American Cold War Experts: "The Real Threat Is Russophobia"

And now for expert analysis that runs refreshingly contrary to the week's Trump-Putin mass hysteria over the Helsinki summit, we find ourselves surprised to feature an unusually honest Vice segment on HBO: These American scholars say the real threat to the U.S. is Russophobia.

"If he [President Trump] means what he said he was right. It would be great to cooperate with Russia  I would go farther, it's imperative... We are eyeball to eyeball in a new Cold War with Russia," begins Stephen F. Cohen, considered among the world's foremost Russian academic experts, while sitting beside John Mearsheimer in this latest Vice interview, who nods his head in approval.

Both have long been a thorn in the side of the McCarthyite commentariat which alleges Russian collusion behind every decision of the Trump administration.

Screenshot of Vice HBO segment: Stephen F. Cohen (left) and International Security Policy Co-Director at the University of Chicago, John Mearsheimer (right)

Mearsheimer, a longtime International Security Policy program director at the University of Chicago, questions the now largely cemented narrative created by those who have least understanding of the history of US-Russia relations: "Why won't people engage in a legitimate debate with people like Steve and me? And I believe the reason they won't is they would lose the debate - I'm fully confident of that."

Instead of a rational, nuanced national debate we are fed a steady diet of simplistically absurd and crude images like the newly unveiled Time magazine cover:

As the American public has from the time of Trump's election endured endless obtrusive and cacophonous media noise with no real smoking gun (as Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper famously admitted a year ago) to back the charges of collusion — what CNN's Van Jones early on admitted was "just a big nothing burger" — the voices of a small cadre of real Russian experts rarely breaks through to a mass audience.

“There is an unwillingness to engage in debate on this issue, like I have never seen before," Mearsheimer tells Vice.

And Cohen adds:

We've demonized Putin and we've Putinized Russia so we demonize Russia. Russophobia is running amok in this country. 

I’ve seen these things from the inside. I've re-thought and re-thought how we got to the edge of war with Russia, where we haven't been since Cuba in 1962. And I have concluded, and I would be happy to debate my opponents… It is 95 percent our own doing.

The two scholars present the convincing weight of history to demolish the Vice interviewer's every objection.

Professor Cohen in particular has also been a guest of increased regularity on Tucker Carlson's prime time show, where he is consistently introduced as "an actual expert on the subject, a Russian speaker..."

On Tuesday, a day after the Trump-Putin meeting, Cohen explained the following obvious historical truth on Tucker Carlson Tonight

This is the president of the United States, doing what every other president before him since FDR in 1943 with Stalin [has done], meeting with the head of the Kremlin. And something that every American president since Eisenhower, a Republican, by the way, has met with the leader of the Kremlin for one existential purpose: To avoid war between the nuclear superpowers.

It's unfortunate that the current mainstream media landscape is such that it takes a professor emeritus at Princeton University to point out what ought to be obvious in any History 101 survey course. Yet Cohen and Mearsheimer's credentials are without parallel when compared to the usual supposed 'experts' regularly appearing in mainstream media (who typically don't even have a basic background in Russian language or history).

Cohen once described the ongoing obsessive and sensationalized 'Russiagate' press coverage as a kind of "pornography": Well it's a kind of pornography. Just as there is no love in pornography, there is no American national interest in this bashing of Trump and Putin. As a historian, let me tell you the headline I would write instead..."Potentially Historic New Detente Anti-Cold War Partnership Begun by Trump and Putin but Meanwhile Attempts to Sabotage It Escalate."

* * *

Peak Twitter hysteria - yes, this was a thing this week... journalists went crazy over a photo they thought showed alleged Russian agent Maria Butina meeting with Trump at the White House:

Professor Cohen has a history of challenging powerful media figures, which is why his appearances on networks like CNN or MSNBC are very infrequent, despite his status as a world authority. 

For example at the height of the 2014 Ukraine crisis he made Christiane Amanpour so frazzled that she began yelling antagonistically for show host Wolf Blitzer "to be very careful" in allowing what she called "pro-Russian" views to be expressed across CNN airwaves.

CNN's Amanpour in 2014: We cannot allow "pro-Russian" perspectives on CNN! (begins at 2:25 mark)

For his consistent realist approach on Russia over the years, The Daily Beast slandered Cohen as "Vladimir Putin's Best Friend in the American Media" — even while acknowledging his prodigious credentials and wide respect within American academia. 

As they suggested in the Vice interview, we'd certainly like to see a real debate materialize involving true academic experts like Cohen and Mearsheimer up against the self-anointed Russiagate "authorities" that currently dominate the airwaves.

But we won't hold our breath as these types prefer a platform that carefully avoids challenge from people with serious credentials who present an 'alternate' point of view backed by inconvenient facts and lessons of history


toady New_Meat Thu, 07/19/2018 - 20:22 Permalink

One of my favorite promises from the election was Trumps promise to normalize relations with Russia.

It's just win-win-win-win to infinity and beyond.

The only real negative is that MIC funding would drop significantly.... which is another win in my book, but apparently an extreme negative for TPTB.

