by William Skink
Intelligent Discontent–a Montana blog that focuses on state issues–proves again it should remain focused on state issues.
In a guest post titled Making Russia Great Again guest author Wade Sikorski regurgitates slanted, inaccurate portrayals of geopolitical maneuvers intended to exaggerate Russian behavior while minimizing American involvement:
After the Ukrainian people had overthrown a very corrupt government that Putin controlled, Putin invaded the Ukraine to take back his influence. Alarmed at Putin’s expansionism, the Obama administration imposed severe sanctions on Russia for interfering in the Ukraine, stopping a half trillion dollar deal Exxon was negotiating with Russia, which was perhaps the largest in human history, to develop Russia’s oilfields above the Arctic circle.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Russian economy collapsed with it, never fully recovering, and the only thing it had going for it was money from oil and gas. Russia’s economy is so dependent on oil now, John McCain has described it as a filling station masquerading as a country. So Putin needed the Exxon deal to make Russia great again, and he might do anything to get it, including buying a U.S. president.
What Wade isn’t telling the intelligent media consumers of Intelligent Discontent is that the coup in Ukraine was orchestrated by foreign actors, which was exposed in the infamous Victoria Nuland phone conversation.
Wade is doing that Nazi propaganda trick where enough repetitions of bullshit eventually makes that bullshit stick. Corporate media does it all the time.
I know, we’re only supposed to be talking about the Nazi Trump regime, not Nazi-supporting liberals like Obama and Hillary Clinton, but when I say Obama and Hillary supported Nazis, I’m not being hyperbolic. The coup in Ukraine literally unleashed Nazis ensuring Ukraine will remain in a state of bloody, chaotic civil war.
American foreign policy: if we can’t have it, we’ll break it.
Another glaring omission is Wade’s reference to the collapse of the Soviet Union without acknowledging how the western world watched and cheered its collapse. For something that doesn’t stink of Wade’s jingoistic treatment of the demise of the Soviet Union, I suggest consulting Stephen Cohen. Here is an example of a more inclusive reading of that time period:
For most western commentators the Soviet breakup was an unambiguously positive turning point in Russian and world history. As it quickly became the defining moment in a new American triumphalist narrative, the hope that Mikhail Gorbachev’s pro-Soviet democratic and market reforms of 1985-91 would succeed was forgotten. Soviet history was now presented as “Russia’s seven decades as a rigid and ruthless police state”. American academics reacted similarly, most reverting to pre-Gorbachev axioms that the system had always been unreformable and doomed. The opposing view that there had been other possibilities in Soviet history, “roads not taken”, was dismissed as a “dubious”, if not disloyal, notion. Gorbachev’s reforms, despite having so remarkably dismantled the Communist party dictatorship, had been “a chimera”, and the Soviet Union therefore died from a “lack of alternatives”.
Most specialists no longer asked, even in the light of the human tragedies that followed in the 1990s, if a reforming Soviet Union might have been the best hope for the post-communist future of Russia. Nor have mainstream commentators asked if its survival would have been better for world affairs. On the contrary, they concluded that everything Soviet had to be discarded by “the razing of the entire edifice of political and economic relations”. Such certitudes are now, of course, the only politically correct ones in US (and most European) policy, media and academic circles.
Cohen goes on to do something I rarely see supposedly inclusive liberals do: consider how the actual human beings we call Russians who live in Russia feel about the collapse. I guess if you’re not a part of Pussy Riot, you’re perspective doesn’t matter.
Thankfully, Cohen doesn’t adhere to western propaganda themes like Wade emulating corporate media does:
A large majority of Russians, on the other hand, as they have regularly made clear in opinion surveys, regret the end of the Soviet Union, not because they pine for “communism” but because they lost a secure way of life. They do not share the nearly unanimous western view that the Soviet Union’s “collapse” was “inevitable” because of inherent fatal defects. They believe instead, and for good reason, that three “subjective” factors broke it up: the way Gorbachev carried out his political and economic reforms; a power struggle in which Yeltsin overthrew the Soviet state in order to get rid of its president, Gorbachev; and property-seizing Soviet bureaucratic elites, the nomenklatura, who were more interested in “privatising” the state’s enormous wealth in 1991 than in defending it. Most Russians, including even the imprisoned oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky, therefore still see December 1991 as a “tragedy”.
This blindspot is telling. The same inability to consider why many Russians see the collapse of the Soviet Union as a tragedy is at work in the inability of liberals to understand why 8 years of Obama’s PR recovery campaign resulted in Trump.
It really is the economy, stupid.
If the resistance thinks every vote for Trump was a racist, sexist validation of white supremacy and misogyny, it will fail.
And if liberals keep up the demonization campaign against Russia, believing and promoting the propaganda put out by the professional liars in America’s intelligence community, what will be the result?
I’m afraid of the answer to that question.