The Russians are Coming! The Russians are Coming! 152

The complete and unmitigated irrationality of the current epidemic of Russophobia does nothing to reduce its incredible virulence, as it continues to infect the entire political and media class. There is a zero chance that Russia will launch an attack on the UK, yet the entire corporate and state media is leading today with the “need” to spend billions against that most unlikely threat, as propounded by General Nutty McNutter.

Researching Sikunder Burnes gave me crucial insights into the recurrence of Russophobia as a key element of British politics for two centuries, despite the fact historians can demonstrate that at no stage in that period has Russia ever planned an attack on the UK, or seriously considered it as an option. But the current Russophobia has new elements.

We are currently in some sort of crisis of capitalism, as the concentration of wealth continues apace and the general population of western countries increasingly feel insecure, exploited and alienated. It is still very hard for voices that reject the neo-liberal establishment view to get a media platform, but Russia does provide comparatively small platforms in the West – like Russia Today and Radio Sputnik – which allow greater democratic freedom than western media in the range of views they invite to be expressed. So the ultra-wealthy, their politician servants and media lackeys view Russia as some kind of threat to the dominance of neo-liberalism .

There are a number of ironies to this, not least the very real deficiencies in Russia’s domestic democracy and media plurality, and the fact Russia has an even worse oligarchic capitalism than the West and has a 1% completely integrated with their Western counterparts. But despite these ironies, the Western 1% perceive Russia as some sort of threat to their dominance. This leads in to the intellectually risible attempts to prove that Russia somehow “fixed” Trump’s election, for which no solid evidence can ever be adduced as it did not happen; but nevertheless vast resources continue to be spent in trying.

The second cause of the extreme Russophobia is Putin’s masterly pursuit of his foreign policy objectives. He has two major objectives.

Putin’s first major objective is to bring majority Russian speaking regions of the Former Soviet Union into Russia. He has had some success with this in Georgia and Ukraine, to the embarrassment of NATO. I do not in fact support Putin in achieving this goal by military means. I have no objection to the re-arrangement of boundaries, but it should be done by democratic choice, and non ethnic Russian regions within Russia, such as in Dagestan, Chechnya and Tatarstan, should be given the same opportunity of choice to change boundaries.

But while I do not support Putin’s means, there is no doubt he has pursued them with some success, and more importantly he is shrewd enough to know when not to pursue them by military means, eg in the Baltic States. To claim that Putin’s very limited objective, to bring small Russian outlying regions within Russia, constitutes a threat to the UK or USA, is ludicrous.

Putin’s second foreign policy objective is to prevent the further destabilisation of the Middle East and to stymie the spread of jihadst Wahhabism. In this he has also been very successful, especially as regards stopping the US and Saudi backed jihadists in Syria, and in bringing Iran back into the international community. Again it is ludicrous to claim that this foreign policy success constitutes or denotes a military threat to the USA or UK. In the Middle East, I regard Putin’s policies as both lawful and helpful.

You do not have to be uncritical of Putin to understand that the Russian threat is a bogey and the current wave of Russophobia is completely unjustified.

The New Cold War is being foisted upon us whether we want it or not. But at least it is giving us a few laughs. There is an excellent example of the 100% evidence free “Russians fixed the US election and are undermining democracy” meme by Nick Cohen in yesterday’s Observer. He claims a Maltese Professor Mifsud is a Russian spy because he founded a “diplomatic academy” in London which had no money for computers and no laptops, because Mifsud once met Putin and Boris Johnson, and because of a meeting with George Papadopalous, which if it involved Russians in any way at all, Cohen does not tell us.

I really do urge you to read the Cohen piece carefully and analyse whether there is any reasonable case for branding the man a Russian spy.

Cohen’s claim that Professor Mifsud is an academic charlatan may or may not be founded, but the accusation that he is a Russian spy is an appalling example of McCarthyist witch-hunting of which Cohen and his Editor should be deeply, deeply ashamed.

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152 thoughts on “The Russians are Coming! The Russians are Coming!

