The overwhelming majority of Russians think the US is their main enemy, and more than half name China as Russia’s main friend, a recent poll shows.
According to the research conducted by the influential Russian VTSIOM center, the number of Russians who think that USA is their country’s main foe grew from 25 percent in 2008 to 73 percent currently. Ukraine ranked second with 32 percent, compared to 21 percent in 2008.
Other countries Russians perceive as hostile are Germany and European Union in general, 10percent, Great Britain 9 percent, Poland 6 percent, Canada 3 percent and France 3 percent.
Sociologists said that Russian people’s opinion on the subject had become firmer, the share of undecided fell from 44 percent in 2008 to just 15 percent today.
As for friendly countries, 51 percent of Russians see China as their main geopolitical ally, double the 23 percent in 2008. Belarus was second with 32 percent and Kazakhstan third with 20 percent.
India, Argentina and Brazil were also put in the “friends” list. Researchers saw a sharp change in Russians’ attitude to Germany, only 1 percent of those responding see it as Russia’s friend and ally, compared to 17 percent in 2008.
The poll was conducted in late September in 130 cities and villages in 42 Russian regions.
Last Edit: Dec 4, 2014 15:53:20 GMT -5 by TsarSamuil
The proportion of Russians who don’t like the policies of the US President’s has surged from 12% in 2009 to 76% this year according to new research.
The opinion poll conducted by the independent Levada Center also shows that the percentage of Russians with a positive attitude towards Barack Obama fell from 21 percent to just 2 percent during the same time period.
Five years ago most Russians – 51 percent – said they were neutral towards the American leader and this year only 16 percent said the same. Sixty-seven percent of this year’s responders said that relations between the two countries had become worse than under George W. Bush.
In 2009, 29 percent of those interviewed said they expected relations between Russia and the United States to improve during Obama’s presidency. This year the number of optimists fell to a mere 9 percent.
In the same poll researchers asked the Russian public about their attitude to the heads of state of Germany, France and the UK. All three European leaders claimed approximately the same level of support – 8 percent of responders had a positive attitude towards Angela Merkel, 5 percent towards Francois Hollande and 4 percent to David Cameron. When it comes to a negative image among the Russian public Merkel was first with 50 percent, followed by Cameron with 35 percent, and Hollande with 30 percent.
In comments to the Izvestia daily Deputy Director of the Levada Center, Aleksey Grazhdankin, said that the sharp fall in Obama’s popularity in Russia must be caused by the fact that Russians blame Western leaders, and most of the entire US President, for the ongoing crisis in Ukraine and for the economic sanctions against their country. “These actions are considered at best as unfriendly but most people think of them as of direct hostility,” the researcher said.
Another poll conducted by the VTSIOM agency in late September showed that the overwhelming majority of Russians considered the United States to be the main enemy of their country. This negative share grew from 25 percent in 2008 to 73 percent currently. Other countries Russians perceive as hostile are Germany and the European Union in general at 10 percent, Great Britain at 9 percent, Poland 6 percent, Canada 3 percent, and France 3 percent.
A third of Russians think Cold War did not end with fall of Berlin Wall.
RT.com November 07, 2014 14:36
Most Russians agree with the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the end of the standoff between Russia and the West, but many think the Cold War did not end in 1989.
According to the poll conducted by the Public Opinion Foundation 82 percent of Russians are aware of the tearing down of the Berlin Wall, and only 13 percent know nothing of it. Fifty-one percent of those interviewed say the destruction of the wall was a good thing and 13 percent said that it was bad. Thirty-seven percent remain undecided about their attitude to the 1989 unification of Germany.
As it comes to the political consequences, 22 percent of Russians think the fall of the Berlin Wall did Russia more good than bad, 18 percent answered that negative consequences prevailed, and 60 percent could not answer the question.
When the pollsters asked if it was true that the fall of the Berlin Wall marked the end of the Cold War 39 percent of those responding agreed, and 33 percent disagreed. Again a large number of people – 28 percent could not specify their views on the situation.
An analyst from the Public Opinion Foundation, Grigory Kertman, said in comments to popular business daily Kommersant that in his opinion by answering the last question people were actually saying if they think that the Cold War has ended at all. He added that the current situation with the military conflict in Ukraine and increasing political and economic pressure on Russia from the West can give many people an impression that the Cold War had started again.
In a similar poll conducted in 2008, soon after the military conflict between Russia and Georgia as many as 52 percent of Russians said that in their view the Cold War was going on and only 18 percent answered that it had stopped.
The celebrations of the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall begin in Germany on Friday with a major forum dedicated to the event scheduled on Sunday. Ex-Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev is expected to deliver a major speech on European and international politics on Friday and, according to a preliminary interview his take will not be optimistic.
“We wasted the chances that the end of the Cold War presented. It started so well, but some people didn’t like it,” RIA Novosti quoted Gorbachev as saying as he prepared to leave for Germany.
Obama: Putin ‘scares heck out of neighbors’ with ‘nationalist, backward-looking’ policy.
RT.com December 04, 2014 09:10
The US president has lashed out at his Russian counterpart for pursuing what he called a “nationalist, backward-looking” policy. Obama has vowed to maintain sanctions against Russia, but added he doubts they could actually change Putin’s “mindset.”
“Direct, blunt and business-like” is how Obama defined his relations with Vladimir Putin, when talking leading American CEOs on Wednesday. He admitted that working with Dmitry Medvedev as Russia’s head of state was easier for him.
Obama said that Putin’s reaction to the crisis in Ukraine was aggressive and outdated.
"In part because I think the situation in Ukraine caught him by surprise, he has been improvising himself into a nationalist, backward-looking approach to Russian policy that is scaring the heck out of his neighbors and is badly damaging his economy," Obama said.
The US president praised the EU for having joined the sanctions against Russia, “despite the fact that it’s tough on the European economy.”
Russia could at any time escape economic hardships if it only accepted “a pathway to a diplomatic resolution” in Ukraine offered by the US, Obama said.
“But if you ask me if I’m optimistic that Putin suddenly changes his mindset, I don’t think that will happen until the politics inside Russian catch up with what’s happening in the economy, which is why we are going to continue to maintain that pressure.”
The US president acknowledged that Putin’s popularity at home has so far remained strong.
"The challenge is [that] this is working for him politically inside of Russia, even though it is isolating Russia completely internationally."
US rhetoric toward Russia has recently been getting more and more hostile.
