Sunday, April 13, 2014

337 We treated Russia badly. A letter to Putin.

This blog: 

1.  Former US ambassador in Moscow tells us that we treated Russia badly. 
2.  German intellectuals send a letter to Putin, offering excuses for EU behavior. 

1) Former ambassador to Russia, Jack Matlock, show us that the end of the Cold War was a mutual agreement, not a victory of The West.  And he shows how unworthy America has treated the Russians since then. Russian mistrust is fully understandable.  
All bold and yellow parts were made by me, JV. 

The U.S. has treated Russia like a loser since the end of the Cold War.

(this article in the Washington Post)

By Jack F. Matlock Jr., Published: March 14
Jack F. Matlock Jr., ambassador to the U.S.S.R. from 1987 to 1991, is the author of “Reagan and Gorbachev: How the Cold War Ended.”
One afternoon in September 1987, Secretary of State George Shultz settled in a chair across the table from Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze in a New York conference room. Both were in the city for the United Nations General Assembly.
As he habitually did at the start of such meetings , Shultz handed Shevardnadze a list of reported human rights abuses in the Soviet Union. Shevardnadze’s predecessor, Andrei Gromyko, had always received such lists grudgingly and would lecture us for interfering in Soviet internal affairs.
This time, though, Shevardnadze looked Shultz in the eye and said through his interpreter: “George, I will check this out, and if your information is correct, I will do what I can to correct the problem. But I want you to know one thing: I am not doing this because you ask me to; I am doing it because it is what my country needs to do.”
Shultz replied: “Eduard, that’s the only reason either of us should do something. Let me assure you that I will never ask you to do something that I believe is not in your country’s interest.”
They stood and shook hands. As I watched the scene, with as much emotion as amazement, it dawned on me that the Cold War was over. The job of American ambassador in Moscow was going to be a lot easier for me than it had been for my predecessors.
I thought back to that moment as talks between Secretary of State John Kerry and Russia’s top diplomat this past week failed to resolve the crisis in Ukraine. It’s striking that the language being used publicly now is so much more strident than our language, public or private, was then. “It can get ugly fast if the wrong choices are made,” Kerry declared Wednesday, threatening sanctions.
I don’t believe that we are witnessing a renewal of the Cold War. The tensions between Russia and the West are based more on misunderstandings, misrepresentations and posturing for domestic audiences than on any real clash of ideologies or national interests. And the issues are far fewer and much less dangerous than those we dealt with during the Cold War.
But a failure to appreciate how the Cold War ended has had a profound impact on Russian and Western attitudes — and helps explain what we are seeing now.
The common assumption that the West forced the collapse of the Soviet Union and thus won the Cold War is wrong . The fact is that the Cold War ended by negotiation to the advantage of both sides.
At the December 1989 Malta summit, Mikhail Gorbachev and President George H.W. Bush confirmed that the ideological basis for the war was gone, stating that the two nations no longer regarded each other as enemies . Over the next two years, we worked more closely with the Soviets than with even some of our allies. Together, we halted the arms race, banned chemical weapons and agreed to drastically reduce nuclear weapons. I also witnessed the raising of the Iron Curtain, the liberation of Eastern Europe and the voluntary abandonment of communist ideology by the Soviet leader. Without an arms race ruining the Soviet economy and perpetuating totalitarianism, Gorbachev was freed to focus on internal reforms.
Because the collapse of the Soviet Union happened so soon afterward, people often confuse it with the end of the Cold War. But they were separate events, and the former was not an inevitable outcome of the latter.
Moreover, the breakup of the U.S.S.R. into 15 separate countries was not something the United States caused or wanted. We hoped that Gorbachev would forge a voluntary union of Soviet republics, minus the three Baltic countries. Bush made this clear in August 1991 when he urged the non-Russian Soviet republics to adopt the union treaty Gorbachev had proposed and warned against “suicidal nationalism.” Russians who regret the collapse of the Soviet Union should remember that it was the elected leader of Russia, Boris Yeltsin, who conspired with his Ukrainian and Belarusian counterparts to replace the U.S.S.R. with a loose and powerless “commonwealth.”
