tv [untitled] February 5, 2014 5:30pm-6:01pm EST
then walk a bit. i know c.n.n. the m s n b c fox news have taken some not slightly but the fact is i admire their commitment to cover all sides of the story just in case one of them happens to be accurate. that was funny but it's close and for the truth and might think. it's because when full attention and the mainstream media works side by side the joke is actually on here. at our teen years we have a different brain. because the news of the world just is not this funny i'm not laughing dammit i'm not how.
follow and welcome to cross talk we're all things are considered i'm peter lavelle is there a new cold war brewing pitting the west against russia what is being called a reset relations at the start of the obama presidency today is in tatters western media and politicians are determined to betray russia in the worst possible light even to the point of undermining the sochi games what are these new cold warriors hoping to achieve. to cross whether there is a new cold war i'm joined by my guest stephen cohen in new york he is a professor emeritus of russian studies at new york university and author of soviet fates in last alternatives that currently is out in paperback from columbia university press also in new york we have eric draitser he is a geo political analyst and founder of stop imperialism dot org and in london we cross to mark and he is a modern history lecturer at the university of oxford right gentlemen cross-talk
rules in effect that means you can jump in anytime you want stephen cohen if i go to you first in new york when you hear the term new cold war because it's part of your title of your most recent book what does it mean to you and what should it mean to our viewers what it means i. i don't know whether we're in a new cold war or a continuation of the old cold war and it doesn't really matter whether we call it a cold war or not but the conflicts the dangers the issues the confrontations that characterize the forty year cold war between the united states and russia and russia in the west are bach and in some ways it's different and in some ways it's even more dangerous just to bring this right into this week's new this new cold war may now be drawing the dividing line which was in berlin right on russia's borders in ukraine but this is a process that's been going on since the end of the soviet union nearly twenty two years now eric in new york how do you reflect upon that because i want to talk
about ukraine a little bit later in the program but if you read western media right now i mean it's gotten to the point of steria absolute hysteria the the economist the washington post never friends of russia but in this week alone this is getting to the point of going to proportions that i have never ever seen even during the cold war i would say. well i think that the timing is instructive of course the sochi games the the triumphal sort of per session for russia on the world stage is they're attempting to undermine that of course as we all know the olympics is not merely an athletic event it's not merely a two week extravaganza it's also a corporate event it is an attempt for any country in this case russia to sort of parade itself on the world stage as being a haven for investment as having made tremendous strides in terms of infrastructure as having moved forward economically socially politically so part of the propaganda
i think that word that you're alluding to in the western media is an attempt to deal with them eyes that as much as possible of course the edward snowden issue and many others are kind of lurking in the background of all of this using the various political issues political conflicts as sort of a pretext for launching into the vehement russia bashing which i think to a large degree we've grown accustomed to and you know ukraine is also very important in all of this but i think it's also very significant that we recognize that unlike in the in the sort of technical cold war of the post world war two period we have a tremendous amount of economic cooperation between russia and the west of course primarily we're thinking of mutually beneficial economic arrangements between gazprom or us nafta and western oil companies whether in the arctic or elsewhere we see a tremendous amount of money and resources poured into bilateral arrangements between russia and various countries such as turkey and others which are traditionally in
the sort of western nato sphere of influence so although we do see a freezing of these relations it is something that is much more nuanced than simply a cold war it's interesting markets not to undermine russia per se but to the political order that is here today this is what it's really all about is to undermine the popular leader and his name is vladimir putin. like him or not you popular here well he's been he's been made into the bogeyman certainly but i think if we go back for stephen cohen saying that process of that if the retreat to moscow which has been gone since the end of the cold war since the last period is something which the worst wishes to push through and if we think about the classic cold war we can see i think continuity differences in the cold war period we had the argument that the soviet union was a one party dictatorship but it also was a socialist society fundamentally different from the capitalist states in the us alive the argument was that you couldn't really have political freedom unless you had economic freedom now of course russia in some ways is
a more capitalist society the many of the west european countries that join the united states to criticize it it has been flat tax and so on so we've seen that a core propaganda or ideological argument has disappeared and yet the russophobia the anti russian mood which was also an underpinning of the cold war has become if anything stronger and i think it away therefore if we think about the cold war we can see if you're british for instance britain had been an imperial rival of imperial russia and it's all the soviet union a simply the empire with a red flag on top of it and the design of the western states to to push back russian posed by strong one hundred years ago the british went to war with germany but their foreign office was saying in the one hundred twenty years of course russia will be the main enemy they didn't anticipate that a revolution but they expected the defeat of germany would bring russian towards central europe that happened of course under the guise of the red army and so on in one thousand nine hundred five and today we're seeing if you like a revival of an essentially mash anti russian mood and we play therefore upon the
