Stephen Cohen Warns of Nuclear War Danger and Calls for 'Patriotic Heresy'
August 14, 2014 • 10:55AM

Dr. Stephen Cohen has published a scathing attack on the Obama provocations against Russia in the latest issue of The Nation under the headline "The New Cold War and the Necessity of Patriotic Heresy." Cohen, who is professor emeritus of Russian studies at New York University and at Princeton University, was formerly an advisor to President George H.W. Bush, and remains one of the most respected voices among Russia scholars.

The article, based on the text of a speech he delivered on June 16 at the Hart Senate Office Building at the annual US-Russia Forum, warns that, as the result of the US and NATO support for the illegal overthrow of the Ukraine government in February, the world is facing the gravest crisis since the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.

"The seemingly unthinkable is becoming imaginable: an actual war between NATO, led by the United States, and post-Soviet Russia."

Cohen warns that the situation today is more dangerous than the Cold War, because the "epicenter" is not Berlin, but the Russian border in Ukraine.

"An even graver risk is that the new cold war may tempt the use of nuclear weapons in a way the US-Soviet one did not."

Cohen noted that some Russian strategists have mooted the use of tactical nuclear weapons to offset NATO's conventional superiority, adding that "The ongoing US-NATO encirclement of Russia with bases, as well as land and sea-based missile defense, only increases this possibility."

Cohen also assailed "the surreal demonization of Russia's leader, Vladimir Putin—a kind of personal vilification without any real precedent in the past, at least after Stalin's death." He called it "an abdication of real analysis and rational policy-making."

After exposing the "new McCarthyism" that has been effective in isolating and slandering those opposed to the march to the new cold war, Cohen destroyed the five fallacies about the current Ukraine crisis that concealed the European Union and US role in fostering the crisis, in protecting neo-fascist forces that carried out the coup, and in backing the Ukraine government's ongoing targeting of its own citizens in eastern Ukraine (which he compared to the recent Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip). He called for a mobilization of "patriotic heretics" to change the history away from a potential for war, noting that

"there is no such leadership here in Washington. President Obama has vanished as a statesman in the Ukraine crisis. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks publicly more like a secretary of war than as our top diplomat. The Senate is preparing even more warfare legislation. The establishment media relies uncritically on Kiev's propaganda and cheerleads for its policies. Unlike the devastation wrought in Gaza, American television rarely, if ever, shows Kiev's destruction of Luhansk, Donetsk or other Ukrainian cities, thereby arousing no public qualms or questions."