Michael McFaul’s Counterproductive policy proposals

War, said the great Prussian strategist Carl von Clausewitz, is an “interaction.” It is “not the action of a living force upon a lifeless mass, but always the collision of two living forces.” One might say the same thing about international politics. Whatever you do always involves others, who have a will of their own and who act in ways which impede the fulfilment of your plans.  

The good strategist doesn’t assume that others will simply comply with his demands. Rather he considers their likely response, and if it is probable that they will respond in a way that harms his own interests, he jettisons his plan and looks for another.

Joe Biden’s victory against Donald Trump in the recent US presidential election has led to a slew of articles suggesting the policies that the new administration should pursue towards Russia. All too often, instead of considering how Russia will respond, they treat it as a “lifeless mass” which can pushed in the desired direction by pressing the correct buttons. Experience, however, suggests that this is not the case, and the Russian reaction to the proposed policies is not likely to be what the United States desires.

An example is an article by the former US ambassador to Moscow Michael McFaul, published this week in the magazine Foreign Affairs. Full of suggestions for ramping up the pressure on Russia, it fails to take into consideration how Moscow is likely to respond to such pressure. Consequently, it ends up proposing a line that if put into practice would probably be entirely counterproductive.

McFaul accuses Russian president Vladimir Putin of leading an “assault on democracy, liberalism, and multilateral institutions,” with the objective of “the destruction” of the international order. From this McFaul concludes that the United States “must deter and contain Putin’s Russia for the long haul.” He then makes several suggestions as to what this policy should involve.

First, he suggests that NATO build up its armed forces on Russia’s border, “especially on its vulnerable southern flank”. Why precisely this is “vulnerable” McFaul doesn’t say, but he does tell us that NATO “needs new weapons systems, including frigates with antisubmarine technologies, nuclear and conventionally powered submarines, and patrol aircraft.”

Second, he argues that America must increase its support to Ukraine. “A successful, democratic Ukraine will inspire new democratic possibilities in Russia,” he says, as if a “successful, democratic Ukraine” is something that can simply be wished into existence. But McFaul wants to do more than just help Ukraine; he also wants to punish Russia. “As long as Putin continues to occupy Ukrainian territory, sanctions should continue to ratchet up,” he says.

Third, McFaul wants the US to get more deeply involved in other countries on Russia’s borders. “Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, and Uzbekistan all deserve diplomatic upgrades,” he suggests. He also recommends that Joe Biden, “should meet with Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya”.

Fourth, McFaul wishes to venture into the world of censorship. America and other Western democracies, “should develop a common set of laws and protocols for regulating Russian government controlled-media,” he says. To this end, he argues that Biden should get social media to “downgrade the information Russia distributes through its propaganda channels.” If a search engine produces a link to RT, “a BBC story should pop up next to it,” he says.

Finally, McFaul says that the United States should bypass the Russian government to forge contacts with the Russian people, so as to “undermine Putin’s anti-American propaganda.” The USA should also train Russian journalists as part of an effort to “support independent journalism and anticorruption efforts in Russia.”

Strategy, as Clausewitz, pointed out, is about using tactics to achieve the political aim. But it is almost impossible to see how the tactics McFaul proposes could help the United States achieve any useful objective. The simple reason is that Russia is hardly likely to react to them in a positive fashion.

Let us look at them from a Russian point of view. How will the Russian government see them?

Sanctions are to “ratchet up” in perpetuity (as they must if they are connected to Russia’s possession of Crimea, which no Russian government will ever surrender); NATO will deploy more and more forces on Russia’s frontier; America will interfere ever more in Russian internal affairs, building up what will undoubtedly be considered a “fifth column” of US-trained journalists and opposition activists; the USA will intensify efforts to detach Russia from its allies and build up a ring up of hostile states around it; and finally, America will launch an all-out information warfare to bend the international media to its will.

What does McFaul imagine Russia will do when it sees all this? Put up its hands and surrender? If he does, then it’s clear that in a lifetime studying Russia, he’s managed to learn nothing.

In reality, the response would probably be not at all to his liking. The growing sense of external and internal threat would lead to an increase in repressive measures at home, undermining the very democracy and liberty McFaul claims to be supporting. In addition, we would most probably see Russia increasing its own military forces on its national frontiers; doubling down on its support for the breakaway Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics in Eastern Ukraine; and pressing further with its own activities in the information domain.

