Europe Sleepwalks toward World War III

The West’s scary new catch phrase for anything the diabolical Russians do is “hybrid war,” accusing Moscow of spreading propaganda and funding NGOs, pretty much what the West has been doing for decades, as Gilbert Doctorow explains.

By Gilbert Doctorow

The momentum into a new Cold War – and possibly toward World War III – is growing stronger, a process in Europe that has the look of a brain-dead continent sleepwalking toward the abyss, unwilling or unable to resist the accumulation of harsh propaganda against Russia.

Indeed, the new buzz word in the West — directed against anyone who challenges whatever extreme charge is made against Moscow — is that you’re part of Russia’s “hybrid war” against the West. In other words, silencing these few voices of dissent is portrayed as a defensive measure against “Russian aggression.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin, following his address to the UN General Assembly on Sept. 28, 2015. (UN Photo)

Russian President Vladimir Putin, following his address to the UN General Assembly on Sept. 28, 2015. (UN Photo)

Of course, this intimidation of those speaking up against a new Cold War is reminiscent of the old Cold War when people who urged peaceful coexistence were smeared as communist stooges. Now, you can expect to be dismissed as a fifth columnist serving your Kremlin masters as they wage “hybrid war,” a vague concept that suggests that criticizing the West’s policies is just one element of a hostile strategy hatched in Moscow.

A microcosm of this benighted attitude could be seen in an otherwise humdrum conference last week before the European Parliament, which aside from its quasi-legislative functions is host to numerous informational events in its conference rooms and auditoriums.

The organizer of the event was Anna Fotyga, a European parliamentarian (or MEP) from Poland who has had a very high profile in that country’s domestic politics within what is now the ruling party in Warsaw, the right-wing Law and Justice party (PiS in Polish). During 2006-2007, she was the Minister of Foreign Affairs in the first government of the Kaczynski brothers, PiS’ founders.

The foreign policy of PiS both then and today is marked by Euroskepticism and hostile rhetoric directed against Poland’s big neighbors, Germany and Russia, although today the emphasis is one of Russophobia and a full-scale resurrection of a Cold War in which Poland plays a unique role as America’s advance military post and bastion against Russia.

For Fotyga, serving in the European Parliament (EP), is by no means a political exile, as is often assumed to be the case when speaking about high-flying politicians who are sent to Brussels. On the contrary, the EP has provided her with an excellent platform to continue on a pan-European scale the policies she worked on from Warsaw.

Fotyga has been a leading member of the group of 75 MEPs from Poland and the Baltic States, accounting for just 10 percent of the parliamentary seats, who have been the driving force behind a succession of virulently anti-Russian resolutions that were approved with ever greater frequency by the European Parliament in the past couple of years.

Demonizing Russia

From her words last week, it was clear that she is now working on a new effort to pass a law through the EP that requires European non-governmental organizations (or NGOs) receiving funding from abroad to report the details to the authorities. It was not clear, however, whether the application would be universal or just concern funding coming from Russia, though the context of the meeting suggests such selective application is likely what is intended.

Surely it would not be in the interests of the sponsors of the bill to publicize the extent to which European civil society is being funded and directed by proxies of the U.S. government.

As Fotyga told us, the model for such a law is the U.S. Foreign Agents Registration Act, which served also as the model for the Kremlin a couple of years ago when it introduced such a requirement amid concerns that U.S.-funded operations such as the National Endowment for Democracy might try to initiate a “color revolution” in Moscow, similar to what has occurred in other ex-Soviet states and other countries on Washington’s “regime change” list.

At the time, Moscow was denounced in Europe and the U.S. for this measure, which was alleged to be part of a crackdown on civil society, i.e., forcing NGOs operating in Russia to acknowledge their foreign backers and exposing them to ridicule from patriots or be shut down for failing to file. [See’s “Why Russia Shut Down NED Fronts.”]

Screen shot of the fatal fire in Odessa, Ukraine, on May 2, 2014. (From RT video)

Screen shot of the fatal fire in Odessa, Ukraine, on May 2, 2014, which killed several dozen ethnic Russians opposing the post-coup regime in Kiev. (From RT video)

The report, presented at the conference last week, was directed against the agents of Russian “soft power,” and in particular, the Kremlin-funded NGO “Russkiy Mir” (The Russian World) which serves the Russian diaspora abroad. Such a report was a useful exhibit for Fotyga in her proposed new anti-Russian campaign.

The author and presenter of the report was Orysia Lutsevych, a Ukrainian national based in London, where she works as manager of the Ukraine Forum in the Russia and Eurasia Programme of the British think tank Chatham House, which was the publisher of her report.

