A group of Americans visiting Russia heard dire warnings from ex-Soviet President Gorbachev that the tensions between the U.S. and Russia are creating a dangerous situation for the world, reports Rick Sterling, who is on the trip.
By Rick Sterling
The former President of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, is 87 years old but still sharp. He told a delegation of 30 Americans in a two-week visit to Russia organized by the Center for Citizen Initiatives, “This is a time to be concerned. We should worry about relations between our two countries. … Things cannot continue as they are.”
President Gorbachev recalled his initial meetings with President Reagan, which came after six years of poor relations and hostility. In the first summit meeting, Reagan issued a long list of accusations against the Soviet Union; Gorbachev responded with his own accusations against the U.S. After that meeting Gorbachev said “He’s not a hawk; he’s a dinosaur” while Reagan said about Gorbachev “He’s a die-hard communist.”
At the next summit meeting, Reagan continued lecturing Gorbachev. After listening for 15 minutes. Gorbachev stopped Reagan saying, “That’s enough. If you want to talk as equals we can go very far. Differences can be bridged. Problems can be resolved. But as equals.”
Reagan asked how the Soviet Union would respond if the United States was at risk because of some kind of natural calamity. When Gorbachev said his people would want to help, not take advantage, the mood changed.
Gorbachev recalled his own friendly experience talking with average Americans. He suggested that perhaps the U.S. needs its own perestroika. He reminded us that it was President John F Kennedy who said “We need peace but not a Pax Americana ….. not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women.”
Gorbachev continued saying, “The current situation is not right. We need to change that. Let us stop provoking each other. Let us stop trying to tear up other countries. …. Our two countries are still central to world peace. We need peace in order to resolve other world problems. One percent of the world controls 90 percent of the wealth. The ruling class is happy with this but things cannot continue as they are. … Budgets smell of gunpowder. … Fear is being cultivated. This is resulting in a new arms race.”
Gorbachev asked, “Does the USA want Russia to just submit?” Referring to Russia’s history with invasions by France in the early 1800s and Germany in the 1940s, he explained “This is a country that can never submit…. There will be no winners in a nuclear war.”
The Ukraine Crisis
The 30-member delegation has been having informative meetings with numerous people to gain a better understanding of modern Russia and its relations with the United States and the world. Another especially interesting meeting was held with Vladimir Kozin, member of the Russian Academy of Military Science.
Vladimir Kozin is an arms control specialist and member of the Russian Academy of Military Science who has worked on arms control issues since the 1970s. Kozin says that Russians see themselves being encircled by NATO. Of the 16 countries bordering Russia, eight have anti-Russia sentiments. He notes that the U.S. military budget is 12 times greater than that of Russia and increasing.
Kozin said it is a “fairy tale” that Russia interfered in the U.S. election. What is NOT a fairy tale, he said, is that the U.S. has spent a huge amount of money to influence Russian elections in the past and funded 400 Non-Governmental Organizations (or NGOs), which were part of the destabilization campaign in Ukraine leading to the 2014 coup.
Regarding key conflict points emerging from the Ukraine crisis, Kozin noted that Crimea was part of Russia since 1783. He added that the despite the presence of 16,000 Russian troops (who were in Crimea as part of the Sevastopol naval base agreement) and 18,000 Ukrainian troops, the Crimea plebiscite to re-unify with Russia was handled without violence, with huge turnout and overwhelming vote in favor.
As for hostilities in eastern Ukraine, Kozin asked why this fighting has happened just because the largely ethnic Russian population resisted the overthrow of elected President Viktor Yanukovych and demanded some form of autonomy from Kiev.
If Scotland can consider secession from the United Kingdom and Catalonia from Spain, he argued, what’s wrong with Donbass (eastern Ukraine) wanting more autonomy within Ukraine? Why has Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko turned to military conflict instead of negotiating with the dissidents in eastern Ukraine?
Kozin believes it is vital to have an arms control summit meeting between Presidents Trump and Putin. He thinks we should work toward the complete elimination of nuclear weapons by 2045. In the meantime, the easiest way to reduce tension and the risk of war would be an agreement on “No First Use of Nuclear Weapons,” he said.
