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Here are three very important graphs for comprehending the ebb and flow of Russia’s relations with the West, and why what some are now calling the New Cold War might well be here to stay.

Russian approval of the United States (green is positive, red is negative):

russia-usa-attitudes

Russian approval of the EU:

russia-eu-attitudes

While it’s hard to remember now, there really was an incredible air of optimism about future relations with the US and Europe towards the end of the Soviet Union that, perhaps even more strangely, lasted throughout most of the trials and tribulations and Harvard-supported looting of the country. There was something of a cargo cult in relation to the West, the idea that imitating and appeasing them just right would catapult the country into prosperity and the end of history. Just a few random examples. The term “evroremont,” denoting a quality housing renovation, presumably to European standards. Foreigners being allowed first in line to visit museums and cultural attractions. Women flinging themselves at any American adventurer type regardless of his success and social status (Mark Ames and the eXile are a testament to that).

There were sharp dips now and then, in surprisingly regular increments of five years, corresponding to some imperial action or other. The bombing of Serbia in 1999. The invasion of Iraq in 2003. The South Ossetian War in 2008. Crimea in 2014. Relations steadily cooled as the West began an aggressive expansion of its economic and security infrastructure into what Russia saw as its sphere of influence, in so doing breaking informal commitments made with Gorbachev that NATO wouldn’t expand an inch east. Russia unquestionably became more authoritarian, though the extent of the break with late Yeltsinism in that regard is highly exaggerated, and this was accompanied by an ever shriller campaign of demonization in the Western media that shows no signs of peaking even to this day. Bearing all this in mind, it is perhaps actually surprising that the moving average of Russian opinion of the US and EU declined only modestly between 2000 and 2013, from around 70% for both the EU and the US, to 60% for the EU and 50% for the US. For all the rhetoric about Russians being taken in by anti-Western propaganda, it’s worth noting that US approval of Russia was actually consistently if modestly lower than Russia’s approval of the US.

US approval of Russia:

us-russia-approval-pew

But there’s a couple of critical differences between previous dips and today that suggest that prior experience is no longer any guide to the future ever since approval ratings of the US and the EU plunged to less than 20% in 2014:

First, while reactions to Serbia, Iraq, and Georgia were short but sharp affairs, lasting but a few months, the recent collapse in relations as gauged by public opinion is already ongoing for more than a year. Nothing remotely similar has occured since the start of scientific polling in Russia. You might think that in a personalistic and relatively closed political system like Russia polls might not count for much, but you would be wrong; if anything, the lack of strong institutions able to act as a social glue makes polling and ratings all the more important, and it is something that the Kremlin pays heed to religiously. This is largely why Putin keeps participating in all these various stunts which range from the impressive (piloting a fighter jet during the Second Chechen War) to the faintly ridiculous (diving and magically finding ancient Greek amphora). The constant negativity seen ever since February 2014 might well be the start of a new normal, which if so might be increasingly difficult to turn around even if the respective political leaderships were to commit to doing so.

Second, and this ties in with the above, the EU has traditionally been seen slightly more positively than the US, and with the partial exception of 2008, we do not see the same sharp bumps and dips. Until 2014… when it became completely undistinguishable from the US. And that shouldn’t be all that surprising, considering the EU’s steady drift from what Russians imagined and dreamed it might be – a greater Europe from Lisbon to Vladivostok, as De Gaulle saw it – to an unapologetically Atlanticist entity that accepted partnership with no other integration blocs (such as the Eurasian Union), grew increasingly confident in orchestrating regime changes against governments that didn’t hew to their neoliberal orthodoxy, and worst of all, subsumed integration into Atlanticist security structures (first and foremost, NATO) as an inalienable component of its economic expansion. Now the average Russian wouldn’t think in such terms, of course, but in general, it is probably fair to say that Russians now see both the EU and the US as just two blocs of the same, singularly hostile West.

But the story doesn’t quite end there.

Russian approval of China:

russia-china-attitudes

Even as the US and EU plumb new lows, Russian approval of China struck an alltime high of 81% (recall that this is equivalent to their approval of the US in the waning days of the Soviet Union). These feelings are mutual, and Putin is highly respected as a leader in CCP circles and reportedly by Xi Jinping personally. Again, this is not surprising: When one side slaps you with sanctions, while the other comes round with a fat wallet and offers to support the ruble should Russia only ask, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out who’d be the more popular guy at the party. All pretty obvious. Except, perhaps, for those neocons who appear to believe with all conviction that the West is absolutely indispensable for Russia, and that Russia will eventually agree to pay any cost to mend relations for the privilege of fighting China for them to the last Russian.

 
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  1. Comments can begin.

    • Replies: @Kiza
    Hello Anatoly,

    It is always possible to read graphs in two different ways, in a glass-half-empty or in a glass-half-full way. Let me try the former.

    I find it quite sad that, in the past, the Russians always came back to liking US and EU after their hyper-violent crimes. US and its satellite EU have raped so many countries, just like a serial rapist, but because this is a "good looking" rapist, everything is quickly forgotten and the popularity comes back. Russia behaves like a woman which screams whilst her neighbor is getting raped by a serial rapist, but the next day dresses up nicely believing that she can charm the good looking rapist into behaving nicely just with her. Well, it appears that the rapist cannot be charmed as he aims for an ever higher target (now Russia, tomorrow China). Time has come for Russia to feel the Atlantic rapist's tender mercies. It appears that the serial rapist will keep Russia as the target for the years to come, which may prevent Russia from forgetting this time. If Russia forgets, then it will certainly become another of the Atlantist's violent successes, because this rapist never gives up and never changes his ways, never ever, ever.

    I am sorry to say so, but Russia appears not any smarter than your average, good life wishing, bird-short memory Jenny Blow of US. Sad.

    , @Andy
    This column reminds of that NYT quote from Israeli strategist Alon Pinkas. "Let them both bleed, hemorrhage to death."

    The hostile elite want eastern and western Europe to fight each other, bleed, and die out.

    Wars, mass immigration, sexual liberation led low fertility, mass offshoring of jobs, crushing taxes, endless QEs. And finally extinction.
  2. Serbia was bombed 1999. not 1998.

    AK Edit: Thanks. Will fix.

    • Replies: @Konstantin
    Russian financial collapse was in summer-fall of 1998. That fed anti-US sentiment but so to did the lead-up to the NATO air campaign against Yugoslavia. Russians did not like the NATO brand on military compellence against Yugoslavia.
  3. What do you think is really driving American hostility to Russia?

    • Replies: @Neutral
    I don't think there are any strong ideological drivers for this, its simply driven by the fact that America sincerely expects to rule the world (they will try to use fancier words like "maintain international norms", but its the same thing). Anyone who does not play their rules is made an enemy.

    I think there is also the racial aspect as well though, having Russia as enemy is a bit easier, since it is a white country you have less hassle to condemn than it would be to do to China for example. Mocking the enemy making fun for all their failings, its much easier when its done against white people.

    , @Niccolo Salo
    It's simply a game of hegemony aka "Full-Spectrum Dominance". Russia is the only country that threatens America's "Full-Spectrum Dominance" because it is the only threat to Nuclear Primacy, a concept that ensures FSD.

    To compound this threat, Russia has, through BRICS, been attacking the pre-eminence of the American Dollar by pushing for a multipolar world in security and economics. The AIIB (Chinese Bank set up to compete with the IMF) is part and parcel of this push for a more balanced globe.

