by Yvonne Lorenzo for The Saker Blog
Over ten years ago, one of the few voices that I listened to that provided facts outside the propaganda narrative of the legacy mass media and the U.S. government on what the situation was regarding Georgia fighting with Russia was from Russia scholar Professor Stephen Cohen. I felt blessed to discover him and his work.
After the events in Ukraine, where a U.S. sponsored putsch installed a fascist government in power, he and conservative radio talk show host John Batchelor held numerous conversations on the “New Cold War” with Russia. Professor Cohen has decided to collect the summaries of those conversations, up to recent events including the Kerch incident, in a new book, War with Russia?: From Putin and Ukraine To Trump and Russiagate. While Professor Cohen has written several works of scholarship and is unique in not sticking to the “party line” that Russia is greatest enemy of America and the West, this book is special because it’s both timely and accessible to interested readers. What is appalling, and demonstrates the bias of the so-called elites, is as Professor Cohen writes in his introduction, To My Readers:
I had been arguing for years—very much against the American political-media grain—that a new US-Russian Cold War was unfolding, driven primarily by politics in Washington, not in Moscow. For this perspective, I had been largely excluded from influential print, broadcast, and cable outlets where I had previously been welcomed…
But the “controversy” surrounding me since 2014, mostly in reaction to the contents of this book, has been different—inspired by usually vacuous, defamatory assaults on me as “Putin’s No. 1 American Apologist,” “Best Friend,” and the like. I never respond specifically to these slurs because they offer no truly substantive criticism of my arguments, only ad hominem attacks. Instead, I argue, as readers will see in the first section, that I am a patriot of American national security, that the orthodox policies my assailants promote are gravely endangering our security, and that therefore we—I and others they assail—are patriotic heretics. Here too readers can judge.
Professor Cohen is a unique American voice arguing that American national interests, including the often cited but ill-defined “National Security” are not best served by making Russia an enemy. One of the chapters in the book, The Silence of the Doves, discusses the nonexistent antiwar movement, even though the most likely outcome of war with Russia would be a nuclear conflict. Regarding Putin’s March speech on the new weapons technology Russia has developed, Professor Cohen’s insight exceeds anything the legacy media and so-called Russia experts purvey:
In the speech, Putin does not comment directly on past nuclear-arms races, but he makes clear that another, more dangerous, one looms, depending on how Washington reacts to Moscow’s new weapons. Washington can accept the parity—the deterrent—Russia has restored and return to full-scale nuclear arms negotiations. Or it can try again to surpass Moscow’s parity. If Washington chooses the latter course, Putin says, Moscow is fully able and ready to compete, again and again, though he makes clear he would prefer instead to commit his remaining years of leadership, legacy, and national resources to Russia’s modernization and prosperity, which he spells out (yet again) in the first two-thirds of his speech. Putin insists, that is, Russia’s new weapons are not for any kind of aggression but solely for its legitimate military defense and, politically, to bring Washington back to détente-like policies and particularly to nuclear arms negotiations. The Kremlin, he adds, is “ready.” Even having made a compelling and obviously proud presentation of what Russia has unexpectedly achieved, does Putin really believe Washington will “listen now”? He may still have some “illusions,” but we should have none. Recent years have provided ample evidence that US policy-makers and, equally important, influential media commentators do not bother to read what Putin says, at least not more than snatches from click-bait wire-service reports. Still worse, Putin and “Putin’s Russia” have been so demonized it is hard to imagine many leading American political figures or editorial commentators responding positively to what is plainly his hope for a new beginning in US-Russian relations. If nothing else, strategic parity always also meant political parity—recognizing that Soviet Russia, like the United States, had legitimate national interests abroad. Years of American vilifying Putin and post-Soviet Russia are essentially an assertion that neither has any such legitimacy. Now, making matters worse, there is the Russiagate allegation of a Kremlin “attack” on the United States. Even if President Trump understands, or is made to understand, the new—possibly historic—overture represented by Putin’s speech, would the “Kremlin puppet” charges against him permit him to seize this opportunity? Do the promoters of Russiagate even care?