In a sober assessment of Trump’s first 100 days as President, Kozin concluded, “Aggravating these facts of life is the deep degree of mistrust between Washington and Moscow, which the Americans spawned and have continued to nurse. A vicious circle has emerged in the interrelationship between weapons and trust … Clearly such an irrational phenomenon cannot go on indefinitely.”
From both Kozin and Gorbachev the message was clear: We need to do something to restore discussion and stop the slide toward ever greater tension and danger.
Rick Sterling is an investigative journalist who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. He can be contacted at [email protected]
I found myself thinking about the predatory nature of capitalism vs socialism. Is there a good book that could explain the nature of these two systems and how it has affected post WWII relations with the US and Russa?
The US will never give up nukes, NEVER. The USD will crash, the military will contract and withdraw and the US becomes a 3rd world backwater without nukes. Forget that wishful thinking.
Lena: CIA, FSB, America, Russia, these are all just words. The best spies have always known that the sides can change, it’s the game itself that matters.
Gamify and grow the game not the danger.
The influence of the so called “Neo-Cons” in our government must be eliminated. They are the source of much if not most of America’s problems in the World today especially in the Middle East and on Russia’s border regions. In draining the “Washington swamp” these are the reptiles that must be flushed out.
The US aims to achieve a Disarming First Strike Capability according to missile engineer Bob Aldridge-www.plrc.org That´s the problem ! Bob Aldridge on the 648 missiles in Poland and Romania and on 32 ships in the Mediterranean-European Phased Adaptive Approach: “Whether they are on ships or land, they are still a necessary component for an unanswerable first strike.” And according to Bob Aldridge the US Navy can track and destroy all enemy submarines simultaneously. GPS was made for Minuteman-3 and Trident-2 to be able to hit missile silos accurately. The great missile engineer Bob Aldridge resigned because seeking a Disarming First Strike Capability is SUICIDAL. He wrote The Counterforce Syndrome, First Strike! The Pentagon´s Strategy For Nuclear War and Nuclear Empire among others.
Claus, the Russians have a new Electronic Warfare devise “Khibiny”, it will jamb every missile, battleground communication, ground-to-satellite communication, drones and cruise missiles guidance systems, over large swaths of land and air. I also wonder about the effect of non-nuclear EMP generating technology/devises that the Russians have. Unless our missile batteries are “hardened” against EMP, the encirclement is completely useless. Apparently the USS Donald Cook was on patrol (Black Sea?) when a SU-34 crossed her bow armed with a ECM module fitted with “Khibiny” technology, paralyzing all the ships electronic devises and weaponry, this same ECM devise took down Alaska’s NORAD a few weeks ago. Putin is sending us a few warning shots but our NeoCon lobby is ignoring him..
Crowley: Am I the only game piece on the board who doesn’t underestimate those denim-wrapped nightmares?!
Castiel: God wants you to have freedom.
Rachel: But what does he want us to do with it?
Castiel: [narrating] If I knew then what I know now, I might have said; ‘It’s simple. Freedom is a length of rope, God wants you to hang yourself with it.’ Those first weeks back in Heaven were surprisingly difficult. Explaining freedom to angels is a bit like teaching poetry to fish.
Castiel: Whose Heaven is this?
Raphael: Ken Lay’s. I’m borrowing it.
Castiel: I still question his admittance here.
Raphael: He’s devout. Trumps everything.
The Man Who Would Be King
Trumps teaching intelligence to Russians. That is difficult. This is Mission Impossible, so difficult should be a walk in the park.
Gorbachev is not respected or listened to in Russia
In fact I would go so far to say he is widely depised
So why does consortium news even bother to report what he had to say?
