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Parry writes: "Official Washington loves its Putin-bashing but demonizing the Russian leader stops a rational debate about U.S.-Russia relations and pushes the two nuclear powers toward an existential brink."

President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia in March. (photo: Alexei Nikolsky)
President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia in March. (photo: Alexei Nikolsky)


The Existential Madness of Putin-Bashing

By Robert Parry, Consortium News

14 September 16

 

Official Washington loves its Putin-bashing but demonizing the Russian leader stops a rational debate about U.S.-Russia relations and pushes the two nuclear powers toward an existential brink, writes Robert Parry.

rguably, the nuttiest neoconservative idea – among a long list of nutty ideas – has been to destabilize nuclear-armed Russia by weakening its economy, isolating it from Europe, pushing NATO up to its borders, demonizing its leadership, and sponsoring anti-government political activists inside Russia to promote “regime change.”

This breathtakingly dangerous strategy has been formulated and implemented with little serious debate inside the United States as the major mainstream news media and the neocons’ liberal-interventionist sidekicks have fallen in line much as they did during the run-up to the disastrous invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Except with Russia, the risks are even greater – conceivably, a nuclear war that could exterminate life on the planet. Yet, despite those stakes, there has been a cavalier – even goofy – attitude in the U.S. political/media mainstream about undertaking this new “regime change” project aimed at Moscow.

There is also little appreciation of how lucky the world was when the Soviet Union fell apart in 1991 without some Russian extremists seizing control of the nuclear codes and taking humanity to the brink of extinction. Back then, there was a mix of luck and restrained leadership, especially on the Soviet side.

Plus, there were at least verbal assurances from George H.W. Bush’s administration that the Soviet retreat from East Germany and Eastern Europe would not be exploited by NATO and that a new era of cooperation with the West could follow the break-up of the Soviet Union.

Instead, the United States dispatched financial “experts” – many from Harvard Business School – who arrived in Moscow with neoliberal plans for “shock therapy” to “privatize” Russia’s resources, which turned a handful of corrupt insiders into powerful billionaires, known as “oligarchs,” and the “Harvard Boys” into well-rewarded consultants.

But the result for the average Russian was horrific as the population experienced a drop in life expectancy unprecedented in a country not at war. While a Russian could expect to live to be almost 70 in the mid-1980s, that expectation had dropped to less than 65 by the mid-1990s.

The “Harvard Boys” were living the high-life with beautiful women, caviar and champagne in the lavish enclaves of Moscow – as the U.S.-favored President Boris Yeltsin drank himself into stupors – but there were reports of starvation in villages in the Russian heartland and organized crime murdered people on the street with near impunity.

Meanwhile, Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush cast aside any restraint regarding Russia’s national pride and historic fears by expanding NATO across Eastern Europe, including the incorporation of former Soviet republics.

In the 1990s, the “triumphalist” neocons formulated a doctrine for permanent U.S. global dominance with their thinking reaching its most belligerent form during George W. Bush’s presidency, which asserted the virtually unlimited right for the United States to intervene militarily anywhere in the world regardless of international law and treaties.

How Despair Led to Putin

Without recognizing the desperation and despair of the Russian people during the Yeltsin era — and the soaring American arrogance in the 1990s — it is hard to comprehend the political rise and enduring popularity of Vladimir Putin, who became president after Yeltsin abruptly resigned on New Year’s Eve 1999. (In declining health, Yeltsin died on April 23, 2007).

Putin, a former KGB officer with a strong devotion to his native land, began to put Russia’s house back in order. Though he collaborated with some oligarchs, he reined in others by putting them in jail for corruption or forcing them into exile.

Putin cracked down on crime and terrorism, often employing harsh means to restore order, including smashing Islamist rebels seeking to take Chechnya out of the Russian Federation.

Gradually, Russia regained its economic footing and the condition of the average Russian improved. By 2012, Russian life expectancy had rebounded to more than 70 years. Putin also won praise from many Russians for reestablishing the country’s national pride and reasserting its position on the world stage.

Though a resurgent Russia created friction with the neocon designs for permanent U.S. world domination, Putin represented a side of Russian politics that favored cooperation with the West. He particularly hoped that he could work closely with President Barack Obama, who likewise indicated his desire to team up with Russia to make progress on thorny international issues.

In 2012, Obama was overheard on an open mike telling Putin’s close political ally, then-President Dmitri Medvedev, that “after my election, I have more flexibility,” suggesting greater cooperation with Russia. (Because of the Russian constitution barring someone from serving more than two consecutive terms as president, Medvedev, who had been prime minister, essentially swapped jobs with Putin for four years.)

Obama’s promise was not entirely an empty one. His relationship with the Russian leadership warmed as the two powers confronted common concerns over security issues, such as convincing Syria to surrender its chemical-weapons arsenal in 2013 and persuading Iran to accept tight limitations on its nuclear program in 2014.

In an extraordinary op-ed in The New York Times on Sept. 11, 2013, Putin described his relationship with Obama as one of “growing trust” while disagreeing with the notion of “American “exceptionalism.” In the key last section that he supposedly wrote himself, Putin said:

“My working and personal relationship with President Obama is marked by growing trust. I appreciate this. I carefully studied his address to the nation on Tuesday. And I would rather disagree with a case he made on American exceptionalism, stating that the United States’ policy is ‘what makes America different. It’s what makes us exceptional.’

“It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation. There are big countries and small countries, rich and poor, those with long democratic traditions and those still finding their way to democracy. Their policies differ, too. We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal.”

Offending the Neocons

Though Putin may have thought he was simply contributing to a worthy international debate in the spirit of the U.S. Declaration of Independence’s assertion that “all men are created equal,” his objection to “American exceptionalism” represented fighting words to America’s neocons.

Instead of engaging in mushy multilateral diplomacy, muscular neocons saw America as above the law and lusted for bombing campaigns against Syria and Iran – with the goal of notching two more “regime change” solutions on their belts.

Thus, the neocons and their liberal-interventionist fellow-travelers came to see Putin as a major and unwelcome obstacle to their dreams of permanent U.S. dominance over the planet, which they would promote through what amounted to permanent warfare. (The main distinction between neocons and liberal interventionists is that the former cites “democracy promotion” as its rationale and the latter justifies war under the mantle of “humanitarianism.”)