In short, the Russian response would involve Russia doing all the things that McFaul dislikes, but even more so. It is hard to see how his strategy could be deemed to be a sensible one.

If it was just McFaul, it would probably not matter too much. But he is far from the only person saying these things. The general theme among supporters of the new Biden administration is that Trump was too soft on Russia, and that America needs to take a more robust line. This does not bode well for the next few years.

“Know your enemy and know yourself,” said another great strategist, Sun Tzu. Unfortunately, Americans seem to have forgotten this advice. They would do well to heed it.

40 thoughts on “Michael McFaul’s Counterproductive policy proposals”

  1. Why, perhaps what he wants, what he’s comfortable with, what he’s pining for, is the Iron Curtain. All that good, familiar, nostalgic Cold War stuff.

    Do you know the joke about mathematician, with the punch-line: empty the kettle, thus reducing the problem to the previous, already resolved one?

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    1. Yours truly called out JRL for frequently featuring McFaul at the top of its homepage. Of late that hasn’t happened as much, if at all.

      When compared to McFaul, there’s superior analysis to be found elsewhere.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. joke about mathematician
      something of a knot or loop on my brainwires? Joke about a mathematician?

      Otherwise yes, that may be one of the underlying thought processes … …

      Like

  2. “McFaul accuses Russian president Vladimir Putin of leading an “assault on democracy, liberalism, and multilateral institutions,” with the objective of “the destruction” of the international order. From this McFaul concludes that the United States “must deter and contain Putin’s Russia for the long haul”

    It still astonishes me – although from many years having experienced US foreign policies that should not happen – how a country that ever since WW2 is responsible from mayhem it caused from Chile to Nicaragua to El Salvador to Panama to Vietnam to Korea to Indonesia to the Philippines to Iraq, Iran, Ukraine, Yemen, Libya etc. etc. can without a deep blush argue in such a hypocritical manner.

    Having been at one time a member of the German Marxist ML fraction I remember the demand to an exercise of self critique (self examination), a useful tool that never entered the kit of American policies, where it is obviously a given that the nation simply can do no wrong, and if wrong it is likely due to the lack of enough weaponry being employed.

    I was once – up to the Vietnam war – convinced the the USA is IT when it comes to democracy and policies, a conviction I was soon disabused of when reading as part of my political education the role of the USA throughout the history in its own country and the near and far away, its role in the Nazi ratlines, in destruction of efforts of real participatory democracy in Germany that included the democratization of the Industries when the efforts by the US reinstated the old pro Nazi owners from Thyssen to Krupp to Quandt etc.

    The USA has become an obnoxious Nation to me, something that should for the sake of humanity rather sooner than later perish as a Nation and if it survives its own collapse become a much humbler entity stripped completely of its pretensions to be an essential and indispensable Nation, a claim that goes hand in hand with its arrogance, hegemonic demands and favoured use of violence to solve problems.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. one of many…the DDR published the 400 page Braun Buch where Röchling ist mentioned only among many and was apparently no hard core Nazi by any means. That list is long, very long….

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      2. Rückblick:: I have heavily mixed feelings about Varoufakis …, but if I get a chance I’ll watch your video on Paul’s “Fascist Blindness!” thread. In other word follow your ‘Brave New World’ link picking up on Jonathan Cook`s take on Frank Barat’s video. …

        In a nutshell: I understand why Assange might seaks Varoufakis help. Great collection of people Frank Barat invited. Basically.

        But, while having the greatest respect for Jonathan Cook, I doubt that Varoufakis, with all due respect, grasps matters . … Quite the opposite, really, his argument irritates me, somewhat. …

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    1. During a lengthy Norwegian Holberg Prize exchange with John Bolton, Varoufakis went out of his way to call Putin a war criminal for what happened In Chechnya. He didn’t use that characterization to describe any US or other official from a NATO country.

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  3. Imagine a situation: in a pre-interet era a jouralist publishes a book. However, when it comes to selling it, he finds out that every single bookstore refuses to sell more than a couple of copies, leaving most of the print gathering dust. Coincidently, someone in power has just expressed indignation at the journalist’s work.