    All the media attacks on Russia in respect to Putin's authoritarianism, laws on gays, etc. are used only for domestic consumption to 'manufacture consent'.
    , @Andrei Martyanov
    There are two ways to answer it:

    1. By playing around with all kinds of semi-truths until the answer is obtained and nerves and egos are saved;
    2. By pointing out that Russia is the only direct clear and present danger to American mythology, especially its 20th century component. But this is only for those who "can handle the truth"(c) China--is not.
    , @Tom Welsh
    Several other replies seem to give valid reasons. I would like to mention something additional: whether rightly or not, the leaders of the American neocon project think that they must either be gaining ground or losing it. Like a novice bicycle rider, they feel they must maintain forward momentum if they are not to fall off ignominiously. It has often been said publicly that, to succeed, the American way of life must extend to the entire world. I don't quite understand why this is. Perhaps they fear that, if any alternative way of life survives, people will come to prefer it? Or is it simple greed, in that it is better to have the whole world to plunder rather than just part of it?
    , @Tom Welsh
    Oh, another thing that I have noticed in the UK (I live in England). Politicians seem unable to resist the temptation of setting up a foreign "evil menace" for their citizens to worry about. This distracts them from thinking about what a lousy job their own government is doing at home, and at a pinch many problems can be blamed on the evil foreign enemy. At the moment Western leaders are spoilt for choice in this regard, having both Islamic terrorism and Russia to use as bogeymen.

    It really amazes me to see how intelligent, educated, reasonably urbane commentators on the BBC and in the British newspapers have all gone overboard on the "everyone must hate Russia" theme. Not a single sentence can mention Russia without some spiteful barb. Just this morning it was mentioned by the BBC's Today Programme that Russia might help Greece deal with its debts. A correspondent admitted that "surprisingly" Russia had money to spare, and could perhaps spend some of it "to stir up trouble". The idea that the Russians might just be trying to help was somehow, mysteriously, ruled out of consideration.
    , @Realist
    Hegemony.
    , @Cagey Beast
    America and its flunkies in NATO are hostile because "existence is resistance": Russia insists on continuing to exist as an independent country and that's considered an intolerable threat to the Washington consensus.

    Why is China not given the same treatment? There are two reasons. Firstly, China's fusion of communist managerialism and unfettered money-grubbing is very much in harmony with "our" elite's view of the world. Secondly, Russia's European, Christian, and White (in both senses of the word) traditions are like holy water to a vampire for the Euro-Atlanticists while China's Chinese-ness sets off no such alarms.
  4. @Jim
    What do you think is really driving American hostility to Russia?

    I don’t think there are any strong ideological drivers for this, its simply driven by the fact that America sincerely expects to rule the world (they will try to use fancier words like “maintain international norms”, but its the same thing). Anyone who does not play their rules is made an enemy.

    I think there is also the racial aspect as well though, having Russia as enemy is a bit easier, since it is a white country you have less hassle to condemn than it would be to do to China for example. Mocking the enemy making fun for all their failings, its much easier when its done against white people.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Neutral.

    That is ridiculous. The whole white victimization that the commenters always post on Unz is ridiculous.

    If you knew anything about history you would know that the elites that make up the Anglo-Zionist empire have always had it in for Russia. And that America has a long history of bombing all sorts of colors.
  5. “What do you think is really driving American hostility to Russia?”

    1. So much control over the media that it doesn’t know what to do with it.
    2. Factionalism in the administration. The president does not control his own administration. congress/senate restrict each other even further. Things get done when bits of the administration realise they can do what the hell they like, and the democratic part of government will only intervene if it is a sure vote loser.
    If they can create a public opinion that says not doing X loses votes, then X can be done. Even if X means start a war with Russia.

    3. the budget for Iraq was $3 trillion. Say it slowly $3 trillion. Imagine the kick backs or just the feel or the pure power to be involved in a project that big.
    the budget for war with Russia would have to be $30 trillion of more.
    How could anyone not want to be a part of that (from safe at home).

  6. @Jim
    What do you think is really driving American hostility to Russia?

    It’s simply a game of hegemony aka “Full-Spectrum Dominance”. Russia is the only country that threatens America’s “Full-Spectrum Dominance” because it is the only threat to Nuclear Primacy, a concept that ensures FSD.

    To compound this threat, Russia has, through BRICS, been attacking the pre-eminence of the American Dollar by pushing for a multipolar world in security and economics. The AIIB (Chinese Bank set up to compete with the IMF) is part and parcel of this push for a more balanced globe.

    All the media attacks on Russia in respect to Putin’s authoritarianism, laws on gays, etc. are used only for domestic consumption to ‘manufacture consent’.

    • Replies: @Glossy
    Is China a threat to nuclear primacy? Is it capable of MAD with the US? I think I remember the Saker (a blogger who knows a lot about nukes) saying that only Russia is on MAD terms with the US. If this is true, what prevents China from getting on those terms?

    The powers that be are extremely pissed off at North Korea, Iran, Syria. They don't seem to be able to break those countries, even though they want to do that very, very much. They didn't dominate those countries even when they had Yeltsin in the Kremlin. This implies that Russia isn't the only obstacle to their full spectrum dominance. It's an obstacle of course. Probably the biggest one. But not the only one.
    , @Andrei Martyanov
    The issue runs deeper than mere "full spectrum domination", whatever that means. It is a metaphysical one. I wrote on this issue in my blog.
  7. @Niccolo Salo
    It's simply a game of hegemony aka "Full-Spectrum Dominance". Russia is the only country that threatens America's "Full-Spectrum Dominance" because it is the only threat to Nuclear Primacy, a concept that ensures FSD.

    To compound this threat, Russia has, through BRICS, been attacking the pre-eminence of the American Dollar by pushing for a multipolar world in security and economics. The AIIB (Chinese Bank set up to compete with the IMF) is part and parcel of this push for a more balanced globe.

    All the media attacks on Russia in respect to Putin's authoritarianism, laws on gays, etc. are used only for domestic consumption to 'manufacture consent'.

    Is China a threat to nuclear primacy? Is it capable of MAD with the US? I think I remember the Saker (a blogger who knows a lot about nukes) saying that only Russia is on MAD terms with the US. If this is true, what prevents China from getting on those terms?

    The powers that be are extremely pissed off at North Korea, Iran, Syria. They don’t seem to be able to break those countries, even though they want to do that very, very much. They didn’t dominate those countries even when they had Yeltsin in the Kremlin. This implies that Russia isn’t the only obstacle to their full spectrum dominance. It’s an obstacle of course. Probably the biggest one. But not the only one.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    NK, Iran, and Syria all have some degree of support from Russia and China that keep them alive.

    Russia and China are the only significant countries impeding American global hegemony. Regime change in either of the countries that brought about pro-American, subordinate regimes like there are in Europe and Japan would mean that the last one standing could be completely isolated and that America would attain global hegemony.
    , @Anatoly Karlin
    The Chinese (official) nuclear arsenal is very small and can likely be wiped out by an American first strike, with any retaliatory strike from the remnant forces getting wiped out by US missile defense.

    Of course that's only if we take Chinese claims about the size of their arsenal at face value. They have thousands of kilometres of hardened underground tunnels whose purpose has never been explained. Both Karber (a US military analyst) and some Russian general whose commentary appeared in Voenno-Promyshlenyy Kurier whose name I cannot right now recall estimate the real Chinese arsenal at 2000-3000 nukes.

    Personally, I'm undecided. In particular, Karber has made some dodgy and ill founded claims before. But the tunnels are real enough and IMHO China would simply be stupid to leave its existential fate to the whims and nice intentions of the US and Russia. Although I wouldn't put it past them, since China is after all a traditionally peaceful civilization with a lousy threat-detection radar.
  8. Except, perhaps, for those neocons who appear to believe with all conviction that the West is absolutely indispensable for Russia, and that Russia will eventually agree to pay any cost to mend relations for the privilege of fighting China for them to the last Russian.

