By Alexander Baron
If you thought the Cold War was over in 1989 with the fall of the Berlin Wall, or 1991 with the collapse of the Soviet Union, you had best think again. After all, even without the conflict in Ukraine and the ongoing horror in Syria, there are those who have portrayed Russia as the biggest threat – not merely to world peace, but also to world safety, since the end of World War II. In particular, its charismatic leader Vladimir Putin is spoken of as only slightly less disreputable than the Devil himself. So, who is behind this and why?
Unarguably, most of the black propaganda and poisonous rhetoric emanates from the United States: in particular the Democratic Party and the Eastern Liberal Establishment. Hillary Clinton has been especially toxic, blaming her loss to Donald Trump on “Russia” (as well as everyone else under the Sun, barring herself), because the perceived wisdom is that Russia hacked her e-mails and released them at an especially strategic moment. Brainwashing, thereby, substantial tranches of the electorate into voting for Trump, or at least not voting for her.
Unsurprisingly, although the media continues to echo this claim, the reality is very different. Indeed, people who know about these things, among them former NSA operative William Binney, pointed out that there was no hack, and that a forensic analysis proves the e-mails were copied to a memory stick (probably by Seth Rich). Then, there is the so-called Russian interference in the American electoral process. The absurd cartoon( above) was not the work of the Kremlin, but of the Internet Research Agency – though if this is any indication of the true magnitude of the Russian threat, the budgets of GCHQ and the CIA can safely be halved.
Meanwhile, the ongoing witch-hunt of Donald Trump on the pretext that he, or someone in his campaign, colluded with Russia in some (as yet unidentified) manner as a means of stealing the election, has not only impeded Trump from draining the Swamp, but has convinced him to take a stronger stand against Russia at a time when cooperation, not confrontation, is required.
In the UK, of course, there has been the far more serious issue of perceived Russian state involvement in the attempted murder of the former spy Sergei Skripal, and his daughter. The evidence, so far, pointing to Russian involvement; even though it remains to be seen if this is actually Russian state involvement, or the work of renegades. Donald Trump knowing all about people like that, due to the activities of his former FBI Director, James Comey.
So, just as Trump does not want war, or antagonism, with Russia, neither does it seem likely that Theresa May, or anyone high up in the British Government, does either: along with the Opposition. As usual, Jeremy Corbyn is his own man, and has recently called for calm, while those of us old enough to remember the dark days of the Cold War would do well to heed Corbyn’s cry. Certainly, in the UK, there is an organisation called Stop-The-War, which although creepingly left wing, has consistently taken a principled position against warmongering: including that of the British media in its increasingly bellicose bombast over the renewed East-West schism. Nevertheless, the real threat to world peace is, and remains, terrorism. Yet, in order to defeat this threat, Western nations must collaborate with, rather than oppose, Russia. If, therefore, some of our leaders find that a bitter pill to swallow, they should consider the alternative, before thinking anew.