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Spinning Against Russia And Reality – OpEd

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The November 27 Bloomberg article “Malaysia Beats Emerging Market Peers as Asia Outshines“, highlights the positive economic performances of some Asian countries, contrasted with a negative overview of South Africa and Turkey. In this piece, Russia’s second place ranking among the so-called “emerging economies” is noticeably downplayed. According to the referenced Bloomberg statistic, Russia is ahead of China, India, South Korea, Hungary and Poland. 

I’m sure that a good number of economists and others will (within reason) add that the statistic at issue doesn’t give an overall complete picture of how well a given nation is economically performing. Regardless, the referenced Bloomberg statistic has enough meat to counter the mantra of a poorly performing Russian economy, whose president engages in nationalist activity as a cover for his nation’s shortcomings. If anything, that take is more applicable to the socioeconomically challenged Kiev regime controlled Ukraine, that has become greatly dependent on US government influenced International Monetary Fund loans. 

Within the past year, the Kiev regime has engaged in several nationalist stunts, involving the – faked murder of Arkady Babchenko, to (as spun) uncover a still unproven sinister Russian plot – pressure on the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which is loosely affiliated with the Moscow Patriarchate – violation of Russian territory (including area recognized as Russian before Crimea’s reunification with Russia), as well as breaching the established protocol for passing the Kerch Strait. The last point concerns the Russian built bridge connecting Crimea with the rest of Russia. Inside and outside of Ukraine, there’ve been calls to destroy that bridge. With that in mind, it’s quite provocative to not give the standard notice before nearing the area of that bridge. 

In the US, the ongoing effort to dislodge Donald Trump on a flimsy Russian meddling claim (continuously promoted as believable by the Democratic Party establishment and some of the major US mass media venues), serves to encourage the US president to take some unnecessary aggressive action on the foreign policy front. The Trump administration’s kid gloves treatment accorded to the Kiev regime is one example.   

For the purpose of showing that he isn’t “soft” on Russia, Trump and much of his support base highlight that behavior (albeit positively), along with his military actions against the Russian supported and internationally recognized Syrian government. Recall CNN’s Fareed Zakaria saying that Trump became US president, when he bombed a Syrian government position – for a basis that factually remains quite suspect, as has been detailed byTed Postal and some others. 

Shifting gears, the December 7 National Interest article “A Major National Security Shakeup: Nauert In and Kelly Out?”, notes that Dina Powell and John James, have been passed over in favor of Heather Nauert, as a replacement for Nikki Haley as America’s UN ambassador. This piece doesn’t address Trump’s foreign policy flip flop. During his campaign for the US presidency, Trump stated the desire to reshape US foreign policy to include competent individuals, typically shunned by the establishment. That desire has been contradicted by his cabinet selections and what they’ve said. The likes of Rand Paul, Tulsi Gabbard and Jim Jatras, are among those who better identify with what Trump had advocated on foreign policy.  

The current US Secretary of Defense James Mattis appears to be transferring his shortcomings to Russian president Vladimir Putin. Mattis rather ironically said that Putin is a “slow learner”. This is pretty rich coming from Mattis, who not too long ago belittled Russia’s Middle East presence. Russia is the only country that has held open talks with the governments of Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Syria and the US. Going back a good several years, the neocon/neolib desire to see Syria’s president leave office hasn’t happened. The neocon regime change operations in Iraq and Libya are now understandably regarded by many as counterproductive. 

Especially ridiculous is Mattis’ recent contention that the claim of Russian meddling in the 2018 US general election is a fact (without Mattis providing specifics), unlike the view that the Saudi head of state knew and approved the killing of Jamal Khashoggi. Along with Nauert and Mattis, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton, haven’t exhibited the foreign policy stances that Trump campaigned on.   

Michael Averko is a New York based independent foreign policy analyst and media critic. This article was initially placed at the Strategic Culture Foundation’s website on December 13.


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Michael Averko

Michael Averko

Michael Averko is a New York based independent foreign policy analyst and media critic. He has appeared as a guest commentator on the BBC and WABC talk radio, in addition to having been a panelist at the World Russia Forum, Russia Forum New York and US-Russia.org Experts' Panel. Besides Averko's Eurasia Review column - Academia.edu, Counterpunch, Foreign Policy Journal, Global Research, History News Network, InoSMI.Ru, Johnson's Russia List, Journal of Turkish Weekly, Kyiv Post, Oriental Review, Penza News, Pravda.Ru, Pravoslavie.Ru, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Russia Insider, Sputnik News, Strategic Culture Foundation, The Huffington Post, Valdai Discussion Club and WikiLeaks, are among the numerous venues where his commentary have either appeared or been referenced. The American Institute in Ukraine and the Lord Byron Foundation for Balkan Studies, have referenced some of his commentary, along with academic white papers prepared for NATO Watch, Ohio State University, Problems of Post-Communism and the Royal College of Defence Studies. He is source referenced in Richard Sakwa's book "Frontline Ukraine". Averko's Eurasia Review article on Pavlo Skoropadsky, provides the first full online transcript of Skoropadsky's edict calling for an "All-Russian Federation", inclusive of Russia and Ukraine. Among other issues, that article explains the relationships among the major combatants in the Russian Civil War. He can be reached via [email protected]

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