Criticism of Putin and his policies comes less than three months after he included Russia with Ebola and the Islamic State extremist group in his ranking of international threats.
The US president also included "aggressive Russia" in his list of top global dangers at the recent G20 summit in Brisbane, Australia.
The US House of Representatives has joined in, currently discussing a resolution “strongly condemning the actions of the Russian Federation, under President Vladimir Putin, which has carried out a policy of aggression against neighboring countries aimed at political and economic domination.”
The resolution describes Russia as an authoritarian regime, calls for the reinforcement of NATO, and for the sale of US gas to European countries so they don’t have to buy it from Russia. It also calls for an increase in broadcasting in the Russian and Ukrainian languages to counter “Russian propaganda.”
Moscow has long been irritated by NATO’s eastward expansion, seeing it as a factor undermining Russia’s security.
The recent NATO military buildup in the bloc’s member states bordering Russia has brought repeated and strident objections from Moscow, as well as promises of “an adequate and well-measured response.”
Putin has repeatedly denied the West’s accusations that Russia is militarily involved in hostilities in eastern Ukraine. Putin has emphasized that Moscow is doing everything it can to resolve the crisis there.
As for the sanctions, Putin has interpreted them as an attempt to subdue Russia.
"Throughout history, no one has ever managed to do so toward Russia – and no one ever will," Putin said in November.
Last Edit: Dec 4, 2014 16:59:15 GMT -5 by TsarSamuil
‘House of Representatives’ resolution declares Cold War’
RT.com December 04, 2014 14:51
The US House of Representatives’ resolution passed Tuesday declares not only war against Russia, but a war for Kiev against Donetsk and Lugansk, Daniel McAdams, executive director at the Ron Paul Institute, told RT.
Vladimir Putin is “isolating Russia completely internationally,” claimed US President Barack Obama on Wednesday. He also said that he is “not optimistic that Putin will suddenly change his mind-set… which is part of the reason why we're going to continue to maintain that pressure.” The House of Representatives is discussing a resolution that condemns Russian actions in Ukraine. The motion describes Russia as “an authoritarian regime,” and calls for the reinforcement of NATO and the sale of US natural gas to Europe so they don’t need to buy energy from Russia.
RT: Do you think this resolution will be adopted?
Daniel McAdams: I think it will overwhelmingly be voted on. As a matter of fact it was debated [Wednesday] afternoon and the vote was delayed probably until tomorrow morning. I expect an overwhelming positive vote on this legislation.
RT: Former US Congressman Dennis Kucinich criticized the resolution saying it’s a “throwback to the Cold War era.” Is this a justified concern?
DM: I spent nearly 12 years on Capitol Hill working for a member of House Foreign Affairs Committee and I know exactly how these resolutions are drafted. It was not drafted by the member of Congress who is credited with it, Mr. Kinzinger of Illinois. These are drafted by special interests, they are handed to the members of Congress who are favored, who behave themselves in the committee and they get the glory of introducing a bill. The US media has been pushing this propaganda against Russia’s Putin for months and months. So Congress feels it has to do something to remain relevant and catch up with the people. But these resolutions are all put together and written by special interests and members feel they can’t vote “no” on them. You can say no on the one hand because it is just a resolution and has no force of law. But if you read the bill it is almost comical and that everything that it accuses Russia of doing the US and the US government in particularly has been doing certainly since last year. And one of the big complaints of the bill is how mean it is that Russia is putting forth “anti-American propaganda,” when this is exactly what Congress has been doing for the last year, it is almost comical. It accuses Russia of holding fraudulent elections which are pretty serious charges. Several occasions in the bill it mentions chapter five of the NATO Treaty which requires all NATO members to come to the military assistance of others, Ukraine is not a member of NATO. I don’t know if Congress understands what that means.
RT: This sort of rhetoric and these kinds of resolutions keep going forward to Congress and so forth, how are they going to jeopardize the relations that Russia and the US have? And what about the timing of these resolutions?
DM: It is interesting that you see; just when the South Stream pipeline that was supposed to start going through Bulgaria was called off this week - the US probably views that as a great victory. When the Europeans are paying 30 percent more for their fuel they may have a different view of it. But the timing is absolutely right. And this is a green light for the Poroshenko government to resume military actions against the “separatists” in Eastern Ukraine. If you read the resolution very, very early on, it encourages him to retake this territory. So it is not only a declaration of a US Cold War against Russia but it is a declaration of war for Kiev against Donetsk and Lugansk.
House of Representatives passes resolution against Russia.
RT.com December 04, 2014 16:21
The US House of Representatives has overwhelmingly approved a document which strongly condemns Moscow's actions against its neighbors, calling them a policy of aggression.
Passed with 411-10 votes, the resolution slams Russia’s “continuing political, economic, and military aggression” against Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova and the “continuing violation of their sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity.”
"The US, Europe and our allies must aggressively keep the pressure on Mr. Putin to encourage him to change his behavior," Rep. Adam Kinzinger, the resolution's sponsor, said.
The resolution calls for Russia to stop supporting local militias in eastern Ukraine and for the cancellation of Crimea’s decision to join Russia. In addition, it calls on Moscow to withdraw its troops which the US claims are in Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova.
The House calls on President Barack Obama to provide Ukraine with defense equipment and training.
"Ukraine is clearly in need of urgent military assistance," Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen said as quoted by The Hill.
Previously Obama declined Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s plea for lethal military aid. During his visit to Washington in September, Poroshenko addressed Congress calling to provide Kiev with “more military equipment, lethal and non-lethal” drawing applause from the audience.
Thursday resolution also urges NATO members and US allies to suspend military cooperation with Russia. Addressing Obama, the House urged him to review the readiness of US and NATO armed forces under the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty (CFE).
The lawmakers agreed that the president and State Department should also find a way to “distribute news and information” in Russian to countries with Russian-speaking populations.
RT's Gayane Chichakyan asked US State Department spokesperson Marie Harf whether this is a fight for more US influence in the region during Thursday’s daily press briefing.
Harf denied that US wants to fight for influence, saying that it plans to “fight for the people of Ukraine and indeed the entire region to get the truth about what’s happening on the ground” and to "talk about exactly what is happening in a much more truthful way."
The lawmakers specified that the resolution was targeting Putin and his policy, but not all Russian people.
The resolution follows Putin’s speech to Federal Assembly made on Thursday, where he criticized the “deterrence policy” conducted against Russia by other states.
