Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Our dangerous new McCarthyism: Russia, Noam Chomsky and what the media’s not telling you about the new Cold War - Salon.com

It is time to attempt that hardest of things—to see ourselves for who we are, to see what it is we are doing and what is being done to us.

Two things prompt the thought. We have the latest news on Washington’s confrontation with Russia, and we have a newly precipitous decline in the national conversation on this crisis. In my estimation, we reach dangerous new lows in both respects.

It is always difficult for the living to see themselves as suspended in history. Being up against the rock face of events, being the stuff of which events are made, allows no distance, and achieving perspective without any takes an arduous effort.

But we have to make an attempt at this field of vision now. Every moment counts as history, but some passages are bigger than others. And this, ours, is very big as of the last 10 days, maybe two weeks.

We are now invited to let this time take a place alongside the frenzied interval that preceded the American attack on the Spanish in 1898, the Red Scare of the post-1917 period and the second, very deadly (and deadening) McCarthyist scare of the late-1940s and 1950s. Join me, please, in insisting we are a better people than this.

Konstantin Sonin, a professor at a much-celebrated research university in Moscow, gave the New York Times an interesting quotation over the weekend. “The country is on a holy mission. It’s at war with the United States,” Sonin said. “So why would you bother about the small battleground, the economy?”

Think about this, and do so in two dimensions. There is the question of war, and then the question of “small battlegrounds.” What is this man talking about? What assumptions lie behind this remark? What are the implications?

In last week’s column I confessed astonishment at the recent turn of events in Ukraine and the Western alliance’s relations with Russia. Western Europe, teetering at the edge of economic crisis, adds significantly to its vulnerabilities as it acquiesces in Washington’s sanctions regime against the Russian Federation. It is a couple of short steps now from crisis to catastrophe.

Kiev bails on peace talks and instantly launches an ambitious offensive in eastern Ukraine. As those eligible to be conscripted defect in some number to Russia, Ukraine remains heavily reliant on neo-Nazi militias—a documented reality no one in Washington or the American media cares to talk about. Instead, Washington announces—just this week; read it here —that it will begin sending troops to train Ukrainian National Guardsmen as of this spring.

The very latest arrives as this column gets written. Fresh reports from Moscow suggest—verbatim from one summary will do—“U.S. plans Euromaidan in Belarus to overthrow Lukashenko. Local nationalists licking their chops.” The Maidan is the square in Kiev where the Ukraine crisis started two Novembers ago. Lukashenko is Alexander Grigoryevich, who has presided in Belarus for the past 21 years.

I cannot confirm these reports—four, written in Russian—but I will begin following Lukashenko’s political fortunes closely, this I assure you. His sins are two. In the immediate post-Soviet period he blocked the neoliberal “shock therapy” that ravaged Russia and many other economies after the Soviet Union collapsed. More recently he sponsored the peace talks in Minsk that Kiev just abandoned. Dreadful man, Lukashenko.

Complete story at - Our dangerous new McCarthyism: Russia, Noam Chomsky and what the media’s not telling you about the new Cold War - Salon.com

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Recommended Reading via Amazon

If you're seeking more information about how the world really works, and not how the media would want you to believe it works, these books are a good start. These are all highly recommended.

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1. The Shock Doctrine - Naomi Klein
2. Confessions of an Economic Hit Man - John Perkins
3. Manufacturing Consent - Edward Herman, Noam Chomsky
4. Gladio - NATO's Dagger at the Heart of Europe - Richard Cottrell
5. Profit Over People - Noam Chomsky
6. Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives - Stephen Cohen
7. The Divide - American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap - Matt Taibbi

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