Though Chatham House has had a long and distinguished history, today it is not the salon of aristocrats and intellectuals as it was perhaps once upon a time. A large majority of its experts on Russia and the former Soviet Union are clearly aligned with the Liberals who had the run of Russia in the 1990s under President Boris Yeltsin when insiders expropriated much of the country’s wealth, creating a small caste of billionaires and a wide chasm of Russians falling into poverty. These Chatham experts are fiercely critical of Vladimir Putin’s Russia today.

Secondly, Lutsevych’s résumé as posted on the Chatham House website set off alarm bells for anyone expecting unbiased academic research on Russia. Her Masters degree in international relations was taken at Lviv State University, in the heartland of the Maidan movement of radical Ukrainian nationalism.

Her second MS is said to have been in “public administration” from the University of Missouri-Columbia, which boasts about its skills at public relations, saying “Students come to us with the desire to change the world.[bold type theirs]. We give them the practical knowledge and skills to make a difference for people, organizations and communities.” That sounds a lot like an advanced degree in propaganda and organizing “color revolutions.”

Her employment record backs up this interpretation of her skills. Her professional career began in 2005-07 as Deputy Director of the PAUCI Foundation, an acronym for the Polish Ukrainian Cooperation Foundation. From there she moved to the position of Executive Director of the newly founded Open Ukraine Foundation of Arseniy Yatsenyuk (the same “Yats” whom U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland promoted in 2014 to be the premier of post-coup d’état Ukraine).

In 2009, Lutsevych served as Head of Development at Europe House Georgia. And in 2012 she finally found her niche in the West, becoming a fellow of the Russia and Eurasia Programme, Chatham House, where we find her today.

Seeing Russian ‘Agents’

Given where Lutsevych is coming from, her report entitled “Agents of the Russian World. Proxy Groups in the Contested Neighbourhood” is rather bland and seemingly inoffensive. Russia’s perspective on relations with the West as a defense against ever increasing encroachments is set out with reasonable accuracy.

Russian President Vladimir Putin taking the presidential oath at his third inauguration ceremony  on May 7, 2012. (Russian government photo)

Russian President Vladimir Putin taking the presidential oath at his third inauguration ceremony on May 7, 2012. (Russian government photo)

The problem is the very British logic of “you would say that, wouldn’t you,” meaning that Russian perceptions remain just that –  perceptions –  which implicitly, by default, do not correspond to reality, though that assumption is never tested or proven.

Yet, the record shows unequivocally that the Kremlin’s foreign policy follows one principle only, Realism, meaning defense of national strategic interests, and is not subject to Romantic nationalist visions of any kind. But the author repeats the convenient deception that Russian policy is guided by the obscurantist philosophy of former Moscow State professor Alexander Dugin, currently in official disgrace, with his Eurasianism and antipathy to the values of the West. Imperial ambitions are attributed to “the current Russian leadership” without the slightest attempt to provide proof.

If we cut to the quick, what is missing in this report is any attempt to place Russian state policies, supposedly aimed at developing soft power abroad, in an historical or geographical context. Historical analysis, with play-by-play recounting of who did what to whom, would make it plain that Russia built NGOs to further its language, culture and political interests abroad as a delayed response to the realities of the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1992.

Because of that collapse, Russian speakers and/or ethnic Russians overnight became the world’s single largest national group living outside the political borders of its own ethnos. They became subject to treatment as second-class citizens or, as in the case of the Baltic States, to revocation of civil rights. They numbered perhaps 25 million, though estimates range as high as 40 million.

The delay in official Russian state response to this reality may be explained by Russia’s own self-absorption with its severe economic problems in the turbulent 1990s when the great mass of the population fell below the poverty line. The emergence of Russia from its “time of troubles” early in the new millennium under President Putin made it possible finally to deal with the sad fate of Russia’s former compatriots living abroad.

And it has done so in the most circumspect way, especially when compared to the currently fashionable principle in Western international relations asserting a “responsibility to protect” threatened minorities. “R2P” apparently justifies military interventions in countries governed by U.S. adversaries, such as Libya and Syria, but not in, say, Ukraine where the endangered civilians are ethnic Russians.

Russia’s ‘Soft Power’

The report’s author Lutsevych correctly indicated that nearly all of Russia’s ‘’soft power” investments in supporting its language, culture and identity abroad is invested in former Soviet Union space, especially Ukraine and Kazakhstan, which happen to be where the greatest number of ethnic Russians and Russian speakers — left adrift in 1992 — happen to live.

The neo-Nazi Wolfsangel symbol on a banner in Ukraine.

The neo-Nazi Wolfsangel symbol on a banner in Ukraine.

In fact, the only area where Russian support for compatriots through state-financed NGOs has relevance to the European Union is the Baltic States of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania. There this issue is conflated by Russia’s detractors in the European Parliament with the very emotive notion of “hybrid warfare” that Russia is said to have waged in its takeover of Crimea in March 2014 and in the Donbass conflict in eastern Ukraine (where ethnic Russians were under threat of violent attack).

