The last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, wrote an open letter to President-elect Bush that was recently published in the Washington Post. “I am writing to you as a citizen of our planet,” began the former communist dictator. (A citizen of the planet, of course, outranks presidents and prime ministers, who are mere national figures.) From this exalted perch, the old red buzzard looks down on “the last remaining superpower.”
He notes that “American spokesmen are perhaps somewhat overly inclined to press home to the rest of the world” their claim to hegemony. While everyone acknowledges America’s power, says Gorbachev, America’s hegemony is “not similarly recognized.”
The 21st century does not belong to America, he explains, and globalization should not proceed along American lines. This “would be a mistake. In fact, it would be something devoid of meaning and even dangerous.”
Dangerous and devoid of meaning?
America’s prosperity makes life hard for communists, and especially hard for communist dictators. It forces them to launch coups against themselves, to dissolve whole empires if necessary. After all, how else can Western businessmen and politicians be lured into sending the needed infusions of cash and technology?
But now the game is up. The money has poured into Russia. The new technology has been absorbed. Gorbachev can hardly wait, he can hardly keep his mouth shut. And now, he says, “it is time for America’s electorate to be told the blunt truth.”
According to Gorbachev, “the present situation of the United States … is not tenable as long as an enormous portion of the world lives in abject poverty, degradation and backwardness.”
No country can be prosperous, says the former communist dictator, while so many countries are poor. Such a contradiction, according to communist dialectics, must result in planetary conflict. You might call it “planetary class conflict,” where the poor nations rise up against the rich.
There is no world peace, says Gorbachev, “there has been no ‘pacification.’ On the contrary, there has been an heightening of inequalities, tension and hostility, with most of the last directed toward the United States.”
Of course, he fails to say who is responsible for directing this hostility. But we can fill in the blanks. We know that Russia and China are furiously organizing a new alliance bloc.
America won no victory in the Cold War, says Gorbachev. “Instead of seeing an increase in U.S. security, the end of the Cold War has seen a decline.”
Will Bush agree with this assessment?
The leaders in Beijing and Moscow are watching and waiting. Do Bush and his team understand what we have done? Or will they regard Comrade Gorbachev’s letter as something ridiculous?
Think of the irony in Gorbachev’s letter. He points out that the end of the Cold War has weakened America’s global position. America’s Cold War victory, engineered by none other than Gorbachev himself, was no victory at all. This is a strange admission from the man who brought us glasnost and perestroika. But as Dr. Nikolay Popov wrote in the March 1, 1989 Literaturnaya Gazeta: “glasnost is our parity, restructuring is our weapon, and destalinization is our main ammunition.”
Ready, aim, fire!
Gorbachev neutralized anti-communism in the West. He took the wind out of the right’s sails. And now as we view the political landscape of the West, we see a large socialist herd in control — in Britain, in Germany and elsewhere. Europe itself has been restructured! All that was required, on Gorbachev’s part, was a repudiation of the Stalinist past, along with
lip-service to an alleged democratic future, and the admission that America won the Cold War. But in reality, America’s defensive structures began to atrophy. American vigilance was relaxed.
“Before long,” wrote KGB defector Anatoliy Golitsyn in his 1985 prediction of the Soviet collapse, “the communist strategists might be persuaded that the balance had swung irreversibly in their favor.”
It is difficult to believe, writes the Soviet dictator, that “under present circumstances, relations between the United States, on the one hand, and China, India and all the rest of the earth that lives in abject poverty, on the other, could develop in a positive direction.”
Envy is a dangerous form of hatred. The grievances of countries like Russia and China should not be underestimated. Regarding the United States, Chinese Lt. Gen. Mi Zhenyu recently said that “it will be absolutely necessary that we quietly nurse our sense of vengeance.” He then added, “We must conceal our abilities and bide our time.”
According to Steven Mosher’s elegant book on China, entitled “Hegemon,” the political and military leaders of the People’s Republic indulge in “wild fantasies about American omnipotence and malice.” These fantasies, in fact, are fueled by communism and Chinese nationalism. Imagine a nuclear-armed superpower, writes Mosher, which combines “the historical grievances of a Weimar Republic, the paranoid nationalism of a revolutionary Islamic state, and the expansionist ambitions of a Soviet Union.”
Imagine, as well, a long-range deception strategy in which the dictator of the Soviet Union announces the defeat of communism and quietly steps out of the Kremlin. Notice what follows: America’s armed forces shrink from 37 air force wings down to 13, from 27 Army divisions down to 10, from 560 warships down to 300. Notice how tactical nuclear weapons are eliminated from America’s navy and army. Watch as hundreds of missiles and thousands of strategic warheads are scrapped. At the same time, Russia’s corresponding disarmament is deceptive.
According to Bill Lee, formerly an analyst with the CIA and DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency), Russia’s “non-compliance with … ‘arms control’ agreements” is in sharp contrast to U.S. compliance. Lee charges that “the U.S. persisted in the naive belief that its satellites could verify all agreements and treaties.” Of particular concern to Lee was the existence of
thousands of hidden Russian “refire” missiles. The U.S., says Lee, has underestimated Russia’s “ability to conceal weapons production and stockage on a very large scale.”
What if the military balance has shifted?
“In that event,” wrote KGB defector Golistyn, “[the Kremlin strategists] might well decide on a Sino-Soviet ‘reconciliation.’ The scissors strategy would give way to the strategy of ‘one clenched fist.’ At that point the shift in the political and military balance would be plain for all to see.”
And what do we now see?
Russia and China continue to strengthen their strategic partnership. And now they combine with India. A Tuesday UPI headline stated: “India Slides Into Sino-Russo Orbit.”
Given the powerful dynamic working against America, why should Europe stick with the Americans? “Already we see numerous trade disputes,” notes the Soviet dictator, “evidence of the conflicting interests separating the United States and the European Union.”
What is America to do? Should we tax ourselves into abject poverty, and give our wealth over to India and China? Is it finally time to redistribute property on a planetary basis?
Planetary citizen Gorbachev thinks so.
If America does not hand over its wealth, hints Gorbachev, it is bound to enrage the have-not nations of the earth. And then there is America’s obvious imperialism. “Over the past decade,” Gorbachev tells Bush, “the United States has continued to operate along an ideological track identical to the one it followed during the Cold War.”
The idea that America has continued as Russia’s enemy is one of those “wild fantasies about American omnipotence and malice” that Steven Mosher attributes to the Chinese. Clearly, such wild fantasies are not exclusive to China. They belong to the Iranians, Iraqis, North Koreans, Libyans and Russians. The envious and embittered tyrannies of the globe all share an equal hatred and paranoia regarding the United States.
America’s generosity to Russia does not count in our favor. The billions we poured into Russia, the tons of foodstuffs, have come back to us in the form of renewed hatred. Every low-interest loan, every gift of assistance is recast as an act of aggression. If we bomb them we are evil, if we feed them we are evil. If we leave them alone we are still evil. Meanwhile, Russian missiles are quietly aimed at our people — at our children and grandchildren. And we have no defense.
Yet Gorbachev tells Bush that America’s desire for a missile defense shield is “utterly extravagant.” Even more, it “is based on the bizarre notion of ‘rogue states.'”
Gorbachev does not recognize the existence of rogue states because he headed the greatest rogue state of all. When will people stop honoring this man? His letter reeks with envy, malice and spite. If George W. Bush cannot see that this letter is a test, if he does not rise to pass this test, then he probably will not take the necessary defensive measures.
Defend us, Mr. President-elect.