ideas in a humble and honest way. What a lost for America and for the world!
Rest in Peace Steve! And for you Katrina and Nika my most sincere condolences!
God Bless you all!
September 22, 2020 at 8:56 am
Boots, Applebaums, Kristols and Joffes of this world will come and go as specks of dirt clogging up our civilization while never
measuring up to courageous moral and intellectual giants like Professor Cohen. His intellect, insight and humility will always be
a shining beacon for those that have high hopes for humanity. Rest in peace, Steve Cohen. You've led a righteous and honorable
September 22, 2020 at 2:43 am
I started reading Steve's articles in connection with the conspiracy theory that Russiagate is and then I watched many videos of
him in interviews. I came to admire such a courageous man who was slandered by people who knew nothing, nothing about Russia, the
country Steve knew so well but also nothing about geopolitics, international relations and the tricks of intel services. Always
competent and with a gift for clear exposition, Steve warned about what is one of the gravest dangers: war with Russia. I too
admired Gorbachev and saw how he was hoodwinked by people who unknowingly prepared Putin's rise. A great courageous thinker is
gone and we miss him.
September 21, 2020 at 7:53 pm
I admired Steve's perspective from 1992 when I was in the second group that wasIn the US Embassy in Tashkent, Uzbekistan and two
years later with the Us Embassy in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan for two years from 1994-1996. I've been back to Russia twice in the past
three years and
I agree totally with His view of the stupidity of another Cold War!!!
September 21, 2020 at 5:12 pm
Katrina, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. I took two courses with Professor Cohen at Princeton in 1973 and 1974, and
he was without question the best lecturer I had in seven years of higher education. He became my intellectual mentor, although I
was too shy to ever really talk with him. I graduated in Politics and Russian Studies in 1977, and he was an inspiration. I am
especially saddened by his death because I have been thinking of picking up Russian studies soon when I retire and I wanted his
advice on where I should do a Masters degree, with whom, and what topics needed someone to pick up. He was a great man, and a
voice of sense about Russia. He will be greatly missed.
September 21, 2020 at 3:10 pm
Dear Katrina: Thank You for this personal sharing of Your life with Stephen Cohen; and sincere condolences to You, Nika and
I really appreciate Your clarity and candor about the unique position Steve occupied in the academic, intellectual and political
firmament ... never completely clear to me until Your explication. Steve regularly engaged and sometimes enraged me with some of
his positions -- some of them seeming to me ill-considered defenses of cloddish Stalinist bureaucrats or malevolent Russian
authoritarians ... but I read everything he wrote in 'The Nation' and anywhere else I came across him. As a longtime Trotskyist/
Socialist I could find plenty to argue about with Brother Cohen, but also found great appreciation for the fact that
no one else was currently thinking and writing about Russia or the Soviet experience with the rigor, insight, depth of experience
and skill that Stephen owned and shared with us all.
It goes without saying he will be missed by You his dearest and closest
ones; but he will be sorely missed too by those of us in Your extended 'Nation' Family, and the Progressive millions he so widely
taught and influenced to 'think different'.
Unfortunately in his brilliant analysis of USA-Russia relations Stephen Cohen never pointed out that the USA policy toward
Russia is dictated by the interests of maintaining global neoliberal empire and the concept of "Full Spectrum Dominance" which was
adopted by the USA neoliberal elite after the collapse of the USSR.
Like British empire the USA neoliberal empire is now overextended, metropolia is in secular stagnation with deterioration
standard of living of the bottom 80% of population, so the USA under Trump became more aggressive and dangerous on the international
arena. Trump administration behaves behaves like a cornered rat on international arena.
"... On Friday, 18 September, professor Steve Cohen passed away in New York City and we, the "dissident" community of Americans standing for peace with Russia – and for peace with the world at large – lost a towering intellectual and skillful defender of our cause who enjoyed an audience of millions by his weekly broadcasts on the John Batchelor Show, WABC Radio. ..."
"... from the start of the Information Wars against Russia during the George W. Bush administration following Putin's speech at the Munich Security Conference in February 2007, no voice questioning the official propaganda line in America was tolerated. Steve Cohen, who in the 1990s had been a welcome guest on U.S. national television and a widely cited expert in print media suddenly found himself blacklisted and subjected to the worst of McCarthyite style, ad hominem attacks. ..."
"... the opposition to Steve was led by experts in the Ukrainian and other minority peoples sub-categories of the profession who were militantly opposed not just to him personally but to any purely objective, not to mention sympathetic treatment of Russian leadership in the territorial expanse of Eurasia. ..."
"... Almost no one outside our 'dissident' community is concerned about the possibility of Armageddon in say two years' time due to miscalculations and bad luck in our pursuing economic, informational and military confrontation with Russia and China. ..."
"... My point in this discussion is that in the last decade of his life Stephen Cohen became one of the nation's most fearless and persistent defenders of the right to Free Speech. ..."
"... It was forced upon him by The New York Times, The Washington Post and other major media who pilloried him or blacklisted him over his unorthodox, unsanctioned, nonconformist views on the "Putin regime." It was forced upon him by university colleagues who sought to deny his right to establish graduate school fellowships in Russian affairs bearing his name and that of his mentor at Indiana University, Professor Tucker. ..."
"... In the face of vicious personal attacks from these McCarthyite forces, in the face of hate mail and even threats to his life, Steve decided to set up The American Committee and to recruit to its governing board famous, patriotic Americans and the descendants of the most revered families in the country. In this he succeeded, and it is to his credit that a moral counter force to the stampeding bulls of repression was erected and has survived to this day. ..."
On Friday, 18 September, professor Steve Cohen passed away in New York City and we, the
"dissident" community of Americans standing for peace with Russia – and for peace with
the world at large – lost a towering intellectual and skillful defender of our cause who
enjoyed an audience of millions by his weekly broadcasts on the John Batchelor Show, WABC
A year ago, I reviewed his latest book, War With Russia? which drew upon the
material of those programs and took this scholar turned journalist into a new and highly
accessible genre of oral readings in print. The narrative style may have been more relaxed,
with simplified syntax, but the reasoning remained razor sharp. I urge those who are today
paying tribute to Steve, to buy and read the book, which is his best legacy.
From start to finish, Stephen F. Cohen was among America's best historians of his
generation, putting aside the specific subject matter that he treated: Nikolai Bukharin, his
dissertation topic and the material of his first and best known book; or, to put it more
broadly, the history of Russia (USSR) in the 20 th century. He was one of the very
rare cases of an historian deeply attentive to historiography, to causality and to logic. I
understood this when I read a book of his from the mid-1980s in which he explained why Russian
(Soviet) history was no longer attracting young students of quality: because there were no
unanswered questions, because we smugly assumed that we knew about that country all that there
was to know. That was when our expert community told us with one voice that the USSR was
entrapped in totalitarianism without any prospect for the overthrow of its oppressive
But my recollections of Steve also have a personal dimension going back six years or so when
a casual email correspondence between us flowered into a joint project that became the launch
of the American Committee for East West Accord (ACEWA). This was a revival of a
pro-détente association of academics and business people that existed from the mid-1970s
to the early 1990s, when, following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the removal of the
Communist Party from power, the future of Russia in the family of nations we call the
'international community' seemed assured and there appeared to be no further need for such an
association as ACEWA.
I hasten to add that in the original ACEWA Steve and I were two ships that passed in the
night. With his base in Princeton, he was a protégé of the dean of diplomats then
in residence there, George Kennan, who was the leading light on the academic side of the ACEWA.
I was on the business side of the association, which was led by Don Kendall, chairman of
Pepsico and also for much of the 1970s chairman of the US-USSR Trade and Economic Council of
which I was also a member. I published pro-détente articles in their newsletter and
published a lengthy piece on cooperation with the Soviet Union in agricultural and food
processing domains, my specialty at that time, in their collection of essays by leaders in the
U.S. business community entitled Common Sense in U.S.-Soviet Trade .
The academic contingent had, as one might assume, a 'progressive' coloration, while the
business contingent had a Nixon Republican coloration. Indeed, in the mid-1980s these two sides
split in their approach to the growing peace movement in the U.S. that was fed by opposition in
the 'thinking community' on university campuses to Ronald Reagan's Star Wars agenda. Kendall
shut the door at ACEWA to rabble rousing and the association did not rise to the occasion, so
that its disbanding in the early '90s went unnoticed.
