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Related Categories: International | U.S. | Anti-War
Negotiating at last and The Russian-American Friendship
by Peace council and Birgit Naujeck
In fact, Russia's war is a response to NATO's eastward expansion, long criticized by the peace movement, and to Western policies of rearmament and confrontation, by which Russia feels more and more existentially threatened. It began as early as the 1990s with the expansion of NATO - contrary to clear, binding commitments to Moscow...
Negotiating at last
Background and solution perspectives of the Ukraine war. A position paper of the Federal Committee Peace Council.
From position paper of the Federal Committee - June 2022
[This position paper published on 6/28/2022 is translated from the German on the Internet, Endlich verhandeln.]

In a better future, ballistic missiles would at best be exhibits in the desert (missile park in Las Cruces, New Mexico, USA).

Last week, the Federal Peace Council presented a position paper on the war in Ukraine. We publish here an excerpt from the statement. It can be found in full length at friedensratschlag.de/2022/06/baf-position-paper-ukrainekrieg/ (jW)

We fundamentally reject war as a means of politics. We have always strongly advocated preventing war as a means of politics, including in the conflict between NATO, Ukraine and Russia. The Russian invasion of Ukraine is therefore a setback for all those who have been committed to peace - and at the same time a challenge for the peace movement to intensify its efforts for civilian solutions. The problem has not been too much détente, but too little.

Warnings disregarded

As citizens of a NATO state, we direct our criticism first and foremost at the NATO states. For the war could and should have been prevented. There has been no lack of urgent warnings, including from numerous leading Western foreign policy makers and experts, that Russia's disregard for essential security interests could provoke such a reaction. We also reject the double standard with which the governments of the United States and its allies, of all countries, denounce the Russian invasion as a breach of international law, act as judges, and impose the harshest sanctions after they themselves have waged devastating wars of aggression and broken international law.

This war in Europe, like all other wars before it, is a disaster, especially for those directly affected. The government of the Russian Federation has thus made a break in its relations with the West. Instead of continuing its diplomatic efforts to reduce tensions and reach security agreements, it has now intensified the confrontation itself through its military action. NATO countries are countering head-on and escalating it further through their military and propaganda support for Kiev and an all-out economic war.

In this way, it is not only a war between Russia and Ukraine, but - as reactions of NATO countries to the war clearly indicate - a hybrid war of NATO against Russia. The statements of its leaders also leave no doubt about the goal of decisively and permanently weakening - ruining, as Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock put it - its geopolitical rival.

The U.S. and its allies would therefore presumably not end the economic war even if Russian forces withdrew from the Ukrainian territories occupied since February 24, but, according to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his British colleague Elizabeth Truss, only when it was guaranteed that Russia could no longer undertake such an offensive in the future.

Two central areas of conflict overlap in the dispute in and around Ukraine - first, the potential for conflict created by the chaotic disintegration of the Soviet Union, which left territorial and minority issues unresolved, and second, the struggle of the United States and its allies to maintain Western dominance of the world, which they have exercised in different ways for 500 years.

This war is being waged not only on the backs of the Ukrainian people but, in effect, on the backs of the entire world, especially poorer countries and populations. Militarily, it is still largely limited to the territory of Ukraine and to conventional weapons, but on an economic level it rages on indefinitely. It is also increasingly a cultural media and information war that affects all aspects of our daily lives.

Prehistory ignored

In the West, from the very beginning of the Russian invasion, its prehistory has been hidden from the media: The prevailing narrative is that Putin is striving to restore the tsarist empire or the Soviet Union. But anyone who wants peace, and who wants to help victims and avoid new suffering, should take note of the genesis of conflicts and wars.

In fact, Russia's war is a response to NATO's eastward expansion, long criticized by the peace movement, and to Western policies of rearmament and confrontation, by which Russia feels more and more existentially threatened. It began as early as the 1990s with the expansion of NATO - contrary to clear, binding commitments to Moscow not to extend the military alliance an inch to the east, and contrary to legally binding agreements such as the Treaty on German Unity to take into account the security interests of each side in the future peace order.
Eastern expansion was accompanied by U.S. and NATO defiance and denunciation of arms and stationing control agreements, and was accompanied by a series of "colorful revolutions" in former Soviet republics in which pro-Russian or too-independent governments were overthrown with Western support. The 2000 overthrow in Yugoslavia, which served as a blueprint, was followed by Georgia (2003), Ukraine (2004), and Kyrgyzstan (2005).

By 1999, NATO had made military interventions without a UN mandate an integral part of its strategic concept. And finally, with their wars against Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, the U.S. and its allies underscored their willingness to unscrupulously disregard the UN Charter and international law in pursuit of their geopolitical and economic interests.

