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Russophobia Up Close – Some Recent Comments

January 30, 2023

A number of recent examples of the depth of Russophobia … Latent anti-communism (in a country no longer communist!)

  • As if he were being truly “open minded” at an amateur classical music production a week ago, the master of ceremonies  felt a need to “justify” playing a piece by Russian composer Prokofiev, even though it is “controversial” these days because the Russian composer really “wasn’t a communist” was critical of the Russian Revolution of 1917. The audience, almost to a person, shook their head in solemn agreement.
  • At a potluck brunch of Denver “old timers’, a friend emphasized that she had bought the delicious (and they were) sausages from a Polish, not a Russian delicatessen – her own personal boycott of Russia in Ukraine and of Putin himself! Stay away from Russian sausages to help Zelensky! The burning question: Is boycotting Russian sausage the modern version of the UFW grape boycott?
  • A discussion with a long-time friend who insists that US/NATO expansion into Eastern Europe, the militarization of Ukraine fueled in great measure by US funds, the war that the Kiev government has launched against its Russian speaking population are all IRRELEVANT and that Russia invaded Ukraine unprovoked.

All that in the past few days in situations where, frankly, there was no relevant context to bring up Ukraine. Oh yes, I would add, all “good people”.

On the other side of the political ledger, countering these russophobic winds blowing across the High Plains, a retired trade unionist friend on his own personal jihad  against those prevailing winds:

  • He expresses his personal opposition to Russophobia iby reading 19th century classic Russian authors (Puskin, Turgenev and the like) but then he went a step further, very importantly, to find out which liquor stores in the Denver metro area still have Russian (not Latvian) vodka on their shelves. He could find only one that sells a Russian brand, “Zir” I believe it is called, at a Total Liquor in Westminster. Other local area liquor stores have, in a move of patriotic ardor as stupid as it is cowardly, removed all Russian products from the shelves. But are they drinking it in the back room?

They are, of course, all petty incidents, and yet indicative of the broader trends of sowing hatred against Russia and the ongoing intense vilification of Putin

For those in power – Democrat or Republican – this Russophobia has political consequences. It has become nothing less than a mechanism to make dialogue with Russia on issues like climate change or reversing the nuclear arms race impossible. This permits Washington to discard restraints implicit in the relevant international agreements which were thrown into the garbage can during the Trump Years and to go ahead full steam with increased use of fossil fuels and proceed with a reckless reignition of  Washington’s nuclear (and other) weapons program unimpeded.

In a wonderful – if lengthy – article – The NY Times is Orwell’s Ministry of Truth – Edward Curtin notes the following untruths or major exaggerations that the Times, a newspaper that boasts it prints “all the news that’s fit to print” shares with its readers:

  • Ukraine is winning on the battlefield.
  • “Russia faces decades of economic stagnation and regression even if the war ends soon.”
  • That on Jan.14, as part of its cruel attacks on civilian targets, a Russian missile struck an apartment building in Dnipro, killing many.
  • Only one man can stop this war – Vladimir Putin – because he started it.
  • Until now, the U.S. and its allies were reluctant to deploy heavy weapons to Ukraine “for fear of escalating this conflict into an all-in East-West war.”
  • Russia is desperate as Putin pursues “his delusions.”
  • Putin is “isolated from anyone who would dare to speak truth to his power.”
  • Putin began trying to change Ukraine’s borders by force in 2014.
  • During the last 11 months Ukraine has won repeated and decisive victories against Russian forces …. The war is at a stalemate.”
  • The Russian people are being subjected to the Kremlin’s propaganda machinery “churning out false narratives.”

Referring, accurately to my way of thinking, everything in the article from which this list is found as disingenuous, Curtin notes perceptively:

“This is expert opinion for dummies.  A vast tapestry of lies, as Harold Pinter said in his Nobel Prize address.  The war escalation the editorial writers are promoting is in their words, “this time pitting Western arms against a desperate Russia,” as if the U.S./NATO does not have CIA and special forces in Ukraine, just weapons, and as if “this time” means it wasn’t so for the past nine years at least as the U.S. was building Ukraine’s military and arms for this very fight.”

A way out of the mess*:

Stop US/NATO Wars and Sanctions

Stop Washington’s war moves toward Russia and China!

Stop endless wars: Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Palestine, Yemen…. everywhere!

No to NATO!

Money for human needs, not war!

No Weapons, No Money for the war in Ukraine!

(* – Demands of the emerging peace coalition – United National Antiwar Coalition – )

7 Comments leave one →
  1. January 30, 2023 11:34 am

    I just finished reading “Four Great Plays” of Chekhof. No political agenda, just stuff worth reading.

  2. January 30, 2023 12:00 pm

    Kinda reminiscent of Freedom Fries, and related jingoisms.
    Just finished “Four Great Plays” of Chekhov. No political agenda; just good stuff.
    What will the Ministry of Truth have to say about my reading list?
    Gary Anderson

  3. William Conklin permalink
    January 30, 2023 3:33 pm

    Well the Roman Empire came fell apart about 16 hundred years ago when the Barbarians sacked Rome. Now the Barbarians are the Capitalist Ruling Class that run the Yankee Empire which was stolen from the British after WW2. These guys are hot after all the natural resources owned by that bad boy by the name of Vlad. I hope the Imbeciles that run the United States will quit their nefarious warmongering or we will soon be fighting our enemies with pea shooters. That is why I am collecting peas.

  4. Gene Fitzpatrick permalink
    January 30, 2023 3:46 pm

    The moment brings to mind two ideological kindred, now regrettably departed, with whom I easily made a cerebral connection. One was academic Stephen F. Cohen who, at the time of the American instigated coup in Ukraine almost a decade ago, introduced me to the Russophobia phenomenon and the other was Andrew Levine, Counterpunch writer who fittingly warned the country of the danger presented to it by Biden in that period before the Presidential run.

    Vis-vis the Ukraine event, the Americans have been played like a fiddle by their government, their media and Lockheed-Martin.

  5. Sergio Atallah permalink
    January 31, 2023 12:02 am

    Seems lemmings turned out smarter than people.

  6. January 31, 2023 12:03 am

    Even lemmings turned out smarter than people.

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