Posthumous Tribute to Professor Stephen F Cohen

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Posthumous Tribute to Professor Stephen F Cohen
Published 25-09-2020, 12:50

By Katrina vanden Heuvel

Мой Cтив (My Steve): A personal recollection of Stephen F. Cohen, who died on September 18 at the age of 81.

I first "met" Steve through his 1977 essay "Bolshevism and Stalinism." His cogent, persuasive, revisionist argument that there are always alternatives in history and politics deeply influenced me. And his seminal biography, Bukharin and the Bolshevik Revolution, challenging prevailing interpretations of Soviet history, was to me, and many, a model of how biography should be written: engaged and sympathetically critical.

At the time, I was too accepting of conventional wisdom. Steve's work-and soon, Steve himself-challenged me to be critical-minded, to seek alternatives to the status quo, to stay true to my beliefs (even if they weren't popular), and to ask unpopular questions of even the most powerful. These are values I carry with me to this day as editorial director of The Nation, which Steve introduced me to (and its editor, Victor Navasky) and for which he wrote a column ("Sovieticus") from 1982 to 1987, and many articles and essays beginning in 1979. His last book, War with Russia? was a collection of dispatches (almost all posted at distilled from Steve's weekly radio broadcasts-beginning in 2014-on The John Batchelor Show.

The experiences we shared in Moscow beginning in 1980 are in many ways my life's most meaningful. Steve introduced me to realms of politics, history, and life I might never have experienced: to Bukharin's widow, the extraordinary Anna Mikhailovna Larina, matriarch of his second family, and to his eclectic and fascinating circle of friends-survivors of the Gulag, (whom he later wrote about in The Victims Return) dissidents, and freethinkers-both outside and inside officialdom.

From 1985 to 1991, when we lived frequently in Moscow, we shared the intellectual and political excitement, the hopes and the great achievements of those perestroika years. We later developed a close friendship with Mikhail Gorbachev, a man we both deeply admired as an individual and as a political leader who used his power so courageously to change his country and the world. Gorbachev also changed our lives in several ways.

Our marriage coincided with perestroika. In fact, Steve spent the very first day after our wedding, our so-called honeymoon, at the United Nations with Gorbachev and the news anchor Dan Rather (Steve was consulting for CBS News at the time). Then, on our first anniversary, in 1989, we were with President Bush (the first) and Gorbachev on Malta when they declared the end of the Cold War. And we think of our daughter, Nika, now 29 years old, as a perestroika baby because she was conceived in Russia during the Gorbachev years, made her first visit to Moscow in July 1991 and since then has been back some 40 times. In a moving moment, a year after Raisa Maksimovna died, Gorbachev remarked to Steve that our marriage and partnership reminded him of his with Raisa because we too seemed inseparable.

Steve has often regretted that many of the Russian friends he made after 1985 did not know about his earlier Moscow life. He first visited the Soviet Union in 1959. But it was those pre-perestroika years, 1975 to 1982, that gave Steve what he once told me was his "real education.... Not only in Russian society but in Russian politics, because I began to understand the connection between trends in society, trends in the dissident movement, and trends in the nomenklatura." They were "utterly formative years for me."

They also informed his writings, especially his pathbreaking book Rethinking the Soviet Experience, which was published at the very time Gorbachev came to power. "There was a lot of tragedy," Steve used to say, "but also a lot of humor and warmth when people had little more that personal friendships and ideas to keep them company." From 1980, when I first traveled to Moscow with Steve, to 1982 when neither of us could get a visa (until 1985 when Gorbachev became leader), we lived in that Russia, spending many nights in friends' apartments and kitchens drinking into the night, and listening to uncensored, often pessimistic, thinking about the present and future of Russia.