It is also symptomatic of the entire anti-Russian narrative to ignore similar NGO activities by the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and even Spain through a great variety of platforms that they have established around the world, with an emphasis on former colonies or territories of historical interest.

Put in this context, the Russian efforts are exceedingly modest and would never justify the attention that they are receiving from Moscow’s detractors. But the broader lesson is that the authors of such reports never look in the mirror and ask what they themselves are doing. Everything Russia is doing is taken to be unique, calculating and sinister whereas the West’s actions set a gold standard for selflessness, generosity and good governance.

In this same connection, it is more than ironic that the Acknowledgements page of the report thanks the German Marshall Fund of the United States and the Robert Bosch Stiftung for financing that made its publication possible. Both entities fit perfectly Lutsevych’s remarks on how state-funded agents and loyal business interests fund modern state propaganda, a system that the United States and the West, in general, have pioneered. [See’s “The Victory of Perception Management.”]

At the seminar, we were told by Lutsevych that she would not go over the entire thesis of the research because her 43-page brochure-report was handed out to all attendees. And so we were treated to what she considered highlights and to a free exchange with the audience.

This, in fact, is what justifies going to such events, because when away from their editors and handlers, the rapporteurs and politician-hosts can give free expression to their fantasies and share some memorable and very telling indications of what they really have in mind. Such was the case on May 31.

They do this in full confidence that the audience or participants are either meek underlings or colleagues who are like-minded to themselves. MEPs tend not to show up. Assistants and researchers will not pose hostile questions. And the general public has been screened in advance by the registration process.

Selecting the Audience

In this regard, possibly hostile members of the general public are weeded out in advance. I note that my request for registration by email in which I identified my institutional affiliation was rejected by Fotyga’s assistant on the morning of the event. Very likely she googled me before responding that the registration list was already closed.

Ukraine's Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk

Ukraine’s now-former Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk

And yet, when the session opened, perhaps 10 percent of the seats were vacant. So, I got in with the help of a kindly administrative assistant who works for an MEP with whom Fotyga is at odds. During the whole session, both Fotyga and Lutsevych stared pointedly at me much of the time, as if expecting some protest flag to be unfurled.

The highlight — and a good indication of the mental abilities of the author of the report — came at the end of Q&A when Lutsevych chose to explain the nature of Putin’s distortions of our Western political concepts that his agents supposedly are spreading in our midst.

According to Lutsevych’s account, democracy, as Putin understands it, is rule by majority and referendums whereas for the West democracy is protection of minorities, meaning proportional representation, etc. The context for Lutsevych’s thinking was surely the referendum in Crimea in which some 96 percent of the voters favored leaving Ukraine and rejoining Russia or possibly it was the recent Dutch referendum opposing ratification of the European Union-Ukraine association agreement.

There were very few questions from the audience and, in fact, the session broke up a half an hour early. But there was one question that deserves careful attention. It came in response to remarks by Lutsevych at the start of her presentation.

Lutsevych opened her talk citing an interview recently given by  Svetlana Alekseevich, in which the Nobel prize-winning author from Belarus said that Russians want to live in a “great country” rather than a “normal country.” In Lutsevych’s estimation, Russia’s neo-imperial ambitions are behind its creation of a Russkiy Mir ideology and its seeking to obstruct the integration process of its shared neighborhood, namely Ukraine and Moldova, with the European Union. Hence, too, the strongly anti-American narrative which Russian proxy agents supposedly disseminate abroad in the information (or hybrid) war.

These words, which were among the very few observations which went off script from the report, elicited a “question” or, more properly speaking, a comment from the one MEP in attendance, Eugen Freund, an Austrian member of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, the center-left half of the coalition that effectively controls the European Parliament.

Freund remarked that he was initially uncertain which country with a known belief in its “exceptionalism” the speaker was talking about, the United States of America or Russia. Said Freund, there was nothing very unusual in Russia’s soft power agenda.

To this Lutsevych responded that while similarities may seem to exist, the content was utterly different. To be sure, America’s Freedom House and National Endowment for Democracy are both largely funded by the U.S. Treasury, but they have independent governing boards and congressional oversight by bipartisan committees, she said. Moreover, she added, their employees are genuinely dedicated to doing good works in a charitable spirit. To whom she was addressing these fairy tales from Cold War mythology is not at all clear.

Brain-dead and the Abyss

The conference also underscored another problematic element in the way European politicians tend to address the darkening storm clouds of a new Cold War. There is timidity about challenging the emerging “group think” that exaggerates the evils of Russia and ignores Moscow’s understandable worries and concerns.

Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland during a press conference at the U.S. Embassy in Kiev, Ukraine, on Feb. 7, 2014. (U.S. State Department photo)

Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland during a press conference at the U.S. Embassy in Kiev, Ukraine, on Feb. 7, 2014. (U.S. State Department photo)

While individual countries in Europe have reputations for ingrained individualism and divergence of opinion, Europe as a whole has a reputation for consensus or going with the flow, even if the flow is heading over the cliff.