The strategy thus pursued by the rulers of the United States was summarized as early as 1992 in a version of the Pentagon's Defense Planning Guidance leaked to the New York Times thus: Any hostile power in question must be prevented from becoming dominant in a region of critical importance to our interests.¹ It has remained part of all subsequent strategy papers and is now increasingly directed against China as well. We are in a contest to win the 21st century, U.S. President Biden said at the June 2021 G7 meeting, and the starting gun has fired.

Meanwhile, the Western military alliance unites almost all European states. Russia and its few allies now face a total of 30 countries, some in close proximity. More and more NATO troops are stationed in former Soviet republics, many not far from Russia's borders. In huge land and naval maneuvers, war against Russia is rehearsed year after year.

As early as 2002, Washington withdrew from the ABM Treaty limiting anti-ballistic missile defense systems so that it could again deploy such systems worldwide. This move destabilized the global strategic security architecture. In 2016, the United States deployed missile defense systems in Romania and, in 2018, in Poland, which can also be used as offensive weapons and, in Russia's view, therefore violate the INF Treaty banning intermediate-range nuclear weapons in Europe. In 2019, the United States under President Donald Trump terminated this treaty and has since been pushing the development of modern medium-range missiles. The first are to be stationed in Europe from 2023. Particularly dangerous is the "Dark Eagle" hypersonic missile, a decapitation strike weapon that cannot be intercepted and will be commanded from Wiesbaden. Overall, NATO countries increased their military spending to 18 times the Russian military budget by 2021.

Upgraded by the West

The threat grew significantly from Russia's perspective when Ukraine's NATO membership was put on the agenda in 2008 and its de facto military integration into NATO was gradually advanced. The conflict became hot when Ukraine came under Western domination as a result of the 2014 coup. The decisive forces in the U.S.- and EU-sponsored unconstitutional overthrow of incumbent President Viktor Yanukovych were extreme nationalist, Russophobic to fascist forces-including the NPD affiliate Svoboda-both ideologically and practically in the streets, security forces, and institutions. They subsequently gained a dominant influence. The coup met with resistance from the population, especially the Russian one.

While the secession of Crimea in response was almost non-violent, there were armed uprisings in the other predominantly Russian-speaking provinces. They devolved into a civil war that lasted between Kiev and the "people's republics" of Donetsk and Lugansk until the Russian invasion and claimed more than 14,000 lives.

Although the Ukrainian government had signed the internationally binding "Minsk II" agreement, which provided for special autonomy status for the breakaway provinces within Ukraine, it boycotted its implementation-with Western acquiescence and support. From then on, the Ukrainian army was massively rearmed and trained to NATO standards by the United States and Great Britain.

It was clear to all sides that Ukraine's NATO membership was a red line for Russia - and this regardless of who ruled in Moscow. Already threatening are NATO forces in the Baltics, from where St. Petersburg can be reached with short-range missiles. With Ukraine, NATO would advance to another 2,000-kilometer direct border with Russia. The warning time for decapitation strikes on Russian centers would drop to a few minutes due to medium-range missiles stationed there, while the potential U.S. aggressor can operate from 10,000 kilometers away from the war zone.
On Nov. 10, 2021, the U.S. and Ukraine signed a new strategic partnership charter aggressively targeting Russia, including Ukraine's accession to NATO and the reconquest of Crimea. That charter convinced Russia, according to Henri Guaino, a senior adviser to Nicolas Sarkozy during his time as French president, that it must attack or be attacked.

Moscow's demands

Moscow made a final attempt in December 2021 to ease the threat situation through treaty agreements. Russian treaty proposals included the five core demands:

- No further eastward expansion of NATO

- Reduction of NATO's military presence to the level of the 1997 Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security between NATO and the Russian Federation (NATO-Russia Founding Act)

- troop reductions on both sides of the border in a mutually agreed range

- no deployment of nuclear weapons outside national territories (i.e., no nuclear sharing).

These demands are worthy of support from a peace policy perspective. However, they were brusquely rejected by the USA and NATO at the beginning of February. The Russian government nevertheless showed itself willing to negotiate, but in its response of February 17, 2022, it announced unequivocally that it would feel compelled to react with military measures if security guarantees were not forthcoming.

At the same time, according to the OSCE, attacks by the Ukrainian army, which had already concentrated its main force in the western Donbass for an offensive, intensified on the Donbass republics. On February 21, Moscow recognized the independence of the Donbass republics. Three days later, the Russian army, together with the troops of the "people's republics," began its offensive against Ukrainian forces in the Donbass and beyond along the Black Sea coast and in northeastern Ukraine, repulsing the Ukrainian army's offensive.