In the re-incorporated American Committee, I helped out by assuming the formal obligations
of Treasurer and Secretary, and also became the group's European Coordinator from my base in
Brussels. At this point my communications with Steve were almost daily and emotionally quite
intense. This was a time when America's expert community on Russian affairs once again felt
certain that it knew everything there was to know about the country, and most particularly
about the nefarious "Putin regime." But whereas in the 1970s and 1980s, polite debate about the
USSR/Russia was entirely possible both behind closed doors and in public space, from the
start of the Information Wars against Russia during the George W. Bush administration following
Putin's speech at the Munich Security Conference in February 2007, no voice questioning the
official propaganda line in America was tolerated. Steve Cohen, who in the 1990s had been a
welcome guest on U.S. national television and a widely cited expert in print media suddenly
found himself blacklisted and subjected to the worst of McCarthyite style, ad hominem
From my correspondence and several meetings with Steve at this time both in his New York
apartment and here in Brussels, when he and Katrina van der Heuvel came to participate in a
Round Table dedicated to relations with Russia at the Brussels Press Club that I arranged, I
knew that Steve was deeply hurt by these vitriolic attacks. He was at the time waging a
difficult campaign to establish a fellowship in support of graduate studies in Russian affairs.
It was touch and go, because of vicious opposition from some stalwarts of the profession to any
fellowship that bore Steve's name. Allow me to put the 'i' on this dispute: the opposition
to Steve was led by experts in the Ukrainian and other minority peoples sub-categories of the
profession who were militantly opposed not just to him personally but to any purely objective,
not to mention sympathetic treatment of Russian leadership in the territorial expanse of
Eurasia. In the end, Steve and Katrina prevailed. The fellowships exist and, hopefully,
will provide sustenance to future studies when American attitudes towards Russia become less
At all times and on all occasions, Steve Cohen was a voice of reason above all. The problem
of our age is that we are now not only living in a post-factual world, but in a post-logic
world. The public reads day after day the most outrageous and illogical assertions about
alleged Russian misdeeds posted by our most respected mainstream media including The New
York Times and The Washington Post . Almost no one dares to raise a hand and
suggest that this reporting is propaganda and that the public is being brainwashed. Steve did
exactly that in War With Russia? in a brilliant and restrained text.
Regrettably today we have no peace movement to speak of. Youth and our 'progressive' elites
are totally concerned over the fate of humanity in 30 or 40 years' time as a consequence of
Global Warming and rising seas. That is the essence of the Green Movement. Almost no one
outside our 'dissident' community is concerned about the possibility of Armageddon in say two
years' time due to miscalculations and bad luck in our pursuing economic, informational and
military confrontation with Russia and China.
I fear it will take only some force majeure development such as we had in 1962 during the
Cuban Missile Crisis to awaken the broad public to the risks to our very survival that we are
incurring by ignoring the issues that Stephen F. Cohen, professor emeritus of Princeton and New
York University was bringing to the airwaves week after week on his radio program.
In terms of action, the new ACEWA was even less effective than its predecessor, which had
avoided linking up with the peace movement of the 1980s and sought to exert influence on policy
through armchair talks with Senators and other statesmen in Washington behind closed doors of
(essentially) men's clubs.
However, the importance of the new ACEWA, and the national importance of Stephen Cohen lay
This question of appraising Stephen Cohen's national importance is all the more timely given
that on the day of his death, 18 September, the nation also lost Supreme Justice Ruth Ginsburg,
about whose national importance no Americans, whether her fans or her opponents, had any
My point in this discussion is that in the last decade of his life Stephen Cohen became
one of the nation's most fearless and persistent defenders of the right to Free Speech. It
was not a role that he sought. It was thrust upon him by the expert community of international
affairs, including the Council on Foreign Relations, from which he reluctantly resigned over
It was forced upon him by The New York Times, The Washington Post and other major media
who pilloried him or blacklisted him over his unorthodox, unsanctioned, nonconformist views on
the "Putin regime." It was forced upon him by university colleagues who sought to deny his
right to establish graduate school fellowships in Russian affairs bearing his name and that of
his mentor at Indiana University, Professor Tucker.
In the face of vicious personal attacks from these McCarthyite forces, in the face of
hate mail and even threats to his life, Steve decided to set up The American Committee and to
recruit to its governing board famous, patriotic Americans and the descendants of the most
revered families in the country. In this he succeeded, and it is to his credit that a moral
counter force to the stampeding bulls of repression was erected and has survived to this
[If you found value in this article, you should be interested to read my latest collection
of essays entitled A Belgian Perspective on International Affairs, published in
November 2019 and available in e-book, paperback and hardbound formats from amazon, barnes
& noble, bol.com, fnac, Waterstones and other online retailers. Use the "View Inside" tab
on the book's webpages to browse.]
Stephen F Cohen, the renowned American scholar on Russia and leading authority on US-Russian
relations, has died of lung cancer at the
age of 81.
As one of the precious few western voices of sanity on the subject
of Russia while everyone else has been frantically flushing their brains down the toilet,
this is a real loss. I myself have cited Cohen's expert analysis many times in my own work, and
his perspective has played a formative role in my understanding of what's really going on with
the monolithic cross-partisan manufacturing of consent for increased western aggressions
In a world that is increasingly confusing and awash with propaganda, Cohen's death is a blow
to humanity's desperate quest for clarity and understanding.
I don't know how long Cohen had cancer. I don't know how long he was aware that he might not
have much time left on this earth. What I do know is he spent much of his energy in his final
years urgently trying to warn the world about the rapidly escalating danger of nuclear war,
which in our strange new reality he saw as in many ways completely unprecedented.
The last of the many books Cohen authored was 2019's
with Russia? , detailing his ideas on how the complex multi-front nature of the post-2016
war escalations against Moscow combines with Russiagate and other factors to make it in
some ways more dangerous even than the most dangerous point of the previous cold war.
"You know it's easy to joke about this, except that we're at maybe the most dangerous moment
in US-Russian relations in my lifetime, and maybe ever," Cohen told The Young Turks in 2017. "And the reason is that we're
in a new cold war, by whatever name. We have three cold war fronts that are fraught with the
possibility of hot war, in the Baltic region where NATO is carrying out an unprecedented
military buildup on Russia's border, in Ukraine where there is a civil and proxy war between
Russia and the west, and of course in Syria, where Russian aircraft and American warplanes are
flying in the same territory. Anything could happen."
Cohen repeatedly points to the most likely cause of a future nuclear war: not one that is
planned but one which erupts in tense, complex situations where "anything could happen" in the
chaos and confusion as a result of misfire, miscommunication or technical malfunction, as
happened many times during the last cold war.
"I think this is the most dangerous moment in American-Russian relations, at least since the
Cuban missile crisis," Cohen told Democracy
Now in 2017. "And arguably, it's more dangerous, because it's more complex. Therefore, we
-- and then, meanwhile, we have in Washington these -- and, in my judgment, factless
accusations that Trump has somehow been compromised by the Kremlin. So, at this worst moment in
American-Russian relations, we have an American president who's being politically crippled by
the worst imaginable -- it's unprecedented. Let's stop and think. No American president has
ever been accused, essentially, of treason. This is what we're talking about here, or that his
associates have committed treason."
"Imagine, for example, John Kennedy during the Cuban missile crisis," Cohen added. "Imagine
if Kennedy had been accused of being a secret Soviet Kremlin agent. He would have been
crippled. And the only way he could have proved he wasn't was to have launched a war against
the Soviet Union. And at that time, the option was nuclear war."
"A recurring theme of my recently published book War with Russia? is that the new Cold War
is more dangerous, more fraught with hot war, than the one we survived," Cohen wrote
last year . "Histories of the 40-year US-Soviet Cold War tell us that both sides came to
understand their mutual responsibility for the conflict, a recognition that created political
space for the constant peace-keeping negotiations, including nuclear arms control agreements,
often known as détente. But as I also chronicle in the book, today's American Cold
Warriors blame only Russia, specifically 'Putin's Russia,' leaving no room or incentive for
rethinking any US policy toward post-Soviet Russia since 1991."
"Finally, there continues to be no effective, organized American opposition to the new Cold
War," Cohen added. "This too is a major theme of my book and another reason why this Cold War
is more dangerous than was its predecessor. In the 1970s and 1980s, advocates of détente
were well-organized, well-funded, and well-represented, from grassroots politics and
universities to think tanks, mainstream media, Congress, the State Department, and even the
White House. Today there is no such opposition anywhere."
