OxBlog

Friday, March 18, 2005

# Posted 2:32 AM by Ariel David Adesnik  

GEORGE KENNAN, 1904-2005: Emerson said that to be great is to be misunderstood. By that standard, George Kennan was surely the greatest American diplomat of the 20th century.

Kennan's name is inseparable from the doctrine of containment that influenced American foreign policy throughout the Cold War. Kennan gave the doctrine its name in his legendary essay in Foreign Affairs entitled The Sources of Soviet Conduct.

Yet within just a few short years, Kennan began to denounce what was being done in the name of his doctrine. The NYT obituary of Kennan captures an important dimension of this dissent by observing that
Mr. Kennan was deeply dismayed when the policy was associated with the immense build-up in conventional arms and nuclear weapons that characterized the cold war from the 1950's onward.
Yet long before the military build-up initiated during the Korean War, Kennan became infuriated by President Truman's division of the world into totalitarian and democratic realms as well Truman's commitment to spread democracy across the globe.

The NYT misses this point entirely. It never provides its readers with even the faintest suggestion that Kennan was fundamentally opposed to democracy promotion as a matter of principle. In contrast, the WaPo obituary of Kennan quotes him as saying that
"I would like to see our government gradually withdraw from its public advocacy of democracy and human rights. I submit that governments should deal with other governments as such, and should avoid unnecessary involvement, particularly personal involvement, with their leaders."
Mind you, Kennan's statement has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that he was a lifelong Democrat and that, these days, democracy promotion is a Republican agenda item. I can make this assertion with such confidence because Kennan's statement above is from 1999.

Yet while the Post deserves credit for recognizing the anti-democratic elements of Kennan's thinking (including his reactionary sexism and racism -- also ignored by the NYT), its provision of a quote from 1999 fails to inform readers that Kennan's opposition to promoting democracy was a six decade-long affair.

When asked to propose a US strategy for Latin America in the late 1940s, Kennan insisted that the United States must abandon its aversion to establishing firm alliances with right-wing dictators both because they were anti-communists and because the people of Latin America weren't ready for democracy.

The purpose of pointing all this out is not to expose the flaws of an otherwise great man. Rather, the purpose is to point out that these often-ignored aspects of Kennan's thinking were integral to everything that stood for. Because Kennan was a "realist".

Amazingly, neither the Times nor the Post describes Kennan as such. Yet it is this label that best identifies the intellectual movement to which Kennan belonged and to which he contributed so much. Although labels tend to oversimplify, it is very meaningful to say that George Kennan, Hans Morgenthau and Henry Kissinger were realists, whereas Harry Truman, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan were not. They were idealists.

Realists believe that violent conflict is an inevitable aspect of international relations. That is a sensible thing to believe. Realists also believe that the best way to avoid violence is to recognize and respect the sovereign authority of foreign governments, provided that they acknowledge the sovereignty of others as inviolable.

Thus, no matter how cruel or authoritarian a government is, serious realists such as Kennan insist that the United States should not attempt to reform it. Certain idealists might respond to such an argument that it is immoral. And it is.

But the far greater flaw of this sort of realist analysis is its failure to recognize how often the United States can best enhance its national security by also promoting its values. Even though the occupations of Germany and Japan demonstrated that point quite conclusively in the 1940s, Kennan was unable to grasp this simple fact.

Today, we are learning once again in Iraq, in Afghanistan and in Lebanon that our values are not an albatross around our necks but rather the greatest weapon in our arsenal.

For all his flaws, I recognize George Kennan as a great thinker and a great American. Yet at this critical moment, we cannot afford to let the celebration of his life prevent us from remembering the price of being "realistic".
(2) opinions -- Add your opinion

Comments:
Comment to David Adesnik: Geo. Kennan's 'long wire' 'cold war' coining speech has been cited by the Russian foreign Minister Lavrov:

(In addition see http://www.eisenhower.archives.gov/chance.htm and http://www.hpol.org/churchill/ for more cold war insights into how to counter the Bush Admin. rhetoric with more credible, historically based rhetoric.