The Russian government justifies its war, among other things, as collective self-defense against the imminent attack by Ukrainian troops on the two republics, with which it had signed a corresponding aid agreement immediately after their recognition.
This argumentation is not tenable under international law, because a call by an ethnic group for military assistance from outside - however understandable it may be - does not entitle a state to intervene militarily. Only the UN Security Council could authorize this.
In arguing international law, however, it should not be forgotten that Russia's breach of international law was preceded by others, such as the violation of Ukrainian sovereignty by sponsoring the 2014 coup, the blatant disregard for the binding Minsk Agreement, and the stationing of NATO troops on Russia's borders.

Kiev and the Bomb

The Russian president also justified the invasion of the neighboring country with the threat of future Ukrainian nuclear weapons. This is not as far-fetched as it seems at first glance. In the 1994 Budapest Memorandum, Ukraine, together with Belarus and Kazakhstan, pledged to hand over to Russia the nuclear weapons stored on its territory and not to acquire or station any in the future. In return, they received security guarantees from Russia, the United States and Great Britain.

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In 2000, however, the Ukrainian parliament passed and in 2015 concretized a law that allows other states to deploy nuclear weapons for a limited period of time under certain conditions. Ukraine also already produces weapons-grade material at its nuclear power plants. At the Zaporozhye NPP alone, it accumulated 40 kilograms of uranium and 30 kilograms of plutonium, according to the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi.² Since March 2021, Kiev has refused to export these to Russia for reprocessing and has refused to allow the IAEA to supervise them. As a result, it is unclear whether this nuclear material is still there or whether some has been diverted for sale or to build a dirty bomb.

Finally, at the Munich Security Conference on February 19, 2022, Ukrainian President Volodimir Selensky combined his call for a clear timeline for Ukraine's NATO accession with a threat to cancel the Budapest Memorandum. Some noted experts, such as political scientist Robert Wade of the London School of Economics, suggest that this speech was the final impetus for the Russian leadership's shift to a war course.

Breaking a Taboo

In explaining the reasons, the aim is not to justify the war, but to show its background and origins as precisely as possible. From this, realistic approaches to a political solution of the conflict can be derived.

By supplying weapons, Germany and its NATO allies entered the war quite quickly. NATO has been escalating the war ever since, led by the U.S. and Britain. In late April, for example, the U.S. government summoned ministers from 40 countries to a war council at its Ramstein Air Base in the Palatinate region of Germany to swear the allies to even stronger military support for Ukrainian forces. The German government, too, now had a commitment to supply heavy weapons. A patriotic majority in the Bundestag immediately rubber-stamped this, along with the announcement of a gigantic rearmament program - just three days after Chancellor Scholz voiced his fears that heavy weapons would increase the risk of a third world war.

Thus, and through the training of Ukrainian soldiers in modern weapons - as confirmed by the Scientific Services of the Bundestag - Germany has clearly become a war party, also in the sense of international law. 81 years after the Second World War, German tanks will once again be facing Russian ones - a historical breach of taboo that is not in line with the Basic Law and its imperative of peace. The war hysteria is reminiscent of 1914. The deliveries of ever more and ever heavier weapons only lead to the prolongation of the war, to more victims and to greater destruction. Moscow must be defeated at all costs, is the slogan, and with military support they are firing up the Ukrainian government not to make any concessions in negotiations on a ceasefire and a truce.

Even though Ukrainian forces' resistance has been stronger than expected so far, however, they will not be able to beat back Russian troops even with new and more effective weapons, according to most senior NATO military officials and experts. They could, however - according to the actual Western calculus - possibly engage Russia in a prolonged grueling war. NATO hawks like to point to the example of Afghanistan. This would be a horror scenario.

The longer the war lasts, the greater the danger that it will escalate into an uncontrollable conflict between nuclear powers. Moreover, the 15 nuclear reactors that are connected to the grid in Ukraine pose incalculable existential risks for the whole of Europe.

No compromises

If the causes of the war are acknowledged, the key approaches for a rapid end to the bloodshed and for a longer-term political solution to the conflict are obvious. At the Ankara negotiations, what Moscow demanded and what Selensky had agreed to talk about were already close. The offers initially floated by Selensky in March-neutrality, agreement on recognition of Crimea, and referenda on the future status of the Donbass republics-seemed to offer a real chance for political solutions and an early cease-fire. But Washington and London blocked. They openly urged Kiev not to make any compromises, while increasing their military support. The EU also worked de facto against an understanding between Kiev and Moscow.

When Selensky declared his willingness to negotiate with Russia on a status of neutrality and on security guarantees, Brussels responded by pledging 450 million euros worth of arms supplies, and when he made even more public pronouncements accommodating Russia, Ukraine was offered another 500 million euros worth of weapons.
But even if the Ukrainian government wanted to, without active support from the West, its domestic political room for maneuver vis-à-vis the far-right forces is small. They openly threaten with death anyone who agrees to make concessions.