    North America vs China

  9. Andrei Martyanov [AKA "SmoothieX12"] says: • Website
    @Jim
    What do you think is really driving American hostility to Russia?

    There are two ways to answer it:

    1. By playing around with all kinds of semi-truths until the answer is obtained and nerves and egos are saved;
    2. By pointing out that Russia is the only direct clear and present danger to American mythology, especially its 20th century component. But this is only for those who “can handle the truth”(c) China–is not.

  10. @Niccolo Salo
    It's simply a game of hegemony aka "Full-Spectrum Dominance". Russia is the only country that threatens America's "Full-Spectrum Dominance" because it is the only threat to Nuclear Primacy, a concept that ensures FSD.

    To compound this threat, Russia has, through BRICS, been attacking the pre-eminence of the American Dollar by pushing for a multipolar world in security and economics. The AIIB (Chinese Bank set up to compete with the IMF) is part and parcel of this push for a more balanced globe.

    All the media attacks on Russia in respect to Putin's authoritarianism, laws on gays, etc. are used only for domestic consumption to 'manufacture consent'.

    The issue runs deeper than mere “full spectrum domination”, whatever that means. It is a metaphysical one. I wrote on this issue in my blog.

    • Replies: @Niccolo Salo
    Full-Spectrum Dominance = Security-Speak for American Hegemony post-Cold War.
  11. These opinion polls make the Russian people seem remarkably reasonable. Their normal condition is that a majority views the US and EU positively. But, during periods of contention and confrontation, it is natural that negative opinions rise.

    I am tempted to put it like this: the Russians dislike the US and EU for what they do, when they do things against Russian interests in Kosovo, Georgia or Ukraine; but the majority most often likes the US and EU for what they are. I cannot fault the Russians for that.

    It is not clear how much importance to give to surveys of how popular countries are. Does it reveal some kind of soft power of hidden influence that holds increasing sway over diplomacy? Or is it just a popularity contest of no great meaning?

  12. @Andrei Martyanov
    The issue runs deeper than mere "full spectrum domination", whatever that means. It is a metaphysical one. I wrote on this issue in my blog.

    Full-Spectrum Dominance = Security-Speak for American Hegemony post-Cold War.

  13. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Glossy
    Is China a threat to nuclear primacy? Is it capable of MAD with the US? I think I remember the Saker (a blogger who knows a lot about nukes) saying that only Russia is on MAD terms with the US. If this is true, what prevents China from getting on those terms?

    The powers that be are extremely pissed off at North Korea, Iran, Syria. They don't seem to be able to break those countries, even though they want to do that very, very much. They didn't dominate those countries even when they had Yeltsin in the Kremlin. This implies that Russia isn't the only obstacle to their full spectrum dominance. It's an obstacle of course. Probably the biggest one. But not the only one.

    NK, Iran, and Syria all have some degree of support from Russia and China that keep them alive.

    Russia and China are the only significant countries impeding American global hegemony. Regime change in either of the countries that brought about pro-American, subordinate regimes like there are in Europe and Japan would mean that the last one standing could be completely isolated and that America would attain global hegemony.

    • Replies: @Glossy
    The Yeltsin era in Russia was a period of subserviancy to the global powers that be. That started with Gorbachev, but reached full force with Yeltsin. And China wasn't nearly as strong in the 1990s as it is now. Yet the regimes that we're talking about survived.
  14. @Anonymous
    NK, Iran, and Syria all have some degree of support from Russia and China that keep them alive.

    Russia and China are the only significant countries impeding American global hegemony. Regime change in either of the countries that brought about pro-American, subordinate regimes like there are in Europe and Japan would mean that the last one standing could be completely isolated and that America would attain global hegemony.

    The Yeltsin era in Russia was a period of subserviancy to the global powers that be. That started with Gorbachev, but reached full force with Yeltsin. And China wasn’t nearly as strong in the 1990s as it is now. Yet the regimes that we’re talking about survived.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Putin sort of snuck into power and took the country into a more independent direction. China in the 90s was run by the CCP, the same regime in power today.

    If there were, say, regime change in China that replaced the CCP with a pro-American regime, Russia could be completely isolated. Its energy and arms exports could be severely curtailed, and the US would increase domestic energy production and pressure its Mideast allies to increase supply and crash energy prices. The US could then accelerate another arms race, and Russia wouldn't be able to keep up and would go bankrupt. It'd be the 80s all over again, except this time Russia wouldn't be able to recover.
    , @Mitleser
    Yes, but that's all they did, survive.
    They did not prosper which is necessary to have a future.
    That's why the Iranians want the sanctions removed.
  15. @Anatoly Karlin
    Comments can begin.

    Hello Anatoly,

    It is always possible to read graphs in two different ways, in a glass-half-empty or in a glass-half-full way. Let me try the former.

    I find it quite sad that, in the past, the Russians always came back to liking US and EU after their hyper-violent crimes. US and its satellite EU have raped so many countries, just like a serial rapist, but because this is a “good looking” rapist, everything is quickly forgotten and the popularity comes back. Russia behaves like a woman which screams whilst her neighbor is getting raped by a serial rapist, but the next day dresses up nicely believing that she can charm the good looking rapist into behaving nicely just with her. Well, it appears that the rapist cannot be charmed as he aims for an ever higher target (now Russia, tomorrow China). Time has come for Russia to feel the Atlantic rapist’s tender mercies. It appears that the serial rapist will keep Russia as the target for the years to come, which may prevent Russia from forgetting this time. If Russia forgets, then it will certainly become another of the Atlantist’s violent successes, because this rapist never gives up and never changes his ways, never ever, ever.

    I am sorry to say so, but Russia appears not any smarter than your average, good life wishing, bird-short memory Jenny Blow of US. Sad.

  16. @Jim
    What do you think is really driving American hostility to Russia?

    Several other replies seem to give valid reasons. I would like to mention something additional: whether rightly or not, the leaders of the American neocon project think that they must either be gaining ground or losing it. Like a novice bicycle rider, they feel they must maintain forward momentum if they are not to fall off ignominiously. It has often been said publicly that, to succeed, the American way of life must extend to the entire world. I don’t quite understand why this is. Perhaps they fear that, if any alternative way of life survives, people will come to prefer it? Or is it simple greed, in that it is better to have the whole world to plunder rather than just part of it?

  17. @Jim
    What do you think is really driving American hostility to Russia?

    Oh, another thing that I have noticed in the UK (I live in England). Politicians seem unable to resist the temptation of setting up a foreign “evil menace” for their citizens to worry about. This distracts them from thinking about what a lousy job their own government is doing at home, and at a pinch many problems can be blamed on the evil foreign enemy. At the moment Western leaders are spoilt for choice in this regard, having both Islamic terrorism and Russia to use as bogeymen.

    It really amazes me to see how intelligent, educated, reasonably urbane commentators on the BBC and in the British newspapers have all gone overboard on the “everyone must hate Russia” theme. Not a single sentence can mention Russia without some spiteful barb. Just this morning it was mentioned by the BBC’s Today Programme that Russia might help Greece deal with its debts. A correspondent admitted that “surprisingly” Russia had money to spare, and could perhaps spend some of it “to stir up trouble”. The idea that the Russians might just be trying to help was somehow, mysteriously, ruled out of consideration.

    • Replies: @22pp22
    I don't think the sheeple are fooled any longer.
    , @Moi
    The Beeb is pretty much propaganda (at least what we see of it here in the US, like our MSM.
  18. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Neutral
    I don't think there are any strong ideological drivers for this, its simply driven by the fact that America sincerely expects to rule the world (they will try to use fancier words like "maintain international norms", but its the same thing). Anyone who does not play their rules is made an enemy.