DOCUMENTATION

[Source: Russian Foreign Ministry, March 6]

Article by Russia's Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov

60 Years of Fulton: Lessons of the Cold War and Our Time,
published by Rossiiskaya Gazeta on March 6, 2005


""On March 5, 1946, Winston Churchill delivered the Fulton speech,
which was one of the most symbolic events of the Cold War. Two
weeks earlier George Kennan's famous "long wire" was received in
Washington, the Iranian and Turkish crises were developing in
parallel, the Truman doctrine, the Marshall plan and much else
were shortly to be announced. But it was the speech by the former
British Prime Minister that is generally thought to have
introduced clarity into the development of events that had been
brewing and eventually came to be named "the Cold War". It
provided the most succinct definition of the new paradigm of
international relations. The date is so close to another date,
May 9, 1945, that they cannot be analyzed without close
interconnection, although it is obvious that they symbolize two
totally different eras -- different in content, the view of the
world and the very nature of international relations, different
in terms of their consequences for European and world politics.
It would seem that now, 60 years on, when even the
"post-Cold War period" has acquired a history of its own, it is
possible to assess that turning point in world development with a
measure of objectivity, if not with total disinterest. But the
sources of the Cold War still remain obscure in many ways. That
is why it is necessary to sort out what had happened then, how
the pragmatic policy that united the anti-Hitler allies came to
be replaced with a different policy, a policy of confrontation
based on ideas and principles that could not but be divisive.
I am convinced that too much in present-day international
life calls for a critical review of the history of the Cold War,
and a renunciation of the apologia of that complicated phenomenon
of international life. The world is again at a turning point. And
the conclusions we draw will go a long way to determine the
future of the planet, and each individual country, including
Russia. One cannot replay history, but one can figure it out in
order to try not to repeat mistakes. If a sharp transition from
allied policy to ideological confrontation was inevitable and
justified, then such an interpretation of history will shore up
similar approaches to problems in our times. If the Cold War was
an aberration in the development of international relations, that
logic can and must be reversed in the politics of today.
The Cold War was essentially about rivalry of the two
systems led by the USSR and the US, which had not only a
political-ideological, but also a social-economic and other
dimensions. The origin of the Cold War is not confined to the
scheme prevalent in Western countries: the USSR renounced
cooperation with the Western allies and reverted to "communist
expansion", and the West responded to the challenge of the Soviet
threat. The slide toward the Cold War, as confirmed by archive
documents and studies by objective historians, was at least a
two-way process for which the US and Britain bore much of the
blame. The choice they made, based on premises that for the most
part have not been justified, in reality initiated the creation
of a new bipolar world order.
The policy of the USSR throughout the second half of the
1940s, for all its toughness, was in many ways defensive and in
its own way had a consistent and predictable character. Mindful
of the lessons of the Great Patriotic War, it was aimed at
creating a protective belt of friendly states along the western
borders, gaining access to the World Ocean and ensuring maximum
defense depth all along the perimeter. Likewise, one should not
forget that the Soviet Union, which had made the decisive
contribution to victory over Nazi Germany, was stretched to the
limit at the end of the war. Moscow was physically unable to come
up with any initiative of confrontation with yesterday's
anti-Hitler allies.
During the war, the US and Britain showed a tolerant
attitude to the geopolitical claims of the USSR, recognized the
legitimacy of its security interests and adhered to the course of
integrating the USSR into the Western community. The Victory
dramatically changed the attitude of the Allies to the Soviet
security interests. Joint occupation of German territory should
have remained a unifying element for the anti-Hitler coalition.
But it did not happen. Ideology came into play. Otherwise, it is
hard to explain the Anglo-American slogan of "containing"; the
Soviet Union, a strategy that envisaged not only blocking
"Moscow's expansion", but breaking up the Soviet system as the
ultimate goal of the Cold War. The factor of ideology, of course,
could not be content with foreign policy alone. The course for
isolating and wearing down the USSR through arms race, on which
the West embarked, visited severe hardship on the Soviet people
