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The key speakers were John Mearsheimer, Stephen F. Cohen and Katrina Vanden Heuvel.
Professor John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago is America’s leading exponent of the Realpolitik school in International Relations studies. He established his reputation for dealing with taboo subjects in 2007 when he co-authored a scholarly work on the Israeli Lobby and U.S. policies towards the Middle East. In September 2014 his article on “Why the West is to Blame” for the current Ukraine crisis was published in the prestigious Foreign Affairs magazine, touching off a fierce debate in the U.S. foreign policy establishment.
Professor emeritus of Princeton and New York Universities Stephen Cohen is one of America’s leading historians of modern Russia. He is the author of the classic biography of Nikolai Bukharin and has published widely read works on the returnees from Stalin’s Gulag, as well as critical historiographical books on the blind spots of American studies of Russia. In the past year, his activities as public intellectual writing and speaking out about the Ukraine crisis, attempting to understand what drives the Kremlin, have made him a key target for supporters of the Washington narrative who have portrayed him as an ‘apologist for Putin’ in attacks of a McCarthy-ite nature.
For more than 20 years, Katrina Vanden Heuvel has been editor-publisher of the New York-based magazine of commentary The Nation, which is this year celebrating its 150th anniversary. In the 1950s, The Nation was already an outspoken critic of U.S. military adventures abroad in the then gathering storm over Viet Nam. The magazine also fought against McCarthyism in U.S. society. Under Vanden Heuvel’s stewardship it is today fighting the same fight. Vanden Heuvel is a close watcher of the Progressive Left political movement in the USA and her speech focuses on how it has lost its way, becoming intermeshed with Liberal Interventionism.
The VIP panelists in the Round Table discussion who appear in the video Part Two include 5 Members of the European Parliament representing groups of parties from the Left, Center and Right. The Brussels diplomatic corps sent two ambassadors and several high officers from the missions of the Philippines, Russia, Israel and others, who also took the floor. A senior member from the Strategy Group within the EU External Action Service took the microphone, as did the director of a Russia-related think tank based in Brussels. And from among the several senior professors in attendance, Richard Sakwa of the University of Kent also spoke out.
The 2 March Round Table was organized by the American Committee for East West Accord Ltd, a non-profit educational corporation founded in late February in the State of New York with European Coordinator in Brussels. Its next planned event, on “Germany’s Ostpolitik: who supports it, where it is headed and what impact it is having on the European Union?” will be held in both Berlin and Brussels in mid-May in partnership with political groupings from across the spectrum in Germany.
© Gilbert Doctorow, 2015
G. Doctorow is an occasional guest lecturer at St. Petersburg State University and Research Fellow of the American University in Moscow. His latest book, Stepping Out of Line: Collected (Nonconformist) Essays on Russian-American Relations, 2008-12, is available in paperback and e-book from Amazon.com and affiliated websites worldwide.
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