Labelling the current tensions between Russia and the West as ‘war’ creates an unproductive, even dangerous, security mentality, and results in undesirable policies. One can see this process at work in the discussions about ‘Russian propaganda’ and Russian ‘information war’.
The crux of my advice to President-elect Trump was this: we must end this ill-conceived, counterproductive regime-change war immediately.
Our election system is embarrassing not for anything Putin allegedly did. In the “world’s strongest democracy,” this is the second presidential election in the past five in which the winner of the popular vote has lost.
Nation Contributing Editor Stephen F. Cohen and John Batchelor continue their weekly discussions of the new US-Russian Cold War. Cohen laments the escalation of neo-McCarthyism as exemplified by a November 25 Washington Post front-page article alleging that an array of American Internet sites have been propagating Russian-inspired “fake news.”
The point: not only is the Cold War over, the post-Cold War is over. We are living in a changed and changing world. Regimes are falling. Old parties are dying, new parties rising. Old allegiances are fraying, and old allies drifting away.
Even more disurbing than the Post’s shoddy journalism in this instance is the broader trend in which any wild conspiracy theory or McCarthyite attack is now permitted in U.S. discourse as long as it involves Russia and Putin – just as was true in the 1950s…
A shady website that claims “Russia is Manipulating US Opinion Through Online Propaganda” has compiled a blacklist of websites its anonymous authors accuse of pushing fake news and Russian propaganda.
Almost as soon as the Washington Post report appeared, prominent members of the liberal commentariat tweeted it out to hundreds of thousands of people, as though it were hard won vindication of their collective efforts to portray Trump’s surprise victory as the work of the Russian government
Nation Contributing Editor Stephen F. Cohen and John Batchelor continue their weekly discussions of the new US-Russian Cold War. (Previous installments are at TheNation.com.) Last week’s discussion revisited episodes of US-Soviet détente in the 20th century, from Eisenhower and Nixon to Reagan, and the lessons to be learned from them. One was a pro-détente president’s need for determination, leadership skills, advisers, and domestic allies to offset what is certain to be ferocious opposition to any truly reciprocal negotiations with (now) “Putin’s Russia.”
In a recent story, the Washington Post says that this is definitely the case, based on information provided by two groups of what the paper calls “independent researchers.” But the case starts to come apart at the seams the more you look at it.