Voices from Russia

Friday, 7 August 2015

“Foreign Policy’s” Shameful Attempt at Spinning Hiroshima Bombing as Beneficial for Japan

00 hiroshima 070815

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Foreign Policy magazine ran a provocative article makes it seem like the nuclear bombings were a godsend, and that the USA humanely intended to save Japan from communism. In the month of August, we sombrely commemorated the only time in the world when a country used nuclear weapons in warfare, when the USA dropped two bombs that killed over 200,000 people in two fatal moments… one on 6 August over Hiroshima, and again three days later over Nagasaki. For 70 years, people marked this occasion with respect for the many victims who tragically lost their lives during these attacks, but now an influential American international affairs outlet, Foreign Policy, decided to spin the event, blaming the USSR for what happened. In the article “Did Hiroshima Save Japan From Soviet Occupation?”, Sergei Radchenko questioned whether the nuclear bombings were actually good for the country, in that they may have saved it from Western bogeyman I V Stalin. The article’s own conclusion contradicted this callous inference, but nonetheless, it’s worthwhile to look at why the magazine would find it fitting to denigrate the victims’ memory in the first place with such a misleading and politically self-serving angle.

Misleading the Masses

The USA isn’t known for issuing international apologies, and in the exceptionally rare instance that it does (like during Obama’s 2009 trip to Egypt), it often does so to further the goal of strategically disarming a target population before an asymmetrical offensive against their country (such as the Arab Spring Colour Revolutions). As a general rule of thumb, no matter what it does, the USA always seeks to promote its own interests, be it by hard or soft means. Things get a bit more complicated when it comes to non-state American actors such as Foreign Policy, but here, they have a lot more flexibility in honing the USA’s strategic message whilst retaining plausible deniability that such an attempt is free from ulterior motives.

Nevertheless, it’s clear what Foreign Policy is trying to express on behalf of the US State Department… the nuclear bombings may have been justified to “save Japan from Soviet occupation”. Sure, they ultimately (and correctly) conclude that Stalin’s decision to refrain from attacking Imperial Japan in Hokkaido had nothing whatsoever to do with Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but in today’s non-stop media-driven environment, the average information consumer probably didn’t get to that point since they likely only read the headline and maybe the two-sentence lead-in. Supposing that’s the case with most people, the simple message they understood was that there was a connection between the two, and that maybe, as the article intimates, the nuclear bombings were perhaps justified after all, and they and all other Americans could feel absolved of any guilt for the tragedy.

Victim Shaming and Historical Revisionism

However, what’s worse is the lingering thought suggested by the headline and lead-in that the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki actually helped Japan in some perverse type of way. A democratic-proselytizing USA saying that “I nuked you to save you” to Imperial Japan is almost like a religiously oriented sexual predator saying, “I raped you to change you” to a lesbian. One side sees the other as existentially incompatible with its beliefs and in need of forced salvation, and horribly takes it upon itself to commit a gruesomely horrendous crime to “save” the victim. Don’t read too deep into the analogy, but do understand that in both cases, criminal moralistic paternalism is the driving force behind each outrageous wrongdoing, except in the case of Japan’s nuclear victimhood, over 200,000 people were immediately violated and perished within an instant, unable to ever face their attacker and demand justice. Moreover, as Foreign Policy would have its readers believe, this might have been in the name of the greater good.

Another takeaway from the article is the overarching anti-Soviet fearmongering that the author is peddling. If one weren’t all that educated about the last days of World War II and only had the Foreign Policy article in question to guide their understanding, you could forgive them for thinking that the USA was essentially at war with the Soviets and nuked Japan as a final and “successful” measure to stem the “Red Tide” from flowing further eastward. It makes it seem like the USSR was the one on the cusp of an unforgettable war crime and not the USA, and that the latter simply acted to save Japan from whatever the former was plotting. This kind of conspiracy circulation is pure and simple historical revisionism, and it serves mostly to deflect attention away from the USA’s nuclear bombings and more towards the stereotypical intrigue that surrounds Stalin, their new World War II scapegoat, in the carefully cultivated imagination of the Western public.

Timing Is Everything

Typically, people remember every fifth and tenth commemoration of a certain major event with extra pomp and circumstance, and the 70th anniversary of the American nuclear attacks on Japan is no different. However, what changed in the past 14 five-year cycles is that the USA is now engaged in a New Cold War with Russia, one that, unlike its predecessor, has no established limits and even incorporates historical revisionism. Be it the ridiculous talk by some voices that the USSR “occupied” the Ukraine after World War II or the presently discussed insinuation that the USA “saved Japan from Soviet occupation” by nuking it twice, such uncomfortable changes in the historical discourse have become ever more common over nearly the past two years. However, what really disturbs us is how readily the West accepted them, which frighteningly opens up the possibility for a full-scale historical revisionism of the post-World War II era and the fact that the pursuit of political subjectivity will lay waste to unquestioned objectivity. That in and of itself is bad enough, but we should also mention that this particular stunt is part of the USA’s Pivot to Asia. As Washington shifts its strategic focus more to East and Southeast Asia, it’s not only bringing its military, but also its journalistic interpretation of history.

