The New Cold War hysteria mongering has reached a vigorous simmer here at The Economist. Putin as The New Stalin is the star of this and many other episodes of this long running, or better yet call it interminable melodrama : complete with so many denouements that the reader reaches a point of political ennui.
The rhetorical pose of the innocence of the E.U. and America, in fomenting and carrying out subversion of Russia’s sphere of influence, a thing America never tolerates, while acting as the defender of freedom through NATO and it’s various NGO’s and well funded front groups, now adds a black comic dimension to this turgid propaganda. The dateline of Moscow is not a complete exercise in journalistic deception, as those Oxbridgers both in the Russian Capital and at the home office honed this essay to fit the ever shifting narrative to suit the current manufactured crisis, and or just the self-serving speculation based on the changeable economic/political climate of that ‘mystery wrapped in an enigma’ that is Putin’s Russia! (To the editors: did I get the Churchill reference right?)
Here are two paragraphs from the essay that evoke the newest economic argument in this ever evolving project:
The economic situation is not as bad as many predicted four months ago. Having lost half its value, the rouble has stabilised and even started to strengthen, thanks in part to a recent rise in oil prices. Inflation is running at 17% but is rising more slowly than many feared. Instead of a 5% contraction, the economy may shrink by only 3% this year. “The situation is not as catastrophic as many people thought,” is how a senior Russia banker sums up the mood.
Yet the fragile economic balance is not being used by Vladimir Putin as an argument for returning to peace and prosperity, but rather as evidence that he is standing strong against Russia’s adversaries. The state media have trumpeted the strengthening of the rouble against the dollar and the euro as a victory in the face of American and European enemies determined to ruin Russia.
To those of us who were born and lived in the last Cold War, and have since studied it’s history, this so closely resembles the propaganda we were exposed to 24 hours a day, as are faces were glued to that electronic wonder of another age, television, or read any American newspaper and/or the dread Luce publication Time Magazine. One might speculate, in homage to Mr. Luce, that the moribund idea and practices of the American Century are being hastily exhumed? Were they ever dead?
For an alternative to The Economist’s nearly invisible line between reporting and editorial opinion see this from Global Research, which is a compilation of sources both congenial and uncongenial to The Economist readers, but none the less worthy of attention, not to say of consideration.