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Former President Gorbachev writes: "Looks as if the world is preparing for war"; Similar Insights to our 2008 Interview

By       Message Stephen Fox       (Page 1 of 4 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   27 comments

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[Author's note: This breakthrough effort by the Russian Nobel Peace Laureate from 1990 is personally very important to me, having met Gorbachev in 2008 after 8 years of George Bush, and a few months before Barack Obama was elected, and having been privileged to ask him a detailed question about how to guide the next USA President out of the Middle East and out of Afghanistan. His answer is quoted in my article from back then, at the end of this new OpEdNews article. Gorbachev is remarkably consistent in the tenor of his insights and his conclusions over the past 8 1/2 years since I asked him my one question, which he seemed to enjoy answering as his reply took 20 minutes to deliver!]

Mikhail Gorbachev recently wrote in a Time Magazine opinion piece that Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump should and must get together create a Resolution to ban nuclear war.

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"Politicians and military leaders sound increasingly belligerent and defense doctrines more dangerous. Commentators and TV personalities are joining the bellicose chorus. It all looks as if the world is preparing for war," and further stated that the most urgent problem we face today is reversing the "militarization of politics."

He was critical of governments for taking huge amount of money out of crucial and needed infrastructure and putting them into weapons production and research.

"While state budgets are struggling to fund people's essential social needs, military spending is growing. Money is easily found for sophisticated weapons whose destructive power is comparable to that of the weapons of mass destruction."

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He specifically asked the United Nations Security Council to take up the leadership to establishing a resolution stating that nuclear war is "unacceptable and must never be fought," and that Putin and Trump should be the first leaders to embrace this.

"I think the initiative to adopt such a resolution should come from Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin -- the presidents of two nations that hold over 90 percent of the world's nuclear arsenals and therefore bear a special responsibility."

This kind of agreement was established between the U.S. and the Soviet Union in the 1980's, but has since been eroded along with the relations between the two powers, Gorbachev said. Here is most of the text of his opinion piece verbatim:

It could have been different

In the second half of the 1980's, together with the U.S., we launched a process of reducing nuclear weapons and lowering the nuclear threat. By now, as Russia and the U.S. reported to the Non-proliferation Treaty Review Conference, 80% of the nuclear weapons accumulated during the years of the Cold War have been decommissioned and destroyed. No one's security has been diminished, and the danger of nuclear war starting as a result of technical failure or accident has been reduced.

This was made possible, above all, by the awareness of the leaders of major nuclear powers that nuclear war is unacceptable.

In November 1985, at the first summit in Geneva, the leaders of the Soviet Union and the U.S. declared: Nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought. Our two nations will not seek military superiority. This statement was met with a sigh of relief worldwide.

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I recall a Politburo meeting in 1986 at which the defense doctrine was discussed. The proposed draft contained the following language: "Respond to attack with all available means." Members of the politburo objected to this formula. All agreed that nuclear weapons must serve only one purpose: preventing war. And the ultimate goal should be a world without nuclear weapons.

Breaking out of the vicious circle

Today, however, the nuclear threat once again seems real. Relations between the great powers have been going from bad to worse for several years now. The advocates for arms build-up and the military-industrial complex are rubbing their hands.

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Early in the 2016 Primary campaign, I started a Facebook group: Bernie Sanders: Advice and Strategies to Help Him Win! As the primary season advanced, we shifted the focus to advancing Bernie's legislation in the Senate, particularly the most (more...)
 

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