"A major factor is, of course, 'Russiagate'," Cohen continued. "As evidenced in the sources
I cite above, much of the extreme American Cold War advocacy we witness today is a mindless
response to President Trump's pledge to find ways to 'cooperate with Russia' and to the
still-unproven allegations generated by it. Certainly, the Democratic Party is not an
opposition party in regard to the new Cold War."
"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," Cohen
wrote in another
essay last year. "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
And now Stephen Cohen is dead, and that clock is inching ever closer to midnight. The
Russiagate psyop that he predicted would pressure Trump to advance dangerous cold war
escalations with no opposition from the supposed opposition party
has indeed done exactly that with nary a peep of criticism from either partisan faction of
the political/media class. Cohen has for years been correctly
predicting this chilling scenario which now threatens the life of every organism on earth,
even while his own life was nearing its end.
And now the complex cold war escalations he kept urgently warning us about have become even
more complex with the
addition of nuclear-armed China to the multiple fronts the US-centralized empire has been
plate-spinning its brinkmanship upon, and it is clear from the ramping
up of anti-China propaganda since last year that we are being prepped for those aggressions
to continue to increase.
We should heed the dire warnings that Cohen spent his last breaths issuing. We should demand
a walk-back of these insane imperialist aggressions which benefit nobody and call for
détente with Russia and China. We should begin creating an opposition to this
world-threatening flirtation with armageddon before it is too late. Every life on this planet
may well depend on our doing so.
Stephen Cohen is dead, and we are marching toward the death of everything. God help us
People are just now starting to realize that possible alternate path. But the Demoncrats
in the USA must first be put down, politically euthanized, along with their neocon
never-Trump Republican partners. And that cleaning up is on the way. Trump's second term will
be the advancement of the USA-Russia initiative that is so long overdue.
PerilouseTimes , 48 minutes ago
Putin won't let western billionaires rape Russia's enormous natural resources and on top
of that Putin is against child molesters, that is what this Russia bashing is all about.
awesomepic4u , 1 hour ago
Sad to hear this.
What a good man. It is a real shame that we dont have others to stand up to this crazy pr
that is going on right now. Making peace with the world at this point is important. We dont need or
want another war and i am sure that both Europe and Russia dont want it on their turf but it
seems we keep sticking our finger in their eye. If there is another war it will be the last
war. As Einstein said, after the 3rd World War we will be using sticks and stones to fight
Clint Liquor , 44 minutes ago
Cohen truly was an island of reason in a sea of insanity. Ironic that those panicked over
climate change are unconcerned about the increasing threat of Nuclear War.
thunderchief , 41 minutes ago
One of the very few level headed people on Russia.
All thats left are anti Russia-phobic nut jobs.
Send in the clowns.
Stephen Cohen isn't around to call them what they are anymore.
Eastern Whale , 55 minutes ago
cooperate with Russia
Has the US ever cooperated with anyone?
fucking truth , 3 minutes ago
That is the crux. All or nothing.
Mustafa Kemal , 49 minutes ago
Ive read several of his books. They are essential, imo, if you want to understand modern
Normal , 1 hour ago
The bankers created the new CCP cold war.
evoila , 19 minutes ago
Max Boot is an effing idiot. Tucker wiped him clean too. It was an insult to Stephen to
even put them on the same panel.
Gary Sick is the equivalent to Stephen, except for Iran. He too is of an era of competence
which is and will be missed as their voices are drowned out by neocon warmongers
thebigunit , 17 minutes ago
I heard Stephen Cohen a number of time in John Bachelor's podcasts.
He seemed very lucid and made a lot of sense.
He made it very clear that he thought the Democrat's "Trump - Russia collusion schtick"
was a bunch of crap.
He didn't sound like a leftie, but I'm sure he never told me the stuff he discussed with
his wife who was editor of the left wing "The Nation" magazine.
Boogity , 9 minutes ago
Cohen was a traditional old school anti-war Liberal. They're essentially extinct now with
the exception of a few such as Tulsi Gabbard and Dennis Kucinich who have both been
ostracized from the Democrat Party and the political system.
Ready To Fight Back?
Sign up for Take Action Now and get three actions in your inbox every week.
You will receive occasional promotional offers for programs that support
journalism. You can read our
he US media's three-year obsession with the mostly fictitious allegations of "Russiagate" has all but obscured, even
deleted, important, potentially historic, developments inside that nation itself, still the world's largest territorial
country. One of the most important is the Putin government's decision to invest $300-to-$400 billion of "rainy day" funds in
the nation's infrastructure, especially in its vast, underdeveloped provinces, and on "national projects" ranging from
education to health care and family services to transportation and other technology. If successfully implemented, Russia would
be substantially transformed and the lives of its people significantly improved.
Not surprisingly, however, the plan has aroused considerable controversy and public debate in Russia's policy elite, primarily
for two reasons. The funds were accumulated largely due to high world prices for Russia's energy exports and the state's
budgetary austerity during the decade after Putin came to power in 2000, and they have been hoarded as a safeguard against
Western economic sanctions and/or a global economic depression. (Russia's economic collapse in the Yeltsin 1990s, perhaps the
worst modern-day depression in peacetime, remains a vivid memory for policy-makers and ordinary citizens alike.)
There is also the nation's long, sometimes traumatic, history of "modernization from above," as it is termed. In the late 19th
century, the czarist regime's program to industrialize the country, "to catch up" with other world powers, had unintended
consequences that led, in the accounts of many historians, to the end of czarism in the 1917 revolution. And Stalin's
"revolution from above" of the 1930s, based on the forced collectivization of the peasantry, which at the time accounted for
more than 80 percent of the population, along with very rapid industrialization, resulted in millions of deaths and economic
distortions that burdened Soviet and post-Soviet Russia for decades.
Nor are Russia's alternative experiences of modernization from below inspiring or at least instructive. In the 1920s, during
the years known as the New Economic Policy, or NEP, the victorious Bolsheviks pursued evolutionary economic development
through a semi-regulated market economy. It had mixed -- and still disputed -- results, and it was brutally abolished by Stalin in
1929. Decades later, Yeltsin's "free-market reforms" were widely blamed for the ruination and widespread misery of the 1990s,
which featured many aspects of actual de-modernization.
With all this "living history" in mind, Putin's plan for such large-scale (and rapid) investment has generated the controversy
in Moscow and resulted in three positions within the policy class. One fully supports the decision on the essentially
Keynesian grounds that it will spur Russia's annual economic growth, which has lagged below the global average for several
years. Another opposes such massive expenditures, arguing that the funds must remain in state hands as a safeguard against the
US-led "sanctions war" (and perhaps worse) against Russia. And, as usual in politics, there is a compromise position that less
should be invested in civilian infrastructure and less quickly.
Running through the discussion is also Russia's long history of thwarted implementation of good intentions. To paraphrase a
prime minister during the 1990s,
, "We wanted things to turn out for the best, but they turned out as usual." In particular, it is often asked,
what will be the consequences of putting so much money into the hands of regional and other local officials in provinces where
corruption is endemic? How much will be stolen or otherwise misdirected?
Nonetheless, Putin seems to be resolute. He is also insistent that his ambitious plan to transform Russia requires a long
period of international peace and stability. Here again is plain evidence that those in Washington who insist Putin's primary
goal is "to sow discord, divisions, and instability" in the world, especially in the West, where he hopes to find "modernizing
partnerships," do not care about or understand what is actually unfolding inside Russia -- or Putin's vision of his own
historical role and legacy.
Stephen F. Cohen
Stephen F. Cohen is a professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York University and
Princeton University. A
editor, his most recent book,
With Russia? From Putin & Ukraine to Trump & Russiagate
, is available in paperback and in an ebook edition. His weekly
conversations with the host of
John Batchelor Show
, now in their seventh year,
available at www.thenation.com
Published Sept. 18, 2020
Stephen F. Cohen, an eminent historian whose books and commentaries on Russia examined the rise and fall of Communism,
Kremlin dictatorships and the emergence of a post-Soviet nation still struggling for identity in the 21st century, died on
Friday at his home in Manhattan. He was 81.
His wife, Katrina vanden Heuvel, the publisher and part owner of The Nation, said the cause was lung cancer.
From the sprawling conflicts of the 1917 Bolshevik revolution and the tyrannies of Stalin to the collapse of the Soviet
Union and Vladimir V. Putin's intrigues to retain power, Professor Cohen chronicled a Russia of sweeping social upheavals
and the passions and poetry of peoples that endured a century of wars, political repression and economic hardships.