He has no credibility
Western Occident Private Central Banks who’s tour-de force initiated WW II, in part as a reaction to Herr Hitler’s dazzling successes with his economy and it’s simultaneous rise to the world stage as a heavy weight industrialized nation and their (banker) lusts to gather, to conquer the maximum number of sales markets . Today, they fear the sudden rise of the Chinese-Russian alliance. It has assumed the shape of a (reborn) Silk Road Initiative and BRICS. In short, Russia has the natural gas, (and more) for the entire EU, China and beyond-reserves that can run industrialization, almost indefinitely , did I hear something about a staggering, six trillion cubic feet?!… Putin’s natural resources are second to none and the technology he offered to China, sealed a sweet deal for a mutual, concerted, effort aimed at performing advanced research in outer space, this includes telecommunication, military applications and other (hidden) agreements. What did Churchill say to General Robert D. Wood during a circa 1936? conversation?…something to the effect; Germany has become too powerful and three years ago (1933) the private central banks have noted Hitlers desire to create a value based currency of their own, and so, they’ve started making trouble for him. HINT: without going into debt (usury) slavery with monies and credits provided by the Rothschild banking cartel. England was threatened not by fascism but by Herr Hitler and his profound and rapid economic recovery. So, fast forward to the present world crisis,do a “cut and paste” with this rather old story, and plug in the new one. Snip out fascism and insert “socialism” Snip out the word “Germany” and Hitler and paste the China, Russia, Xi and Putin alliance. Banksters got us into WW I and WW II and now their plotting, for the same reasons, that is, power, domination and thus, will get us all into WW III….problem being it will be the last war, of any kind-ever. At last dear CONSORTIUMNEWS readership! Success!, a war to end all wars! the last hurrah?
welcome to the scumbag empire of rhe USSA operated by leftover Nazis and the homegrown fascit oilogarchs
I don’t think will admit they interfered with our we election and got Trump elected.
There is no evidence that Russia even made an attempt to interfere. The emails Seth Rich gave to Wikileaks prove the Democrats and the media interfered to nominate the one candidate who could lose to Trump, that is what elected Trump because even he knew he had no chance against Bernie Sanders. Had Democrats nominated the winner of the primary, turnout would have been much higher but instead they gifted Trump the presidency by nominating Clinton. The DNC colluded with Shillary and the media to both elevate Trump and sabotage Bernie, no interference from Russia or anyone else was necessary after that.
Bingo! Amazing how WaPo and NYT, with all their resources and reporters, haven’t figured this out yet. They’re still chasing after the mythical Russia “hack.”
Quite contempible. Their stupidity, willful ignorance and cravenness.
Oh, they know all right.
I agree, good reading: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aleksandr_Solzhenitsyn
Name-calling simply shows someone who can’t state criticism in an unbiased way and frankly, Gorbachev does not deserve it. (I doubt the two name callers have lived in the Soviet Union or Russia. Thatcher’s name has a “t” before the”c”, by the way.) And, yes, leaders of countries should speak as equals, regardless of the errors of judgement of each. What country has had an omniscient leader? Not one. The US? I don’t think so. The US has for too long had a smug, arrogant, self-righteous predominant gestalt that every other nation should fall in line behind its corporate capitalistic leadership because it is “exceptional”, while being founded on some of the worst behaviors in the world: native peoples’ genocide, slavery, overthrow of other nations, and even post slavery showing inability to even treat its black people fairly once they were supposedly freed. So yes, Gorbachev’s warning is well placed and should be heeded. The most dangerous development in the world was nuclear power, and the only nation to use “the bomb” is the one that calls itself “exceptional”.
In a nutshell: if Putin/Russia would oblige the West and bend to their demands, none of this would be happening.
The Madness Continues:
“More Blood Money Is Needed For NATO”
More blood money is needed to feed the NATO war beast
A bloody ravenous monster that on bodies does feast
It is hungry for more and more endless wars
And all the destruction, devastation and hellish gore
The serfs support the beast with their compulsory taxes
And their monies help reduce countries to ashes
Bombing and blitzing and setting the world on fire
Participators in atrocities and numerous funeral pyres
Medals are handed out for “bravery” in destroying and killing
By those in charge of the “coalition of the willing”
Partnering with terrorists they are supposed to be fighting
Hypocrites from hell, and in carnage, delighting…
[Much more info at link below]
You are building a potential book of your poems. Possible title – World in Flames
Gorbachev minces his words like a second rate politician. He can’t just tell it like it is. He is too confused to be of any help in the present situation. Sorry, but these figures from the past have little to teach us now. We are on new ground, and must seek truly revolutionary solutions if we are to have any chance. And I am not referring to the unworkable and disastrous ideas of armed revolution that have brought us so little peace, and so much pain in the past.