I later became Steve's collaborator in smuggling samizdat manuscripts out of Russia to the West, and bringing samizdat books back to Russia and distributing them. By the time I joined him, Steve had managed to send dozens of such books to Moscow, and satisfying friends with a selection ranging from Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Varlam Shalamov, George Orwell, and Robert Conquest to the Kama Sutra and, of course, the samizdat version of Steve's own book on Bukharin. I learned from Steve that one had to keep forbidden documents and manuscripts on one's person at all times, knowing that the KGB frequently searched apartments and hotel rooms. At a certain point, Steve's shoulder bag became so heavy that he developed a hernia on his right side. After surgery, he started carrying his bag on his left side, but developed a second hernia there, as well. He liked to say that the worst the KGB ever did to him was to cause him two hernias!

In fact, it was samizdat manuscripts that first brought us together. In 1978, Steve heard that I had a diplomatic passport, which would have exempted me from a customs search, and was about to travel to Moscow. (At the time my father was the United States representative to the United Nations in Geneva.) Through a mutual friend, Steve asked if I would bring out samizdat documents being held for him in Moscow. I would have been happy to do so, but Steve had been misinformed. I didn't have a diplomatic passport.

Steve could sometimes seem like a tough guy, but those who won his trust knew he was a person of great generosity, loyalty, and kindness. He was known in our New York City neighborhood on the Upper West Side as an impresario/organizer and longtime supporter of basketball tournaments for local, often poor, kids. In the United States and Russia, Steve mentored and supported young scholars. In the last decade, he set up fellowships for young scholars of Russian history at the several universities where he'd he studied and taught: Indiana University, Princeton, New York University, and Columbia. He lent his support to the establishment of Moscow's State Museum of the History of the Gulag-and to its young director and team.

Life with Steve was never boring. He was supremely independent, the true radical in our family, unfailingly going to the root of the problem. He spoke his mind. He had a CD with a dozen variations of "My Way"-from Billy Bragg to Frank Sinatra. And as The Chronicle of Higher Education subtitled its 2017 profile of Steve, he "was the most controversial Russia expert in America."

Through all our years together, Steve was my backbone, fortifying me for the battles Nation editors must wage (often with their own writers, sometimes including Steve!), and giving me the personal and political courage to do the right thing. But never more so than when we entered what might be called the "Russiagate era."

While Steve liked to say it's healthy to rethink, to have more questions than answers, there was a wise consistency to his political analysis. For example, as is clear from his many articles in The Nation in these last decades, he unwaveringly opposed American Cold War thinking both during the Cold War and since the end of the Soviet Union. He was consistent in his refusal to sermonize, lecture, or moralize about what Russia should do. He preferred to listen rather than preach, to analyze rather than demonize.

This stance was no recipe for popularity, which Steve professed to care little about. He was courageous and fearless in continuing to question the increasingly rigid orthodoxies about the Soviet Union and Russia. But in the last months, such criticism did take its toll on him. Along with others who sought to avert a new and more dangerous Cold War, Steve despaired that the public debate so desperately needed had become increasingly impossible in mainstream politics or media. Until his death he'd been working on a short article about what he saw as the "criminalization of détente." The organization he established, the American Committee on East-West Accord, tried mightily to argue for a more sane US policy toward Russia.

He fared better than I often did confronting the controversies surrounding him since 2014, in reaction to his views on Ukraine, Putin, election interference, and more. Positions he took often elicited slurs and scurrilous attacks. How many times could he be labeled "Putin's puppet"? "Putin's No.1 American apologist"? Endlessly, it seemed. But Steve chose not to respond directly to the attacks, believing-as he told me many times when I urged him to respond-that they offered no truly substantive criticism of his arguments, but were merely ad hominem attacks. What he did write about-he was increasingly concerned about the fate of a younger generation of scholars-was the danger of smearing those who thought differently about US policy toward Russia, thereby silencing skeptics and contributing to the absence of a needed debate in our politics, media, and academy.

Mikhail Gorbachev often told Steve how deeply influenced he was by his writings, especially his biography of Bukharin. Steve first met Gorbachev in 1987 at the Soviet Embassy in Washington. It was a reception for America's "progressive intelligentsia"-which Steve found funny, because he considered himself a maverick and didn't like labels. But he was there that day, and within a few minutes a Kremlin aide told Steve that the general secretary wanted to talk to him. Minutes later, Mikhail Sergeevich approached and asked Steve, assuming the author of Bukharin and the Bolshevik Revolution must be eminent and of a "serious" age: "Deistvitelno [really]-you wrote the book, or was it your father?"