Barely two weeks after Putin’s op-ed in the Times, a prominent neocon, Carl Gershman, the longtime president of the U.S.-government-funded National Endowment for Democracy, issued what amounted to a rejoinder in The Washington Post on Sept. 26, 2013.

Gershman’s op-ed made clear that U.S. policy should take aim at Ukraine, a historically and strategically sensitive country on Russia’s doorstep where the Russian nation made a stand against the Tatars in the 1600s and where the Nazis launched Operation Barbarossa, the devastating 1941 invasion which killed some 4 million Soviet soldiers and led to some 26 million Soviet dead total.

In the Post, Gershman wrote that “Ukraine is the biggest prize,” but made clear that Putin was the ultimate target: “Ukraine’s choice to join Europe will accelerate the demise of the ideology of Russian imperialism that Putin represents. Russians, too, face a choice, and Putin may find himself on the losing end not just in the near abroad but within Russia itself.”

To advance this cause, NED alone was funding scores of projects that funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars to Ukrainian political activists and media outlets, creating what amounted to a shadow political structure that could help stir up unrest when the Ukrainian government didn’t act as desired, i.e., when elected President Viktor Yanukovych balked at a European economic plan that included cuts in pensions and heat subsidies as demanded by the International Monetary Fund.

When Yanukovych sought more time to negotiate a less onerous deal, U.S.-backed protests swept into Kiev’s Maidan square. Though representing genuine sentiment among many western Ukrainians for increased ties to Europe, neo-Nazi and ultra-nationalist street fighters gained control of the uprising and began firebombing police.

Despite the mounting violence, the protests were cheered on by neocon Sen. John McCain, U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt and Assistant Secretary of State for Europe Victoria Nuland, the wife of neocon stalwart Robert Kagan, a co-founder of the Project for the New American Century, which was a major promoter of the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

In a speech to Ukrainian business leaders on Dec. 13, 2013, Nuland reminded them that the United States had invested $5 billion in their “European aspirations.” By early February 2014, in an intercepted phone call, she was discussing with Pyatt who should lead a new government – “Yats is the guy,” she declared referring to Arseniy Yatsenyuk. Nuland and Pyatt continued the conversation with exchanges about how to “glue this thing” or “midwife this thing,” respectively.

A Western-backed Putsch

The violence worsened on Feb. 20, 2014, when mysterious snipers opened fire on police and demonstrators sparking clashes that killed scores, including police officers and protesters. Though later evidence suggested that the shootings were a provocation by the neo-Nazis, the immediate reaction in the mainstream Western media was to blame Yanukovych.

Though Yanukovych agreed to a compromise on Feb. 21 that would reduce his powers and speed up new elections so he could be voted out of office, he was still painted as a tyrannical villain. As neo-Nazi and other rightists chased him and his government from power on Feb. 22, the West hailed the unconstitutional putsch as “legitimate” and a victory for “democracy.”

The coup, however, prompted resistance from ethnic Russian areas of Ukraine, particularly in the east and south. With the aid of Russian troops who were stationed at the Russian naval base in Sevastopol, the Crimeans held a referendum and voted by 96 percent to leave Ukraine and rejoin the Russian Federation, a move accepted by Putin and the Kremlin.

However, the West’s mainstream media called the referendum a “sham” and Crimea’s secession from Ukraine became Putin’s “invasion” – although the Russian troops were already in Crimea as part of the basing agreement and the referendum, though hastily organized, clearly represented the overwhelming will of the Crimean people, a judgment corroborated by a variety of subsequent polls.

Ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine also rose up against the new regime in Kiev, prompting more accusations in the West about “Russian aggression.” Anyone who raised the possibility that these areas, Yanukovych’s political strongholds, might simply be rejecting what they saw as an illegal political coup in Kiev was dismissed as a “Putin apologist” or a “Moscow stooge.”

While Official Washington and its mainstream media rallied the world in outrage against Putin and Russia, the new authorities in Kiev slipped Nuland’s choice, Yatsenyuk, into the post of prime minister where he pushed through the onerous IMF “reforms,” making the already hard lives of Ukrainians even harder. (The unpopular Yatsenyuk eventually resigned his position.)

Despite the obvious risks of supporting a putsch on Russia’s border, the neocons achieved their political goal of driving a huge wedge between Putin and Obama, whose quiet cooperation had been so troublesome for the neocon plan for violent “regime change” in Syria and Iran.

The successful neocon play in Ukraine also preempted possible U.S.-Russian cooperation in trying to impose an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement that would have established a Palestinian state and would have stymied Israel’s plans for gobbling up Palestinian territory by expanding Jewish settlements and creating an apartheid-style future for the indigenous Arabs, confining them to a few cantons surrounded by de facto Israeli territory.

Obama’s timid failure to explain and defend his productive collaboration with Putin enabled the neocons to achieve another goal of making Putin an untouchable, a demonized foreign leader routinely mocked and smeared by the mainstream Western news media. Along with Putin’s demonization, the neocons have sparked a new Cold War that will not only extend today’s “permanent warfare” indefinitely but dramatically increase its budgetary costs with massive new investments in strategic weapons.

Upping the Nuclear Ante

By targeting Putin and Russia, the neocons have upped the ante when it comes to their “regime change” agenda. No longer satisfied with inflicting “regime change” in countries deemed hostile to Israel – Iraq, Syria, Libya, Iran, etc. – the neocons have raised their sights on Russia.

In that devil-may-care approach, the neocons are joined by prominent “liberal interventionists,” such as billionaire currency speculator George Soros, who pulls the strings of many “liberal” organizations that he bankrolls.

In February 2015, Soros laid out his “Russia-regime-change” vision in the liberal New York Review of Books with an alarmist call for Europe “to wake up and recognize that it is under attack from Russia” – despite the fact that it has been NATO encroaching on Russia’s borders, not the other way around.

But Soros’s hysteria amounted to a clarion call to his many dependents among supposedly independent “non-governmental organizations” to take up the goal of destabilizing Russia and driving Putin from office. As a currency speculator, Soros recognizes the value of inflicting economic pain as well as military punishment on a target country.

