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Nation in the News

Nation in the News

TV and radio appearances by Nation writers and editors, big Nation announcements.

Stephen Cohen: We’re Living Through a Geopolitical Transition

Donetsk bus station destroyed by shelling

A member of the separatist armed forces stands guard at a Donetsk bus station destroyed by shelling. (Reuters/Maxim Shemetov)

Stephen Cohen, contributing editor at The Nation, joined The John Batchelor Show on Tuesday to talk about the historical contest between the West and the East, from the Cold War up to the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.

When discussing the Ukrainian crisis, Cohen said that “authoritative voices” in Kiev, Brussels and Washington are saying that “that a larger war is coming, and coming soon.” He noted that there are reports of weapons pouring into Kiev territories, in addition to the rebel territories.

Cohen emphasized the formation and expansion of NATO as a contributing factor to the current geopolitical situation. “To say that Putin is destroying the post-Soviet order created in Europe,” Cohen said, “neglects to mention that Russia was excluded purposefully from that order.”

—Ava Kofman


Read Next: Stephen Cohen on why we must return to the US-Russian parity principle

Stephen Cohen: Even Centrists Are Warning of War With Russia

Ukrainian soldiers

Ukrainian soldiers train on a military base near Kiev in September 2014. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukasky)

The crisis in Ukraine has taken on a global bent in the last few months, drawing Russia, the United States, NATO, and even China into its web. While many political pundits initially considered war with Russia to be an unlikely consequence of Ukrainian strife, a clash between the United States and Russia is now widely acknowledged as a serious possibility.

The Nation’s Stephen Cohen visited The John Batchelor Show this week to reflect on how the conversation has changed.

“When you and I first started talking about the Ukrainian crisis earlier in 2014,” Cohen told Batchelor, “I began framing it as so dangerous that it could slip toward actual war.… I think we probably sounded like alarmists then because nobody else was saying that. But here we are ten months later, and…you’ve got a whole series of centrist people telling us what you and I worried about ten months ago, that war with Russia is now something we have to think about.”

—Cole Delbyck

Read Next: Stephen Cohen on why we need a new US-Russia detente

Stephen Cohen: We Need a New US-Russia Détente

Stephen Cohen on The Thom Hartmann Program

“What do we do next if we manage to avert the worst in Ukraine?” That was the question The Nation’s Stephen Cohen raised when he joined The Thom Hartmann Program last week to discuss the ongoing crisis in Ukraine and the diplomatic strategy that the United States will need to mend its declining relationship with Russia.

The answer, Cohen said, could be found in lessons from the previous Cold War, when a group in Washington sought peace through cooperation.

“The American political establishment had to recognize the Soviet government as a coequal great power with legitimate interests and on that basis negotiate where cooperation was possible,” Cohen said. “We need a new détente.”

Later in the show, Cohen explained why the crisis in Ukraine is drawing the U.S. closer to a “hot war” with Russia and how U.S.-Russian relations will influence the 2016 presidential campaign.

James F. Kelly

Read Next: Stephen Cohen on why we must return to the US-Russian parity principle

Stephen Cohen: The Alternative to Minsk II Is War

Protest in Kiev's Independence Square

Anti-government protesters clash with riot police in Kiev's Independence Square, Ukraine, on February 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov)

What will be the repercussions if Minsk II fails? In this segment of The John Batchelor Show, The Nation’s Stephen Cohen discusses the potential violence and growing humanitarian crisis that will ensue if the ceasefire does not hold. According to Cohen, the dissolution of the ceasefire would “almost certainly” lead Obama to, despite his reluctance, send billions of dollars of weapons to Kiev, spurring Russia’s further involvement in the Ukrainian civil war in the east.

“If Minsk fails, events will logically follow that will cross everyone’s red line—Putin’s, the West,” Cohen said. “And we’ll be in a situation much closer to actual war with Russia.”

Nadia Kanji

Read Next: Stephen Cohen on how the New York Times gets Putin and the EU wrong

Katrina vanden Heuvel: ‘The Nation’ Is Where I Learned About America

Katrina vanden Heuvel and Charlie Rose

Katrina vanden Heuvel appeared on Charlie Rose this Wednesday to reflect on The Nation’s legacy on the occasion of the magazine’s 150th anniversary. Rose, a longtime host to many Nation writers, opened the conversation with a recap of the publication’s history. “It was founded by a group of young abolitionists in 1865,” he said. “Its focus on issues such as civil rights, income inequality, and corporate power has made it a thought leader of the American left.”

When asked what significance The Nation held for her, vanden Heuvel, who started at the magazine as an intern when she was nineteen, revealed that “The Nation was where I learned about journalism and where I learned about America. It was a school. It was what you don’t learn in university.” The conversation ranged from the personal to political, mentioning Nation contributors like James Baldwin, Martin Luther King Jr. and others who advocated for equality in its pages. Vanden Heuvel ended the discussion by reaffirming the magazine’s commitment to justice, not popularity. “One of the great animating impulses and principles of The Nation has been anti-imperialism—the opposition to reckless wars like the Spanish-American War, Vietnam War, Iraq,” she said. “What is heretical at some time is now common sense.”