Steve finally achieved that "serious" age Gorbachev spoke of! But his heart, spirit and mind remained youthful till the very end. Maybe it's because of his love of Jerry Lee Lewis's rock and roll, or New Orleans blues or Kentucky bluegrass, or his passion for basketball (shared with our daughter Nika and his 16-year-old grandson, Lucas), or his quest for a good anecdote (his annual anecdote lectures at Princeton and later NYU drew large crowds). Maybe it's because we continued our walks in nearby Riverside Park for as long as was possible-walks full of loving and spirited argument and talk. Perhaps it's because, while Steve was a very serious person, he didn't take himself seriously.

On Saturday, Mikhail Gorbachev sent these words about Steve:

Dear Katrina,

Please accept my sincere condolences on Steve's passing. He was one of the closest people to me in his views and understanding of the enormous events that occurred in the late 1980s in Russia and changed the world.

Steve was a brilliant historian and a man of democratic convictions. He loved Russia, the Russian intelligentsia, and believed in our country's future.

I always considered Steve and you my true friends. During perestroika and all the subsequent years, I felt your understanding and unwavering support. I thank you both.

Dear Katrina, I feel deep sympathy for your grief and I mourn together with you and Nika.

Blessed memory for Steve.

I embrace you,

Mikhail Gorbachev


For 40 years, Steve was my partner, companion, co-conspirator, best friend, fellow traveler, mentor, husband (for 32 years), co-author. I will be forever grateful to him for introducing me to The Nation, to Russia, for a life that has been full of shared adventure, friendship and passion, and for our beloved daughter, Nika

By Gilbert Doctorow

n Friday, Sept. 18, Professor Steve Cohen passed away in New York City and we, the "dissident” community of Americans standing for peace with Russia – and for peace with the world at large – lost a towering intellectual and skillful defender of our cause who enjoyed an audience of millions by his weekly broadcasts on the John Batchelor Show, WABC Radio.

A year ago, I reviewed his latest book, War With Russia? which drew upon the material of those programs and took this scholar turned journalist into a new and highly accessible genre of oral readings in print.The narrative style may have been more relaxed, with simplified syntax, but the reasoning remained razor sharp. I urge those who are today paying tribute to Steve, to buy and read the book, which is his best legacy.

From start to finish, Stephen F. Cohen was among America’s best historians of his generation, putting aside the specific subject matter that he treated: Nikolai Bukharin, his dissertation topic and the material of his first and best known book; or, to put it more broadly, the history of Russia (U.S.S.R.) in the 20th century.

He was one of the very rare cases of an historian deeply attentive to historiography, to causality and to logic.I understood this when I read a book of his from the mid-1980s in which he explained why Russian (Soviet) history was no longer attracting young students of quality:because there were no unanswered questions, becausewe smugly assumed that we knew about that country all that there was to know. That was when our expert community told us with one voice that the U.S.S.R. was entrapped in totalitarianism without any prospect for the overthrow of its oppressive regime.

American Committee for East West Accord

But my recollections of Steve also have a personal dimension going back six years or so when a casual email correspondence between us flowered into a joint project that became the launch of the American Committee for East West Accord (ACEWA).

This was a revival of a pro-détente association of academics and business people that existed from the mid-1970s to the early 1990s, when, following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the removal of the Communist Party from power, the future of Russia in the family of nations we call the "international community” seemed assured and there appeared to be no further need for such an association as ACEWA.

I hasten to add that in the original ACEWA Steve and I were two ships that passed in the night.With his base in Princeton, he was a protégé of the dean of diplomats then in residence there, George Kennan, who was the leading light on the academic side of the ACEWA.

I was on the business side of the association, which was led by Don Kendall, chairman of Pepsico and also for much of the 1970s chairman of the US-USSR Trade and Economic Council of which I was also a member.

I published pro-détente articles in their newsletter and published a lengthy piece on cooperation with the Soviet Union in agricultural and food processing domains, my specialty at that time, in their collection of essays by leaders in the U.S. business community entitled Common Sense in U.S.-Soviet Trade.

The academic contingent had, as one might assume, a "progressive” coloration, while the business contingent had a Nixon Republican coloration. Indeed, in the mid-1980s these two sides split in their approach to the growing peace movement in the U.S. that was fed by opposition in the "thinking community” on university campuses to Ronald Reagan’s Star Wars agenda.

Kendall shut the door at ACEWA to rabble rousing and the association did not rise to the occasion, so that its disbanding in the early ‘90s went unnoticed.

In the re-incorporated American Committee, I helped out by assuming the formal obligations of treasurer and secretary, and also became the group’s European coordinator from my base in Brussels.

At this point my communications with Steve were almost daily and emotionally quite intense.This was a time when America’s expert community on Russian affairs once again felt certain that it knew everything there was to know about the country, and most particularly about the nefarious "Putin regime.”

But whereas in the 1970s and 1980s, polite debate about the U.S.S.R./Russia was entirely possible both behind closed doors and in public space, from the start of the Information Wars against Russia during the George W. Bush administration following Putin’s speech at the Munich Security Conference in February 2007, no voice questioning the official propaganda line in America was tolerated.Steve Cohen, who in the 1990s had been a welcome guest on U.S. national television and a widely cited expert in print media suddenly found himself blacklisted and subjected to the worst of McCarthyite style, ad hominem attacks.

From my correspondence and several meetings with Steve at this time both in his New York apartment and here in Brussels, when he and Katrina van der Heuvel came to participate in a round table dedicated to relations with Russia at the Brussels Press Club that I arranged, I knew that Steve was deeply hurt by these vitriolic attacks.

He was at the time waging a difficult campaign to establish a fellowship in support of graduate studies in Russian affairs. It was touch-and-go, because of vicious opposition from some stalwarts of the profession to any fellowship that bore Steve’s name.

Allow me to put the "i” on this dispute: the opposition to Steve was led by experts in the Ukrainian and other minority-peoples sub-categories of the profession who were militantly opposed not just to him personally but to any purely objective, not to mention sympathetic treatment of Russian leadership in the territorial expanse of Eurasia.

In the end, Steve and Katrina prevailed. The fellowships exist and, hopefully, will provide sustenance to future studies when American attitudes towards Russia become less politicized.

At all times and on all occasions, Steve Cohen was a voice of reason above all.The problem of our age is that we are now not only living in a post-factual world, but in a post-logic world.The public reads day after day the most outrageous and illogical assertions about alleged Russian misdeeds posted by our most respected mainstream media including The New York Times and The Washington Post. Almost no one dares to raise a hand and suggest that this reporting is propaganda and that the public is being brainwashed. Steve did exactly that in War With Russia? in a brilliant and restrained text.

Regrettably today we have no peace movement to speak of.Youth and our ‘progressive’ elites are totally concerned over the fate of humanity in 30 or 40 years’ time as a consequence of Global Warming and rising seas. That is the essence of the Green Movement. Almost no one outside our ‘dissident’ community is concerned about the possibility of Armageddon in say two years’ time due to miscalculations and bad luck in our pursuing economic, informational and military confrontation with Russia and China.

I fear it will take only some force majeure development such as we had in 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis to awaken the broad public to the risks to our very survival that we are incurring by ignoring the issues that Stephen F. Cohen, professor emeritus of Princeton and New York University was bringing to the airwaves week after week on his radio program.

By James Carden

In and around 2013-14, there were a few of us who were publicly dissenting from the standard line with regard to what was unfolding in Ukraine. The dominant media narrative was one of Black Hats vs. White Hats, i.e., the Russians vs. the West. But things were not that simple. At the time I had begun writing for two small D.C.–based magazines, and to my surprise (and consternation because I am a lousy public speaker) was invited to speak at the U.S.–Russia Forum on Capitol Hill.