Even after the U.S.S.R. ceased to exist, Gorbachev maintained that “the end of the Cold War is our common victory.” Yet the United States insisted on treating Russia as the loser.
“By the grace of God, America won the Cold War,” Bush said during his 1992 State of the Union address. That rhetoric would not have been particularly damaging on its own. But it was reinforced by actions taken under the next three presidents.
President Bill Clinton supported NATO’s bombing of Serbia without U.N. Security Council approval and the expansion of NATO to include former Warsaw Pact countries. Those moves seemed to violate the understanding that the United States would not take advantage of the Soviet retreat from Eastern Europe. The effect on Russians’ trust in the United States was devastating. In 1991, polls indicated that about 80 percent of Russian citizens had a favorable view of the United States; in 1999, nearly the same percentage had an unfavorable view.
Vladi­mir Putin was elected in 2000 and initially followed a pro-Western orientation. When terrorists attacked the United States on Sept. 11, 2001, he was the first foreign leader to call and offer support. He cooperated with the United States when it invaded Afghanistan, and he voluntarily removed Russian bases from Cuba and Cam Ranh Bay in Vietnam.
What did he get in return? Some meaningless praise from President George W. Bush, who then delivered the diplomatic equivalent of swift kicks to the groin: further expansion of NATO in the Baltics and the Balkans, and plans for American bases there; withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty; invasion of Iraq without U.N. Security Council approval; overt participation in the “color revolutions” in Ukraine, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan; and then, probing some of the firmest red lines any Russian leader would draw, talk of taking Georgia and Ukraine into NATO. Americans, heritors of the Monroe Doctrine, should have understood that Russia would be hypersensitive to foreign-dominated military alliances approaching or touching its borders.
President Obama famously attempted a “reset” of relations with Russia, with some success: The New START treaty was an important achievement, and there was increased quiet cooperation on a number of regional issues. But then Congress’s penchant for minding other people’s business when it cannot cope with its own began to take its toll.The Magnitsky Act , which singled out Russia for human rights violations as if there were none of comparable gravity elsewhere, infuriated Russia’s rulers and confirmed with the broader public the image of the United States as an implacable enemy.
The sad fact is that the cycle of dismissive actions by the United States met by overreactions by Russia has so poisoned the relationship that the sort of quiet diplomacy used to end the Cold War was impossible when the crisis in Ukraine burst upon the world’s consciousness. It’s why 43 percent of Russians are ready to believe that Western actions are behind the crisis and that Russia is under siege.
Putin’s military occupation of Crimea has exacerbated the situation. If it leads to the incorporation of Crimea in the Russian Federation , it may well result in a period of mutual recrimination and economic sanctions reminiscent of the Cold War. In that scenario, there would be no winners, only losers: most of all Ukraine itself, which may not survive in its present form, and Russia, which would become more isolated. Russia may also see a rise in terrorist acts from anti-Russian extremists on its periphery and more resistance from neighboring governments to membership in the economic union it is promoting.
Meanwhile, the United States and Europe would lose to the extent that a resentful Russia would make it even more difficult to address global and regional issues such as the Iranian nuclear program, North Korea and the Syrian civil war, to name a few. Russian policy in these areas has not always been all the United States desired, but it has been more helpful than many Americans realize. And encouraging a more obstructive Russia is not in anyone’s interest.
2) A letter from german intellectuals to mr. Putin. 
( Original german article
300 German people have written a letter to President Putin. They are disgusted by the European press and the European politicians. 
The letter contains a lot of good arguments. 

Dear Mister President!

In your speech in front of the Duma you asked the German people for some understanding. We are German citizens, and most of us experienced the post-war period in the western part of Germany.  When the cold war ended in 1990  and our country was reunited, a sigh of relief went through the world, because the always threatening danger of a nuclear military conflict, which would have pulled the entire globe in, 
seemed avoided.  Germany would have been extinguished. 