So much fear and loathing... I really just don't  understand it.

My question, that apparently cannot be answered;

What is so wrong with building a strong relationship between the U.S. and Russia?

In reply to by New_Meat

Joe Trader Luc X. Ifer Thu, 07/19/2018 - 20:31 Permalink

Trump's message of getting along was well received by both the RNC and the federal election. Putin's been around for a while and he's been a party to previous issues - it's up to Putin to show that he's open to change. These press conferences are nice, they say nice things, but militarily both countries continue to prepare for war - you have to have major respect for Trump acting as a peace maker and being the president who counter punches our economic enemies.

In reply to by Luc X. Ifer

KansasCrude Joe Trader Thu, 07/19/2018 - 21:13 Permalink

Screw the RNC they are still mainly a bunch of disgusting bought and paid for defense contractor whores.  I got the latest puke from Jerry MORON our senator it was him kissing ass for more defense expenditures and coddling the military machine.  He sucks a total POS.  We need to cut the DOD by at least 50% probably 75%  close 300-400 bases around the world....those rotten Russians have 2 on foreign soil.  Only 1 if you don't count Crimea.   I am tired of being a cuntry of hypocrites and liars.   WE ARE ARE BROKE stop making the hole bigger and deeper.

In reply to by Joe Trader

Itdoesntmatter toady Thu, 07/19/2018 - 20:37 Permalink

exactly....which would lead to job loss in the military and the in red states....yet red states support this moron in is it credulous that America is gonna make nice with russia? no. its not....Trumptards are complete in their stupidity...stupid fucks...

In reply to by toady

MoreSun Itdoesntmatter Thu, 07/19/2018 - 20:39 Permalink

Regarding Trump's Helsinki Sumit: "All that matters now is if the Democrat faction of the Deep State approves. And apparently they don't."

  • Answer:

They (Dems & Jews) surely didn't like his initial handling but watch & hear his second handling after they got to him- its staggering the effects these jew supremacists have on him- he seems outright scared. 

In reply to by Itdoesntmatter

Bendromeda Strain land_of_the_few Fri, 07/20/2018 - 07:30 Permalink

Fair enough, but let us also be perfectly honest as to why Solzhenitsyn is no longer discussed in academic or literary circles. There is an element of HISTORY that is unsavory to a certain group that has achieved the ability to punch far above their weight class. Like ants. Is our house being eaten by carpenter ants?

Allowing the relocation of the Frankfurt School to Columbia University was a grievous error. Go ahead and criticize  my comment.

PS - your comment is illustrative as to why the gun control (confiscation) movement is so heavily endorsed in certain circles. Blowback  indeed.

In reply to by land_of_the_few

Beowulf55 1982xls Thu, 07/19/2018 - 20:35 Permalink

Gotta keep your eye on the ball.  The real threat is the Clintons, Clapper, Strzok, Comey, Brenner, Rosenstien, Soros, and their other deep state minion.


May they all be liquidated with extreme prejudiced after due process and I want it on pay per view for the world to watch.

In reply to by 1982xls

nmewn Thu, 07/19/2018 - 20:20 Permalink

Let's just start with the first prog meltdown over Trump that I remember..."Putin is a strong leader." Now, what does that mean to a prog vs what does that mean to a normal person? 

And no "participation trophies" for playing, those are only for winners ;-)

New_Meat nmewn Thu, 07/19/2018 - 20:23 Permalink

hey nmewn, your memory is short, don't we all know ;-)

I think that the first prog meltdown over The Donald (in this round) was when he came down the movin' stairs and said that the Messicanz were sending over their not very best.  In fact, this pissed off one of my buddies who was chasing a Mexican woman of rather good taste, of course, excepting that she was letting him chase her.

But, as I get older, CRS keeps creepin' in.  It probably goes back further.

Let the meltdowns continue.

- Ned

In reply to by nmewn

nmewn New_Meat Thu, 07/19/2018 - 20:28 Permalink

That could be but that was the meltdown that struck me the most though (the St.Pooty blurb) I mean, it was like an atomic bomb went off over the DC to NYC

"OMGawd! He's praising St.Pooty!"

Well, no. Thats not what he said. Thats what you are faking to interpret it as ;-)

In reply to by New_Meat

New_Meat nmewn Thu, 07/19/2018 - 20:48 Permalink

I'm trying to filter out the caterwauling of the press (>100 dB and constant) and see a bit of longer term.

We know that The Donald can't have a bite of ice cream without criticism, why he should have given everyone chocolate.  We again learn that there is no satisfying the lesser-stream-media-each-and-every-day with anything he says or does.

Someone said that if he had come back from Finland with the keys to Moscow and Lenningrad, he would have been criticized--yep.  I know a woman like that too.

But the longer-term is important, still unfolding.

I am sure that the investigations are being allowed to drag on and to continue to show self-embarrassment, for the outcome is that more and more people come to understand what is going on.  And that also is sorting/filtering those who won't or can't change.

Interesting times.

