Treating Putin Like a Lunatic

Exclusive: Official Washington treats whatever comes out of Russian President Putin’s mouth as the ravings of a lunatic, even when what he says is obviously true or otherwise makes sense, as the New York Times has demonstrated again, writes Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

When reading the New York Times on many foreign policy issues, it doesn’t take a savant to figure out what the newspaper’s bias is. Anything, for instance, relating to Russian President Vladimir Putin drips of contempt and hostility.

Rather than offer the Times’ readers an objective or even slightly fair-minded account of Putin’s remarks, we are fed a steady diet of highly prejudicial language, such as we find in Saturday’s article about Putin’s comments at a conference in which he noted U.S. contributions to chaos in countries, such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses a crowd on May 9, 2014, celebrating the 69th anniversary of victory over Nazi Germany and the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Crimean port city of  Sevastopol from the Nazis. (Russian government photo)

Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses a crowd on May 9, 2014, celebrating the 69th anniversary of victory over Nazi Germany and the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Crimean port city of Sevastopol from the Nazis. (Russian government photo)

That Putin is correct appears almost irrelevant to the Times, which simply writes that Putin “unleashed perhaps his strongest diatribe against the United States yet” with his goal “to sell Moscow’s view that American meddling has sparked most of the world’s recent crises.”

Rather than address the merits of Putin’s critique, the Times’ article by Neil MacFarquhar uncritically cites the “group think” of Official Washington: “Russia is often accused of provoking the crisis in Ukraine by annexing Crimea, and of prolonging the agony in Syria by helping to crush a popular uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, Moscow’s last major Arab ally. Some analysts have suggested that Mr. Putin seeks to restore the lost power and influence of the Soviet Union, or even the Russian Empire, in a bid to prolong his own rule.”

Yes, “some analysts” can be cited to support nearly any claim no matter how wrongheaded, or you can use the passive tense “is often accused” to present any charge no matter how unfair. But a more realistic summary of the various crises afflicting the world would note that Putin is correct when he describes past U.S. backing for various extremists, from Islamic fundamentalists in the Middle East and Central Asia to neo-Nazis in Ukraine.

For example, during the 1980s, the Reagan administration consciously encouraged Islamic fundamentalism as a strategy to cause trouble for “atheistic communism” in Afghanistan and in the Muslim provinces of the Soviet Union.

To overthrow a Soviet-backed government in Afghanistan, the CIA and its Saudi collaborators financed the mujahedeen “holy warriors” who counted among their supporters Saudi extremist Osama bin Laden. Some of those Islamists later blended into the Taliban and al-Qaeda with dire consequences for the United States on Sept. 11, 2001.

By invading Iraq in 2003, President George W. Bush toppled a secular dictator, Saddam Hussein, but saw him replaced by what amounted to a Shiite theocracy which pushed Iraq’s Sunni minority into the arms of “Al-Qaeda in Iraq,” which has since rebranded itself as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria or simply the Islamic State. Those extremists now control large swaths of Iraq and Syria and have massacred religious minorities and Western hostages, prompting another U.S. military intervention.

Obama’s Interventions

In Libya in 2011, President Barack Obama acquiesced to demands from “liberal interventionists” in his administration and authorized an air war to overthrow another secular autocrat, Muammar Gaddafi, whose ouster and murder have sent Libya spiraling into political chaos amid warring Islamist militias. It turns out Gaddafi was not wrong when he warned of Islamist terrorists operating around Benghazi.

Similarly, Official Washington’s embrace of protests and violence aimed at removing another secular Arab leader, Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, contributed to the bloody civil war that has devastated that country and created fertile ground for the Islamic State and the Nusra Front, the official al-Qaeda affiliate.

Though Obama balked at demands from neocons and “liberal interventionists” that he launch an air war against the Syrian military in 2013, he did authorize secret shipments of weapons and training for the supposedly “moderate” Syrian rebels who have generally sided with Islamist fighters affiliated with al-Qaeda and the Islamic State.

Many of these same neocons and “liberal interventionists” have been eager to ratchet up the confrontation with Iran over its nuclear program, including neocon dreams to “bomb, bomb, bomb Iran,” also a desire of hardliners in Israel.

In some of these crises, one of the few international leaders who has cooperated with Obama to tamp down tensions has been Putin, who helped negotiate conflict-avoiding agreements with Syria and Iran. But those peaceful interventions made Putin an inviting target for the neocons who began in fall 2013 arranging a coup d’etat in Ukraine on Russia’s border.

As Obama and Putin each paid too little attention to these maneuvers, neocons such as National Endowment for Democracy president Carl Gershman, Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, and Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland went to work on the Ukrainian coup.

However to actually overthrow Ukraine’s elected President Viktor Yanukovych, the coup makers had to collaborate with neo-Nazi militias which were organized in western Ukraine and dispatched to Kiev where they provided the muscle for the Maidan uprising. Neo-Nazi leaders were given several ministries in the new government, and neo-Nazi militants were incorporated into the National Guard and “volunteer” militias dispatched to crush the ethnic Russian resistance in the east.

