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From Consortium News
Announcing Germany's surrender and the end of war in Europe 75 years ago on May 8, 1945, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill was quick to acknowledge the vital role played by the Soviet Union in the Allied victory over Germany: "Today, perhaps, we shall think mostly of ourselves. Tomorrow we shall pay a particular tribute to our Russian comrades, whose prowess in the field has been one of the grand contributions to the general victory."
Churchill was more colloquial when he addressed the House of Commons in October 1944, stating that the Soviets had "torn the guts out of the filthy Nazis." More than 80 percent of the German soldiers killed in World War II died fighting the Red Army.
The Soviets forced the Germans to retreat long before Allied troops invaded Normandy, a reality that today would surprise many Americans. Before Normandy, the U.S. and Britain were providing the Soviets with key logistical and other support. But it was the Soviet army that held off and decimated several of the Wehrmacht's strongest divisions.
While it may stun those who still read the Kremlin-baiting Washington Post, it was still possible five years ago to place in that august newspaper an "other-side-of-the-story" article describing who actually did the heavy lifting to defeat the Nazis.
(Less stunningly, what Churchill called the "grand contributions to the general victory" were reviewed last year in an informal discussion among members of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.)
Let's move to more recent history.
From "Growing Trust" to Very Little
Early September 2013 marked a high-water mark for U.S.-Russian relations. Russian President Vladimir Putin helped President Barack Obama resist neocon demands to do "shock and awe" on Syria after a false-flag chemical attack on Aug. 21, 2013 just outside Damascus, an attack which Secretary of State John Kerry immediately blamed on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
War was averted when the Russians persuaded Assad to give up Syria's chemical weapons. The stockpiles were eventually destroyed under UN supervision aboard a U.S. ship in the Atlantic outfitted for chemical weapons destruction. The neocons' outrage at Moscow's thwarting of their effort to mousetrap Obama into an overt attack on Syria knew no bounds.
President Vladimir Putin of Russia and U.S. President Barack Obama during a meeting in San Jose Del Cabo, Mexico, June 18, 2012.
(Image by (White House, Pete Souza)) Details DMCA
It was a modicum of trust between Obama and Putin that produced that agreement with Syria on Sept. 9, 2013. Two days later, The New York Times ran an op-ed by Putin in which he said that the tumultuous events of the previous few weeks in Syria had "prompted me to speak directly to the American people and their political leaders. It is important to do so at a time of insufficient communication between our societies."
Putin argued against a U.S. attack on Syria, a position which was still being advocated passionately by Kerry and many neocons.
Regarding the sarin attack of Aug. 21, 2013, which led to Syria giving up its chemical stocks and avoiding a direct U.S. military intervention, Putin wrote:
"No one doubts that poison gas was used in Syria. But there is every reason to believe it was used not by the Syrian Army, but by opposition forces, to provoke intervention by their powerful foreign patrons. ...
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