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‘Nobody Ever Gets Points for Saying Anything Good About Russia’: Stephen Cohen Says, as Rep. Schiff Spreads Ignorance About Putin
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A protester against US President Donald Trump holds a placard during a rally in New York, June 2019. © Global Look Press / ZumaPress / Erik McGregor / RT

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US Congress heavyweights like Adam Schiff deeply misunderstand Russia but keep on bashing Moscow because it has become “politically advantageous” in Washington, Russia researcher Stephen Cohen said.

“Being highly-critical of Russia is good politics in the United States,” Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies at New York University and Princeton University, told the Grayzone’s Aaron Mate in an interview, uploaded online on Monday.

Nobody ever gets any points for saying anything good about Russia – and only rarely for advocating any kind of partnership with Russia.

Cohen said that “politically it’s advantageous to a lot of people to bash Russia,” and even some of the “progressive” Democratic Party candidates in the 2020 presidential race employ rhetoric, which is hostile toward Moscow.

It has become an American way of life to blame Russia when things go wrong. Of course, sometimes Russia is to blame, but not all the time. And yet that’s become part of our discourse.

The US Democratic Party’s lead impeachment manager, Representative Adam Schiff, has invoked Russia a lot during the trial in the Senate. Democrats want to oust President Donald Trump because they believe he briefly suspended military aid to Ukraine while trying to pressure Kiev into investigating the dealings of his chief 2020 rival, former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter. Sending weapons to Ukraine serves America’s “abiding interest in stemming Russian expansionism,” Schiff argued.

Cohen, however, said that shipping weapons to Kiev would effectively amount to the US turning its back on Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky’s efforts to resolve the conflict with Russia through peaceful means. Instead, he thinks Washington should focus on encouraging the neighbors to negotiate.

“If Zelensky had full American backing for his peace talks with Putin – that would help him a lot.”

Speaking on the Senate floor, Schiff accused Moscow of trying to undermine the faith in democracy and government institutions around the globe.

Cohen argued that the congressman misunderstands what Russian President Vladimir Putin actually “sees as his own historical mission,” and it is almost the opposite of what Schiff attributes to him.

According to the researcher, Putin’s chief ambition is “to rebuild Russia from the disaster into which it fell in the 1990s” after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The last thing Putin wants is instability. He’s trying to build economy at home and economic relations with countries abroad because he sees that as a way to modernize Russia.

The Russia researcher said that Moscow is currently focused on ties with China, but Putin would like to have good trade relations with Europe and the US as well.

“The notion that he wants to foster discord in the very countries, with which he wants what he calls ‘modernizing trade relations’ is just ignorance on the part of Adam Schiff. Because Schiff runs his mouth a lot about Russia, we get to hear the kind of ignorance… that dominates a large segment of policy-makers in Washington.”

(Republished from RT by permission of author or representative)
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  1. melpol says:

    Badmouthing Russia might be going too far. Putin has now been forced to make Xi a friend. Pulling Russia away from China would leave Xi isolated. Europe would feel safer if a US friendly Putin opened its borders to American tanks and planes. Siberian Gulags would be an inexpensive place to house two million US inmates. A friendly Russia is a win-win for all Americans.

    • LOL: Realist
  2. Unfortunately,

    It no longer matters what anyone says about Pres Putin. The president of the US has said the Russian president of Russia ordered his operatives to sabotage the US election process and he further claims that they did so. That makes Russia and Pres Putin an enemy of the US – period.

    This president has further accused Pres Putin in plots of murder and to commit murder as well as sabotaging democracy in the sovereign countries who are allies of the US.

    Whether Rep Schiff says Pres Putin is a God or a cad simply doesn’t matter.

    As official policy minus any reckoning for sabotage and murder, president of Russia is formerly an enemy of the US.

    • Replies: @Stavros
  3. AWM says:

    Yep, this big separation between Russia and the Marxist Dems is just another BIG LIE

  4. anonymous[277] • Disclaimer says:

    American politics apparently requires a boogyman to scare the public with. The cold war never ended and Russia has been a reliable staple so why stop? After all, what does the average American really know? Not much of anything so sleazy politicians have an easy time of it. In fact it is the Americans who are guilty of what they accuse the Russians of, a case of projection.

    • Replies: @Realist
    , @viriato
  5. Cohn is being g very generous with Schiff.
    Schiff, nor any of the others, actually believe all this “oh, dearie me, the Russians are hurting our democracy! ” crap. No, Schiff & Co are simply lying.

  6. Realist says:

    Excellent points.

    American politics apparently requires a boogyman to scare the public with.

    That has been the case for decades.

  7. Realist says:

    Why is this written in third person? Who is the author?

  8. Biff says:

    Aaron Mate is the most humble rock star journalist ever. His take down of Luke Harding was epic.

  9. Stavros says:

    “Sabotaging democracy in sovereign countries” so what do you cal the USA’s efforts in Venezuela, Cba, Syria ad infinitum, ad nauseum then?

