- Monday, April 9, 2018

Judging from the current overheated rhetoric in Washington, World War III is fast approaching. The alleged chemical attack in the Syrian city of Douma — and President Donald Trump’s latest tweeted response suggesting that a US retribution strike against Damascus is imminent — pushes us directly over the red line declared by the Russian General Staff last month, when they threatened to shoot down any plane or ship launching such an attack and thereby endangering their servicemen on the ground there.

As the US Congress and mainstream media see it, in the looming confrontation Russia represents the forces of evil while the West, i.e. the U.S. and NATO countries, the forces of good.

We are already engaged in a full-scale economic, diplomatic, informational, and ideological war with Moscow. This time the contest is not between the communism and capitalism but between the United States, which has been trying to maintain a unipolar world order, and Russia, which despite its much smaller economy and military budget is not ready to submit.

These nasty Russians keep talking about their own national interests, impose their own red lines, and make public statements showing direct disobedience to the hegemon. Accordingly, we hear many statements like one made by the US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, who said that “Russia is never going to be our friend and we slap them when we need to.”

One wonders how this corresponds to Trump’s repeated tweets that “only haters, fools and stupid people” do not understand that good relations with Russia are also good for America

For some of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s fiercest critics the time is now ripe to push for regime change in Moscow, with the only inhibition the threat of a nuclear war that would likely end human civilization as we know it.  Nevertheless, in an atmosphere of such unprecedented level of hatred even the little spark could ignite an uncontrollable fire.

When on March 8, 1983, President Ronald Reagan called the Soviet Union an “Evil Empire” I fully agreed and had a privilege to tell him so during a Rose Garden ceremony on May 21, 1983, when he signed the “Andrei Sakharov National Day” declaration that our group promoted. 

However, Russia is not USSR. Still Putin has been demonized as no Soviet leader ever was, not even Stalin. Although Putin is not an innocent angel, the list of his misdeeds is largely fake, produced by our own propagandists who are spoiling for a fight. The accusations against him consistently lack proofs. Even NYT hints that the chemical attack in Douma was ordered precisely to get Trump to backtrack on his pledge to leave Syria now. American Defense Intelligence Agency veteran Col. Pat Lang (ret.), called these chemical attack hoaxes “news feeds from the propaganda apparatus of the rebels.”

The likelihood that the poisoning of a former spy in the UK is almost certainly a provocation is supported by the growing list of those refusing to accept the say-so of Prime Minister Theresa May and her pathetic Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson.

My humble opinion is that whatever you might think of Mr. Putin so far no one detected in him masochistic inclinations. Only a masochist with the clear disposition to inflict huge damage on himself would order the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter on the eve of the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Russia, which rivals the Olympic Games in global prestige.

Speaking in terms of good versus evil, even if one believes all accusations about Russia and Putin, try to compare the multitudes of dead, wounded, and displaced, as well as the devastation caused by the military actions of the West in the Middle East under the banner of promoting freedom and democracy, against comparable crimes caused by Russia. These numbers are readily available. They show that since Russia emerged as an independent state in 1991 at best for the West the ratio is around 100:1, but it might be even worse.

To summarize, what we need now is a well-prepared Trump-Putin summit to find a way out of this mega-crisis and make a mutually beneficial deal to avoid the looming catastrophe. Trump’s enemies are doing everything possible to prevent or disrupt any summit, so therefore Washington probably is not the best place to have it.

Neutral Vienna, where the young Premier Sebastian Kurz keeps showing his independence from the big boys, could be a more logical venue if one is looking for a positive outcome.

If Trump and Putin can make a deal but Congress with its miserable 15% approval rating tries to block it, Trump should appeal directly to American people. Let them decide whether we will have war or peace.

In the meantime contrary to the war mongers on earth the Americans Ricky Arnold, Drew Feustel, Scott Tingle, the Russians Oleg Artemyev and Anton Shkaplerov together with the Japanese Norishige Kanai are obviously sending the message for peace and cooperation from space.

Edward Lozansky is President of the American University in Moscow. He was one of the founding members of the Science and Engineering Committee for a Secure World to support President Reagan’s SDI program. He is the author of the book Operation Elbe,which describes joint U.S.-Russia anti-terrorist efforts.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide