Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Listen Liberals: Russia Isn’t Our Enemy

00 Vitaly Podvitsky. What Fine Targets! 2014

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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

Dan Kovalik

Huffington Post

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/listen-liberals-russia-is-not-our-enemy_us_58a4ba39e4b0fa149f9ac0c8

Monday, 20 February 2017

Death and Demise of American Liberalism

00 01 Statue of Liberty. NYC. 07.12

The Dems slunk away from their New Deal legacy to follow Wall Street greedsters and K Street grifters… they suffered the consequences. Shall they learn? God alone knows… it’s time to “go back to the future”…

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The 2016 race to the White House threw a spotlight on the American Liberal. They’ve evolved into an insular and narrow-minded political species, more focused on supporting radical and controversial cultural experiments than serving as humanitarian watchdogs against government abuse of power. Since most of the discussion and debate now focuses on Donald Trump and his stunning upset over Hillary Clinton… which only seems “stunning” because the US media had long conditioned us to believe that a Clinton presidency was a done deal… I’d like to talk about what for me is the most under-reported phenomenon of the 2016 US presidential election, which in fact has been a long time coming.

Perhaps, the headline accompanying this article is slightly misleading. American Liberalism (and by extension, the Democratic Party) hasn’t really passed away, per se, rather I believe it’s transmogrified into something completely strange, alien, and absolutely hideous. Many of the Liberals who make up the bulk of the Democratic Party constituency abused the constitutional privilege of freedom at the expense of US liberty. Now, we risk losing both. Originally, Liberalism, which largely shapes the political ideology and outlook of the Democratic Party (much like “conservatism” is the ideological cornerstone of the Republican Party) was predicated on the idea of protecting liberty and promoting equality. Over time, however, and especially in the last eight years of the Obama administration, Liberals became totally obsessed with cultural over strictly political affairs. They’re mainly concerned with maximising “freedom of choice” for its increasingly hedonistic adherents. In other words, the pursuit of happiness in the cultural realm is their ultimate goal… to hell with consideration for what’s happening in the real world of politics.

Concisely, I believe that largely explains why the Democratic Party not only lost the presidential election, not to mention both houses of Congress, but also is quickly losing its relevance as a political force. In other words, unless the Democrats clean up their house, and place raw political issues above cultural exploits and experimentation, the party is over for them. Allow me to provide some examples. On the morning after Donald Trump was formally announced president-elect, news reports began airing scenes of Clinton supporters (who I must assume were also Obama supporters) shedding tears of sorrow that their candidate failed to win the White House. Later, while some Californians were issuing desperate calls to secede from the USA, large-scale marches against a Trump presidency occurred in major cities across the country. While it’s certainly the democratic right of these individuals to express their indignation, why were these same individuals so quiet for the last eight years while the Obama administration conducted its wars of aggression around the world?

Dear Liberals, I ask you (admittedly, perhaps not at the most polite time), where were these hot tears of sorrow when hundreds of thousands of innocent people in the Middle East and Northern Africa were falling victim to Washington’s endless wars of aggression? Where was the outcry when the people of Libya, who once upon a time had the most advanced medical and education system in Africa, were crushed by a totally senseless attack by US, British and French forces to take out Muammar Gaddafi in 2014? Where were the nationwide marches against the illegal and unconstitutional attack on Syria, which has provoked a mass exodus of refugees into Europe and beyond? Your Democratic darling Hillary Clinton had a large hand in all of that. Where were the emotional marches against that humanitarian disaster that continues today?

Calling Bob Dylan

By comparison, please consider how Liberals from all walks of life raised up in protest against the Vietnam War. On 19 December 1964, the Student Peace Union helped coördinate the first nationwide protests against the Vietnam War that attracted thousands of demonstrators. In May 1965, the so-called Vietnam Day Committee (VDC), a loose coalition of left-wing political, university, and labour groups conducted a 35‑hour‑long anti-Vietnam War protest at the University of California, Berkeley, which attracted almost 40,000 participants. Nobody is condoning violence here, but it’d be nice to see university students have even half the amount of passion for political issues that their academic antecedents demonstrated. Meanwhile, can anybody name a single anti-war song on the hit charts today? That’s rather strange, isn’t it, especially when we consider that US military adventures, which began under the Bush administration with the absolutely unjustified Iraq War thirteen years ago, continue today under the sheep’s clothing of the Obama administration with Libya’s destruction and the attempted destruction of Syria.