I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It addresses critical issues as our two nations drift closer and closer to military confrontation, a confrontation as Professor Cohen points out is not driven by Russia’s government but by irrational Russophobia by our political, financial and military class: the rulers. Professor Cohen does not provide solutions, but he raises important questions, and concludes:
Again, in light of all this, what can be done? Sentimentally, and with some historical precedents, we of democratic beliefs traditionally look to “the people,” to voters, to bring about change. But foreign policy has long been the special prerogative of elites. In order to change Cold War policy fundamentally, leaders are needed. When the times beckon, they may emerge out of established, even deeply conservative, elites, as did unexpectedly Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev in the mid-1980s. But given the looming danger of war with Russia, is there time? Is any leader visible on the American political landscape who will say to his or her elite and party, as Gorbachev did, “If not now, when? If not us, who?”
I think there is hope as in the fact a bright and capable minority of ordinary people seek out alternative news and information; for I don’t see any such leaders on the horizon. Perhaps as America socially implodes, a “Yellow Vest” revolt against the sociopath ruling class of warmongers might come into being and stop them from their dreams of eternal hegemony and war without consequence. Only Nemesis awaits them; I’m sure it’s only a matter of time.
Yvonne Lorenzo [send her mail] makes her home in New England in a house full to bursting with books, including works on classical Greece, history and literature. Her interests include mythology, ancient history, plasma cosmology and classical music, especially the compositions of Handel, Mozart, Bach, and the Bel Canto repertoire. She is the author of Son of Thunder and The Cloak of Freya.
Prof. Cohen from a long tradition of One voice crying in the wilderness:
Here’s a link to Cohen’s book publisher:
Pay the full price so Amazon doesn’t make a dime and doesn’t cut the price paid to author.
His voice is crucial to keep healthy and supported. A man of character and great intellectual honesty.
I’ve followed him for at least 30+ years.
Thanks to Yvonne for her review, and thanks to Saker for featuring Professor Cohen’s new book.
The link to Skyhorse is in the article; that was my thinking too.
Skyhorse links to Amazon but the indie book stores link from Skyhorse is this; it’s a drop-down menu to buy WAR WITH RUSSIA at a local bookseller:
Thank you for the kind words.
I note that Professor Cohen’s book is under attack on Amazon.com by trolls who neither read it or purchased it. I hope members of The Saker’s community who admire Professor Cohen and have read this book post a positive review to offset the negative “fake” reviews.
The link is here: https://www.amazon.com/War-Russia-Putin-Ukraine-Russiagate/dp/1510745815/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1544138571&sr=8-1&keywords=9781510745810
An excellent book review by Yvonne Lorenzo in
of an important book: Stephen Cohen’s ‘War with Russia
Many of Cohen’s and the reviewer’s points resonate politically in Australia too. Our elites suffer from the same anti-Russia biases as discussed here . It would be impossible to make a career in Russian studies of any kind in Australia without regularly having to parrot anti-Putin and anti-Russian government lines. This is the ways things are at the moment. I do not see any prospect of early change, Russophobia is entrenched here now.,
Tony Kevin., Australia.
the day of reckoning for human beings draws ever closer eh!
that was a day I always feared and wanted to put off as far as possible, even never. not anymore. it is not a day I fear at all. fortunately for humans we do not know where we go to and as nothing ever ends nature may have may go on where we are concerned even after our corporeal forms are done.
I don’t know if that is the case..who knows. but it may be the case..and if it is we would be lucky? even that I don’t know.
I do know that for the most part, the greatest part, the biggest majority part humans beings on this planet are disgusting, awful and should be rewarded with stone cold death, extinction. and from such a fate as I have in mind I do not exclude myself for I am no better than any.
and if what is to come is no better than what it has been here, I would wish only that I had the choice of decline, choosing stone cold death rather than to go on among humans in any form at all, were that form not better than now
we have all participated in the evolution and development of this ridiculous dispensation on earth that has led to nothing but death. what did we expect if we kept living as we have..paradise?
you cant keep living horrifically as we have and expect anything but extinction by our own hand to become the major potential. the conditions of existence on Earth literally guarantees such an outcome..the consequences of living badly.
let it roll on! the suicidal species is about to carry out its final act
All the things you write have a ‘truthiness’ to them but you are looking exclusively at only one, defeatist side of the picture. Human beings are also endlessly inventive and resourceful, how else have we survived this long?
