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Weissman writes: "Welcome to the new Cold War. Both sides talk past one another. Neither hears what the other says. And their dialogue of the deaf could easily lead to nuclear annihilation. So, let’s try to understand."

Vladimir Putin. (photo: Ria Novosti/Reuters)
Vladimir Putin. (photo: Ria Novosti/Reuters)


Putin Spells Out His Politics

By Steve Weissman, Reader Supported News

08 December 14

 

he support for separatism in Russia from across the pond, including information, political and financial support and support provided by the special services,” said Vladimir Putin, “left no doubt that they would gladly let Russia follow the Yugoslav scenario of disintegration and dismemberment.”

With these wooden words in his annual State of the Nation address last week, Putin stepped up his accusations against Washington and its NATO allies, and not without reason. He spoke of the West’s “coup in Ukraine,” “the historical reunification of Crimea and Sevastopol with Russia,” and the “so-called sanctions and foreign restrictions.” He also referred to covert support for Chechnya’s Islamic separatists, who only hours before had killed several police officers in a bloody terrorist attack in Grozny, the regional capital.

“The policy of containment was not invented yesterday,” said Putin. “It has been carried out against our country for many years, always, for decades, if not centuries. In short, whenever someone thinks that Russia has become too strong or independent, these tools are quickly put to use.”

At a US State Department press briefing in Washington, a reporter named Said asked if Putin was wrong in saying “that the West has always sort of plotted and planned … to destabilize Russia?”

“Well, I would clearly not agree with that statement,” replied Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf. “This isn’t about the West. This is about the people of Ukraine, including Crimea, getting to pick their future, not having Russia pick it for them.”

Welcome to the new Cold War. Both sides talk past one another. Neither hears what the other says. And their dialogue of the deaf could easily lead to nuclear annihilation. So, let’s try to understand.

Putin is expressing here Russia’s deeply felt sense of grievance. He honestly sees himself responding to decades of American and European provocation, and the evidence shows why. Here is a small taste:

  • From the end of World War II, US and British intelligence used Ukrainian neo-Nazis against the Soviet Union.

  • Toward the end of the Cold War, President George H.W. Bush and German chancellor Helmut Kohl hoodwinked a severely weakened Mikhail Gorbachev and set out to expand NATO to the Russian borders.

  • In the former Yugoslavia, Washington and its allies destabilized Serbia, historically Russia’s “little brother,” and then organized color revolutions to destabilize Ukraine, Georgia, and other countries newly independent from the former Soviet Union.

  • In a second “Orange Revolution,” Washington and its NATO allies put together the coup that overthrew Ukraine’s corrupt, but legally elected government (Part I and Part II)

  • In making their coup, American strategists consciously saw Ukraine as a stepping stone to control the Eurasian heartland with its rich store of oil and gas.

This cursory list, culled from my previous columns, supports many of the charges Putin is making. But Western provocations form only part of the picture. In his speech, Putin’s sense of grievance goes far beyond the evidence to reveal the new nationalist ideology he has developed in recent years. He presents Russia as a victim nation going back centuries and cloaks his response in evidence of a very different kind.

“Crimea is where our people live, and the peninsula is of strategic importance for Russia as the spiritual source of the development of a multifaceted but solid Russian nation and a centralized Russian state,” he explains. “It was in Crimea, in the ancient city of Chersonesus or Korsun, as ancient Russian chroniclers called it, that Grand Prince Vladimir was baptized before bringing Christianity to Rus.”

“Christianity was a powerful spiritual unifying force that helped involve various tribes and tribal unions of the vast Eastern Slavic World in the creation of a Russian nation and Russian state,” he goes on.” “It was thanks to this spiritual unity that our forefathers for the first time and forevermore saw themselves as a united nation.”

Which is why, he says, Crimea and Sevastopol “have invaluable civilizational and even sacral importance for Russia, like the Temple Mount in Jerusalem for the followers of Islam and Judaism.”

Dismiss this, if you will, as Godly cover for old-fashioned power politics. But, whatever his personal convictions, Putin is appealing to his fellow Russians with an overtly religious nationalism, and they seem to buy it in large numbers. They could well lose their faith as Western sanctions and plummeting oil prices erode the value of the ruble, the living standards of average citizens, and the wealth of oligarchic supporters. Or they could become even more irrational, as is happening on the Temple Mount and among Christian Nationalists in the United States.

In his speech, Putin couples a celebration of Russia’s religious past with a call to “the traditional values which we inherited from our forefathers,” which he uses as a catchall to justify his opposition to abortion, gay rights, and homosexual marriage. He also defends private property, freedom of enterprise, national pride, patriotism, and sovereignty, all of which he proclaims as “fundamental conservative values.”

Add to this Putin’s willingness to openly mass his troops and covertly use his little green men to defend fellow countrymen who happen to live across international borders in Ukraine and other “brotherly Republics of the former Soviet Union.” Add as well his recently revealed bankrolling of the Moslem-bashing Marine Le Pen and her Front National in France.

How should we understand all this? Like most American progressives, the former KGB colonel and the daughter of the old-school Fascist jointly oppose Washington’s foreign policy, at least as it applies to Europe. But, despite their drastically different histories, they also join together to promote ultra-nationalist politics and extremely right-wing Christian values, as expressed by Putin in this and other speeches, by Le Pen over the last three or four years, and perhaps most cogently by her pro-Putin foreign policy advisor, the extremely scary Aymeric Chauprade.