I have little doubt that MEP Freund’s views on the intellectual merit of the presentation and presenters on May 31 differed little from my own, but he contented himself with one critical remark rather than deconstructing the arguments as a whole.

And, there is the nub. Without open debate on the key issues of European security including relations with Russia, we all are losers. We, in the minority who are warning about the dangers and the mindlessness of a new Cold War, are busy shadow boxing because no one invites us into the ring. When we do speak out, our loyalty is questioned. We are accused of advancing Russia’s “hybrid war.”

And those in the ring, like Fotyga and Lutsevych, produce specious arguments in favor of the reckless policies pushing Europe toward an ill-considered and very expensive conflict, one that could veer out of control into a hot war, even a nuclear war. This is what I mean when I describe a brain-dead continent sleepwalking toward the abyss.

Gilbert Doctorow is the European Coordinator of The American Committee for East West Accord Ltd. His most recent book, Does Russia Have a Future? was published in August 2015. © Gilbert Doctorow, 2016

29 comments for “Europe Sleepwalks toward World War III

  1. Rikhard Ravindra Tanskanen
    June 7, 2016 at 15:01

    I do not believe there was been persecution of ethnic Russians in Ukraine, and Russia has been using propaganda. But that being said, the West does the same thing, and the fact that Freedom House and National Endowment for Democracy “have independent governing boards” doesn’t change anything. The fact that they are funded by the U.S government puts them in the debt of the U.S government like politicians are in the debt of corporations, and bipartisan Congressional oversight only means that they serve all branches of the U.S government instead of the Cabinet of a particular administration. Also, the National Endowment for Democracy was founded during the Cold War, and Freedom House compared Russia to the United Arab Emirates and Yemen, while ignoring abuses by U.S allies, according to Wikipedia – they’re obviously just puppets of the U.S government.

    • Rikhard Ravindra Tanskanen
      June 7, 2016 at 15:12

      Oh, I forgot. I don’t think there will be a Third World War with Russia. Russia and China are needed in the War on Terror, and Russia is needed to defeat the Islamic State in the War on Terror. That will prevent a Third World War. Yes, the Doomsday Clock is now at 3 minutes to midnight, but if there is no crisis that would lead to war, no war will happen – the closest the clock was to midnight was 2 minutes to midnight in 1953 due to the U.S and Soviet Union performing nuclear tests over a 9-month period – since there was no crisis that would have lead to war, the clock was not set at 1 minute, and hence the risk of war was lesser than it would have been. Now, if the War on Terror had ended, there would be a greater chance of war.

      • Joe L.
        June 7, 2016 at 19:39

        Rikhard Ravindra Tanskanen… When it comes to Islamic State, I am still trying to figure out the dynamics. What I mean is that I believe it was the US that helped create the Mujahideen in 1979, six months before the Afghan/Soviet War, with $500 Million – the Mujahideen would go onto become Al Qaeda and the Taliban (with ISIS, Daesh, becoming an offshoot of Al Qaeda from within Iraq after Hussein was overthrown). Then we have VP Joe Biden speaking about how our allies in the Middle East, Turkey/Saudi Arabia/Qatar, are funding and arming ISIS and Al Qaeda because they are so hellbent on regime change in Syria. Yet these countries are still supposedly our allies even though we are supposedly fighting ISIS and Al Qaeda meanwhile they are funding and arming them! Then we have recently where the US has asked Russia to stop bombing the Al Nusra Front (Al Qaeda) in Syria because supposedly US “moderates” are fighting side-by-side with them. So, I am not really sure if ISIS is our ally or our enemy… regardless of what our governments are saying. All that I seem to see is that with every country that we overthrow then Al Qaeda and its’ offshoots get larger and stronger meanwhile these terrorists are pulling off the “regime change” that the United States, and the west, have long planned. So as for Russia being needed to defeat the Islamic State, I would say the jury is still out on that…

        Also, historically we had a Cuban Missile Crisis which almost brought us to WW3 in 1962 where Kennedy drew a red line about the installation of Soviet Missiles in Cuba (even though the US had missiles in Turkey). Meanwhile now we have missiles become active in Romania and NATO has expanded right up to Russia’s border – how is that not dangerous? Add in all of the US military bases which encircle both Russia and China then I think we are in a precarious situation indeed. Now we also have the US, NATO, and Russia head-to-head on different sides of the conflict in Syria. I think it would just take one mistake, one provocation, and all bets are off.

    • Zachary Smith
      June 8, 2016 at 14:15

      I do not believe there was been persecution of ethnic Russians in Ukraine

      The Ukrainian nazis simply practice love and brotherhood, huh?