In this war, too, news coverage is dominated by war propaganda. Reports of atrocities and alleged war crimes come from both sides, but only the reports of the other side's crimes are perceived. As a rule, they cannot be verified, and there have been no truly credible, independent investigations. Caution is always called for, as there are strong forces in Ukraine and in the West that want NATO to intervene more directly.

Atrocities are sure to be committed, by both sides - that is part of the nature of war. The only way to prevent them is to do everything possible to stop the fighting as soon as possible.

Steps toward peace

Appeals to Moscow to withdraw its troops alone will not bring an end to the fighting. Those who make it a precondition for negotiations, contrary to any conflict resolution logic, do not want to negotiate. The leadership of the nuclear power Russia has not accepted the expected enormous costs of the invasion in order to surrender its gains in a conflict in which, in its view, existential interests are at stake, without making substantial concessions. First, a permanent cease-fire must be achieved to create time for negotiations.

Consequently, Italian proposals of May 21 provide first for agreements on local pauses in fighting, then on a permanent cease-fire and demilitarization of the front line. These are to be followed by an international conference on a future neutral status for Ukraine to be secured by guarantees of protection.

There is no way around a commitment to Ukraine's strict neutrality, as enshrined in the Ukrainian constitution between 1991 and 2014. As bitter as this may be for Kiev in the face of military violence, a neutral Ukraine has always been in the interest of all who seek peace in Europe. In principle, the Ukrainian government has already declared its willingness to do so. However, it is still disputed how far contractually agreed securities go and by which states they are guaranteed.

Even leading representatives of the political establishment are advising Kiev to accept the secession of Crimea. Since this indisputably corresponds to the will of the majority of its inhabitants, it could only be revised by force anyway, at the price of a new civil war.

Probably only in the last step could negotiations on the future status of the Donbass republics and other majority Russian-speaking areas follow, and thus also on the withdrawal of Russian troops. One solution could be a very broad autonomy within Ukraine, with its own security forces and Russia as the official protecting power, similar to Austria for South Tyrol. Whether the end result will be autonomy for some provinces or their secession will depend on NATO concessions regarding Russia's interests. Italy's peace plan therefore also provides for a multilateral agreement on peace and security in Europe. Ceasefires and progress in negotiations would have to be accompanied by the lifting of Western embargo measures.

The Editorial Board of The New York Times, in its much-publicized editorial of May 19, 2022, recommended that the United States and its allies show the Ukrainian government the limits of their support and urge it to be realistic about its means: Confronting this reality may be painful, but it does not mean appeasement.

German grand power games

The gigantic rearmament program launched by the traffic light coalition and the ever louder calls for nuclear weapons for the EU are adding fuel to the fire. With a special fund of one hundred billion for the Bundeswehr and an increase in arms spending to an average of two percent of gross domestic product for defense, the rulers want to vastly expand Germany as a military power and make the Bundeswehr fit for new wars. But F-35 nuclear bombers for nuclear strikes, drone armament, artificial intelligence for air warfare and other high-tech armament projects undermine the prospect of a social, peaceful and ecological future.

From the German government we demand:

- No arms deliveries, neither to Ukraine nor to other countries!

- Serious diplomatic engagement for a de-escalation - unilaterally as well as in the EU and NATO!

- No participation in economic blockades - withdrawal from the economic war against Russia!

- Acceptance of fugitives and deserters regardless of their origin!

- No stationing of US medium-range weapons ("Dark Eagle") in Europe!

- Withdrawal of the Bundeswehr from Eastern Europe!

- Efforts to resume comprehensive arms control negotiations - common security instead of NATO!

- Signing of the treaty banning nuclear weapons, withdrawal of nuclear weapons from Germany, end of nuclear sharing!

- Instead of horrendous sums for weapons and military, more money for education, health, climate, international development and a social system based on solidarity!

It is time for a radical turnaround!

Notes

1 Excerpts From Pentagon's Plan: 'Prevent the Re-Emergence of a New Rival'. In: New York Times, 8.3.1992.

2 Louise Guillot: Atomic energy chief: Ukraines's nuclear safety situation 'far from being resolved'. In: Politico, 10.5.2022; Laurence Norman: U.N. Atomic Agency Chief Presses for Access to Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant. In: Wall Street Journal, 25.5.2022

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The Russian-American Friendship
Reviving a once surprisingly good relationship would be extremely important not only for the U.S. and Russia, but for all of humanity.
By Birgit Naujeck
[This article published on 6/17/2022 is translated from the German on the Internet, https://www.rubikon.news/artikel/die-russisch-amerikanische-freundschaft.]