Putin for the Status Quo

The underlying reality of the Ukraine crisis was that Putin actually supported the country’s status quo, i.e. maintaining the elected president and the constitutional process. It was the United States along with the European Union that sought to topple the existing system and pull Ukraine from Russia’s orbit into the West’s.

Whatever one thinks about the merits of that change, it is factually wrong to accuse Putin of initiating the Ukraine crisis or to extrapolate from Official Washington’s false conventional wisdom and conclude that Putin is a new Hitler, an aggressor seeking to reestablish the Soviet Union or the Russian Empire.

But the Times and other major U.S. news outlets have wedded themselves to that propaganda theme and now cannot deviate from it. So, when Putin states the obvious that the U.S. has meddled in the affairs of other nations and that Russia did not pick the fight over Ukraine his comments must be treated like the ravings of a lunatic unleashing some “diatribe.”

Among Putin’s ranting was his observation, according to the Times article, that “the United States supports ‘dubious’ groups ranging from ‘open neo-fascists to Islamic radicals.’

“‘Why do they support such people,’ he asked the annual gathering known as the Valdai Club, which met this year in the southern resort town of Sochi. ‘They do this because they decide to use them as instruments along the way in achieving their goals, but then burn their fingers and recoil.’

“The goal of the United States, he said, was to try to create a unipolar world in which American interests went unchallenged.

“Mr. Putin specifically denied trying to restore the Russian Empire. He argued Russia was compelled to intervene in Ukraine because that country was in the midst of a ‘civilized dialogue’ over its political future when the West staged a coup to oust the president last February, pushing the country into chaos and civil war.

“‘We did not start this,’ he said. ‘Statements that Russia is trying to reinstate some sort of empire, that it is encroaching on the sovereignty of its neighbors, are groundless.’”

Of course, all the “smart people” of Official Washington know how to react to such statements from Putin, with a snicker and a roll of the eyes. After all, they’ve been reading the narratives of these crises as fictionalized by the New York Times, the Washington Post, etc.

Rationality and realism seem to have lost any place in the workings of the mainstream U.S. news media.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his new book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com). For a limited time, you also can order Robert Parry’s trilogy on the Bush Family and its connections to various right-wing operatives for only $34. The trilogy includes America’s Stolen Narrative. For details on this offer, click here.

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45 comments for “Treating Putin Like a Lunatic

  1. michael
    October 25, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    It must be very frustrating when good effective and somewhat courageous investigative journalists have to contend with the hypocritical piffle that is printed by some of their colleagues! Again well written article Thankyou!

    • Pratt
      October 27, 2014 at 12:24 pm

      I agree with Mr. Parry that the press has taken a neocon stance on Putin, demonizing him for most anything that occurs in the region. However, I think we should not overlook what he is doing domestically – – taking the country down the path of autocracy. There’s no doubt that he has consolidated too much power – enough so that political opponents fear what they say about him. This still makes him a dangerous man.

  2. martin
    October 25, 2014 at 7:33 pm

    As we’re talking here about simplistic (presstitute media) statements I will so summarize my shift in perspective over my past half century … Unce-upon-a-time I believed that ‘we’ were the ‘good guys’ and they were the ‘bad guys’. Now I’d say that they are still basically bad guys – however we (the war-mongering lying sociopaths that rule the roost, basically!) are the evil guys. I also naively believed that we had ‘God’ on our side & they did not. Now I would say that we definately do not have such a connection to any diety … and Russia is all the better off for not believing such bulldust from the beginning. We are getting dumber-and-dumber & Putin apparently appears to truly know the underlying score. Interesting times indeed … and evermore on the downhill path we shall fall if we don’t stop voting for somebody else other than the United Snakes of Dems & Repugs. I am for the ‘Stars & Stripes’ – but that image is progressively morphing into the ‘Missiles & Lasers’ … with accompanying $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ fortunes sucked from our peasant taxes to fill the depthless pockets of those that create weapons to kill. Shame on us. Maybe we had a chance with Nader? … Would Nader have had a chance if elected? … Has our nation slide too far down the slippery slope to ever regain a sane foothold …? Saty tuned folks – but NOT to mainstream media!!

  3. clcrose@yahoo.com
    October 25, 2014 at 8:38 pm

    These ‘back and forth’ worldly journalistic mictrate contests’ have never changed status quo in all of history”…Every year, every country, every newspaper spews forth anything it can to position their own agenda and separatists points, to anyone who will take it in !!! Read with some supported-education and leave the ‘raconteur daily news in check mode, “Extra-Extra-Read All About” to the ‘Drama Queens” and Kings. HOWEVER”…Most recently ‘Russia’s Putin himself has said some VERY REDULOUS’ and Contentious claims weather “true or false” “We’ve’ got enough Nukes” to Blow Blow US. + Always setting the pace for bragging and again “personal agenda” at least the US. just dose it” not bragging about it.