  2. Robert
    June 7, 2016 at 12:47

    Europe is a vassal of the US. Through military occupation, regime change, sanctions, subsidies, and spying the Europeans have and will continue to pay the price for failing to stand up to the US. It appears that Russia and China will be forced to fire the first missile because 2nd place is a guaranteed loss in any future conflict. It needs to be stated that Sanctions and Subsidies are indeed acts of war designed to force others to do what they are not compelled in their own interests to do. Perhaps those who call themselves ‘leaders’ in Europe have forgotten the horror of WW1 and WW2 . World War 3 will be Total because the only country to ever use nuclear weapons will not be the only one to use them this go around.
    Perhaps US thinks it will survive nuclear war unscathed or that China and Russia will just roll over to US hegemony as most of Europe has, rather than fight for their survival.
    The propaganda of Russia attacking is stupid, A country of 140 million ethnically diverse people in a country as large as North America as poor as they are! Besides the US has missle sites all along their extensive border with ignorant, brainwashed european and american soldiers lined up to die in the coming conflict. It’s the Bankers and military industrialist who want a war, the politicans just do as they are told.

  3. Peter Loeb
    June 7, 2016 at 07:34


    Part of the US-West attack against Russia is blaming Russia for
    its failure to…[enter: follow US current line such as negotiate for
    a “political transition”:, code for elimination of B. Ashad regime].

    Russia and its colleagues should respond that 1. they support
    Assad and 2. the US and West must immediately require its
    client, Israel, to completely withdraw from occupied Palestine
    (international accomodation as often suggested for Jeruselum
    due to its central role for many religions), evacuations
    totally of ALL settlements for Jews- only in Palestine 2. Israel’s
    joining NPT 3. Elimination of the so-called
    “security wall”(declared illegal by UN) 4. Conclusion of a treaty with
    the 5+1 similar to the Iran deal mandating demobilisation of
    ALL Israeli sites for manufacture of nuclear weapons and
    WMD’s (including drones) 5.random complete inspection of
    ALL Israeli sites by IAEA 6. continued random inspection
    7. all sites by IAEA to see that agreement is always
    maintained 7. sanctions to be imposed (embargo?) should Israel
    fail in its agreement. 8. End of “blockades” 9.
    end of Israeli Military Rule in all phases.10.Immediate end of Israeli
    blockage /destruction of EU and other redevelopment projects
    11. Immediate end to Israeli control of humanitarian aid ….

    Instead of being “radical”, much of these recommendations have
    been passed many times over b y the UN General Assembly but
    blocked in the UN Security Coluncil by the US and its
    (probably bribed?) “allies”.

    Instead the US is permitted to claim that it is following international
    law and order while Palestinians are attacked, murdered etc. every day
    by Israelis with US weaponry.

    Many thanks, as always, for this essay by Mr. Doctorow
    giving many of us information we otherwise would not have.

    —-Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

  4. Curious
    June 7, 2016 at 05:27

    Thank you Mr. Doctorow for this well written and informative article. Thank you also for ‘naming names’.

    re: the interview recently given by Svetlana Alekseevich, in which the Nobel prize-winning author from Belarus said that Russians want to live in a “great country” rather than a “normal country.”

    When we interviewed Russian people in the 90s it was said, even to the farmer in the fields separate from the big city dramas “we were a big, and great country, but now we are nothing, as we are small” This is a human dynamic of course.

    The ground level emotions of so many people were striking and emotional. But as we were to learn later, losing around 20 million people in a war is part of their marrow and has created it’s own multicultural ethnocentricity and pride, as it should.

    The empty, shallow vessels who go to war school, and fake ‘scholars’ who learn how to manipulate people, create wars and destruction in order to gain influence, money, and control over others should always be announced as frauds. It is sad so many ‘journalists’ are quiet and complicit. They don’t know what it’s like to ‘pray in the foxholes’ for survival, and yet they are willing to create the ‘foxholes’ for others. For many of the trained propagandists, it is a game, a strategy, and a way to ‘win’. But to tell the ‘exceptionalists’ that Russian is only countering US militarism is ‘Verboten’.

    As a reminder for people of a newer generation: people used to go to Las Vegas in the 50s to sit at a bar and watch the mushroom clouds tested in the desert near area 51, which was within sight. They had no idea of the destruction and nuclear fallout (not unlike sitting 13 years ago with people who had a martini glass in one hand while cheering on Shock & Awe with the other) The US even exploded a nuke in our planets’ ozone layer just to see what it would do. I think the word is ‘clueless’. It’s past time to realize those, who are proselytizing war and dramatizing war, know nothing about the human suffering, and nukes have a power unknown to most all of us.

    Thank you Consortium News for giving voice to people like Mr Doctorow.

    • James lake
      June 7, 2016 at 10:58

      You lost me when you quoted that Russophobe who makes her living slagging off Russia and Russians.
      Just because she claims to know about Russia doesn’t mean she does, it just weaponising identity politics.

