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Fri Dec 16, 2016, 02:55 PM

Prof Stephen F. Cohen on Russian hacking - WTF??

Last edited Fri Dec 16, 2016, 08:24 PM - Edit history (1)

Anyone been listening to Russia scholar Stephen F. Cohen over the past few days? He's been going out of his way across various media sites to defend Putin against allegations that Russia, on Putin's orders, interfered in the US election to help Trump.

He spins it as being a skeptic on the widespread uncritical acceptance, as he sees it, of alleged reports from anonymous sources that the Russian government was behind the hacking. He claims that with this "new McCarthyism," in which anyone who questions the allegations for lack of evidence is essentially branded a traitor, we are at risk of provoking an all-out hot war with Russia. He says we should be having a debate about what America's stance toward Russia should be right now, but we aren't because everyone is jumping on the bandwagon attacking the Russians.

DEMOCRACY NOW Weds
STEPHEN COHEN: We’re in the most dangerous confrontation with Russia since the Cuban missile crisis. It needs to be discussed. And at the moment, it can’t be discussed because of these charges that everybody is a client of Putin who disagrees with the mainstream opinion. And it’s coming from the Senate. It’s coming from The New York Times. It’s coming from—and I wish we had a second to say what the motives are. But one motive is to keep Trump from going to the White House. Another is to delegitimize him before he gets there. But the main motive—and you can hear it clearly—is Trump has said he wants cooperation with Russia, and the war party here that’s against that is determined to stop it. And the way you do it is level against Putin the kinds of accusations that Mr. Roth uncritically levels, so the rest of us will say we can’t have any cooperations with Putin because he’s a war criminal.

AMY GOODMAN: Twenty seconds, Ken Roth.

KENNETH ROTH: Well, I’m all for talking with Putin, trying to cooperate with him. In fact, my New York Review piece argues that the key to Syria is for Trump to put pressure on Putin, because Assad wouldn’t be able to commit these atrocities without Putin’s active support. So, I’m—

STEPHEN COHEN: That’s not talking with Putin; that’s putting pressure on Putin.

KENNETH ROTH: And talk to him, too. And we never objected to the ongoing debate, the ongoing conversation, but it shouldn’t be in lieu of the kind of pressure, which is all that Putin listens to these days.

STEPHEN COHEN: Oh, for God’s sake. That’s all he listens to. And you base that on what? Your careful study—
https://democracynow.org/shows/2016/12/14

^ This exchange was on Democracy Now, in which Ken Roth of the Human Rights Watch accused Russia, and Putin specifically, along with Syria's Assad of commiting war atrocities in Syria.


CNN Thurs
Stephen Cohen: I think we're in uncharted, perilous territory. Even before this began--the hacking allegations--we were in a Cold War with Russia fraught with hot war from the Baltics to Ukraine to Syria.... Now we're accusing the Russians ... of attacking us. Cyberattacking. And now we have a President of the United States suggesting that he's gonna counterattack. We're talking about war between nuclear powers! And overlaying it all is this story about what the Russians did in our election for which we have yet to be presented a single piece of empirical evidence.....

Here's my point, and what I've never seen in my life: that we have ratched it up to a moment so dangerous, at least as dangerous with Russia since the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962--normally we have a national debate about what to do.... What are we talking about? It could be fiction. We don't know.


CNN last night

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Arrow 27 replies Author Time Post
Reply Prof Stephen F. Cohen on Russian hacking - WTF?? (Original post)
TheDormouse Dec 2016 OP
TheDormouse Dec 2016 #1
DanTex Dec 2016 #5
Tommy_Carcetti Dec 2016 #2
Generator Dec 2016 #3
TheDormouse Dec 2016 #9
Generator Dec 2016 #17
DanTex Dec 2016 #4
Generator Dec 2016 #6
DanTex Dec 2016 #8
FarCenter Dec 2016 #7
muriel_volestrangler Dec 2016 #10
Bucky Dec 2016 #20
TheDormouse Dec 2016 #11
muriel_volestrangler Dec 2016 #12
TheDormouse Dec 2016 #14
muriel_volestrangler Dec 2016 #18
Generator Dec 2016 #22
JHan Dec 2016 #24
muriel_volestrangler Dec 2016 #25
gratuitous Dec 2016 #13
TheDormouse Dec 2016 #15
gratuitous Dec 2016 #21
FarCenter Dec 2016 #23
TheDormouse Dec 2016 #16
Bucky Dec 2016 #19
TheDormouse Dec 2016 #27
RelativelyJones Dec 2016 #26

Response to TheDormouse (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 02:59 PM

1. more

I agree with Cohen that we need to be cautious is accepting these reports of allegations from unnamed sources, a point Glenn Greenwald has made in The Intercept.
https://theintercept.com/2016/12/10/anonymous-leaks-to-the-washpost-about-the-cias-russia-beliefs-are-no-substitute-for-evidence/

But Cohen seems to really be bending over backwards defending Putin.