There was a post-event gathering at the Russian Embassy on Wisconsin Ave. As I was leaving, I thanked the U.S.–Russia Forum’s impresario, Ed Lozansky, for the invite, when Ed said to me: "Stephen Cohen wants to speak to you.” I think I might have said, "Why?” I didn’t want to bother him, and besides, what do they say about the disappointment that often follows after meeting your betters?

But I went over with Ed anyway, and Steve thanked me for having once come to his defense in a magazine article. We had a quick, friendly chat, and Steve and Katrina invited me to meet them for dinner next time I was in New York. A couple months later, I took them up on it.

Dinner on Riverside Drive was always memorable. I think it was the intrepid journalist Abby Martin who asked me some years back at a Nation Christmas party if I had ever been over to the Cohen’s apartment for dinner. I said I had and she asked, "Can you believe how nice they are?” I understood what she meant. These are people who have been in the public eye for decades. Steve wrote a book that some believe helped change history. He advised George H.W. Bush. They were friends with Gorbachev. But Steve and Katrina were extremely welcoming, kind, interested, and interesting. Exceptionally so. There were few things I enjoyed more than eating Chinese takeaway over vodka and cigarettes and listening to Steve hold court.

One time, I was over for dinner and I regret to say that I committed what was perhaps the gravest sin there was in Steve’s eyes. I (quite accidentally) stepped on their cat, Sox. The cat yelped! And then, Steve, that great deep voice: "Carden, we invite you over and you step on our cat?!!?”

Steve loved Sox, who at the age of 23, predeceased Steve by only a week or so. There is some comfort in the thought that the two old friends are together now.

The mentor-in-chief, that was what Steve was to me, the author and journalist Lev Golinkin and the scholar Pietro Shakarian – both of whom I am happy to call friends. Steve would definitely let you know what he thought. He could be tough but he always provided much needed guidance. When things were rough, especially during the last several years, when accusations of unpatriotic disloyalty were being thrown around with abandon (and by liberals of all people) Steve was always able to lend some perspective.

The last time I saw Steve was about a month or so before the world changed (again) for the worse. In late January, Steve was the featured speaker at the Committee for the Republic’s annual Russia Salon, held at the Metropolitan Club, not far from the White House.

It is a rare and lucky thing to think the last time you saw someone it may have been one of the very best times. But I think in this case it might be so. Steve was at the top of his game, as was Katrina, who gave a very thoughtful, eloquent toast at the post-event dinner hosted by the ever-gracious John Henry. A small post-post-party of Steve, Katrina, the journalists Max Blumenthal and Anya Parampil, and my date Mariana retired to the bar of the Old Post Office building (it currently goes by another name) for a celebratory round. The six of us had a great time. We were all proud of Steve and impressed by the tour de force he delivered at the Met Club earlier that night.

It was one to remember.

By Paul Craig Roberts

Stephen Cohen, the last objective American university expert on Russia, has died at age 81. Professor Cohen was non-ideological. His scholarship never fell into propaganda.

I knew of Cohen all of my professional life. I relied on his scholarship for a chapter in my book, with Lawrence Stratton, The Tyranny of Good Intentions. Cohen’s objectivity caused him to be seen as a leftwinger with pro-Soviet biases. In the Cold War, you were with us or against us. There was no room for objectivity. But Cohen stood his objective ground.

I got to know Cohen late in our lives. What brought us together was our opposition to the renewal of the Cold War by the military/security complex that was desperate to have an enemy sufficiently threatening to justify its power and budget. Cohen and I shared concern that Washington’s dismantling of the arms limitation agreements achieved over the decades and subsequent rise in tensions was resurrecting the specter of nuclear Armageddon. We both were appalled at the demonization of Putin and Russia. We were disheartened as we observed diplomats and professors, such as Michael McFaul, Stanford professor and Obama’s ambassador to Russia, become propagandists for the CIA and military/security complex. If you didn’t go along with the anti-Russian propaganda, you were labeled a "Putin agent/dupe,” as Cohen and I were.