    I think there is also the racial aspect as well though, having Russia as enemy is a bit easier, since it is a white country you have less hassle to condemn than it would be to do to China for example. Mocking the enemy making fun for all their failings, its much easier when its done against white people.

    Neutral.

    That is ridiculous. The whole white victimization that the commenters always post on Unz is ridiculous.

    If you knew anything about history you would know that the elites that make up the Anglo-Zionist empire have always had it in for Russia. And that America has a long history of bombing all sorts of colors.

  19. @Tom Welsh
    Oh, another thing that I have noticed in the UK (I live in England). Politicians seem unable to resist the temptation of setting up a foreign "evil menace" for their citizens to worry about. This distracts them from thinking about what a lousy job their own government is doing at home, and at a pinch many problems can be blamed on the evil foreign enemy. At the moment Western leaders are spoilt for choice in this regard, having both Islamic terrorism and Russia to use as bogeymen.

    It really amazes me to see how intelligent, educated, reasonably urbane commentators on the BBC and in the British newspapers have all gone overboard on the "everyone must hate Russia" theme. Not a single sentence can mention Russia without some spiteful barb. Just this morning it was mentioned by the BBC's Today Programme that Russia might help Greece deal with its debts. A correspondent admitted that "surprisingly" Russia had money to spare, and could perhaps spend some of it "to stir up trouble". The idea that the Russians might just be trying to help was somehow, mysteriously, ruled out of consideration.

    I don’t think the sheeple are fooled any longer.

  20. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    The US and its Anglo bretherin has always resorted to divide and conquer to deal with its enemies.

    They were able to push around blacks, Arabs, Latinos, etc with impunity. They were even able to push around the Chinese and Russia. But now that the gig is up and Russia and China see the game, I don’t think they will be able to push them around anymore.

  21. MSM coverage of Russia took a sharp turn towards abuse when Putin interfered with Obama and Karry’s (or their masters’) reindeer games in Syria. The Olympics were the first roll-out of the new anti-Russia standard and there has been no let up since.

    • Replies: @Niccolo Salo
    There have been three notable turns against Putin in the western press, with Syria being the 3rd and as of now, last turn (it continued right through Ukraine without stop).

    The first was when Putin arrested Khodorkovsky, the darling of western bankers. His battles with Berezovsky didn't garner him much antagonism outside of some sections of the UK press which Berezovsky bought. But the arrest and imprisonment of Khodorkovsky made Putin many enemies in the financial centres of Anglo-America.

    The second was in 2008 when Russia successfully repelled Saakashvili's attempt to reincorporate South Ossetia into Georgia. This was Cheney's gambit and it failed miserably. Berlusconi's open support for Russia over this conflict was when the Anglo press turned against him. The ushering in of the Obama regime saw the media accept the premise of the 'reset with Russia', which then ended with Lavrov's deft work in Syria.
  22. @Jim
    What do you think is really driving American hostility to Russia?

    Hegemony.

  23. @Anonymous
    Serbia was bombed 1999. not 1998.

    AK Edit: Thanks. Will fix.

    Russian financial collapse was in summer-fall of 1998. That fed anti-US sentiment but so to did the lead-up to the NATO air campaign against Yugoslavia. Russians did not like the NATO brand on military compellence against Yugoslavia.

  24. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Glossy
    The Yeltsin era in Russia was a period of subserviancy to the global powers that be. That started with Gorbachev, but reached full force with Yeltsin. And China wasn't nearly as strong in the 1990s as it is now. Yet the regimes that we're talking about survived.

    Putin sort of snuck into power and took the country into a more independent direction. China in the 90s was run by the CCP, the same regime in power today.

    If there were, say, regime change in China that replaced the CCP with a pro-American regime, Russia could be completely isolated. Its energy and arms exports could be severely curtailed, and the US would increase domestic energy production and pressure its Mideast allies to increase supply and crash energy prices. The US could then accelerate another arms race, and Russia wouldn’t be able to keep up and would go bankrupt. It’d be the 80s all over again, except this time Russia wouldn’t be able to recover.

  25. “Relations steadily cooled as the West began an aggressive expansion of its economic and security infrastructure into what Russia saw as its sphere of influence, in so doing breaking informal commitments made with Gorbachev that NATO wouldn’t expand an inch east.”

    Serbia and Ukraine notwithstanding, virtually all of Western expansion into former Soviet territory was greeted wholeheartedly by the native population. Reading the above without proper context, one would assume that the Baltic States, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Armenia, Georgia, East Germany, etc. were bullied into the EU, NATO and Western trade agreements. These people didn’t walk, they ran, away from Russia into the arms of the US. This wasn’t State Department/CIA puppet mastery, it was widespread disgust for the Soviet Union and its history of brutal oppression. Even today visit Vilnius, and ask the man on the street his opinion of Russia.

    And with good reason too, being in Russia’s “sphere of influence” has historically been bad for one’s health. Say what you want about the EU, but they’re not going to be rolling tanks through the streets of Budapest any time soon. If Russia finds its satellite peoples flinging themselves out of its orbit, its largely because of its own atrocious history. Ask the Jews skewered in pogroms, the ethnically cleansed Circassians, the Cossacks murdered by the Bolsheviks, the Finns stripped of their homelands, the Poles deported to Siberia, the 12-year old German girls gang raped by the Red Army, the North Koreans sitting in concentration camps, the millions of Vietnamese refugees.

    Maybe the Russia of today is past that kind of behavior. But credibility takes a long time to establish. The US’s record is certainly far from perfect, but at the end of the day nine out of ten rational people would much prefer to live under US hegemony than Russian. If Russia wants to show its changed its stripes, it can’t have it both ways. You can’t claim you’re no longer a brutal oppressor, but then throw a hissy-fit when the people you oppressed want to get away from you.

    • Replies: @SolontoCroesus
    Doug, You're talking about Stalin's Russia -- you know, the one that was allied to FDR and Churchill? the Stalin they called "Uncle Joe."

    imo Putin is trying to bring about a renaissance of a more authentic, classic Russia, akin to USAians who clamor for a "return to the Constitution". Stalin's Russia was alien to Pushkin, and Byzantine Catholicism, just as zionized USA has nothing in common with George Washington's Farewell Address and Christian Zionism is as much about Christianity as Netanyahu is.

    , @schmenz
    Doug,

    This type of boiler-plate simply won't do anymore. Those countries who you say "ran" to the USA did no such thing. You would do well to read the opinions of the real people in these lands.

    Their leaders were not bullied to cozy up to the USA...they were bribed. And they're still being bribed.

    Soviet Russia is gone. We just have to swallow our pride and accept that. What is going on in Russia today is not the same thing the Soviets were doing. To refuse to recognize that only feeds delusions.

