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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 4/3/18

Why is the US Media and Foreign Policy Establishment Targeting Russia?

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The antagonism towards Russia by U.S. media and foreign policy elites goes far beyond allegations of Russian interference in the U.S. elections

[Rebroadcast from The Real News Network, November 21, 2017]

PAUL JAY: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Paul Jay, and we are live on Facebook and YouTube and and maybe some other places, and we're actually live here in the studio. Thanks for joining us. We're going to talk about U.S. foreign policy, and Larry Wilkerson will be joining us momentarily.

After World War Two, it's been a strategic objective of U.S. foreign policy that this should be a single superpower world. Ideally, the United States should have utter, full-spectrum, sometimes they use that language, domination from nuclear weapons to cyberspace to media and such. With the emergence of the Soviet Union as a rival superpower, it became a fundamental objective to undo that Soviet Union and get back to a single superpower world. That was successfully done.

Now we're back into a world where the U.S. is the ultimate power, but not as ultimate as it would like. The United States does not like the rise of regional powers, especially regional powers with a certain amount of global reach, any regional power, like a Russia, or a China, or an Iran that is not under the control of the United States. They don't mind regional powers like Saudi Arabia that are more or less under the control of the United States, but ones that are not are considered threats, not just to regional hegemony but countries like a China, perhaps a Russia at some point can become real global competitors. Certainly Russia has become that in Syria.

What is U.S. foreign policy, and why is it so antagonistic to Russia? I suggest the reasons I just gave. The alleged Russian meddling in the U.S. elections, to the extent that turns out to be true, certainly is secondary to these bigger strategic reasons. Just why is there a division between the Trump administration, certainly on Russia at least, and the preponderance of U.S. foreign policy establishment?

Now joining us to talk about this and really how dangerous all this is is Larry Wilkerson. Larry was the former chief of staff for U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell. He's currently an adjunct professor of government at the College of William and Mary and a regular contributor to The Real News. Thanks for joining us again, Larry.

LARRY WILKERSON: Good to be here, Paul.

PAUL JAY: There's no doubt that the U.S. elites are upset about Russia interfering in the U.S. elections. I still don't know what's true or what isn't true. There seems to be some evidence that there were troll farms and such sending out messages to the U.S. public that could have influenced some of the election. There's allegations about the Wikipedia stuff. Not Wikipedia, I'm sorry. WikiLeaks.

All that being said, it didn't change the outcome of the election. This seems to be more something that's being used to try to attack Trump from the Democrats generally, because they would like to weaken Trump, and then as I say the preponderance of the foreign policy establishment, the neoconservatives, do not like Trump entertaining the idea that it's okay for Russia to have saved the Assad administration in Syria, and it's okay to start wheeling and dealing and perhaps lifting the embargo on Russia. That seems to be a serious internal fight within the American elites.

Anyway, let's start with that big question, and then we'll go from there. Pretty soon, we'll be taking viewer questions. If you're watching live, you can comment on YouTube, comment on Facebook, or at If you have any questions, comments, we'll try to work them into the show. Larry, what's your take?

LARRY WILKERSON: Just flowing directly into what you just said in your opening statement, I think there are two really irritating factors out there for the new Rome, if you will, that the United States became in 1945. One is Russia, as you ably pointed out, but that's in a more or less military, covert operation, clandestine activities, propaganda vein. Russia is not really that powerful economically.

The other is China, extremely powerful economically, by purchasing power parity the number one economy in the world, and by all measurements probably in another decade or decade and a half, the number one economic power in the world. China just scared South Korea significantly with its economic power and the sanctions they brought to bear on the Republic of Korea. South Korea is going to nix any more Theater High Altitude Air Defense deployment for the peninsula. That shows you the power that China has.

It's a two-pronged enemy out there, if you will, in the vein that you just described. Of course there are others, other irritants, but those are the two big ones.

PAUL JAY: Let's start with Russia, because right now in the American news, the media, and in culture, movies, television shows, the big bad guy is Russia. I do want to add, Russia is a big capitalist power, as in China. They don't have different agendas than the United States do, in the sense that if Russia could be the global single superpower, I think they would love it, and they would be just as aggressive and perhaps more so than the United States. The same thing goes with China, but they're not. They're secondary. They're second-tier powers, at least at this time.

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