(from Santa Fe, New Mexico)
Mikhail Gorbachev, former President of the USSR, was asked today in Santa Fe, New Mexico, to lead the next USA President out of the USA's present Middle East conflicts; “USA needs to elect a President who gets along with the world, and doesn’t brandish a big stick and make threats;” World needs “Planetary Glasnost”
By Stephen Fox, Managing Editor, Santa Fe Sun News
Stephen Fox, alternative newspaper managing editor and gallery owner of Santa Fe, this afternoon in Santa Fe asked former USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev if, after November, he would please be so kind as to lead and advise the next USA President as to how to get out of our quagmire. This is most of what he replied in Russian, through a translator:
“The Middle East is what the entire world is watching. If things go badly for the USA, things go badly for all of us. America must not abuse the trust it has from its allies, much of which has virtually stopped.
I am glad to see in this election a resurgence of interest in international affairs. As I will say in my talk tonight, judging from the USA’s military budget, your nation seems to be at war with the world, and I sense that the American people don’t like this at all.
The size of your weapons budget is larger than it was at the peak of the Cold War, and larger all of the rest of the nuclear nations put together. Why do you continue to build these weapons? This is amazing to me!
I think that [former Secretary of States] George Shultz and Henry Kissinger, [former US Senator] Sam Nunn, and [former Secretary of Defense] William Perry have put together recently a very interesting plan in this regard, and I appreciate their initiative.
With a background of conflict, military budgets in the USA continue to grow, and you produce more weapons. The next president must show courage and responsibility to resist increasing your arms expenditures. Most serious nations in the European Union are studying the proposal by Schultz and Kissinger, and the USA should heed this proposal.
You must bear in mind, that many nations find it difficult to trust America if it insists on maintaining its weapon superiority.
After January 1, 1986, when I proposed an abolition of Nuclear Weapons, there was an immediate reaction, that many didn’t trust me, because of the USSR’s massive ground forces and conventional weapons. I responded by making some large cuts in spending for conventional weapons, and eventually we signed a treaty in this context in Paris.
So I would put the same question to America and to Americans!"
At the beginning of the Press Conference in Santa Fe, Gorbachev defended Putin’s concern over USA building extensive missile defense systems in Eastern Europe, but said that it was good that Bush and Putin took the time to recently meet one more time before Bush leaves office.
He also stated that the USA needs to “elect a President who gets along with the world, and doesn’t brandish a big stick and make threats.”
This is “up to the American people to persuade its leaders, and this burden can’t be shouldered by others.” After 15 years of “pushing” since leaving office in 1992, Gorbachev now believes that most world leaders and heads of state are “lagging,” and that what we really need next is “Planetary Glasnost.”