    • clcrose@yahoo.com
      October 25, 2014 at 8:48 pm

      Typo Sorry’ ‘MICTURATE’ proper spelling. Yes’ even NY Times typo to and fro…

    • Finnegan
      October 27, 2014 at 3:53 pm

      Well, first I’d like to hear a source on your claim he said ““We’ve’ got enough Nukes” to Blow Blow US —- you started that with quotations so you are claiming those exact words? I think I vaguely remember that statement, and I don’t think he said exactly that. And, since one of the main western techniques used to smear people is to misquote and distort their words, please provide a source.

      And of course, it is true that Russia has more than enough bombs to destroy the US. Both Russia and the US have long had more that enough nuclear weapons to destroy the entire world several times over.

  4. Anonymous
    October 25, 2014 at 9:05 pm

    Thank You, Mr.Parry, You are a Hero.
    Many people agree with what you say, but only talented professional like you can put all together with an excellence of every point.
    It’s almost unbelieveble to me that the absolute majority of journalists lost any ability to have an independent position and stand up for it.
    Do they sleep well after selling themselves ?…

  5. MrK
    October 25, 2014 at 9:17 pm

    For example, during the 1980s, the Reagan administration consciously encouraged Islamic fundamentalism as a strategy to cause trouble for “atheistic communism” in Afghanistan and in the Muslim provinces of the Soviet Union.

    And apparently ‘the Carter Administration’ (he also appointed Cyrus Vance), or more precisely the Trilateral Commission co-founder (1973) with David Rockefeller, Zbigniew Brzezinski, beat them to it. From 1979, when he was National Security Advisor to President Carter:

    (YOUTUBE) Zbigniew Brzezinski Taliban Pakistan Afghanistan peptalk

    (YOUTUBE, CNN) Zbigniew Brzezinski on Ukraine Crisis: CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS

    A threeway discussion between (Lord Rothschild co-investor, think BP, Yukos, Shell) Madeleine Albright, Zbigniew Brzezinski and Fareed Zakaria (Managing Editor of the CFR’s Foreign Affairs Magazine from 1992 to 2000).

    (YOUTUBE) Brzezinski on CFR, Bilderberg, and Trilateral Commission

    Zbigniew Brzezinski acknowledges his co-founding of the Trilateral Commission with David Rockefeller.

    David Rockefeller’s bio at the Trilateral Commission he founded:

    Leadership

    David Rockefeller

    David Rockefeller is founder and honorary chairman of the Trilateral Commission. Mr. Rockefeller serves as honorary chairman of the Americas Society, the Council on Foreign Relations and Rockefeller University. He is also former chairman of the Rockefeller University Council, and chairman emeritus of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. A graduate of Harvard College and the University of Chicago (Ph.D.), Mr. Rockefeller served as an officer of the Chase Manhattan Bank from 1946 to 1981.

    He was chairman and chief executive officer from 1969 until 1980, and continued as chairman until his retirement in 1981. He served as chairman of the Bank’s International Advisory Committee from 1981 to 1999 and remained a member of the International Council of J.P. Morgan Chase until 2005. Mr. Rockefeller has also been involved in numerous other business, cultural, and educational organizations. His publications include Unused Resources and Economic Waste (1940), Creative Management in Banking (1964), and Memoirs (2002).

    May 2010

    http://www.trilateral.org

    • Joe Tedesky
      October 26, 2014 at 11:40 am

      MrK, don’t you think Zbigniew Brzezinski gets way to much credit? I realize he was the one who came up with the strategy to aid the mujahedeen fight back the old Soviet Union in Afghanistan, but considering all that has happened over time, wouldn’t you say Brzezinski’s overall plan was a failure?

      BTW, the links you provided were good.
      Joe Tedesky

      • May
        October 27, 2014 at 3:56 pm

        For several centuries now, any foreign power sending troops in to control and occupy Afghanistan has been a ‘plan’ that can only be judged an ‘overall failure’.

      • MrK
        October 27, 2014 at 4:28 pm

        Hi Joe Tedesky,

        Thanks for the compliment.

        Zbigniew Brzezinski has several books out, and he is setting foreign policy to this day. In 1998, he wrote The Grand Chessboard – American Primacy And It’s Geostrategic Imperatives, available on Amazon. He thinks that supremacy of the world depends on controlling the landmass of Eurasia. There is no place for countries called Russia, China or India in his vision. His latest is Strategic Vision – America And The Crisis Of Global Power.

        Look at it this way – he is connected to the Rockefellers, specifically David Rockefeller as the co-founder of the Trilateral Commission.

        By the way, Dick Cheney is also connected to David Rockefeller, however he is not that high up. Dick Cheney is a member of the CFR, and used to be a Director at the CFR. The CFR was once chaired by and is now honorary chaired by David Rockefeller.

      • Joe Tedesky
        October 27, 2014 at 11:12 pm

        MrK, glad you bring these things up…such as David Rockefeller. Since I started reading “Trategy & Hope” by Carroll Quigley, I have a new appreciation for the OZ guy behind the screen. I see you bring up institutions such as the CFR, and Trilateral Commission. I just wish we could know these things in real time, and not 25 to 100 years later. And, then there’s you!
        Joe Tedesky

        • Joe Tedesky
          October 28, 2014 at 11:00 am

          Tragedy & Hope: A History of the World in Our Time…by Carroll Quigley

          Sometime my fingers go faster than my brain…never said I was smart!

