Russia and the US: A Major Question Goes Unanswered

A rather fascinating interview with Stephen Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies at Princeton University–fascinating, perhaps, as much for what is said as what is left unspoken.

In Cohen’s view there is a major danger now of war breaking out between the US and Russia, and as he puts it, we presently are in “the single most dangerous moment in American-Russian relations.” I certainly would not take issue with that, nor would a good many others.

Three other important points he makes which I also would not take issue with are:

  • Russia has been deliberately portrayed (falsely) as “the number one existential threat” to America
  • There are different groups and factions within the CIA and other intelligence agencies that are at war with each other
  • It has been more important for the “forces in Washington to be rid of Assad” than to fight terrorists in Syria

The question he leaves unanswered,and which Abby Martin fails  even to ask, is what is the motive of these “forces in Washington” that are trying to provoke a war with Russia? More specifically, why are certain factions within the intelligence community at war with each other, what is the motive there, and is it possible some of these warring factions have loyalties to a country other than America? If so, which one? What exactly is the force that is driving this inflammatory outpouring of hostility toward Russia?

Cohen’s answer may well have been, “I don’t know,” but it would have been nice if Martin had at least asked.

nuclear

Another question that arises is where do Trump’s own loyalties lie? He does seem to be running a lot of interference for Israel as the video here makes clear. People will certainly recall that during the campaign, Trump talked about “Muslims” who were seen celebrating the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center.

The reality of course is that those seen celebrating–and who in fact were arrested on the day of 9/11–were  Israelis. Trump may well be sincere about wanting to “make America great again,” and if so what we have seen from him could be nothing more than genuine naivete on the subject of Israel, and most particularly on the subject of Israel and 9/11. A lot of people have been, and still are, willing to give him the benefit of the doubt on that. Of course the other possibility is too bleak to think about.

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