how is it possible, that this man, not a professional journalist or historian, understands what is going on in Ukraine and Russia and the mess the US has gotten itself into, better than the combined western media and Washington policy makers?As someone who is nearly the same age as Stone, I'd like to give that question a shot. A couple of years ago, I was talking with a highly educated German who has a major job at the University of California, Berkeley. As one point he expressed some dismay at the narrow worldviews of many of his colleagues. I said, "What do you expect? Even the best-educated Americans know almost nothing about recent history and what they think they know, is usually wrong. For example, almost no one in USA born after 1945 has any idea that USSR fought the Germans in WW II." He looked at me incredulously, "What do such people believe? That World War II was fought only between Germany and UK / USA?" "That is precisely what I am saying", I replied. "Not only do we not know that almost every important battle of WW II was fought between the Germans and the Red Army, we are taught by omission that they never happened—they don't even come up."
Somewhere along the line, Stone managed to learn the history of the Great Patriotic War. And that makes all the difference because it is quite literally impossible to know these historical facts and believe the Cold War BS that comes from the State Department. At this point, it becomes obvious that for the paid liars at State, the near-universal historical illiteracy of the American public is a feature, not a bug.
Oliver Stone's Full Moscow Interview On Russia and UkraineThe iconic film maker totally nails it, understands Russia and Ukraine better than the whole US media combined
RI Staff | 17 OCT 2014
Oliver Stone, one of America's most celebrated film makers, was in Moscow in September, working on his upcoming biopic of Edward Snowden and a new documentary about the Ukraine catastrophe.
He gave this long interview to a major Russian newspaper. Small parts of it have been published in English elsewhere, but we got our hands on the original transcript, and are delighted to share it with you here, in full, for the first time.
In the interview, Stone slams America's foreign policy, media and historical revisionism.
Stone is a remarkable phenomenon on the American cultural scene. Best known for a slew of iconic films like Wall Street, Platoon and Born on the Fourth of July, he has also created many films that are harshly critical of the US - about the JFK assassination, 9/11, US funded terrrorism in Latin America, Richard Nixon, Vietnam, corruption on Wall Street, and Cuba. He is an ardent defender of Edward Snowden, which is why he's making a movie about him.
He is an outspoken and relentless critic of much that is wrong with America today.
His latest film, which aired in the US in 2012, is a 10-part documentary about the history of the US since WW2, which he describes as the most important thing he has ever done. In the film, he seeks to debunk what he sees as lies which are widely taught to Americans, and largely accepted as true. The series will air on Russian television in the near future.
This is an extraordinary interview. We agree wholeheartedly with most of what he says. We found ourselves wondering, how is it possible, that this man, not a professional journalist or historian, understands what is going on in Ukraine and Russia and the mess the US has gotten itself into, better than the combined western media and Washington policy makers?
One reason is that he gets his news from blogs, not from the mainstream media.
We pulled what we thought were some of the best quotes from the article. Sorry for the long list, there were just so many of them!
Here are some selected topics from the interview:
- "We are hurting ... ourselves. Russia will find new partners in the East and Eurasia. ... Russia will go on with or without sanctions."
- "Today it is impossible to get the truth from [the American media]."
- "And now with the crisis in Ukraine stories continue to be false... (the) American people are being fed by television and other media with stories about Russian aggression. This is very dangerous."
- "In my opinion, Russia is a natural ally of the United States.... it’s a shame."
- "I think many Americans would agree with me that the United States is on the wrong path - the path of war and aggression."
- "America is trying to surround China and Russia. The prize in this fight is Eurasia where the biggest resources lie."
- "The people in Washington feel that we have a right to rule the world, and so it’s in our interest to destabilize Russia: divide Ukraine, to change the government in Moscow. It started a few years ago. Remove Putin, remove new Russia, and then go after China."
- "I’m working with Ukrainian producers who are making a documentary 'Ukraine on fire' about the history of the crisis in that country."
- "When Putin took the Snowden decision or, for example, when he made an offer to destroy chemical weapons in Syria, he really helped the world and contributed to the peace on our planet."
- "I'm working on a drama about Edward Snowden. ... We hope to start shooting early next year and have it out by the end of 2015...I met [Snowden] in Moscow, as well as with many other people around this situation."
- "Russians have a completely different point of view on the First and the Second World Wars. Americans don’t understand a lot of the history of these wars ...I care very much about teaching history to younger people."
- "The crisis in Ukraine in some way is as serious to me as the Cuba crisis in 1961-62 years and the Berlin situation. It's scary to me."
- "In my opinion, the Russian destruction of most of the German military machine saved at least a million American lives."
- "We had to thank the Russian for that, to be their allies and to trust them. But President Truman and business elite in Wall Street hadn’t a single moment of thanks. American bankers and the rich have always hated Russia."
