This TYT interview with Stephen Cohen, NYU Professor Emeritus of Russian Studies, is probably the most cleared eyed and sanest 55 minutes I’ve either watched or read regarding the ” Russia stole our election! ” madness. It’s worth watching in its entirety, though I will warn you that you’ll have to endure TYT interviewer Michael Tracey’s attempts to editorialize when he should have just asked questions and let Cohen talk. At roughly the 2:40 mark Cohen says, essentially, that the current Russophobia is more dangerous than anything he saw during the Cold War. We ignore people like Cohen at our peril.

2 Responses to A Second Opinion

  1. pplr says:

    Ok I’ve been watching this video but also reading up on Cohen.

    In this video Cohen tried to have things both ways. He calls claims Russia hacked the DNC and got involved in the 2016 election conspiracy theories and discounts them only to put out some of his own-that elements within the government were undermining any attempts by both Obama and Trump to cooperate with Russia and, even more conspiracy theorist, that Trump was the subject of an intelligence operation.

    (Really?.. then again the latter one must be true since Trump has made similar claims and Trump would never put out lies now would he..??!)

    There are the tags Kooky Liberals and Kooky Conservatives for some topics. Since he is important enough to have appeared twice already in one week may I suggest Kooky Cohen for a new one.

    One of the things I came across when looking up Cohen is both an example of him pushing a different conspiracy and implying that Ukrainians shot down the Malaysian Airlines flight 17.

    He said:
    ‘They won’t release the air controller’s conversations in Kiev with the doomed aircraft. Why not? Did the pilot say—let me speculate—”Oh, my god, we’re being fired on by a jet fighter next to us! What’s going on?” Because we know there were two Ukrainian jet fighters. We don’t know, but somebody knows. You might ask—you might get somebody on who’s been investigating this to find out what they actually know.’
    https://www.democracynow.org/2014/9/5/did_major_countries_agree_not_to

    Now keep in mind there was an online claim was put out by Russian supported separatists in Ukraine that they shot down a Ukrainian fighter when the airliner went down-meaning they may have shot at a plane without figuring out what it was first-and done so with missile systems supplied by Putin.

    The point Russia supplied the separatists with weapons including surface to air missile systems is very much supported by this article (which also states that the Dutch looking into this felt the missile was launched from separatist controlled territory).:
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-28357880

    I may go a little conspiracy theorist here but let me point out the possibly that the system was operated by Russian (not Ukrainian separatists) military crews under separatist commanders.

    Why do I say that is a possibility? (not a likelihood but still in the real of the possible) Every once and a while I’ll tune in to C-Span (it shows both congress but also discussions of history, politics, international events, and various books) and one of those shows featured a Russian intellectual who argued that the civil war in the Ukraine wasn’t being fought with Russian troops because Russian only had limited forces in the Ukraine. And these were responsibly deployed military people. Now a great question may be what did he mean by “responsbibly”? Did he mean not playing a role in the war there (what they are doing there then?) or that they are manning various weapons that Putin has supplied the separatists with like missile systems so that an inexperienced separatist doesn’t accidentally hit shut the system down or shot a missile into someone’s house after hitting the wrong button.

    So someone could argue it would be irresponsible to give separatists missile systems without crews that knew how to operate them and may shoot off a missile by accident.

    Back to what Cohen said implied by bringing up the idea Ukrainian fighter jets were in the area. It matches with what Russia was pushing in the “intense propaganda war between Ukraine and Moscow” according to this article ().
    http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/663787/Ukrainian-fighter-jet-shot-Russian-crash-MH17-BBC-documentary

    That his claims match Russia’s in a “propaganda war” may bolster Russia to some but may also lead to questions as to if Cohen is untrustworthy and pushing stories favoring Putin regardless of the facts.
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/putins-new-american-fan-club

    Besides being interviewed here Cohen is a frequent guest on RT. Has he been gotten a check from them like general Flynn?
    https://www.rferl.org/a/stephen-cohen-us-scholar-controversial-putin-apologist/26997584.html

    Could be a low point for The Young Turks-a group I like and have sometimes watched on youtube before. Too bad if it is, but it really seems to be when no question is even asked as to if Cohen has gone too far (such as breaking with reality over the Malaysian Airlines flight) in favoring Putin and the interviewer simply plays along with his claim that criticism of Cohen was simply “killing the messenger”.

    I think it is fair to ask if professor Cohen has dropped from prominent to political tool. There are the tags “Kooky Liberals” and “Kooky Conservatives”, after watching this I’d add “Kooky Cohen”.

    Only last thing about the video. Minute 38 was especially bad for Mr. Cohen gives a misleading half-truth about the history of the Democratic party. Referring to the “segregationist” Democratic party but never mentioning that over the 20th Century the Democratic party took up combating racism while the GOP walked away from it. This trend climaxed with racist Democrats forming the Dixiecrat Party which later was largely absorbed by the GOP. As a matter of fact the very President Cohen was critical of in minute 38 (President Johnson) actually pushed through things like the Civil Rights Act. And did it despite knowing his party (the Democratic Party) was then going to loose the South that Mr. Cohen is talking about.

    That isn’t just Mr. Cohen being misleading about Putin. That is Mr. Cohen being misleading about US history.

    Perhaps he should ask WallBuilders for money. WallBuilders a rightwing group that has long been pushing a distorted version of US History that tries to slap down the Democratic Party and give no mention on how Democrats pushed for Civil Rights.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Barton_(author)

  2. pplr says:

    Its after 2 in the morning and my apologies for any typos and repeating myself in my latest comment.

    That said feel free to look at the articles I linked to and my opinion of Mr. Cohen dropped the more I listened and read about him.

    He may have some insightful things to say but people shouldn’t have to dig through bs and misleading half-truths in order to find them. If you read through my long post about him and this video you may note I pointed to a couple of things he said in specific so this isn’t just generalized bashing of the guy.

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