      • Curious
        June 7, 2016 at 17:03

        I believe I was quoting from the nobel prize-winning author. Apologies if I was mistaken in my use of the quote.

  5. Kiza
    June 7, 2016 at 04:49

    “America’s Freedom House and National Endowment for Democracy are both largely funded by the U.S. Treasury, but they have independent governing boards and congressional oversight by bipartisan committees, she said. Moreover, she added, their employees are genuinely dedicated to doing good works in a charitable spirit.”

    I read this as: “Pablo Escobar’s employees are genuinely dedicated to doing good works in a charitable spirit”.

    Both are equally true, just ask the recipients of such charity.

    But the most likely scenario of Russia’s attack on the Baltic states, full of Nazis, is that in one of the statelets they organize a massacre of the Russian minority just like in Odessa. After all, the neo-Nazis in Eastern Europe appear to work for NATO.

  6. Andrew Nichols
    June 7, 2016 at 03:32

    Now, you can expect to be dismissed as a fifth columnist serving your Kremlin masters as they wage “hybrid war,” a vague concept that suggests that criticizing the West’s policies is just one element of a hostile strategy hatched in Moscow.

    I dont care . My fear for my kids and grand children and my conscience will not allow me to be silenced and it just gets worse if Clinton get elected. Her belligerence is totally unhinbged and getting no scrutiny whatsoever from the media happy to spend time on the great Trump diversion.

  7. Secret Agent
    June 6, 2016 at 21:23

    Of course the people don’t want war, but it’s not the people who set the policy. The leadership sets the policy and it drags the people along by telling the people they are under threat of attack and denouncing the opposition for putting the country at risk. It worked for the NAZIs and it works for the empire.

    These days the propaganda is simply too powerful to be resisted. consortium news does a good job exposing the lies but it’s really a drop in the ocean. It’s interesting to know the truth, but there are no preparations we can make for when the war comes. We realists will die with everyone else.

    The last time this came around in the early 80s I was quite worried too, but came to the realisation that survival would be pointless in a post apocalyptic world.

    • Zachary Smith
      June 6, 2016 at 21:37

      The last time this came around in the early 80s I was quite worried too, but came to the realisation that survival would be pointless in a post apocalyptic world.

      If you lived, and that’s a very big “if”, life in the would be very primitive – and very difficult. Perhaps like around 800 years ago. I doubt if “pointless” is a good choice of words here. The problem is staying alive for the first couple of years – IMO that would be the hard part. Likely parts of the planet would be relatively untouched. South America and Africa and Southeast Asia come to mind. If China wasn’t part of the fighting, that nation would inherit the Earth, for whatever that’s worth.

      • Kiza
        June 7, 2016 at 05:00

        Totally wrong.

        First, the US targeting list from the time of the Cuban Crises in 1962 contained Chinese cities in it, when Soviet Union and China were in a low level war. What are the chances that the US targeting list would exclude China now that China and Russia are strategic partners?

        Second, if even 10% of nuclear weapons exploded this would cause a global nuclear winter, let alone 80-90% which is much more likely in a global nuclear war. The nuclear winter would cause death from starvation on absolutely every continent. The survivors would fight for preserved food and kill each other out.

        In general, you are correct that the life would be terribly difficult for any survivors, but the US mass media (movies, TV series) of lately have been brainwashing the US population into believing that a nuclear war is survivable, which it is not. Are you sure that your beliefs are not influenced by such propaganda?

        • Joe L.
          June 7, 2016 at 11:20

          Kiza… I agree with your assessment. I remember a few months ago I watched a documentary about the “Last Days of the Dinosaurs” ( and the meteor that hit down in the Gulf of Mexico that nearly wiped out all life on this planet. That one meteor put the entire planet into chaos and, I believe, the shockwaves destroyed lives as far away as Mongolia. I think that if we had a nuclear war that we would blacken the skies once more where maybe there would be tsunamis, seismic activity, and then there is the radiation that we would have to deal with (for that we just have to look at survivors from Hiroshima and Nagasaki, some of which survived the blast but died from radiation, which would pale in comparison to what our nuclear weapons can do today). So, I agree with Secret Agent and I do not believe that I would want to live in a post-apocalyptic world. Rather if nuclear war breaks out, I would prefer that one of the nuclear bombs land directly on my head.

          • Rikhard Ravindra Tanskanen
            June 7, 2016 at 14:49

            I watched that documentary a few years ago. But the impact of one giant asteroid is different then one nuclear bomb going off – its far bigger. But an asteroid winter (is that the right phrase for it?) is the same as a nuclear winter, only it will last for 10 years.

