Mikhail Gorbachev on war and peace

Interview with Steve Rosenberg, BBC

Steve Rosenberg: […] How dangerous is the current confrontation between Russia and the West?
Mikhail Gorbachev
: As long as weapons of mass destruction exist, primarily nuclear weapons, the danger is colossal. Irrespective of any political decisions that may be taken. Look at how many malicious people there are today, who go around blowing things up. They might seize control of some of these weapons. And if the weapons are fired, that will trigger retaliation. This cannot be allowed to happen. So, all nations should declare, all nations, that nuclear weapons must be destroyed. This is to save ourselves and our planet. I was in Japan. In Nagasaki. The place where the Americans dropped their first bombs is still affected. Why did the Americans do that? As a warning to everyone: Obey us, or we’ll drop a little bomb on you, like we did on Japan. That’s how I see it. Why else would they drop a bomb? I fear that the people who act this way are still around. We’re not free of them. And when this happens we react very strongly. In a country like ours, where war caused such destruction, in a country where millions died, millions of people, we feel this like no other country. […] I still believe you need to change leaders, the Constitution says so. But there are times when a country is switching from one period to another when new people are not ready to assume the burden.[…] Our president inherited such chaos. And everyone saw he stopped the chaos and literally took everything on himself. From press reports we’re hearing that the people want him to stay on and finish the job. There’s still a lot to do. I am all for abiding by the law. But I will tell you, I would never oppose something if all the people are for it.

Source: Interview with Steve Rosenberg, BBC, with Mikhail Gorbachev of 8 November 2019; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYVsKoQXATY 

About Putin, the Germans and America

Mikhail Gorbachev: For us Russians, Putin said nothing new at all [at the Munich Security Conference in 2007]. He said what he has always said. Why were our partners so surprised? First and foremost: At that time, a survey was conducted among you in Germany. 78 per cent of the Germans surveyed were on Putin's side. [...]

Spiegel: During Gorbachev’s perestroika, East and West disarmed, militarily and verbally. Who is to blame for the new confrontation?
In America, people have given in to the feeling that they are all winners. As if they could have achieved anything without us. We could only achieve that together. I have often, in lectures in America, been reminded of John F. Kennedy. He once said about the Soviet Union, about the Soviet people: You must not demonise them. They are just like us. They have children. They want to live a happy life. But America cannot live without an enemy. The US has to show why it needs a big military budget. Kennedy also said: If you assume that the coming world order will be a Pax Americana, then I must tell you: Either there is peace for all or there is no peace.  •

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IipaGt9WmcE of 14 January 2015

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