One of the effects that this may have is a long-term transformation of the Japanese consciousness to the point where the country’s citizens no longer understand the proper and objective context in which the USA committed these atrocious actions. Instead, Japanese students might one day be indoctrinated with the false idea that the USA nuked their country to “save Japan from Soviet occupation”, thus making the bombings a historical “godsend” and the USA its accompanying “saviour”. After all, the USA is prepping for a prolonged global rivalry with Russia, and in this context, rest assured that they’ll resort to whatever means necessary to sully Russia’s reputation and stave off a Russian-Japanese resolution of the Kuril Islands dispute to offset Russia’s redirection to the east. However, despite whatever the US government or its friendly media outlets allege, there’s no taking away from the fact that the USA’s nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are the main reason Japan is still occupied to this day, albeit by the Pentagon and not the Kremlin.

7 August 2015

Andrew Korybko

Sputnik International

http://sputniknews.com/columnists/20150807/1025506979.html

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Forbes Named Putin Most Powerful Person in World

00 Vova's STILL the One. Vladimir Putin. 14.09

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On Wednesday, Forbes named President Vladimir Putin the most powerful person on the planet, knocking US President Barack Obama off the number one spot. Forbes said that Putin, who ranked third last year, showed his dominance in diplomatic manoeuvring during the international crisis over Syria, and in granting asylum in Russia to fugitive US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, noting, “Putin solidified his control over Russia (‘dictator’ is no longer an outlandish word to ponder) and the global stage”. Forbes gave the top spot to Obama every year since it began compiling the ranking in 2009, except in 2010 when it deemed former Chinese President Hu Jintao the most influential. This isn’t the first time Putin, who returned to the Russian presidency last year for a third term ending in 2018, received such an accolade. A similar survey released by Foreign Policy in January also proclaimed Putin as the most powerful person in the world. Three other Russians also made it onto the list, which included 72 people. Forbes placed Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev in 53rd place, and Russia’s richest man, Alisher Usmanov, in 63rd place. Igor Sechin, head of state oil giant Rosneft appeared on the list for the first time in 60th place.

31 October 2013

RIA-Novosti

http://en.ria.ru/russia/20131030/184432892/Putin-Named-Most-Powerful-Person-in-World-by-Forbes-.html

Saturday, 5 January 2013

President Putin Tops List of Most Powerful People in the World

00 Sergei Yolkin. Putin. It's a Really Big Shoe... 2012

Putin: It’s a Really Big Shoe

Sergei Yolkin

2012

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Those of us “of a certain age” remember the old Ed Sullivan Show, with Ed’s signature line, “It’s a really big show”. In his idiosyncratic accent, it came out as “It’s a really big shoe”, and all the caricaturists, comedians, and satirists of the time had great fun with it. Putin‘s “a really big shoe”, and, on top of all that, this caricature refers to Nikita Khrushchyov, the last effective Soviet leader who wielded actual power. Remember Khrushchyov banging his shoe at the UN? It’s also redolent of TR‘s “Speak softly and carry a big stick“. It’s another multilayered Yolkin visual pun… with no words, yet!

BMD

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An article in a leading American magazine, Foreign Policy, named President Vladimir Putin as the most powerful person in the world, with the top spot left empty. The author, Ian Bremmer, President of the Eurasia Group, explained why no one was ranked first, as “in a G-Zero world, everyone’s waiting for someone else to shoulder responsibility for the world’s toughest and most dangerous challenges”. He based the ranking on “a quick, informal survey around Eurasia Group on power and global politics”. Bremmer wrote, “The leaders you’ll see named further down this list are preoccupied with local and regional problems and don’t have the interest and leverage needed to take on a growing list of transnational problems”.

After the empty top spot, Putin came in second. Foreign Policy posted, “In Russia‘s personalised system, this is still the person who counts. He isn’t as popular as he used to be, and his country has no Soviet-scale clout or influence, but no one on the planet has consolidated more domestic and regional power than Putin”. US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, ranked third, following the Russian president, German Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel is fourth, and US President Barack Obama was in fifth place. In the next five places were European Central Bank head Mario Draghi (6), Chinese Communist Party Secretary General Xi Jinping (7), Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (8), International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde (also 8), and Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abd al-Aziz (10). This article was widely reported in the Russian media as saying that the Foreign Policy ranking names Putin as “the most influential person in the world”, although the article itself makes no such claim.

4 January 2013

RIA-Novosti

http://en.rian.ru/politics/20130104/178575064/Foreign_Policy_Names_Putin_Worlds_2nd.html

Editor’s Note:

If a person holds the top spot in a listing of world leaders, there’s no doubt that he’s “the most influential person in the world”. Do you want proof? The USA hasn’t intervened in Syria nor has it bombed Iran… as Russia has given both countries tacit guarantees. Putin’s even standing up to the oligarchs by scrapping the flat tax and introducing luxury taxes… as the USA refuses to. Yes, the greedsters can be smashed down… if one uses the police power and taxing power of the state. Russia under Putin is doing so… the USA is refusing to. Trust me, if the Koch brothers were in the slam for trying to buy the American election, the rest of the bourgeois cowards would fall into line, and rather smartly too. The Koch brothers deserve what Khodorkovsky got… and so does Willard Romney. All of the tax haven gazillionaires have to be brought to heel… and we can do it. However, shall we? That remains to be seen…

BMD

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