Be Not Afraid. A book I am reading, The Plot to Scapegoat Russia: How the CIA and the Deep State Have Conspired to Vilify Putin, by Dan Kovalik, maintains that the US is blowing up Russia into a giant menace when it has a declining economy and is certainly no superpower. It only spends 8% of its budget on its military. Meanwhile, it’s the US that’s the most unpopular nation in the world. A poll was taken of 66,000 people in 65 countries. Most people think the US is by far the “greatest threat to world peace.” Other menaces such as Pakistan and China didn’t even come close. Russia didn’t make the top 5. Historian Eric Hobsbawm said: “for the first time in history the danger of war arises from the global ambitions and apparently irrational government in Washington”(quoted in Kovalik). Also, Western culture in the form of movies and music, Starbucks, etc. can penetrate Russia in a way that Russia cannot and never could penetrate Western culture. That, I would add, is a type of dominance. Russia Today, a Russian news outlet, is broadcasting in the US, but the author doesn’t think it has much influence. But it has Larry King, and he’s popular. The author also says we don’t need a government propaganda machine in this country because the media do it quite well, spouting only what the government wants us to know. And they stir up fear and distrust of countries like China and Russia. The author asks: Where or what is the justification of the new Cold War? There is no justification. So they focus on the “personality of Vladimir Putin, imbuing him with a level of power, reach and craziness he just doesn’t have.” The US is stoking Cold War fears to keep the war machine fighting abroad. Putin once said: “Anyone who doesn’t regret the passing of the Soviet Union has no heart. Anyone who wants it restored has no brains.” Does that sound like a man who is intent on reestablishing a dictatorship? The author agrees with Putin that the collapse of the USSR “was the major geopolitical disaster of the (last) century.” 56% of Russians view the collapse negatively and 58% dream of its restoration. Before the collapse 76.4% of Russians expressed their desire for the preservation of the USSR. The numbers were as high or higher in the Bloc countries. People pine for the “good old days of communism.” Reuters reported: “Capitalism’s failure to lift living standards, impose the rule of law and tame flourishing corruption and nepotism have given way to fond memories of the times when the jobless rate was zero, food was cheap and social safety was high”(Kovalik). Writer Stephen Gowans states that the demise of socialism has been a “catastrophe” and has “wreaked irreparable harm.” The people of the Bloc nations and East Germany talk about joblessness and lack of security. Oddly, the West hasn’t fared much better. Westerners are competing for jobs with former Bloc nations. Paul Craig, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under President Reagan said: “The collapse of the Soviet Union was the worst thing that ever happened to the United States.” He said a result of the collapse was pride and hegemony on the part of the US leading to 14 years of war and 6 trillion dollars of debt. I remember hearing it said that the US was the only Superpower left, and I was sick of the pride expressed by that assertion. Especially since China had ICBMs and Russia still had her ICBMs. No, Russia wasn’t crippled by any stretch of the imagination. Besides, the US was in economic decline due to various factors. China and India opened their vast labor pool to Western capital and manufacturing jobs left the US. Bill Clinton, elected in 1992, abolished conventional welfare and made recipients seek jobs. His legislation, Temporary Aid to Needy Families, put a 5 year lifetime limit on cash aid to the poor. It allowed states to set even shorter limits. Clinton’s policy moved 10 million people off the welfare rolls, and it was particularly difficult for these people during the 2008 Great Recession. Also, Clinton’s insane trade deal NAFTA lost 1 million manufacturing jobs to Mexico. Mexican farmers were put out of work by the US dumping cheap food into their country, so farmers emigrated to the US, causing a world of hurt. Detroit became a ghost town while the Mexican city Ciudad Juarez became a war zone, with the rape of women and girls. “Femicide” was institutionalized. Since Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election had no credibility on the results of NAFTA, Trump was able to appeal to the people it displaced. Rather than face up to this reaction on the part of voters, the Democrats settled for blaming Putin for their loss. The US treated Russia badly after the Soviet collapse. It gave Russia bad economic advice, it made the turn to capitalism worse than it might have been, encircled Russia with military bases and told the Russians to smile. It could have been a friend; it only pretended to be. And the US continues to criticize every move Russia makes. The US thinks it owns the world and doesn’t like China and Russia “for striving for security and say-so in the little slice of the world they live in” (Kovalik). ‘American Exceptionalism’ is the belief that America can do no wrong. She is so good, so just, so freedom-loving that anything she does is for the good or the best. That train has left the station, however. According to US propaganda, Russia, not to mention rogue states like North Korea, are the most dangerous entities on the planet. We have bigger problems like the Reptilians, but the US government won’t acknowledge them. Trump in an interview said Putin is a killer, but the US has killers, too. Shock and dismay! Us? The US?! He was right, of course. The author gives us the record of Barack Obama, who is a killer many times over. In fact, he’s ‘Bomber-In-Chief.’ (BombinObama) He bombed villagers and other innocents in places W. refused to go. He killed 20 women and children on his first weekend in office. In 2016 Obama’s Special Ops could be found in 138 countries, a jump of 130% since W’s days. In 2016 alone Obama dropped 26, 171 bombs, 72 each day, 3 bombs each hour, 24 hours a day. They rained down on Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, and Pakistan. “Terror Tuesdays” was special. Then Obama bombed men of military age regardless of whether they were enemy combatants. “Double-tapping” was also used-bombing twice quickly to kill first responders. This sort of attack violated the Geneva Conventions, so Obama is a war criminal and should be brought to trial. My question is: Who was behind him pulling the strings?