The coalition that opposed the Vietnam War stretched from Reinhold Niebuhr and senator J. William Fulbright to the radical-left Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). They disagreed profoundly on many things, and some of them had very worrying domestic agendas. That, however, is beside the point as far as the Vietnam War was concerned. They all agreed that the US military intervention in Vietnam was a disastrous mistake with criminal consequences – and they were right. The members of the Quincy Institute and our allies are all agreed in opposing US military interventionism and ‘nation-building’ – and what has happened in Iraq, Libya and now Afghanistan has proved us right.
To paraphrase the late George F. Kennan, Jr., I suggest that we leave Ukrainians alone to be themselves. The advocates of Western intervention in Ukrainian affairs will probably object that this leaves the playing field entirely to Russia.
Natylie Baldwin interviewed Sharon Tennison this past spring to get a different and more in-depth perspective on U.S.-Russia relations, as well as Russia’s history, culture and politics. Tennison is president and founder of the Center for Citizen Initiatives, an organization that began leading citizen diplomacy delegations between the U.S. and Russia in 1983 amidst the heightened threat of nuclear war. She is also the author of The Power of Impossible Ideas: Ordinary Citizens’ Efforts to Avoid International Crises.
Only weeks after US president Joseph R Biden courageously ended, in the face of bitter opposition from the media and Congress, the war in Afghanistan came the announcement of a new trilateral security alliance between the US, UK and Australia (AUKUS).
The creation of AUKUS is only further confirmation – as if more was needed – that the Biden administration intends to wage a new cold war in Asia with China as its target.
It may just be grandstanding for domestic purposes, but the effort poses grave implications for American and international security…
The widespread campaign to portray Russia as a menacing global threat is deeply wrongheaded. For all Vladimir Putin’s bluster, in 2018, he cut the Russian military budget. His policies, no doubt, express Russian resentments fed by provocative US actions after the end of the Cold War, which included extending the NATO to Russia’s borders, in violation of promises made by the administration of president George H W Bush; ignoring Russian warnings against trying to incorporate Georgia and Ukraine into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization; and helping to inflict on Russia the shock therapy economic policy of the 1990s, which created and enriched the Russian oligarchs, impoverished millions, and looted the country’s treasury.
The attempt to label Russia as fascist serves a political purpose. ‘If Russia is fascist,’ says Laruelle, ‘then Russia is to be excluded from Europe.’ Her book is an effort to refute this political strategy.
John Durham on Thursday indicted a Clinton campaign lawyer from 2016 for lying to the FBI, but this is no ho-hum case of deception. The special counsel’s 27-page indictment is full of new, and damning, details that underscore how the Russia collusion tale was concocted and peddled by the Clinton campaign.
The indictment adds new details about the sweeping nature of the Clinton campaign’s effort to falsely tag Donald Trump as in bed with the Russians. The document alleges this extended far beyond the oppo-research firm Fusion GPS and the fake “dossier” produced by Christopher Steele – though both played a role in the broader effort.
While Steve liked to say it’s healthy to rethink, to have more questions than answers, there was a wise consistency to his political analysis. For example, as is clear from his many articles in The Nation in these last decades, he unwaveringly opposed American Cold War thinking both during the Cold War and since the end of the Soviet Union. He was consistent in his refusal to sermonize, lecture, or moralize about what Russia should do. He preferred to listen rather than preach, to analyze rather than demonize.
It was Steve who was the guiding force behind the Committee’s re-emergence in 2015, this time as the American Committee for East-West Accord. As Steve noted at the time, “The old Committee, formed mainly by corporate CEOs, was well funded, had offices in Washington D.C., and had supporters in many places – in the media, in Congress, in the two political parties, in the State Department, etc. We have none of these advantages now. Our struggle is therefore much more difficult, but therefore also more important.”
It was also Steve who, far earlier than most, saw the danger of the new cold war that was forming in the mid 2000s and which reached its apex in the months and years immediately following the 2014 crisis in Ukraine. Steve observed with dismay that many journalists, scholars and foreign policy practitioners acted as though the risks of a prolonged East-West confrontation were negligible. In his view, this was the height of reckless irresponsibility. He knew, as we know now, that the inherent risks of a confrontation between the U.S. and Russia, each armed with roughly 1350 strategic nuclear warheads, and with our militaries nose to nose across east-central Europe, the Black Sea, and Syria, were enormous. The role of the West in fomenting rebellion against a democratically elected government in Kiev greatly exacerbated the risks of confrontation.
Steve’s decision to re-establish the committee at the high point of what may fairly be characterized as a neo-McCarthyite stance toward Russia, was also very much in keeping with his character.