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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 10/24/17

UVA's Miller Center Plans Three Days of Russophobia

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This festering turd of an analysis was produced by Erez Manela of Harvard "No Whistleblowers Allowed!" University. The proposal, to be clear, is for the United States, with more wars and overthrows than it can keep track of, having utterly destroyed Iraq, having turned the Middle East into a terrorism factory, in the process of starving the entire population of Yemen, should use moral pressure to urge Russia to start complying with the norms of good civilized cooperative behavior.

Another Miller Center article comes from Eugene B. Rumer of the Carnegie Endowment for International "Peace," who gently hints at the possibility of questioning the wisdom of having expanded NATO before concluding: "In retrospect, it was a sensible approach to take during that time." Rumer also tells us that the reason for hostile U.S.-Russian relations is all Russia's fault and good justification for U.S. hostility:

"The standard answer these days in Washington is because of Russian interference in our 2016 presidential election, because of Vladimir Putin's illegal annexation of Crimea and war against Ukraine, and because of Putin--his onslaught on democracy at home and dangerous and megalomaniacal agenda abroad. Each of these is a serious charge capable of doing serious damage to any relationship between almost any two countries. Taken together, they amount to a legitimate cause for a new Cold War."

Then Derek Chollet of the German Marshall Fund of the United States tells us that, "As long as Putin remains in charge, there is very little chance for a productive US-Russian relationship, and presidents should set expectations accordingly. . . . The United States should not be afraid of isolating Russia or plainly stating that it will work to contain Russia's aspirations."

Well, that ought to help things.

Vladislav Zubok , professor of international history at the London School of Economics, piles on the anti-Putin propaganda:

"Putin, like Brezhnev, is deeply illiberal. He respects force and supports militarism, venerates 'Great Fatherland war,' and promotes state patrimonialism. Yet he is much more than a Soviet 'KGB man.' He had a steep learning curve, when the Soviet state was destroyed and Russia was flooded by the realities of political and economic liberalization. He accepted fundamental failure of Communism as economic and ideological doctrine, and does not want to rebuild a territorial Soviet empire. His project is to improve Russia's place in the existing world order, not to create a new one. And his idea of power is closer to what he perceives Arab sheiks, China, and Latin American politics to be than to the tsars and the commissars."

It's remarkable how little any of these demonizers of Putin even mention the existence of Donald Trump.

In a nod to fact-based reality, the Miller Center has included one article by Allen Lynch, professor of politics at the University of Virginia, which reminds us that, beyond Russia's refusal to back an attack on Iraq in 2003, a big cause of animosity was the way in which the U.S. played Russia and other nations at the U.N. in 2011, when it pretended it wanted to attack Libya merely to prevent a fictional threat of genocide, but immediately proceeded to overthrow the government. It was this experience that led Russia to take a very different approach to U.S. actions in Syria.

Even Lynch, however, brings up the "Ukraine crisis" without ever mentioning the U.S. role in creating it. He does, however, acknowledge a Russian perspective:

"So long as countries like Ukraine and Georgia remain eligible for NATO membership, Moscow cannot assume that it can provide for its security at the negotiating table with Washington."

That's reality. I don't expect it to get in the way of the Miller Center's work.

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David Swanson is the author of "When the World Outlawed War," "War Is A Lie" and "Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union." He blogs at and and works for the online (more...)
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