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.
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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