“The deterrence policy was not invented yesterday, it has been always conducted towards our country, for decades, if not centuries,” Putin noted. “Every time somebody considers Russia is becoming too powerful and independent, such instruments are turned on immediately.”
He mentioned that the US has been manipulating foreign relations of Russia’s neighbors, adding that “sometimes you don’t even know to whom it is better to talk to: the governments of certain countries or directly with their American patrons.”
The relations between the two states have got colder in the past decade and will deteriorate even more following the adoption of the H. Res. 758, warns former Republican Dennis Kucinich.
“NATO encirclement, the US-backed coup in Ukraine, an attempt to use an agreement with the European Union to bring NATO into Ukraine at the Russian border, a US nuclear first-strike policy, are all policies which attempt to substitute force for diplomacy,” he said as quoted by Truthdig.
Kucinich explained that Russia had only responded to an appeal by the local population in Ukraine to protect them from the violence when Moscow agreed to Crimea joining the Russian Federation. It was “a reaffirmation of an historic relationship,” Kucinich said.
“The Western press begins its narrative on the Crimea situation with the annexation, but completely ignores the provocations by the West and other causal factors... This distortion of reality is artificially creating an hysteria about Russian aggressiveness,” he said, adding that the US Congress “is responding to the distortions, not to the reality.”
Kucinich also criticized US rhetoric, calling it “saber-rattling, which led to the initiation and escalation of the Cold War” and urged Washington to “employ diplomacy, not more military expenditures, in the quest for international order.”
Last Edit: Nov 5, 2020 14:59:32 GMT -5 by TsarSamuil
From Reset to Cold War 2? Resolution against Russia passed in US House.
RT Dec 4, 2014
The US House of Representatives has overwhelmingly passed a resolution lashing out at Russia over its foreign policies. The language of the non-binding document has been widely equated by critics to Cold War-style rhetoric. RT's Gayane Chichakyan looks at the diplomatic falling out between the US and Russia.
The House of Representatives passed a resolution against Russia this week because the US takes for granted its right to dominate the world and wants Russia to return to its vassal state status, James Petras, Binghampton University in New York, told RT.
RT: Given the state of US-Russia relations, did this resolution come as a surprise to you?
James Petras: No, it didn’t because we have seen over the last decade that the US has been encroaching on Russia’s frontiers militarizing the Baltic states and bringing the Balkan states into NATO on Russia’s border. The takeover of Ukraine, the putsch in Kiev in February was a decisive event because it turned Ukraine into a potential military platform to attack Russia.
Subsequently the referendum in Crimea was turned into a Russian “annexation” which was not exactly what happened. The Crimean people voted in a free election to separate from the Ukraine and to join Russia. The sanctions policy, the manipulation of oil prices, the militarization of the frontiers with Russia - all point to a very bellicose and confrontational policy.
RT: Former Congressman Ron Paul said this resolution paves the way for future, more aggressive steps that could actually lead to war with Russia. Is there any danger of that, do you think?
JP: I think there is a very big danger of that. Ron Paul is a minority voice. But on this particular issue he is absolutely correct. The resolution passed by Congress is made up of all sorts of fabrications including the idea that Russia provoked the Ukraine crisis when we all know that it was the street violence that led to the overthrow of the elected government. That is only one of many fabrications.
And I’m reminded also of previous military engagements and invasion by the US. For example, the so-called weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, the so-called massacre in Benghazi. And now the idea that somehow Russia was engaged in Ukraine is a total fabrication. We know that from Victoria Nuland that the US poured $5 billion over 10 years into preparing the ground for the coup d’état in Kiev. So a great danger now is that Washington takes for granted its right to dominate the world and that the Russians have to return to the vassal state that they were in the [Boris] Yeltsin era during the 90s.
That is the key problem. Washington’s image of Russia is that the Russia of Yeltsin, Russia that was pillaged by the gangsters, oligarchs and foreign investors. I think they can’t accept Russia as a normal developing country which has security interests, particularly with regard to military threats to its security.
The Russian public has changed its positive attitude towards the US and the EU to strongly negative and begun to name China as the friendliest nation, shows a recent research by an independent polling agency.
According to a poll conducted by the Levada Sociological Center in late November this year the share of Russians who admit to having a positive attitude towards the United States had dropped to 18 percent, compared to 43 percent in January this year. The number of those who said they approved of the European Union’s actions had fallen from 51 percent in January to 26 percent in November.
Ukraine’s rating among Russians fell from 66 percent to 28 percent over the same period.
In the same research 63 percent of responders said they were concerned by the attempts by Western nations and their allies to isolate Russia. Opinions on the success of these attempts were mixed – 47 percent of Russians agreed that their country already was in isolation and 45 percent disagreed with this claim.
Russians’ attitude towards China remained very positive – 74 percent of responders said it was good or very good compared to 77 percent in January this year. Another nation that Russians regard as their friend is Belarus.
Levada’s deputy head said in comments to business daily Kommersant that the results of the research demonstrated that an average Russian had started to see China as a country that can be approached as the conflict with the Western nations deepens.
The results of the study are very similar to those in a poll conducted by the VTSIOM center in late September. They showed the number of Russians who think that USA is their country’s main foe had grown from 25 percent in 2008 to 73 percent. Ukraine ranked second, with 32 percent compared to 21 percent in 2008. Other countries Russians perceive as hostile are Germany and the European Union in general at 10percent, Great Britain at 9 percent, Poland at 6 percent, and Canada and France at 3 percent each.
Public skating rink at Moscow's red square - RIA Novosti / Ruslan Krivobok
Last Edit: Feb 6, 2017 16:40:13 GMT -5 by TsarSamuil
America tuned out as Congress bangs war drum against Russia.
Robert Bridge has worked as a journalist in Russia since 1998. Formerly the editor-in-chief of The Moscow News, Bridge is the author of the book, “Midnight in the American Empire.”
RT.com December 07, 2014 20:32
On December 4, as America was tuned into Thursday night football, or staring into the cold depths of the refrigerator at commercial time, House members brought the nation one step closer to all-out war with Russia.
Future historians - that is, assuming there are humans still around to contemplate history - may one day point to House Resolution 758 as the single piece of legislation that sparked a global conflagration between two leading nuclear powers.
This is not hyperbole. US rhetoric against Russia is quickly overstepping reality, causing US politicians to endorse policies that severely inflate the perceived threat. When political veteran Ron Paul says the House passed what he ranked as “one of the worst pieces of legislation ever,” well, we had better sit up and switch off CNN, especially when that legislation happens to involve a historical heavyweight like Russia.