and extended the existence of the Stalinist system. The
conditions of a "hostile encirclement" and a constant threat to
the country's security provided a justification for total control
of the authorities over society and economic inefficiency of the
system. The Cold War with its militarization and conformism
exacted a stiff price from the American people, distorting
national priorities and the standards of democracy for a long
period for the sake of countering an "external threat". Local
conflicts during the Cold War carried away millions of human
lives.
Soviet-American rivalry for influencing the world was
apparently inevitable, but it could have assumed other, less
confrontational and less dangerous forms. Especially since the
West had a clear edge over the USSR in the whole spectrum of
military, economic, scientific-technical and other components of
power, and hence, greater freedom of choice, and it could afford
a far more moderate policy with regard to the USSR. Perhaps,
Churchill's speech had a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy about
it: the Soviet Union could not threaten the West at the time, but
as the Cold War unfolded, it acquired such a potential. Instead
of political settlement of differences, as the main architect of
the "containment" strategy, George Kennan later
admitted, what was expected from the Soviet Union was
unconditional capitulation, but it was too strong to accept it.
After the Second World War, we perceived Stalin's Russia as
an expansionist and aggressive force and we replied in kind,
wrote Henry Kissinger. We recognize that thereby we probably gave
the Soviet side the impression that we were trying to force the
USSR into a permanently losing position. We were not sufficiently
well aware that the security needs of a continental power differ
substantially from the needs of a power surrounded by oceans on
all sides, as ours. Our history of absence of foreign invasions
from 1812 made us impervious to the problems of the country that
had repeatedly been invaded. Completing the picture was
demonization of the rival and a black-and-white vision of the
world.
One cannot but note the obvious haste of the Anglo-American
decisions to unleash the Cold War. These decisions, so
fundamental for the destinies of the world, were taken within a
very narrow circle of two powers and on a very shaky basis that
proved to be a short-lived factor, namely, the monopoly on
nuclear weapons. I believe that it is not only in hindsight that
such an approach can be described as irresponsible. All the
subsequent developments, the vicissitudes of geopolitical rivalry
and the nuclear arms race, when the USSR and the US alternately
gained the lead, provide ample grounds for such an assessment.
But eventually the world passed on to detente, which marked, in
effect, the West's recognition that there was no alternative to a
policy of engaging the Soviet Union. A policy, let me note, which
may have been chosen back in 1945-1946.
It appears that a crucial test for the policy of engagement
was the issue of continued mutually beneficial trade, economic
and financial ties between the US and the USSR in the post-war
period. Moscow counted on it very much. The economy could have
exerted a stabilizing impact on political relations. By putting
forward a range of political conditions, the US effectively
renounced negotiations on Soviet proposals of credits that could
have helped find a positive joint agenda.
Although Moscow did not entertain particular illusions, it
still hoped that confrontation would not acquire such a total
character. In the face of the policy pursued by the allies,
Moscow had no option but to bow to the inevitable, albeit for its
own ideological reasons.
History does not tolerate the subjunctive mood. But it is
hard not to assume that the USSR, which had paid such a horrible
price for the common victory whose fruits, though to varying
degrees, were used by everyone, was ready to play by the rules
and make compromises. Moscow provided considerable evidence for
that. This is also borne out by the sequence of events, and their
development in Asia in fact depended on the US choice that was
prompted by ideological motives. The price of cooperation may
well have been a more moderate policy of Moscow with regard to
Central and East European countries. But a sense of confrontation
and pressure from all directions, lack of reciprocity and
incentives for coming to an agreement ruled out such an option.
I see the reluctance to draw conclusions from the experience
of the Cold War and honestly and critically analyze its
consequences as a manifestation of dangerous intellectual and
psychological inertia that poses a real threat to international
relations in our times. It is not about answering the seemingly
trivial question as to who won and who lost the Cold War. The
main thing is that everyone gained from its end because everyone
has been freed from its shackles.
