Stephen F. Cohen: Russia Is Preparing for the Possibility US Will Start a War
If even the liberal Medved thinks US is on a brink of war with Russia, just imagine what the actual hard-liners are thinking
The great Russia scholar Stephen F. Cohen continues his weekly discussion with John Batchelor, the host of the popular John Batchelor Show:
The Russian adage “words are also deeds” is proving true, it seems. Trump’s missile attack on Russia’s ally Syria, despite its ramifying dangers, may have had a domestic political purpose—to debunk the narrative that is crippling his presidency, that he is somehow “Putin’s puppet.” If so, Cohen adds, the American mainstream media, which has promoted this narrative for months, is deeply complicit.Meanwhile, the Kremlin, which watches closely as these narratives unfold politically in Washington, has become deeply alarmed, resorting to its own fraught words. The No. 2 leader, Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev, declared that US-Russian relations have been “ruined,” a statement Cohen does not recall any previous Soviet or post-Soviet leader ever having made.
Medvedev added that the two nuclear superpowers are at “the brink” of war. Considering that Medvedev is regarded as the leading pro-Western figure in Putin’s inner circle, imagine what the other side—state patriots, or nationalists, as they are called—is telling Putin. Still more, the Kremlin is saying that Trump’s missile attack on Syria crossed Russia’s “red lines,” with all the warfare implications that term has in Washington as well.
And flatly declaring the mysterious use of chemical weapons in Syria a “provocation,” Putin himself warned that forces in Washington were planning more such “provocations” and military strikes. In short, while the Kremlin does not want and will not start a war with the United States, it is preparing for the possibility.
Source: The John Batchelor Show
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