14:47 GMT02 March 2021
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    Democrats have “joined hands” with neoconservative policies in sensationalizing Russia as an imminent security threat: a trope neocons worked decades to develop and can finally watch mature into a full-blown international scandal, journalist and author Max Blumenthal told Radio Sputnik.

    "Obama ridiculed Mitt Romney for making Russia into an enemy," Jim Cavanaugh, editor of The Polemicist, told Radio Sputnik's Loud & Clear Wednesday. During the 2012 presidential debates, Obama blasted his Republican opponent for calling Moscow the top geopolitical threat facing America. "The 1980s are calling now for their foreign policy back, because the Cold War has been over for 20 years," Obama remarked at the time.

    Now, Democrats "have absorbed the neocons," Cavanaugh said.

    "If you look back to the 1990s, there was an atmosphere of triumphalism in the US among the national security establishment. The neoconservatives, at the same time, seemed disturbed by the fact that a national enemy hadn't emerged," Blumenthal told Loud & Clear hosts Brian Becker and John Kiriakou.

    ​"If you look back at the 90s blockbusters, you have films that are about fighting aliens because we hadn't developed [a new enemy] — I think in ‘Independence Day' — the US actually joins with the Iraqi Air Force to fight aliens."

    But then in the 2000s, The Project for a New American Century broke onto the scene, embodying "the effort to find a new enemy. They focused on the Middle East. But PNAC was a collection of neoconservatives that eventually developed into the Foreign Policy Institute, funded by Paul Singer, the major neocon billionaire and vulture capitalist," Blumenthal said.

    One of the fellows at the Foreign Policy Institute, Jamie Kirchik, "helped engineer Liz Wahl's high-profile resignation on TV over the annexation of Crimea," the journalist said. "This was the opening shot of the new Cold War."

    Later, Kirchik left the Foreign Policy Institute and promptly joined the Brookings Institution. Shortly after joining Brookings, Kirchik appeared at an obscure, early morning panel "railing against RT, demanding that RT be registered as a foreign agent," Blumenthal said.

    "He claimed that RT regularly hosts Holocaust deniers and conspiracy theorists, which is false," he added. At the same panel, Kirchik presented a paper outlining the case for why Sputnik and RT should be registered as foreign agents.

    Finally, the neocon plan to demonize Russia has actualized, and Kirchik's proposal has been put into practice by the US government.

    On Wednesday, Sputnik News' editorial practices were defamed in a report from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, accompanied by a letter from Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD). Meanwhile, the Justice Department demanded Sputnik News' US partner, RIA Global LLC, register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

    "Based upon information known to this office, including press reports and other publicly available information as well as non-public information we gathered during our investigation, we have determined that RIA Global LLC has an obligation to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938. RIA Global's obligation to register arises from its political activities in the United States," a letter sent by the Justice Department to RIA Global LLC states.

    The DOJ requested that registration take place within 30 days of January 5.

    On November 13, RT America registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). Sputnik Radio's broadcasting partner, Reston Translator, was also compelled to register under FARA the same month.

    By December, Multicultural Radio Broadcasting Inc. (MRBI), which broadcasts Sputnik Radio programs over AM frequencies, was also asked to provide information about the possibility it may have to register under FARA.

    Foreign state-owned media outlets including the United Kingdom's BBC, China's CCTV and Germany's Deutsche Welle, among many others, have not received similar notifications from the Justice Department requesting FARA registration.

    By November 25, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law allowing Russia's Ministry of Justice to recognize media outlets as "foreign agents." In December, the Ministry of Justice placed nine media outlets on its list of "foreign agents," including the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, organizations funded by the US government.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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    Max Blumenthal
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