    It’s not “censorship”, nobody banned the book… but is there a real difference if almost nobody gets to read it? That is what “downgrading information” looks like.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. People like Michael McFaul prove time and time again, that he, and others like him, that promote regime change, don’t believe in democracy.

    As for the Russian government becoming more “repressive” that’s a loaded word. The government is using all means to combat a regime change operation.

    McFaul is part of a long line of politicians who just want to destroy and create chaos. It’s endemic in the American political class – it’s poisonous.

    He also needs to look closer to home at what is happening in USA as unless they address their social issues they are heading for collapse.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Unfortunately, still too many U. S. practitioners and policy makers do not take the time to study the theory of strategic culture. Again and again the U. S. fails to understand its allies and foes. I personally believe this is a trait of its own strategic culture. Yes, Russia needs to be monitored and Yes, Putin needs to be held to account for his actions, as its not alwsys necessarily Russia. The U. S. needs to move forward softly and carefully; by all means call out its bad behaviour but under no circumstances should the U. S. and NATO make threats, if they are
    not willing to put boots on the ground. Paul, maybe send him a selection of C. S. Gray’s work and a review/memo of Russia from an Anglo-Canadian perspective! Often all it takes is for an elite partcipants to see the issue from another perspective, rather than listening to the ‘echo chamber’ at the Pentagon and State Department.

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    1. “Yes, Russia needs to be monitored

      Aka “spied upon”, right? Why mince words?

      “and Yes, Putin needs to be held to account for his actions”

      Actions, such as?..

      “by all means call out its bad behaviour”

      What “calling out [someone else’s] bad behaviour” accomplishes?

      What you just wrote, userperson “Charlotte Fenton-Paterson” are a litany of trite recycled cliches with not a shred of intellectual input in them. Got any thoughts of your own?

      Liked by 4 people

    2. Is that Charlie Paterson from Hull? If so, great to hear from you (and if not, great too!).

      You make a good point about strategic culture. That’s no doubt a big part of it. But I would differ about people just needing to hear the other point of view. Yes, you’re right in principle, but in this particular case McFaul is well aware of the other point of view. It’s not at all like he’s never been exposed to it. He just doesn’t think it matters.

      The strategic culture is that the other side’s point of view is wrong, and so can be ignored. ‘You think we’re threatening you. You’re wrong. We’re not. We’re the good guys. So we can ignore what you think.’ Which, if you think about it, is a stupid perspective. It doesn’t matter if their point of view is wrong. It can be 100% wrong. But it’s still what they think, and you can’ just pretend it away. You have to take it as it is.

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  6. I feel this analysis, although correctly predicting Russia’s reactions, isn’t really giving Mr. McFaul his due.

    Of course McFaul&Co DO understand how Russia will react. And this is fine by them! They really DO hope the frustrated “siloviki”, unable to combat the enemy abroad, will crack down on dissent at home! They DO hope the border conflicts flare up! That will only lend their arguments strength! See, they’ll say, we told you Russia was evil, here’s proof!
    Their goal is the end of Russia as an independent player, this much is crystal clear. From their point of view, if thousands – or millions – of Russian people get ruined or die in the process, it’s totally “worth it”, as one Mrs Albright succinctly put it.
    McFaul&Co clearly do believe that by continuing this game, they can eventually drive Russia to collapse, and, unfortunately, they have a point. It might take time – and so what if it takes 20 years, 50 years? For them, this strategy is basically cost-free (assuming nuking is unlikely) – moreover, it’s profitable for the MIC.

    So here we go again, Professor: psychopathic mind at work. Manipulative, reward-driven, insensitive to punishment, empathy- and guilt-free.
    Their rationality works differently.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Lola, you totally batted that one out of the park! Exactly right on all counts, McFail and the other propagandists want to see Russia react panicky and with crackdowns on dissent, etc. so they can say “I told you so.”