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  • Ishmael

    Re-K. Crosby

    I don’t see it as black & white “real left”. And credit where it’s due for some parts people play. I was just illustrating some underline tendencys (arguably hard to avoid acting in this system). It’s just many who put themselves on the political left do end up acting like we’re all competing in a market place of ideas. & that’s not helpful to our shared aims. Or to humanising ourselves or remaining human. We each have things to give & we’d do well not to fall into behaviours that go againts not only our shared goals but our nature. (As evidenced without the mud covering via the influence of the system we are in)…

  • Sharp Ears

    A brother lives in Gloucs. Two B52s are recently arrived from the US and are overflying the area on exercises.

    Remember them there in 2003? The Iraq war began a week later than this protest

    Iraq war dates – 20 Mar 2003 – 18 Dec 2011. Eight and a half years of hell brought to earth. Look at Iraq now. The poor people.

    Protesters break into RAF base
    14 Mar 2003 09.34
    Two anti-war protesters who last night broke into an RAF base housing American B-52 bombers will appear in court later today.
    The protest at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire is part of an ongoing worldwide campaign against the impending war in Iraq. Rallies, protests, sit-ins, and marches have today been held in Australia, Turkey, Iraq, Malaysia and Russia.

    • John Goss

      “Look at Iraq now. The poor people.”

      Exactly. There was a documentary on Russia Today showing the plight of street-children (some orphans some who ran away from ‘guardians’ who made them work relentlessly and tortured them when they refused (burning them with hot knives on the tender underside of their forearms. Single mothers widowed in the war were giving up unruly boys because there was no father figure to control them or they were a burden to them remarrying. It was most unpleasant viewing. I thought as I watched it it should not be me having to watch this but Tony Blair from his prison cell.

    • pietra

      “A brother lives in Gloucs.”
      A brother? Code for something? Sort of like the Rice-Rice-Hillarity-Powers sisterhood?
      Freemasons? Perhaps something connected with GCHq, given the locality?

  • John Goss

    As well as brainless Brits talking of the non-existent Russian threat it is never off the screens of US television stations. What westerners are unlikely to know is that last week, as we who keep in touch what is happening the other side of what used to be called the Iron Curtain are aware, the Verkhovna Rada (parliament in Kiev) voted for taking back Donbas republics and ignoring the Minsk accords.

    Poroshenko is up for election next year and his popularity is little short of zilch. Only a war and victory over the self-declared republics of Donetsk and Lugansk could revive it. The document awaits his signature to become law. Not that the fighting ever ceased. Kiev never stuck to its part of the Minsk agreements because Poroshenko has no control over the Stepan Bandera loving fascists. Last October 200,000 of them did a torchlit march shouting fascist slogans and giving fascist salutes and brandishing posters of their hero reminiscent of the early Nazi marches.

    Meanwhile the US is stepping up its supply of heavy weapons to Ukraine (for free) to support those they brought to power in February 2014. This could be the reason there is so much talk of opposing Russian aggression and the need to increase NATO presence on Russia’s borders. The west is giving Poroshenko carte blanche to make another attempt at regaining an area where the population (almost totally) hate him for creating the first civil-war in nearly a hundred years. It cannot end well for anyone.

    Here is the Russian perspective.

  • Lee Challenor Chadwick

    Thanks for this splendid piece of common sense: I have copied to all my contacts

  • Walter Cairns

    Perhaps post-Brexit we can stop those idiotic and self-harming sanctions against Russia, and restore friendly relations with an ally without whose massive sacrifices WE WOULD INDEED HAVE BECOME PART OF A UNITED EUROPE!

  • Ishmael

    “Some sort of capitalist crises” is an understatement. The banks are bankrupt, the world is swimming in dept, the “advanced economy’s” suffer from the classic OVERPRODUCTION capital crisis. And we are all just waiting for the next crash.

    Tedx talk illustrating just one facet

    We are going to need more than luck or just tampering with the edges to sort this. Things are in meltdown, & thoes in contoll are stupid & blind.

    • Ishmael

      He’s missenfomed obvisoley, at the beginning with his “barter economy” but true about the dept now relating to the modern banking system, that has us all by the balls. & unless your rich enough & mean enough to have your children living in some high security compound (that is in itself quite a consequence) Rich people are also got by the balls.

      So people better start thinking about their priorities in what sort of future we want. What conditions are created. It seems for some letting it all fall to bits is an option.

      And they think we anarchist ORDER types are all about chaos, projection much?