    I accept the fact that people have long memories for past injustices. This is human nature. (And the US has been cynically fueling these old hatreds in their desire to demonize Russia). It took me a decade at least to come around to the fact that Russia is changing, and it would seem for the better. But reading and reflecting helped.
  26. I’m skeptical about polls. As everyone knows, poll results can be skewed by the way questions are asked, the demeanor of the interviewer, etc. Accepting that these polls were done with accuracy in mind, and they do seem to be in line with common observation, then what do they mean and how important is it? Isn’t ‘public opinion’ simply the result of what sort of mental diet it’s been fed by the various mass media? The mass media is held by an unrepresentative portion of the population and acts in tandem with the government. Much (most?) of it is PR and acts as a conveyor belt of opinions and attitudes from them to the public. Another thing to consider is that, over here as well as there, half the population is either average or below average and average is really no great shakes. What’s the point of asking a dumb person their opinion? Would you ask the average man in the street for medical advice?
    I don’t think the first so-called ‘Cold War’ ever really ended but just lapsed for a while, getting people’s hopes up, looking for ‘peace dividends’ and such. The leadership in the US probably had ingrained suspicions and didn’t think it would last; their behavior in the meantime certainly indicates that. The Russians became unexpectedly weak so that presented an opportunity to others. Now that they’ve rebounded they’re better able to assert their interests. They’ve managed to thwart the American projects in Syria and Ukraine, hence the tsunami of ridiculous anti-Putin propaganda-he’s another Hitler, he’s stolen trillions, he has a girlfriend, etc etc. If the Russian attitude towards the US has fallen it’s because reality has sunk in and they realize the US plays it’s own selfish game; it’s not their friend.

  27. @David
    MSM coverage of Russia took a sharp turn towards abuse when Putin interfered with Obama and Karry's (or their masters') reindeer games in Syria. The Olympics were the first roll-out of the new anti-Russia standard and there has been no let up since.

    There have been three notable turns against Putin in the western press, with Syria being the 3rd and as of now, last turn (it continued right through Ukraine without stop).

    The first was when Putin arrested Khodorkovsky, the darling of western bankers. His battles with Berezovsky didn’t garner him much antagonism outside of some sections of the UK press which Berezovsky bought. But the arrest and imprisonment of Khodorkovsky made Putin many enemies in the financial centres of Anglo-America.

    The second was in 2008 when Russia successfully repelled Saakashvili’s attempt to reincorporate South Ossetia into Georgia. This was Cheney’s gambit and it failed miserably. Berlusconi’s open support for Russia over this conflict was when the Anglo press turned against him. The ushering in of the Obama regime saw the media accept the premise of the ‘reset with Russia’, which then ended with Lavrov’s deft work in Syria.

  28. @Tom Welsh
    Oh, another thing that I have noticed in the UK (I live in England). Politicians seem unable to resist the temptation of setting up a foreign "evil menace" for their citizens to worry about. This distracts them from thinking about what a lousy job their own government is doing at home, and at a pinch many problems can be blamed on the evil foreign enemy. At the moment Western leaders are spoilt for choice in this regard, having both Islamic terrorism and Russia to use as bogeymen.

    It really amazes me to see how intelligent, educated, reasonably urbane commentators on the BBC and in the British newspapers have all gone overboard on the "everyone must hate Russia" theme. Not a single sentence can mention Russia without some spiteful barb. Just this morning it was mentioned by the BBC's Today Programme that Russia might help Greece deal with its debts. A correspondent admitted that "surprisingly" Russia had money to spare, and could perhaps spend some of it "to stir up trouble". The idea that the Russians might just be trying to help was somehow, mysteriously, ruled out of consideration.

    The Beeb is pretty much propaganda (at least what we see of it here in the US, like our MSM.

  29. @Glossy
    The Yeltsin era in Russia was a period of subserviancy to the global powers that be. That started with Gorbachev, but reached full force with Yeltsin. And China wasn't nearly as strong in the 1990s as it is now. Yet the regimes that we're talking about survived.

    Yes, but that’s all they did, survive.
    They did not prosper which is necessary to have a future.
    That’s why the Iranians want the sanctions removed.

  30. @Jim
    What do you think is really driving American hostility to Russia?

    America and its flunkies in NATO are hostile because “existence is resistance”: Russia insists on continuing to exist as an independent country and that’s considered an intolerable threat to the Washington consensus.

    Why is China not given the same treatment? There are two reasons. Firstly, China’s fusion of communist managerialism and unfettered money-grubbing is very much in harmony with “our” elite’s view of the world. Secondly, Russia’s European, Christian, and White (in both senses of the word) traditions are like holy water to a vampire for the Euro-Atlanticists while China’s Chinese-ness sets off no such alarms.

    • Replies: @schmenz
    Brilliantly stated, sir.
  31. @Doug
    "Relations steadily cooled as the West began an aggressive expansion of its economic and security infrastructure into what Russia saw as its sphere of influence, in so doing breaking informal commitments made with Gorbachev that NATO wouldn’t expand an inch east."

    Serbia and Ukraine notwithstanding, virtually all of Western expansion into former Soviet territory was greeted wholeheartedly by the native population. Reading the above without proper context, one would assume that the Baltic States, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Armenia, Georgia, East Germany, etc. were bullied into the EU, NATO and Western trade agreements. These people didn't walk, they ran, away from Russia into the arms of the US. This wasn't State Department/CIA puppet mastery, it was widespread disgust for the Soviet Union and its history of brutal oppression. Even today visit Vilnius, and ask the man on the street his opinion of Russia.

    And with good reason too, being in Russia's "sphere of influence" has historically been bad for one's health. Say what you want about the EU, but they're not going to be rolling tanks through the streets of Budapest any time soon. If Russia finds its satellite peoples flinging themselves out of its orbit, its largely because of its own atrocious history. Ask the Jews skewered in pogroms, the ethnically cleansed Circassians, the Cossacks murdered by the Bolsheviks, the Finns stripped of their homelands, the Poles deported to Siberia, the 12-year old German girls gang raped by the Red Army, the North Koreans sitting in concentration camps, the millions of Vietnamese refugees.

    Maybe the Russia of today is past that kind of behavior. But credibility takes a long time to establish. The US's record is certainly far from perfect, but at the end of the day nine out of ten rational people would much prefer to live under US hegemony than Russian. If Russia wants to show its changed its stripes, it can't have it both ways. You can't claim you're no longer a brutal oppressor, but then throw a hissy-fit when the people you oppressed want to get away from you.

    Doug, You’re talking about Stalin’s Russia — you know, the one that was allied to FDR and Churchill? the Stalin they called “Uncle Joe.”

    imo Putin is trying to bring about a renaissance of a more authentic, classic Russia, akin to USAians who clamor for a “return to the Constitution”. Stalin’s Russia was alien to Pushkin, and Byzantine Catholicism, just as zionized USA has nothing in common with George Washington’s Farewell Address and Christian Zionism is as much about Christianity as Netanyahu is.

    • Replies: @SFG
    We still don't see the Poles or Czechs embracing the East, do we?

    I don't think Russia is evil, just that Tsarism and Communism gave them kind of a bad rap throughout Eastern Europe. The USA has a similarly bad reputation in Latin America. But say what you will about the USA, it will never try to annex Poland.

    It's power politics, really.

  32. Public opinion is fickle. Ask George Bush ( either of them). In early 1991 his approval ratings were over 80%. All the big Democrats decided not to take him on in the 1992 elections. 18 months later he lost the presidency to the Governor of Arkansas. Bush too was popular when the US Army drove into Baghdad in 2003 with minimal casualties and throngs of Iraqis celebrating in the streets.

    Something for Putin to think about even with his lock on state news media. Earlier this year he promised the Russian people the economy would turn around within two years. Two years go by fast and economic turnarounds when your nation is facing sanctions from the numbers #1,3,4,5,6 economies in the world plus Canada and Australia and a dozen or so others are hard to engineer even if you weren’t dependent on a few commodities for hard currency. Did South Africa ever bounce back when it was hit with sanctions?

