From July 4th Independence to September 7th Labor Day: Congrats again!
Our Russian friends have their own holidays: since Peter the Great, September 1st has been the national Knowledge Day when everybody goes to school, from first grade to university. Also in September Moscow turned 868 years old.
Tied to the beginning of school, the ceasefire in East Ukraine is tenuously holding up. Alas, world news now have switched to the rift, and fight, between pro-Maidan forces, both in West Ukraine and in Kiev. The jinn of anarchy released from the Maidan in Kiev on February 21, 2014, now reigns supreme. It will not be easy for President Poroshenko to put the jinn back into the bottle of disunited nation. Even with the help of President Obama.
1. This is the argument by my former colleague at the Monterey Institute of International Studies professor Nicolai Petro who was last year a Fulbright scholar in Odessa, Ukraine.
<<The violent ouster of the Yanukovych government ended this delicate balance, and the civil war came. ...the conflict in Ukraine can now have one of only two possible outcomes. The first is the separation of Ukraine into two territories corresponding to their predominant cultural identity. The second is the subjugation of one cultural identity by the other.>>
Read Petro's article "Bringing Ukraine Back Into Focus: How to End the New Cold War and Provide EffectivePolitical Assistance to Ukraine".
2. Edward Lozansky offers a very pro-European and pro-USA option in The Washington Times.
<<The Ukrainian crisis can be resolved immediately if Washington and Brussels put pressure on Kiev to accept the two pretty modest demands of the separatists: the country’s federalization and acknowledging Russian as the second language. Last time I checked, Canada is a federation with two official languages, while Switzerland is a federation with four. Incidentally, isn’t the United States a federation as well? And while Spanish is not the official language de-jure, it definitely is so de-facto.>>
The word compromise is very seldom used in regard to Ukraine. Not that it is absent from Russian or Ukrainian language. In Russian it iskompromiss, in Ukrainian--kompromis. Yet, the connotation of this word, fostered by 73 years of Communist indoctrination, was and still is close to "unprincipled cop-out" and even "treacherous surrender". I suspect the Ukrainian maidan leaders are still guided by the Bolshevik mentality of kto-kogo (who beats whom) and corresponding connotation, regardless of what a dictionary denotation might now say. As EdLozansky points out, US leaders are not in the position to teach Western values to either Russia or Ukraine because they gave up on those values the moment they opted for unipolar world domination under the pretence of wishing to spread ideas of fee-market and democracy, thus replacing the USSR with its inflammatory rhetoric of proletarian world revolution.
3. Such Cold War politicians as President Carter, President Gorbachev and Henry Kissinger are now aghast at the new neo-con inspired US leaders' inability to stop the world from sliding down to a precipice. Jack Hanick of The Observer asks "Can the United States Stop a War With Russia?" and says "Both sides need to try to see the other's point of view"
<<America is heading for war with Russia. Some call the current situation “an increase of hostility” or “Cold War II.” There are two sides to this story. I believe that American journalists from all political persuasions are not offering critical analysis. Understanding the Russian side and taking their arguments seriously can help prevent serious consequences.
Americans believe that Russians are fed propaganda by the state-controlled media. If Russians only could hear the truth, the thinking goes, they would welcome the US position. This is not so. There are more than 300 TV stations available in Moscow. Only 6 are state-controlled. The truth is that Russians prefer hearing the news from the state rather than the Internet or other sources. This is different from almost any other country. It is not North Korea where the news is censored. Each night during the Crimea crisis, anyone could watch CNN or the BBC bash Russia.
With regard to Ukraine, Russia has drawn a red line: It will never allow Ukraine to be part of NATO. Russia sees the US as the aggressor, surrounding Russia with military bases in Eastern Europe at every opportunity since the collapse of the Soviet Union...>>
Read more: http://observer.com/2015/08/can-the-united-states-stop-a-war-with-russia/
There are many ways to stigmatize Russia and thus justify US meddling in Russia's periphery. One of them is the "ubiquitous Russian corruption" allegedly presided by Putin. Another: post-Communist Russia is reverting back to Stalinism.
4. Jerome Israel, a former senior executive at NSA and the FBI, dealt with the first question, in his article, pointedly titled "Is the U.S. less corrupt than Russia?"
<<Last year, University of Miami professor Karen Dawisha authored the book "Putin's Kleptocracy: Who Owns Russia?" She traces the rise of Vladimir Putin and chronicles his rule. Her thesis is this: After a major political change — in this case, the breakup of the Soviet Union — most countries go through a period of instability and corruption but gradually bring lawlessness under control. In Russia, however, the exact opposite has happened: Russia has developed corruption into a fine art.
.... Our system is rife with abuses of power, conflicts of interest, and paybacks to the rich through sole-source contracts, tax preferences or beneficial regulations. These "pay-to-play" schemes are endemic to corruption, making it hard to understand how our politicians are any better than Russia's, whom they are quick to condemn. Of course, many will point out that at least we don't assassinate or jail opposition voices.
... On my last trip to Russia, I had the opportunity to speak to a Russian Federal Security Service agent. I asked him, "What are you guys doing about corruption?" He said they were pursuing what they could, but that corruption was hard to prosecute.That sounded about right, in both our countries>>, concludes the former FBI and NSA official.
5. As to the charge of Stalinism, <<The government of Russia has announced a sweeping new policy commemorating the victims of past repressions during the era of the Soviet Union. The ‘State Policy on Commemorating the Memory of Victims of Political Repression’ was signed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on August 15 and published on the government’s website on August 18. The announcement by the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation is here in English and is reproduced below. The policy was developed by order of President Vladimir Putin, the presidential administration and the Human Rights Council. The HRC requested its formulation in a meeting with the president last October.>>
6. There are some politics-related Sports News| Aug 20, 2015 6. U.S. boxer Roy Jones Jr. applies for Russian passport. Legendary U.S. boxer has filed for Russian citizenship, a day after the multiple champion met President Vladimir Putin and said he wanted to build bridges between Russia and the United States.