  6. david t. krall
    October 25, 2014 at 11:59 pm

    from: david t. krall
    Excellent article, with much insight. Bravo! Confirms what I suspected and knew.
    Hawks and Neo-Cons pushing and pulling Obama apart, or trying to, and attempting to force him. Obama, to be “another LBJ” like in 1964. I suspect that Assad is still the end result, the “endgame” and target. ISIS is just another CIA/DOD proxy army, similar to what was taking place with op. mongoose and JM Wave, and later the Contras. and other assets used/”fine tuned” and sponsored, as terror cadres and militias. ISIS is a direct outgrowth of this and is part of the same (continuing paradigm of CIA/DOD operations.
    regards,
    david t. krall

    • Affy
      October 27, 2014 at 4:02 pm

      Actually, I think Obama deserves much more of the ‘credit’ than he gets. If he didn’t want Ms. Nuland in the Ukraine, she’s gone with one phone call. And there’s nothing after that initial overthrow of the government to indicate that Obama hasn’t been fully on board and thinks its a great idea to support fascist and start a war in Ukraine.

      All these people serve at the pleasure of the President. They can all be fired or asked to resign at any time. If Obama didn’t fully support Ms. Nuland and what she’s doing, one phone call to Mr. Kerry has her transferred to organizing an Eskimo revolt. I really wish people would remember that and stop giving Obama a free pass over and over and over and over.

      Especially, since two other democratically elected governments have been overthrown by Obama (Hondurus and Egypt) and they’ve been trying as hard as they can to overthrow at least one other (Venezuela). How is somehow hard to admit that Obama supporting the overthrow the Ukraine government is clearly part of a very well defined pattern.

      • dahoit
        October 28, 2014 at 12:24 pm

        Yes,and why is Obama given cover by people over and over again?An obvious warmonger with bad karma,I swear his eyes shined when announcing OBL’s alleged death.
        Where’s our nationalist,hiding from Zionist MSM probity?Stand up,be men,and patriots,please!

        • dahoit
          October 28, 2014 at 12:27 pm

          PS,the Eskimos are sitting on a lot of energy reserves,your prediction of moving her to their affairs is probably relevant.

      • Abe
        October 28, 2014 at 3:59 pm

        Soon Nuland will announce that the US has invested more than 5 billion dollars in neo-Nazi Eskimos to counter the “Russian militarization of the Arctic”.

  7. Joe Tedesky
    October 26, 2014 at 1:29 am

    Read Putin’s speech given at the Valdai Discussion Club. Ask yourself if this is a lunatic speaking. Read it all the end is the best.

    http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2014/10/25/vladimir-putin-leader-moral-world-paul-craig-roberts/

  8. F. G. Sanford
    October 26, 2014 at 4:27 am

    I had to laugh when I read the above comment that included the misspelling of the word “micturate”. It means urinate, and I suppose the author was trying to say “pissing contest” in a nice way. That, of course, would have been correctly described as a “micturition contest”, so it becomes apparent that the author is neither an English speaker nor an erudite wordsmith. Redulous rhymes with credulous, but the spelling which appears above does not appear in the Oxford American Dictionary. I’m not sure what language it purports to represent.

    But in this grand scheme of ideological misconceptions emotionalized to garner maximum impact among the credulous, feeble-minded and feckless, even the deluded architects of this withering strategy have failed to recognize the nature of the game.

    To “Defeat the near enemy before the far enemy” is not a geographical concept. It is an allegorical reference to the notion that it is “more important to fight the apostate than the infidel”. The grand scheme is to defeat America, not Putin. Our Neocons are succeeding, and Americans are foolishly playing along. Paradoxically, the Neocons are self-deluded. Nobody hates Jews more than the factions they are courting, and many of their allies are salivating at the prospect of all this turning against Israel. When the time comes, don’t say nobody warned you.

    Americans, even the bright ones, seem to be overwhelmed by the notion that, “It can’t happen here”. It already has, but they haven’t noticed yet.

    By the way, I wish somebody would tap Webster Tarpley on the shoulder and tell him that #ArrestMcCain4ISIS is a dead link, perhaps squashed by the NSA. At least outside of USA, clicking on it results in a message that says, “No Search Results for This Tweet”. Progressives are getting no traction whatsoever in the grand, global scheme of things.

    • Joe Tedesky
      October 26, 2014 at 11:48 am

      F.G., what you are describing would be the ‘Ultimate Trojan Horse’. Yet, what you are saying, makes a lot of sense. Interesting comment Sir.

      I provided a link to Putin’s speech at Valdai. Here Putin talks about working with other countries. Just the opposite of Neocon think. If you get a chance read what he had to say, and then you tell me, if Putin is not displaying moral high ground.

      Joe Tedesky

    • Abe
      October 28, 2014 at 4:04 pm

      The U.S. Department of Micturition is requesting $495.6 billion in authority for the base budget in FY 2015 in line with the Budget Control Act, or BCA, caps as revised by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013.