Cheer up, mate. Start looking at yourself and what you can personally do to counter some of our well-documented human failings so that at least you, yourself are no longer part of the problem.
It ain’t over yet and while there’s life you should participate.
I feel your anguish at the current state of (human) affairs. However, as I look at the many instances of people caring for and helping each other selflessly, despite all the pressures to not behave that way, I can’t help but suggest that you (and many others with like (and understandably) negative views) realize that humans can (and often are) much “better” than this bleak assessment portrays.
Realizing that human communities have been “led” (more like enslaved/exploited) for virtually all of history by a minority of brutal sociopathic “elites” who have kept us at each others’ throats through control of beliefs (religion), resources (scarcity) and now debt (scarcity on steroid’s), I would like to offer for you to contemplate the quote by Denis Diderot (and I paraphrase)…”the world will not be a just place until the last king (modern: capitalist ownership class) is strangled with the entrails of the last priest (modern: politicians, media, economists, lawyers and other assorted minions/syncophants)”.
I believe this step also entail a drastic re-set of what capitalism is and what it does, if not an outright end to it if we are to pass on a safe, clean World to our children. Is such a future possible? It’s quite clear the “elites will not let go without a fight so yes, I understand the negative and depressing views.
In my albeit limited but certain experiences, dissident voices in Oz are shut down with more vehemence than in either USA or UK.
I very much enjoyed your memoir on walking the Camino, altho I have psychologically pilgrimaged through hostile terrain for most of my life in Australia, to the feet and understanding of God
Prof. Cohen’s conclusion is worth pondering: “I think there is hope as in the fact a bright and capable minority of ordinary people seek out alternative news and information; for I don’t see any such leaders on the horizon. Perhaps as America socially implodes, a “Yellow Vest” revolt against the sociopath ruling class of warmongers might come into being and stop them from their dreams of eternal hegemony and war without consequence.”
– a minority of ordinary people seek out alternative news and information. Yes. But how could that possibly change anything in the present circumstances of the world? The weight of this minority is simply too small to shift the balance of power. Having said that I recognize that being able to see past the propaganda is gratifying.
– “a “Yellow Vest” revolt against the sociopath ruling class of warmongers might come into being and stop them. But being dumbed down under the weight of an unceasing flow of propaganda a revolt by the people leaves them blind to the realities of their societies.
Those who follow the present debates in France are witnessing the recognition of their blindness” by the yellow vests”. This recognition opens the possibility that the “minority of ordinary people”, who seek out “alternative news and information”, could possibly drive the “yellow vests” movement onto an alternative path to political governance… The establishment’s sudden panic is a recognition that such an alternative path to political governance is really in the cards. Let’s wait and see…
Actually that conclusion was mine; the indents to mark quotes in the text I sent The Saker in my MS Word file didn’t transfer to this page.
I am uncertain America will have its “Yellow Vests” moment any time soon.
However, I do think that the concern over nuclear war has been transferred to “Climate Change” which is not nearly the danger to humanity that nuclear war will cause. Again, people are misdirected by the so-called “elites.”
I do want to remain optimistic. If Christians weren’t “Churchians” they’d realize they have brothers and sisters in Russia and would loudly protest any thought of mass murder. But we have the Neocon “Churchians” Evangelicals like V.P. Pence that think nuclear war will fulfill revelations. What a mess.
The thing about “yellow vests moments” is that nobody sees them coming. I don’t recall anyone six weeks ago telling me about the “yellow vests” in France at that time.
Its rather fascinating to look at the revolutions and rebellions and moments of big change. The state police and state politicians don’t see them coming. Neither do the protesters who are trying to be the vanguard of a coming revolution ever see the actual revolution coming. And it seems common in such moments that those who want to lead a revolution, and who will write memoirs afterwards about their leadership, are usually simply scrambling to catch up with the people in the streets at the time of the revolution.
Meanwhile, in America, the stock market is crashing and this long is unique in not sticking to the “party line” that Russia is greatest enemy of America and the West payraise-less economic recovery is coming to an end. And the working people are barely keeping their heads above water working two jobs as it is and current pay levels in inflation adjusted terms haven’t gone up in decades. Meanwhile like Mr. Mazahari describes in his piece today, Americans constantly feel the brunt of austerity measures where the default answer is to make the ordinary people pay the costs of the rich.
