The Washington Post article by David Rothkopf (“America’s declining global influence,” Commentary, July 2) might have been better titled “Influence of America’s declining journalistic and academic integrity.”
Rothkopf first recycles the discredited allegation that “Russia hacked the election,” which at most would mean accessing Hillary Clinton’s unsecured State Department online browsing library plus leaked information, and sharing with the American public information that it had the right to know. Electronic vote manipulation (hacking) was not even alleged, but in fact was done not by Russia but the Democratic National Committee, which stole possibly a dozen Democratic primary elections from Bernie Sanders, as indicated by several statistical analyses.
Rothkopf continues his propaganda barrage, an all-too-familiar prelude to U.S. aggression, with repeated nonsense that Vladimir Putin invaded Georgia and Crimea. These were urgent countermoves against U.S./NATO incursions right up to Russia’s borders (imagine Russia moving into British Columbia).
In Crimea, the Russian Black Sea Fleet’s Sebastopol naval base was allowed 25,000 troops under treaty with Ukraine, which were there already. Putin obviously wouldn’t welcome NATO as Russia’s next-door neighbor, but no invasion was needed. Crimeans were unreceptive to neoliberal austerity, resource privatization and International Monetary Fund debt imposed upon Ukraine by the U.S.-engineered coup in Kiev, and quickly voted by a 97 percent majority to join the Russian Federation.
In 2008, U.S.-allied Georgian President Saakashvili invaded South Ossetia, a buffer territory straddling the Caucasus mountains, jointly administered by Russia, Georgia and Ossetians. Putin quickly swatted this down and restored Russia’s self-protective buffer.
Jack Dresser, Co-director
Al-Nakba Awareness Project