At a meeting of a political discussion group, the relationship "evil USA versus rather good Russia" was discussed once again. The fact that there was once a Russian-American friendly cooperation, the renewal of which was pursued in the last century by Roosevelt and Kennedy, but was immediately turned into the opposite by the subsequent forces due to the sudden death of the two presidents, no, nobody in the discussion circle knew about that. Not only that: any friendship was vehemently negated. The following is an attempt to make us aware of this history. Likewise, it is the beginning for articles yet to be written: for example, on Trump's 1776 initiative, which included revisiting Russian-American friendship, and on Walter Lippmann's cult of "public opinion" and its 50-year influence on U.S. politics. Russian-American friendship was permanently destroyed by his influence. Finally, a look at the British Empire and its destructive hand behind the Deep State.

"Germany is an occupied country, and it will remain so," Barack Obama said in 2009, speaking to U.S. Army personnel at Ramstein Airbase. With no sign of sovereignty in sight, the question remains today: Why and what do we actually elect every few years? And what about the United States and its sovereignty? Are they the empire they claim to be, or just a Potemkin village that must finally be torn down to look the protagonist behind it squarely in the face?

There was a time when every U.S. intelligence officer, every U.S. diplomat had to have gone through the study of the history and culture of other nations and their historical relations with the United States. At the latest, with the end of the Cold War and the immediate entry of the Empire-led West into a new hot war against everyone and everything, this knowledge is no longer deemed necessary. However, the current conflict between the United States and Russia, which is moving dangerously toward a possible Third World War, demands such an approach.

As history shows, U.S. statesmen have repeatedly sought and achieved alliances with Russia in their common interest from the time of the American struggle for independence to the time of President John F. Kennedy - that is, even during the Cold War. All of these statesmen were leaders in the American system of political economy who saw a common interest with leading Russians in developing their countries through cooperation in scientific and technological ventures, improving the standard of living and living conditions of their populations, and thereby securing world peace.

Although their achievements were under constant attack and sabotaged to a not inconsiderable degree, these people were instrumental in creating conditions for world progress that allowed all people to participate. The stated commitments of the U.S. economic system - promoting the productive forces of labor, scientific and technological progress, unleashing the creative mental forces of humanity to "garden" the earth and the universe - led them to cooperate with Russian leaders who, despite their political differences with the United States, shared these aspirations.

In other words, cooperation with Russia on a principled basis is a tradition of the U.S. system.

The Leibniz Principle

A unifying element of Russia and the United States was the work of the polymath Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646 to 1716), who spearheaded an international network of scientists and statesmen dedicated to building institutions that would serve the general welfare of their nations. He pioneered work in the fields of economics and the natural sciences and promoted the development of heat-power machines and scientific academies to support this scientific work. He looked beyond ideology to find the higher principles on which nations could develop and work together.

Dubbed the Solon of Russia, Leibniz became an advisor to Tsar Peter the Great and inspired the creation of the Saint Petersburg Academy of Sciences (1724), reshaped the structure of Russian government, and fostered the remarkable development of industry in Russia under the tsar's rule.

The institutions Leibniz created, especially the network of Russian academies of science that still exists, were crucial to later cooperation with the United States. In America, Leibniz's scientific and philosophical contribution was made by leaders of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, such as Cotton Mather, and Philadelphia-led by William Penn's secretary James Logan and the great American philosopher and statesman Benjamin Franklin. Indirect influence through his follower Emmerich de Vattel, a Swiss thinker, must also be considered. De Vattel's writings on statesmanship and international law, among others, had a great influence on one of the U.S. Founding Fathers and later Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton (1).

Russia's role in the formation of the League of Armed Neutrality, the 1780 pact between Russia, Denmark, Holland, Portugal, Prussia, Sweden, and the Holy Roman Empire to defend neutral shipping against British Empire attacks on the French-American alliance in the U.S.-American War of Independence, was not insignificant. Although the action in itself did not show any political attachment of Empress Catherine the Great to the U.S. republican cause as such, it did establish a strong sense of sympathy and appreciation on the U.S. side toward the Russians.

The third important element was the spread of the American system economy in Russia. As early as 1792, Russian diplomatic circles sought access to Hamilton's report on manufactures, which had been submitted to Congress the year before. This report was then published in Russian in 1807 in a translation sponsored by the Ministry of Finance, with an introduction by the Russian pedagogue Vasily Fyodorovich Malinovsky (2), who wrote:

"The resemblance of the United Provinces of America to Russia is shown both in the vastness of the country, the climate and natural conditions, in the size of the population, which is disproportionate to the space, and in the general youthfulness of various generally useful institutions; therefore, all the rules, remarks, and means suggested here are suitable for our country."

The influence of Hamilton's views persisted in Russian government circles, was reinforced by the interventions of German supporters of the American system, such as advocates of Frederick List's ideas, and finally came to dramatic fruition in the late 19th century under Tsars Alexander II and Alexander III (3).

John Quincy Adams

In 1807, after the establishment of diplomatic relations between Russia and the United States, John Quincy Adams became the first ambassador to Russia. While in St. Petersburg, then the capital of Russia, he engaged in an intense dialogue on state affairs, foreign relations, and trade with Count Nikolai Rumyantsev, the Russian chancellor. It was the Russian chancellor who advocated that Denmark not support the British in the War of 1812 against America, and even proposed joining the United States' anti-British trade policy toward South America - a plan that was, however, rejected by the tsar.

In his subsequent career as secretary of state (1817 to 1825) and then as president (1825 to 1829), John Quincy Adams found his potential partners in Russia less receptive: Russia had joined the post-Napoleonic European concert orchestrated by the British and Austrians at the Congress of Vienna in 1815. Subsequent developments, however, showed that the pro-American current in Russian institutions was not dead.

Cooperation among engineering circles continued, especially with those involved in building Russian railroads (4). The engineer Pavel Melnikov was sent to the United States by Tsar Nicholas I in 1839 to meet with all the American railroad builders-with the success that U.S. engineers were commissioned to build the first major Russian railroad from St. Petersburg to Moscow.

Abraham Lincoln

When Abraham Lincoln took office as president in the spring of 1861, Russia's Czar Alexander II had just abolished serfdom the day before, which had kept 25 million Russians as serfs of the land and its owners.

Lincoln appointed Cassius Clay of Kentucky, a staunch opponent of slavery, as his ambassador to Russia. From his post in St. Petersburg, Clay spread the word about the American system, particularly the work of Lincoln's chief economist, Henry Carey.

On July 10, 1861 - shortly after the start of the American Civil War - Russian Foreign Minister Alexander Gorchakov (5) wrote a much-publicized note to President Lincoln expressing the czar's "sincere wishes" for U.S. success in keeping the country united.

This was followed on October 29, 1862, by a formal Russian pledge never to act against the United States and to resist attempts by others to do so. The "maintenance of the American Union as an indivisible nation" was the Russian goal.

This was also underpinned by Russian refusal to participate in British-inspired mediation efforts between North and South that would have led, in effect, to recognition of the Confederacy as a separate nation.

The high point of the close relationship between Russia and the United States during this period was the dispatch of the Russian fleet to New York City and San Francisco in the fall of 1863. While these visits to the ports of call were not explicitly intended as participation in the fighting-Russia insisted on being neutral in the Civil War, as explained above-they provided tremendous moral support for the embattled Union forces and the presidency. The Russian fleet at San Francisco had orders to defend American forts against Confederate attacks, although it never had to carry them out.

The Russian fleet was welcomed to New York City in monumental style with parades and a grand ball. When it called at the port of Alexandria, Virginia, in December, even the president's wife joined in the festivities. The fleet was also welcomed in San Francisco, albeit on a less lavish scale. The fleets remained in American waters until the spring of 1864.

What united Russia and the United States was an agreement on the abolition of slavery, the maintenance of the Union, and the support of domestic industry through the protective tariff. Cooperation continued after Lincoln's assassination, with visits to Russia by American military officers, public figures, and engineers. After a failed assassination attempt on Tsar Alexander II, the United States sent a naval force to Russia in 1866, which was greeted with a grand celebration.

"May these two flags be united in peaceful embrace forever," wrote Admiral Gustavus Vasa Fox (6), who led the American naval force in 1866.

A cooperation between proponents of the U.S. system and Russia in the 19th century that could not be overlooked was evident in the Russian sale of Alaska to the United States in 1867.

In Russia, proponents of the sale argued that Russia and the United States were natural allies in the Pacific basin and that if Britain attempted to conquer "Russian America" (Alaska), the United States would be better able to defend it than Russia. For their part, the British were noticeably concerned about close Russian-American cooperation.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt

It was the United States that severed diplomatic relations with Russia after the Bolshevik Revolution (1917). In early 1918, the Wilson administration, along with six other nations, invaded the country to restore tsarist rule, but failed.

Although business continued throughout the 1920s, official diplomatic recognition of the Soviet Union did not occur until Franklin Delano Roosevelt declared it in November 1933. This had been preceded by personal negotiations between Roosevelt and the Commissioner for Foreign Affairs, Maxim Litvinov.

By the time Roosevelt made the decision to enter into a corresponding agreement with the Soviet Union, all other great powers were already maintaining diplomatic relations with the Soviets. When Germany invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941, Roosevelt immediately took action in support. He sent his personal envoy, Harry Hopkins, to Moscow to meet with Soviet leader Joseph Stalin.

An official exchange of notes followed in August, in which Roosevelt pledged his support. Soon after, the Soviets provided Washington with a list of urgently needed supplies to carry out their defense. Despite continued resistance, Roosevelt decided to use the Lend-Lease Act - passed in March of that year and used to supply Britain - to provide material support to the Soviets.