“The financial crisis in Russia and the body bags [of supposedly Russian soldiers] from Ukraine have made President Putin politically vulnerable,” Soros wrote, urging Europe to keep up the economic pressure on Russia while working to transform Ukraine into an economic/political success story, saying:

“…if Europe rose to the challenge and helped Ukraine not only to defend itself but to become a land of promise, Putin could not blame Russia’s troubles on the Western powers. He would be clearly responsible and he would either have to change course or try to stay in power by brutal repression, cowing people into submission. If he fell from power, an economic and political reformer would be likely to succeed him.”

But Soros recognized the other possibility: that a Western-driven destabilization of Russia and a failed state in Ukraine could either bolster Putin or lead to his replacement by an extreme Russian nationalist, someone far-harder-line than Putin.

With Ukraine’s continued failure, Soros wrote, “President Putin could convincingly argue that Russia’s problems are due to the hostility of the Western powers. Even if he fell from power, an even more hardline leader like Igor Sechin or a nationalist demagogue would succeed him.”

Yet, Soros fails to appreciate how dangerous his schemes could be to make Russia’s economy scream so loudly that Putin would be swept aside by some political upheaval. As Soros suggests, the Russian people could turn to an extreme nationalist, not to some pliable Western-approved politician.

Protecting Mother Russia

Especially after suffering the depravations of the Yeltsin years, the Russian people might favor an extremist who would take a tough stance against the West and might see brandishing the nuclear arsenal as the only way to protect Mother Russia.

Still, Official Washington can’t get enough of demonizing Putin. A year ago, Obama’s White House – presumably to show how much the President disdains Putin, too – made fun of how Putin sits with his legs apart.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest cited a photo of the Russian president sitting next to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “President Putin was striking a now-familiar pose of less-than-perfect posture and unbuttoned jacket and, you know, knees spread far apart to convey a particular image,” Earnest said, while ignoring the fact that Netanyahu was sitting with his legs wide apart, too.

Amid this anything-goes Putin-bashing, The New York Times, The Washington Post and now Hillary Clinton’s campaign have escalated their anti-Putin rhetoric, especially since Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has offered some praise of Putin as a “strong” leader.

Despite the barrage of cheap insults emanating from U.S. political and media circles, Putin has remained remarkably cool-headed, refusing the react in kind. Oddly, as much as the American political/media establishment treats Putin as a madman, Official Washington actually counts on his even-temper to avoid a genuine existential crisis for the world.

If Putin were what the U.S. mainstream media and politicians describe – a dangerous lunatic – the endless baiting of Putin would be even more irresponsible. Yet, even with many people privately realizing that Putin is a much more calculating leader than their negative propaganda makes him out to be, there still could be a limit to Putin’s patience.

Or the neocons and liberal hawks might succeed in provoking a violent uprising in Moscow that ousts Putin. However, if that were to happen, the odds – as even Soros acknowledges – might favor a Russian nationalist coming out on top and thus in control of the nuclear codes.

In many ways, it’s not Putin who should worry Americans but the guy that might follow Putin.



Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com).

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+45 # indian weaver 2016-09-14 08:59
"In many ways, it’s not Putin who should worry Americans but the guy that might follow Putin."

I think not.

The priority worry for Americans is their own fascist militarized government, the one that is giving free weapons of mass destruction to our local police forces - this means Obama / Kerry / Ashton Carter - the active mortal threats to We The People. What does that tell everyone, everyone who is paying attention anyhow. By far, most Americans have committed themselves to ignorance and cowardice - not those "americans", but the real patriots among us, we who keep ourselves informed and understand the enemy is among us.
 
 
+22 # RCW 2016-09-14 09:10
I wholly agree. Nihilists among are designing and creating our enemies to bring about our own destruction.
 
 
+22 # GoGreen! 2016-09-14 13:41
And this is why we MUST change 'our' government. First we must face that it is NOT our government -- but one in the employ of the extremely wealthy people and the state of Israel. Our Congress 'representative s' have their pockets full of 'donations' from AIPAC--and that is why they vote for what ever Israel asks for---even if it means we have to cut the food stamps for our hungry children to send those funds to the apartheid nation of Israel.

We need to sweep our Congress clear of these traitors by not voting for any Democrat or any Republican. There are other candidates on the ballot---or write in the name of your dog. Not to worry. They don't count the ballots anyway. It's just a ruse to get us to think we have some effect in changing our rotten government. The fix is in.
 
 
-41 # revhen 2016-09-14 09:13
This piece could also be interpreted as another cryto support for Trump.
 
 
+51 # REDPILLED 2016-09-14 09:17
Or, it can be read as a caution about Hillary and her neocon advisers.
 
 
-9 # Texas Aggie 2016-09-14 10:23
Hardly. To do so takes you into the very middle of right wing conspiracy land.
 
 
-15 # Activista 2016-09-14 13:40
Like the historical parallel -
Strong man Stalin supports strong man Hitler
(Strong man Trump supports strong man Putin)
prefer much more "timid" Obama that respects democratic institutions.
 
 
+17 # RMDC 2016-09-14 14:55
Activista -- "Strong man Stalin supports strong man Hitler"

Never heard anyone say this before. Where did it come from. Stalin knew exactly what Hitler was and was deathly afraid of him.
 
 
+15 # polfrosch 2016-09-14 16:04
Activista is of czech origin, and I am conviced he personally remembers the soviet tanks in Prague 1968, crushing a beautiful dream he shared.

I might be wrong, I just assume it. I know what he writes is heartfelt.

I always liked his postings. I don´t share his fear of Putin, not at all, but I listen. His postings are not talk about ideas, it is his experience, I think it is cold fear engraved in his DNA. He is a survivor of the cold war, and the tit for tat democracy he fled to provided shelter to him. He is no cold warrior, just allergic to military might policies, I am certain about that.

What he writes is a reminder why the US government is so successful with it´s divide et impera policy in former Warsaw pact states like Poland, Czech and Slovak republic and the Baltic states.

There are many people in Eastern Europe who personally remember soviet opression, much like people in South America remember the cruelty of the US imperialism in their countries.