I hope you aren’t implying Trump is a ‘first rate politician” or V. Nolan, or Clinton, or Romney, or Christy, or Pence, or Boris, or May, or the EU as a whole, or Haley, or McCain, or Lindsey Graham, or Rubio, or Condi Rice, or Lieberman in his day, or John Kerry or, well, the list can go on ad infiniitum.
The Russsians, not only Gorbachev, actually believed the US of A when it was stated no progression would be made militarily toward the East. The Russian wanted to end the threat of nuclear annialation just as any one would after losing 20-27 million of their fathers, sons, mothers and children. To me this sounds sensible.
For Reagon to spend 15 minutes lecturing and postering only shows American arrogance, not diplomacy. I think Gorbachev made a wise move, unlike the USA which never had such bloodshed on their home turf as the Russians did. Reagan was still in his Hollywood tough guy mode and a fool to boot. Besides, it is often reported the Russians actually believed the US. If there was folly on the part of Russia, it was to actually believe the US. This still holds true to this day, don’t believe anything the US says, especially if it is writing which it was not in Iceland. Just read the treaties signed by the indigiginous Indians! I don’t blame Gorbachev .
Washington guaranteed the naive nitwit Gorbachev that NATO expansion would forever go easy and never infringe on Russia’s territorial integrity. This guarantee quickly turned into a cruel manipulation that now has the world witnessing NATO troop buildups in Poland and the Baltic states and a Washington adhering to a First Strike capability while putting ABMs all over Russia’s western flank.
Gorbachev opened the floodgates for the Western capitalists to destroy the USSR. This destruction of the Soviet Union has cost the world’s people dearly to this day. If Gorby wasn’t astute or savvy enough to have an inkling about what he was getting himself into (he was rolled) he’s a naive nitwit.
Here’s what the world renowned intellectual, Andre Vltchek, had to say recently: “…Russia had to regain its strength and to get rid of all the horrible rot that was turning the nation into yet another “client state” of Washington – from naïve nitwits like Gorbachev to the tyrant and alcoholic, Yeltsin…”
Gorbachev was not in an easy position. Of course, it would have been good if it could have been avoided that during the 90es, much of former state property was sold for a small fraction of its value, which lead to an extreme concentration of wealth, and if the transition could have been managed in a way that Western strategists would not have been emboldened to exploit a situation with the United States as much as possible. But that was hardly a realistic option for him. In the last years of the Soviet Union, there were still very strong forces that wanted to revert Glasnost and Perestroika. The participants of the coup attempt in 1991 included top representatives of the elite of the Soviet Union – the vice president of the USSR, the defense minister, the president of the KGB, and the prime minister. The main reason why the coup failed after three days was probably that it had little support among the population and that there was little willingness in the army to shed blood for a political system fewer and fewer people believed in. Under Gorbachev, people were killed in the Baltics and in Georgia when independence movements were quashed, and the only option to halt the secession of at least some Soviet republics would have been to use even more violence. While the coup attempt in 1991 had failed, the broad support it had among the top elite of the Soviet Union showed that at a different time, it might have succeeded. The two main possibilities were either a reversal of most of Perestroika or – what, indeed, happened – going forward and risking a collapse of the Soviet Union. Possibly, someone else could have replaced enough people in the top elite of the Soviet Union that a middle course and a more gradual development could have been possible, but that is far from clear. Attempts to achieve this could have led to a coup at an earlier time, when its chances of succeeding would have been greater.
A vast majority of Russians sees the Yeltsin presidency with almost unlimited enrichment and political power of oligarchs, subservience to American advisors who advocated economic “shock therapies”, the military coup of 1993, when Yeltsin ordered the army to shoot at the parliament in order to stay in power, even though he had been impeached with a constitutionally correct procedure, and the severe economic crisis of 1998 in a very negative light, and I think this is justified. But what would have been the alternative? The most likely alternative would have been an enormous bloodshed with attempts to prevent the independence of Soviet republics and possibly wars to prevent countries in Central-Eastern Europe from leaving the Soviet sphere of influence. The chaos of the 90es led to severe hardship and life expectancy in Russia decreased, but compared with the massive bloodshed that would have been likely otherwise and which probably would only have delayed the collapse of the Soviet Union, I think it was clearly the lesser evil.
Gorbachev was such a numbskull and is Stalin’s true legacy to the world.
