Reheating the Cold War
Winston Churchill once observed, the further back you go, the farther forward you can see. We know little of Russia and its history beyond bears, Siberian winters, the Kremlin and Doctor Zhivago. The United States emerged victorious at end of the Cold War. An era of cooperation was to be ushered in. What should have been an opportunity to create a structure for peace and stability did not happen. Instead of an inclusive security system the U.S.-led NATO military alliance expanded to the east. Hardliners in Washington goaded by the military-industrial complex, seeking more profits from weapons sales, have vilified and demonized Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin. The media followed in lock step. A reheated Cold War with a new arms race and the catastrophic dangers of hot war are the last things that humanity and the planet need. Interview by David Barsamian.
Stephen Cohen, regarded as one of the foremost experts on Russia, was professor emeritus of Russian studies, history, and politics at NYU and Princeton. He was a Nation contributing editor and author of many books including The Victims Return, Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives and War with Russia? He died in 2020.
Yulya Sevelova –
I agree with most of what the late Stephen Cohen said. I have to say that Putin is still the KGB guy,only he’s also the president in Russia nowadays. And yes, he’s had plenty of people killed and imprisoned. Nothing new. He’s simply done what all of Russia’s leaders do. There’s no freedom or tradition of civil rights. It is what it is. Russians and Ukrainians should never have to fight each other,and many families have both groups in their backrounds. This reminded me of the Bosnian war of the 1990’s. The Serbs and Creations never got along in America after that. There was a break. It’s all a bloody shame ! Had Russia been able to TRULY democratize back in the early 90’s with Yeltsin, this war never would have happened. The FSB wouldn’t exist. Things would be so different, and millions could be used to free America from the Neoliberalism of 1981. Because it’s still in effect.
Jeffrey in IA –
What a time, for your interviews and work with Stephen Cohen. He was prophetic.
Ronald in Longmont, CO –
Thanks for this interview. It is very good and in depth. Good questions.
Howard Mettee –
This distinguished Professor Emeritus of Russian History from Princeton, and noted if stifled commentator, responds to penetrating questions by David Barsamian covering Putin’s Presidency since 2000. His objective analysis spans Russian history from the 1917 Communist Revolution, through NATO expansion to today’s Balkan-Ukrainian-Syrian confrontations. Ironically we find ourselves on the edge of war with a nuclear power that merely sought to join the community of nations in 1990, but not to be a supplicant one. Now it looks more and more like we have lost the opportunity to consider Russia a friend, and be considered by them as a humanitarian neighbor in this shrinking world.
This is a must read/listen for those seeking to walk in Russian shoes today.
Martin Holsinger –
I really appreciated the deep background on Russia and Russian-American relations that Prof. Cohen brought to this interview, as well as his comments on the real reasons why Russophobia has once again become such a staple of American politics.
Stephen Wigg –
Russia is in Crimea and Syria because they need those ports. Crimea would be the only warm water port Russia has on the Black Sea and Tartus, Syria is the only Russian port on the Mediterranean. They’ve been in Tartus since 1971 but if the rebels took out Assad, that port would have been in danger of being lost, thus the siding with Assad. And to say there is no “proof” of Putin having any reporters and detractors killed? Read a book, Stephen Cohen. Turn off RT TV.
I only caught the last 5/10 min of the broadcast on 100.5 Co-Op Radio and I was blown away. It was an alternate view that ran in line with my beliefs of the Russian “aggression”. If you have the chance to listen to this and have a thought that we aren’t being informed properly, give this a go. Eye opening and informative. Also more hopeful than what you will find in “conventional” media.