The apparent contradictions that emerge are hardly new, as any student of Twentieth Century European history will quickly grasp. Yet many who see themselves on the left seem intent on taking sides between an imperial Washington and this dangerously retrogressive force that proposes to remake Europe in such nasty ways. Why the rush? Why the knee-jerk? Why be useful idiots for one side or the other? Clearly, decent people should fight against both, and now is the time to begin.



A veteran of the Berkeley Free Speech Movement and the New Left monthly Ramparts, Steve Weissman lived for many years in London, working as a magazine writer and television producer. He now lives and works in France, where he is researching a new book, "Big Money and the Corporate State: How Global Banks, Corporations, and Speculators Rule and How to Nonviolently Break Their Hold."

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.

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+47 # RMDC 2014-12-08 17:58
"How should we understand all this? Like most American progressives, the former KGB colonel and the daughter of the old-school Fascist jointly oppose Washington’s foreign policy, at least as it applies to Europe. But, despite their drastically different histories, they also join together to promote ultra-nationali st politics and extremely right-wing Christian values, as expressed by Putin in this and other speeches, by Le Pen over the last three or four years, and perhaps most cogently by her pro-Putin foreign policy advisor, "

Does this mean that they are both delusional and that the US is not trying to dominate Europe and Russia (and all the rest of the world)? This statement is absurd and just plain ignorant. The US is on the aggressive in Europe and Asia and Russia is one of its targets. Self defense is not "ultra nationalist politics." It is common sense. It is the US which is the ultra-nationali st state in its extreme pursuit of world domination.
 
 
+17 # RobertMStahl 2014-12-08 18:21
"Add to this Putin’s willingness to openly mass his troops and covertly use his little green men to defend fellow countrymen who happen to live across international borders in Ukraine and other “brotherly Republics of the former Soviet Union.” Add as well his recently revealed bankrolling of the Moslem-bashing Marine Le Pen and her Front National in France."

100% WRONG!!! Propaganda does not care AT ALL about facts, just agenda.
 
 
+8 # A_Har 2014-12-08 22:51
And nevermind how the Kiev government slaughtered ethnic Russians living in the East of the country. Or that the Ukraine itself has been part of Russia at various times in history--a history that the author seems to be UNAWARE of. Weissman needs to read a little more about the country before writing articles on them.

As to this: "In his speech, Putin couples a celebration of Russia’s religious past with a call to “the traditional values which we inherited from our forefathers,” which he uses as a catchall to justify his opposition to abortion, gay rights, and homosexual marriage."

Look, Russia is a different culture. I guess they are *supposed to be JUST LIKE US?* This is silly. There are many countries in the world *who do not espouse our current values.* Hell, Americans themselves did not espouse the current values in favor of "abortion, gay rights, and homosexual marriage" in 1970. Gee--get over it! How about the USA support for SAUDI ARABIA? How swell is that or any number of human rights wastelands the USA supports and funds?

Say what you will about Putin, but it seems rather clear he has something over our politicians: he actually seems to *care about his country.*
 
 
-2 # bmiluski 2014-12-09 09:53
And lets not forget the million plus Ukranians that were slowly starved to death by the great Russian Stalin.
 
 
-1 # Douglas Jack 2014-12-09 11:03
bmiluski, When you have nothing to contribute to a human analysis, but still want to kick your writer's victim (Russia), then go back 85 years or even earlier in history & just kick away.
 
 
-3 # bmiluski 2014-12-10 09:47
Oh,I'm sorry Jack........I forgot. Only you pro-Russian propagandists are allowed to bring up history....

- Read....A_Har 2014-12-08 22:51...

My Ukranian friends who have family in the Ukraine are amazed how many so-called Ukranian Seperatists can speak only Russian.....Oh, sorry, I'm bringing up those darn facts that don't mesh with you pro-Russian views again..
 
 
0 # Douglas Jack 2014-12-10 21:21
bimulski, Thanks for moving your attention back from 1930 to 2014. We can deal with the present better. Just a short year ago a scheduled Ukraine election agreed upon by democratically elected Yanukovych, protesters, the west & east is cancelled by a violent western financed putsch.

Putsch took 5 billion NED (Victoria Nuland & Robert Kagan) + 7 billion NAT0 + multiple billions private eg Pierre Omidyar to organize over a decade. The fact is that; western oligarchs didn't believe their violent puppet NAZI Right Sektor & Svoboda protesters could win even a small minority of Ukraine's vote. I have a number of Ukrainian friends where I live, who are refugees from the western putsch with losses among all families.

For the oligarch west seeking USD currency domination & feeling threatened by BRICS Brazil, Russia, India, China & S-Africa's engendering of the 133 nation (out of 192 nations worldwide) Santa-Cruz declaration with creation of the Universal Credit Rating Group with Asset-backed TRN Treasury-Reserv e-Notes as an alternative to USD. Western oligarchs fear they can't impose unequal trade upon the world, with destruction of biosphere, water, fracking, mines, forest-to-deser t, pollution & climate-change.

Why does bimulski side with perpetual oligarch war, control over 3rd World resources & massive ecological destruction, which no one in the world nor in their right mind desires? https://sites.google.com/site/indigenecommunity/relational-economy/8-economic-democracy
 
 
-3 # tgemberl 2014-12-11 17:18
"Or that the Ukraine itself has been part of Russia at various times in history"

"Hell, Americans themselves did not espouse the current values in favor of "abortion, gay rights, and homosexual marriage" in 1970."