      • Hillary
        November 1, 2014 at 8:09 am

        Very useful piece of information Abe. I am sure we are all impressed and shocked at this information.

  9. October 26, 2014 at 5:43 am

    With few exceptions, all those who do not agree with – or at least submit to – the peculiar Weltanschauung which rules the roost in Washington and which postulates the United States as the centre of the universe are portrayed in the corporate media in North America and Europe (and Australia, of course) as lunatics and madmen, with a pronounced genocidal streak. Nothing surprising in all this – would be world hegemons have ever reacted to opposition and resistance in this manner – but it hardly serves to promote the sort of cooperation among nations required if humanity is to make through the present century. Either we as a species wake up or we, contrary to John Donne’s hopes, shall sleep eternally….

    Henri

  10. October 26, 2014 at 8:44 am

    Excellent article overall, but the use of loaded language is a bit unsettling. Such terms as “autocrat” and “dictator” are best avoided because on close examination, almost any world leader (especially Obama) has some drawbacks that can place him or her in those categories. For example, Obama was not elected democratically (electoral college, remember, controlled by a plutocratic election system). The US has a much higher percentage of the population behind bars than Libya or Iraq ever did (which government is more oppressive?). Obama starts wars autocratically (without authorization by Congress), etc. Objective analysis demands a neutral point of view and neutral language. Otherwise, we are not different from the likes of The New York Times who call Putin a “tyrant.”

  11. Abe
    October 26, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    Stephen F. Cohen, an American Professor of Russian Studies and History at Princeton University and New York University, has criticized the “pointless demonization”” of Vladimir Putin as an “autocrat“ http://www.thenation.com/article/167746/stop-pointless-demonization-putin#

    Professor Cohen is the author of numerous works including Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives: From Stalinism to the New Cold War (2011) by Columbia University Press. He asserts that US foreign policy is responsible for the continuation of Cold War hostilities between the two countries despite its terminus in 1991, citing NATO ‘s eastward expansion as evidence.

    The vilifying charges levelled at Putin and Russia conform to “Five Principles of War Propaganda” outlined by Belgian journalist and author Michel Collon:
    1. Obscure economic interests.
    2. Invert the victim and the aggressor.
    3. Hide history.
    4. Demonize.
    5. Monopolize the news.

  12. Abe
    October 26, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    The demonization of Putin serves the agenda of NATO expansion up to the western border of Russian.

    According to Professor Stephen F. Cohen, NATO games in Ukraine push the world to 5 minutes before nuclear midnight
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-VgIc2eJbIU

    Q: Just recently, the U.S. has shipped tanks, soldiers, armored vehicles to the Baltic states – I mean, it’s the first time since the end of the Cold War, that U.S. has shipped armed vehicles into Europe. What threat is that aimed at?

    STEPHEN COHEN: Look, this is driven by the Ukrainian crisis. There’s a theory in the West of what the meaning of Ukrainian crisis is – that the Ukrainian crisis was started by Putin – that isn’t true, but that’s believed, that’s the ideology – and the Ukrainian crisis is only the beginning, that Russia, the Kremlin, Putin, Russian imperialism is going to move on to the Baltics, to Poland. It’s all ridiculous, there’s no evidence for it.

    But, there’s been a group in NATO that for at least 15 years – you remember, there was an agreement between NATO and Moscow, that even if NATO would expand, there would be no NATO permanent military bases in these countries that came in closer to Russia – but there’s been a group in NATO for years who wanted to do that, they’ve seized the Ukrainian crisis at the NATO Wales summit, month ago, to create this so-called rapid deployment force of 4,000 men.

    What good are 4 thousand man against the Russian army? Zero, but there’s a reason: there going to go bases, communication centers, barracks, air strips in Poland, in three Baltic countries, maybe in Romania – Romania hasn’t quite agreed – and that would be not only NATO expansion politically, which is what it was previously, and now it’s an actual military expansion.

    In addition, there is a plan, as you know, to build land-based missile defense installations in Poland and in those countries, so you’re right, for the first time there’s a military expansion of NATO, not just political, towards Russia – but it’s not too late to stop it.

    It’s not too late, if leadership does what leadership is supposed to do, if statesmen and women do what they are supposed to do – we can end this Ukrainian crisis and stop this military expansion of NATO, it’s not too late, but it’s five minutes to midnight.

  13. F. G. Sanford
    October 26, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    @ Joe T. – I read your link the other day. Putin is not only lucid and rational, he is actually trying really, really hard not to come right out and say that the US has gone off the bonzo-looney high-dive into the empty bucket of water 150 feet below. If you think the Paul Craig Roberts articles are eye-openers, I recommend going to informationclearinghouse.info and read, “How to Start a War and Lose An Empire”, by Dmitry Orlov. Yes, yes, I know – for all you naysayers, Orlov resorts to a lot of hyperbole and some of his humor is really edgy (“What do these Ukrainian Nazis have to do to prove they are Nazis, build some ovens and roast some Jews?”). I didn’t include the link, because it seems to result in my comments getting blocked, but the time it takes to find the article is well worth the effort.