Working people voted for change with Obama and didn’t get it. Then they voted for change with Trump and didn’t get it. At some point, there is a limit that will be reached. And no one will see it coming before it arrives.
“If Christians weren’t churchians…”
Where are peeps going to find succour, when they are in so much alienation, dispossession, homelessness, hunger and otherwise so much pain?
In the late autumn of my life I can wholeheartedly agree with your above statement. But when I was young, I wanted only to Belong…
And so it was, that I journeyed in and out of numerous churches, communities and academia… never once abandoning my Quest to find God.
Indeed the institutions of church too often let us down, fail in their duty of Care. But I caution every seeker to not throw out the baby with the bath water: God delivers on all God’s Promises.
This I know
Prof Cohen is one of the few US experts who dare to challenge the western media rubbish.
The planet has survived the first cold war and the myth of ideological competition raging then and now that period has been laid to rest ……
Yet its totally disgusting that these political and deep stateimbeciles in Washington and other places have ensured a second cold war more dangerous than the first. This I concur.
Prof Cohen articulates well on the John Batchelor show almost weekly that the unfolding disaster of east west relations is/has reached a point of direct military confrontation …. soon …… and the probability of the end of life.
And my wife and I live across the waters from a european navel base and an airfield. Targets for sure.
I totally endorse this book purchase which my copy will be gifted to my sleep walking extended family.
“Professor Cohen does not provide solutions, but he raises important questions”
There is a reason why the Professor does not come up with solutions……because there are non.
“I think there is hope as in the fact a bright and capable minority of ordinary people seek out alternative news and information; for I don’t see any such leaders on the horizon”
In order for the such a minority to come out in America, you need an educated, culturally aware, well informed civilized base. Leadership needs to be built on a power base. With all due respect, I have no hope for the American people because I believe their history and culture is based on genocide, wars, violence and destruction. This is not an emotional comment, but this is a fact.
When you have a people with such a culture and history, and on top of that they are further brainwashed by their media, politics and economics, where they are apathetic, materialistic and consumed by consumerism, how do you expect such a power base and leadership to appear ?
Forget their politics for a second, just their economic monetary system that they have unleashed onto mankind is pure and absolute evil, which rarely anyone even questions, let alone comes up with solutions.
How do expect anything from a people who do not even see what is wrong right in front of their eyes ?
They do not even see what is wrong….how do you expect them to even question what is wrong, let alone search or find “solutions” ?
Who are you joking ? ……”Hope” has to be based on something, not fantasies and miracles. Actually, do you know what……people who are actually “hopeful” should just say “we are hopeful that a miracle will happen”. Then no one can argue against you. Just say that some “miracle” will happen and we believe in miracles.
The American people in my seriously humble and what I believe is a logic based opinion are bluntly put a lost cause, a hopeless bunch. If they do not destroy themselves, they will be setup by the Zionists to take the fall and shift the global super power status to the next place ;-).
Although somewhat OT, I just finished a short You Tube interview (2017) with another aged historian with a deep macro-view on events and specifically the US empire and its likely decline (by 2020 in his estimation).
What I found rather shocking was the darkness which this 88-y.o. sensed in the Obama-era systematic sniper killing by “hunter rifle” and domestic airplane and the military cowardice of remote high-altitude warfare on civilian societies.
“We travel a lot theses days the lieutenant general in charge of it [snipers killing] said in a famous interview…” [c.24:46+; but kick in around 23:35 for the start of the ‘new world” view].
“Johan Galtung: US Empire Will Collapse and Become a Dictatorship [TURN ON SUBTITLES]”
The other point I learned was (in addition to Putin) that China’s Xi is apparently deeply Buddhist. This is in contrast to the dark materialist forces Galtung feels are governing the Pentagon etc. How strange to hear this complete 180 degree flip on the apparent situation some 30-40 years ago before the USSR and China transformed.
Up until now I’ve belonged to the somewhat remote and mostly disinterested crowd, apart from monitoring the trends etc. But this interview was a bit of a deep shock towards the end. I’m now somewhat apprehensive. Even the interviewer was becoming a little uneasy and I suspect some of it may have been cut. Nonetheless, another voice in Prof Cohen’s camp seeking peace and sanity. There cannot be enough of them.