          • Joe L.
            June 7, 2016 at 18:53

            Rikhard Ravindra Tanskanen… Well I would argue that there would be a lot more than one nuclear bomb exploding on this planet – there would be thousands upon thousands hitting in all different regions of this planet. The result would be a nuclear winter, which they even compare in the documentary about the dinosaurs. The sky would be blacked out and all the plants would die off from lack of sunlight and the ensuing fires. Then I do believe that whomever did survive would also have to deal with large storms, tsunamis, and seismic activity which could include everything from earthquakes to volcanos erupting. Now that does not even include the ensuing radiation that would blanket this planet – Plutonium-239 has a half-life of 24,110 years and Uranium-235 has a half-life of 703.8 million years.

            Wikipedia: “Nuclear Winter”:

            A much larger number of firestorms, however, were the initial focus of the computer modelers that coined the term in the 1980s. These were speculated to be a result of any countervalue city-airburst nuclear weapon during a US-Soviet total war. These larger firestorms were believed to cause nuclear winter conditions for as long as a decade, with summer cooling by about 20 °C in core agricultural regions of the US, Europe, and China, and by as much as 35 °C in Russia. This cooling was produced due to a 99% reduction in the natural solar radiation reaching the surface of the planet in the first few years, gradually clearing over several decades.


        • Zachary Smith
          June 8, 2016 at 00:19

          I’m not up to date on what the war ‘strategists’ are thinking, but their options are a lot wider than nuclear weapons used directly on enemy homelands. Nobody is discussing high-altitude EMP devices, but they could paralyze a nation without directly harming hardly anybody. Rumors of imaginary bioweapons would drive citizens into full scale panics. Real ones would do the same and slaughter the unfortunates infected by them. Bioweapons against crops would be almost as bad as nuclear winter so far as starvation goes. Getting around to fallout from the nukes, hardly anybody is prepared to survive such an event. But on the other hand, the fallout follows the winds, and some might be lucky.

          To be realistic, the chances of living through the events being set up by Obama, Hillary, and the others are small. Perhaps those odds are actually zero. My point is that you won’t know until the wolf is actually at your door. If things get bad, you can always chose death. But why rush matters?

          I’ve got to admit that I never expected to be discussing this topic at all in 2016 – after the breakup of the Soviet Union I really did believe that whatever got us wouldn’t be WW3.

      • nexusxyz
        June 8, 2016 at 00:29

        Go read ‘One Second After’ which is a novel that chronicles a towns spiral into death and starvation after an EMP event. What is interesting about the novel is that it runs a time line and explains the waves of death as chilled and other drugs run out (all diabetics die), people don’t have access to drugs that keep them sane, reduced calorie intake collapses health, etc. If all modern amenities collapse in the US – no Internet, no food, no medicines, etc. it is thought that only 10% of the population would survive. The novel has a partial positive end as some parts of the world are not impacted. This would be unlikely in the event of a nuclear war. On top of that there would be no orderly shut down of nuclear power plants and power to nuclear waste pools would be cut. Basically I think you are totally underestimating how hard it would be to live let alone survive.

    • Rikhard Ravindra Tanskanen
      June 7, 2016 at 14:50

      You forgot to capitalize the “s” in “Nazis”.

  8. Zachary Smith
    June 6, 2016 at 21:00

    It’s odd that right after reading the essay above I went to the Saker site and ran into this:

    It’s that author’s opinion that Europe has become a sock puppet for the US.

    Second is the now total colonization of Western Europe into the Empire. While NATO moved to the East, the US also took much deeper control of Western Europe which is now administered for the Empire by what the former Mayor of London once called the “great supine protoplasmic invertebrate jellies” – faceless bureaucrats à la François Hollande or Angela Merkel.


    The Russians are most dismayed at the re-colonization of western Europe. Long gone are the days when people like Charles de Gaulle, Helmut Schmidt or François Mitterrand, were in charge of Europe’s future. For all their very real faults, these men were at least real patriots and not just US colonial administrators.

    The author makes a prediction: that if war comes to Russia that nation is going to make very sure that the US doesn’t come out of it untouched as in WW2. He goes on to describe how they have the means to virtually destroy this nation, even if only a few of their assets survive a US first strike.

    Scary stuff.

    • nexusxyz
      June 8, 2016 at 00:20

      You can bet everything on that fact. I would suspect that both the Russians and Chinese are thorough sick of trying to deal with the degenerates in Washington.