Resolution 758 was forged in a political furnace of unbalanced, one-sided debate, where American politicians regularly attempt to outdo each other in a lame contest called ‘Russian fear mongering.’ This popular game, which is never out of season, is played among intellectually challenged officials looking for quick political advantage; a bit like Special Olympics for American politicians where everybody goes home a winner.
However, these Russian games are no longer a laughing matter as they were during the feel-good Yeltsin era. Putin has shown himself to be a highly competent statesman and whether this fact is responsible for America’s bad mood is difficult to say. Whatever the case may be, judging by the wording of HR 758, America seems to be sliding towards a ‘war footing’ with Russia.
The opening paragraph of HR 758 accuses Russia of conducting an " invasion of Ukraine" and violating its territorial sovereignty. Like so much else in this resolution, the statement is delivered into American living rooms like a dry, cold pizza without the toppings. Yet nobody, except Ron Paul and a few others, seems to be complaining.
“Surely with our sophisticated satellites that can read a license plate from space we should have video and pictures of this Russian invasion,” Paul argued. “None have been offered. As to Russia’s ‘violation of Ukrainian sovereignty,’ why isn’t it a violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty for the US to participate in the overthrow of that country’s elected government as it did in February?”
Indeed, as Ukraine was approaching open rebellion, US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and the US Ambassador to Ukraine were overheard in taped conversations bragging that the US spent $5 billion on regime change in Ukraine. They even mentioned the names of the individuals the US wants to see in leadership positions, and while we’re at it: ‘F*ck the EU!’
Paragraph 13 of the document demands the “withdrawal of Russia forces from Ukraine” even though not a shred of evidence has been produced to prove that the Russian army ever set foot in Ukraine. Further on, HR 758 urges Kiev to resume military operations against the eastern regions seeking independence, a move that will certainly exasperate East-West relations if it goes forward.
Paragraph 14 states that Malaysia Airlines flight 17, which went down in murky circumstances in eastern Ukraine, was brought down by a missile “fired by Russian-backed separatist forces in eastern Ukraine.”
How can the House make such a reckless conclusion when the final report on the investigation of this tragedy is not scheduled to be released until next year? Moreover, the preliminary report never says that a missile was responsible for bringing down MH17.
Paragraph 22 states that Russia invaded the Republic of Georgia in 2008. This is a blatant misrepresentation of the historical record since it is well known that Georgian forces launched a crack-of-dawn military offensive against South Ossetia, killing hundreds of civilians, as well as a dozen Russian peacekeepers. Yes, Russia chased the Georgian army back to the outskirts of Tbilisi before turning back, but what country would have done differently under similar circumstances?
HR 758 also calls on Russia “to reverse its illegal annexation of the Crimean peninsula, to end its support of the separatist forces in Crimea, and to remove its military forces from that region other than those operating in strict accordance with its 1997 agreement on the Status and Conditions of the Black Sea Fleet Stationing on the Territory of Ukraine.”
A woman stands by her smoldering home in the Lidievka district, after it was hit and destroyed by shelling in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk on December 6, 2014. (AFP Photo/Eric Feferberg)A woman stands by her smoldering home in the Lidievka district, after it was hit and destroyed by shelling in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk on December 6, 2014. (AFP Photo/Eric Feferberg)
This statement represents the falsification of history in an effort to pursue a political agenda. The people of the Crimean peninsula, under the threat of violence from government forces, independently called for a referendum to decide their sovereign status. Only after Crimea voted – overwhelmingly - to join the Russian Federation did the Russian Duma hold a vote on the issue. The entire process was done according to international law.
There are many more such preposterous claims and dangerous demands in HR 758, yet the document has been greeted with a deafening silence in the United States by the corporate-owned media.
“Global security is at stake,” writes Michel Chossudovsky in Veteran News. “This historic vote – which potentially could affect the lives of hundreds of millions of people worldwide– has received virtually no media coverage. A total media blackout prevails.”
It is the opinion here that the recent upsurge in anti-Russian rhetoric, which is quickly transforming into concrete actions, is not a new phenomenon. Despite the collapse of the Soviet Union, the United States never really shook off its cold war hangover, and moreover, never really wanted to.
A holier-than-thou attitude has permeated the great majority of US think-tank papers over the years, creating a palpable sense of fear towards Russia while sowing the seeds for immense defense sector profits. Newspaper articles since the time of Boris Yeltsin have dripped with condescending, disparaging remarks about Russia, which have worked to create a particular mindset in many Americans towards a country they have most likely never experienced firsthand.
Meanwhile, inside the world of America’s hermetically sealed cauldron of ‘academic Russian studies’ (READ: Sovietology) a veritable echo chamber where anti-Russian mantras are recited like unthinking prayers, an atmosphere of hostility against Russia has been carefully cultivated. There are only a handful of honest US academicians as far as Russia is concerned.
Given this overtly hostile attitude towards all things Russian, it was quite easy for the United States to sell the idea of a dangerous enemy “on the doorstep of NATO” that has some kind of wild desire to recreate an empire.
Yet what country has been steadily encroaching on Russia’s doorstep like a wolf in sheep’s clothing since the end of the Cold War? What country has refused to cooperate with Russia in its missile defense shield in Eastern Europe, thus bringing the continent to the brink of another arms race? What country has over 800 military franchises spanning the globe, yet accuses Russia of yearning for empire? What country has launched military offensives against seven countries in the last six years, yet calls Russia an “aggressive state” because it dares defends itself when attacked by a foreign power? What country has been playing geopolitical games in Ukraine since the collapse of the Soviet Union – even sending high-ranking political figures into central Kiev to spew venomous rhetoric against Russia when it appeared that Ukraine was going to join an economic bloc with Russia, as opposed to the EU?
Before the US Senate votes on HR758, it should ask itself these simple questions, otherwise it risks stirring up a hornet’s nest of problems the world does not need.
Washington “fears” a resurgent Russia, which harps back to the Cold War says George Friedman, the CEO and founder of forecasters Stratfor. He also believes the US started to meddle in Ukraine in retaliation for Russia outfoxing Obama over Syria.
Friedman says the United States has been intervening around the globe for over a century with the goal of making sure it keeps potential rivals in check. For the United States, any rising power in Europe represents a threat, and despite the end of the Cold War, Washington is still “hypersensitive” to the possible reemergence of Russia as a super power.
