Thursday, June 30, 2016


 The first point is that what I’m going to say isn’t going to be found in the mass media, which is a kind of mouthpiece for the current “wisdom”, and policies in Washington.

The repeated party line (both parties) is that Russia is the #1 existential threat to the U.S.  As Professor Stephen Cohen points out, that simply isn’t true.  The #1 threat is terrorism because they will eventually get their dirty hands on fissionable materials and can make a dirty bomb.  If the airplanes, which tragically hit the twin towers, had these materials they would have been spread out over a 10-mile area, which would have been uninhabitable for years and years.  All Manhattan residents would have died.

Not only that, but U.S. nuclear reactors—in spite of U.S. government propaganda to the contrary—are vulnerable to terrorist attack.  Hitting one of them would be the equivalent of exploding a hydrogen bomb.

In the recent press accounts of the attack on the airport in Istanbul, the terrorists spoke Russian indicating that Isis has spread to Central Asia, some of it territory in the Russian Federation.  It is in the interest of both the U.S. and Russia to stop Isis and other radical Islamist terrorist groups.

A Washington Post column, yesterday, suggested that Obama may be considering reaching out to Russia to become allies in combating international terrorism but that Ash Carter and others in the administration reject that idea.  The column then goes on to quote “experts’” reasons why this is a bad idea in a completely one-sided article echoing the foreign policy establishment’s idea that Russia, not terrorism, is the real threat to the U.S.

 Tragically, Cohen emphasizes, there is the lost opportunity for US-Russian cooperation against international terrorism, whether as represented by the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq or by terrorist attacks inside Russia and America. Moscow has repeatedly proposed such an anti-terrorist alliance only to be rebuffed by Washington, despite the fact that Russia has essential assets and experience accumulated during years of coping with this growing threat.

 Cohen recalls that Moscow intelligence agencies alerted the FBI and CIA to one of the Tsarnaev brothers, who carried out the Boston bombings three years ago, but the warnings were disregarded, largely due to the unfolding new Cold War. Refusing to cooperate with Russia against this truly existential threat, which “Putin’s Russia” is not, is, Cohen thinks, the most egregious failure of the Obama Administration and a disregard for US national security.