The policy of the Cold War shackled the UN by becoming a
virtual alternative to genuinely multilateral diplomacy. The
discipline of blocs, political expediency, and the interests of
saving ideological "face" prevailed. I am convinced that it is
precisely now, after the end of the Cold War, that the
Organization can fully reveal its potential. To be sure, it needs
to be comprehensively adapted to the modern conditions, which is
the aim of the unanimously adopted decisions of the 2005 summit.
A solid basis for this exists, including the bedrock principles
of the UN Charter. And if the UN managed to serve the interests
of the world community in the worst of times, it is even more
capable of doing it effectively today, given the good will of all
the states.
Today, nobody needs to be persuaded that the world is faced
with a real threat of a chasm between civilizations. It is
provoked by terrorists, but not only by them. Playing into their
hands are extremists on the other side, as is more than
convincingly demonstrated by the "cartoon", and the ideological
approaches to international problems as a whole. Direct parallels
with the experience of the "fight against communism", slogans
that smack of Islamophobia, and relapses into the policy of
double standards in the field of democratic development and
defense of human rights leave little room for any other
interpretations.
The logic of the ideological approach to international
affairs is diametrically opposed to the imperatives of
globalization. Not only the opportunities, but the threats are
becoming global. This suggests only one conclusion: the new
challenges and threats to security and sustainable development
can only be effectively opposed together, through collective
efforts of the whole international community. The fact that
security and prosperity are indivisible gives us no sensible
alternative. In turn, it requires a common denominator to enable
us to distinguish practical policies based on legitimate
interests of states and a commitment to values whose
interpretations inevitably differ.
The question of the sources and meaning of the Cold War is
too important for us to be content with a "vague" understanding.
There must be a maximum of clarity here. And one should not shut
down the archives: the remaining issues cannot be cleared up
without authentic documents. Russia is ready for joint research
on a balanced basis, without a selective approach to history (and
such attempts were made at the dawn of the Cold War also), its
events, facts and phenomena. We call on our international
partners, above all former allies in the anti-Hitler coalition,
to exercise this approach.
New conditions dictate a new formula of leadership in the
modern world. Russia is convinced that the choice should be made
in favor of responsible leadership in order to form common
approaches with all the leading powers. Today it is possible: the
international community has the political will for this. Our
common overarching task should be to strengthen multilateral,
collective principles of world policy.
The Cold War offers lessons that are common for all of us.
They are the disastrous nature of the complex of infallibility
and the wish to bestow happiness on other peoples against their
will, the danger of militarization of international relations and
the temptation to rely on military methods of solving problems
instead of settling them by political and diplomatic means.
Russia, having resolutely stepped out of the Cold War,
ceased to be an ideological, imperial state. The liberation of
Russian forces and resources can be only fruitful for the
interests of Europe and the whole world. Russia has acquired a
freedom to behave in accordance with its historical mission, that
is, to be itself and hence, to make its full contribution to the
common cause of maintaining international stability and harmony
between civilizations at the critical stage of the formation of a
new architecture of international relations.
The current situation in the world, for all its challenges,
differs radically from the Cold War period. In spite of the
relapses into old approaches, there is still a growing awareness
of the common tasks facing all the countries. Russia, the US and
other leading states are interacting closely on a broad range of
problems, including the fight against terrorism and the spread of
WMD, in bilateral and multilateral formats, including at the UN
Security Council, the G8 and the Russia-NATO Council. Diverse
trade and economic and investment links are developing between
us, thus laying an objective foundation of inter-dependence and
mutual interest that were so lacking before. Together we are
tackling the problems of global energy security, protecting
people's health from epidemics and providing access to modern
education. Joint understanding of our common past will only
strengthen mutual understanding and trust and enable us to
finally overcome the legacy of the Cold War in world politics.""
(rap)

