After touring the United States-- Alexandria, VA, Monterey and San Francisco, CA, and Washington DC--I am back in the snow-bound Moscow. It felt good to hear that for the first time since the bloody coup in Kiev on February 21-22, 2014, nobody was killed in Ukraine.
Patrick Armstrong reviews the latest events in his DECEMBER 05, 2014 RUSSIAN FEDERATION SITREP http://www.russiaotherpointsofview.com/2014/12/ru.html#more
Besides front-page news of Ferguson-style racial riots and police raids in dozens of American cities, the highlight of my US tour was the first "Doing Business with the Eurasian Union" conference in Washington which lasted the whole day of December 8 on the premises of the Russian Trade Mission and the Russian Cultural Center.
In spite of US sanctions against Russia, the conference was well attended. The participants I talked were convinced that the sanctions are counterproductive to the aim of making Russia comply with US geopolitical demands that threaten the security of her borders. Gerry Janco, president of the Eurasia Center , said he was pleased with the good turn-out and vibrancy of discussions.
This event came on top of Energy Resource Development Conference on December 1, sponsored by The American Institute of Energy Efficiency in cooperation with the Embassy of Russian Federation. It focused on a global outlook for energy development, logistics and transportation issues between US and Russia. I was unable to attend but Earl Rasmussen, one of the organizers, told me it too was a success.
RAGA’s task of providing varied, objective and dependable info about US-Russia relations became easier with the advent of Russia-Insider. RAGA Newsletter readers are well informed of the recent escalation of anti-Russian rhetoric in both US Senate and House of Representatives. But Russia-Insider reminds that "A recent study titled Putin 2000 – 2014, Midterm Interim Results by Awara Group, a Russia-based consulting firm, shows that Russia’s economy is not as dependent on oil and gas as is commonly claimed."
The author of the report, Jon Hellevig, a Finnish businessman working in Moscow, points out that <<Far from “relying” on oil & gas, the Russian government is engaged in massive investments in all sectors of the economy, biggest investments going to aviation, shipbuilding, manufacturing of high-value machinery and technological equipment. Totally contrary to these facts the Western media, financial analysts and even heads the U.S. President Obama keep parroting the charade that “Russia only relies on oil and gas” and “Russia does not produce anything”. Clearly, Barack Obama has not been analyzing the Russian economy, so this must mean that those whose job it is to do it are misleading the President>>.
In short, the AWARA report corroborates the consensus of the two Business conferences in Washington that Russia's economy is a lot more resilient than what the instigators of sanctions had assumed. http://russia-insider.com/en/2014/12/13/1709…
We do not wish to whitewash the situation in Russia and welcome observations divergent from our authors. RAGA realizes that honest people may come to different conclusions while visiting or working in Russia. Here is an example of a less than rosy view a by Robert Skidelsky, an UK Valdai conference participant.
But we also like our American dissidents challenge US government and media establishment. One of them is Patrick Buchanan, a stalwart of antiwar American conservatives. Read "A Russophobic Rant From Congress" by Patrick J. Buchanan -- Antiwar.com.
"Hopefully, Russians realize that our House of Representatives often passes thunderous resolutions to pander to special interests, which have no bearing on the thinking or actions of the U.S. government. Last week, the House passed such a resolution 411-10. As ex-Rep. Ron Paul writes, House Resolution 758 is so “full of war propaganda that it rivals the rhetoric from the chilliest era of the Cold War.”H. R. 758 is a Russophobic rant full of falsehoods and steeped in superpower hypocrisy." Read more: http://original.antiwar.com/buchanan/2014/12/08/a-russophobic-rant-from-congress/
Actually, the roots of russophobia in the US go deeper than the end of the Cold War. As early as 1959 US Congress adopted the Captive Nations Resolution (PUBLIC LAW 86-90) blaming the Russian people for all crimes committed by Communist regimes.
Doug Bandow of the Libertarian CATO Institute writes in Forbes 12/01/2014 that in "The Battle For Ukraine: U.S. And Russia Must Find An Exit If Not Stage A Reset"
Ted Galen Carpenter, also of CATO Institute, is convinced that "The US Needs To Recognize Russia’s Monroe Doctrine",
Jacob Hornberger of The Future of Freedom Foundation in his November 18, 2014 article "THE UNITED STATES LOST THE COLD WAR" describes the negative DOMESTIC ramification of US aggressive foreign policy:
<<The national-security state has destroyed individual conscience in America, at least insofar as its operations are concerned. Every Sunday Americans go to church and then submissively defer to whatever Caesar does to foreigners the rest of the week. Sanctions, embargoes, coups, partnerships with dictatorial regimes, foreign aid, invasions, occupations, wars of aggression, assassinations, torture, kidnapping, detentions. People automatically support it all, without contemplating the rightness or wrongness of it. Anyone who questions or challenges what the national-security state is doing to people overseas is considered suspect, disloyal, un-American, just like dissidents in the Soviet Union were considered.>>
"Does the U.S. Need a New Approach to Putin?" asks JOHN GUIDA in his DECEMBER 12, 2014 article. He lets Shlomo Ben-Ami, a former Israeli foreign minister, answer: “Russia must pursue and develop its unique identity – with Putin leading the way. Securing a place for Russia in a new world order is integral to establishing such an identity.”
