The Phaserl


A Voice of Reason Speaks Regarding ‘The New Cold War’

by Michael Krieger, Liberty Blitzkrieg:

Last week was interesting for me. I spent about half my time getting up to speed with the latest happenings in the crypto-coin world, and got really excited about a lot of what I saw. In fact, this was the first time I became totally consumed by the space in several years, going back to when I first investigated and started becoming involved with Bitcoin.

What really caught my attention is the booming ICO market, and while it’ll invariably produce its fair share of total scams, I find it nonetheless captivating. I’m attracted to its dynamic wild west spirit, as well as its capacity to function as an alternative funding mechanism for startup projects utilizing a wider participatory structure consisting of anyone with a bit of crypto currency and a high-risk tolerance. It’s an entirely new experimental ecosystem funded by crypto currencies (mostly ethereum, but also bitcoin). It’s pretty mesmerizing (for more see: A New Financial System is Being Born).

Spending so much time on this esoteric world kept me away from following U.S. politics as closely as I typically do, which was a great thing. The level of discourse from nearly all sides of the political spectrum has turned so toxic, divisive, hysterical and counterproductive, leaving that environment for several days made me feel great, as if I had taken a vacation from idiot island. As such, today I once again decided to spend some time reading up on the crypto-coin space and getting further up to speed on ICOs and how they work. That said, I realize I still need to pay attention to the crazy happenings in the wider world around me, so I thought I’d share an interview with a rarity in today’s political discourse, a voice of reason.

What follows are excerpts from a Slate interview with Stephen F. Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at NYU and Princeton:

Stephen F. Cohen has long been one of the leading scholars of Russia and the Soviet Union. He wrote a biography of the Bolshevik revolutionary Nikolai Bukharin and is a contributing editor at the Nation, which his wife, Katrina vanden Heuvel, edits and publishes. In recent years, Cohen has emerged as a more ideologically dexterous figure, ripping those he thinks are pursuing a “new Cold War” with Russia and calling for President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin to form “an alliance against international terrorism.” Cohen has gone so far as to describe the investigations into the Trump campaign and Russia “the No. 1 threat to the United States today.”

Cohen has been criticized by many people, myself included, for his defenses of Putin. (He once said the Ukraine crisis had been “imposed on [Putin] and he had no choice but to react.”) He scolded President Barack Obama for sending retired gay athletes to Sochi and recently went on Fox News to speak up for Trump’s war against leakers.

I spoke by phone with Cohen, who is also a professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at NYU and Princeton and the author of Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives: From Stalinism to the New Cold War. During the course of our conversation, which has been edited and condensed for clarity, we discussed why Cohen won’t concede that the Democratic National Committee was hacked, whether it’s fair to call Putin a murderer, and why we may be entering an era much more dangerous than the Cold War.

I heard you recently on Fox News. You said that the “assault” on President Trump “was the No. 1 threat to the United States today.” What did you mean by that?

Threat. OK. Threat. That’s a good word. We’re in a moment when we need an American president and a Kremlin leader to act at the highest level of statesmanship. Whether they meet in summit or not is not of great importance, but we need intense negotiations to tamp down this new Cold War, particularly in Syria, but not only. Trump is being crippled by these charges, for which I can find no facts whatsoever.

Wait, which charges are we talking about?

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