Ultimately, the United States delivered 250,000 tons of materiel, from aircraft to tanks to food, to the Soviet Union to support the war effort. Material aid played a critical role in sustaining Russian resistance. Meanwhile, Roosevelt sought to establish a relationship with Stalin through personal diplomacy-through both Hopkins and Vice President Henry Wallace.

This was finally achieved at the Tehran Conference in 1943 with the aid of humor at the expense of Winston Churchill. Stalin burst out laughing when Roosevelt took Churchill for a ride, and that's when Roosevelt knew he had succeeded. Roosevelt also objected to Churchill's constant attempts to sabotage the invasion of France, the so-called second front, which the Soviets desperately needed to distract the Nazis from their action in Russia.

Roosevelt was convinced that patience and goodwill would make the Soviet Union a good partner in postwar arrangements to maintain world peace.

In Tehran, he said:

"We have proved that the different ideas of our nations can form a harmonious whole, united in working for the common good of ourselves and the world."

He had devised a plan for the United Nations that would recognize the Soviet Union as the great power it was.

The Soviets had borne the brunt of the German onslaught, losing some 27 million people during the war. I am convinced that if Roosevelt had lived into the postwar period, respect for this sacrifice and for the Soviet people would have determined U.S. policy and might have taken the ground out of the British initiative to move directly from war against the Germans to war against the Soviet Union.

For their part, the British focused on destroying Soviet-American cooperation, which they viewed as a threat to their imperial interests. After Roosevelt's death, they succeeded, and the Cold War began. Churchill's speech in Fulton/USA in 1946 was the starting point for the Truman Doctrine (7). The American system's rhetorical stance on sovereignty, international relations, and progress was increasingly undermined as threats to world peace escalated.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy

President John F. Kennedy, in his brief presidency, sought to continue Roosevelt's work, the tradition of the American system, including on the issue of relations with the Soviet Union. Kennedy's decision to establish personal contacts with Soviet leader Khrushchev when he took office played a crucial role in defusing the Cuban missile crisis.

One of the most important and striking statements of Kennedy's political break with the Cold War mentality was his speech at American University on June 10, 1963, in which he raised the issue of world peace and proposed the talks that eventually led to the Moscow nuclear test ban treaty. More interesting to us today than the end result, however, is the approach Kennedy took in dealing with the superpower that had become the "enemy."

I quote at length:

"Some say it is useless to talk of world peace or world justice or world disarmament, and that it will be useless until the leaders of the Soviet Union take a more enlightened attitude. I hope that they will do so. I believe we can help them do that. But I also believe that we must reconsider our own attitude-as individuals and as a nation-because our attitude is just as important as the Soviet Union's. And every graduate of this school, every thoughtful citizen who despairs of war and wants to bring about peace, should begin by looking inward, by examining his own attitude toward the possibilities of peace, toward the Soviet Union, toward the course of the Cold War, and toward freedom and peace here at home.

First, we should examine our attitude toward peace itself. Too many of us think it impossible. Too many think it unreal. But that is a dangerous, defeatist belief. This attitude leads to the conclusion that war is inevitable, that humanity is doomed, that we are ruled by forces we cannot control.

We do not need to accept this view. Our problems are man-made, therefore they can be solved by man. And man can be as great as he wants to be. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings. Man's reason and spirit have often solved the seemingly unsolvable - and we believe they can do it again. (...)

Second, we should reconsider our attitude toward the Soviet Union. It is discouraging to think that its leaders might actually believe what their propagandists write. It is disheartening to read a recent authoritative Soviet text on military strategy and find, on page after page, completely unsubstantiated and unbelievable claims, such as the assertion that 'American imperialist circles are preparing to unleash various kinds of wars' (...).

It is sad to read these Soviet statements to realize the extent of the gulf between us. But it is also a warning, a caution to the American people not to fall into the same trap as the Soviets, not to see only a distorted and desperate view of the other side, not to see conflict as inevitable, understanding as impossible, and communication as nothing more than an exchange of threats.

No government or social system is so evil that its people should be seen as virtueless. As Americans, we find communism deeply repugnant as a denial of personal freedom and dignity. Yet we can praise the Russian people for their many achievements - in science and space, in economic and industrial growth, in culture, and in acts of courage.

Among the many commonalities between the peoples of our two countries, none is greater than our mutual abhorrence of war. Among the world's great powers, it is almost unique that we have never waged war against each other. And no nation in the history of war has ever suffered more than the Soviet Union in World War II. At least 20 million people lost their lives. Countless millions of homes and farms were burned or looted. One-third of the nation's territory, including nearly two-thirds of its industrial base, was turned into a wasteland - a loss equal to the devastation of this country east of Chicago.

If there were to be another all-out war today, no matter what, our two countries would be the prime targets. (...)

So let us not be blind to our differences, but let us direct our attention to our common interests and to the means by which those differences can be settled. And if we cannot end our differences, we can at least help make the world safe for diversity. Because in the end, our most fundamental commonality is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all care about the future of our children. And we are all mortal.

Third, let's rethink our attitude toward the Cold War and remember that we are not having a debate that is about piling up talking points. We are not here to assign blame or point fingers. We must deal with the world as it is, not as it might have been if the history of the last 18 years had been different.

We must therefore continue the search for peace in the hope that constructive changes within the communist bloc may bring within reach solutions that now seem unattainable. We must settle our affairs in such a way that it is in the interest of the Communists to agree to a genuine peace. Above all, the nuclear powers, while preserving their own vital interests, must avoid such confrontations as would give an adversary the choice of either a humiliating retreat or nuclear war. Such a course in the nuclear age would only be evidence of the bankruptcy of our policy-or of a collective death wish for the world."

The leaders of the Soviet Union were so impressed by this speech that they printed it in their press. Negotiations on the nuclear test ban treaty took place and were successful. Kennedy himself made an offer to cooperate with the Soviets in space exploration on September 20. Shortly thereafter, Kennedy was assassinated, and the Cold War returned to business as usual.

Kennedy was right. The current breakdown in U.S.-Russian relations is "man-made and reversible."

The key is to revive the principles of the U.S. system of political economy at the highest level, because they define the common interests that both nations have - among others - in working together to improve the lives of all people on Earth through scientific and technological progress. History shows that it can be done. The future of all of us demands it (8).

Sources and Notes:

(1) Alexander Hamilton was assassinated by Aaron Burr, the founder of the Bank of Manhattan, now Chase Manhattan Bank, promoted by Jeremy Bentham, head of the secret committee of the British Foreign Office. With Hamilton's death, the federal principle of existing U.S. national banks was successively shelved and the financial oligarchy of the City of London took its place on Wall Street.
(2) In: "Peace/MIR: An Anthology of Historic Alternatives to War" by Charles Chatfield and Ruzanna Ilukhina.
(3) Even before the War of Secession broke out in the United States, on March 3, 1861, Tsar Alexander II signed a law that finally ended serfdom in Russia for 25 million peasants bound by drudgery or dues to noble landowners. Coupled with the Three Emperors' League by Alexander III, the construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway, and an unwillingness to go to war, it unsettled the world power of the time, the British Empire, which saw Russian-American friendly cooperation as a threat to its influence in the world.
(4) The Russians and Americans saw their alliance as a springboard for cooperation in economic development. In his annual address to Congress in 1864, President Lincoln highlighted ongoing work on a land telegraph that would link the Americas and Asia via the Bering Strait. This connection was to be followed by the construction of the Trans-Siberian Railroad, which came to fruition under the direction of Count Sergei Witte, a proponent of the American system. Witte saw the completion of the railroad (1904) as "one of those world events which inaugurate new epochs in the history of nations and not infrequently bring about a radical upheaval in the existing economic relations between states." In particular, he thought of laying the basis for "the recognition of concrete mutual interests in the field of the world economic activity of mankind" and opening the possibility for "more direct relations with the North American states." The railroad would reveal a "solidarity of political interests" between Russia and the United States, Witte wrote. Among the most important Russian interlocutors with American scientists and industrialists was the world-famous Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev, then a member of the Saint Petersburg Academy and a government adviser who visited the United States during the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. Mendeleev used his time in the United States to work with Thomas Edison, study the oil industry, and learn about the economics of developing industries in America. He was already familiar with the American economic system through his travels and his time in Germany through the List circles, but clearly developed it further during this trip. In 1891, he published an important paper on protective tariffs, reflecting the influence of his American associates.
(5) In: "Prince Aleksandr M. Gorčakov (1798 to 1883): Chancellor of the Russian Empire under Tsar Alexander II" by Horst Günther Linke.
(6) Gustavus Vasa Fox in "Narrative of the Mission to Russia, in 1866."
(7) In March 1947, U.S. President Harry S. Truman announced the doctrine named after him. In it, he assured support to all those countries where Soviet infiltration was feared. "The free peoples of the world count on our support in their struggle for freedom." This was the prelude to the Cold War.
(8) Close friends with John F. Kennedy, Jr. later President Donald Trump, with the support of the Kennedy clan, has sought to revive business-friendly relations with Russia. His 1776 Project is representative of not only reviving friendly relations with Russia, but reimplementing the American system of political economy for the benefit of all nations, or people.

Birgit Naujeck, born in 1963, did not grow up in the GDR, but was socialized by it. She worked for many years in different countries as a project manager in information technology. The nature and environmentalist currently lives on the Rhine, but is already working on realizing her childhood dream: a life in nature with animals and humans. From her opposition to technocracy, she clearly opposes 5G, transhumanism, any eugenics, and the disembodiment of our language, which leads to the rewriting of history and gender.
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