The mind of the mass media: Email exchange between myself and a leading Washington Post foreign policy reporter:
July 18, 2018
Dear Mr. Birnbaum,
Updated: Aug. 15, 2018
American politicians provoke a slew of emotions, from tears of rage to tears of laughter. But perhaps the uppermost emotion is one of pity.
With a few honorable exceptions, it is such a pity that the American people are misled by such buffoons. It is such a pity that the American and Russian people — who have so much in common as human beings — are nevertheless being driven towards a state of war by these buffoonish politicians.
RT on Aug 1, 2018
On this edition of CrossTalk we consider only one question: Is Donald Trump’s “America First” policy in contradiction to the Washington Consensus idea of American Exceptionalism? The answer to this question will likely define Trump’s presidency and change the world in the process.
Why does the US media have an anti-Russian fixation? It’s not what the American people want to hear. 71% of the Ronald Reagan-loving, military-obsessed Republican Party approve of Trump meeting with Putin. On the other side, top liberal CNN commentator and former President Obama’s adviser, Van Jones has admitted in a video recording that the “Russiagate” story is a “big nothing burger” which Democrats are not interested in. The Russia-fixated, Hillary Clinton-DNC liberal establishment now faces an upsurge of opposition from Democratic Socialists like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders, who emphasize the need for populist economics reforms.
Part 1: The Russia “National Security Crisis” is a U.S. Creation
TheRealNews on Jul 19, 2018
President Trump’s warm words for Vladimir Putin and his failure to endorse U.S. intelligence community claims about alleged Russian meddling have been called “treasonous” and the cause of a “national security crisis.” There is a crisis, says Prof. Stephen F. Cohen, but one of our own making.
At the big “Treason Summit” “Russopocalypse” “Catastrovent” on Monday, journalist Sam Husseini tried to ask a question about banning nuclear weapons, and was physically hauled out of the room by officials from the “Land of Press Freedom,” Finland. Meanwhile, an Associated Press reporter was permitted to ask a perfectly respectable question pushing a blatant lie that risks nuclear war. Yay for press freedom!
You can’t really blame Trump for treating European leaders with contempt. Frankly, it’s because they deserve it, and Trump knows it.
This week, the American president joins European allies at the NATO summit in Brussels, and the gathering is expected to be a bruising one. The Europeans are fearing a drubbing from Trump over financial commitments.
The US-led NATO military alliance earlier this month committed to a major escalation in force buildup on Russia’s western flank. The development underscores Russia’s long-held concern that the 29-member alliance is inevitably moving dangerously on a war footing.
We have blind men, one-eyed men, squint-eyed men, men with long sight, short sight, clear sight, dim sight, [and] weak sight. All that is a faithful enough image of our understanding; but we are barely acquainted with [men of] false sight. — Voltaire, The Philosophical Dictionary, Knopf, NY, 1924
This week, Russian President Vladimir Putin unveiled a new 19-kilometer bridge linking the Crimean Peninsula with mainland southern Russia. Thousands of kilometers away, in occupied Palestine, a massacre was being carried out by Israeli soldiers with full support of the United States as it opened a new embassy.
It feels as if world events are in overdrive, and sometimes it’s hard to escape the thought that that there is no longer much point in trying to analyse, or make sense of, a trajectory increasingly out of control.
One reason it’s so easy to get an American administration, the mainstream media, and the American people to jump on an anti-Russian bandwagon is of course the legacy of the Soviet Union. To all the real crimes and shortcomings of that period the US regularly added many fictitious claims to agitate the American public against Moscow. That has not come to a halt. During a debate in the 2016 Republican presidential primary, candidate Ben Carson (now the head of the US Housing and Urban Development agency) allowed the following to pass his lips: “Joseph Stalin said if you want to bring America down, you have to undermine three things: Our spiritual life, our patriotism, and our morality.” This is a variation on many Stalinist “quotes” over the years designed to deprecate both the Soviet leader and any American who can be made to sound like him. The quote was quite false, but the debate moderators and the other candidates didn’t raise any question about its accuracy. Of course not.
You’ve got to hand it to Hillary Clinton. In 2016, she helped put the right-wing racist, sexist, nativist, authoritarian, and nationalist oligarch Donald Trump in the White House. She and her operatives did this in two ways: (1) by rigging the presidential primaries against the popular progressive Democrat Bernie Sanders, the Democrats’ best chance to prevail over Trump; (2) by mounting a dreadfully uninspiring and transparently tone-deaf, neoliberal general election campaign – a reflection of her massive funding by the nation’s corporate and financial establishment, including big business money normally slated for Republican presidential candidates.