nationalisms of neighboring states the baltic states the poles the ukrainians and so on and rather as i'm afraid say in the second world war the germans eventually tried to recruit anti communists anti russian cults and cranes to fight for them we in a sense are now reviving those ghosts of collaboration of seventy years ago and i think this is a rather rancid and distasteful policy by. also well that's dangerous for the go. as well as a threat to creating a kind of civil conflict within places like ukraine between the pro and anti russians between the great you were great you were p.m.'s if you like your asian it's ok stephen it's russia a threat to the west because the west certainly portrays russia is some kind of threat. i would put it differently all right i would say that the west has become a threat to itself. this constant confrontation with russia which began in the one nine hundred ninety s. with the end of the soviet union the kind of march toward moscow from the west
beginning with nato expansion carrying on with the attempt to establish an american military outpost in the former soviet republic of georgia the building of missile defense installations along russia's borders and now the confrontation in ukraine. in my perspective that is not only highly provocative highly provocative but it is closing down opportunities that we have with russia to solve major problems affecting our own national security in syria and iran and afghanistan and the struggle against international terrorism the problem today is whether we call it a cold war or not as i said at the beginning is that in some ways it's more dangerous one reason is there is no discussion of this issue in the united states on network radio or television during the cold war we had
a debate about that in this country what should we do about it should we seek detente increasing cooperation or should we seek more quote more cold war today it's one hand clapping in the media and in washington so what we say today on your show peter if it's heard in the united states will be dismissed as russian propaganda no and even though i'm a patriotic american because it's coming on a russian television network the problem is how do you get this conversation underway in the united states so that we can bring those politicians in washington who once were against a cold war against this new reckless set of american and european policies that's the real problem today as of events that unfold move closer and closer more dangerously recklessly i would say toward russia itself you know eric it seems like it's a bad habit that has to be broken because i would i would say it's a continuation of the old original cold war. you know i think that it could be seen
that way as well but i would add i would agree with everything that mr cohen said but i would add another point here that there are very real material and economic reasons for launching this continued this continue aggressive phobia and popular culture i think one of the main reasons is russian dominance of the european gas market i think that north stream in the south stream pipe. blind have been seen as a tremendous threat by many corporations in the west in the western ruling class more broadly because they understand that it is a way for russia to cement itself as a vital part of the european economic future so for that reason alone they have done what they can to undermine that of course we see various machinations with regard to pipeline development in the caspian region as a means of kind of undercutting russian dominance of course the demonisation of russia's relationship with the roots and the ukrainian government as well because they both are vital to the russian gas delivery infrastructure i think that syria
is very much a part of this same issue as well related not only to the prospective pipeline going to europe but also to the traditional russian sphere of influence and russia's final remaining ally in the middle east and of course the russian base and i think that there are a lot of very practical political and geo political and strategic reasons for why you see this ramping up of this russophobia of the putin bashing the cold war rhetoric whatever you want to call it and if you see it in that way it only begins to make sense and of course obama and the obama administration which came into office under the guise of very good you're going to get a mark here real quick before the break i'm going to let me go to london here but it doesn't work does it mark ok because russia continues down its path this is what i find really interesting you know for a decade russia is going to collapse but you know it doesn't happen. now you see one of the fundamental psychological changes taking place is i used to in the 1980's before soldier of the cold war bring money and fax machines and computer
bits and pieces to disadvantage and you never met in the soviet block somebody who was anti western anti american but today the disillusionment with the new world order the disillusionment with the economic and social catastrophe is very many of these countries so great remember we're told poland is a model. but after four million poles have fled the country to work in the west in the cold war the berlin wall was there to keep them in and we were told what kind of system is it that if you took away walls people would flee involves numbers well they do still and so we have this fundamental right gentlemen i got up to jump in here we go to a short break and we'll continue our discussion on whether there is a new cold war.