I think all victims of state supression deserve to be adressed with a hug and understanding.

The absence of cruelty is a major goal of the society I want to live in. The survivors of cruelty deserve respect.
 
 
+8 # Radscal 2016-09-14 18:26
Thanks, polfrosch. You described activista far better than my feeble attempts.
 
 
-1 # AshamedAmerican 2016-09-14 21:29
This description nonetheless fails to account for the line: "prefer much more "timid" Obama that respects democratic institutions". In terms of shattered dreams, Trump and Putin have much less in common with Stalin and Hitler than does Obama.
 
 
+6 # Activista 2016-09-14 23:59
thank you polfrosh (from Berlin) for such an understanding. I was lucky to be able travel to Vienna during the Prague Spring (3 month before the Soviet invasion) - 23 year old, first time I was allowed to legally travel to West. I asked for political asylum and immigration to the USA.
 
 
+2 # Activista 2016-09-15 13:28
In 1980 I took my VW bus and spent almost a year in Central America - during Reagan supported contra war = saw killed students in Guatemala City by dictator Efraín Ríos Montt we (USA) supported.
People were scared to talk -
" genocide of thousands of indigenous Guatemalans during the country’s civil war, which left over 200,000 dead. CJA’s main targets? Guatemala’s former head of state General Efraín Ríos Montt and senior officials who led a systematic campaign of violence."
cja.org/what-we-do/litigation/the-guatemala-genocide-case/
 
 
+2 # Activista 2016-09-15 13:32
... reported by the journalist Robert Parry, working from a document he discovered in the Reagan Library, the team’s goal was to supply military aid to the right-wing regime in Guatemala in order to exterminate not only “Marxist guerrillas” but also their “civilian support mechanisms” – which means, effectively, genocide.
The task was carried out with dedication. Reagan sent “nonlethal” equipment to the killers, including Bell helicopters that were immediately armed and sent on their missions of death and destruction.
But the most effective method was to enlist a network of client states to take over the task, including Taiwan and South Korea, still under U.S.-backed dictatorships, as well as apartheid South Africa and the Argentine and Chilean dictatorships.
At the forefront was Israel, which became the major arms supplier to Guatemala. It provided instructors for the killers and participated in counterinsurgen cy operations.
www.alternet.org/noam-chomsky-nuclear
 
 
-1 # hipocampelo 2016-09-15 22:22
Activista: Mr. Obama, and I donated and voted for him twice, turned out to be a tragic mistake for this nation. Mrs Clinton
is the same. We now need a hero--either
Stein or Sanders.
 
 
+4 # Activista 2016-09-15 00:08
Quoting RMDC:
Activista -- "Strong man Stalin supports strong man Hitler"

Never heard anyone say this before. Where did it come from. Stalin knew exactly what Hitler was and was deathly afraid of him.

Nazis and communists divvy up Poland - Sep 29, 1939 - HISTORY.com
www.history.com/this-day-in.../nazis-and-communists-divvy-up-poland
History
On this day in 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union agree to divide control of ... Ribbentrop-Molo tov Pact, (also known as the Hitler-Stalin Pact), that created a ...
 
 
+5 # Activista 2016-09-15 00:10
Stalin is one of the most extraordinary figures in world history. He began as a small clerk, and he has never stopped being a clerk. Stalin owes nothing to rhetoric. He governs from his office, thanks to a bureaucracy that obeys his every nod and gesture. It's striking that Russian propaganda, in the criticisms it makes of us, always holds itself within certain limits. Stalin, that cunning Caucasian, is apparently quite ready to abandon European Russia, if he thinks that a failure to solve her problems would cause him to lose everything. Let nobody think Stalin might reconquer Europe from the Urals! It is as if I were installed in Slovakia, and could set out from there to reconquer the Reich. This is the catastrophe that will cause the loss of the Soviet Empire.”
― Adolf Hitler
www.goodreads.com/quotes/558777-stalin-is-one-of-the-most-extraordinary-figures-in-world
 
 
+4 # Activista 2016-09-15 00:23
Why did Stalin believe Hitler?
In August 1939, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union signed a pact whereby they agreed to be friendly and (secretly) to divide Poland between them. In June 1941, Hitler, having consolidated his hold on his half of Poland, invaded the Soviet zone and the Soviet Union itself -- an eventuality which Stalin seems not to have expected and for which he was completely unprepared. Hitler went on to occupy all Russia west of Moscow, to be beaten back only when Stalin emerged from Siberia with a fresh army. Hitler was defeated, but at the highest cost imaginable.

Stalin's maniacal suspicion is legend, and Hitler by that time already had an international reputation as a liar. How could a man like Stalin possibly have believed that a man like Hitler would keep his word?
 
 
0 # Activista 2016-09-15 00:23
Why did Stalin believe Hitler?
In August 1939, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union signed a pact whereby they agreed to be friendly and (secretly) to divide Poland between them. In June 1941, Hitler, having consolidated his hold on his half of Poland, invaded the Soviet zone and the Soviet Union itself -- an eventuality which Stalin seems not to have expected and for which he was completely unprepared. Hitler went on to occupy all Russia west of Moscow, to be beaten back only when Stalin emerged from Siberia with a fresh army. Hitler was defeated, but at the highest cost imaginable.

Stalin's maniacal suspicion is legend, and Hitler by that time already had an international reputation as a liar. How could a man like Stalin possibly have believed that a man like Hitler would keep his word?
 
 
+2 # Radscal 2016-09-15 13:44
Stalin had also been trying to warn Europe and Great Britain that Hitler was set upon conquering all of Europe. But his warnings were ignored. We now know that many of the European/Britis h/USian elite favored the Nazis.

But Stalin apparently didn't realize that, and so signed that pact hoping to create a "buffer" between the USSR and Western Europe.

It is totally bizarre and, as you wrote, inconsistent with Stalin's paranoid nature that he failed to fully prepare for war with the short time he'd bought the Soviets.

One could almost imagine that the Soviet Union was intended by those who fund such national enterprises to suffer the Nazi invasion, and possibly even to lose the war.

BTW: the Hitler quotes you cited refer to Russia "reconquest" of Europe. When had Russia previously "conquered" Europe?