The Soviet Union has played the decisive role for the liberation of Europe from Nazism, at the cost of much more victims than any other country.  Nevertheless Russia was -in 1990-  ready to support the German reunification and to dissolve the Warsaw Pact -in 1991-  and to accept NATO membership of the newly formed bigger Germany. This was not honored by the West.

The former Ambassador of the United States in Moscow (1987-1991), Jack Matlock, confirmed a few days ago in the Washington Post that President Bush promised not to exploit the generosity of President Gorbachev.

The expansion of NATO up to the former Soviet republics, the establishment of military bases in former Warsaw signatories and the construction of an anti-ballistic missile defense screen in East Europe with concurrent withdrawal from the ABM Treaty on the part of the USA are all striking breaches of promise.
These measures can only be understood – also by us-  as a claim to more  power by the Leading Power of the West, and it is directed against your effort to consolidate  Russia’s  political  and economic integrity, which you have pursued sice you took office in 2000. ( Free translation)

Moreover, Keir A. Lieber and Daryl G. Press wrote ( convincingly) in 2006 in „Foreign Affairs “ in their  article „to The Rise of U.S. Nuclear Primacy”  that the anti-missile defense screen is to make a nuclear first strike possible for the nuclear neutralization of Russia.

This background in condensed form is the background from which we assess the events in the Ukraine since November 2013. Meanwhile, it is widely documented that the United States has exploited the legitimate protests of the Ukrainian people for their own purposes. The pattern is familiar from other countries: Serbia, Georgia, Ukraine 2004, Egypt, Syria, Libya, Venezuela ...

The “interference” of the European Union and OSCE was swiftly taken care of:  within twelve hours after the deal negotiated by the foreign ministers for a peaceful transition, it  was overturned with the help of fascist forces.  ( Very difficult sentence in German.)

The website of the Open Ukraine Foundation of the incumbent Prime Minister shows who is behind the current coup government in Kiev.

Internal and international law questions about the secession of Crimea are differently answered. We want to evaluate them here not legally, but only  from a political point of view.

Against the background of developments in Europe since 1990, the deployment of some 1,000 U.S. military bases around the world, the control of strategic Sea Straits by the U.S. and the threat to the Russian Black Sea fleet that comes from the  perpetrators of the Maidan, we see the secession of the Crimea as a defensive measure with a simultaneous message: up to here and no further!

The crucial difference with Kosovo's independence declaration is that the latter was made possible by the illegal bombing by NATO, unfortunately with the participation of Germany , which created the conditions for independence.

Dear Mr. President, almost four years ago you have called for an economic community from Lisbon to Vladivostok. It would be the economic basis for the “common European home”. 

The Ukraine could take up an ideal bridge function for the future cooperation between the Eurasian Union lead by you and the European Union, not least in cultural respect. We are persuaded that the massive influencing control of the USA has as its purpose prevent the Ukraine from becoming such a bridge.

The forces which have prevailed in the European Commission are those supporting the policy of the United States against Russia. The speech of the Executive Secretary-General of the
European External Action Service (EEAS or EAS: it serves as a foreign ministry and diplomatic corps for the EU) Pierre Vimont, on March 14 this year, leaves no room for doubt (EurActiv: "EU shunned from US-Russia meeting on Ukraine").

Dear Mr. President, we trust that your historic speech in 2001 before the German Bundestag (= parliament)  will continue to form the basis for your politics in relation with  the EU and Germany. The latest polls show that the majority of Germans do not want any confrontation with the Russian Federation and are expressing understanding for Russian actions towards the Ukraine.

We do not misjudge or underestimate  the difficulties faced by Federal Republic of Germany as a member of the EU and NATO concerning Russia, these are also known to you. However, at least we expect the Federal Government to operate in the old Roman legal principle audiatur et altera pars ("hear the other side too”). This was omitted where it concerned the ‘neighborhood policy’ of the EU in the case of Ukraine.