Okay, if Americans can change, maybe Ukrainians can change, too. The fact that the Ukraine was once part of Russia doesn't mean it always has to be.
 
 
0 # A_Har 2014-12-25 13:25
Quoting tgemberl:
Okay, if Americans can change, maybe Ukrainians can change, too. The fact that the Ukraine was once part of Russia doesn't mean it always has to be.


We were talking about Russia here in terms of "abortion, gay rights, and homosexual marriage" not the Ukraine. And how many DECADES did it take to American to embrace the ideas named? I guess the Russians are all supposed to be better than the USA?

Give me a break.
 
 
+38 # wantrealdemocracy 2014-12-08 19:20
The corrupt creatures in charge in our nation know that our nation is at a point of collapse. They are concerned that there may be a rebellion in the United States to attempt to transform our government into a democracy. Their last ditch try to get a war started is to get Americans to rally behind the flag and think that our enemy is the Russians.

Our enemies are the 1% top richest people in this nation. We need to change this government and take care of things here at home. Our tax funds need to be used to meet the needs of our people and to protect our environment.

We will not win a war against Russia and China. We must do all we can to stop our corrupt government from more lies leading to war. We must end the illegal wars of aggression and greed in which we are now suffering. People all over the world hate our 'leaders' and so do I.
 
 
-2 # Caliban 2014-12-10 21:45
Pure fantasy. Despite the occasional minor league hostilities that inevitably pop up in international relations, the US is neither failing as state, about to fall to some ideological "rebellion", nor trying to start a war with either Russia or China, much less both.

Big War (i.e. "World War") is over except in dystopian fictions. The Global economic system depends on Big Peace (with occasional skirmishes to keep things aligned with capitalist priorities). And the Oligarchs of both East and West all know this too well to let old political animosities--or propaganda habits--get in the way of continued profit-making.
 
 
0 # Douglas Jack 2014-12-10 22:50
Caliban, RE: "Big Peace" as though western US, Canada, NATO, Israel & S-Arabia financing of mercenaries, arming, supplies, destabilization & bombing campaigns in over 80 nations presently is little? Is this fantasy to you?

Over 40% of western export economies are based in war, arms, munitions & security. Our lifestyles require perpetual war yet you seem to live in 1983 before George Orwell's predictions. Western oligarchs are busy destroying water-sheds through toxic fracking. 100s of 1000s of garbage dumps filling up with yesterday's rare earth minerals while we go to war for more. Climate-Change sea-level is rising upon massive stores of radioactive wastes on US & French Pacific island atomic bomb sites. Just one of many nuclear-contami nated islands increasingly prone to storm surge flooding with the rising seas of climate change greed. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/04/opinion/a-pacific-isle-radioactive-and-forgotten.html?_r=2

10s of millions of toxic sites across the USA & Canada. Nuclear waste in massive quantities throughout western & eastern countries requiring perpetual surveillance. Western push for nuclear war repeatedly. https://sites.google.com/site/indigenecommunity/e-history/8-nuclear-war
Caliban, Tell me when you are willing to join humanity in solidarity?
 
 
0 # Caliban 2014-12-11 03:11
Douglas, I am solidly joined with humanity to make the world a safer and more prosperous place for the ordinary peace loving people. However, I also like to keep focussed on reality as it appears to me and others. My comments on those of "wantrealdemocr acy" are intended (rightly or mistakenly) to keep reality present in these discussions.

That said,what I mean by "Big War" is WWI or any ONE of the three major fronts in WW2 (Russia, Western Europe, and the Pacific--not this multitude of busy but still small scale localized limited military actions of the sort you (unnecessarily) remind me of in your post.

As for the disastrous state of the environment, that is a key topic--one which I agree with you on--but one caused by "peace" time profit-taking and short-term thinking, not massive US preparations for a new World War.

But why don't I want people worrying the US dragging the country into a war against Russia and China? Because this kind of grandiose fantasizing is a distraction from serious thinking about the real war we need to face--getting the "Great Powers" to put empty, out-dated propaganda themes to bed and concentrate on making the global economy more productive and more humane--somethi ng all must do together.

But as long as progressives let themselves be distracted by outmoded Cold War paranoia, they will not be able to see the world afresh and help provide the positive leadership needed in the globalized post-World War and post Cold War eras.
 
 
+1 # tgemberl 2014-12-11 18:02
Douglas,
I agree with Caliban. Another point I don't understand is why you speak so passionately about the environmental problems of Western capitalism, yet seem to imply that Russia is immune to that. What is so magical about Russia that makes it immune to all the ills of Western society? To borrow some words from Caliban, that seems like "grandiose fantasizing."
 
 
0 # Douglas Jack 2014-12-12 09:50
Caliban & tgemberl, I make no claims as you state about Russian environment, capital, immunity, ills or grandiose-fanta sizing. These claims are entirely of your imaginations, a transference or projection upon another. Thank you for making these projections because in the absence of anything which I've said about Russia, you can now see clearly how your minds are projecting upon others for multiple issues. Psychologically projection results from disassociation usually forced upon the child perhaps starting with circumcision or the forced competition of institutional schooling.

Here's informative research. Alexithymia and Circumcision Trauma: A Preliminary Investigation July’11, BOLLINGER, DAN; VAN HOWE, ROBERT S. International Journal of Men's Health;Summer20 11, Vol. 10 Issue 2, p184 http://connection.ebscohost.com/c/articles/66853492/alexithymia-circumcision-trauma-preliminary-investigation

I'm more concerned with the people & place, which I am from with 1st Nation roots eternal, USA with roots to 1650 & Canada where I now live. I'm intimate here with details so can act, think & animate precisely as needed.