‘At the next summit meeting, Reagan continued lecturing Gorbachev. After listening for 15 minutes. Gorbachev stopped Reagan saying, “That’s enough. If you want to talk as equals we can go very far. Differences can be bridged. Problems can be resolved. But as equals.”’
Equals? That’s what the supposedly marxist leader of the world at that time wanted from Reagan and Thacher? To be seen as an equal to them? Good god almighty what a lame brain he was and still is! Only Stalin’s murder of the real anti capitalist leadership to the Tsarist Empire could have led to such a numbskull becoming and being in charge of the Soviet Union when he dismantled the planned economy of that society. Stalin left only rot to what had once been such a promising rebellion against world capitalist misery.
Gorbachev was such a numbskull and is Stalin’s true legacy to the world.
It is easy to see why so many people accuse Gorbachev of being naive (or worse), but in making what might be called a gentleman’s agreement Gorbachev put the United States on a spot – either it lived up to this gentleman’s agreement or it proved to the world that America’s word was worthless and should never be trusted. Now the world knows. America still speaks with the forked tongue observed by Native Americans.
Then, as the article makes clear, Gorbachev wasn’t about to take any bullying from the real numbskull at the meeting.
Now the world knows.
The emperor is naked.
Still chuckling over the punchline!
The system would have collapsed anyway, but probably in the middle of a bloodbath, had it not been for Gorbachev and his people. That is a separate issue from what it came next, with Yeltsin the stooge, the oligarchs taking over, etc. Stalin was certainly a monster and a curse for socialism, but precisely because of his legacy, and the swift repression of the mild reforms under Khruschev, Gorbachev had no other option than launching glasnost and perestroika in 1985.
Paul Johnstone worked in the department of war planning where they decide where to drop the bombs. Read this article where it is described how our dropping nuclear bomb planning is not as much based on anything scientifically, as it is based on hyped up pitched bravado.
The warhawks in our nation are strutting around with no idea of what they are strutting around about. Gorbachev is 100% correct we must do away with nuclear weapons. The answer Gorbachev gave Reagan about helping each other out with natural disasters is the right answer, and one that all nations would do well to sign on to. The world is getting smaller and smaller everyday, and war is crowding the field.
I also believe that if Donetsk wants to separate from Ukraine to join Russia, that Russia will be encouraged to accept this battered region into it’s sovereignty as well. The other thing that would be nice about this Ukraine business, would be if Americans were to learn the truth about what has happened, and get away from this Russian aggression nonsense that our American media has promoted to our U.S. population for the last few years.
Spot on comment. America is the one that has some learning to do this time around. That’s for sure. The US has ironically adopted a number of the most negative attributes of the former Soviet Union. We have government controlled messaging through the consolidated MSM, eavesdropping, spying and manipulation of electronic devices and software to ascertain info on the countries population (as revealed by WikiLeaks), renditioning (gov’t kidnapping and assassination), incessant propaganda, false flags and hoaxes to manipulate the public, an orchestrated PropOrNot/MSM fake news agenda, support for nefarious terrorist groups and dangerous regimes, beating of citizens who don’t comply with authorities, etc…. We have become that which we profess to despise. It is the ultimate Faustian bargain the global elite have enacted. They care not for the citizenry. We are all simply expendable commodities to them. They call us Russian trolls if we dare speak out against their agenda and they threaten us with violence in comment sections. This is all being conducted with our own tax dollars. It is pure criminal madness and both sides of the US political aisle are guilty of these things. It is a coordinated deceptive agenda being employed against the American people and we have to form a new political party that brings together all Americans in order to get out from under this wall of deceitful manipulation. Currently, the US makes the Soviet Union look tame in comparison, especially more so because it has a glossy sheen thrown on top that people continue to smile through while they know deep down what is really going on. The first place to start is exposing Cass Sunstein and these government paid for disinformation MIC outfits such as Ntrepid and others. This propaganda has to be exposed for what it really is.
America these days is being compared to some of the worst of the worst of history’s worst human rights offenders, mixed with failed empires. Hitter’s NAZI Germany, Mussolini’s Fascist Italy, and Stalin’s Gulag Soviet Union, and Caligula’s Perverted Rein of Rome is being thrown around, but why start a war with Russia just because Trump is outrageous.