      • Ishmael

        Last post for a time. “The Limits of Control” By William S Burroughs, & talk on Jim Jarmuschs film of the same title, (some nice points on Pythagoras, didn’t know they were all killed, but the ideas live on)

        I must get back to some creative work now, can’t be doing with all this stuff again for a while.

  • M.Marshall

    I called Cohen out on twitter for promoting such McCarthyist nonsense. He blocked me. This week he has been raging against censorship. He is as risible a person as he is a journalist.

  • James Chater

    It is probably true that certain Russian tried to influence the EU referendum and the Trump el;ection – but so what? Are we seriously to believe that certain players in the USA do not seek to influence elections world-wide, and especially those in eastern Europe?

    • John A

      Obama came out in the open and called on Britain to vote to stay in the EU. Whatever Russia is alleged to have done, nothing as blatantly interfering or in your face as that!

      • glenn_nl

        Didn’t do much good though, did it? A distinctly unfriendly message, more of a threat really, delivered in an aloof manner which doesn’t sit terribly well with British people. Did he really think we’d all fall in line, and do as we were told like that?

        Obama doubtless cost more REMAIN votes than might have been gained.

        Interestingly enough, that “back of the queue” comment didn’t ring quite true. Having lived in the US for a few years, I wouldn’t hear an American say “queue” – “back of the line” is the expression they’d use. I wonder if Cameron had asked him to say that.

  • Sean Lamb

    To be honest I think it is more likely Professor Mifsud is a UK penetration agent in Russia, rather than a Russian penetration agent in the UK. The fact he some times goes around in Russia making vaguely pro-Russian noises is precisely what you would expect an MI6 agent to do (I mean there isn’t much point going around spouting Russiagate nonsense over there?). And that fact he seems to have no problem getting onto academic appointments in UK despite a fairly meagre CV suggests he is probably UK government endorsed.

    I think MI6 and the FBI were worried the Russians might indeed have Hilary Clinton’s deleted emails and were trying to establish contacts between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin which they could listen in on to find out if the Russians did.

    The fact they could then turn the whole thing around and claims it also showed Trump and Russia colluding was just an unexpected, unplanned bonus.

  • Conjunction

    I agree with your main point about Russia not being a threat to the UK. I also have no reason not to believe the point you have made many times about Russia not being involved in the US election.

    However I would take issue on you on two points.

    In my view Putin’s action in the Ukraine over the last five years or so has been very damaging to western interests, and directly to British ones. This is because the simmering war in the Ukraine has severely damaged the European project and made it look less attractive to British eyes among others. Personally I don’t think we would be leaving the EU if Putin had stayed out of Ukraine. It came at a bad time, when the EU was struggling with Greece, Italy, Spain. I suspect part of Putin’s motivation was to get back at the West after they had snubbed him for so long.

    Secondly I don’t understand how Putin’s role in Syria is to be admired whilst that of the West should be denigrated. I don’t trust the motives of either. I know you have had an admiration for Assad for many years which totally mystifies me – tell me I’m wrong – I think he is a pimple on the butt of the universe.

    • John A

      Not sure what you mean by Putin’s action in Ukraine.
      To my mind, the real reason Britain voted Brexit was because of the waves of East European immigrants that have arrived here since the EU expansion eastwards. Polish is supposedly the second most spoken language in London these days. Romanians, Bulgarians, Slovakians, Lithuanias, Estonias etc., are very visible, both in use of language and number plates on cars.
      Britain and the US were the main drivers of the eastwards expansion of the EU. The US (dragging the EU along) was the main driver behind the ‘colour revolution’ coup in Kiev – have you heard about Victoria Nuland and the US ambassador, the millions the US spent on dragging Ukraine out of the Russian orbit. The US, French and British destruction of Libya is the main cause of the sudden thousands of boat people arriving in Europe from Africa. If the US colour revolution in Kiev had succeeded in full, the push would have been to incorporate Ukraine in both NATO and the EU. If that were to happen, Ukrainian would soon oust Polish as the most spoken foreign language in western EU countries as the flow of Ukrainians westwards would be like a Tsunami compared to the Polish wave.
      Putin is protecting Russian interests in East Ukraine. Firstly to halt further NATO expansion and secondly to keep the russian naval base on the Black Sea, the real aim of the US coup plotters.