Thanks to LaRouchies for posting this...
 
Comment to David Adesnik: Geo. Kennan's 'long wire' 'cold war' coining speech has been cited by the Russian foreign Minister Lavrov:

(In addition see http://www.eisenhower.archives.gov/chance.htm and http://www.hpol.org/churchill/ for more cold war insights into how to counter the Bush Admin. rhetoric with more credible, historically based rhetoric.

DOCUMENTATION

[Source: Russian Foreign Ministry, March 6]

Article by Russia's Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov

60 Years of Fulton: Lessons of the Cold War and Our Time,
published by Rossiiskaya Gazeta on March 6, 2005


""On March 5, 1946, Winston Churchill delivered the Fulton speech,
which was one of the most symbolic events of the Cold War. Two
weeks earlier George Kennan's famous "long wire" was received in
Washington, the Iranian and Turkish crises were developing in
parallel, the Truman doctrine, the Marshall plan and much else
were shortly to be announced. But it was the speech by the former
British Prime Minister that is generally thought to have
introduced clarity into the development of events that had been
brewing and eventually came to be named "the Cold War". It
provided the most succinct definition of the new paradigm of
international relations. The date is so close to another date,
May 9, 1945, that they cannot be analyzed without close
interconnection, although it is obvious that they symbolize two
totally different eras -- different in content, the view of the
world and the very nature of international relations, different
in terms of their consequences for European and world politics.
It would seem that now, 60 years on, when even the
"post-Cold War period" has acquired a history of its own, it is
possible to assess that turning point in world development with a
measure of objectivity, if not with total disinterest. But the
sources of the Cold War still remain obscure in many ways. That
is why it is necessary to sort out what had happened then, how
the pragmatic policy that united the anti-Hitler allies came to
be replaced with a different policy, a policy of confrontation
based on ideas and principles that could not but be divisive.
I am convinced that too much in present-day international
life calls for a critical review of the history of the Cold War,
and a renunciation of the apologia of that complicated phenomenon
of international life. The world is again at a turning point. And
the conclusions we draw will go a long way to determine the
future of the planet, and each individual country, including
Russia. One cannot replay history, but one can figure it out in
order to try not to repeat mistakes. If a sharp transition from
allied policy to ideological confrontation was inevitable and
justified, then such an interpretation of history will shore up
similar approaches to problems in our times. If the Cold War was
an aberration in the development of international relations, that
logic can and must be reversed in the politics of today.
The Cold War was essentially about rivalry of the two
systems led by the USSR and the US, which had not only a
political-ideological, but also a social-economic and other
dimensions. The origin of the Cold War is not confined to the
scheme prevalent in Western countries: the USSR renounced
cooperation with the Western allies and reverted to "communist
expansion", and the West responded to the challenge of the Soviet
threat. The slide toward the Cold War, as confirmed by archive
documents and studies by objective historians, was at least a
two-way process for which the US and Britain bore much of the
blame. The choice they made, based on premises that for the most
part have not been justified, in reality initiated the creation
of a new bipolar world order.
The policy of the USSR throughout the second half of the
1940s, for all its toughness, was in many ways defensive and in
its own way had a consistent and predictable character. Mindful
of the lessons of the Great Patriotic War, it was aimed at
creating a protective belt of friendly states along the western
borders, gaining access to the World Ocean and ensuring maximum
defense depth all along the perimeter. Likewise, one should not
forget that the Soviet Union, which had made the decisive
contribution to victory over Nazi Germany, was stretched to the
limit at the end of the war. Moscow was physically unable to come
up with any initiative of confrontation with yesterday's
anti-Hitler allies.
During the war, the US and Britain showed a tolerant
attitude to the geopolitical claims of the USSR, recognized the
legitimacy of its security interests and adhered to the course of
integrating the USSR into the Western community. The Victory
dramatically changed the attitude of the Allies to the Soviet
security interests. Joint occupation of German territory should
have remained a unifying element for the anti-Hitler coalition.
But it did not happen. Ideology came into play. Otherwise, it is
hard to explain the Anglo-American slogan of "containing"; the
Soviet Union, a strategy that envisaged not only blocking
"Moscow's expansion", but breaking up the Soviet system as the