“The United States intervened in World War I in 1917 to block German hegemony, and again in World War II. In the Cold War the goal was to prevent Russian hegemony. US strategic policy has been consistent for a century,” he stated in an article on Stratfor’s website.
Startfor is a geopolitical intelligence firm that provides strategic analysis and forecasting to individuals and organizations around the world. It first came to prominence in 1999 with the release of its Kosovo Crisis Center, during NATO airstrikes over Serbia. It has often tried to predict various paths that governments and political leaders may take.
The Ukraine question
Now the US has its sights set on Ukraine. Firstly Washington has a fear of Russia regaining control in the region. Throughout the crisis, America has accused Russia of regional aggression, however, on the contrary, Russians feel they have been far from being on the offensive and have been on the defense.
“If Russia manages to reassert its power in Ukraine, then what will come next? Russia has military and political power that could begin to impinge on Europe. Therefore, it is not irrational for the United States, and at least some European countries, to want to assert their power in Ukraine,” Friedman said.
Secondly, Washington’s presence in Ukraine is also seen as a way to punish Russia for “embarrassing”’ Barack Obama over Syria. Friedman believes the US President did not want to invade Syria, even when Assad's forces were accused of having used poison gas.
Stratfor Global Intelligence CEO George Friedman.(AFP Photo / Ronaldo Schemidt)Stratfor Global Intelligence CEO George Friedman.(AFP Photo / Ronaldo Schemidt)
This would have given Obama the perfect excuse to launch a military attack, but he decided against intervention due to fears that it could have led to the creation of another Sunni jihadist movement in the region. “The Russian attempt to embarrass the president by making it appear that Putin had forced him to back down triggered the U.S. response in Ukraine.”
Friedman is a political scientist, who founded Stratfor in 1996. He accepts that “Ukraine is of fundamental importance to Russia,” and will continue to be alarmed about further Western encroachment.
“As difficult as this is for Westerners to fathom, Russian history is a tale of buffers. Buffer states save Russia from Western invaders. Russia wants an arrangement that leaves Ukraine at least neutral.”
Sanctions not working
Friedman, who was born in Hungary before emigrating with his parents to the US, says Russia has the ability to emerge from US led sanctions and the recent drop in the ruble due to falling oil prices.
“Russians' strength is that they can endure things that would break other nations. It was also pointed out that they tend to support the government regardless of its competence when Russia feels threatened.”
Friedman believes that the implementation of sanctions will not have the desired effect the US and EU hope. He points to the fact that President Vladimir Putin is “still enormously popular.” Also he has learned that the Russian mindset is different to that of those in the West, partly because the population has become accustomed to political and economic upheaval over the last century.
“The most important lesson I might have learned in Russia — ‘might’ being the operative term — is that Russians don't respond to economic pressure as Westerners do, and that the idea made famous in a presidential campaign slogan, ‘It's the economy, stupid,’ may not apply the same way in Russia.”
Overall Friedman believes there is a lot of mistrust between Russia and America, with neither side acknowledging the other’s fears.
“All of the good will in the world — and there is precious little of that — cannot solve the problem of two major countries that are compelled to protect their interests and in doing so must make the other feel.”
Attempts to isolate Russia have been thwarted – senator.
RT.com December 31, 2014 11:56
The head of Russia’s Upper House Foreign Relations Committee has said that coordinated efforts of all branches of power prevented attempts to isolate the country and exercise “political and economic blackmail” over Moscow.
“It is due to the efforts in foreign policy that thwarted the plans on international isolation of our country – and the authors of these plans wanted to make such isolation an independent means of political and economic blackmail against Russia,” Konstantin Kosachev said in a message posted on the Federation Council’s official website on Wednesday.
The senator emphasized the importance of the 2014 agreements with Turkey and China for maintaining Russia’s presence on the international economic and political arena. He noted that the Turkey deal has completely overturned the situation with the South Stream pipeline project, frozen under pressure from the EU.
Another definite success was the launching of the Eurasian Economic Union – the economic and political bloc uniting about 171 million people in Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Armenia – Kosachev said in his message.
Because of Russian diplomats’ success in 2014, the public internationally have even started to forget about their achievement in 2013 – the agreement on decommissioning Syrian chemical weapons that paved the way for the peaceful settlement of the crisis in that country and the Mideast as a whole.
“The effect is felt to this day because we prevented a ‘Libyan’ or ‘Iraqi’ scenario for Libya that would bring another bloody drama and a new destabilization of the troubled region,” Kosachev said.
The senator also expressed his regret that the UN Security Council had failed to pass the resolution on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. However, Kosachev said there was no Russian fault in this.
Another regret in 2014 was the massive return of terrorism to the international arena that demanded urgent and coordinated actions of the international community, the Russian official said in the address. Regretfully, instead of coordinating their actions against the common enemy, the Western nations were busying themselves with the escalation of the internal conflict in Ukraine and “useless” sanctions against Russia, he noted.
President Vladimir Putin (center, background) attending the CSTO Collective Security Council's extended meeting, December 23, 2014 (RIA Novosti / Alexey Druzhinin)President Vladimir Putin (center, background) attending the CSTO Collective Security Council's extended meeting, December 23, 2014 (RIA Novosti / Alexey Druzhinin)
The head of the Upper House Foreign Relations Committee urged all sides to contribute to peace talks in Ukraine, which he described as the most important task currently. “Kiev and the West should stop fighting against imaginary ‘Russian aggression’ and start looking for opportunities for a dialogue in Kiev, Donetsk and Lugansk – there is no other way out,” Kosachev said.
2014: The year Russia-bashing got ugly - and dangerous.
Robert Bridge has worked as a journalist in Russia since 1998. Formerly the editor-in-chief of The Moscow News, Bridge is the author of the book, “Midnight in the American Empire.”
RT.com December 31, 2014 14:02
The western media narrative blames Russia’s “aggressive” foreign policy for triggering the collapse of US-Russian relations. Nothing could be further from the truth, and two major events of the last year prove it.
The Sochi Games we somehow survived
In the weeks and months prior to the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Western mainstream media shifted into hysterical gear, spooking the public with every possible thing that could go wrong in Sochi (but didn’t) scenario.
A non-stop, mass-produced litany of tales of wild dogs, strange toilets, and the looming threat of terrorism had the rather predictable effect of prompting many spectators and even athletes to take a pass on one of the most successful Games of modern times.