Galtung’s 2020 USA scenario is not that far away and the “Yellow Vests” (a genius device that will likely go viral) — if they are not simply another Soros “White Helmet” faux — may well signal a rapid decline into revolt against the criminal class in charge at the moment.
If Galtung is right, then Russia (& others) by way of US domestic distraction need to be on guard — but not as much as those godless-drones haunting the control rooms of a failing empire: those spiritual waifs whom the gods have already sent mad (and a mad leader). The bottom-line I found interesting in Galtung’s expose was now they (the US) will have to do the killing themselves.
There is something deep in this: “Thou shall not kill (without a proxy)”… perhaps?
“China’s Xi is apparently deeply Buddhist”
That’ll boost your social credit score ;)
Galtung’s comment, not mine. He’ll get the best seat on the train, not me, comrade!
“In order for the such a minority to come out in America, you need an educated, culturally aware, well informed civilized base. Leadership needs to be built on a power base. With all due respect, I have no hope for the American people because I believe their history and culture is based on genocide, wars, violence and destruction. This is not an emotional comment, but this is a fact.
“When you have a people with such a culture and history, and on top of that they are further brainwashed by their media, politics and economics, where they are apathetic, materialistic and consumed by consumerism, how do you expect such a power base and leadership to appear?”
I don’t believe the French Yellow Vests are revolting on war and peace issues; but they can bring down Macron. As the elites continue to push and as the living conditions deteriorate and poverty rises, as more funds are taken from social spending and sent to the corrupt military, there are likely faults in the system. If there are Yellow Vests rioting in Washington, then the ruling class will have trouble fomenting war. Unless they start a war to unite the people.
In any event, my point about Nemesis and hubris is this Empire will not prevail; it’s only a matter of time before it ends. The problem is whether it will stumble into a nuclear war. If not for Russia’s restraint, the prognosis wouldn’t be good.
As Marx said when analysing the Civil War in France in 1871: “They [the workers] have no ideals to realize, but to set free the elements of the new society with which old collapsing bourgeois society itself is pregnant.” See: marxists.org.
Well considering Marx was a spook for financiers and industrialists, I’m not surprised he was instructing the poor to destroy their own religion and institutions. The banks were never touched in a Marxist revolution; only the poor and the Christian…were enslaved and destroyed. Cannot believe people are still pushing one of the phoney founders (Marx) of a phoney discipline (Sociology) in the 21st Century. You can support the heroes in France without quoting a spook.
Flopot, have you read Marx?
Your slander of Marx does not affect me, but may affect those still young and unaware…
Character assassination of our most important thinkers (philosophers, economists, anthropologists…) – that is, the ones who open our eyes – is ineviatble in capitalism. Capitalists (mainly those of the neo/liberal kind) do not want you to know what they have to say, do they?
Please, do not just repeat the slander of those thinkers without first considering reading them to better understand what you are doing…
I suggest you start with Marx (Capital, Vol. 3 at least!), Lenin (Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism), Fromm (The Sane Society), Gramsci (Prison Notebooks), and then I am sure you will be able to select other equaly important readings. Many will be available for free in the website I gave above.
Very well said, MC, and a good starter reading list for those interested too! Whether or not you agree with all their conclusions these authors are exemplars of observation who all knew how to think coherently.
Anyone looking to see clearly can learn from them.
From Sputnik regarding piffling destroyers courage
“In reality, the USS McCampbell destroyer did not even approach Russian territorial waters closer than by 100 kilometers. What is more, during all its passage through the international waters, the US destroyer was moving under control of the Russian Admiral Tributs large anti-submarine ship, which was in close proximity, as well as of the Pacific Fleet naval aircraft,” Konashenkov said.
He noted that the Pacific Fleet was taking measures to control the vessel’s actions, as well as actions of other warships in this area.
“The only thing ‘demonstrated’ by the crew of the US destroyer was a failed attempt to get away at maximum speed from the Pacific Fleet forces that were escorting it. Currently, the crew of the US McCampbell destroyer ‘is demonstrating’ its courage at a distance of more than 400 kilometres from the territorial waters of the Russian Federation in the central part of the Sea of Japan,” Konashenkov said.