And he GOT IT! One might say that Roy outscored Barack Obama 1:0, and he did it from Crimea, of all places.
7. Meanwhile, from New York, Lev Alburt, Grandmaster and at times chess champion of the USSR, Ukraine, and the USA, delieved a resounding checkmate to Washington, certainly, in respect to its anti-Russia, anti-Putin policy. Here are quotes from his article
"Vladimir Putin, America’s Reluctant Foe" in a professional chess site http://chess-news.ru/en/node/19343
<<American elites are united in their disdain for Russia and their hatred for Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. Such unanimity is highly unusual; for instance, when President Carter imposed on the USSR the grain embargo, that action was sharply criticized from both left and right.>> That is, the USA today is more anti-Russian than it ever was anti-Communist. As a result,
<<Russians of all stripes had been shocked by the rapid dismemberment of Yugoslavia, applauded, even facilitated, by “The West”; by America’s treatment of Serbs , Russia’s (and America’s) truest allies in both World Wars. Not surprisingly, by 2000 the majority of Russians viewed America unfavorably.>> Then Alburt gives Putin credit that Washington stubbornly denies
<<Putin’s patience with US anti-Russian policies – NATO expansion toward the East, despite all assurance that this would never happen; America’s support for every country, every politician able to portray itself as an enemy and would-be victim of Russia – began to run thin. No more double standards, he said.>> 22.06.2015, http://chess-news.ru/en/node/19343
I am especially delighted to hear Mr. Alburt speak up because he is a bone fide Soviet defector and is listed as such in my book, Soviet Defectors: The KGB Wanted List. Neither Mr. Alburt nor myself hold against President Putin his KGB background.
8. Russia got good news from Vladivostok too. <<Despite U.S. sanctions slapped on Russia, the Canadian-American actress Pamela Anderson reportedly visited the East Economic Forum in Russia’s Far Eastern city of Vladivostok to discuss environmental issues and sold a buoy from the TV series Baywatch at a charitable auction. Anderson was quoted by Russian News Service as saying that U.S. sanctions slapped on Russia last year over Ukraine did not stop her from accepting the invitation.>>
9. Mikhail Gorbachev called 'US Military an 'Insurmountable Obstacle to a Nuclear-Free World'". See his interview with Interview JoachimMohr and Matthias Schepp.
10. Veterans for Peace, a national organization which I joined when the USA started bombing of Yugoslavia, just announced that Yoko Ono and Masahide Ota Join VFP Advisory Board,
Yoko Ono is a multimedia artist, singer and peace activist who is also known for her work in avant-garde art, music, and filmmaking. She is the widow and second wife of John Lennon.
Masahide Ota is a Ryukyuan academic and politician who served as governor of Okinawa prefecture in the 1990s. Ota was educated atWaseda University, Tokyo, and Syracuse University, New York.
11. To welcome the two new members, I am happy to forward the VFP Board appeal:
Call Out To VFP Members to Take Action On International Peace Day, Sep 21
12. Here is an initiative on which USA, Russia, EU and everybody else can work together.
We, the undersigned, call upon all political powers: beyond all questions of political affiliation, and in the true spirit of human solidarity and decency, to categorize the crimes being committed by ISIS and other Takfiri terrorists against Christians, Twelver Shiites, Ismailis, Alawis, Sufis, traditional Sunnis, and others, as acts of religious, cultural, and ethnic genocide.
Will you take 30 seconds to sign it right now? Here's the link:
13. Chip Hodgkins just joined RAGA as a new team member. Below is the conclusion of his new article:
<<This is why the United States should now be looking at what we have in common with Russia: because they do many things we should love. They can be an ally, fight anyone, anywhere, anytime.
They are potentially the best ally we could have. Most importantly, they are like our favorite sports teams: able to come back against impossible odds, and snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. They demonstrated this in World War II, and, in fact, even earlier against Napoleon, who many historians call the greatest military genius of all time. Don’t believe me? Well, maybe I’ll tell you that story someday,
14. Finally, Dr. Gilbert Doctorow, another RAGA associate, just published a new book with the title, Does Russia Have A Future? Please read Dr. Vlad Sobell's expert review of this intriguing new book in Russia Insider. Just about a year ago Gilbert announced his intention to re-create the American Committee for East-West Accord and now it is already in place. The same goes for Charles Bausman's Russia-Insider. The ACEWA and RI are now essential sources of information and opinion in regard to Russia.
15. As before, Professor of Tulane University William Brumsfield supplies us with views of historical Russia. ---In 1275, Mozhaisk was inherited by Prince Fyodor Rostislavich Chyorny (1233?-99), a fascinating figure who was befriended by the Mongol Golden Horde and married the daughter of Khan Mengu-Timur. The strange biography of Prince Fyodor is emblematic of the chaos of 13th-century Rus, wracked by incessant infighting among feudal princes and raids by Mongol (Tatar) forces. Indeed, Prince Fyodor himself sacked Mozhaiskin 1293 as part of a large campaign led by Dyuden, one of the sons of Khan Mengu-Timur.
Lastly don't forget to relax on Labor Day and enjoy this fine pictorial-musical review of the contribution the Russians in diaspora made to US and world culture. The composer is John Sokoloff ~ Coronado Terrace - YouTube
Malice to None. Good Will to All.
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.