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Natylie Baldwin is co-author of Ukraine: Zbig's Grand Chessboard & How the West Was Checkmated, available from Tayen Lane Publishing. Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in various publications including Sun Monthly, Dissident Voice, Energy Bulletin, Newtopia Magazine, The Common Line, New York Journal of Books and The Lakeshore. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Victory Day & The Thwarted Quest to See Lenin's Tomb
It's a shame that the Cold War and Washington's post-Cold War triumphalism have undermined our ability to acknowledge the sacrifices and achievements of the Soviet Union when we were allied against the Nazis.
Monday, May 8, 2017(11 comments)
Greetings from Moscow
The first thing one sees to their right as they begin the descent down into Moscow's main airport is the sun glistening off the Moscow River surrounded by lots of greenery. It gave me the pick-up I needed after an exhausting 24 hrs of minimal sleep, being crammed on several airplanes & literally running from one end of an airport to another because one flight was almost 2 hours late & nearly made me miss a connecting flight.
Monday, October 24, 2016(24 comments)
Russia's Very Different Reality
The demonization of Russian President Putin and Russia, in general, has reached alarming levels in the West with a new "group think" taking hold that ignores Russian realities and interests, writes Natylie Baldwin.
Wednesday, October 12, 2016(51 comments)
Has Zbigniew Brzezinski Really Changed His Tune?
Zbig's idea that Washington could somehow implement a divide-and-conquer strategy with China against Russia is a pipe dream. The train has left the station in terms of Eurasia largely controlling its own destiny in the future and Zbig seems to be in denial.
Saturday, July 30, 2016(12 comments)
Pre-Soviet Philosophical Thought & Contemporary Russia - Part I of III
A common theme in Russian philosophy of the 19th and early 20th century involved trying to reconcile different forces and influences. To some extent, these are universal concerns for most cultures at various points in their development, but for Russia, it is perhaps even more so due to the nation's particular geography, climate and history.
Tuesday, July 5, 2016(3 comments)
Still a MAD World: The Insanity of Nuclear Weapons
Jerry Brown provides an excellent and thought-provoking review of William J. Perry's book, My Journey at the Nuclear Brink, this month at the New York Review of Books. Brown takes the reader through Perry's evolution of thought about the weapons that he was providing research, management and advice on over the course of decades.
Friday, June 24, 2016(9 comments)
"EXTENDING AMERICAN POWER" -- A Sneak Peek at What a Clinton Foreign Policy May Look Like
The Center for a New American Security (CNAS), a think tank connected to the Democratic Party, particularly with Obama's transition team at the beginning of his first term, published a 20-page policy paper last month called "Extending American Power." This think tank is not only close to the Democratic Party establishment, but this policy paper is disturbing because it was co-authored by Neocon Robert Kagan.
Wednesday, June 1, 2016(4 comments)
"FAIL-SAFE": How a Classic Cold War Novel Still Resonates Today
Unlike articles, which attempt to marshal facts and logic, story-telling is what moves people. Our need and capacity for story-telling is perhaps one of the most essential aspects of being human. A film, book, or other work of story-telling art for a contemporary mass audience that can convey on such a visceral level what is at stake in terms of the continuing dangers of geo-politics in the nuclear age is desperately needed.
Friday, February 26, 2016(14 comments)
Review: JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why it Matters
The book elicits a profound respect for the moral courage demonstrated by both President Kennedy and his Cold War counterpart, Nikita Khrushchev, at moments when so much hung in the balance. The bond these two men developed as a consequence of their taking humanity to the brink and the terror they both felt from looking into the abyss led to a mutual desire to negotiate an end to the Cold War and work toward disarmament.
Monday, January 25, 2016(10 comments)
The Empire Files: Examining the Syrian War Chessboard
The war in Syria is an unparalleled crisis. It has gone far beyond an internal political struggle, and is marked by a complex array of forces that the U.S. Empire hopes to command: Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Kurdistan, Iran, Lebanon, Iraq and more. To simplify this web of enemies and friends, Abby Martin interviews Dr. Vijay Prashad, professor of International Studies at Trinity College and author of several books.
Sunday, January 10, 2016(64 comments)
Vladimir Putin: Neither a Monster Nor a Messiah
I have debunked a number of myths propagated by the western mainstream media that portray Putin as some archetypal monster-villain. But in my perusal of a wide range of alternative media sites and their comments sections, I have observed another trend: a segment of people who are viewing Putin as some kind of Messiah figure. Just like the demonizers, some of these people lack nuance and complexity in their analysis of Putin.
Sunday, October 18, 2015(4 comments)
Postcard from St. Petersburg
After dinner, we stopped to gaze in awe at the Neva river, surrounded by illuminated bridges, with the spire of the Peter and Paul Fortress visible northeast and the Hermitage in the south, as well as Catherine's Palace and St. Isaac's Cathedral.
I can now understand why many experienced world travelers name St. Petersburg as their favorite city in the world. It's beauty, history and character make it hard not fall in love.
Friday, October 16, 2015(5 comments)
Rotary Meeting In Krasnodar, Russia
In a provincial Russian town, I meet Rotary members, NGO workers, members of a "Public Council" who work with local governments to make sure they are responsive to the needss and desires of residents, and a group of high schools students eager to set up exchanges with their American counterparts.
