‘Oceania had always been at war with Eurasia’

          Actually, as Winston well knew, it was only four years since Oceania had been at war with Eastasia and in alliance with Eurasia.  But there was merely a piece of furtive knowledge which he happened to possess because his memory was not sufficiently under control.
          Officially the change of partners had never happened.  Oceania was at war with Eurasia: therefore Oceania had always been at war with Eurasia.  The enemy of the moment always represented absolute evil, and it followed that any past or future agreement with him was impossible.
                          ==George Orwell, 1984

During the 2012 Presidential campaign, Gov. Mitt Romney was criticized and even ridiculed for calling Russia “our No. 1 geopolitical foe.”   President Obama said, “The 1980s are calling to ask for their foreign policy back because the Cold War’s been over for years.”

But now we’re told that Russia is waging war against the United States and always has been.   It’s a funny kind of war, though—more like “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” than “Red Dawn.”

No Russian troops are massing on U.S. borders.   The Russian government makes no threat against the United States.

The claim is that the Russians—either the Russian government or certain individual Russians—are exercising a kind of mind control over Americans.   Russian agents allegedly denied Hillary Clinton her due share of the 2016 President vote and allegedly manipulated President Trump into being less anti-Russian than he should be.

But even if all the Russiagate charges are true, which I doubt, what the Russians have done is no different from what the old Soviet Union did, and what the United States continues to do down to this day.  During the time Vladimir Putin has been in office, it is the United States, not Russia, that has announced policies of “regime change” against countries that never threatened Americans.

It’s interesting that congressional Democrats, who say that President Trump is an insane clown, an ignoramus, a would-be fascist and a puppet of Vladimir Putin, have no interest in restricting presidential powers to wage war or bypass due process of law.   The only limit they’ve imposed is limitation of his authority to lift economic sanctions against Russia.

I admit I don’t fully understand what President Trump is so belligerent toward Iran and North Korea and so restrained and sensible concerning Russia.   Maybe he has a corrupt motive for doing a good thing.  Maybe he just wants to be the opposite of President Obama, although the differences are more in rhetoric than substance.

Or maybe he thinks the same way as U.S. leaders during the Cold War.  The United States and the old Soviet Union fought proxy wars.  They never confronted each other directly, except during the Cuban missile crisis, where there was a real danger of nuclear war.

The military coup in Ukraine, the buildup of U.S. troops along the borders of Russia and the announced U.S. plans to create a new generation of battlefield nuclear weapons could lead to a Cuban missile crisis in reverse, with just as much danger of accidental nuclear war.

The worst possible outcome of present policy is a nuclear war that obliterates both Russia and the United States.   The least bad possible outcome is drive Russia into the arms of China.

LINKS

What We Don’t Talk About When We Talk About Russian Hacking by Jackson Lears for the London Review of Books.  (Hat tip to Bill Harvey)

The Increasing Likelihood of Nuclear War Should Straighten Out All Our Priorities by Caitlin Johnstone for Medium.

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Hat tip to O for reminding me of the Mitt Romney quote.

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