Western oligarch Finance-Media-M ilitary-Industr ial-Legislative -Complex deliberately misinforms us so as to have us follow its ill-thought out schemes. Trillionaires indoctrinate & homogenize colonial population but being out of touch with nature, natural-science & the world as it actually is create the conditions of their own failure. www.indigenecommunity.info
 
 
0 # tgemberl 2014-12-12 18:09
Okay, Douglas, let me try to reinterpret what you're saying in more positive terms. You are not saying that Russia is necessarily good. You are only saying that we in the West should keep our hands off its interests. Let people in Russia and the Ukraine do what they want to do. As a westerner yourself, you can only influence the actions of the West, not Russia. Did I get that right?

But the problem I see with that approach and perhaps even that of Weissman is that it misses the way countries have tended to create their identities. Very often, a country will make an alliance with a distant country against a neighboring country. The neighboring country is a threat to them. For example, France has often been an ally of Poland against Germany and Russia.

I'm only mentioning this because I think it's possible that the Ukrainian people really do want to ally themselves with the West. I realize then the question becomes, which Ukrainian people? The eastern part of the country is evidently much more pro-Russian than the central and western parts. It may not be possible for the Ukraine to stay united.
 
 
+1 # Douglas Jack 2014-12-12 22:09
tgmeberl, RE: "Did I get that right?" You're getting closer, missing the impact of our incredibly voracious extractive economy worldwide in consuming other peoples' resources & financing chosen economic agents who displace people from their homes & resources, long before our arms, missiles & munitions start flying from our mercenaries.

RE: "has often been an ally of" You're still referring to a 1950s notion of a 'political' world without reference to underlying economy which determine financing for these alliances & arms.

RE: "I think it's possible" As though Nuland's 5 billion, NATO's 7 billion, Omidyar & other western oligarch billions creating specific social media, arming, training & financing NAZI Right-Sektor & Svoboda putsch combined with complete oligarch ownership & propaganda in our media enables you to "think".
One sided indoctrination leaves us in no way capable of discerning what the real people of Ukraine want. I take my clues from Ukrainian & Russian friends in my neighbourhood combined with some of exceptional analysts (not Hasbara controlled Weissman) on RSN & other media.

RE: "It may not be possible for the Ukraine to stay united." You treat each western destabilized nation individually. There's a western violence control & war pattern, which 133 Santa-Cruz Declaration nations with 80% of the world's population have recognized & are now avoiding USD for the Asset-baked currencies of the Universal Credit Rating & BRICS.

Who are you aligning with?
 
 
0 # tgemberl 2014-12-14 21:44
Douglas,
The age of nationalism hasn't ended. Countries are still trying to define their national identities. They're not entirely controlled by what either Russia or the US want.

"One sided indoctrination leaves us in no way capable of discerning what the real people of Ukraine want." I would say that's a good argument for neutrality. Why not just say "I don't know who is right," as Weissman says?
 
 
+3 # Aliazer 2014-12-09 14:00
"It is the US which is the ultra-nationali st state in its extreme pursuit of world domination".

There is nothing "nationalistic" about the U. S.. The military-indust rial complex is now a globalized entity, only at the service of globalized interests.

Unfortunately, all that is "nationalistic" is the U. S. Treasury which the globalists are making good use of it, while ultimately driving this country and its people to the poor house!!
 
 
0 # A_Har 2014-12-25 13:31
Here is a good counterpoint to Weissman's article:

Forget 'Evil' Putin - We Are The Bloodthirsty Warmongers
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article40550.htm

"Now I seem surrounded by people who actively want a war with Russia, a war we all might lose. They seem to believe that we are living in a real life Lord Of The Rings, in which Moscow is Mordor and Vladimir Putin is Sauron. Some humorous artists in Moscow, who have noticed this, have actually tried to set up a giant Eye of Sauron on a Moscow tower.

We think we are the heroes, setting out with brave hearts to confront the Dark Lord, and free the saintly Ukrainians from his wicked grasp.

This is all the most utter garbage. Since 1989, Moscow, the supposed aggressor, has – without fighting or losing a war – peacefully ceded control over roughly 180 million people, and roughly 700,000 square miles of valuable territory.

The EU (and its military wing, Nato) have in the same period gained control over more than 120 million of those people, and almost 400,000 of those square miles.

Until a year ago, Ukraine remained non-aligned between the two great European powers. But the EU wanted its land, its 48 million people (such a reservoir of cheap labour!) its Black Sea coast, its coal and its wheat....."
 
 
+9 # Aon Duine 2014-12-08 18:05
"How should we understand all this?"

Who is this "we" to whom Weissman refers? Americans? White people? RSN readers? "Progressives"?

Weissman pretends an objectivity he does not have. It's a lie. He posits two superpowers and supreme leaders, both guilty. But he lives in one of those superpowers and not the other.

He pays his taxes. He votes. He writes banal and pointless articles that offer no new insights and propose no specific actions. Every day in every way he supports one of those economies, and it would be foolish to think that he does this unknowingly.

It's like pretending to be objective about a boxing match when you've bet all your money on contender A and supported him his entire career, even if you've occasionally complained about his methods.

