A December 16, Fox News Bret Baier hosted segment had a portion of Barack Obama’s same day press conference. It included Obama’s repeated fallacy, which describes Vladimir Putin as the former head of the KGB. Since October, this is at least the third time that Obama has said such.
Earlier, MSNBC like Fox News, didn’t bother to make a correction when replaying that gaffe from Obama. For objectivity sake, both networks would benefit by having erudite opposites to Garry Kasparov (on Fox News) and Michael McFaul (on MSNBC). (Concerning Kasparov, the late Bobby Fischer is a prime example of a brilliant chess player being quite out of touch with some other matters. McFaul’s lauding of Julia Ioffe and smear of RT should be in the nuff said category. Ioffe is clearly biased against Russia/Russians. A legitimate case can be made that the Russian government funded RT is more objective than the US government funded RFE/RL and some other Western media venues.)
The defeated US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has repeated the claim made by some others that Putin has a vendetta against her. That comes across as ironically spun, mind reading hogwash. Clinton herself has carried on like she has had a vendetta against Putin. In contrast, he has been rather level to her insults. Moreover, her comments about him aren’t as harsh as John McCain’s. No complaints about Russia hacking McCain before, during and after his failed presidential bid. Is it because Putin is a wus, who fears the Arizona senator? Get serious!
President-elect Donald Trump gets a good deal of criticism when he has insulted some of his compatriots – people including Marco Rubio and Lindsey Graham – individuals who can be quite insulting as well. Comparatively speaking, Trump hasn’t been as condemnatory to foreign leaders. Clinton and a number of other US elites have taken the reverse stance. Overall, the incoming Trump administration might prove to not be as diplomatically rough as its predecessor.
CNN host Wolf Blitzer correctly observed that Obama was insulting towards Russia during the latter’s December 16 press conference – something that has been previously evident with him. Obama’s appointed lead UN representative, Samantha Power, is even more insulting. It won’t take much for the Trump appointed Nikki Haley to be a better UN ambassador than Power.
In threatening Russia (over the not well substantiated to the public) Russian “interference” in the US presidential election, Obama said that retaliatory measures between governments aren’t always made known to the public. With that in mind and assuming the belief that the Russian government hacked the Democratic Party (emphasizing that the available conclusive proof is still lacking), perhaps the Kremlin launched a payback – once gain noting that it remains factually unclear as to who actually hacked the Dems.
Without getting too specific, CNN contributor Evan Perez, suggested the possibility of a Russian retaliation in a December 16 CNN discussion. MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow noted that the Obama administration asked US business executives to not attend the St Petersburg Economic Forum. Maddow added that the newly appointed US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, was one of those Americans who chose to come to that event. Other examples include the US government periodically telling other nations like Greece and Serbia to not have closer ties with Russia.
Still yet, the Obama administration might’ve done some unknown things to Russia which the Russian government has chosen to not disclose. During the Cold War, the Soviet leadership knew that their country was being spied on by US U2 flight missions. Until the Soviet shoot down of Gary Powers, the Kremlin didn’t openly acknowledge the U2 flights. It’s believed that this silence was because the Soviet leadership didn’t want to formally acknowledge the inability to deter that activity.
The image of Putin as a former KGB official, entrapped by the Soviet past is something that has been inaccurately overhyped. Among other things, he has denounced Lenin and gave the nod for a memorial honoring the victims of persecution during Stalin’s rule. Nevertheless, Putin’s Soviet upbringing and intelligence background from that period, could explain his being silent on a possible clandestine US government activity against him and his country.
Upon the greater attention given to the leaked Democratic Party emails, Maddow and her MSNBC colleagues have greatly enhanced their anti-Putin/anti-Russian propaganda. Their answer is the often stated US intelligence claims of Kremlin involvement in the leaked Democratic Party emails – never minding that the evidence hasn’t been made available to the public. The intelligence community isn’t without overly partisan individuals, as evidenced by the likes of such former officials as Michael Hayden and Malcolm Nance, who spout very collapsible anti-Putin/anti-Russian propaganda on MSNBC and elsewhere. The possibility of a different source involved in the leaked Democratic Party emails, has received little attention in US mass media.
His noticeable biases against Putin and Russia aside, CNN host Fareed Zakaria, had a reasonably balanced panel discussion on his December 18 aired GPS show. Without specifically naming the neolibs and neocons and those influenced by them, one of the guests, Fyodor Lukyanov, got across the point that the neocon/neolib vision of the world is lacking globally, in a way that isn’t so much influenced by Russia – but the sincere belief that the confrontational approach towards Russia isn’t so necessary. As US mass media bashes Russia, Putin was accorded respect during his recent visit to Japan. Brexit, the likely soon to be changed political standing in France and Germany, serve as further examples of change, which haven’t been orchestrated from Moscow.
Michael Averko is a New York based independent foreign policy analyst and media critic. This article initially appeared in the Strategic Culture Foundation’s website on December 21. On a related note, former CIA analysts Larry Johnson and Ray McGovern, are among a number of individuals who’ve coherently disputed the claim of hacked Democratic Party emails by the Russian government, with the approved knowledge of Vladimir Putin.