I will miss him. His departure leaves me with a lonely voice.

By Sharon Tennison

Steve and I came from the same KY’hometown, Owensnoro, we went to the same high school, had the same kind of mid-country background.

I learned later that Steve was one of the "bicycle gang" of boys who rode furiously around the circular court where several girls of our ages lived. Later I learned e was the Steve Cohen in the same field I was working in. Years later we started communicating via email often and usually late at night about issues related to US-Russia concerns. Often we ended quipping something about what our fathers’ would say in Kentucky-ese. I met Steve and Katrina only once but had a deep admiration for them both. Steve was one of my "go-to” persons anytime I sought different points of view while working in the trenches. I served on his ACEWA Board and hope that I gave him perspectives from the bottom up across Russia. I knew he was deeply ill but he never ceased to answer my questions up to near the end. What I felt on getting the final word ?… a profound lonesomeness … a great mind and honorable spirit had been taken out of my world … and the world at large.

The chattering rumor makers, the mouthpieces for mainstream media continue misconstruing the reality going on in Russia, and Steve’s prognosticating … caring not a flip about whether their propaganda could create the final war on Earth.

Our lives all hang in the balance … at a time when we are missing our most eloquent and deeply concerned spokesperson.

By Caitlin Johnstone

tephen F Cohen, the renowned American scholar on Russia and leading authority on US-Russian relations, has died of lung cancer at the age of 81.

As one of the precious few western voices of sanity on the subject of Russia while everyone else has been frantically flushing their brains down the toilet, this is a real loss. I myself have cited Cohen’s expert analysis many times in my own work, and his perspective has played a formative role in my understanding of what’s really going on with the monolithic cross-partisan manufacturing of consent for increased western aggressions against Moscow.

In a world that is increasingly confusing and awash with propaganda, Cohen’s death is a blow to humanity’s desperate quest for clarity and understanding.

I don’t know how long Cohen had cancer. I don’t know how long he was aware that he might not have much time left on this earth. What I do know is he spent much of his energy in his final years urgently trying to warn the world about the rapidly escalating danger of nuclear war, which in our strange new reality he saw as in many ways completely unprecedented.

many books Cohen authored was 2019’s War with Russia?, detailing his ideas on how the complex multi-front nature of the post-2016 cold war escalations against Moscow combines with Russiagate and other factors to make it in some ways more dangerous even than the most dangerous point of the previous cold war.

"You know it’s easy to joke about this, except that we’re at maybe the most dangerous moment in US-Russian relations in my lifetime, and maybe ever,” Cohen told The Young Turks in 2017. "And the reason is that we’re in a new cold war, by whatever name. We have three cold war fronts that are fraught with the possibility of hot war, in the Baltic region where NATO is carrying out an unprecedented military buildup on Russia’s border, in Ukraine where there is a civil and proxy war between Russia and the west, and of course in Syria, where Russian aircraft and American warplanes are flying in the same territory. Anything could happen.”

Cohen repeatedly points to the most likely cause of a future nuclear war: not one that is planned but one which erupts in tense, complex situations where "anything could happen” in the chaos and confusion as a result of misfire, miscommunication or technical malfunction, as nearly happened many times during the last cold war.

"I think this is the most dangerous moment in American-Russian relations, at least since the Cuban missile crisis,” Cohen told Democracy Now in 2017.

"And arguably, it’s more dangerous, because it’s more complex. Therefore, we — and then, meanwhile, we have in Washington these — and, in my judgment, factless accusations that Trump has somehow been compromised by the Kremlin. So, at this worst moment in American-Russian relations, we have an American president who’s being politically crippled by the worst imaginable — it’s unprecedented. Let’s stop and think. No American president has ever been accused, essentially, of treason. This is what we’re talking about here, or that his associates have committed treason.”

"Imagine, for example, John Kennedy during the Cuban missile crisis,” Cohen added. "Imagine if Kennedy had been accused of being a secret Soviet Kremlin agent. He would have been crippled. And the only way he could have proved he wasn’t was to have launched a war against the Soviet Union. And at that time, the option was nuclear war.”