There are no "leaders." Leaders are created by the tribe to provide plausible deniability -- to the tribe. They are scapegoats, paid well to pretend to make the decisions that we hired them to make, knowing all along that when the bill comes due, it will be they, not we, who must pay it. Thus their constant efforts to secure themselves with arms, laws, proxies, propaganda, customs, etc.

They do not fool us: we fool ourselves. Every nation in history is and has always been a true democracy. The lie we tell ourselves is that democracy = the polls, as if the vote we cast there has any real meaning. It is the vote we cast all day long every day with our time, our energy, our money that makes the real decisions.
 
 
+1 # stannadel 2014-12-09 05:11
Actually Weissman lives in France, an excellent place to see clearly the evil on both sides of the conflict between the US & Russia.
 
 
+1 # dandevries 2014-12-10 20:18
To say nothing of the evil of Marine Le Pen.
 
 
0 # Aon Duine 2015-03-18 17:39
LOL. I presume that you're joking. This the same France that led the charge in the destruction of Libya? Western Europe remains America's lap dog, with GB and France and Germany topping the list of suck ups. Hardly the place to be "objective."

The U.S. has done orders of magnitude more evil than the Russians ever dreamed of doing. No discussion of the two powers that suggests parity, let alone one that suggests that America is the more moral of the two, is worth the pixels it is printed with.
 
 
+40 # jdd 2014-12-08 18:06
Can you honestly blame Putin? Everything he stated and much more is true. Provocation after provocation. Zgigniew Brzezinski's Grozny is just the latest. Perhaps it is we who should be heeding the warning that the incompetent rulers of our country are playing with fire. Would you expect Russia to just roll-over?
 
 
-6 # tahoevalleylines 2014-12-08 21:28
One big thing Russia could do without loss of face or strategic edge is back completely away from any presence, support, military supply or lip service injurious to the Jewish State of Israel.

Plenty of other fish to fry, but strategic mavens understand the depth of danger with Russia deep into Iranian support and implied adversarial attitude toward Israel.

Not unfriendly to Islam, simply a Russia stepping back from any sort of connection with persons, nations, parties, or ideologies which include hint of malice or threat of harm to Israel.

This is not "submission" to Israel. There is a dimension involving Israel that is best explained by some people in Strategic Think Tanks. Look at Anthony Cordesman's Middle East War Consequence papers, for example. Cordesman is Arleigh Burke Chair at the Center For Strategic and International Studies.

Iranian/Russian axis will bring bad results for both countries with regard to threats or actual harm to Israel. Bill Koenig's book "Eye To Eye" chronicles this phenomenon.

Back to you, Mssrs. Putin, Chomsky & Cole et al...
 
 
+8 # Douglas Jack 2014-12-08 22:19
tahoevalleyline s, RE: "One big thing Russia could do". Are you trying to say that; submission to Israel is the goal of today's worldwide geopolitics? Are you saying submission guarantees Putin & others immunity from Israel's proxy wars via the USA? How does little Israel with a population of less than many cities worldwide gain such political, economic or military clout? Is war Israel's definition, goal & raison-d'etre? Is that all there is?
 
 
-1 # bmiluski 2014-12-09 12:54
Really jdd.......Do you want to talk to the people of Georgia about provocation?

Me thinks the pot is calling the kettle black.
 
 
+1 # bmiluski 2014-12-10 09:49
Oops sorry, bringing up facts again. I keep forgetting what a benevolent country good ol Mother Russia is.
 
 
+30 # Douglas Jack 2014-12-08 18:21
Steve Weissman, Your other writing has from my reading rarely varied from US foreign policy. To understand Putin, you are better to read into BRICS, Brazil, Russia, India, China & S. Africa's engendering of the 133 nation (out of 192 nations worldwide) Santa-Cruz declaration with creation of the Universal Credit Rating Group with Asset-backed TRN Treasury-Reserv e-Notes as an alternative to USD.

The world has analyzed US, Canadian, NATO, Israel & S. Arabia 40% export economy based in arms, munitions & security. They know we make a killing on war & therefore our present subversions in over 80 nations worldwide to destabilize / overthrow governments so that we can install our puppet governments. Our financing & arming of the bloody destabilization of Iraq, Libya, Venezuela, Syria etc are all connected to their trade in other than USD. They know western Finance-Media-M ilitary-Industr ial-Legislative -Complex oligarchs have gained advantage through Bretton-Woods USDollar as the international trade currency. Russia simply does not want to become our next death victim so that we can live our invade, consume, garbage-throw lifestyles.

It fascinates me that colonial consumer believers such as yourself work unreservedly for the dollar-capital machine critiquing whoever your masters desire, without trying to live better yourself or affect the nations where you live. Many of us are making a difference in mutual-aid. https://sites.google.com/site/indigenecommunity/home/2-mutual-aid
 
 
+1 # A_Har 2014-12-10 00:42
Quoting Douglas Jack:
Steve Weissman, Your other writing has from my reading rarely varied from US foreign policy.


Yeah. It really does seem like he is playing the *Mighty Wurlitzer.*

From FP:

U.S. Repeals Propaganda Ban, Spreads Government-Made News to Americans
http://foreignpolicy.com/2013/07/14/u-s-repeals-propaganda-ban-spreads-government-made-news-to-americans/

By John Hudson July 14, 2013

"For decades, a so-called anti-propaganda law prevented the U.S. government’s mammoth broadcasting arm from delivering programming to American audiences. But on July 2, that came silently to an end with the implementation of a new reform passed in January. The result: an unleashing of thousands of hours per week of government-fund ed radio and TV programs for domestic U.S. consumption in a reform initially criticized as a green light for U.S. domestic propaganda efforts. So what just happened?"
 