ultimate goal of the Cold War. The factor of ideology, of course,
could not be content with foreign policy alone. The course for
isolating and wearing down the USSR through arms race, on which
the West embarked, visited severe hardship on the Soviet people
and extended the existence of the Stalinist system. The
conditions of a "hostile encirclement" and a constant threat to
the country's security provided a justification for total control
of the authorities over society and economic inefficiency of the
system. The Cold War with its militarization and conformism
exacted a stiff price from the American people, distorting
national priorities and the standards of democracy for a long
period for the sake of countering an "external threat". Local
conflicts during the Cold War carried away millions of human
lives.
Soviet-American rivalry for influencing the world was
apparently inevitable, but it could have assumed other, less
confrontational and less dangerous forms. Especially since the
West had a clear edge over the USSR in the whole spectrum of
military, economic, scientific-technical and other components of
power, and hence, greater freedom of choice, and it could afford
a far more moderate policy with regard to the USSR. Perhaps,
Churchill's speech had a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy about
it: the Soviet Union could not threaten the West at the time, but
as the Cold War unfolded, it acquired such a potential. Instead
of political settlement of differences, as the main architect of
the "containment" strategy, George Kennan later
admitted, what was expected from the Soviet Union was
unconditional capitulation, but it was too strong to accept it.
After the Second World War, we perceived Stalin's Russia as
an expansionist and aggressive force and we replied in kind,
wrote Henry Kissinger. We recognize that thereby we probably gave
the Soviet side the impression that we were trying to force the
USSR into a permanently losing position. We were not sufficiently
well aware that the security needs of a continental power differ
substantially from the needs of a power surrounded by oceans on
all sides, as ours. Our history of absence of foreign invasions
from 1812 made us impervious to the problems of the country that
had repeatedly been invaded. Completing the picture was
demonization of the rival and a black-and-white vision of the
world.
One cannot but note the obvious haste of the Anglo-American
decisions to unleash the Cold War. These decisions, so
fundamental for the destinies of the world, were taken within a
very narrow circle of two powers and on a very shaky basis that
proved to be a short-lived factor, namely, the monopoly on
nuclear weapons. I believe that it is not only in hindsight that
such an approach can be described as irresponsible. All the
subsequent developments, the vicissitudes of geopolitical rivalry
and the nuclear arms race, when the USSR and the US alternately
gained the lead, provide ample grounds for such an assessment.
But eventually the world passed on to detente, which marked, in
effect, the West's recognition that there was no alternative to a
policy of engaging the Soviet Union. A policy, let me note, which
may have been chosen back in 1945-1946.
It appears that a crucial test for the policy of engagement
was the issue of continued mutually beneficial trade, economic
and financial ties between the US and the USSR in the post-war
period. Moscow counted on it very much. The economy could have
exerted a stabilizing impact on political relations. By putting
forward a range of political conditions, the US effectively
renounced negotiations on Soviet proposals of credits that could
have helped find a positive joint agenda.
Although Moscow did not entertain particular illusions, it
still hoped that confrontation would not acquire such a total
character. In the face of the policy pursued by the allies,
Moscow had no option but to bow to the inevitable, albeit for its
own ideological reasons.
History does not tolerate the subjunctive mood. But it is
hard not to assume that the USSR, which had paid such a horrible
price for the common victory whose fruits, though to varying
degrees, were used by everyone, was ready to play by the rules
and make compromises. Moscow provided considerable evidence for
that. This is also borne out by the sequence of events, and their
development in Asia in fact depended on the US choice that was
prompted by ideological motives. The price of cooperation may
well have been a more moderate policy of Moscow with regard to
Central and East European countries. But a sense of confrontation
and pressure from all directions, lack of reciprocity and
incentives for coming to an agreement ruled out such an option.
I see the reluctance to draw conclusions from the experience
of the Cold War and honestly and critically analyze its
consequences as a manifestation of dangerous intellectual and
psychological inertia that poses a real threat to international
relations in our times. It is not about answering the seemingly
trivial question as to who won and who lost the Cold War. The
main thing is that everyone gained from its end because everyone
