May 19, 2017
By Joyce Rothermel

Dan Kovalik, Thomas Merton Center member, international human rights instructor at the University of Pittsburgh Law School, and labor and human rights attorney has just written a new book, The Plot to Scapegoat Russia: How the CIA and the Deep State Have Conspired to Vilify Putin. Released this month by Skyhorse Publishing. Despite its provocative title, it is a plea to make peace with Russia. Dan believes that this is a plea which must be heard now, when the US is in the midst of a dangerous, new Cold War – one which is being pushed the most, not by the Republicans, but by the Democrats and many of their liberal supporters. The book grew out of an article he wrote published in The Huffington Post, February, 15, 2017 entitled, “Listen Liberals: Russia is Not Our Enemy.”

The demand for peace with Russia was a very common one amongst the American left during the first Cold War from the late 1940s until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. In fact, the Thomas Merton Center itself was an important voice for such a demand in its early days. It is Dan’s hope that his book will play some role, if even a small role, in reviving this demand among the liberal/left of this country before we hurtle towards a possibly fatal confrontation with Russia.

Commenting on the book after reading it, John Marciano, a long-time peace activist, and author of the book entitled, The American War on Vietnam, Crime of Commemoration? says, “Given its title, one might think that The Plot to Scapegoat Russia focuses solely on the growing New Cold War between the US and Russia. Not so. Dan Kovalik has placed his excellent analysis of recent events involving Russia and Vladimir Putin within the context of Washington’s long and sordid history of interventions and aggression throughout the world that have violated the UN Charter, international law, and the US Constitution; its blatant interference in the internal political life of other nations; and its present support of NATO expansion to the Russian border that has elicited quite reasonable and understandable reactions from Russia.

“This historical review is essential to understand how US political and military aggression around the world shapes its relations with Russia. It is nicely complemented by Kovalik’s own personal journey. A young, naïve, and trusting American boy who believed his government promoted democracy and freedom around the world, became a human rights activist and lawyer who traveled to some of the places where the US has brought death and misery to millions, for example, Colombia, Honduras, and Nicaragua.

“This book is an essential tool to strengthen the civic and historical literacy that isneeded to challenge the propaganda about Russia and Putin—and US foreign policy in general—flowing from Washington and our corporate media.”

I invite NewPeople readers to pick up a copy and find out for yourself the insights Dan offers on this critical situation of our time. Dan Kovalik will have a book signing at the South Hills Barnes & Noble on June 10 at 1:00 PM.

Joyce Rothermel is chair of the Membership Committee of the Thomas Merton Center.