 
+20 # banichi 2014-12-08 18:31
After watching what the U.S. has done in the rest of the world for the last 40-50 years, I do not doubt that Putin is sincere in that part of what is attributed to him regarding Russia and how we have tried to encircle and attack it, isolate it, and destroy it. One has to keep in mind the shaky partnership of WWII, where Stalin, with his back to the wall against the Nazis, could not be trusted to keep agreements either. He was the leader of a "COMMUNIST" country which was antithetical to the West's "Capitalism" and its leaders.

But nothing is simple. I do not believe Putin's call to a Christian source as a reason for invading the Crimea, or what else he proposes as a means of selling his agenda to his people. Neither do I believe the American 'exceptionalism ' as an ideal used to justify our meddling in other countries around the world. So where are we left?

One could see Putin's call to religious roots of his agenda as not much different (and certainly not better) than America's Christian (at base) justifications for what we do. Bottom lines: 1) the reasons given on both sides are red herrings; 2) economics has a larger part in this than anything else; 3) power games lead to tragedy and death; 4) so does backing anyone into a corner.

But someone has to at least back away in a meaningful fashion from the cliff. The US is in a better position to do so. I am reminded of JFK's moving the tanks back 20 ft. from the border of East Berlin. So did the Russians. And so on.
 
 
+13 # dyannne 2014-12-08 20:38
We need a JFK and a Krushchev.
 
 
+12 # A_Har 2014-12-08 22:28
Quoting Banichi:
But nothing is simple. I do not believe Putin's call to a Christian source as a reason for invading the Crimea, or what else he proposes as a means of selling his agenda to his people. Neither do I believe the American 'exceptionalism' as an ideal used to justify our meddling in other countries around the world. So where are we left?


Russia DID NOT invade the Crimea. There was a treaty in place for them to have their troops stationed there as the Crimea hosted their only warm water port on the Black Sea. It was quite legal according to agreements in place.
http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2014/03/tensions-boiling-crimea-warm-water-port-2014310103720584975.html

AND, there was a vote of the people who chose overwhelmingly to join Russia by a huge majority.
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2014/03/16/crimea-referendum-ukraine-russia/6484251/

"Residents of Crimea, up to 60% percent of whom are Russian, were given a choice of either joining Russia or opting for more autonomy from Ukraine under the 1992 constitution. The status quo, in which Crimea is a semi-autonomous region of Ukraine, was not an option."

The Crimea and Ukraine have been part of Russia at various times in history. Considering the calls by some Ukrainian politicians endorsing neo Nazism that they wanted to kill ethnic Russians, the Crimeans ASKED to join Russia. Of course in the western propaganda it was billed as an invasion: not true at all.
 
 
+8 # polfrosch 2014-12-09 02:13
Backing from the cliff, yes. But the situation was and is different.

Gorbachev reached out to the West. His extended hand was twisted behind his back. While the Warsaw pact disappeared, NATO expanded, although the opposite was promised.

Gorbachev is hated now in Russia for giving away the USSR for nothing but empty US promises.

Then came Jelzin, the alcoholic, surrounded by more than 20 US "advisers". Russia was on sale. Russia became the caricature of mafia capitalism USSR once described in it´s propaganda.

Then came Putin, who brought an economic improvement of more than a thousand percent -to all. He stopped Chodorkovski, who had made 18 billion USD with fraud in a few years and who planned to sell Russian gas and oil fields to ExxonMobile and Chevron, dealt with Soros and the Carlyle group of Bush, Condoleeza Rice et al. and planned to make more money by becoming president.

Polls of every institute show more than 75% of the Russians are behind Putin. Why - do you think?

USA proceeded along the master plan described in "The grand chessboard" of Zbgniew Brzinski, an extremely smart Russiophobe.

It balkanized the Balkan states in the Yugoslavia war, it balkanizes North Africa and Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq, and now it wants to balkanize Russia.

While talking about freedom and democracy. US policy has lost major parts of Europes populations sympathy with NSA totalitarism, and now it plans a Yugoslavian war for Europe to balkanize China.
 
 
+25 # harleysch 2014-12-08 18:31
Weissman is increasingly becoming an apologist for George Soros, and the NED, the "liberals" and their allies, the neo-cons, with their vicious backing of "color revolutions" and regime change. As a veteran of the Berkeley Free Speech movement, surely he remembers how the Cold warriors of the 1960s attempted to manipulate Americans to support the Vietnam War. Surely he recognizes the lies of Bush and Cheney to bring us to war in Afghanistan and Iraq.

There is NO MORAL EQUIVALENCE between Putin's efforts to defend his nation, and the imperial drive of Obama and his neo-con allies, to undermine Russia, to remove any powerful nation opposed to the present London-Washingt on consensus -- and its not just Russia under attack by the neo-con/liberal imperialist cabal, but China as well.

Come on, Steve, face it -- the liberal imperialists running Obama -- Valerie Jarrett, Susan Rice, et.al., are just as bloodthirsty as the neo-cons, like Nuland and McCain. And they are the ones putting us on the verge of thermonuclear war with Russia.
 
 
-1 # tgemberl 2014-12-11 17:49
If Weissman is influenced by George Soros, that's a big plus to me. Soros's emphasis is on caution, which Weissman seems to refer to at the end of the article. Remember how easily we humans fall into error. Don't jump on anybody's bandwagon too quickly.
 
