John Batchelor, Stephen F. Cohen — and Oliver Stone

Oliver Stone’s 4-hour ShowTime documentary interview with Vladimir Putin is probably the most important interview with Putin for Russian/American relations ever filmed. Both Batchelor and Cohen introduce this broadcast interview with Oliver Stone with a variation of this statement. Cohen adds that for the first time Americans can see Putin, the man, and judge for themselves whether he is the great danger described by the Washington establishment. We are also rewarded because the emphasis here is not about ‘what it felt like for Oliver to interview Putin’; we are treated instead to Mr. Stone’s analysis of character and how the interview revealed this Russian leader’s views about the world. The topics of the whole documentary cover two years of various crises and Russian responses to NATO expansion, the Ukrainian Coup repercussions and civil war, the Donald Cook event (when Stone watched Putin react in the War Room), the Syrian Civil War, the vilification of Putin process, and the growing belief in existence of the U.S. Deep State. Mr. Stone goes on to describe how American perceptions of their politics differ from those of the Russian public and why.
Inevitably Russia Gate is also covered including the cyber warfare component. Mr. Stone is as mystified by the hysteria surrounding this so-called cyber warfare claim as Putin is. And Mr. Stone raises some serious questions about the Clinton accusations about being ‘hacked’ and all the intelligence agencies using this nonsense to attack Trump. He even uses the term ‘Manchurian Candidate’ in his discussion. It is very clear that everyone at the table has a firm grasp of these events and appreciate how unprecedented and damaging to America they are. Stephen Cohen also speculates about how well Trump can keep the U.S. out of crisis with Russia with the present impediments he is suffering under. And finally Mr. Stone brings up the cyber war aspect using the U.S. cyber attack on Iran in 2007, ’08 and ’09. He goes on to explain that there is a treaty/agreement pending between Russia and the US regarding cyber warfare, but it is presently held in limbo. Continuing on there is mention of the movie ‘Snowden’, directed by Mr. Stone – one of a long line of political docudramas that are important efforts to focus the American public on the rocky road of American politics.
In the final segment Cohen wades in on some of the statements Putin made that he found interesting, and also commented about Putin’s demeanour in the documentary. Did, for example, Putin offer Russia up to join NATO? And Stephen also found it remarkable that Putin, except for one exceptional event, never showed resentment over the treatment of Washington and its MSM. The exceptional event, the Chechnya War, Batchelor made the point that this discussion resulted in a very important response from Putin. Even then, Mr. Stone commented, that it was unclear who was in charge, the CIA or president Bush. For Cohen the whole problem between Washington and Russia is summed up in that Washington ‘does not consider that Russia has a national interest’.

This post was published at Audioboom

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