      Personally, this is how I would like to see Russia react: By doing the right thing and accepting Donetsk/Luhansk as autonomies into the Russian Federation. (Following a democratic referendum, it goes without saying.)
      And after that, Russia should offer the same deal to Odessa and try to pry it from Banderastan. That would also help to fortify the “southern flank” against NATO bad actors.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Thanks Yalensis, glad you agree. As for how Russia should act, I’m really not so sure. But I feel a lot of smart people on the Russian side, who are way better informed than you and me about the details of the situation, are thinking about it 24/7. They’ve proven times and again that they can act swiftly and decisevly when time’s ripe. So I am inclined to trust their judgment 😉

        Liked by 1 person

    2. “They really DO hope the frustrated “siloviki”, unable to combat the enemy abroad, will crack down on dissent at home!.. McFaul&Co clearly do believe that by continuing this game, they can eventually drive Russia to collapse, and, unfortunately, they have a point…”

      Here you lost me. How would jailing criminals cause Russia’s collapse?

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      1. Don’t pretend to be stupid, Lytt, cause you aren’t. You know criminals and dissenters are not the same, and you know a healthy society needs dissent.

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      2. “You know criminals and dissenters are not the same, and you know a healthy society needs dissent.”

        Since when did a “KirovLes” thief and embezzler became a “dissidinet”?

        Also, this claim of yours “a healthy society needs dissent”, ah… Care to proove it? I’m 100% serious, ‘cuz great and mighty ‘Murika (Firetruck Yeah!) right now says that, nope – you have to crush domestic terrorists, conspiraciests and traitors to the (“living document” ™) Constitution. No mercy to the Public Enemies*!

        That phrase “healthy society needs [insert holy cow]” is another trite no-brainer repeated ad nauseum by all “thinking” people. What they actually mean by this is “please, don’t hurt us, or… or… or else!”. What else, Lola? Liberal God/God of the Liberals will punish us?

        _______________
        *) That’s Murikin’ for the “Enemies of People”. True heirs to the Roman Republic they are, innit?

        Liked by 1 person

  7. McFaul is neither here nor there, because everything he says in public shows he is a meat-puppet for the Washington Consensus of shockingly ignorant Cold Warriors whose paycheck, livelihood, raison-d’etre lies with projecting a George Kennan mentality. That is what parochial people in the Beltway understand as “worldly”. Best reaction: laugh.

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  8. ” — and so what if it takes 20 years, 50 years?” Washington is bankrupt. What is the current federal debt — 28 trillion? Its GDP — 18 trillion? About 15-20% of this GDP is comprised of waste and corruption — Wall Street, medical system, military, and more. Its reserve currency status will end, and Washington’s ability to redeem old IOUs with fresh, new IOUs will also end. They stole Libya’s gold, but how many Libyas are there? 20 years? I doubt it. 50 years? No. Severe economic and societal decline is almost on the horizon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes and President joe Biden wants to spend 1.9 Trillion more – transferring more money upwards – and giving the people a pittance.

      And he also wants to bring in “domestic terrorism” laws to arrest people who protest as conditions get worse.

      The “shining city on the hill” is getting darker.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. You may be right. But you may also be wrong. Besides, I am not so sure the world with China as the one&only hegemon is the bright future we should all aspire to…

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  9. “Joe Biden’s victory against Donald Trump in the recent US presidential election has led to a slew of articles suggesting the policies that the new administration should pursue towards Russia. All too often, instead of considering how Russia will respond, they treat it as a “lifeless mass” which can pushed in the desired direction by pressing the correct buttons. Experience, however, suggests that this is not the case, and the Russian reaction to the proposed policies is not likely to be what the United States desires.”

    [YAAAAWN].

    This presupposes, Professor, that some time in the (perhaps, not so distant) past the Western analysis, punditry and autistically-grand-scaled-short-term-tacrtics (masquerading as “strategy”) ever viewed Russia as something other as, you inelegantly put it, “lifeless mass”

    NEWSFLASH! The Universalist Hegemon can NOT view Russia as an actor capable of its own “thing”, opinion or agency. This runs contrary to the Hegemon’s very essence aka “the Universalist” part. Is it [ideo]logy based not fact based? You betcha! So what? Don’t you know, Professor, that in the new Middle Ages the world lives in now the appearances, ritual and correct form rule the day? Or, what, you never heard an old adage” “Mo matter how wrong you are you gonna be okay, as long as you are wrong with a right crowd”?

    As for Mikey MacFu – he (as you British call them) is a tit. Just like that.

