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Sat Aug 30, 2014, 08:28 AM

Patriotic Heresy vs. the New Cold War

[font size=2] Patriotic Heresy vs. the New Cold War[/font]

Fallacies of US policy may be leading to war with Russia.

Stephen F. Cohen
August 27, 2014 | This article appeared in the September 15, 2014 edition of The Nation.


Illustration by Doug Chayka

[font size=2]We meet today during the worst and potentially most dangerous American-Russian confrontation in many decades, probably since the Cuban missile crisis of 1962. The Ukrainian civil war, precipitated by the unlawful change of government in Kiev in February, is already growing into a proxy US-Russian war. The seemingly unthinkable is becoming imaginable: an actual war between NATO, led by the United States, and post-Soviet Russia.

Certainly, we are already in a new Cold War, which escalating sanctions will only deepen, institutionalize and prolong—one potentially more dangerous than its US-Soviet predecessor, which the world barely survived. This is so for several reasons:

(SNIP)

§ Yet another risk factor is that the new Cold War lacks the mutually restraining rules that developed during the forty-year Cold War, especially after the Cuban missile crisis. Indeed, highly charged suspicions, resentments, misconceptions and misinformation both in Washington and Moscow today may make such mutual restraints even more difficult. The same is true of the surreal demonization of Russia’s leader, Vladimir Putin—a kind of personal vilification without any real precedent in the past, at least after Stalin’s death. (Henry Kissinger has pointed out that the “demonization of Vladimir Putin is not a policy; it is an alibi for the absence of one.” I think it is worse: an abdication of real analysis and rational policy-making.)

§ Finally, the new Cold War may be more perilous because, also unlike its forty-year-long predecessor, there is no effective American opposition—not in the administration, Congress, the establishment media, universities, think tanks or the general public.

In this regard, we need to understand our circumstances. We—opponents of the US policies that have contributed so woefully to the current crisis—are few in number, without influential supporters and unorganized. I am old enough to know our position was very different in the 1970s and ’80s, when we struggled for what was then called détente. We were a minority, but a substantial minority with allies in high places, even in Congress and the State Department. Our views were solicited by mainstream newspapers, television and radio. In addition to grassroots support, we even had our own lobbying organization in Washington, the American Committee on East-West Accord, whose board included corporate CEOs, political figures, prominent academics and statesmen of the stature of George Kennan.

Full story and analysis including a potential solutions:
http://www.thenation.com/article/181399/patriotic-heresy-vs-new-cold-war?page=0,0[font]

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Reply Patriotic Heresy vs. the New Cold War (Original post)
newthinking Aug 2014 OP
tazkcmo Aug 2014 #1
newthinking Aug 2014 #2
tazkcmo Aug 2014 #3
Chan790 Aug 2014 #4
GeorgeGist Aug 2014 #5

Response to newthinking (Original post)

Sat Aug 30, 2014, 08:45 AM

1. The good news?

The Olympics will be fun again!

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Response to tazkcmo (Reply #1)

Sat Aug 30, 2014, 08:57 AM

2. What will the olympics look like in the post nuclear exchange world?

Well, I suppose if the predictions are accurate that it will cause "Nuclear Winter" there will be great ski runs?

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Response to newthinking (Reply #2)

Sat Aug 30, 2014, 09:12 AM

3. Post Nuclear?

I was referring to the period before the destruction of civilization. Not sure how old you are but "back in the day" the Olympics were much more interesting as it was West vs East. I'll admit that I prefer a nice boring Olympics where all one does is marvel in the sheer athleticism and beauty of the competitors and competitions as opposed to the Good Old Days.

sigh

Why are humans so destructive?

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Response to newthinking (Original post)

Sat Aug 30, 2014, 10:59 AM

4. Cohen lost me here.

 

The same is true of the surreal demonization of Russia’s leader, Vladimir Putin—a kind of personal vilification without any real precedent in the past,


He certainly cannot be suggesting that demonization of Vladimir Putin--a man who has made a habit of sending his opposition and protestors to the gulag; engaging in state-sanctioned harassment, persecution and violence against LGBTQ individuals, feminists, and their respective allies in Russia; and widely-suspected but not proven of engaging in an assassination campaign against journalists for being critical of him--is illegitimate.

Vladimir Putin isn't the victim of a surreal campaign to demonize him without merit...he's actually villainous.

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Response to newthinking (Original post)

Sat Aug 30, 2014, 11:05 AM

5. The Nation citing Kissinger to defend its position?

Blasphemy.

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