Professor Nicolai Petro of Rhode Island University and my former colleague at Monterey Institute of International Studies in his article "The Real War in Ukraine: The Battle over Ukrainian Identity" published both in The National Interest and Kyiv Post, December 4, 2014, points to the very essence of the conflict by allying himself with people who ought to know:
<<I quite agree with Jack Matlock, our first ambassador to Russia, with Tony Brenton, Britain’s former ambassador to Russia, with Chris Westdal, Canada’s former ambassador to Russia and Ukraine, and former German chancellors Gerhard Schroeder and Helmut Schmidt, and Vaclav Klaus, former president of Czech republic>> that <<The conflict in Ukraine is a conflict among indigenous communities that have very different ideas of what it means to be Ukrainian. It is a war over Ukrainian identity. For the Westernmost regions (Galicia), being Ukrainian means suppressing Russian culture so that Ukrainian culture can thrive in its stead. Here, creating a Ukraine that is antithetical to Russia is commonly referred to as making a “civilizational choice” in favor of Europe. For the eight Russophone regions of eastern and southern Ukraine.. being Ukrainian means being a distinct nation that is still very close to Russia. These Ukrainians do not wish to join Russia, but neither do they wish to be forced to forsake Russian culture in order to be considered loyal Ukrainians.>>
Nation editor and publisher Katrina vanden Heuvel proposes Rethinking the cost of Western intervention in Ukraine and argues that “The United States needs a sober look at the actual costs of supposed good intentions divorced from realism...It is a measure of how extreme the prevailing political-media narrative on Ukraine is that Kissinger now sounds like a dissident. He is urging prudence as opposed to the liberal-neocon interventionists. The United States should want Ukraine to retain its independence and to be able to make its own choices on how it runs its economy. But before Washington further escalates the crisis there and ramps up a new Cold War, it needs to understand both the limits of our power and the horrific humanitarian costs of ignoring those limits.”
Many around the world were shocked when the US, Canada, and Ukraine voted against a Russian proposed UN resolution condemning the heroization of Nazism. Is this an attempt to whitewash fascism, or merely a desperate maneuver to protect the Kiev regime? Watch Peter Lavelle CrossTalking with Dmitry Babich, Alexander Mercouris and Nebojsa Malic.
See also http://rt.com/shows/crosstalk/208819-us-kiev-voting-russia/
Distinguished authors respond to RAGA associate Gilbert Doctorow's question "Now is the time to find a way out of the East-West confrontation: will Europe or Washington lead the way?"
My own "The Folly Of The New Cold War" is now republished by Eurasia Review
Challenging the authors of Costs of a New Cold War: The US-Russia Confrontation over Ukraine, I argue that the current US hostility toward Russia is not a return to the old Cold War, but an escalation of the New Cold War that has began as soon as post-Yeltsin Russia refused to follow the US Neo-Liberal diktat. In a quest for uni-polar hegemony, this New Cold War conflates the Crusade against Muslim “terrorists” with a Crusade against secular, but a re-born Christian Russia where freedom of religion reigns supreme.
Today Russia is NOT reverting to Soviet empire. No, the New Russia has been asserting itself as a nation state which has thrown off the yoke of Communism and therefore feels stronger, prouder and more unified in body and spirit than ever under the USSR. The New Russia has its share of problems, those inherited from the USSR (such as the weakness of civil society, excessive reliance on the "vertical of power") and those resulting from US-sponsored Neo-Lib reforms (capital flight, oligarchic monopolies, corruption, and consumerism). However, Putin's Russia has been making big strides in balancing various interests to create a positive vector of development.
The Business conference in Washington has symbolically reaffirmed that we are indeed dealing with a new Russia. On the premises of Russian Trade Mission in Washington it honored the memory of Arcadi Berdichevsky, a Soviet Trade representative in the UK during the 1920s, who was later arrested on trumped up charges and executed while serving in a Vorkuta GULAG. Berdichevsky's son, Jon Utley, an American businessman, publisher of The American Conservative magazine and my personal friend, received "Star of Excellence" award of The Eurasia Center of Washington. As RAGA president I was instrumental in obtaining Berdichevsky's file from the FSB archives from which the secrets of his trial and execution in Stalin's purges were learned.
See Jon Utley tell his story, "Vorkuta to Perm: Russia's Concentration Camp Museums and my Father's Story", documentary can be seen at http://www.FredaUtley.com.
RAGA says about Jon Basil Utley.“He is One of Us” (Memoirs of Two Trips to Russia) A Tribute by W. George Krasnow at Jon’s birthday party in Washington on March 12, 2014
Thanks to those who responded to Antidote 7 RAGA Newsletter.
Below see attachment of four pictures from of Doing Business with the Eurasian Union conference in Washington. The 4th depicts Jon Utley flanked by Igor Danchenko, Energy Analyst formerly with The Brookings Institution and myself. Both Danchenko and myself are natives of Perm which Jon Utley visited when we filmed his father's story. The Golden Gate Bridge in SF (is just across from Russia).
Peace and Justice to the World.
миру мир и благоволение в сердцах
From RAGA site:
"We are an association of Americans who believe it is in the U.S. national interests to foster friendship with Russia on the basis of mutual Good Will and non-interference in each other's affairs. RAGA is a gathering of people who share common interests in Russia's history, culture, religion, economy, politics and the way of life. We feel that Russian people have made outstanding contributions to humankind and are capable of greater achievements. We envision Russia as a strong, independent, proud and free nation and as a partner in achieving peace in the world."
W George Krasnow (=Vladislav Krasnov)
All statements in this report are an opinion of the author. Act at your own risk. Russia & America Goodwill Association (RAGA) is not responsible for the content of the article. Any views or opinions presented in this report are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RAGA. Any liability in respect to this communication remain with the author.