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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 3/17/18

Corbyn Calls for Evidence in Escalating Poison Row

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AARON MATÉ: That's Jeremy Corbyn speaking today, calling today for. "a robust dialogue with Russia." So, Professor Cohen, for saying that, Corbyn was widely mocked, including by members of his own party. I'm wondering if you can comment on that, the import of that, not just for this specific case, but overall, this attitude towards having dialogue, calling for dialogue with Russia being somehow worthy of scorn and contempt.

STEPHEN COHEN: One person of high political rank in the United States who has been calling for robust dialogue with Russia, with the possible exception of Donald Trump, insofar as we can understand what it is he does say, take a little time, Aaron. Think about it.

AARON MATÉ: Is there one person in the US who's been calling?

STEPHEN COHEN: In the Senate, in the Congress, in the State Department, somebody of influence who called for a robust dialogue with Russia in the recent months or years?

AARON MATÉ: Oh well, there was Barack Obama, before he backed, at least, when he was running against Mitt Romney, but I assume you're thinking of somebody else.

STEPHEN COHEN: No. There is no one. I can't think of anyone. It's a trick question, and the answer is, "no. "

AARON MATÉ: Oh, okay.

STEPHEN COHEN: But I've heard some of these people saying privately that we need this, but I don't hear them saying it publicly. Look, I did live in England and get educated there partly many, many years ago, and I followed British politics. So, I don't have great authority, but two things come to mind. Theresa May is, perhaps, among the weakest prime ministers in modern history. She's holding on for dear life. Jeremy Corbyn is an extraordinary figure. His party, his Labour Party, which is not very good on Russia related issues either, didn't approve of what he said. But he said the right thing. He said, "There's no evidence. While we search for evidence, we need to continue a robust dialogue with Russia." That's exactly right.

And whether he'll prevail or not, I don't know, but it is interesting, isn't it, that unlike in the United States, the leader of the opposition, which is what Corbyn is, and potentially a prime minister, is setting himself against this reckless Cold War behavior on the part of the British government. All I can say is I wish we had such a person in American high politics.

AARON MATÉ: Well, that's a good segue to the next part of our discussion where we're gonna talk more about the role right now of Russiagate in US politics. Professor Stephen F. Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies at Princeton University and New York University, thank you.

And thank you for joining us on The Real News.

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