 
+6 # Seadog 2014-12-08 18:33
Putin sees himself as the new Czar of an Imperial Russia reborn. We have returned to the late 19th and early 20th Plutocracy we had. Both countries have moved to the hard right and this is a very very dangerous situation indeed.
 
 
+8 # BKnowswhitt 2014-12-08 21:33
Danger will be the neocon's if they get the white house back .. they will certainly take the bait and escalate .. making Putin a victim in his peoples eyes and a hero ... just what you don't want to happen .
 
 
+3 # Radscal 2014-12-09 14:26
Good heavens! What makes you think the NeoCons aren't in the White House now?

Are you aware of President Obama's appointed Asst. Sec. of Defense, Victoria Nuland? Remember Gates? The list can go on and on, but one name stands out:

Obama stated that his mentor for foreign policy was Zbigniew Brzezinski, who worked with both Democratic and Republican Administrations in developing the policies we now call "NeoCon."

ps. Have you read my answer to your question about the Darren Wilson case?
http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/27364-focus-ferguson-killing-illuminates-how-sociopaths-in-power-act
 
 
+25 # polfrosch 2014-12-08 18:41
Weissman describes a similarity between Putin and Le Pen.
Rhetorical construction:
As we despise Le Pen he want´s us to transfer that judgement to Putin.

There is Henry Kissinger, the antagonistic Helmut Schmidt and Helmut Kohl in Germany, there was George F. Kennan, the diplomat who invented "containment" who warned about NATO expansion as the biggest blunder of the west, there is Mearsheimer and so many more indicating it is not Putin who is the problem - and all Weissman has to offer is his idée fixe.

On the same level: Geese have 2 legs, humans have 2 legs, so humans are geese.

What´s next? Putin brushes his teeth every morning and so did Adolf Hitler? So Putin is Hitler?

There is homophobia in Russia. Yes. There is overblown religios fervor. Yes.

Show a little more empathy: the USA had racial segregation some 60 years ago, had sodomy laws until the 80s and the police kills people for being black to this day.

And religious fervor - well, I tend to trust in science and enlightenment and the USA is regressive in both. Evolution on par with creationism - oh my god.

There are many realistic reasons to fear US imperialism. There are few reasons to fear Russian imperialism.

Just as an example: The soviet fleet had 40 submarines in the european baltic seas. Now it´s 3. Sometimes 4.

While the USA is currently fighting wars with special operations forces in 134 countries.

Steve Weissman, you had a great past. To me - you are history.
 
 
-4 # stannadel 2014-12-09 05:14
Well there is the small matter of Putin having donated €9million or €40million to LePen to finance her next election campaign.
 
 
+13 # polfrosch 2014-12-09 06:12
It is a loan from a bank. And there are persons from that bank that are close to Putin.

And this is exactly how these things work: Meanwhile you have somehow heard Putin donated millions to Le Pen.

(While in the USA there are Super PACs.)

A jet was shot down in Ukraine. To this day we don´t know who is responsible for it. I read the dutch investigation report. It containes only non-statements.

But meanwhile it is Putin who is responsible for the killing - in the media and in public. The "quality" magazine "Der Spiegel" in Germany had a cover with passport photos of the victims and the headline: "Stop Putin Now!"

I read in US publications Putin owns 40 billions in private money. These are "reports" by journalists who quote other journalists who heard rumours.

But meanwhile I even read on RSN Putin and other Russians are among the richest persons on earth. When I go to Forbes 8 out of the 10 of the richest men on earth are US moguls nearly all directly investing in politicians.

All of this is ridiculous. But it is propaganda that works.
 
 
+25 # MidwesTom 2014-12-08 19:16
Our current administration is supporting separation of the Kurds from Iraq by arming them and facilitating the transport and sale of crude oil produced in Kurdish controlled Iraq. Meanwhile we are radically opposed to allowing eastern Ukrainians who were part of Russia, speak Russian, and want to be part of Russia. We are the problem, not Putin.

All of this is driven by our need to keep the military industry working generating profits for NYC banisters.
 
 
-19 # BKnowswhitt 2014-12-08 21:16
Not so black and white Tom on this one. The USA has been active to free the Ukraine to be a part of Europe and one of Gorbachevs agreements with USA. Kurds and rest of Iraq are different like as in a different country. Though you point out some things .. Putin is making his play as he sees a great part of the Ukraine slipping out of his grasp .. and that's what those people want .. a real Democracy Independant as should be there and any societies inalienable right no matter where it resides ... Fuck Putin .. he's a no good fucking crook personally wealthy and major abuse of power KGB Prick ...
 
 
+2 # xflowers 2014-12-08 20:07
Personally, I think Weissman's writes an interesting analysis. I like his balanced criticism of both sides and appreciate that he cautions his readers not to take sides themselves because to do so might cause them to put on blinders, or like these adversaries engage in the "dialogue of the deaf." The stakes are too high, he tells us, and he's right.
 
 
-7 # BKnowswhitt 2014-12-08 21:12
Putie's and corrupt 'Old Russia's' way is to take real circumstances and misapply them to gain a present day defense of policy or outcome. Yeah the USA did do that in the cold war including truman withholding the reparations that the Russians were justly due post WWII allied victory of which they played a big part. That all went down at Bretten Woods .. in 1946 or so .. however like all dictators it's a means to an end for his illegal invasion of The Ukraine .. the shooting down of a commercial airliner and more ... He's a corrupt prick and soft dictator compared to real cold war days ... we'll see once the Repuke Warmongers get going here at home .. They are the most likely candidtates to take Puties 'Bait' and 'Switch' our foreign policy back to the Reagan Era Style of bad plays .. to come ..
 