    Listen – as far as Trojan Horses are concerned, Hitler was one too. Nobody wants to talk about how he got to power. But even before that, there were Lenin and Trotsky (Lenin was exiled in I believe Switzerland and Trotsky was in an internment camp in Anatolia on an island somewhere off the Turkish coast – they were both introduced back into Russia by clandestine means and given lots of western money to destabilize the Russian Empire. NONE OF THESE STRATEGIES ARE NEW, and they ALWAYS backfire!

    As an American Patriot from a family that has participated in the American Armed Forces in every f***ing war since The Revolution, I take no pride in admitting that Dmitry Orlov is right. But the people running our government and foreign policy today are NOT AMERICANS. Sure, most of them appear to have American citizenship, but their loyalties are to foreign governments, transnational corporations, multinational investment franchises and international banking cartels. (Those that have no financial motives or foreign loyalties are just bat-shit crazy.) As soon as the shit hits the fan, they’ll be on a Lear Jet to Switzerland or the Canary Islands. Meanwhile, they’re trying to move the fan, and Russia is trying to pull the plug. No matter what, they’re in neck-deep and they’re desperate. By getting the current administration to become willing co-conspirators to war crimes, international finance crimes, murder by remote control and torture, they’ve insured that the Federal Government will stick by them no matter what – even if that means nuclear holocaust for the rest of us. Read the article – it’s funny, but unfortunately, it’s no joke.

    • Joe Tedesky
      October 26, 2014 at 6:57 pm

      F.G. Glad to get your input. I read “How to Start a War and Lose An Empire”, by Dmitry Orlov” the other day, and read it again since you mentioned it. Orlov, lays it out perfectly. More people should read Orlov’s article, and read Putin’s Valdai Discussion Club speech. Both pieces say it all, pretty well.

      I am like you when it comes to my disguise with our current government’s shakers and makers. Although, being a true patriot doesn’t always mean you need to agree with everything when it comes to policies. If that were the case, then it would be impossible to run for public office. In fact, one could say that disagreeing is what makes a real democracy. Well, and then there are the Diebold voting machines.

      Thanks, for all your intelligent comments. You are a Good American!
      Joe Tedesky

    • Abe
      October 28, 2014 at 11:53 am

      It’s a new, mixed-mode sort of war. It’s not a total war to the death, although the US is being rather incautious by the old Cold War standards in avoiding a nuclear confrontation. It’s an information war—based on lies and unjust vilification; it’s a financial and economic war—using sanctions; it’s a political war—featuring violent overthrow of elected governments and support for hostile regimes on Russia’s borders; and it’s a military war—using ineffectual but nevertheless insulting moves such as stationing a handful of US troops in Estonia. And the goals of this war are clear: it is to undermine Russia economically, destroy it politically, dismember it geographically, and turn it into a pliant vassal state that furnishes natural resources to the West practically free of charge (with a few hand-outs to a handful of Russian oligarchs and criminal thugs who play ball). But it doesn’t look like any of that is going to happen because, you see, a lot of Russians actually get all that, and will choose leaders who will not win any popularity contests in the West but who will lead them to victory.

      Given the realization that the US and Russia are, like it or not, in a state of war, no matter how opaque or muddled, people in Russia are trying to understand why this is and what it means.

      http://cluborlov.blogspot.com/2014/10/how-to-start-war-and-lose-empire.html

  14. Abe
    October 26, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    “NATO claims that the missile shield was not built against you but against Iran”.
    Putin’s response in the documentary film, Ich Putin, Ein Porträt
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fo0wcY7-xxw

    in 2011 and 2012, German journalist and documentary filmmaker Hubert Seipel became the first Western journalist to accompany the Russian President Vladimir Putin for several months. The German public broadcast consortium ARD aired the documentary in February 2012.

    Seipel later conducted the world’s first television interview with Edward Snowden after the Snowden leaks. ARD aired that interview in January 2014.

  15. Abe
    October 26, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    With Putin’s designation as the West’s political “enemy,” it may be useful to examine the German political theorist Carl Schmitt’s the influential political concept of the “friend-enemy distinction” and its implementation under the Nazi regime.

    In 1926, Schmitt wrote his most famous paper, “Der Begriff des Politischen” (“The Concept of the Political”), in which he developed his theory of “the political”. Distinct from party politics, “the political” is the essence of politics for Schmitt .

    According to Schmitt, while churches are predominant in religion or society is predominant in economics, the state is predominant in politics. Yet for Schmitt the political was not an autonomous domain equivalent to the other domains, but rather the existential basis that would determine any other domain should it reach the point of politics (e.g. religion ceases to be merely theological when it makes a clear distinction between the “friend” and the “enemy”).

    For Schmitt, the political is not equal to any other domain, such as the economic, but instead is the most essential to identity.