Even during the Cold War Russia has not made use of the argument that 27 millions of its citizens died during WWII for political gain against Germany.  This figure alone, and the greatness of Russia not to use it as an argument, makes that Russia deserves better behavior from our countries towards Russia. ( Free translation)

The people of Germany have a keen sense for this: when  "The Group of Soviet forces in Germany" left Germany in 1994 with a performance of its music corps on the square before the Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn , there were moving scenes between the numerous spectators and musicians.

When -- against this background --  we see the news reporting and commentaries in the German media we can only think of one appropriate adjective  in the Englisch  language:  disgusting.

Dear Mr. President, with our modest means as a simple citizen, we will help to ensure that the intended division of Europe does not succeed, but the ideas of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz be brought back to new life. 

We are convinced: only if the states and peoples of the Eurasian double continent regulate their affairs peacefully with one another, respectfully, cooperatively, on the basis of justice and without outside interference, this will radiate also into the remaining world. We see you in this sense as our ally.  For Your current, and hopefully also the next office period we wish you strength, power of endurance, intelligence and skillfulness. 

With utmost respect,

Jochen Scholz, Oberstleutnant a.D.
Volker Bräutigam, Journalist
Wolf Gauer, Filmemacher/Journalist
Andreas Hauß, Historiker, Publizist
Regine Naeckel, Redakteurin
Dr. Ludwig Watzal, Journalist und Redakteur, Bonn
Stefan Siegert, Zeichner, Autor
Peter Kleinert, Journalist, Dokumentarfilmer, Herausgeber der Neue Rheinische Zeitung (PK)
Günter Schupp, Rentner 
Ulrich Sander, Journalist, Bundessprecher der Vereinigung der Verfolgten des Naziregimes/Bund der Antifaschisten
Evelyn Hecht-Galinski, Publizistin und Autorin
Benjamin Hecht
Peter Lommes, Immobilienkfm.
Wilfried Rühe, Rentner, Hauptmann a.D. der NVA, Vorsitzender der Gemeinschaft der 13er e.V.
Claudia Karas, Aktionsbündnis für einen gerechten Frieden in Palästina, Friedensaktivistin
Peter M. Richter, Jurist
Antje Richter, Diplombibliothekarin
Tilo Schönberg, Herausgeber des Informationsportals
Hartmut Barth-Engelbart, Schriftsteller, Kabarettist, Liedermacher, Historiker
Günter Schenk, membre du Collectif Judéo Arabe et Citoyen pour la Palestine, Strasbourg
Wolfgang Jung, Herausgeber der LUFTPOST
Ulrich Gellermann, Herausgeber der Rationalgalerie
Tim Bräutigam, Kundenbetreuer
Rainer Rupp, Journalist
Winfried Belz, Dipl.-Theologe, Klinikseelsorger i.R.
Friedrich Gentzsch, Dipl.-Ing. Architekt
Birgit Gentzsch, Lehrerin i.R GEW
Harri Grünberg, Vorsitzender des Netzwerkes Cuba, Mitglied des Bundesausschusses der Partei Die Linke  
Dr. Werner Bollendorf, Historiker, selbst. Kaufmann i.R.
Thomas Immanuel Steinberg, Rentner
Fritz Reichert, Physiker
Dr. Manfred Lotze, Arzt