      • Mochyn69

        Are you sure brexshit was driven by fear of fellow Europeans from Eastern Europe?

        I got the imprerssion it was much more to do with the other wrong kind of immigrants! You know those from the Empyah.


        • SA

          If you think that the man in the street was really analytical about this then you overestimate the man in the street. I know I am not really supposed to make such an apparently elitist statement, but the fact is that the quality of the information available and deliberately do, would make it difficult for people to be properly informed. Moreover, the immigrants from the empire have always been under the control of our government and not the EU. Have you forgotten how there was a panic that this country would be swamped by millions of Bulgarians and Romanians when these countries joined the EU a couple of years ago?

    • giyane

      ” I know you have had an admiration for Assad for many years ”


      Assad was a customer of UK intelligence in the torture rendition of Muslims in the zionist War on Islam.
      To whom can you possibly be referring as an admirer of Assad?

      The UK and US created Islamist monsters through torture and chemical brain-washing, which they then unleashed on countires like Libya, Iraq and Syria. The islamist weirdology was concocted by the US with Uthama bin Laden. It targets Muslims. Cui bono. Not sure why USUKIS wanted to persecute Muslims except for their worship of one God, which apparently they see as a crime.

      Assad is not a Muslim, nor is he from Syria. The dynasty was created by the French precisely because a outsiders they would have no compassion on the Syrians. Assad was educated in the nest of spies in London where he learned pluralism and democracy, the essential tools of a Western stooge. The creation of Western manufactured Islamism rampaging through the Middle East has completely reversed USUKIS fortunes, because Russia has always understood Western obsession with eating its own vomit of Islamist terrorism.

      When an Empire, the West, becomes so predictable in its obsessions that even the heirs to the UK throne and the here today, gone tomorrow PM Theresa May are conscripted to the anti-Russia program, it’s not too hard to push its buttons. The threat of flooding the West with islamists which the West has to monitor 24/7 is the boil on the UK bum, not Assad. The sheer cost of running a police society to control their own Frankenstein is why there is no money for the NHS, IMHO.

      Bonkers, but the steering wheel has been removed from the car of the UK state. It is run by, for the benefit of , and to the whoops and cheers of the in-bred class of Tory politicians like Boris Johnson, zionism. Forgive the English syntax of that sentence which puts the main point of the sentence at the end. Jeremy Corbyn is waiting for a critical moment at which he can present his party’s services to the hooligan monkeys running the show. Will it be better when it comes. Painful experience says no, neither for Assad’s successor , nor May’s.

    • SA

      It is incredible that you should think that Britain’s interests in Ukraine should be taken into consideration when Ukraine is next door to Russia and ethnically very similar with s lot of strategic, economic and social importance.
      As for Syria, all you have to think about is what is the alternative to Assad? There is no organised credible opposition which is united and has real democratic credentials. Or do you think we just do regime change and then think later how to run the country for our Ben if it, like we did so successfully in Iraq?

  • Leonard Young

    Paranoid Daily Mail headline today quoting Nick Carter, the UK army chief. Quote: ” In a chilling analysis, he said the Kremlin was a ‘clear and present danger’ to Europe and predicted that a conflict would ‘start with something we don’t expect’. In a speech at the Royal United Services Institute, Gen Carter added: ‘They are not thousands of miles away, they are now on Europe’s doorstep.’ Britain’s ability to pre-empt or respond to the threats ‘will be eroded if we don’t match up to them now,’ he said. He added: ‘Russia could initiate hostilities sooner than we expect.’

    This is beginning to remind me of the wonderful satire of “The Day Today” episode when a benign conversation about an Australian trade deal on a BBC Newsnight spoof ends up being a declaration of war, egged on by Chris Morris playing the Paxman-like character. For those who enjoy that clip here is the Youtube link:

  • giyane

    What about Erdogan screaming about Kurds invading Turkey and calling Kurds Terrorists?
    Erdogan continuously assisted Daesh terrorists throughout their residence in Mosul and the US has presumably armed the Kurds in order to prevent a repeat land invasion by Daesh from Turkey. The swivel-eyed iguana dictator thinks that because USUKIS make it up as they go along, he has camouflage.

