‘Russiagate’ Addendum And Russophobes – Analysis


As articulated by John Daniel Davidson, Matt Taibbi and Natasha Bertrand, the much ballyhooed “Russiagate”, has increasingly added something to the belief (as initially and dubiously claimed by the Democratic National Committee and its partisan cybersecurity source CrowdStrike) of a clandestine Russian government effort (perhaps with Donald Trump) to defeat Hillary Clinton in the last US presidential election.

The scenario gaining momentum spins a broadly presented questionable claim about the Kremlin sowing discord in the US, with multi-pronged activity, which wasn’t exclusive to backing Trump. Of the aforementioned three commentators, Taibbi responsibly presents that view as a possibility, unlike Davidson and Bertrand, who suggest it as a fact

RT came out with a listing of the top Russophobes. The RT selection has John McCain topping the list followed by NATO, Louise Mensch, Hillary Clinton, Anne Applebaum, Edward Lucas, Morgan Freeman, Rob Reiner, Buzzfeed and Molly McKew. Knowing thy adversary is strategically important and should therefore not be casually chronicled. Some additional points can be added to RT’s selection.

McCain is essentially the dean of such Russia bashing politicos as Lindsey Graham, Nikki Haley, Chuck Schumer and Marco Rubio. A somewhat similar linkage can be made between NATO and the Atlantic Council.

Some surprise was expressed concerning Morgan Freeman’s ridiculous rant against Russia and its president. This shock brings to mind the “don’t judge a book by its cover” saying. The ability to speak and act well isn’t (by default) indicative of a great intellect. Freeman and his fellow Hollywood political activist Rob Reiner, don’t have an extended track record of fostering hatred towards Russia/Russians. As I recently noted, Freeman and Reiner constitute those Democrats, clinging for an excuse on why Clinton lost to Trump.

With this in mind, their recent Russia bashing manner appears less developed (more Johnny come lately) than Clinton’s stance on that nation. She developed a noticeable enough anti-Russian attitude before her presidential bid. This reality has been used to prop the suspect claim that the Russian government (especially its president) made a covert effort against her presidential bid.

Yes, the Russian government and much of Russia’s population understandably didn’t like Clinton playing to the anti-Russian audience. Along with some anecdotal missives (distorted and otherwise), that sentiment isn’t evidence of an underhanded Kremlin plan (with or without Trump) to wreck her campaign.

Anne Applebaum and Edward Lucas are anti-Communist neocon leaning sorts, who aren’t in the Russophile category. At the same time, they aren’t as prone as some others to being stridently across the board anti-Russian, regardless of Russia’s pre-Soviet, Soviet and post-Soviet periods. This observation is made, while disagreeing with those emphasizing a considerable similarity between the negative aspects of the Soviet Union with contemporary Russia – something that Applebaum and Lucas periodically suggest.

If anything, Paul Goble comes across as being more anti-Russian than Applebaum and Lucas, among some others on the RT list. Goble is regularly promoted at Johnson’s Russia List. His common theme is the struggle that non-Russian former Soviets face with Russia/Russians – minus any grievances from Russians. (After writing this essay, I came across Joel Harding’s reply to the RT list in question. Harding leans in a Russia unfriendly direction. In a roundabout way, he kind of supports my view of Goble.)

Louise Mensch is considered “batshit crazy by the Russia unfriendly Malcolm Nance. Some others in the Russia unfriendly grouping have also been critical of Mensch. Her suspect claims and overall questionable knowledge of Russia related issues probably explains why she isn’t as likely to get the call to do TV hit jobs on that country as Julia Ioffe, Natasha Bertrand, Masha Gessen and Bianna Gilodryga – all of whom have former Soviet roots.

Of the RT rated, Molly McKew comes closest to resembling Mensch’s persona. Along with Goble, CNN’s Christiane Amanpour is a constant Russia basher not making RT’s list. Upon further thought, one can find others like them in mass media, academia and body politic.

In terms of cranking out anti-Russian commentary, the RT rated Buzzfeed doesn’t carry the same weight as The New York Times, Washington Post, MSNBC and CNN.

Michael Averko is a New York based independent foreign policy analyst and media critic. The article was initially placed at the Strategic Culture Foundation’s website on October 3.

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, RT 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 Duran, The Huffington Post, Valdai Discussion Club, Yonkers Tribune and WikiLeaks, are among the numerous venues where his articles have either appeared or been referenced. The American Institute in Ukraine and the Lord Byron Foundation for Balkan Studies, have referenced some of Averko's articles, along with academic white papers prepared for NATO Watch, Ohio State University, Problems of Post-Communism and the Royal College of Defence Studies. He has been referenced in the Council on Foreign Relations, Defense One and The New York Times. Averko is source referenced in Richard Sakwa's book "Frontline Ukraine". His Eurasia Review article on Pavlo Skoropadsky, provides the first full online English language 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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