But during the "peaceful pro-democracy protests" in Ukraine, the EuroMaiden produced a very nice video promo about the "Reconquest" of Europe. Very clear they planned the Fourth Reich.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Inu_-0dcSU&oref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3D-Inu_-0dcSU&has_verified=1
 
 
0 # ktony 2016-09-16 20:35
Quoting RMDC:
Activista -- "Strong man Stalin supports strong man Hitler"

Never heard anyone say this before. Where did it come from.** Stalin knew exactly what Hitler was and was deathly afraid of him.

**https://en.wi kipedia.org/wik i/Molotov%E2%80 %93Ribbentrop_P act
 
 
+29 # newell 2016-09-14 09:18
It has been the 1% that have pushed for wars. The 1% will demonize the people of another country to make war or covert colonialism more palatable. Right now the 1% and even most Americans are demonizing Putin. We are not dissing Russians, but Russians like Putin. Soon Russians will distrust Americans and that aids only the 1%.
 
 
-3 # jdd 2016-09-14 10:51
You are not facing reality. Russians like Putin? Do you mean intelligent, patient, nationalists with a strategic overview, who are open to cooperating with the United States? The one that sponsored a classical concert in the dessert of Palmyra where only weeks before ISIS was committing beheadings The American people, although sick of war, have overwhelmingly accepted the neo-con/Obama demonizaton of President Putin, who is the personification of his nation. However, if we can overcome an Obama veto of JASTA and expose the Saudi hand behind 911 as well as the lies used to justify the ensuing regime change wars, we may get the the jolt needed for a cultural shift.
 
 
+23 # guomashi 2016-09-14 12:12
Russians like Putin.
Get over it.
Russians openly mock Yeltsin and were grossly embarrassed by him.
There is nothing from the 'fledgling democracy' period of the 90s that any Russian wants to revisit.
 
 
+2 # Radscal 2016-09-14 18:29
I read newell's comment to be "Americans don't like Russians that are like Putin," not "Russians admire Putin."
 
 
+1 # newell 2016-09-15 16:10
Sorry for any confusion. The Russian people do indeed admire Putin. The polls and the Russians I know agree with that, even though they themselves are not fans of Putin and choose to live in the U.S.
 
 
+22 # John Puma 2016-09-14 12:44
Russians like Putin because he is looking out for their interests not those of the USofA.

Considering what happens to countries that refuse to adopt the "interests" of the USofA, this is a show of bravery and courage unseen US politics/politi cal thinking for some time.

Presumably our great strategic minds think that continuously demonizing Putin will render Russia the military equivalent of Grenada.

Hey, when have these great minds EVER been wrong before?!?
 
 
+8 # lfeuille 2016-09-14 18:11
They already distrust Americans, with good reason.
 
 
+18 # jdd 2016-09-14 09:37
That being said, the fact is that there is a global realignment taking place around the leadership of Vladimir Putin and China's Xi Jinping. Just look at the G20. What is President Obama offering in response to their "One belt, one road," EurAsian infrastructure development plan other than division and confrontation? Even stalwart US allies like Japan and South Korean, let alone Turkey and even Israel, just aren't buying it.
 
 
+24 # jazzman633 2016-09-14 10:03
Newell's right about the 1%. They're not the ones doing the bleeding and dying. There is no reason for these neocon chicken-hawks to keep provoking Russia. Who's the greatest threat to world peace, if not the US of A, with military bases in 100 countries? Russia doesn't bomb/destroy/oc cupy other countries thousands of miles away.

IMHO, too many American policymakers freak out because Russia is "godless."

Pushing the now-unnecessary NATO to Russia's doorstep is an insane act of provocation.

What happened to "America does not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy" (James Madison)?
 
 
+3 # anarchaos 2016-09-14 17:16
Quoting jazzman633:
Newell's right about the 1%. They're not the ones doing the bleeding and dying. There is no reason for these neocon chicken-hawks to keep provoking Russia. Who's the greatest threat to world peace, if not the US of A, with military bases in 100 countries? Russia doesn't bomb/destroy/occupy other countries thousands of miles away.

IMHO, too many American policymakers freak out because Russia is "godless."

Pushing the now-unnecessary NATO to Russia's doorstep is an insane act of provocation.

What happened to "America does not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy" (James Madison)?
It was replaced by "If you ain't fer us yur agin us". ( W Bush)!
 
 
+1 # goodsensecynic 2016-09-15 08:48
Actually, the quote is from John Quincy Adams ... in 1821, four years after Madison left the presidency and four years before he would win it.
 
 
+23 # guomashi 2016-09-14 10:14
US seems intent upon suicide.
 
 
-25 # tarantilla 2016-09-14 10:24
Putin is a mobster, killing is own people, and anyone who threatens his power. I'm not sure what this apologist writer is doing.
 
 
+35 # grandlakeguy 2016-09-14 10:40
And we are so much better with mass incarceration, no health coverage for millions of Americans, the poisoning of our environment and water (lead anyone?) not to mention our foreign policy that has recently killed millions in the Middle East and not so long ago tens of millions in Vietnam and surrounding countries?
 
 
+22 # John Puma 2016-09-14 12:47
Add "austerity politics," millions of illegal foreclosures, murder of innocent people by the police, etc.
 
 
-10 # mmc 2016-09-14 10:40
The "agree" and "disagree" buttons are again not functioning.
 
 
+4 # Radscal 2016-09-14 18:37
As we've explained this time and time again, I can only state that SOMETHING is clearly not functioning.
 
 
+29 # jimmyjames 2016-09-14 10:47
Hillary Clinton worries me much, much more than Vladimir Putin.
 
 
+10 # lfeuille 2016-09-14 18:16
Bingo. I think Putin is smart enough not to get caught up in her schemes, but the world be much less dangerous if we had a president willing to stop the Russia bashing and just cooperate with them.
 
 
+5 # librarian1984 2016-09-14 23:58
At least make the attempt.

How could Hillary have been Secretary of State when she clearly has no interest in diplomacy? Unless .. is there a fracking ambassador?
 