 
+15 # Mainiac 2014-12-08 21:13
When we lambaste Russia for being tough on gays for being anti-gay marriage and for being anti-abortion, one would think that we had enshrined the rights of gays and abortion for women in our Constitution. Gay marriage is not yet available in every state, the right to an abortion is beyond an increasing number of women and gays are still discriminated against. We should just shut the hell up.

Let me ask how many troops has Putin placed in other countries? We have more than 1100 hundred. So which country is imperialistic?
 
 
-13 # BKnowswhitt 2014-12-08 22:43
You are wrong to say all of our troops in foreign lands are a result of imperialism. Usually they are there in response to Imperialism that preceded them being there. And you are a fool if you think that Russia under Putin is free at all .. or even close to being like the greatest Democracy on the Planet .. though there are always reasons for dissent and the right to do so .. you clearly don't know how corrupt the rest of the world is .. and especially Bad-i-mir Putin ...
 
 
-1 # bmiluski 2014-12-10 11:17
"Let me ask how many troops has Putin placed in other countries? We have more than 1100 hundred. So which country is imperialistic?"
----------------------------

Russian military occupies Abkhazia and South Ossetia in violation of the ceasefire since August 2008.[65]. In additions Putin has put troops in the following countries: Armecia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgystan, Syria, Tajikistan, Transnastria, and Viet Nam.
Now, lets ask that question again.
 
 
+4 # Kootenay Coyote 2014-12-08 22:54
Much truth, but too easily said from a nation that hasn't been scorned by Europe bigotry for at least half a millennium & hasn't been surrounded in recent years by increasing Western garrisons.
 
 
+8 # geraldom 2014-12-09 00:17
So what Mr. Steve Weissman is saying or suggesting in his diatribe is that Russia should cave in to U.S./NATO aggression and give control of all of Ukraine, including the Crimea, to the United States, another feather in the cap of U.S. expansionism so-to-speak, another puppet U.S. government created, just because the U.S. has the power, through its currency, the U.S. dollar, the World's reserve currency, to blackmail countries who do not do its bidding, right or wrong. This is why Putin will not and should not lay down or cave in to U.S. pressure or blackmail and the Russian people will support him in his endeavors to protect Russia's borders from any further encroachment eastward by U.S./NATO forces.

It’s too bad that there are very few sovereign and independent nations left in the world who do not answer to U.S. threats and blackmail. Not long ago, the U.S. made some real threats to France threatening France with sanctions when France was talking about increasing trade with Iran. When the U.S. can even threaten a country with sanctions that is supposed to be an ally and actually can get away with it, it doesn’t say much for that country’s independence or its sovereignty, does it?
 
 
+6 # chuckvw 2014-12-09 02:03
Odd that SW cautions us against taking sides when he so obviously has... taken sides.

A classic case of interventionist contortion syndrome.
 
 
+6 # Radscal 2014-12-09 14:44
Wow! Weissman has written many articles, including here on RSN, which detail the criminal U.S. "regime change" in Ukraine. He described the neo-Nazi muscle behind the "pro-democracy Maidan protesters" even while they were still in the streets, the historical reasons for the annexation of Crimea, the war crimes and crimes against humanity perpetrated by the Kiev junta once in power. He wrote one particularly well researched article about the economics behind the U.S.push to drive Ukraine into the NATO fold. Etc. Etc. Etc.

But, when he writes an article that includes Putin's religious/natio nalistic aspirations, he gets reamed.

"The enemy of my enemy is my friend."

Two seemingly conflicting things have stood out since the earliest days of the coup:
1. Israel officially backed the Nazis, even as Jewish groups inside Ukraine reported a sudden increase in violence against Jews as the coup took hold.
2. Right wing Marine Le Pen's defense of Russia over what would seem to be her "Front National Party's" cohorts in Svoboda and the Right Sector.

With Israel, I realized the issue wasn't "Jew against Jew;" it is "fascists for fascists."

With France's right wing, this article shines some light on why La Pen favors Russia over her seeming ideological cousins.

My take is that Putin and Russia are on the correct side of the Ukraine coup. But Putin is still an autocrat.
 
 
+5 # Archie1954 2014-12-09 15:18
Regardless of Putin's stated reasons, the reality on the ground is that NATO and the US are provoking Russia with attempts to encircle the nation with enemy bases. That is a geopolitical mistake of epic proportions! Any designs against the security of the Russian state will be met with severe repercussions for the offending parties, no matter who they are! If the US State Department doesn't know that the peoples of Crimea and the Former Eastern Ukrainian provinces chose freely to unite with Russia or to be independent of the illegitimate Kiev neonazi regime, then they had better educate themselves. That is reality, not conjecture! Kosovo set the principle and former Ukrainians have used it.
 
 
+3 # elizabethblock 2014-12-10 14:24
What were they thinking when they courted former Warsaw Pact countries for NATO? Did they think that Russia, feeling itself encircled, would do nothing? (And the wishes of the people concerned, to unite with Russia or not, are not all that important, not to Russia anyway.)
As someone said a long time ago about something else, it was worse than a crime, it was a blunder.
 

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