So exactly what have the Liberals been preoccupied with over the last eight years of the Obama administration? Perhaps, as a convenient way of distracting public scrutiny from what the US military was doing overseas, the Democrats in the Obama administration decided to toss out some highly controversial smoke grenades, such as allowing men who suddenly “identify” themselves as being female… “transgender” is the preferred nomenclature… to be legally permitted to use the ladies bathrooms, as well as locker rooms. Naturally, this insane proposal, which aims to protect an infinitesimal cohort with total disregard for the absolute majority of women, has, in the words of Time magazine, turned into “America’s latest civil rights fight”. Imagine that! As US soldiers are getting killed and wounded in senseless overseas battlefields that most Americans couldn’t locate on a map, Liberals on the homefront are fighting over the right of some men to use the women’s bathrooms and changing rooms at the local Wal-Mart. On top of that mountain of nuts, Liberals also took up cause with a number of other highly controversial nationally divisive ideas, such as same-sex marriages, LGBT rights, and the legalisation of marijuana at the very worst of times.

Now, Democratic supporters of Hillary Clinton are out on the streets, incensed that a billionaire real estate tycoon threatens to end their eight-year flight from reality. However, had the Liberals in the Democratic Party pursued something higher than simply challenging the moral sensibilities of the status quo with an endless array of cultural experiments, perhaps Donald Trump wouldn’t be where he is today. In short, American Liberals, ignoring their past legacy of resistance and protest, have nobody to blame but themselves and their proven preference for ignoring matters of real political urgency in favour of hyper-individualist pursuits and pleasures. Now it’s up to Trump to undo the damage.

12 November 2016

Robert Bridge

Rethinking Russia

http://rethinkingrussia.ru/en/2016/11/death-and-demise-of-american-liberalism/

Editor:

I quite agree with Mr Bridge, especially on “transgender” activists. It’s a matter of objective science and medicine… not activism or “identity”. I say, “Keep it in the hands of the medical professionals, who know what they’re talking about. Keep it out of the hands of the activists, who empower fringe elements”. I think that the majority of people agree with that. It’d put many at ease, knowing that fringe nutters aren’t being allowed to run amuck. You can stand with placard-waving activists or with objective scientists with peer-reviewed research. I choose the latter… I confide that I’m not alone…

BMD

Trump’s Election… A Different View

00-texas-anti-trump-march-210117

Anti-Trump march in Austin TX

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Editor:

The following explains very well why Trump’s election was better for us than Chilly Hilly’s would’ve been. You see, she’s just as greedy, twice as stupid, three times as vindictive, but in a prettier package. Hilly would’ve had us in a war already and all the “Liberals” would be drooling their support. Now, we have no illusions. People see that cronyism, greed, corruption, perpetual warfare (and the Military Industrial Complex), and corporate mendacity are the real enemies that we face. Yes… many still drink the Chilly Hilly Kool-Aid. However, Trump’s election woke many people up. If the Dems want to win in 2020, they’d best nominate someone like Tulsi Gabbard or they’re going to go down for the count. To nominate Hilly or one of her greedster colleagues would be a disaster… but shall “Liberals” wake up and reclaim the New Deal legacy? That’s still undecided… choose wisely, for the fate of the nation IS at stake.

The Clintons made the Democratic Party into Republicans Lite. It’s time to throw them (and their hangers-on) out and go Left again. If not, the Dems die. That be the reality, kids…

BMD

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I can’t believe I’m saying this, but it looks like Trump is actually making America great again. Just look at the progress made since the election:

  1. Unprecedented levels of ongoing civic engagement.
  2. Millions of Americans now know who their state and federal representatives are without having to Google.
  3. Millions of Americans are exercising more. They’re holding signs and marching every week.
  4. Alec Baldwin is great again. Everyone’s forgotten he’s kind of a jerk.
  5. The Postal Service is enjoying the influx cash due to stamps purchased by millions of people for letter and postcard campaigns.
  6. Likewise, the pharmaceutical industry is enjoying record growth in sales of antidepressants.
  7. Millions of Americans now know how to call their elected officials and know exactly what to say to be effective.
  8. Footage of town hall meetings is now entertaining.
  9. Tens of millions of people are now correctly spelling words like emoluments, narcissist, fascist, misogynist, holocaust, and cognitive dissonance.
  10. Everyone knows more about the rise of Hitler than last year.
  11. Everyone knows more about legislation, the branches of power, and how checks and balances work.
  12. Marginalised groups are experiencing a surge in white allies.
  13. White people in record numbers just learned that racism isn’t dead.
  14. White people in record numbers also finally understand that Obamacare IS the Affordable Care Act.
  15. Stephen Colbert’s Late Night finally gained the elusive #1 spot in late night talk shows, and Seth Meyers is finding his footing as today’s Jon Stewart.
  16. “Mike Pence” donated millions of dollars to Planned Parenthood since 9 November.
  17. Melissa FREAKING McCarthy.
  18. Travel ban protesters put 24 million USD (1.4 billion Roubles. 165.08 million Renminbi. 1.61 billion INR. 31.46 million CAD. 31.3 million AUD. 22.6 million Euros. 19.25 million UK Pounds) into ACLU coffers in just 48 hours, enabling them to hire 200 more attorneys. Lawyers are now heroes.
  19. As people seek veracity in their news sources, respected news outlets are happily reporting a substantial increase in subscriptions, a boon to a struggling industry vital to our democracy.
  20. Livestreaming court cases and congressional sessions are now as popular as the Kardashians.
  21. Massive cleanup of Facebook friend lists.
  22. People are reading classic literature again. Sales of George Orwell’s 1984 increased 10,000 percent after the inauguration. (Yes, that’s true… 10,000 percent. 9th grade Lit teachers all over the country are now rock stars.)
  23. More than ever before, Americans are aware that education is important. Like, super important.
  24. Now, more than any time in history, everyone believes that anyone can be President. Seriously, anyone.