    Russian public opinion about China is worrisome for it reflects real geopolitical ignorance. Of course the “enemy of my enemy is my friend” thinking is important here and with Russia facing the entire Western world alone it is comforting to think that a billion Chinese are on your side but are they? Is China really going to jeapordize its relations with its three largest trading partners to support Putin’s territorial ambitions in Ukraine or the Baltics while ignoring its own territorial claims against Russia in the Far East? China has made it clear it will not and with oil and gas no longer in short supply Russia has little leverage with China. The much ballyhooed gas deal Putin signed last year is more wishful thinking than reality as Russia’s ability to even build the pipelines and supply the gas is dubious and impossible by the scheduled delivery date!

    Unfortunately for Putin and those who support his ambitions, Russia just doesn’t have the technological, industrial or military wherewithal to forcibly reconstitute the USSR and having shown its mailed fist it has lost the opportunity to do it peacefully by waiting for first NATO to wither away for lack of a mission and then the EU to break up over the strains of the Euro. While the EU may come asunder NATO won’t.

    • Replies: @annamaria
    "...Putin’s territorial ambitions in Ukraine or the Baltics..."
    This is a nice Faux News' line that has been fed to presstitute by the Nuland-Kagand Department (that should be named after Dick Cheney). Have you read any factual papers on the US/Russia conflict in Ukraine? You may consult CounterPunch and even Stratfor to become intelligently informed about what is going on in Ukraine.
  33. @SolontoCroesus
    Doug, You're talking about Stalin's Russia -- you know, the one that was allied to FDR and Churchill? the Stalin they called "Uncle Joe."

    imo Putin is trying to bring about a renaissance of a more authentic, classic Russia, akin to USAians who clamor for a "return to the Constitution". Stalin's Russia was alien to Pushkin, and Byzantine Catholicism, just as zionized USA has nothing in common with George Washington's Farewell Address and Christian Zionism is as much about Christianity as Netanyahu is.

    We still don’t see the Poles or Czechs embracing the East, do we?

    I don’t think Russia is evil, just that Tsarism and Communism gave them kind of a bad rap throughout Eastern Europe. The USA has a similarly bad reputation in Latin America. But say what you will about the USA, it will never try to annex Poland.

    It’s power politics, really.

  34. Doug has a point. Nobody forced the former WP members into NATO (although a wiser NATO leadership would not have encouraged them. For its own security, be it noted. We are now learning the dangers of having a lot of rabid anti-Russians driving our security policy). The fact that these countries play down their own contributions to Bolshevism is another story. They tend to blame Russian and Russians for something that was actually quite international. I have written elsewhere that they should really all be demanding compensation from Latvia (Lettish Rifles as Lenin’s muscle) or from Geargia (JVS). But, the fact is that they all blame Russia for their misfortunes, rightly or wrongly.

  35. For a bigger picture see this about Halford J. Mackinder in about 1904

    http://www.mindef.gov.sg/safti/pointer/back/journals/1998/Vol24_3/8.htm

    ” Who rules Eastern Europe commands the Heartland;

    Who rules the Heartland commands the World-Island’

    Who rules the World-Island commands the World ”

    Didn’t think it original to Brzezinski did you?

  36. The “War on Terror” is Old

    Restarting the Cold war has been the goal of the military-industrial-congressional complex since the Berlin wall was dismantled. NATO pummeled Russian ally Serbia, then began a senseless rapid expansion plan to incorporate former Warsaw Pact members. The Bush administration pulled out of the missile defense treaty and began building missile bases in Poland. The U.S. military built permanent military bases in former Warsaw Pact nations and even former Soviet republics. Finally, the USA began to ship arms and advisors to unstable former Soviet republics. Bush supported the addition of distant Georgia to NATO and Ukraine is a candidate.

    The basic policy of “containment” from the Cold war has been reversed. The problem of Soviet expansionism has been replaced by the need to contain the irrational imperial ambitions of the U.S. government. In addition, America’s nuclear war racket is dying. The thousands of nuclear weapons and delivery system need replacement, and profiteers eye that $1 trillion price tag. Talk to reduce nuclear arsenals have ended.

    Advertisers know that marketing slogans become dated. The 9-11 attack happened years ago. After the USA defeated fascism, a new enemy called communism was found. This threat was kept alive for decades. After it died, it was quickly replaced with terrorism. Now this threat has become stale. A new “ism” is needed. Extremism has been market tested, with poor results. Maybe Putinism?

    It’s probably best to return to fascism. Putin is a new Hitler! Americans must sacrifice for national security. Those who complain about failing health care, decaying infrastructure, falling wages, and high school graduates who cannot read are selfish and unpatriotic. The perpetual war must continue. Rally round the flag!

  37. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Re: ‘Opinion of Russia’ poll questionnaire above

    As with all polls, they are simplistic and loaded for a zero sum game. Say if someone asked me: ‘do you have a favourable opinion of America?’, what does that mean? If I say NO, which is fully in accord with my view of the US corporate/racist state and empire, then by implication this is a kick in the teeth for all the lovely North Americans I know and who also would wholeheartedly agree with my condemnation of the former. And it would also be at odds with my life experience of travelling and performing in North America, which again was largely positive. Can I therefore answer YES? Well obviously not, for the same but diametrically opposite reason: that it lets the USA’s disgusting elites off the hook.

    The phrasing of the question therefore assumes a moronic level of political understanding from the responder, only gives them the dull, uncreative YES or NO as options, and if you did answer NO (as in the example given), then it by implication serves to hold a mass of human beings, arbitrarily labelled by whatever their supposed ‘nation’ is, responsible for the actions of the tiny, powerful elite that run it.

    The same is true of Russia. Across the world it’s the mafias who buy up and run states that are our enemies, and not the people who happen to live in the ‘patch’ of this mobster or another.

  38. Bush senior lost to Clinton because PEROT ran and 90% of PEROT,s vote would have gone to Bush snr had PEROT NOT RUN,he actually dropped out at a point because of threats to his Family but a huge petition brought him in again and he ran,result Bush snr out Clinton in.
    Let us please get analysis correct.

  39. @unit472
    Public opinion is fickle. Ask George Bush ( either of them). In early 1991 his approval ratings were over 80%. All the big Democrats decided not to take him on in the 1992 elections. 18 months later he lost the presidency to the Governor of Arkansas. Bush too was popular when the US Army drove into Baghdad in 2003 with minimal casualties and throngs of Iraqis celebrating in the streets.

    Something for Putin to think about even with his lock on state news media. Earlier this year he promised the Russian people the economy would turn around within two years. Two years go by fast and economic turnarounds when your nation is facing sanctions from the numbers #1,3,4,5,6 economies in the world plus Canada and Australia and a dozen or so others are hard to engineer even if you weren't dependent on a few commodities for hard currency. Did South Africa ever bounce back when it was hit with sanctions?

    Russian public opinion about China is worrisome for it reflects real geopolitical ignorance. Of course the "enemy of my enemy is my friend" thinking is important here and with Russia facing the entire Western world alone it is comforting to think that a billion Chinese are on your side but are they? Is China really going to jeapordize its relations with its three largest trading partners to support Putin's territorial ambitions in Ukraine or the Baltics while ignoring its own territorial claims against Russia in the Far East? China has made it clear it will not and with oil and gas no longer in short supply Russia has little leverage with China. The much ballyhooed gas deal Putin signed last year is more wishful thinking than reality as Russia's ability to even build the pipelines and supply the gas is dubious and impossible by the scheduled delivery date!

    Unfortunately for Putin and those who support his ambitions, Russia just doesn't have the technological, industrial or military wherewithal to forcibly reconstitute the USSR and having shown its mailed fist it has lost the opportunity to do it peacefully by waiting for first NATO to wither away for lack of a mission and then the EU to break up over the strains of the Euro. While the EU may come asunder NATO won't.