A professor emeritus of Russian studies at Princeton University and New York University, he was fluent in Russian, visited
Russia frequently and developed contacts among intellectual dissidents and government and Communist Party officials. He
wrote or edited 10 books and many articles for The Nation, The New York Times and other publications, was a CBS-TV
commentator and counted President George Bush and many American and Soviet officials among his sources.
In Moscow he was befriended by the last Soviet leader, Mikhail S. Gorbachev, who invited him to the May Day celebration at
Red Square in 1989. There, at the Lenin Mausoleum, Professor Cohen stood with his wife and son one tier below Mr. Gorbachev
and the Soviet leadership to view a three-hour military parade. He later spoke briefly on Russian television to a vast
audience about alternative paths that Russian history could have taken.
Loosely identified with a revisionist historical view of the Soviet Union, Professor Cohen held views that made him a
controversial public intellectual. He believed that early Bolshevism had held great promise, that it had been democratic
and genuinely socialist, and that it had been corrupted only later by civil war, foreign hostility, Stalin's malignancy and
a fatalism in Russian history.
A traditionalist school of thought, by contrast, held that the Soviet experiment had been flawed from the outset, that
Lenin's political vision was totalitarian, and that any attempt to create a society based on his coercive utopianism had
always been likely to lead, logically, to Stalin's state terrorism and to the Soviet Union's eventual collapse.
Professor Cohen was an enthusiastic supporter of Mr. Gorbachev, who after coming to power in 1985 undertook ambitious
changes to liberate the nation's 15 republics from state controls that had originally been imposed by Stalin. Mr. Gorbachev
gave up power as the Soviet state imploded at the end of 1991 and moved toward beliefs in democracy and a market economy.
Cohen succumbed to lung cancer at his home in Manhattan, on Friday, according to his wife
Katrina vanden Heuvel, who is also the part-owner and publisher of The Nation magazine, where
he worked as a contributing editor.
A native of Kentucky, he was a prolific and prominent scholar in his field, serving as a
professor emeritus of Russian studies at Princeton University and New York University. As a
frequent visitor to Russia, Cohen became well-connected among leading Soviet dissidents,
politicians and thinkers in the 1980s, even befriending Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev.
Cohen also advised former US President George Bush, senior, in the late 1980s, and assisted
Anna Larina, the widow of Nikolai Bukharin, to rehabilitate her husband's name during the
Soviet era. He had earlier written a biography of the journalist and politician, which argued
that had Bukharin succeeded Vladimir Lenin as Bolshevik leader, rather than Joseph Stalin, the
Soviet Union would have enjoyed greater openness, and perhaps even democracy.
Breaking with many American academics and political commentators, Cohen was highly critical
of Washington's approach to Russia following the collapse of the Soviet Union. He warned of the
dangers of NATO expansion and argued that much of the economic devastation seen in Russia
during the 1990s could be traced to bad-faith policies and advice from the United States.
His principled, and patriotic stand, led to smears from members of the think tank racket and
both liberal and neoconservative interventionists, keen to stoke tensions with Moscow. Cohen
was labelled a Putin apologist. He responded by saying that he saw him as being "in the Russian
tradition of leadership, getting Russia back on its feet."
After the election of Donald Trump, Cohen found himself in the crosshairs of the mainstream
media for challenging the now-debunked Russiagate narrative, which he said was being used to
sabotage bilateral relations and trigger a "new Cold War" with Moscow.
The unsubstantiated claim that Trump's presidential campaign "colluded" with the
Kremlin would likely make a US-Russia detente "impossible" and could even help fuel an
actual war between the two nations, Cohen argued. He lamented that Special Counsel Robert
Mueller's probe into the conspiracy theory, which found no evidence of collusion, would do
little to tone down the fiery rhetoric and anonymously sourced media hysteria concerning Russia
and its alleged influence over the US political system.
The author of numerous books and countless articles, Cohen was a frequent guest on RT, where
he often used his air time to sound the alarm over the dangerous state of US-Russia relations,
lamenting that the hostility was both unnecessary and potentially calamitous.
Has there been another mutiny in Trump's White House, as Obama's former ambassador to Russia
piles on the nonsense about Trump being in Putin's pocket?
Special to Consortium News
C orporate media are binging on leaked Kool Aid not unlike the WMD concoction they offered
18 years ago to "justify" the U.S.-UK war of aggression on Iraq.
Now Michael McFaul, ambassador to Russia under President Obama, has been enlisted by The
Washington Post 's editorial page honcho, Fred Hiatt, to draw on his expertise (read,
incurable Russophobia) to help stick President Donald Trump back into "Putin's pocket." (This
has become increasingly urgent as the canard of "Russiagate" -- including the linchpin claim
that Russia hacked the DNC -- lies gasping for air.)
oped on Thursday McFaul presented a long list of Vladimir Putin's alleged crimes, offering
a more ostensibly sophisticated version of amateur Russian specialist, Rep. Jason Crow's (D-CO)
claim that: "Vladimir Putin wakes up every morning and goes to bed every night trying to figure
out how to destroy American democracy."
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry with McFaul meeting Vladimir Putin and Russian Foreign
Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow, Russia, on May 7, 2013. (State Department)
McFaul had -- well, let's call it an undistinguished career in Moscow. He arrived with a
huge chip on his shoulder and proceeded to alienate just about all his hosts, save for the
rabidly anti-Putin folks he openly and proudly cultivated. In a sense, McFaul became the
epitome of what Henry Wooton described as the role of ambassador -- "an honest man sent to lie
abroad for the good of his country." What should not be so readily accepted is an ambassador
who comes back home and just can't stop misleading.
Not to doubt McFaul's ulterior motives; one must assume him to be an "honest man" -- however
misguided, in my opinion. He seems to be a disciple of the James Clapper-Curtis LeMay-Joe
McCarthy School of Russian Analysis.
Clapper, a graduate summa cum laude , certainly had the Russians pegged! Clapper was
allowed to stay as Barack Obama's director of national intelligence for three and a half years
after perjuring himself in formal Senate testimony (on NSA's illegal eavesdropping). On May 28,
2017 Clapper told NBC's Chuck
Todd about "the historical practices of the Russians, who typically, are almost genetically
driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favor, whatever, which is a typical Russian technique."
As a finale, in full knowledge of Clapper's proclivities regarding Russia, Obama appointed
him to prepare the evidence-impoverished, misnomered "Intelligence Community Assessment"
claiming that Putin did all he could, including hacking the DNC, to help Trump get elected --
the most embarrassing such "intelligence assessment" I have seen in half a century .
Obama and the National Security State
I have asked myself if Obama also had earned some kind of degree from the
Clapper/LeMay/McCarthy School, or whether he simply lacked the courage to challenge the
pitiably self-serving "analysis" of the National Security State. Then I re-read "Obama Misses the Afghan
Exit-Ramp" of June 24, 2010 and was reminded of how deferential Obama was to the generals and
the intelligence gurus, and how unconscionable the generals were -- like their predecessors in
Vietnam -- in lying about always seeing light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.
Thankfully, now ten years later, this is all
documented in Craig Whitlock's, "The Afghanistan Papers: At War With the Truth." Corporate
media, who played an essential role in that "war with the truth", have not given Whitlock's
damning story the attention it should command (surprise, surprise!). In any case, it strains
credulity to think that Obama was unaware he was being lied to on Afghanistan.
Clark Gable (l.) with Charles Laughton (r.) in Mutiny on the Bounty, 1935.
Does no one see the irony today in the Democrats' bashing Trump on Afghanistan, with the
full support of the Establishment media? The inevitable defeat there is one of the few
demonstrable disasters not attributable directly to Trump, but you would not know that from the
media. Are the uncorroborated reports of Russian bounties to kill U.S. troops aimed at making
it appear that Trump, unable to stand up to Putin, let the Russians drive the rest of U.S.
troops out of Afghanistan?
Does the current flap bespeak some kind of "Mutiny on the Bounties," so to speak, by a
leaker aping Eric Chiaramella? Recall that the Democrats lionized the CIA official seconded to
Trump's national security council as a "whistleblower" and proceeded to impeach Trump after
Chiaramella leaked information on Trump's telephone call with the president of Ukraine. Far
from being held to account, Chiaramella is probably expecting an influential job if his patron,
Joe Biden, is elected president. Has there been another mutiny in Trump's White House?
And what does one make of the
spectacle of Crow teaming up with Rep. Liz Cheney (R, WY) to restrict Trump's planned
pull-out of troops from Afghanistan, which The Los Angeles Timesreports
has now been blocked until after the election?