 
-20 # owiruame 2016-09-14 11:04
I am an American psychologist currently on my sixth trip to Ukraine, enjoying a visit with a southeastern military brigade. My close friends here are heroes of the Maidan revolution. My personal reaction to Parry's article is that it is highly skewed, to the extent that it is deplorable. This is terribly insulting to the freedom loving majority of free and independent Ukraine, and essentially ignores Ukrainian history. Parry's writing is a masterfully scripted defense of the very tenacious and murderous dictator Putin. I suggest Parry be queried whether he is a Trump supporter, which in my perception would be obvious. I'm extremely disappointed in this man who so expertly investigated the Iran-Contra debacle.
 
 
+29 # jimmyjames 2016-09-14 11:19
You obviously totally forgot that Ukraine's democratically elected government was violently overthrown by Neo-Nazi hooligans supported and encouraged by the United States. That's a bit of history you conveniently forgot.
 
 
+19 # bardphile 2016-09-14 11:40
Owiruame: I can't match your experience in Ukraine, and I agree that Parry slants his coverage here("lusted"? really?). But are you sure your personal contacts aren't preventing you from seeing the big picture? Isn't it true that the large ethnic Russian majority of Crimea and eastern Ukraine back Putin? Doesn't Putin have some responsibility toward these former countrymen? Looking at the even bigger picture, what American interests are served by forcing Putin into the arms of our Middle Eastern adversaries, not to mention, ultimately, China? Enough of rhetorical questions. Our foreign policy establishment used to talk of the "China card." We'll have no "Russian card" to play if we keep antagonizing that country, a scenario we may come to regret.
 
 
+29 # guomashi 2016-09-14 12:01
Sorry, but you sound like an abject fool at best, and a tool of neocon propaganda at worst.
I have many Ukrainian and Russian friends too, and the divisions within the country are indeed as profound as the article suggests.

If Putin wanted Ukraine he could squash them like a caterpillar.
That he didn't do that while they were stealing Russia's natural gas exports for years on end shows that he doesn't in the least have any of the characteristics asserted to him by US propaganda.
He doesn't want Ukraine.
Nor does he want NATO missiles in Ukraine.
Nor do I.
Nor should the rest of the peace loving world.
 
 
-14 # owiruame 2016-09-14 13:31
I've studied the Ukrainian situation intensively since 2013. I'm fairly confident I'm well aware of the "big picture." The scenario that Putin was "protecting" his countrymen is pure Kremlin propaganda. The so-called separatists in the east would have collapsed immediately without Russian military backing. Putin seized Crimea, Lugansk, and Donetsk first, then fabricated so called extensive local support. Russia now controls the east as they do Transnistria in the west. Putin has no interest in invading Ukraine. His objective is destabilization , with very ugly results. The Parry parrots to me look increasingly like Neville Chamberlain in the 1930s. Ukrainian independence is strong. Putin, like Trump, will fail.
 
 
+12 # Anonymot 2016-09-14 15:20
As an American "psychologist", I wonder if you could tell us why a psychologist was needed in the Ukraine. Were you a US government employee?That might help put your ideas in context.
 
 
+15 # newell 2016-09-14 16:05
And if other world leaders had stood with Chamberlain to bring peace to the world we might have avoided 60 million dead. 25 of those 60 in the Soviet Union. And since the U.S. is the only nation to use nuclear bombs (and on civilians), and has silos surrounding Russia, I think it quite rational that Russia might be a little worried about bordering countries allegiance to the area or to NATO. You think the U.S. would tolerate a Russian inspired coups in Mexico that installed a government that was conspiring against Americans living there? You are like many-- because the communist experiment in the Soviet Union had many flaws that the consumerism of the West is better? You want the material crap of the West? It is killing the planet.
 
 
+14 # Helen Marshall 2016-09-14 14:17
If he did such a great job then, you might ask yourself if he's not right now. If you are only talking to "heroes of the Maidan revolution" which was fostered by the US State Department and National Endowment for Democracy, you are most certainly not getting a fair picture. And why resort to smears about "Trump supporter?"
 
 
+8 # anarchaos 2016-09-14 17:30
owiruame, Does not Ukrainian history include the fact that Stepan Bandera (hero of the Right Sektor Nazis now in Kiev) was a willing accomplice, and actual Nazi, who served Hitler's Reich during WWII? Recent Ukrainian history shows Nazi (Right Sektor) co-option of the Maidan rebellion, as mentioned in Parry's article. Do you not remember your own U S Senator John McCain embracing these very same bonafide Nazis? hmmmmmmmmmm.... sounds like Russophobia (at least)
 
 
+6 # pietheyn07 2016-09-14 20:34
Owiruame: From one American psychologist to another, perhaps you will provide me with a tad more personal autobiographica l information. I find it somewhat unusual that one would invest their holidays in 6 trips to the Ukraine. Did these many visits include regular visits to "a southeastern military brigade".
 
 
+4 # AshamedAmerican 2016-09-14 21:54
Is Victoria Nuland one of your heroic close friends there? How about Hunter Biden?
 
 
-22 # Philothustra 2016-09-14 11:47
Actually, owiruame is right and this "piece" is simply sucking up to Vlad the KGB impaler, denouncing the 83% of Ukrainians who don't want Russian domination as "neo-nazis," claiming the Malaysian airliner shot down by pro-Russian murderers (who boasted of their feat when they thought the plane was Ukrainian then withdrew their claim when it turned out to be full of Dutch tourists)-- but the biggest howler has to be the claim that HRC
is pushing the planet to extinction. This threat is right up there with Bush/Cheney's
warning that if we didn't wipe out Saddam, the "smoking gun will be a mushroom cloud."

Tarantilla, Parry is basically a troll for Vlad Putin and an enemy of Ukrainian freedom. The actual post-USSR agreement was that Ukraine would give up all nukes and heavy arms, in exchange for a RUSSIAN GUARANTEE OF NON-INTERFERENC E IN UKRAINE. Parry's claims of "verbal agreements" are an invention, for the facts ask Mr. Gorbachev, who was there:
https://www.brookings.edu/blog/up-front/2014/11/06/did-nato-promise-not-to-enlarge-gorbachev-says-no/
 
 
+23 # guomashi 2016-09-14 12:09
Not another one.
You left out Gorbachev's next paragraph of the interview:
"The decision for the U.S. and its allies to expand NATO into the east was decisively made in 1993. I called this a big mistake from the very beginning. It was definitely a violation of the spirit of the statements and assurances made to us in 1990. With regards to Germany, they were legally enshrined and are being observed."