  10. It is the same in the UK. Oligarchs assassinating each other are blamed on Putin directly. Skripal was probably trading poison for an assassination that happened a week later anyway, for example. Americans should note that Steele of your dossier was Skripal’s MI6 station boss in Moscow. Pablo Miller, the agent to whom Skripal reported lives in Salisbury. Skripal was an FSB HR manager. He had all the names for Steele to put into the US dossier. It’s a small world.

    Russia is full of botnets for hire. Computers with Russian IP addresses exploring the DNC database could just mean a Republican supporter paid for the hacking.

  11. We must be fair in our assessment of others: honest in our assessment of ourselves and what truly motivates us – all of us.

  12. @animalogic

    That’s true. Professor Cohen is using the word “ignorance” correctly. Ignorance is not a state of lacking knowledge. Ignorance is a state of willfully ignoring facts that might lead to another viewpoint. Schiff is a willfully ignorant liar who has no business anywhere near any government position.

    On the other hand, where it concerns Russia, Trump is just as ignorant a liar as Schiff is. I would love to see both of them shut their ignorant mouths for a few days, at least.

  13. @animalogic

    They are lying about Russia because they are paid handsomely to lie, as are 99% of the (s)elected vermin inside the Beltway. It has become clear to me why the Establishment is doing everything within its power to derail Tulsi Gabbard’s candidacy. It is because she is the only one who is telling the truth, and the only one not peddling “The Russians are Coming” con game, which I’ve heard ever since I was told to “Duck and Cover” back in the 1950’s.

    • Replies: @Taras77
  14. Taras77 says:

    The money (and career) is it exactly. The “think” tanks, the presstitutes, the politicos, all making it big with the constant bashing of Russia.

    It is clearly as the author states, no one will gain by being realistic and constructive about Russia.

  15. ” and even some of the “progressive” Democratic Party candidates ”

    Thanks for the laugh.

    “even” huh?
    A great deal of the bile toward Russia is promulgated by “progressives” because of the country’s refusal to sufficiently celebrate sodomites.

  16. journey80 says:

    Schiff doesn’t misunderstand. He’s a cold, vicious, corrupt liar, and his corny impeachment farce would be, in a sane world, the embarrassing end of the cold, vicious, corrupt DNC.

  17. Ragno says:

    You are wrong about Adam Schiff; he is a patriot who loves his country. There is no price too high to pay on behalf of his country.

  18. lysias says:

    Notice how Schiff’s son in that picture is wearing a Mossad t-shirt.

    Did Rep. Schiff get that t-shirt as a reward for services to Israel as a sayan?

  19. Franz says:

    Speaking on the Senate floor, Schiff accused Moscow of trying to undermine the faith in democracy and government institutions around the globe.

    Partly because nobody wants to end the longest-running live soap opera in the world:

    “I’ve learned to hate the Russians
    All through my whole life.
    If another war comes,
    It’s them we must fight.
    To hate them and fear them,
    to run and to hide,
    And to do it all gladly
    With God on our side.”

    Bob Dylan, 1962
    “With God On Our Side”

  20. ““Sabotaging democracy in sovereign countries” so what do you cal the USA’s efforts in Venezuela, Cba, Syria ad infinitum, ad nauseum then?”

    and those countries have sought an embrace of the US for just such behavior.. If in fact Israel is hosting Russia to make any kind of deal or the current president attempts to make nice after what he has accused the Russians are doing, He would not have demonstrated a of credibility gap so severe I will have to bow out from supporting him.

    But if he didn’t believe Russia actually did what h accused her of, he never should have caved. And if the US goes along — then as any manner of hope for redemption — in my view regarding the time is lost. We have become so bankrupt so as to be mere cogs. The president will have treated my loyalty as for naught but to his whim — a bride I am unwilling to cross.

    I am no great loss —

    But integrity matters. For me it’s 2003 all over again I cannot and will not that level of emptiness.

    • Replies: @EliteCommInc.
  21. @EliteCommInc.

    correction: and those countries have not sought an embrace of the US for just such behavior. They each have rejected US behavior called us on the carpet and not pretended — that the offenses did not happen….

    That is the point. If the president states that Russia sabotaged the US, then we had better behave like it.

    That’s my point, not a tit for tat . . . foreign policy exchange.

  22. viriato says: • Website

    Absolutely correct. Its 100% projection. Would the US tolerate Mexico being controlled by the Chinese and accepting Chinese weapons and influence? They would invade Mexico immedately (as the US did in 1848 and 1916) to install a government acceptable to Washington. The US will not even tolerate the existence of a socialist government in Venezuela. Why should Moscow accept a totally corrupt western stooge regime in Ukraine? Russia is already surrounded by US bases (Poland, Romania, Baltic states, Turkey). Trying to add Ukraine to that list was folly and the attempt of corrupt Hilary and Obama for further American expansion on Russia’s southern flank suffered a well deserved bloody nose.

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