I d like to send you a letter, of those good old post written letters.
Sadly, mail delivery in my decaying neighborhood is spotty and terrible. Plus: privacy.
[email protected] will get to me.
the English have been presented with an historic opportunity to prove the human worth.
an orchestration is about to be completed to nullify the Brexit vote of the English, to get out of the European Union. the English must not let that vote take place, to let it stand as the Greeks allowed the betrayal by their leadership to stand
the English must go out into the streets and shut down that parliamentary vote, to re-establish the Brexit outcome as the only validity in the process.. to kill all negotiations about leaving the Union and to effect an immediate, complete and clean break with Brussels
and on that the people must effect a new general election within a couple of weeks..2 at most.. vote May out if she does not resign immediately…make an investigation into the political behavior of May and her cohort since Brexit, and have them all charged with treason, tried and jailed… for a guilty outcome is forgone
Behavior like that would certainly be humanly restorative..not to mention if the Yellow vests too go all the way, take France out of Brussels and put Macron and his cohort where they belong..in jail for treason.
I am afraid that without such forthright popular behavior around the world, the human gig is up!
Agree completely. I think the whole Brexit process has been a fix. They’ve botched it deliberately to try and force a situation where they can either abandon it or have another referendum (which they will fix).
They are attempting to subvert the will of the British people – expressed in the most democratic exercise the country has ever seen.
Mays deal is certain to go down to a massive defeat. I’ve seen predictions that she’ll lose by 300 votes in Parliament.
So, the answer then is what comes next.
On the other hand, while I don’t particularly like the British, I wouldn’t wish a hard-Brexit on them. That sounds like it will be a total disaster, and one reason is that the Mayday government has had its head stuck in the sand and avoiding preparing for it.
Its easy for the rich Tories in Parliament like BoJoke to call for a hard Brexit, but when the economy suddenly shrinks by 10% and the businesses who’ve built their business on frictionless trade with Europe suddenly close their doors, its always the poorest who get kicked in the teeth. I’m sure the rich tories will come out fine. They might have to sell a summer vacation cottage. But the people who are already living paycheck to paycheck will be fighting for their lives in trying to survive. Perhaps another business will come along to replace the one doing just-in-time work with European customers. But for the poor who get laid off from their existing job, they will face a long struggle just to feed their kids and keep a roof over their heads and might likely find that the new business is only hiring younger applicants only.
‘I think the whole Brexit process has been a fix.’
Most ordinary Brits have been aware of this for some time. What we really need is an general election before progressing further on the process.
Whether we will get that or just another unelected (like the Maybot) neo con Tory is anybody’s guess right now.
Thanks for reviewing this and bringing it to my attention. I’ve placed my order and look forward to reading it.
The bear on the picture is wrong.It is american black bear. Russia is a bear. But not this one, no disrecpect to the bear.
Russian bears are brown. There are brown bears in America, too. They call them grizzliees, they are quite more powerfull than black bears. Russian peninsula – Kamchatka – is close to Alaska, so bears must be the same.
A grizzly or a codiak is more appropriate to represent Russia.
The American Black Bear is a wonderful animal and is meant to be my avatar.
I have them come visit me; for the most part, they are friendly, curious and quite lovable, provided you treat them with respect. So consider it my photograph, since in many respects I am bear like.
As to the Russian bear, I agree. Who would not fall in love with this wonderful Russian bear? And thanks to his natural diet, he didn’t die at the age of 20 of cancer (he loved American chicken) like the actor and star of the French film THE BEAR, Bart. He’s over 20 and in great health.
Thank you for the beautiful clip :-) Molodiec Stephan
I did not mean any offense to the black bears. After all, I have lived in Canada for 30 years, and it is impossible not to like or respect them, black bears.
No offense taken. I love Stopin. What a beautiful bear; although Russian bears seem smaller than Kodiak bears.
Other than the bear, did you get anything else out of the book review?
This author praises such worthless individuals, shills and mindless ciphers as Reagan and Gorbachev. Am i to believe that she never actually pondered how and why the Soviet Union went down, what forces were at work? Well, so much for reading any of her books. Let her languish.