You guys need to take a hike.
Your lies and hatred are not only not appreciated here, they are dangerous to the world.
No amount of money you might be given to propagate this crap is worth it.
 
 
-18 # owiruame 2016-09-14 13:37
It is not I who am the abject fool and tool of propagandists, guomashi. There are no lies and hatred on my part, only direct experience of an unbiased party. Save your nasty vitriol for some of your totalitarian compatriots. I would venture to say that at least 90% of Ukrainians would severely resent your vapid machinations.
 
 
+9 # guomashi 2016-09-14 15:38
Since I have relatives in that vicinity, your opinion is worth less than used toilet paper.
 
 
0 # ktony 2016-09-16 20:57
You are pathetically transparent. The tone of your statements is propagandistic. Once one starts to claim to speak for 90% of a population, credibility goes out the window.
"enjoying a visit with a southeastern military brigade."
Give me a break! Give my regards to your "heroic" comrades, as well. Do they have "SS" on their caps? I have seen photos of such.
Of course, those were provided by Western Propaganda organs like The Guardian, and other notorious rags. Mind, I don't give utter credence to anything I read anywhere, including here. I compile from many sources.
You don't pass the "smell test."
 
 
+8 # Radscal 2016-09-14 18:43
NATO Expansion

From:
http://www.swp-berlin.org/fileadmin/contents/products/arbeitspapiere/Consent_to_Nato_ks.pdf

Earlier in the conversation, [Secretary of State[ Baker had given assurances to Gorbachev that were to play an important role several years later in the vehement Russian opposition to any eastward expansion of NATO - to include former members of the Warsaw Pact and even former Soviet republics like the Baltic States. If Germany were to remain part of NATO, Baker said, “there would be no extension of NATO’s jurisdiction for forces of NATO one inch to the east.”

Baker then asked Gorbachev directly whether he would rather see an independent Germany tied to NATO but with assurances “that there would be no extension of NATO’s current jurisdiction eastward.” Gorbachev replied that he was still giving thought to these options. “Soon we are going to have a seminar [a discussion] among our political leadership to talk about all of these options.”

One thing was clear, however: “Any extension of the zone of NATO is unacceptable.”

“I agree,” Baker replied.
 
 
+23 # Texas Aggie 2016-09-14 12:21
The syndrome of letting your rhetoric back you into a corner with no escape used to be associated with the right wing. Now the Democratic party's red baiting is doing the same thing, so even if she wanted to, Hillary would have a very difficult time of it trying to make peace with Russia. There is nothing good that can be said about this whole performance.
 
 
+15 # librarian1984 2016-09-14 12:31
What I love is that Hillary is poking the bear in several different ways .... and they're some of the best hackers in the world.

Ooops! We'll see if there are any consequences!

In the meantime, here's a decent article about Hillary and Russia. No new information but a good summing up:

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/09/13/86643/
 
 
-9 # Activista 2016-09-14 13:09
"Putin cracked down on crime and terrorism, often employing harsh means to restore order, including smashing Islamist rebels seeking to take Chechnya out of the Russian Federation"
harsh means - some would call genocide - - here is how
www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ErPP4KzTsE

and there is a history of Stalin oppression of Chechnya
Putin is a Russian imperialist ...
 
 
+16 # hereandnow 2016-09-14 13:10
owiruame and Philothustra are misguided, uninformed and possibly brain washed tools of the idea of full spectrum dominance of the Neo-Con elites, who by the way are all sailing along on a ship of fools driving the world to possible total destruction.

Even though I've posted it before, it needs to be really understood, because it is not just words, it is the reality.

http://thesaker.is/a-russian-warning/
 
 
+2 # Activista 2016-09-14 13:26
Parry's carefully worded article has lot of facts, but I disagree with his conclusion, especially the role of blaming Soros on Ukraine crisis. (but using/repeating of Soros valid observation that Putin fall "might favor a Russian nationalist coming out on top and thus in control of the nuclear codes".

NATO is an obsolete/old useless expensive cold war relic but essential to USA military-indust rial complex profits.
 
 
+6 # Radscal 2016-09-14 18:52
I've provided for you multiple links demonstrating the central role Soros has played in murderous actions across the globe.

I cannot imagine what it would have been like to have been a Jewish teenager during the Holocaust. Maybe I, too would have aided the Nazis in confiscating the property of the Jewish victims of the Holocaust.

But whether he had no human empathy at the time, or if the realities of Nazi genocide drove such emotions from him, he is not shy about stating that he has no ill feelings about his role in that horror.

And that lack of empathy for the victims of his goals has spread.

Maybe some sense of guilt drives him to do some of the good projects his "philanthropy" has accomplished. But I don't think it healthy to remain blind the the evil he's accomplished.
 
 
0 # Activista 2016-09-15 00:50
"I've provided for you multiple links demonstrating the central role Soros has played in murderous actions across the globe"

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/08/george-soros-syria-aid_n_4241443.html

But oh my, He's playing "both ends"

http://journal-neo.org/2015/12/18/soros-plays-both-ends-in-syria-refugee-chaos/

And here's how he uses his NGO "charities" to promote his goals:

https://thewallwillfall.org/2016/01/23/george-soros-anti-syria-campaign-impresario/

thank you for the links - read them - like I read the FOX news - the opposite is usually true - whom they criticize/hate/ lie (like Hillary) is usually O.K.
----
please read:
mediamatters.org/research/2010/09/20/toronto-sun-corrects-soros-nazi-smear/170877
Soros was 14 years old in 1944
"Our nominee is George Soros, the Hungarian billionaire and former Nazi sympathizer who helped fund MoveOn.org, the radical group that smeared Gen. David Petraeus with its "General Betray Us" ad last fall.

Through his Open Society Initiative and personal contributions Soros has funded many liberal causes and many Democratic candidates with the intent of undermining democracy and capitalism. His ultimate goal is to create a global socialist collective where we hand over our money and/or freedom and sing "Kumbaya."
 
