Trump Faces Divergent Views On Russia – Analysis

During his contentious press conference of last week, US President Donald Trump at one point noted that Russian President Vladimir Putin, might very well contend that his American counterpart faces too many obstacles to pursue improved relations with the Kremlin. CNN’s chief foreign policy wonk Fareed Zakaria, mischievously wonders why Trump has continued to be “soft” on Russia unlike other countries? Along with some others, Zakaria suggests that the US president is somehow conflicted with unknown ties to Russia. Zakaria et al don’t address their biases against Russia, which are considerable.

Trump isn’t the only American who hasn’t bashed Russia in the preferred establishment manner. Are any or all of these non-conformist Americans (Pat Buchanan and Stephen Cohen included) somehow compromised by the Kremlin? The sentiment for Russia includes agreement with the North-South clash of civilizations impression of the world, that sees Russia as a prospective US ally. In addition, there’re folks not beholden to that North-South belief, while opposing the faulty actions and comments against Russia.

At the just completed Munich Security Conference (MSC), the US government made clear its preference for seeing all NATO member countries financially contribute to that military alliance in accordance to the stated specifications. As evident in a February 18 Eric Shaun hosted Fox News segment, the anti-Russian slant believes (at least a segment of it) that a better funded/stronger NATO, will more likely compel Russia to do “the right thing” (as in being more agreeable with Western neolibs and neocons).

There’re some other aspects concerning NATO. As noted in Sputnik and Bloomberg pieces, a recent WIN-Gallup poll finds four NATO countries (Bulgaria, Turkey, Greece and Slovenia) preferring Russia as a power defending them. (With that in mind, it’s understandable why the Russian government has indicated support for an initial Trump-Putin meeting in Slovenia – the birthplace of Trump’s wife.) Some other NATO nations (like France, Germany and Hungary) have noticeable elements, which second guess the negative neocon and neolib view towards Russia.

At the end of the Cold War, NATO kind of reinvented itself by pursuing activity outside Europe, that isn’t necessarily directed against Russia. Simultaneously, there remains a Cold War byproduct of anti-Russian influence within that military alliance. At play, is an ongoing divergence, involving the underrepresented pro-Russian/anti-Communist observers and anti-Russian/anti-Soviet advocates. (There’re others in the mix, who don’t neatly fit into either of these two categories.)

At the 2017 MSC, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, pointedly noted the past history of US-Russian cooperation, in conjunction with the hope to get away from the confrontational Cold War mindset. With regret, he said that a prevailing anti-Russian lean has thwarted the effort to improve US-Russian relations.

The February 15 Fox News Sean Hannity-Sebastian Gorka exchange, prompted yours truly to forward the below correspondence to Gorka, who is currently serving as a deputy assistant to Trump. I’ve had some limited prior exchanges with him. So, it’s not like he doesn’t receive my comments. Gorka hasn’t (at least so far) replied to the following:

Hello Dr. Gorka,

President Trump has expressed the desire for improved US-Russian relations – something that the Kremlin seeks.

With that preference in mind, it’s especially inappropriate to flippantly use the term ‘Russian aggression’, regarding the former Ukrainian SSR and some other matters. Feel free to pass this correspondence to Sean Hannity.

If anything, Crimea has a better case for its reunification with Russia than the separation of Kosovo from Serbia and the ongoing Turkish presence in northern Cyprus.

Humanitarian intervention was applied in Crimea, as evidenced by the virtually bloodless territorial change undertaken there, in accordance with the well over 2/3 pro-Russian majority in that area. As quoted in RFE/RL, the Crimean Tatar activist Mustafa Dzhemilev, is on record for supporting the ethnic cleansing of Russians from Crimea. In contrast, Russian president Vladimir Putin, has condemned the Soviet WW II era collective internment of the Crimean Tatars, while supporting a multi-cultural/multi-lingual Crimea.

I personally know people of Russian, Ukrainian, Jewish (and any combo of the aforementioned three), backgrounds with ties to the rebel held Donbas area. They state the otherwise obvious concerning the Kiev regime’s wanton destruction of civilian life. Rather interestingly, the Kiev regime’s Nadiya Savchenko has acknowledged this aspect, despite her strident anti-Russian slant.

The overwhelming majority of the Donbas rebels are from the territory of the former Ukrainian SSR. Russian support for the rebels takes into consideration what some Kiev regime sources have openly advocated. Specifically, their support for an Operation Storm like attack – referencing the 1995 ethnic cleansing of Krajina Serbs.

With that in mind, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson should acknowledge that the Kiev regime should live up to the Minsk agreement that it signed onto.

What follows is a thorough debunking of Joe Scarborough’s recent WaPo piece.

Sincerely,

Michael Averko

****
As a follow-up, many if not most conflicts, are far more nuanced than the heavy bad guy versus virtual innocent. US mass media and body politic have a selective sensitivity factor when assessing some disputes abroad.

The term “Russian aggression” is akin to the 1990s utilized “Serb aggression”. As applied relative to other situations over the past fifty or so years, these terms come across as being culturally biased, if not bigoted. In US mass media and body politic, “Turkish aggression”, “Israeli aggression” and “US aggression” aren’t used. Russians and Serbs have limited lobbying clout in the West. As a European looking group, disparaging things can be said of them that would otherwise get more scorn when directed against some others.