"A recurring theme of my recently published book War with Russia? is that the new Cold War is more dangerous, more fraught with hot war, than the one we survived,” Cohen wrote last year.

"Histories of the 40-year US-Soviet Cold War tell us that both sides came to understand their mutual responsibility for the conflict, a recognition that created political space for the constant peace-keeping negotiations, including nuclear arms control agreements, often known as détente. But as I also chronicle in the book, today’s American Cold Warriors blame only Russia, specifically ‘Putin’s Russia,’ leaving no room or incentive for rethinking any US policy toward post-Soviet Russia since 1991.”

"Finally, there continues to be no effective, organized American opposition to the new Cold War,” Cohen added.

"This too is a major theme of my book and another reason why this Cold War is more dangerous than was its predecessor.

In the 1970s and 1980s, advocates of détente were well-organized, well-funded, and well-represented, from grassroots politics and universities to think tanks, mainstream media, Congress, the State Department, and even the White House. Today there is no such opposition anywhere.”

"A major factor is, of course, ‘Russiagate’,” Cohen continued. "As evidenced in the sources I cite above, much of the extreme American Cold War advocacy we witness today is a mindless response to President Trump’s pledge to find ways to ‘cooperate with Russia’ and to the still-unproven allegations generated by it. Certainly, the Democratic Party is not an opposition party in regard to the new Cold War.”

"Détente with Russia has always been a fiercely opposed, crisis-ridden policy pursuit, but one manifestly in the interests of the United States and the world,” Cohen wrote in another essay last year. "No American president can achieve it without substantial bipartisan support at home, which Trump manifestly lacks.

What kind of catastrophe will it take — in Ukraine, the Baltic region, Syria, or somewhere on Russia’s electric grid — to shock US Democrats and others out of what has been called, not unreasonably, their Trump Derangement Syndrome, particularly in the realm of American national security?

Meanwhile, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has recently reset its Doomsday Clock to two minutes before midnight.”

And now Stephen Cohen is dead, and that clock is inching ever closer to midnight. The Russiagate psyop that he predicted would pressure Trump to advance dangerous cold war escalations with no opposition from the supposed opposition party has indeed done exactly that with nary a peep of criticism from either partisan faction of the political/media class.

Cohen has for years been correctly predicting this chilling scenario which now threatens the life of every organism on earth, even while his own life was nearing its end.

And now the complex cold war escalations he kept urgently warning us about have become even more complex with the addition of nuclear-armed China to the multiple fronts the US-centralized empire has been plate-spinning its brinkmanship upon, and it is clear from the ramping up of anti-China propaganda since last year that we are being prepped for those aggressions to continue to increase.

We should heed the dire warnings that Cohen spent his last breaths issuing. We should demand a walk-back of these insane imperialist aggressions which benefit nobody and call for détente with Russia and China. We should begin creating an opposition to this world-threatening flirtation with armageddon before it is too late. Every life on this planet may well depend on our doing so.

Stephen Cohen is dead, and we are marching toward the death of everything. God help us all.

Edward Lozansky

Stephen F. Cohen passed away. Great loss for his family, friends, historical science, and the cause for US-Russia rapprochement.

Now this cause lost one of, if not the major, intellectual leaders. Some, including myself, considered him an American Andrei Sakharov.

Christine Harris

Whenever the conversation on Russia veered into the theatre of the absurd, the public could always count on Stephen Cohen's insightful wisdom to restore balance and common sense. A rare voice of reason in a neo-Liberal wilderness

He will be sorely missed. RIP

Paul Grenier

Not only brilliant and courageous, but also kind. He didn't distinguish between important people and everyone else.

Every one was equally important for him.

Tina Jennings

Courageous, principled, articulate and profoundly wise. Cohen’s death represents a major loss for both Russia and the US.

RIP, Professor Cohen.

Alexander N. Gansa

A major voice for peace and the lack of sense in attacking countries for short term gains; particularily the Russian Federation.

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