Annette Klepzig, MTA im Ruhestand, Mitglied bei Pax Christi
Dr. Dieter Weber, Historiker und Archivar
Dr. med. Jens Wagner, Assistenzarzt, IPPNW
Johannes Klier, Musiker
Ingrid Hacker-Klier, Übersetzerin
Norbert Bragoner, Rentner
Dr. Albrecht Jebens, Chefredakteur, Lektor und Autor
Samy Yildirim, Dipl. Phys.
Maria Pauli, Kunsthandwerkerin
Kurt Wirth, Dipl.-Kfm./Rentner
Elisabeth Woeckel, Theologin, Dozentin i. Brasilien, Syrien, Sri Lanka, i. R.
Dr. Dirk-M. Harmsen, Physiker, Leitungskreis Forum Friedensethik (FFE) in der Evangelischen Landeskirche in Baden
Flora Erler, Rentnerin
Irma Dillmann, Rentnerin
Jürgen Rose, Oberstleutnant a. D., Vorstandsmitglied des Arbeitskreises Darmstädter Signal
Karl-Heinz Walloch, Dokumentarfilmer
René Pauli, Polizeibeamter
Esther Thomsen, Diplom-Theologin
Prof. Dr. Werner Ruf, Politikwissenschaftler
Wolfgang Reinicke-Abel, M.A. phil.päd., Kulturmanager
Christine Reinicke, M.A. , Schulleiterin
Dr. phil. Tatjana Weber, Diplomlehrerin für Russisch und Geschichte
Erasmus Schöfer, 'Schriftsteller, Köln
Peter Bautsch, Rentner
Gudrun Rafeld, Rentnerin
Dr. Izzeddin Musa, Diplomgeologe i.R., Vorsitzender der Gesellschaft zur Humanitären Unterstützung der Palästinenser e.V.
Dr.-Ing. Dietrich Schulze, Beiratsmitglied NaturwissenschaftlerInnen-Friedensinitiative
Tobias Ganietz, Zimmerer
Hans Christange, Diplom-Jurist, Rentner, Partei DIE LINKE
Prof. Dr. Frank-Rainer Schurich, Publizist
Dr. Hassan Swelim, Physiker
Alexander Bese, Krankenpfleger
Olga Bese Betriebswirtin
Frank Skischus, Bundesausschuss Friedensratschlag, Kassel
Renate Schoof, Schriftstellerin
Ursula Schleier, Ärztin i.R.
Thomas Gotterbarm, Med. Dokumentar/Übersetzer
Rudolf Reddig, Historiker
Wolfgang Behr, Kartograf
Dr. George Alfred Kouchakji , Retired Medical Microbiologist
Frank Skischus, Bundesausschuss Friedensratschlag, Kassel
Maria von Choltitz, Oberstudienrätin a.D., Bündnis90/Die Grünen,Tochter des Eroberers der Krim und des Retters von Paris vor der Zerstörung durch Hitler
Dr. Wolfgang Bittner, Schriftsteller
Dietrich Schulze,
Dr. Almuth Benzel,
Karin Hamacher,
Volker O´Barden,
Tobias Gdanietz-Zimmerer,
Dr. Bernd Bornemann
Gerhard Duemchen, Pfr. i.r.
Ole Chmilewski
Heinz Brüggemann
Günther Wilke, Journalist
Marianne Wilke
Erica Warncke
Marlen Goischke, Rentner
Maaten Slooves, Rentner
Wolfram Jasker
Irmgard Jasker
Helga Meyer
Brigitte v. Winterfeld, Rentnerin
Rainer Mehl, Rentner
Gesa Metzger
Inge Lüers
Valentin Bese, Bürokaufmann
Jochen Vogler, Rentner, Landessprecher der VVN-BdA NRW
Edgar Fries, Dipl.Ing. Stadtplaner/Rentner
Karl Schmidt, Pfarrer i.R.
Helmut Jaskolski, Lehrer i.R., Mitglied Pax Christi
Hanna Jaskolski
Michael Poost, Texter und Programmierer
Dr. Peter Kern, Professor a.D.
Andreas Winterhalder, Lehrer
Frithjof Newiak, Absolvent Staatliche Universität Charkow /Ukraine
Sonja Newiak, ehemals Studierende in Charkow/Ukraine
Hans-Günther Schramm
Christoph, Paschke, EDV-Leiter
Mario Schweizer, technischer Betriebswirt
Susanne Wiesinger, Übersetzerin
Jochen Adolff, Grafikdesigner
Carsten Wölk, Rentner
Jessica Mayer, Mutter und Hausfrau
Dr. Rudolph Bauer, Prof. em.