The PC selective sensitivity brings to mind MSNBC and CNN repeatedly highlighting how Trump seemed like he might not have been aware that the abbreviated CBC (as brought up by a journalist in his last press conference) was referring to the Congressional Black Caucus. No one seems to second guess that he knew about that organization (by its full name) beforehand. CBC is also the abbreviated shorthand for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, which has been around longer than the Congressional Black Caucasus. In news reports spanning many years, I don’t (offhand) ever recall the latter organization being mentioned by the abbreviated CBC.

Meantime, CNN and MSNBC have been quite mum on California Congresswoman Maxine Waters’ gaffe in her saying that Russia invaded Korea. Ditto when the now former US President Barack Obama, erroneously said (on more than once occasion) that Putin was the former head of the KGB.

What attracted voters to Trump is the idea of challenging questionable establishment takes. My advocacy is is line with that spirit.

Michael Averko is a New York based independent foreign policy analyst and media critic. This article initially appeared at the Strategic Culture Foundation’s website on February 22. As a related follow-up to this article, note the 2/21 Chris Hayes hosted MSNBC show, that included Maxine Waters’ “scumbags” remark and Hayes’ idiotic characterization of (a reported though apparently not yet fully verified) “pro-Russian” (sic) Ukraine peace deal, which would’ve Russia pay the Kiev regime to lease Crimea. Crimea is already part of Russia.

A politically incorrect comparison notes the likely condemnation if someone prominent called Waters a douchebag.

Another MSNBC beaut concerns Mika Brzezinski, saying that it’s the media’s job to control what people think.


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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 - 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]

4 thoughts on “Trump Faces Divergent Views On Russia – Analysis

  • February 23, 2017 at 2:05 pm
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    Trump is facing the Globalist/Zionist lobby.

    Reply
    • Misha
      February 25, 2017 at 8:51 am
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      I don’t believe that Trump is anti-Zionist, with Zionists not being monolithic on world issues.

      Reply
  • February 25, 2017 at 12:51 am
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    Good summary. It is always astounding how badly informed the western media and public are. hat Maxine Waters doesn’t know the difference between Korea and Crimea – it was clearly not a misspeaking of a name, but ignorance of a name – is not surprising. She clearly never looked at a map as to where these peninsulas are. The prank phone calls to her and to McCain in addition show how little these people know or question as to who really calls them: surely it would be obvious that a prank call could be recognized as not coming via the official channels! But neither Waters nor McCain did. But when it comes to accusing Russia of aggression, they act as if they know; but how could that be?

    Unfortunately, the word aggression and threat has nothing to do with military aggression or threat by Russia against the US – the US is a much larger threat to Russia and the rest of the world than Russia to the US – but to the refusal to submit to US dictate under Obama. Trump promised to do away with American exceptionalism but the pundits won’t let him. But isn’t it clear to the pundits that the concept of exceptionalism is neocolonial and a synonym for racism? How is that commensurate with these famous “values of American democracy? Nobody objects to these contradictions. The world meanwhile created its own definition of America: it calls hostile, dangerous and the enemy. That seems way more consistent with US reality abroad than the much praised but essentially non-existent “western values” of freedom and democracy. But there is as yet no recognition of the truthfulness and justified natiure of these realities among the US establishment.

    Russia is not party to the Minsk agreement. It cannot implement it. Kiev has to do that by talking to the rebels. It is all defined in the Minsk agreement, step by step. Why is it that the EU and US continue to expect Russia to implement the Minsk agreement?

    As to Crimea, Russia, by helping the self-defense forces to secure a fair and free vote, likely averted a civil war in Crimea. The people – some 96% of the people of Crimea, including most Tatars that are not followers of Mustafa Dzhemilev, voted to join Russia. Why is a public vote not valid? Just because Kiev didn’t agree with the vote? But isn’t that disagreement and the right to disagree and vote the true nature of self-determination and the very freedom and democracy the US praises so highly?

    I am only a regular, western person, not a political analyst. If I see all these discrepancies in the US narrative, surely, so will most other people in the world. Why doesn’t that ring a bell for the DC establishment? Is the world now filled with Russian trolls?

    Reply
    • Misha
      February 25, 2017 at 8:49 am
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      Appreciate the detailed reply. Concerning some of your comments –

      Offhand, the Crimean referendum had a report around 83% voter turnout. It can be reasonably assumed that the roughly 17% no shows don’t support that area’s reunification with Russia. With that in mind, there’re roughly 75%-80% of that area supporting the territorial change in question. The majority of Crimea’s Ukrainians favor that move. These observations agree with follow-up Western polling/analysis.

      There’re anonymous and not so anonymous folks in cyber with a neocon, neolib and-Russian lean, who aptly fit the definition of a troll, in the form of misrepresenting views (they disagree with) and posting bogus personal attacks, designed to discredit their target. Such manner shouldn’t be confused with those seeking a substantively frank discourse that falls within the realm of acceptable civility.

      Reply

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