Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Richard Sakwa — Clinton and Russia: Who Is Ms Hillary?

In the normal run of affairs, scholars working on Russia and Europe, or even on international affairs in general, would not comment of domestic US politics. But it is clear that the whole ‘Russiagate’ affair, alleging collusive behaviour between the eventual winner of the presidential election, Donald J. Trump, accompanied by charges of a systematic Russian attempt to help him through ‘hacking’ and media propaganda, is far from normal.
As far as many international observers are concerned, Trump basically had one good idea, that it made sense to ‘get along’ with Russia, but the Russiagate scandal was designed to prevent him achieving this goal, and in general to constrain his international behaviour and possibly to lead to his impeachment and expulsion from office.
If that was the goal of those advancing the thesis of Russian ‘hacking’ of the election, then it has succeeded admirably. US foreign policy has to a degree been ‘normalised’, with the commitment to NATO restored, foreign activism and militarism lauded by liberals and neo-conservatives alike, and military figures installed in many of the key offices of state.
There are many reasons to criticise Trump, but the use of Russia as the cudgel with which to beat him is both dangerous and counter-productive. It is the outcome of the effective convergence of Clintonite liberal internationalists and neo-con global interventionists...
Valdai 2017
Clinton and Russia: Who Is Ms Hillary?
Richard Sakwa | Professor of Russian and European politics at the University of Kent

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