Sunday, 14 February 2016

Davis: “So you’re saying the job is done, in a way.”

Goldfarb: “In a way, it’s done, it’s history now. It’s now going to become history, and Mr Putin will be judged by the downing of Malaysian plane, invasion of Crimea and murder of Litvinenko; that’s the three major things of his time.”

Davis: “Putin’s reputation is in the dirt isn’t it George Galloway?”

Galloway: “Well you’ve certainly done your best to put it there, but we need Putin, who’s by the way the most popular politician on the planet, with public opinion poll ratings in the 80 per cents.”

Goldfarb [interjects]: “Like Stalin was.”

Galloway: “The reality is we need Russia. Now, Russia was very popular in the West when a drunkard, who was handing over Russia’s wealth to the oligarchs was in power. It’s not so popular now that Russia has a strong president that’s trying to restore some of the lost prestige. But we need Russia. We need it to fight a much bigger threat, which is the threat of Islamist extremism in Syria and elsewhere. We need Russia for the Iranian file, we need Russia for all kinds of things. And we mustn’t allow our public interest to be sacrificed to the cold war agenda of Mr Goldfarb.”

Mr Goldfarb’s 'cold war agenda', i.e. his desire to undermine the Russian government and perpetuate and deepen Russia's diplomatic isolation, has widespread support, not least in the British mainstream media. And in fact, relations between Russia and the West have been in a state of cold war since February-March 2014, when the violent, foreign-backed overthrow of Viktor Yanukovich's democratically elected Ukrainian government was followed by Russia’s annexation of the Crimea. That relations since then have reverted to cold war assumptions is confirmed precisely by the fact that so much of the discourse relating to Russia is dominated by dreary old clichés about ‘spying’ and ‘threat’ – even while Moscow’s defence budget is barely 10% of Washington’s, and Russia never entangles itself in overseas military engagements without a legitimate pretext.

Davis: “George Galloway, Alex Goldfarb, thank you both very much.”

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