Although every city that plays host to the Olympics is expected to endure some level of hostile media coverage - invariably over the sheer cost of hosting the international event - the type of criticism aimed at the organizers of the Sochi Games was exceptional for the political edge of the attack, including Russia’s decision to ban gay propaganda in the months prior to the event.
There was a deliberate effort to conflate Russian legislation to protect minors from being exposed to inappropriate sexual messages with some sort of government-sponsored attack on homosexuals. Even Human Rights Watch painted a hugely inaccurate picture of the law, turning it into some sort of state-sanctioned hit parade.
“Russian authorities are sending a dangerous message as the world is about to arrive on its doorstep for the Olympics that there is nothing wrong with attacks on gay people,” said Tanya Copper, a researcher with HRW.
President Vladimir Putin explained in an interview to the BBC that everybody “can feel free” in their relationships, that Russia has only banned the promotion of “homosexuality and pedophilia among minors.”
“We don't have a ban on non-traditional sexual relations," he said. "We have a ban on promoting homosexuality and pedophilia among minors.”
"You can feel free in your relationships but leave children in peace.”
That seems like pretty sound advice for children, who will have plenty of time later in life to consider such issues.
Despite the West’s best efforts to portray Russia as the perennial villain on the global stage, it actually remains one of the last bastions of family-oriented values in a world that is being swept away by a tidal wave of godless liberalism.
Indeed, the Sochi Olympic Games, judging by its opening and closing ceremonies, was exceptional for the quality of the presentation, much of it aimed at the promotion of families and children. By comparison, such a concept has become totally foreign at many US events, including the 2014 Grammy Awards, which left many critics wondering if the event actually promoted Satanism.
Yet the Western media latched on to Russia’s supposed “gay ban,” turning it into an anti-Russian hammer to bash the Games.
So what was the real reason behind this assault on Sochi? Putin said such efforts were part of an ongoing attempt to hinder positive developments inside of Russia.
"Whenever Russia demonstrates any positive development, the appearance of a new strong player, of competition, is bound to cause concern in the economy, in politics and in the security sphere. We see attempts to deter Russia here and there. Unfortunately, this had to do with the Olympic project" as well, he told members of the Public Council for the Preparation of the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Fortunately, in a sign that not everybody in the Western media writes about Russia with blinders on, there was this rare gem courtesy of Esquire magazine: “These Olympics were supposed to be many things. They were supposed to be a giant soft target for terrorists. They were supposed to be an anti-gay goosestep. They were supposed to be shoddy, unfinished, poor, and corrupt, with zero customer service, and rabid dogs chewing on baby arms. And they are not. They are fun, and they are beautiful.”
The Sochi Games would prove to be just the first episode of disastrous reporting on Russia in a very tumultuous year.
MH17 Malaysia Airlines crash over Ukraine
Not only was the July 17 crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 a tragedy of human dimensions, it was also a tragedy of epic proportions as far as journalism is concerned. One day after the Malaysia-bound aircraft went down over eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 passengers and crew, Western media was already convinced it knew the identity of the perpetrator.
Yet every aircraft catastrophe requires painstaking investigation before any conclusions can be made: The black box must be found and examined; the pieces of the aircraft must be collected and fitted together to understand how and what damaged the aircraft; witness testimony is heard; satellite imagery is reviewed. In the case of Malaysia Airlines MH17, however, which should have received even more scrutiny given that it went down in a war zone, none of these details seemd to be of consequence for the Western media. Instead, like cheap propagandists, the Western mainstream media committed the cardinal sin of pointing the finger of blame without performing a single thread of investigative research.
Rupert Murdoch’s tabloid The Sun, with over 2 million readers, screamed in large-font print from its front page: “Putin’s missile,” while the UK’s most popular tabloid, The Daily Mail, said America warned there’d be “hell to pay” if Russia (i.e. Putin) was involved in the downing of the aircraft. In the best case scenarios, Russia remained conspicuously between the lines in the sloppily crafted narrative.
Once again, a little ingredient known as basic facts was glaringly overlooked simply because the subject at hand was Russia. Usually such an oversight does nothing more bothersome than elicit a few chuckles at Russia’s expense. This time, however, the stakes were far greater, happening as it did in the middle of a Ukrainian civil war, the outcome of which had no small bearing on international relations and the geopolitical chessboard - which, we should add, is littered with nuclear weapons.
There were numerous questions posed by the Russian side that were blatantly ignored in the Western media, including: Why did the MH17 plane leave the international corridor; why did Kiev deploy BUK missile systems on the edge of militia-controlled zones directly before the tragedy (especially considering the rebels have no planes); what was a Ukrainian fighter jet, detected by Russian radar, doing on the route intended for civilian flights; why haven’t European investigators released transcripts from the black box, or provided the public with a full report on the crash?
These are questions that not only Russia is asking, but also Malaysia, which was actually excluded from the criminal investigation team. Was that because it was prepared to view the details of the crash with an objective, open mind, not obsessed with blaming Russia?
"When the crash happened, we did not blame any parties, neither Russia nor Ukraine, as we would like to take a look at the concrete evidence," Dr. Mohamed Harridon, associate professor in research and aviation at Kuala Lumpur University, told RT. He noted that unlike "western counterparts," Malaysia has taken a “neutral role," and not "pointed fingers at Russia," which could be the reason for the country's exclusion from the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) that is permitted to apportion blame.
Once again, the Western world has been led astray by a media that is not remotely interested in engaging in any sort of investigative journalism – even when the stakes involve nothing less than global security. Instead, as the pathetic reporting of Sochi underscored, the Western media would rather throw out misleading stories on Russia in order to achieve some kind of warped agenda.
Finally, as far as US-Russia relations go, the only time in recent history that Washington has actually leveled with Moscow and told the truth was due to a wrongly translated word that turned out to be surprisingly accurate judging by the “overloaded” realities.
In March 2009, during the early moments of the Obama administration, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton presented Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov a symbolic "reset" button, which the two diplomats jokingly pressed for the photographers, signaling their intention of renewing bilateral relations between their respective countries.
The State Department, however, as Lavrov himself explained, wrongly fixed on the button the Russian word for "overload" instead of "reset," thereby providing Moscow – albeit thanks to a technical glitch - a much clearer picture of Washington and the West’s true intentions regarding its relationship with Russia than anything else to date.
