I must say that it simply baffles me what appears to be the prevailing view in this country (especially among liberals) that Russia is somehow a threat to the USA. In truth, one of the only redeeming qualities of a Trump presidency that I saw was the possibility that his administration would repair ties with Russia and work with that country in trying to solve issues of mutual concern, particularly in the Middle East. Yet, that’s one goal of the new White House that the Establishment, both in Washington and in the media, seem hell-bent on preventing. Indeed, I agree with some commentators’ assessments, including Dennis Kucinich who is breaking ranks with fellow liberals over this issue, that the motivation behind the US intelligence community’s successful attempt to remove Mike Flynn as National Security Adviser was the desire to keep the new Cold War going.
While I certainly understand it is in the interest of the military-industrial complex, again as Kucinich explains, to continue to vilify Russia to justify our already-bloated military spending, I’m a bit taken aback at how eager most liberals are to embrace and even stoke this demonisation. Given the poor historical knowledge of most Americans, a little refresher on past and current affairs is in order. Russia was our ally in World War II in defeating the Nazis. Moreover, contrary to what most Americans learned in school, Russia truly won the war in Europe, losing over 20 million people in the process and being responsible for 80 percent of the Allies’ Nazi kills.
In addition, while many of us might not like the messenger, Donald Trump was correct when asked about Putin being a killer, he suggested that the USA was less than innocent in this respect. Indeed, although such a moment of candour by a US President horrified many, Trump engaged in gross understatement. Let me be so bold as to say that, certainly since 1960 and up to the present time, the USA was much more brutal and bloodthirsty than Russia. It isn’t even a close call here. For example, as Noam Chomsky (no lover of the USSR he) explained:
It isn’t seriously in question, as John Coatsworth writes in the recently published Cambridge University History of the Cold War, that from 1960 to “the Soviet collapse in 1990, the numbers of political prisoners, torture victims, and executions of nonviolent political dissenters in Latin America vastly exceeded those in the USSR and its East European satellites”. Amongst the executed were many religious martyrs, and there were mass slaughters as well, consistently supported or initiated by Washington.
Chomsky went on to detail the millions killed by the USA in Indochina during its shameful war on Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, and Reagan’s support of apartheid South Africa’s rampage through Southern Africa, which led to the deaths of 1.5 million people. Moreover, what about today? While many are up in arms about Russia’s annexation of the Crimea (although this was with the approval of the majority of Crimeans who are happy to return to Russia) as well as Russia’s intervention in the war in Syria, these actions pale in comparison to the USA’s own intervention in Syria, its recent destruction of Libya, its destruction of Iraq and Afghanistan, its continued support for the Saudi rape of Yemen, and the USA’s support for the pillaging of The Democratic Republic of the Congo which cost the lives of around 6 million innocents. These US wars, along with the USA’s over 800 military bases in more than 70 countries (Russia has bases in only one country (Syria) outside the former USSR) have led to the USA rightly being viewed in a poll of people in 65 countries as by far the greatest threat to world peace.
Meanwhile, at the USA’s urging, and despite its promises to Russia in return for the USSR relinquishing any hold over Eastern Europe, NATO now has troops on the Russian border and the USA just sold extended-range missiles to Poland that’d surely be pointed at Russia. Russia isn’t similarly postured along the USA’s boundaries, and it’s unthinkable that it ever would be. In other words, Russia should be afraid of us, not the other way around. In addition, we should welcome President Trump’s expressed desire to stop antagonising Russia and to work with it in defeating ISIS in places like Syria as eminently reasonable and indeed necessary to avoid a possible nuclear confrontation. The American public should also welcome this, as the greatest military spending spree by far on the planet drains its resources. Certainly, liberals, who at least once stood for peace and for greater social spending, should be in the lead in cheering such overtures instead of drumming up anti-Russian hatred which can only lead to more war and more impoverishment of our society.
15 February 2017