Hiatt & McFaul: Caveat Editor
And who published McFaul's oped? Fred Hiatt, Washington Post editorial page editor
for the past 20 years, who has a long record of listening to the whispers of anonymous
intelligence sources and submerging/drowning the subjunctive mood with flat fact. This was the
case with the (non-existent) weapons of mass destruction in Iraq before the U.S.-UK attack.
Readers of the Post were sure there were tons of WMD in Iraq. That Hiatt has invited
McFaul on stage should come as no surprise.
To be fair, Hiatt belatedly acknowledged that the Post should have been more
circumspect in its confident claims about the WMD. "If you look at the editorials we write
running up [to the war], we state as flat fact that he [Saddam Hussein] has weapons of mass
destruction," Hiatt said in an interview with the Columbia Journalism Review . "If
that's not true, it would have been better not to say it." [CJR, March/April 2004]
At this word of wisdom, Consortium News founder, the late Robert Parry,
offered this comment: "Yes, that is a common principle of journalism, that if something isn't
real, we're not supposed to confidently declare that it is." That Hiatt is still in that job
'Uncorroborated, Contradicted, or Even Non-Existent'
It is sad to have to remind folks 18 years later that the "intelligence" on WMD in Iraq was
not "mistaken;" it was fraudulent from the get-go. The culprits were finally exposed but never
held to account.
Announcing on June 5, 2008, the bipartisan conclusions from a five-year study by the Senate
Intelligence Committee, Sen. Jay Rockefeller ( D-WV)
said the attack on Iraq was launched "under false pretenses." He described the intelligence
conjured up to "justify" war on Iraq as "uncorroborated, contradicted, or even
Yogi Berra in 1956. (Wikipedia)
Here's an assignment due on Monday. Read McFaul's
oped carefully. It appears under the title: "Trump would do anything for Putin. No wonder
he's ignoring the Russian bounties: Russia's pattern of hostility matches Trump's pattern of
And to give you a further taste, here is the first paragraph:
"Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to have paid Taliban rebels in Afghanistan to
kill U.S. soldiers. Having resulted in at least one American death, and maybe more, these
Russian bounties reportedly produced the desired outcome. While deeply disturbing, this
effort by Putin is not surprising: It follows a clear pattern of ignoring international
norms, rules and laws -- and daring the United States to do anything about it."
Full assignment for Monday: Read carefully through each paragraph of McFaul's text and
select which of his claims you would put into one or more of the three categories adduced by
Sen. Rockefeller 12 years ago about WMD on Iraq. With particular attention to the evidence
behind McFaul's claims, determine which of the claims is (a) "uncorroborated"; which (b)
"contradicted"; and which (c) "non-existent;" or (d) all of the above. For extra credit, find
one that is supported by plausible evidence.
Yogi Berra might be surprised to hear us keep quoting him with "Deja vu, all over again."
Sorry, Yogi, that's what it is; you coined it.
Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the
Saviour in inner-city Washington. During his 27-year career as a CIA analyst, he prepared and
briefed The President's Daily Brief for Presidents Nixon, Ford, and Reagan. He is
co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).
The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of
PleaseContributeto Consortium News on its25th Anniversary
Gad, one wonders if it can ever get much lower in the press and the answer is yes, it can
and will go lower, i.e. the mcfaul/hiatt tag team. They are still plumbing for the lows.
The question becomes just how stupid these two are or how stupid do they believe the
readership is to read and believe this garbage.
Voice from Europe , July 6, 2020 at 11:58
By now the Russia did it ! is in effect a joke in Russia. Economically, politically, geo
strategically China and Asia and Africa have become more important and reliable partners of
Russia than the USA. And Europe is also dropping fast on the trustworthy partners
John , July 5, 2020 at 12:55
Michael McFaul and Fred Hiatt are both long-time members of the Council on Foreign
Relations (CFR), flagship of the globalist “liberal world order”. The CFR and its
many interlocking affiliates, along with their media assets and frontmen in government, have
dominated US policy since WW2. Most of the Fed chairmen and secretaries of State, Treasury,
Defense and CIA have been CFR members, including Jerome Powell and Mark Esper.
The major finance, energy, defense and media corporations are CFR sponsors, and several of
their execs are members. David Rubenstein, billionaire founder of the notorious Carlyle
Group, is the current CFR chairman. Laurence Fink, billionaire chairman of BlackRock, is a
CFR director. See lists at the CFR website.
Anna , July 6, 2020 at 09:38
Michael McFaul and Fred Hiatt are both very active promoters of hate crimes. Neither has
any decency hence decency is allergic to war profiteers and opportunistic liars.
The poor USA; to descend to such a deep moral hole that both Michael McFaul and Fred Hiatt
are still alive and prospering. Shamelessness and presstituting are paid well in the US.
Dems and Reps are already mad.You cannot destroy what does not exist;like Democracy in
these United States.Nor God or Putin could.This has always being a fallacy.This is not a
democracy;same thing with”comunist China or the USSR.Those two were never
socialist.There has never being a real Socialist or Communist country.
Guy , July 4, 2020 at 12:26
“It is sad to have to remind folks 18 years later that the
“intelligence” on WMD in Iraq was not “mistaken;” it was fraudulent
from the get-go. The culprits were finally exposed but never held to account.”
That statement goes to the crux of the matter .Why should journalists care about what is true
or a lie in their reports ,they know they will never be held to account .They should be held
to account through the court system . A lie by any journalist should be actionable by any
court of law . The fear of jail time would sort out the scam journalists we presently have to
endure . As it is they have perverted the profession of journalism and it is the law of the
jungle .No true democracy should put up with this. We are surrounded with lies that are
generated by the very establishment that should protect it’s citizens from same .
Skip Scott , July 4, 2020 at 15:36
They are spoon fed those lies by our “intelligence” agencies. As CNN’s
Jeff Zucker said, “We’re not investigators, we’re journalists”.
Replace “journalists” with “toadies” or “shills” for our
“intelligence” community and you’ve gotten to the truth of the matter.
Anna , July 6, 2020 at 09:50
The ‘journalists’ observe how things have been going on for Cheney the Traitor
and Bush the lesser — nothing happened to the mega criminals. The hate-bursting and
war-profiteering Cheney’s daughter has even squeezed into US Congress.
In a healthy society where human dignity is cherished, the Cheney family will be ostracized
and the family name became a synonym for the word ‘traitor.’ In the unhealthy
scoiety of Clintons, Obamas, Epstein, Mueller, Adelsons, Clapper, and Krystols, human dignity
is a sin.
Ricard Coleman , July 6, 2020 at 11:42
Our institutions including journalism are not merely corrupt, they are degenerate. That
is, the corruption is not occasional or the exception is is by design, desired and entirely
Stan W. , July 4, 2020 at 12:10
I’m still confident that Durham’s investigation will expose and successfully
prosecute the maggots that infest our government.
Skip Scott , July 4, 2020 at 15:29
What is the basis for this confidence?
John Puma , July 4, 2020 at 12:03
Re: whether Obumma “had earned some kind of degree from the Clapper/LeMay/McCarthy
School” of Russia Analytics.
It would be a worthy addition to his degree collection featuring that earned from the
Neville Chamberlain Night School of Critical Political Negotiation.
Jeff Harrison , July 4, 2020 at 11:16
Hmmm. Lessee. The US attacks Afghanistan with about the same legitimacy that we had when
we attacked Iraq and the Taliban are in charge. We oust the Taliban from power and put our
own puppets in place. What idiot thinks that the Taliban are going to need a bounty to kill
Jeff Harrison, I like your logic. Plus, I understand that far fewer Americans are being
killed in Afghanistan than were under Obama’s administration.