    “…Putin’s territorial ambitions in Ukraine or the Baltics…”
    This is a nice Faux News’ line that has been fed to presstitute by the Nuland-Kagand Department (that should be named after Dick Cheney). Have you read any factual papers on the US/Russia conflict in Ukraine? You may consult CounterPunch and even Stratfor to become intelligently informed about what is going on in Ukraine.

    • Replies: @Anon
    Wait Crimea didn't get annex. Fox News sure did lie to me. I'm going to look into this immedialtely. This kind no doubt impartial internet commenter (with a hilarious sense of humor too... Faux News that's so funny mind if I borrow it) tells me Russia has no territorial ambitions in Ukraine so Crimea must not have been annexed.
  40. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @annamaria
    "...Putin’s territorial ambitions in Ukraine or the Baltics..."
    This is a nice Faux News' line that has been fed to presstitute by the Nuland-Kagand Department (that should be named after Dick Cheney). Have you read any factual papers on the US/Russia conflict in Ukraine? You may consult CounterPunch and even Stratfor to become intelligently informed about what is going on in Ukraine.

    Wait Crimea didn’t get annex. Fox News sure did lie to me. I’m going to look into this immedialtely. This kind no doubt impartial internet commenter (with a hilarious sense of humor too… Faux News that’s so funny mind if I borrow it) tells me Russia has no territorial ambitions in Ukraine so Crimea must not have been annexed.

    • Replies: @schmenz
    My friend, Crimea was not annexed. An internationally-supervised vote of the people decided that Crimea wanted to return (please note the word "return") to Russia. There were no vote irregularities, no Russian soldiers aiming AK-47s at the peasants as they entered the voting booth.

    A cursory history of the East will inform you that Crimea was a part of Russia for centuries, and that the vast majority of the populace there speaks Russian. In the 1950s the Ukrainian-born Kruschev "gave" Crimea to Ukraine as a "gift", which didn't go down too well with the people there.

    When the people of Crimea voted to rejoin Russia a year or so ago the Russian government accepted their vote. And, interestingly, when the people of East Ukraine recently expressed their overwhelming desire to be joined to Russia, Mr Putin and his government said "No". So much for Russia "grabbing" nations.
  41. @Anatoly Karlin
    Comments can begin.

    This column reminds of that NYT quote from Israeli strategist Alon Pinkas. “Let them both bleed, hemorrhage to death.”

    The hostile elite want eastern and western Europe to fight each other, bleed, and die out.

    Wars, mass immigration, sexual liberation led low fertility, mass offshoring of jobs, crushing taxes, endless QEs. And finally extinction.

  42. @Doug
    "Relations steadily cooled as the West began an aggressive expansion of its economic and security infrastructure into what Russia saw as its sphere of influence, in so doing breaking informal commitments made with Gorbachev that NATO wouldn’t expand an inch east."

    Serbia and Ukraine notwithstanding, virtually all of Western expansion into former Soviet territory was greeted wholeheartedly by the native population. Reading the above without proper context, one would assume that the Baltic States, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Armenia, Georgia, East Germany, etc. were bullied into the EU, NATO and Western trade agreements. These people didn't walk, they ran, away from Russia into the arms of the US. This wasn't State Department/CIA puppet mastery, it was widespread disgust for the Soviet Union and its history of brutal oppression. Even today visit Vilnius, and ask the man on the street his opinion of Russia.

    And with good reason too, being in Russia's "sphere of influence" has historically been bad for one's health. Say what you want about the EU, but they're not going to be rolling tanks through the streets of Budapest any time soon. If Russia finds its satellite peoples flinging themselves out of its orbit, its largely because of its own atrocious history. Ask the Jews skewered in pogroms, the ethnically cleansed Circassians, the Cossacks murdered by the Bolsheviks, the Finns stripped of their homelands, the Poles deported to Siberia, the 12-year old German girls gang raped by the Red Army, the North Koreans sitting in concentration camps, the millions of Vietnamese refugees.

    Maybe the Russia of today is past that kind of behavior. But credibility takes a long time to establish. The US's record is certainly far from perfect, but at the end of the day nine out of ten rational people would much prefer to live under US hegemony than Russian. If Russia wants to show its changed its stripes, it can't have it both ways. You can't claim you're no longer a brutal oppressor, but then throw a hissy-fit when the people you oppressed want to get away from you.

    Doug,

    This type of boiler-plate simply won’t do anymore. Those countries who you say “ran” to the USA did no such thing. You would do well to read the opinions of the real people in these lands.

    Their leaders were not bullied to cozy up to the USA…they were bribed. And they’re still being bribed.

    Soviet Russia is gone. We just have to swallow our pride and accept that. What is going on in Russia today is not the same thing the Soviets were doing. To refuse to recognize that only feeds delusions.

    I accept the fact that people have long memories for past injustices. This is human nature. (And the US has been cynically fueling these old hatreds in their desire to demonize Russia). It took me a decade at least to come around to the fact that Russia is changing, and it would seem for the better. But reading and reflecting helped.

  43. @Cagey Beast
    America and its flunkies in NATO are hostile because "existence is resistance": Russia insists on continuing to exist as an independent country and that's considered an intolerable threat to the Washington consensus.

    Why is China not given the same treatment? There are two reasons. Firstly, China's fusion of communist managerialism and unfettered money-grubbing is very much in harmony with "our" elite's view of the world. Secondly, Russia's European, Christian, and White (in both senses of the word) traditions are like holy water to a vampire for the Euro-Atlanticists while China's Chinese-ness sets off no such alarms.

    Brilliantly stated, sir.

  44. The Cold War is long over and new teams are forming up along entirely different lines. Russia is winning lots of support from socially conservative and patriotic types. This pro-Russian music video was just put out yesterday by some girls in France with just that sort of politics:

    Let Russia Live

    Who is this man who stands up to the powerful who threaten him?
    He’s not a fictional hero, for millions are with him

    Let Russia live
    Let Russia live her life
    So she can finally sing according to her faith
    And walk according to her rights

    Often broken by a deadly fate
    She rises up against Evil
    Napoleon, the World Order
    She has escaped her enemies

    Who is this man who rarely laughs
    because at his door they want war?
    But for the defence of his land
    The millions are with him

    Let Russia live
    Let Russia live her life
    With the enchanting magic
    Of the God that blessed them

    Her hour of glory is coming
    Her garden must continue to flower
    In force and beauty
    She has been accorded grace

    Who is this man who comes out of winter
    tasked with the destiny of a proud people?
    From France receive our esteem
    Dear Vladimir Putin

    Let’s let Russia live
    Let’s let her live her life
    Far from the jealous across the sea
    Who want to command the universe

    Let Russia live
    Let Russia live her life
    So she can finally sing according to her faith
    And walk according to her rights

    (repeat)

    Their anti-Jacobin one is great too:

  45. @Anon
    Wait Crimea didn't get annex. Fox News sure did lie to me. I'm going to look into this immedialtely. This kind no doubt impartial internet commenter (with a hilarious sense of humor too... Faux News that's so funny mind if I borrow it) tells me Russia has no territorial ambitions in Ukraine so Crimea must not have been annexed.

    My friend, Crimea was not annexed. An internationally-supervised vote of the people decided that Crimea wanted to return (please note the word “return”) to Russia. There were no vote irregularities, no Russian soldiers aiming AK-47s at the peasants as they entered the voting booth.

    A cursory history of the East will inform you that Crimea was a part of Russia for centuries, and that the vast majority of the populace there speaks Russian. In the 1950s the Ukrainian-born Kruschev “gave” Crimea to Ukraine as a “gift”, which didn’t go down too well with the people there.

