Ariel Cohen’s op-ed in the Wall Street Journal about the Mistral sale adds nothing to the previous neo-con screeds on this topic. It’s basically a mish-mash of every bit of anti-Russian fear-mongering one can squeeze into 800 words. Nothing surprising and wouldn’t have been worth commenting on except for one thing. Cohen states that Russia’s new military doctrine “lowers the threshold for pre-emptive nuclear strikes.” This is actually just a false statement. A sentence by sentence comparison of the text with the 2000 military doctrine shows that the threshold was actually raised slightly in the new edition, as I noted in a previous post. I have no problem with differences of opinion on the nature and extent of the threat posed by Russia to the rest of the world. But let’s stick to the facts and avoid outright lying about misrepresentation of what’s in published documents.
Update: Perhaps lying is too strong a word. I don’t actually know whether Cohen is lying or just hasn’t bothered to read the documents in question. So let’s change lying to misrepresenting. Either way, it’s sad that a reputable newspaper like the WSJ would print this without some fact-checking.