    “First, he suggests that NATO build up its armed forces on Russia’s border, “especially on its vulnerable southern flank”. Why precisely this is “vulnerable” McFaul doesn’t say”

    Translation from the Chaldean*: Erdogan can do whatever he wants to do with no consequences whatsoever.

    Second, he argues that America must increase its support to Ukraine. “A successful, democratic Ukraine will inspire new democratic possibilities in Russia,””

    Translation from the Chaldean: dem Ukies can die off in droves without G-dless “Sputnik V” but by jingo we will make them buy our military hardware by thousands!

    ““Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, and Uzbekistan all deserve diplomatic upgrades,” he suggests. He also recommends that Joe Biden, “should meet with Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya”.”

    Translation from the Chaldean: Tsikhanouskaya is…hussars – silence!… “a spent material”. So she ought to be given a “high mark achievement photo-op” and then retired. Oh, and btw – more useless parasites among your campaign donors need cushy sinecures, soooo…

    “America and other Western democracies, “should develop a common set of laws and protocols for regulating Russian government controlled-media,” he says.”

    Finally, in plain English for a change!

    “Finally, McFaul says that the United States should bypass the Russian government to forge contacts with the Russian people, so as to “undermine Putin’s anti-American propaganda.” The USA should also train Russian journalists as part of an effort to “support independent journalism and anticorruption efforts in Russia.””

    Translation not from Chalean, but from the Enochian: “You thought we are re-living in 1990s unipolar power fantasy. Guess what? WRONG! We are living in 1960s-70s worldview and approach to capabilities! Hey, who said – “senile”?!”

    How one can not like Mr. McFaul, this walkin’, show-talkin’ and tweetin’ embodiment of the platonic ideal of the “shot-down pilot’s syndrome”? He’s such a sweet-sweet bunny that should never change! Best wishes, sound health and long life to him personally.

    _______________
    *) Sacred language of the Librul Priesthood. Makes your prayers come true. Like magic(k). True story (nod-nod)

    Liked by 1 person

  10. “The good strategist doesn’t assume that others will simply comply with his demands. Rather he considers their likely response, and if it is probable that they will respond in a way that harms his own interests, he jettisons his plan and looks for another.”

    In view of that, this: an investigation what triggered to move from isolationism to unquestionable world unquestionable dominance

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/tomorrow-the-world-review-from-isolation-to-american-empire-11610124795

    “all of them held that global leadership was their birthright. Because America was an inherently “good thing,” the world and the world-system American made could only benefit when the country acted in its own best interests. America’s good was the planet’s good, and vice-versa”

    and here:
    https://consortiumnews.com/2021/01/22/the-making-of-u-s-empire-at-the-beginning-of-its-end/

    “if Nazi Germany would dominate Europe, the U.S. would have to dominate everywhere else (italics mine). That was the logical conclusion based on the planners’ initial assumptions.

    That’s when U.S. foreign policy for the next 80 years was born: the U.S. had to wield “unquestionable power,” as stated in the CFR planners’ “recommendation” to the State Department, delivered on Oct. 19 in a memorandum titled “Needs of Future United States Foreign Policy.”

    Like

  11. McFail’s most specific and concrete proposal:

    Biden should get social media to “downgrade the information Russia distributes through its propaganda channels.” If a search engine produces a link to RT, “a BBC story should pop up next to it,” he says.

    1.) Biden is too dumb and senile to write such a search algorithm.
    2) Google is already doing this anyhow.

    But strange that an American patriot thinks BBC propaganda is the best antidote to RT propaganda. Why not the New York Times? Is NYT just so brain-dead now that even the retarded BBC looks like Wittgenstein in comparison?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. NYT is plain horrid:

      https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2020/12/07/covering-russia-what-sucks-about-the-new-york-times/

      The Google search engine has done a number on the SCF. Via Google, the above article does get picked up at Eurasia Review, which isn’t where that piece first appeared. Rather interestingly, InoSMI picked it up from Eurasia Review:

      https://inosmi.ru/politic/20201209/248708936.html

      The InoSMI editor has had some articles of his in the SCF.