Watch/or read how Cohen argued with Roth on Democracy Now Weds over whether to call what's been going on in Syria the commission war atrocities vs liberation, and on what Russia's role has been there. (that segment is not linked above; go to the Democracy Now website)

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Response to TheDormouse (Reply #1)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 03:07 PM

5. Glenn Greenwald also bends over backwards to defend anyone who is not a member of the

Democratic Party. The far left has lost its mind, almost as much as the GOP.

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Response to TheDormouse (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 03:03 PM

2. Cohen's long been a Russophile.

He's been heavy on the Putin apology.

Smart guy, but apparently corrupted. Robert Parry as well.

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Response to TheDormouse (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 03:03 PM

3. This guy is a shill a mole a traitor FOR Trump

 

I don't trust a thing he or Greenwald or anyone that shills for Putin says. Ever. Ever.
http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/05/23/only-donald-trump-raises-five-fundamental-and-urgent-foreign-policy-questions-stephen-f-cohen-bemoans-msms-dismissal-of-trumps-queries/

"Donald Trump raises good questions." Thanks for alerting us to more enemies pretending to help us.

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Response to Generator (Reply #3)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 03:23 PM

9. You apparently didn't read the linked post at The Intercept

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Response to TheDormouse (Reply #9)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 04:03 PM

17. Actually I did, they day it came out

 

I disagree with it. Greenwald is not our friend anymore, sorry. I think that website propornot is correct not Greenwald and pro-Putin shills. Nice try. I find his hyperventilating at this instead of the fact that Trump has been selected very troubling. The fact that he thinks you have can't have anonymous sources-I mean WTF? People would be killed. He's a fraud with that claim. Also-it's not McCarthyism-that's the government. I don't think I've ever disagreed more with Greenwald and the far left in my life. Putin is an evil thug that murders anyone that gets in his way. If you are agreeing with him in any way you have a problem. He murders journalists. Being Gay is a crime. He's had hundreds of thousands murdered in Aleppo. Why do I have to argue about the evidence of pure evil? It's not in question.

http://www.propornot.com/p/home.html

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Response to TheDormouse (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 03:05 PM

4. I don't know Stephen Cohen, but there has been a push from the far left to make excuses for Putin.

They worked hard to get Trump elected. Polls show that Putin's favorability with Republicans has shot up since he helped Trump into office. Putin's favorability with the far left has shut up as well.

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Response to DanTex (Reply #4)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 03:08 PM

6. I never knew until after the election

 

That Jill Stein was in Putin's pocket. She's at the same dinner with Michael Flynn and Putin. One of their talking points-code words is "We don't want WW3" so we must bow down to Putin or we will have world war. Look for that propaganda. There are other options than bowing down to Putin OR WW3.

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Response to Generator (Reply #6)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 03:14 PM

8. I don't think she's in his pocket, per se.

The thing is, the Greens and far lefties hate "the establishment", and Democrats in particular, so much that they will happily get on board with anyone who is opposed to it, which includes Putin (Putin is the establishment in Russia, but not in the US).

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Response to TheDormouse (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 03:12 PM

7. Cohen has consistently been against the aggressive US policy towards Russia for the last 20 years

 

Since the collapse of the USSR, the US' policy has been to encourage the integration of Eastern Europe with the West, but to freeze out Russia.

Early on, Putin also wanted integration of Russia with the EU. But that ship has sailed, and we are inevitably headed for a new Cold (and maybe hot) War.

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Response to TheDormouse (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 03:28 PM

10. He regards Putin's annexation of Crimea as a reaction against "US aggression"

He's been making excuses for Putin's land-grabs since 2014. And before that for his use of polonium poisoning, or murdering journalists: https://www.thenation.com/article/demonizing-putin-endangers-americas-security/

I'm not sure if he ever has anything bad to say about Putin. He makes Trump look moderate on the issue.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #10)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 04:46 PM

20. "Aggression" means backing a politician who opposed the politician who was in Putin's pocket.

Yeah, no.

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Response to TheDormouse (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 03:32 PM

11. Katrina vanden Heuvel (The Nation publisher) is Cohen's wife--what's

her position on these issues (Russia's involvement in election hacking; Russia's role in Syria)?

