21 January 2013, 14:39

Political-media establishment at fault for strained US-Russia relations - Cohen

Political-media establishment at fault for strained US-Russia relations - Cohen

“Feckless policy elite and an uncritical media establishment” are the two culprits that Stephen F. Cohen, a professor emeritus at New York University and Princeton University and a profound Russia expert, has blamed for the two nations, the US and Russia, plunging into a new cold war.

In his article that appeared on the Nation magazine's website, Stephen F.Cohen has stressed that the relations between the countries already marred by “disputes over missile defense, the Middle East and Russia’s internal politics” have become more strained after the US passed the Magnitsky Act in December 2012 and Russia replied to the move by a law prohibiting Americans from adopting Russian orphans.

The scholar notes that unlike in Russia, there was little debate about the law in the US, “there has been only applause for the Magnitsky Act”, he writes.

The movement towards cold war, Cohen continues, dates back to the 1990s.

“Three components” were put forward then only to form the basis for Washington’s Russia policy for decades ahead: “expanding NATO to Russia’s borders; “selective cooperation,” which has meant concessions by Moscow without meaningful US reciprocity; and interference, in the name of “democracy promotion,” in Russia’s domestic politics.”

According to the scholar, “the media has been especially culpable” for the worsening US-Russia relations. Newspaper editorials either endorse the White House’s Cold War line, he writes, or claim “it is too “soft” on the Kremlin.” Lack of “dissenting opinions” adds up to that.

“The media’s relentless demonization of Putin, often unfactual or illogical, has nearly displaced serious, multidimensional analysis,” he concludes.

Voice of Russia, The Nation

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