The Censoring Cancel Culture Against Russia – OpEd


Wyoming Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney, expressed disapproval of Illinois Democratic Senator Tammy Duckworth, for saying that the removal of monuments honoring George Washington should be open to a national debate. Duckworth said this during a July 5 CNN segment hosted by Dana Bash. In that discussion, Duckworth lied when she stated in matter of fact terms, that the Russian government has a bounty out for killing US forces in Afghanistan. 

At best, this view of hers is a put mildly dubious claim, which is likely false. Of course, Bash didn’t bother to challenge Duckworth. For Duckworth and Bash, a debate on removing George Washington monuments is fair game, as they peddle unchallenged misinformation against Russia. The neocon leaning Cheney has no problem with the latter situation.   

Within the US mass media and body politic, this kind of instance underscores the cancel culture, when it comes to not providing constructively critical pro-Russian commentary that’s not anti-American. The American based Twitter has come out in favor of combatting fake news. Its effort appears questionable, as evidenced in numerous instances which include foreign policy legal politico David Tafuri, not getting rebuked by Twitter, for falsely Tweeting as fact, the overly suspect Russian bounty claim. 

For the purpose of improving US-Russian relations, the recent open letter in Politico shouldn’t be seen as a noticeable plus. Rather, it should be highlighted as another example of the limits within the US foreign policy establishment. Its opening runs counter to actually improving US-Russian relations: “We got into this open-eyed. Russia complicates, even thwarts, our actions, especially along its extended periphery in Europe and Asia. It has seized territory in Ukraine and Georgia. It challenges our role as a global leader and the world order we helped build. It interferes in our domestic policies to exacerbate divisions and tarnish our democratic reputation.”  

In actuality, the claim of Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election remains factually quite suspect, especially when compared to some other countries. The US government’s stances on the Golan Heights, Kosovo and northern Cyprus don’t make it a good authority to lecture Russia on matters like Crimea, North Ossetia and Abkhazia. Propaganda aside, it’s quite clear that the majority in Crimea, North Ossetia and Abkhazia prefer Russia over the countries seeking to control them. As for challenging, the current US administration seeks to thwart the mutually agreed Russo-German pipeline deal. This past May 12, James Jeffrey, the US special envoy for Syria, said it was his job to make that Mideast country “a quagmire for the Russians.” 

Among seasoned Russia watching circles, it’s generally agreed that in the late 1980s (if not before) and for at least much of the 1990s (perhaps going into the early 2000s), pro-American sentiment in Russia was more evident than it is now. Russian President Vladimir Putin quickly consoled the US following 9/11, sharing Russian Intel and allowing for US military planes to fly over Russia en route to Afghanistan. Are we really supposed to believe that Russia is solely or mostly responsible for the breakdown in US-Russian relations? 

As a viable option to the Politico run open letter and the other wonky tonk aspects prevalent in the US foreign policy establishment, I reference my articles of August 21, 2019August 31, 2017 and March 17, 2016

Last month, I received a visit from the FBI, which seems like it could very well be related to the release of a US State Department report dealing with (as described) “Russia’s disinformation and propaganda ecosystem“, which makes mention of several venues including the Strategic Culture Foundation (SCF). University of Ottawa Professor Paul Robinson (who I’ve previously commented on) has a critical overview of what’s claimed at his blog. At that piece, I pose a follow-up question, along with some comments.   

I come from an anti-Communist upbringing which nevertheless opposed the 1950’s era methods utilized by Wisconsin Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy. Regardless of political views, I hope there’s a strong across the board opposition to a nouveau McCarthyism. Relative to that desire, I’m reminded of the 2015 movie on Dalton Trumbo. The Yonkers Tribune was good enough to give me a platform, which among other things, addresses a crackpot conspiracy theory Tweet and Facebook post, pertaining to the SCF and yours truly. 

Without completely checking, many, if not all of the SCF contributors, have established backgrounds prior to appearing at that venue. So, the suggestion that their views wouldn’t exist without the SCF is bunk. I’ve welcomed substantive follow ups to the content of my articles. To date, no one has asked me to stop appearing in the SCF.    

Michael Averko is a New York based independent foreign policy analyst and media criticThis article first appeared at the Strategic Culture Foundation’s website on August 12.

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 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 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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