look at the people. we welcome there are nathan abby martin two two of the coast guard t.v. network. it's going to give you a different perspective give me one stock never i'll give you the information you make the decision. about i'll bring you the set. of the mind it's a revolution of ideas and consciousness through the system extremely i. would be described as angry i think i'm a strong. under single. unit let me see it. as a. welcome much across where all things are considered i'm peter lavelle to remind you we're
discussing whether there is a new cold war. stephen i think like you in new york this week here timothy snyder wrote in the walls walls washington post don't let putin grab ukraine. made a mention of that to my producer i did read that it's a truly disturbing article in the washington post would you explain why you thought it was is well well let me correct you it wasn't in the washington post it was in the international herald tribune to both he was in both he was in both. yeah well that's quite remarkable and so i mean i i mean i'm very in mind that snyder is an eminent professor of history at yale and we may see this kind of reckless inflammatory unfactual writing in newspapers and in magazines but for a professor to say that shows you just how deep is the new cold war because what snyder
is saying or warning against is the possibility that after the olympics when the world's gaze is overt it from russia. may carry out a military takeover of ukraine. and that the west there has to have therefore has to be ready he's talking about war actual war not cold war but hot war for this allegation he has absolutely no facts whatsoever and yet it's published it is in an imminent place and because he's a yale professor presumably many readers take it seriously and that is exceedingly dangerous and how do you like doing as i read that article and i found it was inflammatory to the extreme i mean this is there's no evidence to support any contention that russia would do anything to harm ukraine at all is a matter of fact it's loaded a lot of money to get through
a rough patch. i think it also we should add that it plays on certain ignorance in the west in the united states particularly about what ukraine is ukraine is a divided country i mean we have a tremendous proportion of the population that identifies very closely with russians that they have family in russia that they are for you know that they consider themselves if not russians but certainly very close of course the west in the eastern is decidedly different but even in the in the so-called anti russian west you have a divided population but the idea at least in the public consciousness in the united states is that russia is an imperial power that russia wants to take over the ukraine and reestablish an reconstitute the soviet union which is of course an absurdity ukraine and russia are economic partners ukraine is integral to the russian energy delivery infrastructure and conversely ukrainian industry is very
much dependent upon russian energy and russian investment so all of these nuances to that relationship are of course completely ignored solely for the purposes of making put in into the bad guy the russians into the big bad former soviet union and making it the responsibility of the west to swoop in on their you know the proverbial white horse and save the ukrainians not how do you reflect about what's going on in your head steve. and please do. what eric says is completely true but then it poses a question everybody has known for decades that ukraine is at least two different countries one leaning toward the west poland in the way one toward russia it's been a ticking political time bomb for decades the question is who provoked this current political civil war in ukraine which may be the most fateful international development under way the blame has been placed in the west on ukrainian president
young recruits and putin but the reality is this was triggered when the european union issued an ultimatum to the democratically elected president of ukraine whether we like him or not you want to call which they he had to choose between russia and the west why did he have to choose that better moment putin said whether you like him or not look why force ukraine to choose for all the reasons that erick just mentioned ukraine is a divided country let's have a tripartite relationship russia was help ukraine economically the european union will help ukraine economically but the european union rejected that it told ukraine you must choose between east and west and we used to call that cold war ok mark how do you reflect upon the events going on in ukraine week go ahead jump in. you see i think we've got to see that russia has been thinking about these things economically as well as culturally and the europeans the americans think about them
geopolitically yes russia has offered economic aid which would cut the price of gas and energy toward reclaims the european union today versus at the been a bug in a wheel giving tens of millions perhaps some civilians to buy the political class russians to put fifteen billion to subsidize the society the problem is the political class so significant part of it decides the fate of the country and so we know we've done this in. countries too we've found it's easier and cheaper to buy a class of political leaders media people rather than to subsidize the population hence we've seen since the collapse of communism goodling economic conditions mass migration to the west and for instance i do myself think the west wants to divide ukraine because we don't want the western ukraine which is bum can country poverty stricken peasants we want the crimea we want the coast we want the appears to teach a couple of the russian navy and so the peaceful way out of this crisis might be to
say well the people in the western ukraine seem to be fantasizing about becoming part of europe even though the people in eastern poland could tell them it's not a way paved with gold and the people in the east and south seem to be more happy with russia why not say that the countries artificially doesn't really exist and function as a single society or nation but the west doesn't want that because we want to get closer to the juggler of russian military because as we've been saying essentially we would see the retreat to moscow and i fear of. britain in one thousand nine hundred two no empire retreats forever he said that about britain argentina i fear that we could stumble into a crisis with russia because we have got used to the idea that ultimately the russians blink what if they don't well i'll tell you eric but russians don't blink as much as you think ok and i live here and i'll tell you a lot of people of had enough of this nonsense being played out in the streets of care being egged on by the european union it's quite disgusting to say the least i agree with mark we could see