    • SA

      You write

      ‘……and the US has presumably armed the Kurds in order to prevent a repeat land invasion by Daesh from Turkey.’

      and do you really believe this? Are you of all people not aware of the role of what you call USUKIS in the rise of Daesh?
      This is all an elaborate game in which there is plenty of behind the scenes collusion but what I find frustrating above all is the silence or rather feeble response to all this from Moscow.

      • giyane


        Obama created Daesh. Therefore Trump destroyed it in Mosul. Trump appears to have instructed Mattis to prevent a re-occurrence of the same stupidity by Erdogan by arming the Syrian Kurds. The Kurds represent no threat whatsoever to Turkey, in fact Iraqi Kurdistan ex-president Barzani was working with Erdogan to sell the Mosul oil.

        UK policy in Libya is to exchange the power for Al Qaida to oppress the people in exchange for the right to extract the oil. Al Qaida otherwise known as Syrian moderate rebels are helping Turkey to remove the Kurdish continuous line of defence along the Turkish Syrian border. Without the Kurdish presence on the border Turkey could breathe new life into Al Qaida which is cooped up in Idlib.

        What I am expecting to happen next is Mattis to find a way to bomb Idlib, by keeping Turkey tied up with fighting the Kurds. Then Turkey will try to find a way to take Al Qaida out of Idlib, leaving Syria clear for being bankrupted for ever by the World Bank. Al Qaida can then be re-cycled against China and its neighbours. After warnings from China that war is imminent I would not be surprised to see China being chosen for bombing Idlib, but failing that there’s always On y ponce Macron, or Gavin Wonkyson ready to purge their souls of moral outrage.

        • SA

          But giyane, the operation to liberate Mosul from Daesh started in October 2016 during Obama’s time. I am surprised you think that US policy has changed. In fact I am not sure what US policy in Syria is, but to think that US will bomb Idlib is fanciful.
          The Kurds are a minority in Syria and also the Syrian Kurds are a minority of all Kurds. Therefore to convert this into a Kurdish problem is odd. I think that the Afrin Kurds were probably more likely to associate with Syria unlike those of al Hasakah and Qamishli who also include Arab tribes and supported by US. The idea would be for Turkey to occupy the northern bit of Syria and the Kurds the eastern bit of Syria. When these NATO members sort this out Al Qaeda will conveniently dissolve to be the ‘moderate opposition’.

  • Carnyx

    I generally agree with the article, but I disagree with the part about Putin aiming to absorb Russian speaking former parts of the USSR. South Ossetia and Abkhazia in Georgia are not primarily Russian speaking Ossetian is an Iranian language Abkhazian is Caucasian.

    I don’t think territorial expansion is his aim, although Crimea is an exception because of the deep port Black Sea access. I think the Russian pressence in S Ossetia and Abkhazia is more about preventing Georgia joining NATO. I think Putin’s policy is in this area more about preventing potential threats to Russia and secondly protecting ethnic Russians now outside Russia. Therefore Putin doesn’t want say the Baltic states for their territory (he already has Baltic access), he might want to stop NATO being based there because that is an invasion threat to Russia or he might be dragged in if the Balts severely persecute ethnic Russians living there.

    I agree that parts of Russia ought to be able to become indepenedent if they want, but such a right needs qualifications, they need to be viable states (to have enough resources to maintain themselves, not like Kosovo) and demonstrate responcibility, in otherwords they don’t destablise the whole region and act as a base for hostile forces. De facto independent Chechnya did become a source of destabilisation, it had a continuous civil war in which Jihadis were drawn in and they started invading neighbouring republics both in kidnapping raids and attempts to spread a Jihadi state. In otherwords if you can’t function as an peaceful independent state (within yourself and with neighbours) maybe you don’t deserve independence.

    Small countries next to very big ones have to be able to cope with that reality, it maybe unfair but you can’t do anything about geography. Finland managed that situation well during the Cold War, so it can be done, but “Finlanization” is promoted as dirty word by neocons, who find it outrageous that Finland couldn’t join NATO or the EEC if they wanted during the Soviet era, whereas I see it simply as a practical means of Finland maintaining it’s independence in the situation it found itself.