    Schmitt, in perhaps his best-known formulation, bases his conceptual realm of state sovereignty and autonomy upon the distinction between friend and enemy. This distinction is to be determined “existentially,” which is to say that the enemy is whoever is “in a specially intense way, existentially something different and alien, so that in the extreme case conflicts with him are possible.” (Schmitt, 1996, p. 27)

    For Schmitt, such an enemy need not even be based on nationality: so long as the conflict is potentially intense enough to become a violent one between political entities, the actual substance of enmity may be anything.

    Although there have been divergent interpretations concerning Schmitt’s work, there is broad agreement that “The Concept of the Political” is an attempt to achieve state unity by defining the content of politics as opposition to the “other” (that is to say, an enemy, a stranger. This applies to any person or entity that represents a serious threat or conflict to one’s own interests.) In addition, the prominence of the state stands as a neutral force over potentially fractious civil society, whose various antagonisms must not be allowed to reach the level of the political, lest civil war result.

    Leo Strauss, a political Zionist and follower of Vladimir Jabotinsky, had a position at the Academy of Jewish Research in Berlin. Strauss wrote to Schmitt in 1932 and summarized Schmitt’s political theology thus: “[B]ecause man is by nature evil, he therefore needs dominion. But dominion can be established, that is, men can be unified only in a unity against – against other men. Every association of men is necessarily a separation from other men… the political thus understood is not the constitutive principle of the state, of order, but a condition of the state.”

    With a letter of recommendation from Schmitt, Strauss received a fellowship from the Rockefeller Foundation to begin work, in France, on a study of Hobbes. Schmitt went on to become a figure of influence in the new Nazi government of Adolf Hitler.

    On 30 January 1933,Hitler was appointed chancellor of Germany. The SA and SS led torchlight parades throughout Berlin. Germans who opposed Nazism failed to unite against it, and Hitler soon moved to consolidate absolute power.

    Following the 27 February Reichstag fire, the Nazis began to suspend civil liberties and eliminate political opposition. The Communists were excluded from the Reichstag. At the March 1933 elections, again no single party secured a majority. Hitler required the vote of the Centre Party and Conservatives in the Reichstag to obtain the powers he desired. He called on Reichstag members to vote for the Enabling Act on 24 March 1933.

    Hitler was granted plenary powers “temporarily” by the passage of the Enabling Act. The law gave him the freedom to act without parliamentary consent and even without constitutional limitations.

    Schmitt joined the Nazi Party on 1 May 1933. Within days of joining the party, Schmitt was party to the burning of books by Jewish authors, rejoicing in the burning of “un-German” and “anti-German” material, and calling for a much more extensive purge, to include works by authors influenced by Jewish ideas.[

    In July 1933, Schmitt was appointed State Councillor for Prussia (Preußischer Staatsrat) by Hermann Göring and became the president of the Vereinigung nationalsozialistischer Juristen (“Union of National-Socialist Jurists”) in November. He also replaced Hermann Heller as professor at the University of Berlin (a position he held until the end of World War II). He presented his theories as an ideological foundation of the Nazi dictatorship, and a justification of the Führer state with regard to legal philosophy, in particular through the concept of auctoritas.

    Half a year later, in June 1934, Schmitt was appointed editor-in-chief of the Nazi news organ for lawyers, the Deutsche Juristen-Zeitung (“German Jurists’ Journal”). In July 1934, he published in it “The Leader Protects the Law (Der Führer schützt das Recht)”, a justification of the political murders of the Night of the Long Knives with the authority of Hitler as the “highest form of administrative justice (höchste Form administrativer Justiz)”.

    Schmitt presented himself as a radical anti-semite and also was the chairman of a law teachers’ convention in Berlin in October 1936, where he demanded that German law be cleansed of the “Jewish spirit (jüdischem Geist)”, going so far as to demand that all publications by Jewish scientists should henceforth be marked with a small symbol.

    Nevertheless, in December 1936, the SS publication Das schwarze Korps accused Schmitt of being an opportunist, and called his anti-semitism a mere pretense, citing earlier statements in which he criticized the Nazis’ racial theories. After this, Schmitt resigned from his position as “Reichsfachgruppenleiter” (Reich Professional Group Leader), although he retained his post as a professor in Berlin, and his post as “Preußischer Staatsrat”.

    After World War II, Schmitt refused every attempt at de-nazification, which effectively barred him from positions in academia. Despite being isolated from the mainstream of the scholarly and political community, he continued his studies especially of international law from the 1950s on.

    In 1962, Schmitt gave lectures in Francoist Spain, two of them giving rise to the publication, the following year, of Theory of the Partisan, in which he qualified the Spanish civil war as a “war of national liberation” against “international Communism.”

    Schmitt regarded the partisan as a specific and significant phenomenon that, in the latter half of the twentieth century, indicated the emergence of a new theory of warfare.

    • F. G. Sanford
      October 26, 2014 at 4:19 pm

      I’m not as smart as Abe, so I have to explain Schmitt in simpler terms. That’s hard to do, because Schmitt engaged in a particularly convoluted form of circular reasoning. According to Schmitt, the “sovereign is he who decides on the state of exception”, in other words, “he who makes the friend-enemy distinction without exception”. The ability to make that distinction is what validates “sovereignty”, and the sovereign may invoke that state of exception “without contradiction”. When Schmitt speaks of “partisan” contradiction, he is referring to eradication of INTERNAL enemies of the state. The “State of Exception”, therefore, refers to the primacy of political over legal authority: “Genuine political authority cannot be constrained by any legal statute”.