a hope of overly nothing military but it will become more of a confrontation of words that's for sure go ahead eric in new york jump in. why would i would agree with that but i would also add that the military angle is an important one look we have a historical precedent if you see what the united states and the nato powers did in the balkans in the late ninety's and in the early part of the previous decade you begin to see that there is a sort of a strategy here whether or not they want to make the west of ukraine into a a grand scale kosovo may be somewhat of a an oversimplification but certainly making it into essentially a de facto nato protectorate as they did in kosovo and of course you can see today the tremendous cost social political and economic costs of that sort of policy if you ask anybody living in kosovo or for that matter many of the former soviet republics because of the way in which the soviet union was dismantled because of the way in which the western powers moved into eastern europe and so ukraine is in
many ways a battleground certainly a battleground of words and economic battleground but militarily speaking as well we shouldn't forget that right before the on the eve of the beijing olympics the georgia russia war rather the georgia war in south the city began and it was precisely at that moment that the world many people around the world finally realized what georgia had become a forward arm of nato a de facto colony of the western imperial forces and of course i i don't mean to oversimplify it but the west of ukraine could be headed in that direction particularly if you look at the economic statistics in the west of ukraine which is tremendously under developed with rampant unemployment and serious problems of poverty that is what is being played upon and certainly by the extreme right wing in ukraine stephen do you buy into the nato angle because i think it's absolutely true if you look at the association agreement it does talk about military and security relations with brussels that's
a back door. this so-called economic partnership agreement that the e.u. has offered to ukraine is discussed in the west solely as an economic and i put it in quotes civilizational choice but you're absolutely right the thousand page document includes a whole section on military provisions which if i read them correctly bind ukraine if it signs this document to adhere to nato policy in general that of course is move a nato at least de facto right to the center of. ukraine so the military component that was not discussed in western media commentary is part of this whole agreement mark one hundred years ago was the start of the first world war and i'm not prone to hyperbole but you know what happens when neither side blinks. well that we know and of course we still have
a potential nuclear confrontation it's on it's unlikely to come to that but i think we have to be prepared for the fact that if you assume a policy of going for the drug dealer the russian state trying to disintegrate it your de facto supporting the traction and other separatists hidden inside russia then the must be a risk that something on the intended will happen after all in two thousand and eight georgia perhaps didn't intend to kill a dozen russian peacekeepers but it did that precipitated a real crisis who knows if their own people who may go over the edge in the ukraine do something to attack russian servicemen in sebastopol for instance which could begin to spiral out of control and i'm afraid because western public opinion has been so proposed not just by the newspapers and the news media but by popular culture by disc jockey sniggering that putin is a terrible bogey even we would have a great difficulty in restraining or pinions just as i'm afraid in the jingoistic world in one thousand nine hundred every public could be persuaded that they were
about to be attacked by. dangerous country even though each post must be defensive and yet somehow or other they will be fighting a war to grab from each other let me jump in here to fish stephen cohen i want to give you the last word if you could talk to president obama about this what would you tell him thirty seconds. i would tell him we need a new american policy toward russia that the march on moscow has to stop and that the opportunities for cooperation that would benefit our national security are enormous and he is wasting those opportunities all right gentlemen thank you for a fascinating debate many thanks to my guests in new york and in london and thanks to our viewers for watching us here at r.t.c. you next time and remember. these.
so. it. looks like. did you know the price is the only industry specifically mentioned in the constitution and. that's because a free and open press is critical to our democracy albus. role. in fact the single biggest threat facing our nation today is the corporate takeover of our government and our crafts typical we've been hijacked why handful of transnational corporations will profit by destroying what our founding fathers once i'm tom hartman and on this show we reveal the big picture of what's actually going on in the world we go beyond identifying the problem. rational debate and a real discussion critical issues facing define are you ready to join the movement
then walk a little bit. today with saving you from our group life would essentially mash into russian movie and i think this is a role the rancid and distasteful policy but also well that's dangerous for the go with. translation as well as a threat to creating a kind of civil conflict with in places like ukraine is russia a threat to the west because the west certainly portrays russia is some kind of threat i would put it differently all right i would say that the west has become a threat to itself in my purse press that is not only highly provocative it is closing down opportunities that we have with russia to solve major problems affecting our own national security so what we say today on your show peter if you target in the united states will be dismissed as russian propaganda no.
what's up everyone i'm having martin and this is breaking the set us lawmakers did something very rare this week actually managed to pass a piece of legislation this time around it was a long awaited farm bill simple budget plan for america's food economy that was two years in the making right now and our dismal economy in the need for food stamps at a record high but the farm bill would be cutting food assistance by eight billion dollars over the next ten years but i'm sure our lawmakers carefully thought this through i mean it's not like there are more wasteful programs out there that they could have cut instead right well it took me about five minutes on google to find out how to save thirty five billion dollars me.