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Response to TheDormouse (Reply #11)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 03:43 PM

12. She publishes, uncritically, whatever her husband writes - see #10

and in general supports it. Here's their list of articles tagged 'Putin':

https://www.thenation.com/keyword/vladimir-putin/

More her husband than anything else, but also Pro-Putin stuff from James Harden ("Now That They’ve Been Proven Wrong, Will Putin’s Demonizers Apologize for Their Slanders?", "Why Are the Media Taking the CIA’s Hacking Claims at Face Value?", and "leave Putin alone!" stuff from herself ("Putin Didn’t Undermine the Election—We Did
Our election system is embarrassing not for anything Putin allegedly did. Leaders of both parties, if they had any concern for the republic, would move expeditiously to reform our election laws."

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #12)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 03:56 PM

14. Publishing material is not the same as agreeing with it though

I'd rather there not be indiscriminate censorship of ideas a publisher/editor doesn't personally hold.

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Response to TheDormouse (Reply #14)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 04:32 PM

18. But you can look at all the Putin-related articles there. All pro-Putin, or saying "unproven"

including one written by herself.

If you look at what they've published about Syria, it boils down to "USA wrong, Russia never at fault":

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=%22the+nation%22+%22syria%22&oq=%22the+nation%22+%22syria%22

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #18)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 05:07 PM

22. The whole far left is pro-Putin?

 

Wow. Just wow. I don't even like that term "far left" I loved the Nation and Katrina Vandenvuel and Greenwald-I was more far left myself but good GOD it's clear something is very wrong here. Just looked at her twitter-HA-nothing about Putin or Russian hacking. Is every body a goddamn mole for Putin on the left now?

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Response to Generator (Reply #22)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 06:07 PM

24. Not Pro Putin but anti American Exceptionalism.

.. which leads them to false equivalencies. It doesn't stop at just exposing the hypocrisy of American Exceptionalism, and they are right to do so. The problem is they go further and claim America is the same as her Enemies or worse and therefore has no moral high ground. - by extension our liberal values are attacked.

The far left fell in this same trap in the 60s and 70s and it was in reaction to American conservatism which was stridently anti-communist. So because conservatives hated Communism, many on the radical left decided to embrace it - not recognizing the irony of it all, some even embarrassing themselves by supporting vicious communist dictators like Pol Pot. The warnings and writings by Russian dissidents and other exiles from Communist regimes fell on deaf ears and were ignored or rationalized away. The cognitive dissonance was strong on the left.

Russian exiles who criticize Putin are similarly ignored and worse- referred to as "shills for the West" - by these same sort of Leftists to this day - History just keeps repeating itself.

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Response to Generator (Reply #22)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 06:10 PM

25. 'the whole far left'? No, The Nation. I haven't said anything about 'the far left'

If you look at the links I gave, one is to The Nation website itself, and another a Google search for "The Nation".

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Response to TheDormouse (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 03:43 PM

13. So . . . what do we know?

We know that President Obama, who has access to far more material and evidence than probably anyone on the planet, and is a pretty intelligent and sober-sided fellow, not one given to flying off the handle, or going on a twitter tantrum at 3 in the morning, is pretty convinced not only that Russia had a hand in the cyber attacks, but that those attacks were authorized at the highest level in Moscow.

On the other hand, we have Stephen Cohen, of unknown provenance, denying that anything untoward has happened, and that there's no evidence that Russia was involved, let alone that any involvement was on orders from Vladimir Putin.

Short answer: What's Cohen's track record (we know Obama's record for public pronouncements), and what is the basis for his position? Cohen, for all his verbiage, doesn't say how he knows that Russia had nothing to do with the hacks.

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Response to gratuitous (Reply #13)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 03:57 PM

15. Cohen is a well-known entity, very distinguished in his field apparently

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Response to TheDormouse (Reply #15)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 04:57 PM

21. Is his field international intelligence and cyber-security?

I'm still more inclined to believe the President than Some Guy.

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Response to gratuitous (Reply #13)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 03:58 PM

16. And he doesn't say he knows for sure--he says nobody has seen the evidence

and it could all be lies

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Response to TheDormouse (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 04:45 PM

19. Let us now beg Putin to be kind to us & not push his victories too far.

Perhaps if we appease him in the Crimea, and Syria, and the rest of the Ukraine, and maybe Estonia, and Latvia of course, but no more than Lithuania of course unless he really really really promises to be nice after that, then all will be nice and square.

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Response to Bucky (Reply #19)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 08:28 PM

27. lol smh

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Response to TheDormouse (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 06:48 PM

26. This guy has been around forever.

A go-to guy on Russian politics for 30+ years, but he turned into a Putin apologist in his old age. All criticism of Russia is "red-scare" tactics to him now. People have called him on his bullshit and he fucking hates it.

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