19 February 2017

Susan Keller

Facebook

Washington Wants Coalition of Sunni Régimes to Fight Iran

00 Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Iranian counterpart Ali Akbar Salehi. 06.12

Minister of Foreign Affairs S V Lavrov and his Iranian counterpart Ali Akbar Salehi in 2012

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The Saudis can’t even defeat the poorly-equipped Houthis in Yemen… good luck fighting a well-trained well-armed Moscow-backed military. We know it’s a badly abused cliché, but we really did laugh out loud after reading that Washington is “working to create a military alliance of Sunni Arab nations” to “counter” Iran. Close your eyes and imagine NATO. Are you seeing visions of an incompetent useless dinosaur that can’t tell the difference between a wedding party and a terrorist pow-wow? Now, clear your mind and imagine a NATO-like coalition with Egypt, Jordan, the KSA, and the UAE as members. Imagine that this coalition of medieval failures had one mission and one mission only… to provoke a war with Iran.

Typical. Washington finally realised that Americans have zero interest in starting a war with Iran, despite years of tireless propaganda portraying Tehran as an existential threat to humanity… or Israel, but what’s the difference, right? They’ve tried everything… even lobbing accusations that one can easily debunk with a simple Google search. Hey, wait a minute… maybe, our medieval Sunni allies would fight Iran for us? That’d be swell. Isn’t that what friends are for? This is true desperation seeping out of Washington’s adult diapers.

Iran isn’t Syria. It doesn’t have to worry about appeasing 1,000 different ethnic and religious groups. It’s a proud country with a long history of fighting off foreign parasites. A Sunni war against Iran would’ve likely been a disaster even ten years ago. Today? It’d be suicidal. Russia is Tehran’s dependable political and military ally, and the idea that Washington would somehow drive a wedge between Moscow and Tehran is ludicrous. Russia would do everything it could to help Iran fight off Sunni fanatics, for the same reason it intervened in Syria… if Washington’s “moderates” were to overrun the Middle East, Russia would be next.

Forget the fact that Iran already deploys Russian-made S-300 SAMs, or that Russia and Iran coördinated a miraculous military campaign to turn the tables in Syria in less than a year… an experience that’d be invaluable if there were a Sunni-led war against Iran. Just for a moment, consider that Russia has gone so far as to ask Washington to acknowledge Hizbullah as a crucial part of anti-ISIS efforts in Syria. Hizbullah! The very name sends shivers up the crooked spines of every Israel First blowhard with an American passport.

People worry that Moscow would abandon Tehran? For Russia, Iran is a holy grail of business opportunities and security coöperation. There’s one takeaway from Syria… Washington loves to stir up trouble in countries that can’t defend themselves. However, when a formidable force such as Russia steps into the ring, the Americans run for the hills (crying foul, of course). Even with full support from Washington and Israel (Israel would stay in the shadows, to keep up appearances), the KSA, Qatar, and the UAE would get a Russian-backed Persian beating that they’d never forget. The icing on the cake would be that this “anti-Iran” bloc includes some of the most autocratic states on earth… anti-women, anti-democratic, anti-everything… it’d be a true joy to watch Washington claim that the KSA and Qatar were fighting Iran to protect democracy in the Middle East.

Of course, we’re probably getting ahead of ourselves. Following NATO’s model, this coalition of medieval head-choppers would first surround Iran with defensive military bases. Then, the provocations and (more) sanctions would begin. It won’t work. Iran isn’t Iraq. It isn’t Libya. It isn’t Syria. It already has the full backing of Russia. If Washington were smart, it’d take note.

18 February 2017

Rudy Panko

Russian Insider

http://russia-insider.com/en/washington-wants-coalition-sunni-regimes-fight-iran-tehran-would-completely-crush-them/ri18978

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