Thursday, January 11, 2018

Stephen F. Cohen — The US ‘Betrayed’ Russia, but It Is Not ‘News That’s Fit to Print’

New evidence that Washington broke its promise not to expand NATO “one inch eastward”—a fateful decision with ongoing ramifications—has not been reported by The New York Times or other agenda-setting media outlets.
The American excuse is that the promise was not given in writing. So much for one's word and the nation's honor.

Do that repeatedly, as the US has even to the point of breaking treaties unilaterally, and the nation gets the reputation of not being able to keep its agreements.

Watch the soft power melt away.

Is the New York Times the new Pravda, and the Washington Post the new Izvestia?
Now, however, the invaluable National Security Archive at George Washington University has established the historical truth by publishing, on December 12 of last year, not only a detailed account of what Gorbachev was promised in 1990–91 but the relevant documents themselves. The truth, and the promises broken, are much more expansive than previously known: All of the Western powers involved—the US, the UK, France, Germany itself—made the same promise to Gorbachev on multiple occasions and in various emphatic ways. If we ask when the West, particularly Washington, lost Moscow as a potential strategic partner after the end of the Soviet Union, this is where an explanation begins.
And yet, nearly a month after the publication of the National Security Archive documents, neither the Times nor The Washington Post, which profess to be the nation’s most important, reliable, and indispensable political newspapers, has published one word about this revelation. (Certainly the two papers are pervasively important to other media, not only due to their daily national syndicates but because today’s broadcast media, especially CNN, MSNBC, NPR, and PBS, take most of their own Russia-related “reporting” cues from the Times and the Post.)
How to explain the failure of the Times and Post to report or otherwise comment on the National Security Archive’s publication?...
Cohen gives some terrible advice, however.
If Americans cannot rely on the Times and Post, at least in regard to US-Russian relations, where can they seek the information and analysis they need?...
Cohen recommends that they turn to two websites that almost daily aggregate reporting, analysis, and opinion not to be found in the Times, Post, or most other mainstream publications. One is Johnson’s Russia List. The other is the website of the American Committee for East-West Accord, of which Cohen is a board member.
I monitor both. The later is a good source and I often post links. However,  about 90% of what is linked to at Johnson’s Russia List is Russophobic and anti-Putin propaganda. Punditry aside, much "factual evidence" is also either selective reporting and some is fake news. Reader beware. Cohen's recommending Johnson's List without adding a warning is a blunder, in my view. Some relying on his advice will not be able to distinguish the "professional" Russophobes and Putin-bashers from the useful sources. I say "professional" here in the sense they get paid for what they do rather than implying that they are competent journalists.

The Nation
The US ‘Betrayed’ Russia, but It Is Not ‘News That’s Fit to Print’
Stephen F. Cohen | Professor Emeritus of Russian Studies, History, and Politics at New York University and Princeton University

Regarding the corporate media and propaganda and fake news in general, don't accept at face value anything you read or hear in the corporate media.

Propaganda and manufactured narrative based on selective reporting and even made-up "facts" are rampant. It is necessary to crosscheck everything. If that is not possible, either discount it or reject it.

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