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Russia no longer has illusions about democracy in America. Too much about the US today seems like the old Soviet Union-Stephen Cohen, The Nation

January 27, 2019

The United States is like a parent. Other countries look to it for guidance and to enforce the rules.” Jan. 15, 2019, Washington Post, Richard Cohen column. Soviet era mind set of the US permanent political class on display. For “guidance?” In doing what? The US isn’t even a country anymore, just pretends to be, has a wide open southern border which it refuses to defend. Who’d ask such a government for the time of day? “To enforce the rules?” What rules? US voters and taxpayers have never agreed to finance the creation or enforcement of global “rules.As most normal people know, parent-child relationships are a two-way street. In the case of Richard Cohen, perhaps feeling like a global “parent” gives meaning to an otherwise empty life. If you’re the dependent child, you’re not free. If you choose to let the US provide you with US taxpayer funded weapons or equipment, as UK did when Obama gave them millions of dollars in free spy equipment, you owe certain behavior in return.

1/23/19, “The End Of Russia’s “Democratic Illusions” About America,” Stephen Cohen, The Nation, via Zero Hedge, Authored by Stephen Cohen via The Nation

“How Russiagate has impacted a vital struggle in Russia…

For decades, Russia’s self-described “liberals” and “democrats have touted the American political system as one their country should emulate. They have had abundant encouragement in this aspiration over the years from legions of American crusaders, who in the 1990s launched a large-scale, deeply intrusive, and ill-destined campaign to transform post-Communist Russia into a replica of American “democratic capitalism.” (See my book, Failed Crusade: America and the Tragedy of Post-Communist Russia.) Some Russian liberals even favored NATO’s eastward expansion when it began in the late 1990s on the grounds that it would bring democratic values closer to Russia and protect their own political fortunes at home.

Their many opponents on Russia’s political spectrum, self-described “patriotic nationalists,” have insisted that the country must look instead to its own historical traditions for its future development and, still more, that American democracy was not a system to be so uncritically emulated. Not infrequently, they characterize Russia’s democrats as “fifth columnists” whose primary loyalties are to the West, not their own country. Understandably, it is a highly fraught political debate and both sides have supporters in high places, from the Kremlin and other government offices to military and security agencies, as well as devout media outlets.

In this regard, Russiagate allegations in the United States, which have grown from vague suspicions of Russian “meddling in the 2016 presidential election to flat assertions that Putin’s Kremlin put Donald Trump in the White House, have seriously undermined Russian democrats and bolstered the arguments of their “patriotic” opponents. Americans, who may have been misled by their own media into thinking that Russia today is a heavily censored “autocracy” in which all information is controlled by the Kremlin, may be surprised to learn that many Russians, especially among the educated classes but not only, are well-informed about the Russiagate story and follow it with great interest. They get reasonably reliable information from Russian news broadcasts and TV talk shows; from direct cable and satellite access to Western broadcasts, including CNN; from translation sites that daily render scores of Western print news reports and commentaries into Russian (inosmi.rubeing the most voluminous); and from the largely uncensored Internet.

How many Russians believe that the Kremlin actually put Trump in the White House is less clear. Widespread skepticism is often expressed sardonically:

If Putin can put his man in the White House, why can’t he put a mayor in my town who will have the garbage picked up?

Others, who believe the allegation, often take some pleasure, or schadenfreude, from it, having grown resentful of US “meddling” in Russian political life for so many years. (In recent history, the remembered example is the Clinton administration’s very substantial efforts on behalf of President Boris Yeltsin’s reelection in 1996.)”…[Image below, “Yanks to the Rescue,” 7/15/1996 Time cover]

But what should interest us is how Russiagate allegations have tarnished America’s democratic reputation in Russia and thereby undermined the pro-American arguments of Russia’s liberal democrats, who were never a very potent political or electoral force and whose fortunes have already declined in recent years. Consider the following:

One Russian, however, who personifies biographically both that system’s recent democratic experiences and its nationalist traditions, has had a mostly unambiguous reaction to Russiagate. Despite US mainstream-media claims that Russian President Putin is “happy” with the “destabilization and chaos” caused by Russiagate in the United States, such consequences are incompatible with what has been Putin’s historical mission since coming to power almost 20 years ago: to rebuild Russia socially and economically after its post-Soviet collapse in the 1990s, and to achieve this through modernizing partnerships with democratic nations – from Europe to the United States – in a stable international environment. For this reason, Putin himself is unlikely to have plotted Russiagate or to have taken any real satisfaction from its woeful consequences.

Which leaves us with an as-yet-unanswerable question. Eventually, Trump and Putin will leave office. But the consequences of Russiagate, both in America and in Russia, will not depart with them. What will be the subsequent, longer-term consequences for both countries and for relations between them? From today’s perspective, nothing good.”

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Added:

12/10/18, The Death of Global Order Was Caused by Clinton, Bush, and Obama,” Foreign Policy, Stephen M. Walt
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12/27/18, NATO Partisans Started a New Cold War With Russia,” The American Conservative, Ted Galen Carpenter

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Comment: The US political class loves convicted felon George Soros, turned the US over to him and made US citizens his slaves decades ago. He’s treated as royalty in Europe. Russian people are different–they’re not Soros’ slaves. Their president, Putin, won’t let Soros continue to bleed Russia and its people to death as he did in the 1990s when Russia was newly independent and at its weakest. I appreciate Putin mentioning that Soros continues to have free rein in the US taxpayer funded State Dept., that US refuses to question any of Soros’ aggressions around the world. I looked into this and found that to this day criminally insane Soros gets to have his choice of US State Dept. personnel in foreign countries in which he has particular interest.

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