Reprinted from Paul Craig Roberts
Ambassador Jack Matlock made an important speech at the National Press Club on February 11. Matlock served as US ambassador to the Soviet Union during 1987-91. In his speech he describes how President Reagan won the trust of the Soviet leadership in order to bring to an end the Cold War and its risk of nuclear armageddon.
Reagan's meeting with Gorbachev did not rely on position papers written by staff. It relied on a hand-written memo by Reagan himself that stressed respect for the Soviet leadership and a clear realization that negotiation must not expect the Soviet leaders to do something that is not in the true interest of their country. The way to end the conflict, Reagan wrote, is to cooperate toward a common goal. Matlock said that Reagan refused to personalize disagreements or to speak derogatorily of any Soviet leader.
Matlock makes the point that Reagan's successors have done a thorough job of destroying this trust. In the last two years the destruction of trust has been total.
How can the Russian government trust Washington when Washington violates the word of President George H.W. Bush and takes NATO into Eastern Europe and places military bases on Russia's border?
How can the Russian government trust Washington when Washington pulls out of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and places Anti-Ballistic Missiles on Russia's border?
How can the Russian government trust Washington when Washington overthrows in a coup the elected government of Ukraine and installs a puppet regime that immediately expresses hostility toward Russia and the Russian-speaking population in Ukraine and destroys Soviet war memorials commemorating the Red Army's liberation of Ukraine from Nazi Germany?
How can the Russian government trust Washington when the President of Russia is called every name in the book, including "the new Hitler," and gratuitously accused of every sort of crime and personal failing?
Washington and its neoconservative monsters have destroyed trust with demonization and blame of Russia for violence in Ukraine for which Washington is responsible.
Washington has forced Europe to impose economic sanctions on Russia that are based entirely on lies and false accusations. The Russians know this. They recognize the blatant hostility, the blatant lies, the never-ending crude propaganda, the hypocritical double-standards, the push toward war.
Simultaneously China is experiencing hostile encirclement with Washington's "pivot to Asia."
By destroying trust, Washington has resurrected the threat of nuclear armageddon. Washington's destruction of trust between nuclear powers is the crime of the century.
On February 24, I held accountable Alexander J. Motyl and the Council on Foreign Relations for publishing on February 5 a large collection of blatant lies in order to create a false reality with which to demonize the Russian government. I observed that the publication of ignorant nonsense in what is supposed to be a respectable foreign policy journal indicated the degradation of the Western political and media elite.
I did not think things could get any worse, but one day later I came across Andrew S. Weiss' article in the Wall Street Journal.
Weiss' article is the most amazing collection of misrepresentations imaginable. It is impossible to believe that the vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment could possible be so totally misinformed. The false reality that Weiss creates precludes any diplomatic resolution of the conflict that Washington has created with Russia.
What is the explanation for Weiss' misrepresentations of Putin, the origin of the conflict and the cause of its continuation?