Saturday, October 10, 2015(3 comments)
Yalta Then and Now
I continue my guided tour of Vladimmir Putin's Russia in Crimea, whose residents voted overwhelmingly to rejoin Russia last year. The Black Sea peninsula has harboured Russia's main warm water port since Catherine the Great and had only been gifted to Ukraine by Kruschev in 1954.
Tuesday, October 6, 2015(2 comments)
My Arrival in Moscow
Many journalists and academics write about contemporary Russia, but few have actually been there. Sharon Tennyson offered Natylie Baldwin, co-author of "Zbig's Grand Chessboard and How the West was Checkmated"a unique opportunity to meet with Russians in several Russian locations. More to follow.
Sunday, September 27, 2015(6 comments)
Tour the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow with Pretty Russian Guide (Video)
While in Moscow in May/June of this year, Sharon Tennison's citizen diplomacy group took some time out from meetings to visit the famed Moscow Tretyakov Gallery. It houses a thousand years of magnificent Russian art. The collection began in 1856 when a wealthy Moscow merchant, Pavel Tretyakov, developed a passion for collecting art for himself and his family.
Monday, September 21, 2015(2 comments)
Citizen to Citizen Diplomacy: Americans in Russia Interview Andrei Kortunov (Video)
Note: As part of the citizen-to-citizen diplomacy group, consisting of 20 Americans and led by CCI's Sharon Tennison, that traveled to Russia in June of this year, a discussion was conducted with Andrei Kortunov, Director General of the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) and President of the New Eurasia Foundation (FNE). Below, Sharon provides an introduction to the interview.
Thursday, September 17, 2015(2 comments)
Citizen to Citizen Diplomacy Group's Trip to Russia: Video of Red Square
In June of this year, Sharon Tennison, founder of The Center for Citizen Initiatives (CCI), took a group of approximately 20 Americans on a citizen-to-citizen diplomacy tour of Russia. Sharon provides an introduction to the 13-minute video of the high points of the group's tour from Moscow airport to Red Square.
Thursday, September 10, 2015(1 comments)
9/11/06: Russia Dedicates Memorial to 9/11 Victims
I wonder how many Americans know about the monument that was created by a renowned Russian sculptor, Zurab Tsereteli, and dedicated as a gift in 2006 by the Russian government in honor of the victims of 9/11. The mainstream western media does not seem to have provided much coverage of the event, if any at all.
Wednesday, September 2, 2015(41 comments)
Review: War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning
I have read many accounts of the horrors of war; yet, I never seem to become inured to it. I still wince and feel my stomach curdle, not knowing whether to weep for or rage at humanity.
Thursday, August 27, 2015(4 comments)
Texas Woman Who's Lived in Russia for 25 Years Speaks Out
Cheryl Ann Sigsbee is originally from Texas and has lived in Russia for 25 years. She is married to a Russian man named Victor Konovalenko who is of Belarussian and Ukrainian descent. This is a letter she wrote in response to 2 articles by Peter Pomerantsev, a writer at the Legatum Institute, which she believes repeated many of the distortions about present-day Russia and Vladimir Putin that are so common in the western media
Friday, August 21, 2015(14 comments)
Review: Dying Unneeded: The Cultural Context of the Russian Mortality Crisis
The book is deeply sad at times, but the reader does not walk away simply feeling sorry for Russians, something this proud people likely wouldn't want. In addition to the sadness, one also comes away with a glimpse of what gives the Russian people their character and resilience as well as their mystique.
Tuesday, July 21, 2015(31 comments)
The Case for Enlightened Isolationism
At a time when Washington is experiencing the hubris of imperial overreach and the prospect of the eventual collapse that history shows is the inevitable endgame of all empires, it is time for concerned Americans across the political spectrum to begin to seriously consider what a new paradigm and policy platform representing sanity might look like.
Friday, June 26, 2015(9 comments)
State Capitalism on Behalf of Militarism
What is hard to argue with is the fact that what constituted a huge part of the Soviet economy in terms of input of resources -- and, ironically, what it has had in common with the U.S. economy -- was a sprawling and wasteful military-industrial complex guaranteed by the state to enable an arms race.
Monday, June 1, 2015(8 comments)
American Propaganda and the Mass Media
Edward Bernays' work and the philosophy underpinning it have paved the way for the cynical use of grand ideas like freedom, democracy and human rights to sell mindless consumption, wars, coups, color revolutions (i.e. contrived regime changes under the pretense of spreading democracy or "western values"), and instability - all in the service of a small group of people who benefit.
Saturday, May 9, 2015(5 comments)
Deconstructing the Ukraine War: The Players and Their Interests
As ominous reports of increased violations of the Minsk 2.0 ceasefire continue to surface and the Kiev government paves the way for martial law, the winds of war appear to be picking up again.
It seems like a good time to take a look at the parties in the Ukraine war, their interests and what may be expected in the future.
Thursday, April 23, 2015(6 comments)
3 Western Media Myths About Russia
For those open-minded enough to look, Russia is undergoing a gradual process of creating a post-Soviet national and cultural identity. As Paul Grenier discusses in his most recent article, Distorting Putin's Favorite Philosophers, Russia has a strong philosophical and cultural tradition to draw upon in this quest. Russia will also likely borrow some elements from the West, but they will never be a carbon copy of the United Sta
Frontline Slings Mud at Putin
Karen Dawisha is not the most credible source on Russia or its president. Making a documentary program with no other academic or journalistic experts on Russia, government officials or business people is short sighted. Not performing due diligence as to the dubious claims she and the handful of others on Frontline make smacks of propaganda.