Post by TsarSamuil on Jan 21, 2015 16:11:35 GMT -5
Lavrov on Obama speech: Efforts to isolate Russia will fail.
RT.com January 21, 2015 08:17
Attempts at isolating Russia will not work, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a press conference on the outcome of 2014.
“We hear from our Western partners that Russia has to be isolated,” Lavrov said. “Specifically, Barack Obama has just repeated that. These attempts won’t be effective. Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia will never resort to self-isolation.”
The minister said Moscow is calling on Washington to resume cooperation that was thwarted last year. “Relations between Moscow and Washington significantly deteriorated in 2014. We call for resuming effective cooperation at a bilateral and international level. But dialogue is only possible if based on equality and respect for each other’s interests,” he said.
Cutting ties with NATO was not Russia’s choice, according to Lavrov.
“NATO followed the US in its drive for confrontation. NATO made an absolutely politicized decision to halt civil and military cooperation. Almost all projects have been frozen,” Lavrov said. Moscow “will not allow a new Cold War,” he added.
Commenting on US President Barack Obama’s State of the Union Speech, Lavrov said it showed Washington wanted to dominate the world and required all the rest to acknowledge their superiority.
“Americans are absolutely non-critical in assessing their own steps, and yesterday’s speech by Obama shows that the core of their philosophy is: ‘we are number one’. And all the rest should accept that.”
Lavrov described US “aggressive” foreign policy as “outdated.”
No proof of Russian military in southeastern Ukraine
Lavrov has denied allegations of a Russian military presence in southeastern Ukraine, calling on those who believe the opposite to prove their point. “I say it every time: if you are so sure in stating that, confirm it with facts. But no one can or wants to provide them,” he said.
Lavrov said he would try to negotiate an immediate ceasefire in eastern Ukraine at talks in Berlin due to take place later in the day. The foreign ministers of Ukraine, Germany and France are expected to be present.
He said it was now vital to withdraw heavy artillery from the line separating militia-held territories from those under Kiev’s control. The move would prevent civilian casualties. “Russia has already persuaded the self-defense fighters to withdraw heavy artillery,” he said. “Now the Ukrainian authorities should do their bit.”
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is, according to Lavrov, ready to discuss the peace plan offered by President Putin on January 15, despite earlier reports of its rejection.
“Judging by the reaction of President Poroshenko, we feel he’s ready to discuss it, but raises certain questions, some of those quite technical. They can all be agreed upon equitably.”
In response, Poroshenko says that Kiev is committed to adhering to the Minsk agreement. The Ukrainian president also says that his country wants to see an end to the conflict in eastern Ukraine by “removing heavy artillery” and “starting a political process.”
“We will do everything possible to turn the situation around to follow the Minsk agreement. This is very simple. The Minsk agreement is a peaceful option,” the Ukrainian president said, as reported by RIA Novosti.
Recent days have seen an escalation of violence in eastern Ukraine. Government troops launched a massive assault on militia-held areas, in accordance with a presidential order.
Residential areas have come under fire with reports of several civilian casualties.
A hospital in Donetsk was severely damaged on Monday, when at least two shells struck it.
Human rights groups have called on both sides to protect civilians in conflict zones.
Amnesty International called on militias not launch operations from populated areas, and demanded that Kiev stops its indiscriminate shelling of residential blocks.
37:05 - "We must isolate Russia" 38:20 - "We must stop isolating Cuba, such policies are part of the past" and after he says basically something similar about Iran 41:23 - "No foreign nation, no hacker, should be able to shut down our networks, steal our trade secrets, or invade the privacy of American families" NSA??... "some folks" "folks this" "folks that" what a fucking peasant imbecile! Just an uncle Tom salesman.
Last Edit: Jan 21, 2015 16:24:54 GMT -5 by TsarSamuil
Post by TsarSamuil on Jan 28, 2015 18:00:24 GMT -5
Matter of deadly legacies: War on terror and new Cold War.
Dr. Can Erimtan is an independent scholar residing in İstanbul, with a wide interest in the politics, history and culture of the Balkans and the Greater Middle East. He tweets at @theerimtanangle
RT.com January 28, 2015 16:40
Today the West, and the rest of the world, is faced with a whole host of deadly threats affecting many people in many regions close by, as well as wide and far removed.
Jihadi terrorism and the ongoing armed strife in Ukraine represent the two seemingly very different faces of these dangers. But looking at President Obama's recent State of the Union (SOTU) speech and its ramifications, it becomes quite rapidly clear that underlying these current dangers is the ghost of a conflict that ended in the last century's final decade.
Back to the Cold War
The recent Paris attacks have very much galvanized public opinion. As a result, the world's attention is currently focused on the rise of Islamic extremism across the wider world. Jihadi terrorists now apparently also pose a viable threat to the ordinary citizens living and breathing in ‘Fortress Europe’ (aka, the EU). In other words, Europeans have now been promoted to join Americans shoulder by shoulder as favored targets for crazy, gun-wielding and/or bomb-throwing Muslim terrorists.
President Obama in this year's SOTU speech made it a point to call upon the Republican-held "Congress to show the world that we are united in this mission [to keep the world safe] by passing a resolution to authorize the use of force against ISIL,” as he likes to call the terrorist organization formerly known as ISIS but now sufficing with the moniker Islamic State (or IS). As such, the16 January announcement that the Pentagon will deploy "400 troops and hundreds of support personnel to train moderate Syrian rebels" in such locations as Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia already showed Obama's willingness to maintain an active military footprint in the Middle East.
These American boots on the ground will train "more than 5,000 recruits in the first year,” with the Pentagon adding insightfully that up to 15,000 men will be needed to get the job done -- the job being to "degrade and ultimately defeat ISIL" or the Islamic State. And the time frame would thus be three years; meaning that the Caliph should be undone by early 2018 or well into the next U.S. President's first term in office, if all's well that ends well.
Obama killed Osama
By means of this section in his SOTU speech, Barrack Obama showed the US public at home as well as the wider world audience out there that the United States are not afraid to take up its responsibility in tackling the fallout of America's policy decisions of yesteryear. In fact, the U.S. President spelled out America's commitment in great detail: "first, we stand united with people around the world who've been targeted by terrorists — from a school in Pakistan to the streets of Paris. We will continue to hunt down terrorists and dismantle their networks, and we reserve the right to act unilaterally, as we've done relentlessly since I took office to take out terrorists who pose a direct threat to us and our allies.” In this way, Obama presented his one-sided arc of action to rival the erstwhile global "arc of crisis" transformed into Zbigniew Brzezinski’s "arc of Islam,” while reminding everyone that Osama bin Laden was taken out under his watch.