 
+1 # Radscal 2016-09-15 13:55
Media Matters? You do know that Soros funds Media Matters, right? Earlier, you posted "evidence" of Soros' goodness that were literally from soros.com.

http://www.politico.com/blogs/onmedia/1010/Soros_gives_1_million_to_Media_Matters.html

I wrote that Soros was a teenager when he helped Nazis confiscate the property of Jewish Holocaust victims. I also wrote that, to this day, he has no ill feelings about his profiting off of the Holocaust.

I don't have my fingers on the original 60 Minutes Interview in which Soros said he pretended to be a Christian boy, and had no guilt about his role in aiding the Nazis, but here's a partial transcript.

http://sweetness-light.com/archive/george-soros-on-helping-the-nazis-during-the-holocaust
 
 
-2 # Activista 2016-09-15 23:04
" I also wrote that, to this day, he has no ill feelings about his profiting off of the Holocaust."
Holocaust was life and death issue for Jewish people under Nazis occupation in Hungary 1944.
How could 14 year old "profit" from the holocaust?
Who needs the FOX if we have Radscal?
 
 
+1 # Radscal 2016-09-16 22:14
I provided for you a partial transcript of Soros talking about his work for the Nazis. Do you even bother to read information that might conflict with your precious little prejudices?
 
 
-13 # owiruame 2016-09-14 13:41
How the hell do you deduce brainwashing of someone who has interacted directly with many dozens of Ukrainians with a wide spectrum of opinions? I strongly suggest you do a check of your own cerebrum. Sheezus, what idiocy.
 
 
+10 # guomashi 2016-09-14 15:58
Anyone can claim to be anything on the internet.
When some supposed expert spouting party line propaganda counters direct experience, I will go with the direct experience every time.
Your tired old strategy of claiming some special consideration on account of unverifiable credentials is empty of significance.
 
 
0 # hereandnow 2016-09-15 00:53
For owiruame:
С кем вы говорили на Украине? У вас есть родственники на Украине? У меня есть много, и в Одессе, и в Киеве, и в Харькове, и тоже на Крыме. Я говорю что у вас помыл мозг потому что население Украины уже 25 лет помыли мозги, благородия очень много NGO из NED, и если вы говорите с людьми которые верят ложи. значит, вы тоже верите ложи.
Может быть что вы интеллигент, но вы знаете, можно тоже помыть мозг интеллигентный человек.
 
 
+10 # RMDC 2016-09-14 14:57
Good article. But not existential madness. Rather an instrumental madness. Fear mongering about Putin, Russia, communism has been a staple for fascists at home to scare the american people into obedience. The rulers of America don't want a war against Russia. They know they'd lose. They just want all of us to think there will be one so we will pay these bastards a ton of money "to keep us safe."
 
 
+8 # guomashi 2016-09-14 15:56
Yes - but: play with fire and you will get burned.
The operative word is not existential or instrumental, it is "madness".
Makes no difference whence it came, it amounts to an existential threat in any case.
 
 
+6 # Radscal 2016-09-14 18:56
I hope you're right.

But all this talk about "surplus labor" and "overpopulation " requiring a reduction of 80% to 90% of the humans presently living on the planet should not be ignored.

Especially when combined with the military and political "leadership"onc e again referring to a "winnable nuclear war" as nuclear weapons are placed in Romania.
 
 
+14 # janie1893 2016-09-14 16:13
What is needed first of all is to close down NATO. That organization has been, not only redundant but also troublesome since before 1999. All it is currently is
a tool of the Pentagon. The acronym is for North Atlantic Treaty Organization. That title no longer describes the countries that have been coerced into becoming partners in this fraudulent
organization whose main objective is to support the American bully Pentagon in its black ops and invasion endeavours and, secondly, to keep as many countries as possible tied to and under the influence and control of the 1%.
 
 
+8 # anarchaos 2016-09-14 17:42
Quoting Philothustra:
Actually, owiruame is right and this "piece" is simply sucking up to Vlad the KGB impaler, denouncing the 83% of Ukrainians who don't want Russian domination as "neo-nazis," claiming the Malaysian airliner shot down by pro-Russian murderers (who boasted of their feat when they thought the plane was Ukrainian then withdrew their claim when it turned out to be full of Dutch tourists)-- but the biggest howler has to be the claim that HRC
is pushing the planet to extinction. This threat is right up there with Bush/Cheney's
warning that if we didn't wipe out Saddam, the "smoking gun will be a mushroom cloud."

Tarantilla, Parry is basically a troll for Vlad Putin and an enemy of Ukrainian freedom. The actual post-USSR agreement was that Ukraine would give up all nukes and heavy arms, in exchange for a RUSSIAN GUARANTEE OF NON-INTERFERENCE IN UKRAINE. Parry's claims of "verbal agreements" are an invention, for the facts ask Mr. Gorbachev, who was there:
https://www.brookings.edu/blog/up-front/2014/11/06/did-nato-promise-not-to-enlarge-gorbachev-says-no/
You are quoting the Brookings as a reliable source??? And, some of the current actors in Kiev are not "neo-nazis" they are Nazis(.)
 
 
+7 # Radscal 2016-09-14 19:02
Once again, Parry does an excellent job of describing the reality of US Realpolitik, especially regarding Ukraine/Russia.

But once again, he presents Obama as a bulwark, standing against the NeoCons, when in reality, Obama APPOINTED NeoCons to his Administration. Victoria Nuland, Robert Gates, Ash Carter and more were all appointed or elevated by Obama.

We must remember that Obama proudly stated that his mentor on foreign policy was/is Zbignew Brzezenski, who laid out the plans for toppling Ukraine and eventually Russia in his 1996 book, "The Grand Chessboard."
 
 
+6 # lfeuille 2016-09-14 19:02
Good article. I wasn't aware of Soros's part in all this before. He obviously has too much money if he can effect world events by funding NGO's. It also reinforces my skepticism of philanthropy. Charity is a racket to benefit the donor in some way. We see that today in both the Clinton Foundation and apparently, Trumps charity. Better we had a tax policy that wouldn't allow anyone to accumulate enough money to have that much influence.
 

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