Gorbachev 30 years after the fall of the Wall

Gorbachev 30 years after the fall of the Wall

By Jan Oberg

November 5, 2019

Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev – now 88 and not in good health – but deeply engaged in the world and the primary threat under which we live every day. Watch the short video below – his eyes, his leaning forward to listen, the determination of his face and voice, his deep concern and his warm humour at the end – in spite of all.

Deep inside he must feel sadness. What he did to make the world, and his own country, a much better place and the vision he had of a new Common European Home has been systematically ignored by much lesser, non-visionary minds – leaders who have neither the knowledge nor the intuition enabling them to recognize the essential importance of peace – and restructuring thinking and politics to achieve peace.

Instead, we are now in a situation where it is reasonable to talk about a New Cold War, or Cold War 2.0ten TFF articles about it here.

In terms of vision, civil courage, statesmanship, peace-making and creativity, I do not hesitate to place him as Number One among my generation’s European statesmen, closely followed by politicians such as Willy Brandt, Urho Kekkonen, Olof Palme – and surely others could be mentioned including Lech Walesa and Vaclav Havel. And I would include Jimmy Carter from the non-European West, in particular for his tremendous work for a better world ever since having been President.

They reached out way beyond their own time and their own space. They were macro-thinkers. They were guided by vision, ethics and courage to use their power for the common good – to question and stand up against the mainstream thinking of their era. But they were also doers – change-makers for real.

What a contrast between this type of politicians – these intellectual personalities – and those we have to live with in today’s Europe.

– and BBC is diplomatic enough to not mention why the arms race has ignited…

Note
Here an excellent article by John Laughland who places Gorbachev in the centre of this revolutionary change. And it’s nice to see that RT (Russia Today) publishes it.

3 Responses to "Gorbachev 30 years after the fall of the Wall"

  1. Farhang Jahanpour   November 6, 2019 at 8:04 pm

    It was not a given that the Cold War would end peacefully. It would have been quite possible that it might have ended with a catastrophic confrontation between the Soviet Union and the NATO, probably resulting in the end of human civilisation as we know it. The fact that it did not end that way was due to the wisdom of a few individuals with vision and strength of character. Gorbachev was certainly one of those leaders, and for that we should be grateful and we should honour him. At the same time, we should heed his warnings, because clearly he knows what he is talking about.

    Unfortunately, his Western partners did not live up to their promises, and he was betrayed both by George Walker Bush and Bill Clinton who extended the NATO right up to the borders of Russia. They believed that America was a “unique, exceptional and indispensable” country and did not have to abide by the same rules as other countries. We see a reflection of that arrogant outlook in Trump’s violation of the Iran nuclear deal, and the way that his minions, such as Pompeo and Mnuchin, speak so arrogantly about other countries.

    So long as the United States does not accept the concept of equality with other nations, and believes that other nations, including powerful nations such as China and Russia, have no right to compete with her on equal terms, the world is in serious danger. What is needed is for American leaders to give up their notion of imperial arrogance and their mistaken belief that they have a God-given right to rule supreme and try to impose their political and economic domination on other countries. The savage and illegal sanctions that Trump has imposed on Iran in violation of the nuclear agreement is a manifestation of that arrogance, which the whole world seems to be happy to ignore and even to condone.

    Reply
  2. Bente Petersen   November 5, 2019 at 3:19 pm

    I disagree with your judgement – As being no.1 amongst statement of ”your lifetime”…. He meant well I am in no doubt, but was whole unrealistic – and probably naive too, trusting assurances verbal not in writing, not that that would have changed anything – of the West not moving as close to the Russian borders as they possibly could… here President Putin is a realist, pragmatic, and a peacemaker… what he has done in Syria is immense, the diplomacy of RUssia today is second to none, and it is for peace. In my books it is Putin who is ”No.1.” A God Sent if you like.

    Reply
    • JO   November 5, 2019 at 3:58 pm

      Dear Bente – thanks, and I know you mean well too. But I did write: “In terms of vision, civil courage, statesmanship, peace-making and creativity, I do not hesitate to place him as Number One…” This “ranking” of him was based on criteria and on those I disagree that Putin is greater or will be associated with taking the leading steps in doing something as great as basically demolishing the Cold War structure. That does NOT mean diminishing Putin for what he has done and bringing Russia back on its feet, not representing a threat to the West and Russia’s constructive role in Syria is indisputable important in my view. But let’s not quarrel – I know we both agree that the West has destroyed all the opportunities his policies had opened up.
      And we have just published this – in the pipeline before you wrote – I’m sure it will make you smile also because it is written by the highly competent Scott Ritter: https://transnational.live/2019/11/05/russia-isnt-getting-the-recognition-it-deserves-on-syria/
      As for Gorbachev’s historical importance and place in the change process, here is an RT analysis by John Laughland which I think is worth a read:
      https://www.rt.com/op-ed/472648-gorbachev-berlin-wall-fall-communism/

      Reply

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