James V DeLong is a retired lawyer, government official, and think-tank analyst.
While I have only a concerned citizen’s knowledge of foreign affairs, I am baffled by the hysterical Russophobia of the MSM and the Democratic Party since the 2016 election. As far as I can tell, there should be no real issues between Russia and the U.S, writes the author of the American edition of American Thinker
As for the defense of Europe, it is not credible that Russia has designs on an entity that so outweighs it in population and wealth. Trump was right to point out that the Europeans themselves do not believe in the threat, since they are happy to shortchange defense while relying on Russia for natural gas.
I do not really understand why either nation is in Syria, and any Russian intervention in the 2016 election was trivial. In any case, of course the Russians want to influence our elections. We are the world’s 800-pound gorilla, so everyone wants to influence our elections, and who can blame these people?
Irritated by the repetitive triviality of the press, I began searching for sources that would broaden and deepen my perspective.
I will list a few that are worth your attention because, in my estimation, they are intelligent observers who know what they are talking about and who are trying to tell their readers the truth as they see it.
“Russia Observer” is the site of Patrick Armstrong, a former analyst in the Canadian Department of National Defense.
His orientation as follows:
“Has any Western news outlet reported, say, these ten true statements?
- People in Crimea are pretty happy to be in Russia.
- The US and its minions have given an enormous amount of weapons to jihadists.
- Elections in Russia reflect popular opinion polling.
- There really are a frightening number of well-armed nazis in Ukraine.
- Assad is pretty popular in Syria.
- The US and its minions smashed Raqqa to bits.
- The official Skripal story makes very little sense.
- Ukraine is much worse off, by any measurement, now than before Maidan.
- Russia actually had several thousand troops in Crimea before Maidan.
- There’s a documentary that exposes Browder that he keeps people from seeing.
I typed these out as they occurred to me. I could come up with another ten pretty easily. There’s some tiny coverage, far in the back pages, so that objectivity can be pretended, but most Western media consumers would answer they aren’t; didn’t; don’t; aren’t; isn’t; where?; does; not; what?; never heard of it.”
Recently, at “The Blob Strikes Back,” Paul Robinson discussed Trump’s plan to withdraw from Syria:
“The most recent defense policy story … could be well titled ‘The Blob Strikes Back’ – the ‘Blob’ being a derogatory term for the American security establishment, an amorphous being which defies easy definition and is decidedly hard to pin down, but which exerts enormous power and which seems to be impervious to outside realities, continuing along its chosen path regardless of all the disasters it confronts, and causes, along the way. … Starting wars is something the American security establishment can cope with; ending them is something which causes it real difficulties.”
Vladimir Putin has a website that prints English transcripts of his torrent of speeches, communiqués, and meetings. Putin is quite available.
Here one can read his 2018 Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly. Putin is on the same page as the American conservatives who keep saying politics is downstream from culture.
As stated above, agree or disagree, but it is better to read Putin’s own words than to have his thoughts filtered through the MSM. His speeches are far more substantive than what one gets from our own politicians.
Like Patrick Armstrong, I am appalled at the direction taken by Russian-American relations, but neither have I given up hope. Reading Armstrong and his confreres may help lead to a path out of this potentially deadly slough of misinformation.