America’s word: not worth a Kopek


January 18, 2016 – Fort Russ News –

– Christophe SERVAN in Boulevard Voltaire, translated by Tom Winter

The entire conquest of the West was accomplished through treaties with the Indian nations which Washington hastened to trample under foot.

To listen to some members of the US Congress, one must take seriously the hypothesis of an impending invasion of the Baltic countries by Russia, an invasion that would ipso facto lead to a war against the United States. 

So the apocalypse that never happened in the days of the gulag, armored vehicles in Prague, barbed wire in Berlin, and nuclear warheads in Cuba would become possible today against a Russia open to McDonald’s and Coca-Cola, and that sends us tourists by charter each summer. Understand it if you can.

Obviously, the intervention alongside Bashar al-Assad, the annexation of the Crimea or the emails of the Democratic Party are not sufficient reasons to risk a world war, especially a thermonuclear one. 

So how did we come to this degree of tension between the two superpowers, when in the aftermath of the fall of the Berlin Wall the West was full of praise for Mikhail Gorbachev (Михаил Горбачёв). 

To understand, you have to ask the right question. How did NATO survive and even manage to grow, when the Warsaw Pact was dissolved with the end of the USSR?

Between the fall of the Berlin Wall  (November 9, 1989) and the historic meeting between Helmut Kohl and Mikhail Gorbachev (July, 1990), which sealed the reunification of Germany, intense negotiations broke out between the Soviets and the Americans.

But there are two versions of these negotiations. That of the Russians: the reunification of Germany and the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact was bartered against the promise not to extend the perimeter of NATO eastward. That of the Americans: that the Russian version is a myth and that there was never any mention of NATO.

If the Russians tell the truth, then the Americans have broken their word and the Kremlin’s rhetoric that their security is threatened is valid and justifies their interventions in Georgia, the Crimea and the Donbas. 

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If the Americans speak the truth, then it is clear that Russia has not departed from the double game that characterized the USSR and that the Americans are justified in being suspicious.

What one is it?

The issue has been the subject of much research by Western scholars who have, over time, gotten access to ever more declassified documents, and testimonies of retired diplomats and high-ranking military personnel.

The most recent of these is the analysis of Prof. Joshua R. Itzkowitz Shifrinson. It is a detailed synthesis of the state of knowledge on this subject. The question of NATO after reunification, as the Americans claim, does not appear on any written document that creates a legal link. 

However, in February 1990, a week before Kohl’s visit to Moscow that would trigger the reunification process, Secretary of State James Baker assured Gorbachev that NATO would not extend east, “Even one inch.”

A few days later Helmut Kohl maintained the same language to the Soviet leader, and in the following months the Westerners repeatedly told the Russians of their intention to reduce NATO’s influence to the benefit of the CSCE (Military security organization arising from the Helsinki agreements and of which Russia is a paticipant), which could only delight Moscow. 

Gorbachev had bitten the hook and, behind the scenes, the United States was planning on the post-reunification that was not without a strengthening of their presence in Europe, including Eastern Europe.

The author then raises the question of the political (rather than legal) value of a verbal agreement in international relations. He recalled that the Cuban crisis was largely resolved by a purely verbal agreement between the two parties (withdrawal of the SS-5 missiles from Cuba against the withdrawal of the Jupiter missiles stationed in Turkey) and that the two parties kept their word without recourse to a treaty. 

The author concludes that the Russians are therefore justified in believing that they have been deceived and that this must be taken into account (this is an euphemism) in order to make an objective assessment of the responsibility for current tensions. 

The Russians ought to have known that the word of the United States is not worth a kopek because all the conquest of the West was accomplished by treachery, by treaties concluded with the Indian nations and that Washington hastened to trample foot.

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