The al-Qaeda leader's execution was in itself a splendid display of the American "right to act unilaterally.” As a result, last week's SOTU speech made plain that "fifteen years into this new century" the Bush Doctrine is still alive and kicking. Though Obama boasts at having ended the "long and costly wars" in Iraq and Afghanistan, the not-so veiled campaign against "Islamic militancy" euphemistically called the War on Terror-renamed-the Overseas Contingency Operation continues unabated. But rather than out in the open and in the full glare of media attention, the Obama administration likes to do things a bit more discreetly, as illustrated by the spectacular SEAL Team Six action in the improbably-named Abbottabad at the beginning of May 2011.
Lurking in the Shadows: Kill list and JSOC
Jo Becker and Scott Shane of the New York Times described how President Obama personally oversees a “secret kill list,” a directory of names and photos of individuals targeted for assassination in the US drone war or deadly strike campaign carried out by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). Becker and Shane show that President Obama's ambitions are not just limited to high value targets per sé. Far from it, in his 2013 book Dirty Wars, the investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill convincingly shows how the Obama administration carefully continues the Bush-proclaimed war against terrorists all around. Reviewing the book, the freelance journalist and researcher Dawn Paley states that "Scahill’s investigation leads him to unravel the secret maneuvers of the shadowy and powerful Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) as he is drawn into a world of covert operations unknown to the public and carried out across the globe by men who do not exist on paper and may never appear before Congress. In military jargon, JSOC teams 'find, fix, and finish' their targets, who are selected through a secret process . . . From Afghanistan to Yemen and Somalia". Paley then concludes that the "carefully gathered evidence, [presented in] Dirty Wars makes it clear that American military campaigns do little more than exacerbate existing situations . . . Scahill carefully documents how the militaristic approach taken by the US government towards perceived terror threats in Somalia, Yemen and elsewhere has served to drive up the influence of local armed groups," and foment terrorist activities across the globe. In other words, Obama's hidden yet relentless continuation of the Bush wars in Afghanistan and Iraq in other places and locales by covert and arguably immoral means does nothing but pour oil on the flames of discontent.
The new Cold War
But Obama does more than just carry on his predecessor's dirty work. In fact, as I wrote some time ago, the US President basically promotes a "proxy-war pitting the West, as represented by the US and its NATO and other allies, against the new unholy trinity of Russia-China-Iran.” [http://rt.com/op-edge/157704-new-cold-war-victims/] From Libya, which was left in a shambles, and has now become the new Afghanistan, over Syria, where the much maligned Bashar Assad has managed to resist all manners of "assisted rebels-with-a-cause,” to the apparently endless quagmire filled with death and suffering for the civilian population in eastern Ukraine. The Obama administration persistently blames Putin's Russia for the unrest next door. Literally, Obama stated in his SOTU speech that the United States are "upholding the principle that bigger nations can’t bully the small — by opposing Russian aggression, supporting Ukraine’s democracy, and reassuring our NATO allies. Last year, as we were doing the hard work of imposing sanctions along with our allies, some suggested that Mr. Putin’s aggression was a masterful display of strategy and strength. Well, today, it is America that stands strong and united with our allies, while Russia is isolated, with its economy in tatters.”
Even though it would seem a bit premature or even counter-factual to call Russia either "isolated" or "in tatters,” the fact remains that there has always been an American hand pulling the Ukrainian puppet's strings.
In the video clip of this year's SOTU speech provided by the White House on its dedicated YouTube channel, listening viewers could read on the screen's right side that the U.S. has now also committed nearly $340 million in economic assistance to President Petro Poroshenko (aka Chocolashenko), in addition to having provided a $1 billion loan guarantee.
At the same time, the internet-spread propaganda message proudly proclaimed that the US is leading a coalition of 31 counties in coordinating sanctions against Russia for its aggression against Ukraine.
A day after US President Barack Obama’s SOTU speech, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told a press conference in Moscow that the American leader’s address “proves that the [US] philosophy has only one central piece - we are No.1 and everyone else has to admit it . . . This [attitude] is a bit old-fashioned, it fails to meet present-day realities and demonstrates that the United States actually wants to dominate the world rather than be the first amongst equals.” In an afterthought, the Russian added that "this too shall pass.” But, on the ground in Ukraine the fighting continues, as described in the Washington Post, "tensions in Ukraine have escalated since the start of the new year to levels that NATO’s top commander said he has not seen since the summer, before government troops and pro-Russian rebels signed a ceasefire agreement — an accord rendered ineffective by the recent surge in violence.”
Cold War theology in the 21st century
In the end, far from living in a world without ideological strife, as erroneously predicted by Francis Fukuyama at the end of last century, geopolitical competition and economic rivalry today are as dominant and dangerous as ever before. The US continues in its desire to be the global top dog, leading the West into battle with "Islamic militants" or "Muslim extremists.”
In fact, Obama condemned the Caliph and his henchmen as perpetrators of "act(s) of pure evil.” As an American politician, it is easy for the US President to use words and phrases redolent of piety and a belief in higher forces (such as, good and/or evil). In spite of the fact that many of his detractors describe the Hawaii-born politician as a "Nazi-Socialist-Communist-Muslim,” Obama is a deeply pious Christian with a personal commitment to serve good and fight evil in the world. About three years ago, I wrote that "Obama is much attached to the work of the American Protestant exponent of 'Christian realism', Reinhold Niebuhr. Back in April 2007, then-candidate Obama told The New York Times columnist David Brooks: 'I take away [from Niebuhr’s work] the compelling idea that there’s serious evil in the world, and hardship and pain. And we should be humble and modest in our belief we can eliminate those things. But we shouldn’t use that as an excuse for cynicism and inaction. I take away . . .the sense we have to make these efforts knowing they are hard, and not swinging from naïve idealism to bitter realism’.”
In other words, the Cold War and its binary rhetoric are still very much with us today, be it as the hidden reasoning behind the never-ending War on Terror-renamed-the Overseas Contingency Operation or as the economic power-struggle between Free World (the United State and the NATO alliance) and the new unholy trinity of Russia-China-Iran. This year's State of the Union speech eloquent yet veiled messages relayed this truth quite plainly.
Last Edit: Jan 28, 2015 18:01:04 GMT -5 by TsarSamuil
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