    As such, I see Putin’s policies as primarily defencive, they are trying to hold on to what they already had and prevent future threats developing. Russia is for understandable historical reasons paranoid about invasion, in a way Washington behind it’s vast oceans, is not and can’t seem to grasp, that is a particularly dangerous combination.

  • Philip Maughan

    Two aspects of the ‘Russian Threat’ piece broadcast on BBC 6 o’clock news which struck me were; why would Russia want to attack the UK? and why was there no mention of NATO? The gist of General Nick Whatisname’s speech seemed to be that the UK had to defend itself single handedly and therefore needed military parity with Russia. As an attack on the UK would, in effect, be an attack on the whole of NATO, the UK doesn’t need to match Russia militarily and the General’s plea for more ‘stuff’ looks like willy waving. Also what would Putin gain from stirring up such a hornets nest? If the UK military top-brass really think a Russian attack is imminent, perhaps they ought to consider redeploying some of their surface ships to Scotland rather than have them bobbing around on the south coast, along with some of the bomber bases they’ve been axing in Scotland over the past few years.

    • SA

      Moreover, why should Putin spend so much money on trying to destroy this country when apparently he has already done so by influencing the Brexit vote cheaply with a few Twitter and Facebook trolls?

  • AS

    I agree Russia is being blown up as an enemy for nefarious purposes linked to the military industries and state surveillance. It also seems to me evident that Russia’s geopolitical actions are defensive, creating a buffer around the Russian state and preventing erosion. There are more extreme, right-wing and nationalist factions (the Eurasia movement) but these may be just a minor influence on Putin. But the point you’ve missed is that – accepting that Russia adopted a policy of resisting and pushing back, slightly, aggressive NATO/EU expansion, it would make complete sense for part of that policy to include undermining both those institutions where possible. Including through Russia’s undoubted expertise in cybertechnology, as well as more familiar routes of funding breakaway forces. So I don’t find either of those possibilities easy to ignore or dismiss, especially as, if true, they would seem to coincide with the rightwing nationalism also found in Russia. An unreasonable notion? By nature cyberwarfare is extremely difficult to trace to source. So the question of ‘evidence’ is also deeply problematic, unfortunately.

    • AS

      Just to add: of course it also needs to be recognized that so-called ‘allies’ like the US and western countries are also engaged in cyberwarfare against each other – industrial, military and diplomatic espionage etc. The EU itself began as the European Coal and Steel Community, set up as a means of monitoring Germany’s industrial production to ensure it couldn’t secretly rearm. So espionage and indeed economic sabotage is part of the norm of capitalism. To some extent, leaving aside the territorial and ethnic issues, this tension comes down to a massive failure of the capitalist west to think about how to approach Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

      • SA

        Indeed it would be incredibly naive to think that Russia is not involved in developing Cyberwar capabilities as you point out that this is even practiced by industry and amongst ‘allies’. The laughable part of it is the feebleness of the charges of alleged interference when say a US person of influence has spoken a few words to thier Russian equivalent. It really seems to indicate a frame of mind that we are already fighting a real war with Russia which is now being branded as the official enemy.

  • Mochyn69

    “The chief of the general staff, Gen Sir Nicholas Carter, has described Russia as the biggest state-based threat to the UK since the cold war and warned that hostilities could begin a lot sooner than the UK expects.

    He compared the position today, when Russia believes that the west may gain technological superiority in the next decade, to 1912, when the Russian imperial cabinet assessed “it would be better to fight now, because by 1925 Russia would be too weak in comparison to a modernised Germany – and Japan drew similar conclusions in 1941 against the US”.

    He said the greatest risk was from miscalculation, as witnessed in the recent false alarm of a missile attack on Hawaii, noting that this was vividly illustrated in 2014 by the downing of a civilian flight over Ukraine.

    “Russia could initiate hostilities sooner than we expect, and a lot earlier than we would in similar circumstances,” he said. “Most likely they will use nefarious sub-article 5 actions to erode the credibility of Nato and threaten the very structure that provides our own defence and security – this is the divide and rule which the international order is designed to prevent.”

    For crying out loud! Could Colonel Blimp not just STFU!? Russia isn’t going to initiate hostilities against Perfidious Albion, least of all Brexshit Britain any time soon. He must know that.