In reply to by nmewn

Catullus Thu, 07/19/2018 - 20:22 Permalink

The children in the media and congress and “intelligence officials” who are not willing to do what it takes to bring Russia and the US closer together peacefully need to sit down and shut the fuck up. You lost. Americans have rejected you and your childish antics. It’s time for adults to take over. 

bh2 Thu, 07/19/2018 - 20:25 Permalink

The Press is always the leader of the pack into senseless wars.

Anything to sell newspapers -- or draw clicks, as the case may be.

Clark_Griswold… bh2 Thu, 07/19/2018 - 20:35 Permalink

"if it Bleeds, it Leads"

Sad to reach a point where the US media has become an extreme propaganda mouth piece for the fascist insane left.  My God, all these people need to be shipped off to another part of the world to be educated on reality and how fortunate they are.  Then again when you do nothing to earn the "rights", you take it for granted.

Sad that legal immigrants, that follow the law of this country appreciate it more than them.

In reply to by bh2

el buitre bh2 Thu, 07/19/2018 - 21:21 Permalink

The press are just whores who turn tricks for that eye at the top of that Pyramid depicted on the $1 fern.  In 1912, 80% of Brits were against going to war with Germany.  It simply made no sense to them.  After all the late, beloved Queen Victoria, who preferred to refer to herself with plural pronouns, was Keiser Wilhelm's grandmother.  The Crown gave the Tavistock Institute the job of getting the population to hate Germany and Germans, and they did an excellent job of it.  Shortly into the war 80%, of Brits approved of the war.  After all, the Kaiser was an animal who shot babies for target practice with his service revolver, or so they said.  Edward Bernays has been given the dubious honor of being crowned the founding father of propaganda, but this masterful job preceded his efforts by over 20 years. The result was a bloodbath that decimated the young men of Europe to the point that women were finding it difficult to wed.

Why of course the people don’t want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.- Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring's testimony before the Nuremberg tribunal on crimes against humanity

But from this latest Gallop poll with well under 1% of Mericans not giving a flying fuck about the Russians, the scam just doesn't seem to be working any more.  It must be the interwebs.  And Trump bypassing the whores by going directly with Twitter.  Have to admit that was a brilliant reversal as they count points in college wrestling, a  +2.  It may be that the average Merican is just too fucking dumbed down to even understand this shit that is being thrown at them.  I can't help but  think of Mark Dice's youtube where he offers a dozen people on the street (admittedly CA) a tenth ounce gold coin or a candy bar, and they all chose the latter.  And he did it deliberately with the door and sign to a coin shop less than 25 feet away.  It ain't climate change - it's Bob Dylan's Idiot Wind.


In reply to by bh2

Cloud9.5 Thu, 07/19/2018 - 20:31 Permalink

The original intent was to destroy western civilization by smothering it with an influx of third worlders.  Populists like Trump are causing that fantasy to crumble.  Now, the option of choice for the Cloward Piven crowd appears to be an all out nuclear war.

New_Meat Cloud9.5 Thu, 07/19/2018 - 20:38 Permalink

original was well before the '60s and that continuing intent, but there are others.

  • destroy the family unit
  • destroy the ideals of nationalism (really fucked up the Commies in WWI and WWII)
  • destroy the religious basis of communities (associated with above)

Krugman likes the broken window thingie.

But the Columbians and other hot dog gang have long term goals

In reply to by Cloud9.5

DavyRoySixPack Thu, 07/19/2018 - 20:34 Permalink

The Russia-phobia offers additional confirmation to myself that all is an illusion. Some illusions are bigger than others - Russiagate is way up there ...


Shiva the destroyer will eventually come and wipe out many illusions. I just did not expect Shiva to come in the form of the Deep State, Pentagon, MIC, DC .....


I grew up meeting with my NY relatives at reunions (myself a southerner). Today they send me Christmas cards full of hysterics about Trump. The hubris and idiocy I have watched with them over the past 50 years is sad to watch. Grown ups torn to pieces by a constant diet of disinformation.


Logonaut Thu, 07/19/2018 - 20:42 Permalink

I favour a special technical fix to the problem of people interrupting during such 'reasoned discussions': everyone is outfitted with a special little shock device that delivers a painful but harmless jolt if they speak out of turn. The device is administered by a genuinely impartial AI that immediately detects the speech patterns of all participants and delivers a shock to the one who has not yet been given permission to speak.

I favour the application of this device to all televised media discussions reaching a minimum threshold of states/provinces/regions wishing to be thought serious and to all parliamentary debates. No one enters without it on, and removing it automatically results in a felony charge. The number of times people get shocked for talking over others becomes a matter of public record; and if there are too many of them, they are excluded automatically from all representative bodies, including corporate boards and PTAs.

Let me tell you, we would have some of the most civil public discussions in the last ten thousand years. People would still lie, still act like vermin, still have disparate views, etc. But they would be subdued whilst they were about it. Robert's "Rules of Order" is BROKEN. It cannot manage the human beings properly, so that they can be trusted; existing standards of discourse cannot be trusted for such sensitive matters as mass media and representative bodies.