One-Sided NYT Debate on Putin
by Stephen Lendman
Times editors changed the rules on debating, assuring views they support get featured, others at most given short shrift - maintaining its mind manipulation practice, excluding free and open discussion on vital world and national issues.
Matthew Rojansky directs the establishment Wilson Center Kennan Institute. Kathryn Stoner is a Stanford University Spogli Institute for International Studies senior fellow.
Both were negative on Putin. So are Times editors and their presidential choice, Hillary Clinton. So fair and balanced views on him were excluded as expected. One-sided non-debate substituted.
Stoner lied claiming “(t)he US tried working with Putin. It didn’t work,” saying US/Russian relations deteriorated after his 2012 re-eelection.
Washington undermined ties. Putin was wrongfully blamed. US administrations tolerate no sovereign independent states, wanting puppet regimes it controls replacing them, how things were during the lost Boris Yeltsin decade - ending on December 31, 1999 when Putin succeeded him.
With US encouragement and coaching, Yeltsin introduced “shock therapy.” Economic genocide followed. GDP plunged 50%. Life expectancy fell. Democratic freedoms died.
An oligarch class accumulated enormous wealth at the expense of millions of harmed Russians.
Contemptuously ignoring essential needs, human rights and civil liberties, Yeltsin let corruption and criminality flourish. One scandal followed another. Money-laundering became sport. Billions in stolen wealth were hidden in Western banks or offshore tax havens.
Western governments and media scoundrels loved him. Putin rejects US imperialism, deplores foreign intervention. In 2007, he condemned Washington’s quest for unipolar global dominance “through a system which has nothing to do with democracy.”
Spurning international norms and principles, it’s “plunging the world into an abyss of permanent conflicts. (It) overstep(s) its national borders in almost all sphere,” he explained.
These and similar comments don’t set well in Washington - nor with imperial supporters like Stoner. False accusations dog Putin - including:
- nonexistent “Russian aggression” in Ukraine;
- nonexistent seizure of Crimea;
- nonexistent war crimes in Syria;
- nonexistent hacking of DNC emails or attempts to influence America’s November presidential election;
- baseless claims of billions of dollars stashed in offshore tax havens;
- phony accusations of cracking down on government opponents;
- bashing Russian democracy under his leadership; and
- fabricated allegations of murder, among other relentless attacks against him.
He’s denigrated for opposing America’s quest for global dominance, urging multi-world polarity, supporting Russian sovereign independence and believing international laws, norms and standards are inviolable.
According to anti-Russia extremists like Stoner, “(t)he next US president will inherit…a Putin problem,” calling Trump’s support for him “dangerous.”
Rojansky is no Putin fan, at the same time saying sanctions on Russia under his leadership accomplished nothing, other than heightening tensions.
Instead of explaining Washington consistently undermines his all-out efforts to resolve conflicts in Syria and Ukraine diplomatically, he accused him of “escalating and broadening (things) via nuclear saber rattling, cyber attacks and misinformation warfare” - along with seeking greater influence “throughout the Middle East” and elsewhere.
America is a warrior state, notably since the first Bill and Hillary Clinton co-presidency - waging endless wars of aggression for unchallenged global dominance.
Russia isn’t revanchist, Putin the world’s preeminent peacemaker. Instead of praising his efforts, extremists like Rojanky denigrate him.
“What is to be done,” he asked? “Our problem is with Russia,” he claims. “(W)e need to stop pursuing policies with the expectation either that Russia will change into a friendly democracy or that it can be fully defeated and sidelined. Neither is remotely likely…”
“(R)e-establish dialogue (to) advanc(e) our national interests…Most of all, we need coordination and consistency on our side.”
Views serving US interests at the expense of Russia and other countries can’t work longer-term. Smaller, weaker countries can be bullied or battered into compliance, given Washington’s penchant for endless conflicts.
Relations with Russia are another matter entirely. Each country’s destructive power matches the other’s. War if initiated assures losers, not winners - maybe ending life on earth at the same time.
Given today’s super-weapons, either we get along or we’ll perish. Why doesn’t The Times debate this most vital of all issues - with distinguished independent anti-war activists participating?
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.