  9. Joe L.
    June 6, 2016 at 19:25

    Well it seems to me that we are running towards a conflict with both Russia and China and I hope that these journalists, that keep pushing propaganda rather than really questioning what is happening, realize that if WW3 breaks out that most likely there will not be any room for them in the bunkers – they will die just like the rest of us. I also have to say that if WW3 does break out, I won’t be blaming Russia or China or any other power – first and foremost I will be blaming the United States along with Britain, my own country Canada along with all other proxies of the US and the mainstream media for not dialing the propaganda back and putting forth the entire story. Expansion of NATO to Russian borders (along with pulling off a coup in Ukraine which borders Russia), especially after we agreed not too expand NATO eastward of Germany, along with encircling China with military bases is threatening the world. Hence Putin says that he must come up with a response to the missiles in Romania and why I believe that China is building artificial islands in disputed waters outside of its’ borders. It just amazes me the stupidity of all of this and how the western world, especially the American people, don’t understand the folly of expanding NATO onto Russian borders when Kennedy himself set a red line which almost lead to WW3 over the USSR putting missiles into Cuba (where the US also had missiles in Turkey). It is just sheer stupidity. This is why, even though I am Canadian, I have hope for Russia, China, and emerging economies to counter balance us because I think we are the biggest threat to the world and we need to be put in check. The Middle East is a prime example of “our” wars of aggression. Even look at Syria where I believe recently the US has requested that Russia stop bombing Al Nusra (Al Qaeda) in Syria because US supposed “moderates” are fighting side by side with Al Nusra. With the memory of 9/11, how are Americans not more enraged by the US Government seemingly supporting Al Qaeda in Syria or people that are supporting Al Qaeda in Syria – not too mention our “allies” in the Middle East who are funding and arming ISIS (Dash) and Al Qaeda (Al Nusra)? It is just sheer stupidity and we are running head first toward a conflict that will likely end all life on this planet…

    • nexusxyz
      June 8, 2016 at 00:19

      The only way the Empire of Stupidity and Chaos is going to be checked is with a salvo of nukes. The neocon degenerates are all around that abomination Clinton and a number of Trump’s team are Neocon’s. They appear to have convinced themselves that their defensive missile shield will stop Russian missiles. You would have to be nuts to believe that.

  10. Oddlots
    June 6, 2016 at 18:50

    As for “soft power” it is worth noting how pointed it can be:

    And if one needs an image for how mendacious the West can be about its intentions I would recommend watching the “screaming pope” of the Washington establishment claim that Assad is solely responsible for the 250 k deaths in his country:

  11. Oddlots
    June 6, 2016 at 18:40

    The phrase that always comes to mind when confronting this ridiculous double standard is: “butter wouldn’t melt.”

    I swear much of the mesmerizing power of the “exceptional” comes from its target audience’s own vanity. Put a white hat on somebody and they will follow you anywhere. Into the abyss if that’s where you are headed.

  12. Chris Chuba
    June 6, 2016 at 18:24

    I suffer reading their drivel linked on, in essence, U.S. NGO’s are different because their motives are pure while Russia’s are evil. I believe that these people are sociopaths in the truest sense of the word, they are incapable of empathy. In all of their writings, they interpret any opposition to the U.S. as motivated by evil. Hence, the large number of papers titled, ‘what Putin is REALLY doing …, or what Putin is REALLY thinking …’ They never make any attempt to put themselves in the opponent’s position to consider what they would do in their position to find a rational alternative. Again, they are incapable of empathy.

    They truly are a sick bunch. They do the same thing to Iran and China of course but Russia is their number 1 obsession.

  13. June 6, 2016 at 18:06

    the electorate is in need of an electoral tool by which it can exert influence on the elected body of ministers/representatives following the initial election.
    my idea of such a tool is an annual electoral event where the electorate can let the elected body know if the electorate is satisfied with the elected body’s performance over the past year.
    if it is not, the elected body is docked a percentage of it’s pay.
    possibly recoverable pending the results of the following annual electoral event.
    elections mean nothing anymore. every electoral event we have affects only a particular level of government, until the next election pertaining to that branch. during the interim, it is same’ol, same’ol b.s..
    some legally binding tool is needed to break the cycle

    • Bart Gruzalski
      June 8, 2016 at 09:31

      Thanks for writing about a topic almost never mentioned in the West. I live in a retirement community in Florida. I’d already given a couple of public talks–one on the immorality of the Afghan war and the other on meditation– when the news hit that the US promised to sent hundreds of troops to Poland. Stephen Cohen spoke about the dangers on Democracy Now! Paul Craig Roberts had written of the dangers. I thought this would be a worthwhile topic to speak about and then to lead a discussion. I was going to make the presentation with the man who usually chaired these meetings. I would not be in control of the discussion and welcomed what he planned on doing, since my expertise is not terribly strong in history. Then, a few days after our presentation was announced to those who attend these meetings and who welcomed the topic–Is the situation in Eastern Europe raising the risks of WWIII–I was cancelled.

      I thought your opening paragraph was so well written that I’m going to copy it here: “The momentum into a new Cold War – and possibly toward World War III – is growing stronger, a process in Europe that has the look of a brain-dead continent sleepwalking toward the abyss, unwilling or unable to resist the accumulation of harsh propaganda against Russia.”

      What amazes me is that countries, like Poland, who did experience the horrors of WWII, are the lead nation in putting pressure on Russia. Go figure.

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