The real battle is going on above the people’s heads. I mean the CIA/MSM is in attack mode against the Trump Regime, and neither one of the two seem to be worried much about the American people. At least that’s the way it appears. Trump is worried about his image and reputation while the CIA/MSM/NeoCon are concerned with world domination…well maybe both are, but one doesn’t like the other.
I say leave Russia and China a lone, and pull out of these wars.
The American People need to rise up and Oust the Neocon control of American foreign policy via Armed conflict if necessary!! It is the only way for us to survive.
Yes, courage, rebellion and fight. It has always been the way the masses have advanced society. Expect nothing but injury and possible death. The wolves must be removed from power before they kill us all.
I believe we are “Marching to Doomsday”
Marching towards Doomsday in bemedaled uniforms
Are they the NATO-rious war mongers that should be scorned?
Instead they parade and feed off peoples taxes
Bringing death and destruction to many countries masses
Many people follow and obey the dictators of war
Helping them to facilitate endless blood and gore
Hell on earth rains down from the starry heavens
Napoleon says: “men will… even die, for ribbons”
War and more war is their crazy reason for being
Are maniacs of militarism, what we are seeing?
War criminals and political gangs, that are a curse on the world
Evil personified with their war marketing banners unfurled…
[much more info at link below]
Good one. I like your poetry more and more….
Generals gathered in their masses,
Just like witches at black masses.
Evil minds that plot destruction,
Sorcerer of death’s construction.
In the fields the bodies burning,
As the war machine keeps turning.
Death and hatred to mankind,
Poisoning their brainwashed minds.
Oh lord yeah!
Politicians hide themselves away,
They only started the war.
Why should they go out to fight,
They leave that role to the poor.*
Time will tell on their power mind, **
Making war just for fun.
Treating people just like pawns in chess,
Wait till their judgement day comes.
Now in darkness world stops turning,
Ashes where the bodies burning.
No more war pigs have the power,
Hand of God has struck the hour.
Day of judgement God is calling,
On their knees the war pig’s crawling.
Begging mercy for their sins,
Satan laughing spreads his wings.
Oh lord yeah!
By Black Sabbath
The Russian People And The American People are not enemies. It is the political intermediaries who have always been the problem between these two societies. This is why I often refer to Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn as being uniquely suited to study, because he experienced both societies, realized the problem, and wrote passionately about it. Nowhere in American Society is the effect of Propaganda more noticeable than right here in this discussion. But, for me, the only threat Russia poses for us (US), is our poor leadership.
Just say it.. its the neocons and neoliberal interventionists who are the problem that we have to deal with at home.
The Russian People And The American People are not enemies. It is the political intermediaries who have always been the problem between these two societies.
That is a scenario repeated throughout history wherever there has been conflict. Consider the Christmas Eve Truce in 1914 when British and German soldiers left their trenches and fraternized with each other until orders came from on high to get back in their trenches and continue the mindless slaughter.
Good point Bill, I suppose that true Statesmanship (if it exists) is honest bargaining over time?
“Kozin says that Russians see themselves being encircled by NATO”.
That would be because they are encircled by NATO.
Nov 29, 2016 The Map That Shows Why Russia Fears War With USA – Mike Maloney
Thanks for posting that, Brian. Very helpful. I’ve read about NATO encircling Russia here at CN plus other non-corporate news sites like Counterpunch.org, plus the changes since the end of the USSR in 1991–but these maps really give the picture.
Why isn’t CNN and MSNBC broadcasting this? Sad!
CNN, MSNBC and all western mainstream media are the property of the same oligarchy of mega corporations dominated by the big Wall Street, UK and EU banks that own the oil industry and weapons industry and Big Pharma and Big Food.
They are playing Monopoly for the world.
See (Google) the research by the mathematicians from the University of Zurich that found cross ownership networks of transnational corporations meant a single “super-entity” of 147 corporations (48 of top 50 are banks) controls 60% of profit of all world’s 43,000 transnational corporations.
DECEMBER 25, 2015 NATO: Seeking Russia’s Destruction Since 1949
In 1990, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, U.S. president George H. W. Bush through his secretary of state James Baker promised Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev that in exchange for Soviet cooperation on German reunification, the Cold War era NATO alliance would not expand “one inch” eastwards towards Russia.