I have sadly fallen into an alternative reality. It is not by choice. I watched a CNN segment on Anderson Cooper that illustrates a huge political problem in America.
However, this confirmation of the problem comes ironically from two different players, in almost reversed positions from their respective sides. An irony of juxtaposition.
Stephen Cohen —
“American scholar and professor emeritus of Russian studies at Princeton University and New York University”…”During the 2014 unrest in Ukraine, Cohen drew criticism for his “pro-Russian” views with sources describing him as an apologist for Putin and the Russian government. Cohen personally describes himself as an American “dissenter” and argues that the media stifle anyone who even tries to understand the situation from the Kremlin’s perspective while stigmatizing them as Putin apologists for doing so. [Wikipedia]
In an article in The Nation, Cohen stated that the US political-media establishment was silent about “Kiev’s atrocities” in the Donbass region. His article was, in turn, criticized by Cathy Young as “error-riddled” narrative and “embarrassing” repetition of Kremlin propaganda.
Gary Kasparov — Most people know Kasparov as the famous chess champion but recently as a great authority on all things Russia. His new book is “Winter is coming”.
On the eve of Secretary Tillerson’s visit to Russia, after the Syria missile message, Cohen takes the side of questioning everything about the missile strike to questioning the intentions of Trump. Never mind the intentions of one Vladimir Putin.
He claims tensions have never been higher between US and Russia that we were never so close to war and that this is a new cold war high in the relationship. That mantra should sound familiar. But everyone emphasizes Cohen’s foremost expertise on Russia.
That’s exactly where Kasparov comes in. He was astonished how this mantra leaves Putin’s intentions unchallenged — by intent or not. He was visibly offended. Knowing full well some of the limits and trail of dead bodies in Putin’s wake, he unloaded on Cohen’s reasoning ability. Ah, and that is exactly where liberals hate being challenged. Because emotion and politics are a driving force, it replaces their reasoning ability. He called Cohen’s brand of politics towing the Kremlin line.
Of course, to his pedigree, Cohen goes on the offensive against the Trump administration and Tillerson, for his ties to Russia. Okay Tillerson, or Trump for that matter, are compromised by Russia but he is not. Then he took the Russian perspective that he sees no evidence or proof that either Syria or Russia was involved in the chemical attack.
Kasparov pointed out that Cohen’s were the same talking points the Kremlin and Putin are using, to point blame everywhere else, to us and terrorists, rather than at Assad. Then he asserted the same thing Putin said, that this chemical was possibly a terrorist stockpile hit during a bombing run. Well, but days after Russia and Syria planes were trying to destroy evidence by more bombing. So why would they be trying to cover it up and destroy evidence, even bombing the hospital after 5 hours — if terrorists or rebels were responsible for the gas attack?
Kasparov seems to nail the box of Cohen’s positioning shut. He tells Cohen that Russia has long used anti-American dissent as a core in their propaganda.
There you have it — if it is not obvious — here is an American skeptic, dissenter, professor, academic and expert representing the Russia side of things and a Russian representing the US side of things. Striking irony.
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