Stephen Cohen Has Died. Remember His Urgent Warnings Against The New Cold War

Stephen Cohen Has Died. Remember His Urgent Warnings Against The New Cold War by Caitlin Johnstone for Medium

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Stephen F Cohen, the renowned American scholar on Russia and leading authority on US-Russian relations, has died of lung cancer at the age of 81.

As one of the precious few western voices of sanity on the subject of Russiawhile everyone else has been frantically flushing their brains down the toilet, this is a real loss. I myself have cited Cohen’s expert analysis many times in my own work, and his perspective has played a formative role in my understanding of what’s really going on with the monolithic cross-partisan manufacturing of consent for increased western aggressions against Moscow.

In a world that is increasingly confusing and awash with propaganda, Cohen’s death is a blow to humanity’s desperate quest for clarity and understanding.

I don’t know how long Cohen had cancer. I don’t know how long he was aware that he might not have much time left on this earth. What I do know is he spent much of his energy in his final years urgently trying to warn the world about the rapidly escalating danger of nuclear war, which in our strange new reality he saw as in many ways completely unprecedented.

The last of the many books Cohen authored was 2019’s War with Russia?, detailing his ideas on how the complex multi-front nature of the post-2016 cold war escalations against Moscow combines with Russiagate and other factors to make it in some ways more dangerous even than the most dangerous point of the previous cold war.

“We’re in a new cold war with Russia that is much more dangerous than the preceding cold war for various reasons,” Cohen told The Young Turks in 2017. “One is that there are at least three cold war fronts that are fraught with hot war: that would be Ukraine, that would be the Baltic Black Sea region where NATO is undertaking an unprecedented military buildup on Russia’s border, and of course in Syria, where American and Russian aircraft are flying in the same airspace. And I would add to those three cold war fronts what is now called Russiagate, because the accusation that Trump needs to be impeached because he’s somehow a Russian agent so distorts and cripples the possibility of the White House making Russia policy that I think it’s a cold war front.”

Cohen repeatedly points to the most likely cause of a future nuclear war: not one that is planned but one which erupts in tense, complex situations where anything could happen in the chaos and confusion as a result of misfire, miscommunication or technical malfunction, as nearly happened many times during the last cold war.

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