- "In 2008...I just felt so depressed about what was happening to the United States - my country that I love. Bush distorted everything I believed in as a child and as a young man. I began to study American history..."
- "...the United States had misrepresented the spirit in which Gorbachev made the agreement with Bush on the reunification of Germany, the expansion of NATO and others..."
- "The United States is a strange country. Studying its history one can come to a conclusion that it always needs an enemy, whether it’s a communism or something else."
- "The United States wanted to make Russia a capitalist country, sending its experts, so-called Harvard boys, who advised and freed up economy. And the result was a gangster economy."
- "Taking back the state back from the hands of the gangsters was a very important move for Russia. On that basis I certainly admire Putin as a strong man."
- "People in Moscow ... have a deep soul, and when you spend time with them, you realize that they are warm and giving people. Certainly it’s not the picture painted of Russia or Putin. I like Russian people."
- "I understand why Putin could not give up Crimea. Western institutions - EU, NATO, IMF - would like to have influence, run and control Ukraine."
- "It is the United States that is invasive and pushing constantly the limits of patience of Russia, as it was with NATO's eastward expansion. It’s a very dangerous situation."
- "For a man who went to war McCain seems to have learned nothing. In my mind he was on the wrong side of every political decision the United States made since the Vietnam war. I think something is wrong with him."
- "The United States never experienced war, we don’t know how devastating is it. ... We go and bring harm to others, militarize countries and regions."
On War and American Militarism
The United States has never experienced war, we don’t know how devastating is it. And as a result we don’t respect war and what it means. We go and bring harm to others, militarize countries and regions. We will not understand war until it happens to us. It's a blessing we are isolated by two great oceans, it is a great geopolitical advantage. But it will not always be like that, if we continue to act in this aggressive spirit. I am certain that history’s karma will come around and punish the American people. In a very careless way, Americans consider themselves outside and apart from history, but it's not the case. You do not escape history. History always catches up to you.
I’m reading American newspapers to see where the lies are. I think it's like reading “Pravda" or “Izvestiya” in the old days. Today it is impossible to get the truth from official sources. This is the reality for the United States too. Our TV is even worse than newspapers. Their reports are more sensational, but they almost never analyze, rarely going beyond the surface.
And I have never read such bullshit about the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. Everybody was pointing to Russian problems and flaws, there were negative stories about Putin. And now with the crisis in Ukraine stories continue to be false. I get news from other sources, not only from American newspapers. But American people are being fed by television and other media with stories about Russian aggression. This is very dangerous.
On US Covert Operations
The United States is very good at covert operations designed to manipulate public opinion. For many years we have practiced regime change in many countries. Now it’s going on in Venezuela, where the US has used soft and hard power, using tools ranging from economic pressure to provocative publications in the media. These techniques were developed and used in Ukraine, with the National Endowment for Democracy. Their goal was to overthrow the government and replace it with a pro-Western government.
There’s a part of this story that has been overlooked. The United States has, as we know thanks to Mr. Snowden, comprehensive intelligence capabilities all around the globe, and especially in Ukraine in such an important moment. So why hasn't the US released any photos of this event? That tells you a lot. It seems like they don’t want people to know about the Ukrainian fighter jet in the air. And how can you miss quite a large “Buk” complex that includes some large rockets? The United States didn’t present any evidence that these missiles came to Ukraine from Russia. I also read that Russia had given such complexes to the Ukrainian army before the crisis even began. So the evidence are far from conclusive. In the UK experts are working on "black boxes", but the results of the investigation will be revealed in 2015 - it’s too late. My hunch is that "bad guys" in the Ukrainian government shut down the plane. I'm not sure, but that’s my hunch.
On NATO Expansion
I went to see Mr. Gorbachev a few months ago. He disapproves of what the United States has done, calling it a betrayal of Russia and the spirit of agreements made with George Bush Snr. They were nothing on paper, but there was a spirit. That spirit was violated first by Bill Clinton and again by George W Bush and Barack Obama. Since then, 13 states have joined Nato. For Russia this is a nightmare. NATO was finished after the end of the Cold War; there were no reasons for the western alliance to continue. It was a defensive alliance to protect Western Europe; it has since become an offensive alliance that incorporated Eastern Europe and is putting a missile shield near the border with Russia
It’s a shame. We are hurting Russia; hurting ourselves. Russia will find new partners in the East and Eurasia. They just signed new trade agreement with China. Russia will go on with or without sanctions. It’s a shame, but that’s the US style of doing things: they squeeze through the economy; through the media. You need patience to fight the dragon. I think Putin knows this, he is a very smart man; he already has experience like this. After 9/11, Putin was the first guy to call Bush. Russia had its own problems with the Chechen terrorists, and knew the power of Islamist terrorism. Therefore, in my opinion, Russia is a natural ally of the United States. Oh, it’s a shame.