    • AS

      That’s brilliant. So the example of the biggest threat comes directly from US belligerence in ‘facing down’ North Korea for no apparent reason, and then US ineptitude/panic in triggering a false alarm. And Russia is the threat? Not the west’s own hyper-aggressive ‘self-defence’ and paranoia?

    • SA

      The most amazing part is this
      “The deduction the UK and the west should draw from watching Russia’s moves in the last few years, he said, is that there are no longer distinct states of peace and war, but a series of stages in between.”
      Like for example the fact that Russia has invaded Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and instigated a war in Syria supplying rebels with money and weapons, like that they had engineered a coup in Ukraine in order to annex Crimea. Like they have supplied KSA with state of the art weapons to kill Yemeni civilians, but worst of all they have expanded the Warsaw Pact to include Mexico Canada and Scotland.

  • AS

    On another note. The biggest contribution of the Trump regime to world peace so far, aside from the slow-dribble of racist and ethnocentric comments, par for the course, seems to be the urgent need for the US military – and presumably every other nuclear country – to have tactical nuclear weapons at its disposal. And maybe use them soon, in some conflict or other, to change the paradigm from MAD (mutually assured destruction) to what the hell: let’s nuke them a bit. Easily the most alarming proposal I’ve heard in decades. They seem serious about this.

  • Tony

    On this Monday’s ‘Daily Politics’, 4 people were interviewed about this and all supported increased military spending to meet this phony threat. Nobody was allowed on to challenge it.

  • kashmiri

    Craig – “true” and “false” belong to an academic domain called Logics. In politics, it is “interest” that matters. It has been UK’s long-standing interest to expand its sphere of influence eastwards [political influence, not necessarily military presence]; just as influence in its close western neighbourhood has been Russia’s strategic interest and policy goal.

    Call it two poles, polarisation, multi-polar world, etc. Terms are already overused.

    In order to work successfully towards those long-standing goals, you need (1) policy tools, (2) co-operation with other countries, (3) public support. They are somewhat interlinked. A build-up of Russophobia is precisely the thing that helps politicians in smooth, problem-free allocation of (financial, human, political) resources to this goal.

    I personally think that Russian politics is rational and a fully legal and justified form of achieving Russian politocal goals. Which does not mean me, as a European, agree with it. The Western model of a state is more appealing to me than the Russian one; and I happen to know both.

    If you’d like to stop the Russophobia for good, you would first need to re-orientate British political interests away from all the areas and regions where it intersects with Russia. Unless this is done, politicians will require a degree of anti-Russia mood in order to receoive resources they need for this policy.

  • Niall Bradley

    “I have no objection to the re-arrangement of boundaries, but it should be done by democratic choice…”

    It was.

  • Paul Barbara

    @ Walter Cairns January 22, 2018 at 14:49
    Hi John

    Sorry about that link – I blame the Russians of course.

    I am indeed the author in question. Only teaching (very) part-time now, have returned to my original profession of freelance translation.

    A translation of a book from German into English may be coming up shortly; if it occurs (and it should), would you like me to put your name forward as a contender to the publisher? The book is by a journalist whistleblower and will be a best-seller.

  • Ewan

    Can I ask where the Russian government has said it seeks to incorporate Russian speakers within its borders. This seems to contradict what the President has said on many occasions.

    • Macky

      It’s has been said, where so many such things have been said, in the fertile imagination of Russophobes.

      • Ewan

        And yet Mr. Murray could be said to be only partially Russophobic (and partly justifiably critical). He is normally too sensible and too experienced (and therefore worthy of great respect) for sweeping comments about Russian expansionism. Hence my puzzled question.

  • Stephen Chenery

    There is a very simple reason why the Ruling Class/Tory Party is continuing this ridiculous action. An order from Washington supersedes any democratic process. In 2013, in the words of the BBC, dated 30 August 2013, “David Cameron said he would respect the defeat of a government motion by 285-272, ruling out joining US-led strikes.” However an order from Washington superseded any democratic vote in any contemptible Parliament, so we followed orders and bombed Syria. Again in the words of the BBC UK pilots embedded with coalition allies’ forces have been conducting air strikes over Syria against the Islamic State group, it has emerged.
    This is despite UK MPs voting in 2013 against military action in Syria.”

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