has been freed from its shackles.
The policy of the Cold War shackled the UN by becoming a
virtual alternative to genuinely multilateral diplomacy. The
discipline of blocs, political expediency, and the interests of
saving ideological "face" prevailed. I am convinced that it is
precisely now, after the end of the Cold War, that the
Organization can fully reveal its potential. To be sure, it needs
to be comprehensively adapted to the modern conditions, which is
the aim of the unanimously adopted decisions of the 2005 summit.
A solid basis for this exists, including the bedrock principles
of the UN Charter. And if the UN managed to serve the interests
of the world community in the worst of times, it is even more
capable of doing it effectively today, given the good will of all
the states.
Today, nobody needs to be persuaded that the world is faced
with a real threat of a chasm between civilizations. It is
provoked by terrorists, but not only by them. Playing into their
hands are extremists on the other side, as is more than
convincingly demonstrated by the "cartoon", and the ideological
approaches to international problems as a whole. Direct parallels
with the experience of the "fight against communism", slogans
that smack of Islamophobia, and relapses into the policy of
double standards in the field of democratic development and
defense of human rights leave little room for any other
interpretations.
The logic of the ideological approach to international
affairs is diametrically opposed to the imperatives of
globalization. Not only the opportunities, but the threats are
becoming global. This suggests only one conclusion: the new
challenges and threats to security and sustainable development
can only be effectively opposed together, through collective
efforts of the whole international community. The fact that
security and prosperity are indivisible gives us no sensible
alternative. In turn, it requires a common denominator to enable
us to distinguish practical policies based on legitimate
interests of states and a commitment to values whose
interpretations inevitably differ.
The question of the sources and meaning of the Cold War is
too important for us to be content with a "vague" understanding.
There must be a maximum of clarity here. And one should not shut
down the archives: the remaining issues cannot be cleared up
without authentic documents. Russia is ready for joint research
on a balanced basis, without a selective approach to history (and
such attempts were made at the dawn of the Cold War also), its
events, facts and phenomena. We call on our international
partners, above all former allies in the anti-Hitler coalition,
to exercise this approach.
New conditions dictate a new formula of leadership in the
modern world. Russia is convinced that the choice should be made
in favor of responsible leadership in order to form common
approaches with all the leading powers. Today it is possible: the
international community has the political will for this. Our
common overarching task should be to strengthen multilateral,
collective principles of world policy.
The Cold War offers lessons that are common for all of us.
They are the disastrous nature of the complex of infallibility
and the wish to bestow happiness on other peoples against their
will, the danger of militarization of international relations and
the temptation to rely on military methods of solving problems
instead of settling them by political and diplomatic means.
Russia, having resolutely stepped out of the Cold War,
ceased to be an ideological, imperial state. The liberation of
Russian forces and resources can be only fruitful for the
interests of Europe and the whole world. Russia has acquired a
freedom to behave in accordance with its historical mission, that
is, to be itself and hence, to make its full contribution to the
common cause of maintaining international stability and harmony
between civilizations at the critical stage of the formation of a
new architecture of international relations.
The current situation in the world, for all its challenges,
differs radically from the Cold War period. In spite of the
relapses into old approaches, there is still a growing awareness
of the common tasks facing all the countries. Russia, the US and
other leading states are interacting closely on a broad range of
problems, including the fight against terrorism and the spread of
WMD, in bilateral and multilateral formats, including at the UN
Security Council, the G8 and the Russia-NATO Council. Diverse
trade and economic and investment links are developing between
us, thus laying an objective foundation of inter-dependence and
mutual interest that were so lacking before. Together we are
tackling the problems of global energy security, protecting
people's health from epidemics and providing access to modern
education. Joint understanding of our common past will only
strengthen mutual understanding and trust and enable us to
finally overcome the legacy of the Cold War in world politics.""
(rap)

Thanks to LaRouchies for posting this...
 
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