AnneR , July 4, 2020 at 10:27
Frankly, I am sick to death of the unwarranted, indeed bestial Russophobia that is
megaphoned minute by minute on NPR and the BBC World Service (only radio here since my
husband died). If it isn’t this latest trumped up (ho ho) charge, there are repeated
mentions, in passing, of course, of the Russiagate, hacking, Kremlin control of the Strumpet
to back up the latest bunch of lies. Doesn’t matter at *all* that Russiagate was
debunked, that even Mueller couldn’t actually demonstrably pull the DNC/ruling elites
rabbit out of the hat, that the impeachment of the Strumpet went nowhere. And it clearly
– by its total absence on the above radio broadcasts – doesn’t matter one
iota that the Pentagonal hasn’t gone along, that gaping holes in the confabulation are
(and were) obvious to those who cared to think with half a mind awake and reflecting on past
US ruling elite lies, untruths, obfuscations. Nope. Just repeat, repeat, repeat. Orwell would
clap his hands (not because he agreed with the atrocious politics but the lesson is
Added to the whipped up anti-Russia, decidedly anti-Putin crapola – is of course the
Russian peoples’ vote, decision making on their own country’s changes to the
Basic Law (a form of Constitution). When the radio broadcasts the usual sickening
anti-Russian/Putin propaganda regarding this vote immediately prior they would state that the
changes would install Putin for many more years: no mention that he would have to be elected,
i.e. voted by the populace into the presidency. (This was repeated ad infinitum without any
elaboration.) No other proposed changes were mentioned – certainly not that the Duma
would gain greater control over the governance of the country and over the president’s
cabinet. I.e. that the popularly elected (ain’t that what we call democracy??)
representatives in the Duma (parliament) would essentially have more power than the
But most significantly, to my mind, no one has (well of course not – this is Russia)
raised the issue of the fact that it was the Russian people, the vox populi/hoi polloi, who
have had some say in how they are to be governed, how their government will work for them.
HOW much say have we had/do we have in how our government functions, works – let alone
for us, the hoi polloi? When did we the citizenry last have a voting say on ANY sentence in
the Constitution that governs us??? Ummm I do believe it was the creation of the wealthy
British descended slave holding, real estate ethnic-cleansing lot who wrote and ratified the
original document and the hardly dissimilar Congressional and state types who have over the
years written and voted on various amendments. And it is the members of the upper classes in
the Supreme Court who adjudicate on its application to various problems.
BUT We the hoi polloi have never, ever had a direct opportunity to individually vote for
or against any single part of the Constitution which is supposed to be the
“democratic” superstructure which governs us. Unlike the Russians a couple of
Richard Coleman , July 6, 2020 at 15:48
“HOW much say have we had/do we have in how our government functions,
works…” See, that’s your mistake right there. WE don’t have a
government. We need one, but we ain’t got one. THEY have a government which they let us
go through the motions of electing. ‘Member back when Bernie was talking about a
Here’s a little fact for you. The five most populous states have a total of
123,000,000 people. That’s 10 Senators. The five least populated states have a total of
3.5 million. That’s also 10 Senators. Democracy anyone?
vinnieoh , July 4, 2020 at 09:37
There have been three coup d’état within the US within the lifetimes of most
that read these pages. The first was explained to us by Eisenhower only as he was exiting his
time from the national stage; the MIC had co-opted our government. The second happened in
2000, with the putsch in Florida and then the adoption by the neocon cabal of Bush /Chaney of
the PNAC blueprint “Strategies for Rebuilding America’s Defenses” (Defenses
– hahahaha – shit!). The third happened late last year and early this year when
the bottom-up grass-roots movement of progressivism was crushed by the DNC and the
cold-warrior hack Biden was inserted as the champion of “the opposition
And, make no mistake that Kamala Harris WILL be his running mate. It was always going to
be Harris. It was to be Harris at the TOP of the ticket as the primaries began, but she
wasn’t even placing in the top tier in any of the contests. However, the poohbahs and
strategists of the DNC are nothing if not determined and consistent. If Biden should win, we
should all start practicing now saying “President Harris” because that is what
the future holds. For the DNC, she looks the part, she sounds the part, but more importantly
she is the very definition of the status quo, corporate ass-kisser, MIC tool.
The professional political class have fully colluded to fatally cripple this democratic
republic. “Democracy” is just a word they say like, “Where’s my
kickback?” (excuse me – my “motivation”.) This bounty scam and the
rehabilitation of GW Bush are nothing but a full blitzkrieg flanking of Trump on the right.
And Trump of course is so far out of his depth that he actually believes that Israel is his
friend. (A hint Donny: Israel is NO-ONE’S friend.)
What is most infuriating? hope-crushing? plain f$%&*#g scary? is that the majority of
Americans from all quarters do not want any of what the professional political class keeps
dumping on us. The very attempt at performing this upcoming election will finally and forever
lay completely bare the collapse of a functioning government. It’s going to be very
ugly, and it may very well be the end. Dog help us all.
Richard Coleman , July 6, 2020 at 15:51
Don’t you think that the assassination of JFK counts as a coup d’etat?
Zhu , July 7, 2020 at 02:10
Apres moi, le Deluge.
John Drake , July 7, 2020 at 11:25
Oh gosh how can you forget the Kennedy Assassination. Most people don’t realize he
was had ordered the removal of a thousand advisors from Vietnam starting the process of
completely cutting bait there, as he had in Laos and Cambodia. All of which made the generals
apoplectic. The great secret about Vietnam-which Ellsberg discovered much latter, and
mentioned in his book Secrets, another good read- was that every president had been warned it
was likely futile. Kennedy was the only one who took that intelligence seriously-like it was
actually intelligent intelligence.
Enter stage right Allen Dulles(fired CIA chief), the anti Castro Cubans, the Mafia and
most important the MIC; exit Jack Kennedy.
Douglas, JFK why he died and why it matters is the best work on the subject. And no Oswald
did not do it; it was a sniper team from different angles, but read the book it gets
Roger , July 4, 2020 at 09:11
from Counterpunch.org : “Around 15,000 Soviet troops perished in the Afghan War
between 1979 and 1989. The US funneled more than $20 billion to the Mujahideen and other
anti-Soviet fighters over that same period. This works out to a “bounty” of $1.33
million for each Soviet soldier killed.”
Skip Scott , July 4, 2020 at 08:35
I am wondering how Cheney and Crow can block Trump from withdrawing the troops from
Afghanistan. Is Trump Commander in Chief, or not? How can two senators stop the Commander in
Chief from commanding troop movements? I realize they control the budget, but aren’t
they crossing into illegality by restricting Trump’s ability to
Toad Sprocket , July 4, 2020 at 16:49
Yeah, I imagine it’s illegal. Didn’t Lindsay Graham threaten the same thing
when Trump was thinking of pulling troops/”advisers” from Syria? And other
congress warmongers joined in though I don’t think any legislation was passed. They
can’t be bothered to authorize the starts of wars but want to step in when someone
tries to end them.
Oh, and Schumer on South Korea troops, I think that one did pass. Almost certainly illegal
if it came down to it, but our government is of course lawless. And our courts full of judges
who are bought off or moronic or both.
dean 1000 , July 4, 2020 at 06:52
The soft coup attempt continues Ray. More lies and bullshit. It may continue until
election day. Will the media fess-up to its lies after the fact again?
Francis Lee , July 4, 2020 at 04:49
“Vladimir Putin wakes up every morning and goes to bed every night trying to figure
out how to destroy American democracy.”
Yes, of course it is a well-known ‘fact’ that Putin has nothing better to do
than destory American democracy, and I bet he has dreams about it too! But I am minded to
think that if anybody has a penchant for destroying American democracy it is the powers that
be in the US deep state, intelligence agencies, and zionist cliques controlling the President
”Those whom the gods would destroy they first make mad.”
The American establishment seems to be suffering from a bad case of
‘projection’ as psychiatrists call it. That is to say accusing others of what
they are themselves actually doing.
The whole idiotic circus would be hilarious if it were not so serious.
Antonia Young , July 4, 2020 at 12:20
Putin’s (and by extension the Russian Federation’s) primary objective is
international stability. “Destroying America, dividing Americans is the last thing he
wants.) Putin learned many lessons during the break-up of the U.S.S.R. observing the carpet
baggers/oligarchs/vultures who descended on the weak nation, absconding with it’s
wealth and resources at mere fractions of their real value. The deep state’s worst fear
is the co-operation btwn Putin and President Trump to make the world more peaceful, stable,
co-operative and prosperous.
rosemerry , July 4, 2020 at 16:10
The whole conceited and arrogant “belief” that
1. the USA has any resemblance to a democracy and
2 Pres. Putin has nothing else to do but think how he could do a better job of showing the
destructive and irresponsible behavior of the USA than its own leaders” and media can
do with no help
has no basis in reality.
If anything, Putin is such a stickler for international law, negotiations, avoidance of
conflict that he is regarded by many as too Christian for this modern, individualistic,
LBGTQ,”nobody matters but me” worldview of the USA!
Steve Naidamast , July 5, 2020 at 19:54
“If the enemy is self destructing, let them continue to do so…”
Zhu , July 7, 2020 at 02:17
“zionist cliques”: Christian Zionist fighting Fundies, eager for the End of
the World, the Second Coming of Jesus.
delia ruhe , July 4, 2020 at 01:09
Yup, we got a Bountygate. Since my early morning visit to the Foreign Policy site, the
place has exploded with breathless articles on the dastardly Putin and the cowardly Trump,
who has so far failed to hold Putin to account. Reminded me of a similar explosion there when
Russiagate finally got the attention the Dems thought it deserved.