Dipl.-Psych. Marianne Sörensen-Bauer, Psychotherapeutin
Florian Finke, angehender Student
Wolfgang Ney
Willy Wahl, Herausgeber d. Internet-Blogs
Margot Wahl
Klaus H. Jann, Roter Reporter
Dr. Bernd Bornemann, Kunsthistoriker, Kulturschaffender
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Hans-Ulrich Bünger, Dipl.-Sozialwirt, Rentner
Michael Poost; Journalist
Sybille Maggraf, Literaturpädagogin
Holger Platta, Autor und Wissenschaftsjournalist
Edgar Fries
Anita Binz (Schweiz)
Ursula Schleier
Dr. theol. Holger Müller, Pfarrer, Beauftragter der Evangelischen Landeskirche in Baden fürs Konstanzer Konzil-Jubiläum
Angelika Wolfrum-Daub, Physiotherapeutin
Peter G. Spengler, Redaktion Studien von Zeitfragen
Professor Dr. Hans-Christian Günther, Universität Freiburg
Ulrike Schramm, Kinderkrankenschwester
Werner Schramm, Erziehungswissenschaftler
Manfred Hausherr - Willmann, Selbständiger
Heinz A. Schammert, Erziehungsberater
Brigitte Brecht, Opernregisseurin
Katharina Bachmann, Vors. Die NaturFreunde OG Schopfheim e. V.
Stefan Pertschi, Dessinateur
Udo Stampa, Richter am Landessozialgericht
Werner Heinlein, Justizbeamter i.R
Hans Christange
Inge Baumgart, Rentnerin
Christa Willich-Klein, Dipl.-Psychologin
Christine Ehrlenspiel, Oberstudienrätin i.R.
Dieter Anschütz, Oberstudienrat i.R.
Dr. Theresia Sauter-Bailliet, Rentnerin
Dr. med. Frank Baum, Facharzt f. Allgemeinmedizin, Klin. Geriatrie (IPPNW, Verein demokr. Ärztinnen u. Ärzte, ver.di)
Michael Schoof, Rentner
Dr. Jürgen Koch
Uta Koch
Rainer Kluckhuhn, Lehrer a.D.
Dipl.-Biol. Doris Grunert, Fachärztin für Humangenetik, Universität Bremen
Albert Haller
Dipl.-Ing. Wolfgang Herzig, Oberst a.D.
Helmut Rössler, Rentner
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Gerhard Zwerenz, Schriftsteller
Ingrid Zwerenz, Autorin
Doris Schilling, Unternehmerin
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Elke Minx Senior Mitglied der Linken
Eva Maria Müller, Diplom-Jurist
Udo Meurer, Industriemechaniker
Dr. Vera Hartlapp, Psychiaterin i.R.
Brigitte Rauscher
Peter Rauscher, Rentner
PD Dr. Hamid Reza Yousefi, Universität Trier
Günter Schroth, Erwachsenenbildner i.R.
CLAUDE GREGOIRE, Luxemburger Staatsbürger
Christa Oppermann, Rentnerin
Dietrich Hyprath, Dipl.-Ing. i.R.
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Klaus-Dieter Mudra
Jörg Spannbauer, selbständiger Filmtheater Betreiber
Ernst Albers-Buttstaedt, Fachpfleger für Sozialpsychiatrie i.R.
Stefan Buttstaedt, Verwaltungsangestellter i.R.
Dr. med. BG John Heinzow, Arzt/Umweltmedizin
Wolfgang Eschenbacher, Makroökonom
Andreas Gaube, Grafiker
Dipl. Ing. Dusan, Radakovic, Rentner
Peter Bäß, Pfarrer i.R.
Tatjana Heß, private Seniorenbereuerin
Gudrun Fenten, Chemotechnikerin i.R.
Klaus Fenten, Architekt i.R.
Anke Wetekamp, Lehrerin
Walter Mayer, Bibliothekar i.R.
Prof. Hermann Kendel,
Dipl.-Kfm. Christan Ottens, kaufm. Angestellter
Christine Green-Ottens, Diplom Sozialpädagogin
Dr. Christian Fischer, Beratender Ingenieur, öffentlich bestellter und vereidigter Sachverständiger

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