      For some time now, the BBC and Al Jazeera haven’t had on Mark Sleboda. His recent performance on France 24 explains why:

      https://www.france24.com/en/tv-shows/the-debate/20210118-navalny-defies-putin-russian-opposition-leader-arrested-on-return-to-moscow?ref=tw

      He also hasn’t been on RT as much as previously. Across the media spectrum, there’re quality control issues for varying reasons.

      Like

      1. Any Newsoutlet that states “Navalny Poisoning” as a fact is worth shite.

        The only “evidence” that however still is being kept secret of finding actual traces of the novichuck is the one of the German Bundeswehr lab, while all other test found only evidence of cholinesterase inhibitor.

        “The Berlin doctors now admit they did not detect organo-phosphate poisoning in Navalny’s blood, urine or on his skin; they tested no water bottle or clothing evidence which had been brought to Berlin by Navalny’s staff on the evacuation aircraft. They also acknowledge they did not know what might have caused “severe poisoning with a cholinesterase inhibitor” until the German armed forces laboratory in Munich reported the Novichok allegation “2 weeks later”.
        http://johnhelmer.net/berlin-doctors-report-on-navalny-case-reveals-new-evidence-raises-new-questions/

        And this: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1zYD6nPDhmpuTsu6r-BReHaI-wVLiXzoh/view
        a list of the substance found in either urine, blood or both. The man was a walking drug warehouse….
        also here: http://johnhelmer.net/navalny-s-courtroom-wager-biomedical-and-drugs-evidence-and-article-275-of-the-russian-criminal-code/#more-45746

        Liked by 1 person

    2. 1) “should get to” doesn’t suggest Biden has to write any algorithms himself.

      Thus, why use the Biden stereotype? By the way, I am no Biden fan.

      2.” anyhow”? How? As Dave Eggers suggested in “The Circle”? Censoring right-thinking people only? Semi-serious.

      ********************
      BBC propaganda is the best antidote to RT propaganda.
      I wondered about that too. There is not quite the fitting US equivalent? RFE/RL?

      Like

      1. I know, I know, that was a cheap shot against a President who has Alzheimers! I am deeply sorry…
        Anyhow, Google/Facebook/Twitter already use algorithms to downgrade, or even delete, “unacceptable” content.
        The question still remains, what does McFail expect Biden to do that isn’t already being done? These tech giants are already in bed with the CIA and NSA and Military-Industrial Complex. What else do they need? An executive order to censor even more?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. P.S. – yeah, Radio Free Europe would be the most appropriate counter-propaganda to RT, I reckon. But RFE covers more Europe and post-Soviet space. Maybe McFail is thinking about how RT covers internal American news, in usually not so flattering way. So the equivalent would be a different foreign (non-American) operator who therefore seems more neutral but is nonetheless reliably pro-American? Maybe that’s the reasoning here, not sure…

        All of which would need to be plugged into whatever Artificial Intelligence algorithm. And believe me, folks, most of AI just consists of maintaining huge databases and large amounts of IF/THEN code, there is nothing magical about it at all! So, basically, “If the customer’s search word, for example Navalny comes up with an RT piece, then go find an equivalent BBC piece to give it more balance, because heaven forfend that the innocent user should have his or her brain addled by Russian propaganda without a balanced nuance…”

        Like

  12. Things have a way of working out for the best. The complete SJW/BLM/”woke” takeover of the US domestic agenda means that it is in Russia’s interests to “socially distance” (in the current lingvo) from the US, and if the US itself was to spearhead this distancing, then that would be for the best. For instance, if Russian media and pundits are restricted from operating freely in the Western social media ecosystem (as they already are), then it would be much easier to justify blocking off YouTube, Google, Facebook, etc. along with their pernicious influence on domestic Russian discourse than would be the case otherwise. Likewise, should the Ukraine get too cocky thanks to American empty American promises, why, we might just see the Kharkov People’s Republic before 2024. (The kremlins could use a ratings boost).

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Every semester I have my International Relations students read chapters from McFaul’s book on the ‘New Hot Peace’ and then compare them to Stephen Cohen and John Mearsheimer’s work on the New Cold War and Ukraine Crisis. Without fail, 98% of my students think that McFaul is a crude American propagandist, and incapable of self-reflection and -critique.

    Liked by 1 person

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