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Program Information
 Takes on the World 
 
 Interview
 Paris-based journalist Diana Johnstone
 Jeff Blankfort  
 For non-profit use only.
Diana Johnstone blasts the arrogance of the US Congress in approving veto proof sanctions against Russia as a way of getting at Trump and demonstrating their contempt for Washington's European allies, who will also be victimized by the sanctions, especially the Nordstream 2 gas project which would send cheap Russian gas to Germany and Western Europe, suggesting that Congress is representing the interests of US producers of more expensive, poor quality fracked gas from US.
She notes that expansion of European Union to include a number of reactionary Eastern European states, largely to annoy Russia, has crippled it from acting in response to US sanctions because it can only make decisions when every country is in agreement, so they end up following the US lead/
Trying to establish good relations with Russia was the one thing Trump was doing right and that had to be stopped since Russia remains in the eyes of the military-industrial complex the essential enemy, regardless of the fact that it is now Christian, not communist in order to justify massive military spending.
Johnstone sees much of the anti-Russian hysteria by liberals as reflecting their frustration in not getting Hillary Clinton elected president and will do anything to get him out of office. She points out their failure to care about the horrible record of Clinton in Libya, where she helped to destroy that country, which had enjoyed the highest standard of living in Africa and her role in the coup in Honduras and her efforts to oust Assad in Syria.
In discussion of role of the Russian annexation of Crimea which Obama used as justification for ordering a trillion dollar update of US nuclear weapons system and Congress as excuse for sanctions, Johnstone points out that the Crimeans’ decision to be part of Russia, although essential to Russia’s national security, was supported overwhelmingly by a democratic vote, which the West ignores as it has the US role in the coup that overthrew Yanukovych. She also expresses her admiration for Putin who has been the recipient of a train of abuse from the US and the West and has maintain his cool.

She points out that that the East-West conflict is in Ukraine not about democracy, as the West likes to portray it. The “pro-West” part is not more “democratic” but more ultra-nationalist, with anti-Russian sentiment that has been encouraged for centuries by rival powers: Poland, Germany and now the United States. The Russian-speaking East is defending itself against such violent Russophobia.

Johnston also points out that her late father, Paul Johnstone, had been part of the US national security structure that came up with the concept of Mutually Assured Destruction or MAD (See Program Notes) which kept the US, the USSR and China from waging nuclear war in the last century and expressed concern that there are those in Washington who now believe a nuclear war can be winnable, and suggests that contingency plans are being or have been made for a first strike on Russia although that does not mean it will be carried out. She is worried, however, that, unlike the last century when there were individuals in the government who would make sure a nuclear war would not start accidentally, there none in the government today.

Interviewed by Jeff Blankfort
From MAD to Madness: Inside Pentagon Nuclear War Planning Paperback – April 1, 2017
by Dr. Paul H. Johnstone (
This deathbed memoir by Dr. Paul H. Johnstone, former senior analyst in the Strategic Weapons Evaluation Group (WSEG) in the Pentagon and a co-author of The Pentagon Papers, provides an authoritative analysis of the implications of nuclear war that remain insurmountable today. Indeed, such research has been kept largely secret, with the intention “not to alarm the public” about what was being cooked up.

This is the story of how U.S. strategic planners in the 1950s and 1960s worked their way to the conclusion that nuclear war was unthinkable. It drives home these key understandings:

• That whichever way you look at it -- and this book shows the many ways analysts tried to skirt the problem -- nuclear war means mutual destruction

• That Pentagon planners could accept the possibility of totally destroying another nation, while taking massive destructive losses ourselves, and still conclude that “we would prevail”.

• That the supposedly “scientific answers” provided to a wide range of unanswerable questions are of highly dubious standing.

• That official spheres neglect anything near a comparable effort to understand the “enemy” point of view, rather than to annihilate him, or to use such understanding to make peace.

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00:33:01 English 2017-08-09
 KZYX Studios, Philo, CA
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