In this programme, Professor Edward Lozansky, who is the President and Founder of the American University in Moscow and the World Russia Forum, and Dr James Wirtz a recognised expert in Cold War history and geopolitical conflict who serves as dean of international graduate studies at the Naval Postgraduate School at Monteray, California, answer these questions.
Professor Lozansky starts by describing what the DNC actually did: “It was not just one particular date. When the DNC saw that Mr. Sanders was gaining momentum, and creating a lot of problems for Mrs Clinton, well they decided they should step in and avoid a kind of disaster.” Dr Wirtz expressed that “there are no actions detailed, it is really people’s rumination about ongoing events and the impact of certain developments, but I don’t think that this would have had an impact on who would be the democratic nominee.” Professor Lozansky responded to this: “In terms of people who went to the polls, Sanders and Clinton were more or less at the same level. But what was important were the superdelegates, as most of them voted for Clinton, this made the difference. …It is ironic that it was democracy that was violated and this is what was violated by the democrats themselves.”
We are all being told that Russia is behind the release of emails, something that Dr Wirtz considers possible because it fits in with the Russian approach to cyber warfare on the world stage, he said. To the direct question was it Russia? Dr Wirtz could not answer because he does not have access to the relevant technical information. Thus the presumption by western media that it is Russia could be seen as rather ridiculous unless western journalists have special access to technical information. Professor Lozansky made the point that so far “I don’t hear about any evidence. Even the CIA avoid answering a direct question. Accusations should come from experts, not originate from the press.”
Professor Lozansky aired the view that when the scandal started, there was a damage control meeting at DNC, and the idea of using the Russians as a scapegoat seemed a good idea. Blaming it on the Russians is certainly a brilliant idea. It links WikiLeaks with the Russians, introduces the possibility that Trump is linked to Putin on a foreign policy level, boosts Clinton’s campaign on the back of Russophobia, and takes the public’s attention away from the real issues. It hits down a number of birds with one stone.
This sort of thing, blaming Russia immediately for all sorts of issues does remind one of the Cold War. Dr Wirtz rejects that claim: “We are in a different world, this is not like the Cold War. I think this is a new form of political influence which is available to governments to attempt to wield power.” Professor Lozansky stated that the present situation is much worse than the Cold War. “If we recall during the Cold War, NATO had only 12 members this was enough to contain the mighty Soviet Union, now the Soviet Union collapsed and instead of inviting Russia to join the Western alliance and civilisation, NATO has grown to 28 members and seeks to invite also Georgia and Ukraine, and they are moving troops closer to the Russian border. It means at some point that there can be an incident that means that the situation can get out of control and it can go from a Cold War to a Hot War. The way I see the situation is a lot more dangerous than during the Soviet days.”