Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov cut a
ribbon to christen a statue of Walt Whitman in Moscow.
the two sides truly ready move beyond symbolism and
aside the suspicions of the Cold War?
Russia's Elite Must Embrace New Era with U.S.
cannot build a joint military system with those whom you consider your chief
enemy … Here, a substantial segment of the ruling class and ordinary people are
sincerely convinced that the United States wants to destroy, dismember and
By Semen Novoprudski
Translated By Yekaterina
October 17, 2009
Russia - Gazeta - Original Article (Russian)
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s first visit to Moscow, real results of talks
on missile defense and a new arms reduction treaty among experts from the two
countries remain unclear. But speaking at Moscow State University, Mrs.
Clinton made very important comments regarding the basic principles of
Russian-American relations, including in the area of military projects: “I will
be the first to tell you that we have people in our government and you have
people in your government who are still living in the past. They do not believe
the United States and Russia can cooperate to this extent. They do not trust
each other and we have to prove them wrong. That is our goal.” According to
her, United States and Russia will reach a positive results if “… someday in
the future you see the United States and Russia announcing a joint plan on
missile defense, that we will have … technology needed … to protect what we
hold dear, which is our homelands and those with whom we have so much in common."
[See video below].
Without having any common
values, it will be impossible to create a joint military system, which is by
definition based on maximum coordination and mutual trust. And the fact is that
for now, Russia and the United States are trying to defend completely different
countries and, far more unfortunate, completely opposing values.
The main reason
for the impossibility of implementing Vladimir Putin's widely advertised proposal
to George W. Bush for joint missile defense wasn't the technological
backwardness of Russia's radar station in Gabala, Azerbaijan, but the Kremlin's
political attitude toward America. One cannot build a joint military system
with those whom you consider your chief enemy and constantly blame for your domestic
problems (for example, the economic crisis), as well as Russia's attempts to
satisfy its own imperial instincts.
Russia's political elite has mixed
emotions of hatred and jealousy toward the United States. Our leaders aren't
mesmerized by the idea of taking responsibility for global security, but by the
prospect of "adroitly" controlling processes beyond the country’s
borders, just like the U.S.
The Obama Administration’s decision
to abandon missile defense bases in Poland and the Czech Republic in favor of a
mobile system based on warships, which has triggered yet another wave of
exaggerated pride in our country’s might among our political elite, is dictated
largely by rational and financial reasons rather than military or political ones.
Yet Russian leaders are saying that America caved into our pressure.
The problem is
that in the modern world, the notion of precise and unequivocal spheres of
influence between major powers is fundamentally unrealistic. The scheme under
which one country would become “gendarme of the Middle East,” another “the gendarme
of Africa,” and a third the "gendarme of the Commonwealth of Independent
States,” doesn't work. All the dreams of the Russian elite in a multi-polar
world in which Russia does what it wants within a predetermined region on the
basis of being a “separate pole” are completely unfounded. Even the leadership
of the world's sole superpower, which up to now has formally been the United
States (but not as a result if its foreign policy), is smart enough to grasp
that one cannot secure a world order alone. It's perhaps not accidental that one
of Barack Obama’s key talking points at the recent opening of the U.N. General
Assembly was an American refusal of sole responsibility for the fate of the
In terms of transnational
threats (terrorism, the looming drinking water crisis, the search for new
sources of energy, nuclear weapons in the hands of cave-regimes) world order
can only be secured within a complex political framework that facilitates a dialogue
among of all nations.
Whatever their ambitions,
United States and Russia can only be active participants in the launch of such a
mechanism - not its sole overseers.
Here, a substantial segment of
the ruling class and ordinary people are sincerely convinced that the United
States wants to destroy, dismember and nullify Russia. Meanwhile, Russia itself
is increasingly unable to adequately cope with its own territory, and without
substantial labor, immigration foreign investment, this problem can hardly be addressed.
Russia is being objectively pushed by the technological openness of the modern
developed world toward friendship with America - and increasingly - with the
Western world. Yet Russia's current foreign policy - with its ambition to be at
the forefront of global processes but which is at its root isolationist -
inevitably and automatically casts Russia into the background of modern
Global processes are such
that the whole of humanity - not just Russia and the U.S. - are “on the same
side of the barricades."
By struggling with the United
States or depicting America as the arch enemy for tactical and domestic
political reasons, Kremlin leaders are fighting the future of Russia as a
dynamically-developing civilized country. No one is saying that the two
countries should always agree. But the fact that they share fundamental values is
important. In the presence of weapons that for the first time in history are capable
of destroying virtually the entire human race, a third world war would automatically
be the last. This fact alone should force political elites of all ambitious
countries, one of which is undoubtedly Russia, to measure pride against common
sense and objective reality.
So if we ever see joint
Russian-American missile defense, it will not be a reset, or a thaw, but a
global warming of the political climate across the world. It will be a very
different Russia that is responsible and wise rather than one that broadcasts its
superpower-hysterics to the world.
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by WORLDMEETS.US October 25, 12:35pm]