      This is the reasoning referred to in the development of NDAA, The Patriot Act, and the juridical justification for non-judicial execution of American citizens. Schmitt was referenced BY NAME in the deliberations leading to the development of these legal instruments. Keep in mind, Schmitt was known affectionately as, “Hitler’s Lawyer” and, “The Crown Jewel of Nazi Jurisprudence”. Still think The United States is a democracy? Until these laws are tested by a Supreme Court challenge, our country is a plenipotentiary dictatorship with suspended Constitutional rights. If upheld by The Supreme Court, then we’ll be just a plan old dictatorship.

      • Holly
        October 27, 2014 at 4:19 pm

        If we still followed the US Constitution, it would be quite different. That document clearly gives the power to declare war to the Congress.

      • Gregory Kruse
        October 27, 2014 at 8:42 pm

        Self-effacement is so rare these days.

    • Abe
      October 27, 2014 at 2:18 pm

      Thank you, F.G. for highlighting the abysmal circularity of Schmitt’s thought.

      I recommend the article by Benno Gerhard Teschke: “Fatal attraction: a critique of Carl Schmitt’s international political and legal theory” http://core.kmi.open.ac.uk/download/pdf/8768262.pdf

      In a 1933 speech at Oxford, Albert Einstein famously declared, “It can scarcely be denied that the supreme goal of all theory is to make the irreducible basic elements as simple and as few as possible without having to surrender the adequate representation of a single datum of experience.” The better known paraphrase of this quote is “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.”

      There is no more simple statement of Schmitt’s friend-enemy distinction than the words of this intellectual giant:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3sfNROmn7bc

      Ask not at whom the chimp smirks — he smirks at you.

      In that Schmittian fulmination known as the Bush Doctrine, the “partisan” is transformed into the “terrorist,” no longer “internal” but a truly “global” enemy to be destroyed wherever found.

      As further codified by the Obama Doctrine: the decider has the right.

      The world-ordering, planet-appropriating doctrine of American exceptionalism has no space in its Grossraum (great space) concept for a “Eurasia.”

      The very enunciation of a “Eurasian” political sphere is a “terrorist” act, and all those associated with such “lunacy” are “enemies” to be annihilated.

      Got that, Vlad?

  16. CCCP
    October 26, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    Excellent and objective article. I express my respect to the author.

  17. Someone
    October 27, 2014 at 6:10 am

    Truth at least. Thank you for you professionalism.

  18. Arindam
    October 27, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    One suspects that Washington is projecting its own lunacy onto its adversary.

  19. Freddie
    October 27, 2014 at 4:23 pm

    Why do people read the NYTimes? For journalists and people doing research sure, I understand that. But surely for most people, the best thing to do is to just stop reading them. Not only does it keep such junk out of your mind, it takes a step forward towards putting them out of business.

    My favorite scene in V for Vendetta was when the Great Leader tried to speak to his people, and there was nothing but empty chairs in front of the tellies.

    • Joe Tedesky
      October 28, 2014 at 10:54 am

      Freddie, I agree with you. The good news is, your here, and we’re here. It’s encouraging to see more, and more people comment on this site. This may not be enough to change the world, but it is nice to see there are still some sane people still left in America.
      Joe Tedesky

  20. Henry
    October 27, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    Although I agree with your point about the demonization of Putin, I disagree with some of your characterizations of the Obama administration. First of all, “liberal interventionist” is a bit of a euphemism. A better term is “liberal imperialist” or LIMP, and the only significant difference between the LIMPS and the neo-cons is party affiliation. You represent Obama as “acquiescing” to the LIMPS and “balking” at the neo-cons, when neither is accurate. Obama had already notified France of his intention to launch military action against Syria, and he changed his mind, not because reason prevailed or that he had pangs of conscience, but because his pollsters had detected the overwhelming opposition of the electorate, which had to be taken in to account for purely pragmatic reasons.

  21. Joe Tedesky
    October 28, 2014 at 10:44 am

    Apparently Russia is pushing back on the slander….read this;

    http://rt.com/news/200071-putin-misquotations-barroso-sikorski/

    Now, let’s see if this gets reported in America. A good bet, would be that it never sees the light of day here in the U.S.. Then again, if it does get reported, then what will be the exceptional spin? I’ll bet more people are aware of the cancellation of ‘Honey Boo Boo’ than they are aware of what Putin said in some speech.

  22. Pepe
    October 29, 2014 at 10:04 am

    There is a deep reactionary streak even among supposedly liberals in “liberal” sites. One of those sites suspended me from posting because I excerpted and linked to an article from this site.

    • Abe
      October 30, 2014 at 11:18 pm

      Your vague and dubious comment seems like a crude effort to smear both “liberal” sites in general and this site in particular.

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