Cole Delbyck

Read Next: Katrina vanden Heuvel on The Nation’s commitment to independence

Stephen Cohen: ‘The New York Times’ Has It Wrong On Putin and the EU

Russian President Putin and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras at the Kremlin in Moscow, April 8, 2015.(Reuters/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

The New York Times ran a front-page article on Tuesday accusing Putin of currying favor with Cyprus and Greece in an effort to secure their votes against renewing sanctions. Later that day, The Nation’s Stephen Cohen said on The John Batchelor Show that while it’s true that Putin hopes to find support in Europe’s “soft spots,” the tone of the Times’s headline—”Waving Cash, Putin Sows E.U. Divisions in an Effort to Break Sanctions“—misleadingly places the blame on Russia for the current disunity in Europe. “It’s not Putin who split Europe. It’s American policy,” Cohen said, adding that Europe needs Russia for its own economic prosperity. He also discussed the continuing efforts of US leaders to undermine the Minsk II negotiations, which, he said, are crucial to lasting peace in the region.
—Abigail Savitch-Lew


Read Next: Stephen Cohen on the way we represent Putin’s motives

Stephen Cohen: This Is the Last Thing Putin Wanted

Stephen Cohen on The Thom Hartmann Program

Is a US war with Russia possible? The Nation’s Stephen Cohen joined The Thom Hartmann Program to discuss the politics underpinning the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

Cohen expressed concern over the narrative in the West that Putin sought to destabilize Ukraine as part of a wider campaign to take back former Soviet territories in Eastern Europe. “It doesn’t correspond to the facts and above all it has no logic. This is the last thing Putin wanted,” said Cohen.

Cohen also maintained that the United States is closer to the possibility of war with Russia than it has been since the Cuban missile crisis. “American national security still runs through Moscow. We will never have real sensible national security without the Kremlin as partner,” Cohen said.

James F. Kelly


Read Next: Stephen Cohen on Ukraine's last best chance

Can Democracy Survive Without Independent Media?

Tucson Festival of Books

“Welcome to The Nation magazine’s 150th birthday party,” John Nichols said to the crowd at the Tucson Festival of Books this past month in Arizona. In this panel conversation, which aired on CSPAN2’s BookTV, Nichols joined The Nation’s Katha Pollitt, Lee Fang of The Intercept, and Congressman Raul Grijalva (D-Arizona) to honor what Nichols characterized as “150 years of rabblerousing, agitating and objecting and calling out the ugly abuses of corporate power and embracing the beauty of movements for social and economic justice.”

Discussing the ever-changing media landscape Congressman Grijalva praised The Nation for adding a "broader depth" to the political discourse, which is "so important for our democracy."

James F. Kelly

Katrina vanden Heuvel: A Commitment to Independence Keeps ‘The Nation’ Strong

Katrina vanden Heuvel on Democracy Now

“In an age where a magazine is lucky to survive ten years or count themselves among the big ones if it survives twenty or thirty, how has The Nation managed to survive for 150 years?"

Democracy Now host Juan Gonzalez posed this question to Katrina vanden Heuvel in an interview this week discussing the publication of the The Nation's 150th anniversary issue. During the conversation, vanden Heuvel spoke about the magazine’s unwavering commitment to independence, open debate, and freedom of the press.

“It’s a magazine for voices which might otherwise be marginalized. It’s for rebellious voices, for dissident voices, for writer’s voices... It's about it being a cause, a community, as much as a publication... Fighting for independence, and never giving up on a fight, is part of why The Nation has survived."

—Hilary Weaver


Read Next: Katrina vanden Heuvel on 150 years of telling the truth

Stephen Cohen: Ukraine’s Last Best Chance

Shelled bus station in Donetsk

An armed separatist fighter stands guard at a bus station destroyed by shelling in Donetsk in February, 2015. (Reuters/Maxim Shemetov)

The Nation's Stephen Cohen visited The John Batchelor Show on Tuesday to discuss the seemingly unopposed efforts of the American “war party” to undermine a political solution to the Ukraine conflict.

The "misinformation coming out of many Western and NATO capitals about some new Russian escalation of which there is no evidence,” Cohen said, is an “all-out campaign by the people who want a showdown with Russia.” This effort to sabotage the Minsk II agreement, which Cohen called “the last best chance to avert wider war," seems to be working: thanks to the war party's influence in Washington, American tanks are now “rolling across Europe."

Khadija Elgarguri


Read Next: Stephen F. Cohen on why the Ukrainian people deserve better than the Kiev government

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