(Anyone think that the intel community pays a fee to each of the FP columnists whenever
one of their a propaganda narratives needs a push to get it off the ground?)
He wrote a sensational book about the practices he experienced of the CIA paying German
journalists to publish certain stories.
The book was a big best seller in Germany.
Its English translation was suppressed for years, but I believe is now available.
Susan Siens , July 5, 2020 at 16:30
Reply to John Chuckman: I’d love to read this book but it wasn’t available a
few years ago when I looked. I’ll look again!
Voice from Europe , July 6, 2020 at 11:52
Ulfkotte admitted he signed off on numerous articles that were prepared for him during his
career. The last year’s of his life he changed his mores and advocated “better
die in truth than live with lies”.
Richard A. , July 4, 2020 at 00:59
I remember the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour from decades ago. Real experts on Russia like
Dimitri Simes and Stephen Cohen were the ones to appear on that NewsHour. The NewsHour of
today rarely has experts on Russia, just experts on Russia bashing–like Michael McFaul.
Oh how the mighty have fallen.
Antonia Young , July 3, 2020 at 23:35
Thank you, Ray for your clarion voice in the midst of WMD-seventeen-point-oh. Will the
American people have the wisdom to notice how many times we’re being fooled? And
finally wake up and stop supporting these questionable news outlets? With appreciation for
your excellent analysis, as usual. ~Tonia Young (Formerly with the Topanga Peace
The majority of Americans have a lot more to worry about than the latest nonsense about
Russia. I think most people just tune it out.
The ones being fooled are the fools who have been lapping this crap up from the get go. The
supposed educated class who think themselves superior and well informed because they read and
listen to the propaganda of PBS, NPR, NYT etc.
They don’t seem to realize the ship is sinking while they’re playing these
Susan Siens , July 5, 2020 at 16:34
The supposedly educated class, yes! It can be stunning how people believe anything they
hear on PBS or NPR, and then they make fun of people who believe anything they hear on Fox
News. What’s the difference? Both are propaganda tools.
And, yes, watch us go down in flames while so-called progressives boo-hoo about Trump
thinking he’s above the law (like every other president before him). Our local
“peace and justice” group sent me an email asking me to sign a petition
supporting Robert Mueller. I was gobsmacked, and then I realized our local “peace and
justice” group had been taken over by Democratic Party “resisters.”
Jeezums, why is every word hijacked?
Even the NYT acknowledged (before it erased the text in its story on Reade that noted
there were no other sexual misconduct charges pending against him other than that long
history of assaults and sniffing and hands-on, text removed by the Times at the instance of
the Biden campaign staff?
Here's the original text: " The Times found no pattern of sexual misconduct by Mr. Biden,
beyond the hugs, kisses and touching that women previously said made them uncomfortable."
Waiting for the apologists to tell us why the edit to remove the last clause starting "beyond
" is just "Good journalism."
He and Trump are bad examples of the male part of the species. Nothing to choose that I
can see, other than who among the people that revise those bribes to them will be the first
in line at the MMT watering hole
i had a lengthy discussion about this with my brother and sil, it came down to her saying
I DON'T CARE ABOUT THAT re bidens history of being a ttl letch plus possible rapist and my
brother questioning what is obvious discomfort in multiple video evidence.
They said defeating trump was paramount to anything against biden. i simply give up at
Lots of partisan hackery and TDS going around in the last few years in once respectable
lefty publications. Mother Jones has gone completely to hell rather than raising any, as was
once their mission statement. I haven't read the Nation as much in recent years – I let
my subscription lapse a while ago as I found I just couldn't keep up with reading it.
Coincidentally I think that was about the time I started reading NC. The Nation has a history
of sheepdogging lefties to rally behind bad Dem candidates, which was another reason I didn't
feel bad letting my subscription go.
I do still have my subscription to Harper's but they were getting on my nerves quite a bit
to the point I considered cancelling them too. Rebecca Solnit wrote some truly cringe-worthy
editorials for them after Trump's election. They seem to have removed her from writing the
main editorial so maybe I wasn't the only one who felt she left a little to be desired. I'm
quite fond of the newer woman they have doing editorials, Lionel Shriver. She seems like
she'd fit in quite well here!
I left (pun intended) the Nation pub in the dust way back in the 1990's and buried it post
9/11. Used to be a real good alternative press pub 30-40 years ago. Somewhere along the line
it lost it's way and joined the wishy-washy "gatekeeper' society of "approved news."
The Nation was a sanity saviour back in late 70s and through 1980s; then something
happened. Not clear when or what, but I know I let my subscription lapse. Tried again later,
but it was never the same. It's mostly unbearable now, except for Stephen Cohen. Walsh has
been in the unbearable category for many years now.
Leonard Pitts just had an editorial in my local paper where he opined that even if Biden
had sexually assaulted Reade, it didn't really matter because we had to vote against
I wrote this in reply:
So Leonard Pitts thinks that Biden's alleged sexual attack on Tara Reade isn't disqualifying,
even if true. Strange, he didn't think that way about Brett Kavanagh. I didn't want to attack
the columnist as a hypocrite without being sure, so I looked it up. Here is what he
"It's a confluence of facts that speak painfully and pointedly to just how unseriously
America takes men's predations against women. You might disagree, noting that the Senate
Judiciary Committee has asked Ford to testify. But if history is any guide, that will prove
to be a mere formality – a sop to appearances – before the committee recommends
Looks very much like "Well, It's excusable when our guys do it."
Always had a crush on K v d Heuvel. (How's that for an opening to a post about misogyny
and sexual misconduct)?
But can't we disqualify Joe! as the craven proponent of the worst neo-lib policies that
got us exactly where we are today? Or, in polite company, ask politely whether he is even in
a mental state to hand over the keys to the to the family car, let alone the nuclear
Let's take the Id out of IdPol, I don't care if the candidate has green skin and three
eyes if the policies they would enact come within smelling distance of benefiting the 99% (or
more precisely in Joe's case within hair smelling distance).
We can use his personal conduct as a component in our judgement but pleeease can we focus
on the stuff that would actually affect our lives. In his case, for the absolute worse.
(Note: I sincerely doubt whether Joe is currently allowed to drive a car, please oh please
Mr.God-Yahweh-Mohammed-Buddha-Obama can we not let him drive a nation).
"... In 2017, a woman working with frontline families told me why she didn't want reintegration. 'These [the population of rebel-held
Donbass] are people with a minimum level of human development, people raised by their TVs. Okay, so we live together, then what? We're
trying to build a completely new society.' ..."
"... And there once again you have it – one of the primary causes of the war in Ukraine: the contempt with which the post-Maidan
government and its activist supporters regard a significant portion of their fellow citizens, the 'sick trash' of Donbass with their
'minimum level of human development'. ..."
I'd never heard of the Euro-Atlantic Security Leadership Group (EASLG) until today, even though it turns out that one of its members
has the office next door to mine. Its
website says that
it seeks to respond to the challenge of East-West tensions by convening 'former and current officials and experts from a group of
Euro-Atlantic states and the European union to test ideas and develop proposals for improving security in areas of existential common
interest'. It hopes thereby to 'generate trust through dialogue.'
It's hard to object to any of this, but its latest
statement , entitled 'Twelve Steps Toward Greater Security in Ukraine and the Euro-Atlantic Region', doesn't inspire a lot of
confidence. The 'twelve steps' the EASLG proposes to improve security in Eastern Ukraine are generally pretty uninspiring, being
largely of the 'set up a working group to explore' variety, or of such a vaguely aspirational nature as to be almost worthless (e.g.
'Advance reconstruction of Donbas An essential first step is to conduct a credible needs assessment for the Donbas region to inform
a strategy for its social-economic recovery.' Sounds nice, but in reality doesn't amount to a hill of beans).
For the most part, these proposals attempt to treat the symptoms of the war in Ukraine without addressing the root causes. In
a sense, that's fine, as symptoms need treating, but it's sticking plaster when the patient needs some invasive surgery. At the end
of its statement, though, the EASLG does go one step further with 'Step 12: Launch a new national dialogue about identity', saying:
A new, inclusive national dialogue across Ukraine is desirable and could be launched as soon as possible. Efforts should be
made to engage with perspectives from Ukraine's neighbors, especially Poland, Hungary, and Russia. This dialogue should address
themes of history and national memory, language, identity, and minority experience. It should include tolerance and respect for
ethnic and religious minorities in order to increase engagement, inclusiveness, and social cohesion.