    When the people of Crimea voted to rejoin Russia a year or so ago the Russian government accepted their vote. And, interestingly, when the people of East Ukraine recently expressed their overwhelming desire to be joined to Russia, Mr Putin and his government said “No”. So much for Russia “grabbing” nations.

    • Replies: @Sam Haysom
    Crimea was annexed period. I know it sucks because playing the poor lidddle victim card is apparenrly immensely satisfying to a big portion of the Rusaia fifth column. Special pleading is easy facing up to the fact that Russia has dished out far more than its taken is difficult because it requires you to actually argue the respective virtues of the U.S. and Russia rarher than simply calling the US a a bully.
  46. @schmenz
    My friend, Crimea was not annexed. An internationally-supervised vote of the people decided that Crimea wanted to return (please note the word "return") to Russia. There were no vote irregularities, no Russian soldiers aiming AK-47s at the peasants as they entered the voting booth.

    A cursory history of the East will inform you that Crimea was a part of Russia for centuries, and that the vast majority of the populace there speaks Russian. In the 1950s the Ukrainian-born Kruschev "gave" Crimea to Ukraine as a "gift", which didn't go down too well with the people there.

    When the people of Crimea voted to rejoin Russia a year or so ago the Russian government accepted their vote. And, interestingly, when the people of East Ukraine recently expressed their overwhelming desire to be joined to Russia, Mr Putin and his government said "No". So much for Russia "grabbing" nations.

    Crimea was annexed period. I know it sucks because playing the poor lidddle victim card is apparenrly immensely satisfying to a big portion of the Rusaia fifth column. Special pleading is easy facing up to the fact that Russia has dished out far more than its taken is difficult because it requires you to actually argue the respective virtues of the U.S. and Russia rarher than simply calling the US a a bully.

  47. […] Ukraine Darkens Future of Russia-U.S. Nuclear Arms Control. 23. The Unz Review: Anatoly Karlin, Why the New Cold War Is Here to Stay. 24. Moscow Times: Robert Berls, A Letter to My Russian Friends. 25. Russia Direct: From Russia […]

  48. We know that the Will to Hegemony is the ultimate driver of American antipathy towards Russia, true. But I feel that of all involved angles and parties, the European Union tends to get passed over. Specifically, the Ukrainian conflict is being used to rip the European Union away from Russia – and Russian energy dependence – and into the arms of… well, you know. NATO – the purpose of which, according to its first Secretary General, was to “keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down” – has a new lease on life.

    Repeat after me three times: “This is not about Ukraine.” Only the most fervent imbiber of the mendacious cultural Marxist media can believe at this point – with decades of contrary evidence – that American foreign policy is motivated by a desire to spread the wonders of “freedom” and “democracy,” or as Lindsey Graham recently stated, to “stand up to the garbage and stand by freedom.” No, what is to be done instead is to launch character assassination against a targeted leader, to throw around some CIA and NGO money, to sanction, and to destabilize. Practically a science at this stage.

    Washington is ready to battle for Ukraine down to the last Ukrainian, but it is not because it is particularly covetous of what Ukraine itself has to offer, and it is certainly not due to a desire to spread American freedom and deny Russian garbage; no, it is because the longer this conflict continues, the more Russia can be sanctioned by and demonized within the European Union. The hope is that this US-EU freezeout will at some point lead to regime change in or even the fracturing of Russia, which in turn, will humble China and BRICS-led alternatives to the dollar. Never forget that American military hegemony needs American dollar hegemony as well. (And the historical record provides rather little evidence of countries with both reserve currency status and second-rate military. If the military-industrial complex and its forever-wars goes down, along with the hegemonic status quo it supports, the dollar is also liable to go.)

  49. Putin is doing to the US what Sparta did to Athens, flip the unhappy vassal allies. Too smart for the Washingtonians.

    • Replies: @Sam Haysom
    But the US actually flipped his vassal that's why Unz is filled with crotechy anger about Victoria Nuland. The US went into Putin's backyard and pimp slapped him. The West is led by a bunch of children yes, but a child outsmarts Jersy Shore meatheads like Putin every time.
  50. Last month Vladimir Pozner gave an interesting and balanced talk to the Cambridge University Russian Society on the current state of Russia and its relations with Ukraine and the West. It can be found at YouTube under the title: “A talk by Vladimir Pozner in Cambridge, 09.03.15 “

  51. @LondonBob
    Putin is doing to the US what Sparta did to Athens, flip the unhappy vassal allies. Too smart for the Washingtonians.

    But the US actually flipped his vassal that’s why Unz is filled with crotechy anger about Victoria Nuland. The US went into Putin’s backyard and pimp slapped him. The West is led by a bunch of children yes, but a child outsmarts Jersy Shore meatheads like Putin every time.

  52. @Glossy
    Is China a threat to nuclear primacy? Is it capable of MAD with the US? I think I remember the Saker (a blogger who knows a lot about nukes) saying that only Russia is on MAD terms with the US. If this is true, what prevents China from getting on those terms?

    The powers that be are extremely pissed off at North Korea, Iran, Syria. They don't seem to be able to break those countries, even though they want to do that very, very much. They didn't dominate those countries even when they had Yeltsin in the Kremlin. This implies that Russia isn't the only obstacle to their full spectrum dominance. It's an obstacle of course. Probably the biggest one. But not the only one.

    The Chinese (official) nuclear arsenal is very small and can likely be wiped out by an American first strike, with any retaliatory strike from the remnant forces getting wiped out by US missile defense.

    Of course that’s only if we take Chinese claims about the size of their arsenal at face value. They have thousands of kilometres of hardened underground tunnels whose purpose has never been explained. Both Karber (a US military analyst) and some Russian general whose commentary appeared in Voenno-Promyshlenyy Kurier whose name I cannot right now recall estimate the real Chinese arsenal at 2000-3000 nukes.

    Personally, I’m undecided. In particular, Karber has made some dodgy and ill founded claims before. But the tunnels are real enough and IMHO China would simply be stupid to leave its existential fate to the whims and nice intentions of the US and Russia. Although I wouldn’t put it past them, since China is after all a traditionally peaceful civilization with a lousy threat-detection radar.

    • Replies: @Chuck
    It would be somewhat odd to downplay the size of one's deterrent. Although maybe the Chinese are slow playing to get US/Russia to disarm.

    I also wonder if China (intentionally) under-counts its population. It would really be something if the one child policy was just a well publicized con.

  53. @Anatoly Karlin
    The Chinese (official) nuclear arsenal is very small and can likely be wiped out by an American first strike, with any retaliatory strike from the remnant forces getting wiped out by US missile defense.

    Of course that's only if we take Chinese claims about the size of their arsenal at face value. They have thousands of kilometres of hardened underground tunnels whose purpose has never been explained. Both Karber (a US military analyst) and some Russian general whose commentary appeared in Voenno-Promyshlenyy Kurier whose name I cannot right now recall estimate the real Chinese arsenal at 2000-3000 nukes.

    Personally, I'm undecided. In particular, Karber has made some dodgy and ill founded claims before. But the tunnels are real enough and IMHO China would simply be stupid to leave its existential fate to the whims and nice intentions of the US and Russia. Although I wouldn't put it past them, since China is after all a traditionally peaceful civilization with a lousy threat-detection radar.

    It would be somewhat odd to downplay the size of one’s deterrent. Although maybe the Chinese are slow playing to get US/Russia to disarm.

    I also wonder if China (intentionally) under-counts its population. It would really be something if the one child policy was just a well publicized con.

  54. […] Levada, whereas positive impressions of the US as a country (not the leadership as with Gallup)plummeted to a record low of 12% by 2015, since then there has been a marginal recovery back up to around 20%. So, not a major change, but […]

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