This is admirably trendy and woke, but in the Ukrainian context somewhat explosive, as it implicitly challenges the identity politics
of the post-Maidan regime. Unsurprisingly, it's gone down like a lead balloon in Kiev. The notorious website Mirotvorets even
went so far as to add former
German ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger to its blacklist of enemies of Ukraine for having had the temerity to sign the EASLG statement
and thus 'taking part in Russia's propaganda events aimed against Ukraine.' Katherine Quinn-Judge of the International Crisis Group
commented on Twitter, 'As the idea of dialogue
becomes more mainstream, backlash to the concept grows fiercer.' 'In Ukraine, prominent pro-Western politicians, civic activists,
and media, have called Step 12 "a provocation" and "dangerous",' she added
Quinn-Judge comes across as generally sympathetic to the Ukrainian narrative about the war in Donbass, endorsing the idea that
it's largely a product of 'Russian aggression'. But she also recognizes that the war has an internal, social dimension which the
Ukrainian government and its elite-level supporters refuse to acknowledge. Consequently, they also reject any sort of dialogue, either
with Russia or with the rebels in Donbass. As Quinn-Judge notes in another Tweet:
An advisor to one of Ukraine's most powerful pol[itician]s told us recently of his concern about talk of dialogue in international
and domestic circles. 'We have all long ago agreed among ourselves. We need to return our territory, and then work with that sick
– sick – population.'
This isn't an isolated example. Quinn-Judge follows up with a couple more similar statements:
Social resentments underpin some opposition to disengagement, for example. An activist in [government-controlled] Shchastye
told me recently that she feared disengagement and the reopening of the bridge linking the isolated town to [rebel-held] Luhansk:
'I don't want all that trash coming over here.'
In 2017, a woman working with frontline families told me why she didn't want reintegration. 'These [the population of rebel-held
Donbass] are people with a minimum level of human development, people raised by their TVs. Okay, so we live together, then what?
We're trying to build a completely new society.'
And there once again you have it – one of the primary causes of the war in Ukraine: the contempt with which the post-Maidan
government and its activist supporters regard a significant portion of their fellow citizens, the 'sick trash' of Donbass with their
'minimum level of human development'. You can fiddle with treating Donbass' symptoms as much as you like, à la EASLG,
but unless you tackle this fundamental problem, the disease will keep on ravaging the subject for a long time to come. In due course,
I suggest, the only realistic cure will be to remove the patient entirely from the cause of infection.
All that you have described above is very sad, but not very surprising – which is itself very sad. I think Patrick Armstrong is
right that a lot of the reason Ukraine is not and has never been a functional polity is because much if not most of the population
cannot accept that the right side won WWII.
" I left when I was six, in 1994 , so I'm not really the best person to ask this question of – it should probably be directed
to my parents, or even better, the Russian government at the time which had for all intents and purposes ceased paying academics
I went to California for higher education and because its beaches and mountains made for a nice change from the bleakness of
I returned to Russia because if I like Putler so much, why don't I go back there? Okay, less flippancy. I am Russian, I
do not feel like a foreigner here, I like living in Moscow, added bonus is that I get much higher quality of life for the buck
than in California ."
The Russian branch of Carnegie Endowment did a piece on this issue. It mostly fits your ideas, but the author suggests it was
a compromise, short-term solution – what steps can be taken right now, without crossing red lines of either side – but compromise
is unwelcome among both parties. The official Russian reaction was quite cold too.
Upon a quick perusal of the website of the org at issue, Alexey Arbatov and Susan Eisenhower have some kind of affiliation
with it, thus maybe explaining the compromise approach you mention.
This matter brings to mind Trump saying one thing during his presidential bid – only to then bring in people in key positions
who don't agree with what he campaigned on.
In terms of credentials and name status, the likes of Rand Paul, Tulsi Gabbard, Stephen Cohen and Jim Jatras, are needed in
Trump's admin for the purpose of having a more balanced foreign policy approach that conforms with US interests (not to be necessarily
confused with what neocons and neolibs favor).
Instead, Trump has been top heavy with geopolitical thinking opposites. He possibly thought that having them in would take
some of the criticism away from him.
The arguably ideal admin has both sides of an issue well represented, with the president intelligently deciding what's best.
On the BBC and on other media there are films of Ukrainians attacking a bus with people evacuated from China. These people
even wanted to burn down the hospital where the peoplew were taken (along with other unrelated patients)
This is a sign of a degraded society – attacking people who may or may not be ill!!!
Ukraine will eventually break up
The nationalist agenda is just degrading the society.
-The economy is failing
-People who can, are leaving
-The elected government has no control over the violent people who take to the streets
It's clear Zelensky is a puppet no different to Poroshenko – this destroys the idea that democracy is a good thing.
It's very sad that the EU and the Americans under Obama – empowered these decisive elements and then blame Russia.
Crimea did the right thing leaving Ukraine – Donbass hopefully will follow.
"And there once again you have it – one of the primary causes of the war in Ukraine: the contempt with which the post-Maidan
government and its activist supporters regard a significant portion of their fellow citizens, the 'sick trash' of Donbass"
Yesterday marks yet another milestone on the Ukrainian glorious шлях перемог and long and arduous return to the Family
of the European Nations. The Civil Society ™ of the Ukraine rose as one in the mighty CoronavirusMaidan, against the jackbooted
goons of the crypto-Napoleon (and agent of Putin) Zelensky. Best people from Poltava oblast' (whose ancestors without doubt, welcomed
Swedish Euro-integrators in 1709) and, most important of all, from the Best (Western) Ukrajina, who 6 years ago made the Revolution
of Dignity in Kiev the reality and whom pan Poroshenko called the best part of the Nation, said their firm "Геть вiд Москви!"
to their fellow Ukrainian citizens, evacuated from Wuhan province in China
The Net is choke full of vivid, memorable videos, showing that 6 years after Maidan, the Ukraine now constitute a unified,
эдiна та соборна country. You all, no doubt, already watched these clips, where a brave middle-aged gentleman from the
Western Ukraine, racially pure Ukr, proves his mental acuity by deducing, that crypto-tyrant (and "не лох") Zelensky wants to
settle evacuees in his pristine oblast out of vengeance, because the Best Ukrajina didn't vote for him during the election. Or
a clip about a brave woman from Poltava oblast, suggesting to relocate the Trojan-horse "fellow countrymen" to Chernobol's Zone.
Or even the witty comments and suggestions by the paragons of the Ukrainian Civil Society, " волонтэры ":
Shy and conscientious members of the Ukrainian (national!) intelligentsia had their instincts aligned rrrrrright. When they
learned about that their hospital will be the one receiving the evacuees from Wuhan, the entire medical personell of that Poltava
oblast medical facility rose to their feet and sang "Shenya vmerla". Democracy and localism proved once again the strongest suit
of the pro-European Ukraine, with Ternopol's oblast regional council voting to accept the official statement to the crypto-tyrant
Zelensky, which calls attempts to place evacuees on their Holy land "an act of Genocide of the Ukrainian People" (c)
That's absolutely "normal", predictable reaction of the "racially pure Ukrainians" to their own fellow citizens. Now, Professor,
are you insisting on seeking or even expecting "compromise" with them ? What to do, if after all these years, there is
no such thing as the united Ukrainian political nation?
"Ukraine's democracy is flourishing like never before due to the tireless efforts of grassroots, pro-democracy, civil-society
groups. Many Ukrainians say their country is now firmly set on an irreversible, pro-Western trajectory. Moreover, the country
has also undertaken a top-to-bottom cultural, economic, and political divorce from its former Soviet overlord.
Today, Ukraine is a democratic success story in the making, despite Russia's best efforts to the contrary."
– Nolan Peterson, a former special operations pilot and a combat veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, is The Daily Signal's foreign
correspondent based in Ukraine
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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 still is. So no big deal.
And somehow you have this fantasy that if it were not for Obama-Nuland, Ukrainians would just loooove to be under Russian
f you think this, you ser both foolish and very ignorant.
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."
The January 2nd American assassination of Gen. Qassem Soleimani of Iran was an event of
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
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 --
Ford , Jimmy
Carter , and Ronald Reagan -- issued successive
Executive Orders absolutely prohibiting assassinations by the CIA or any other agent of the US
Although some cynics might claim that these public declarations represented mere
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
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
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.
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
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
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."