Lavrov: "Everyone Needs the America of Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy."
October 15, 2008 --
"[E]veryone needs the America of Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy, an America which is not afraid of change, which is in a position to understand that nothing is given once and for all, and which is open to the world and for free debate," wrote Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov in his article: "Face to Face with America: Between Non-Confrontation and Convergence," which was published in the magazine Profile this month.
Lavrov wrote that the post-Cold War world has "turned out to be more complex than expected 15 years ago. By all indications, we are at a crucial stage of transformation in the international system." It is crucial to understand the "real world" to make domestic and foreign policy, he wrote. "But in the conditions of globalization, the international community needs badly to develop a common vision of the contemporary historical epoch.... The lack of such a common vision has been the chief source of all the misunderstandings that have arisen in the last few years between Russia and America." There must urgently be "straight talk" to resolve these problems, he wrote. This is what then-President Vladimir Putin meant in Munich in February 2007, but the U.S. did not respond. Europe reacted differently, "But we want to talk primarily with America. No one will be able to achieve harmony in relations between our countries for us," Lavrov wrote.
Lavrov does give credit to some less-than-desirable sources for at least articulating the problem in U.S.-Russian relations: Zbiginew Brzezinski; Henry Kissinger; and George Shultz. He also focuses on US-EU-Russian relations, not the four powers cited by LaRouche (Russia, U.S., China and India) as the key to solving the crisis.
Russia's policy is "exactly a pragmatic partnership based on the promotion of common interests." Alleged differences on "values ... should not impede our cooperation on vitally important issues which brook no delay. As to Russia's ideology in the domain of international relations, it can be formulated with the help of two fundamental positions -- common sense and the rule of international law."
The western governments and especially media reaction to the Caucasus, "leads us up to the broader question of how US foreign policy is decided. It is already being raised in America. But Russia also has the right to ask it. The US is our most important partner regardless of the present state of our relations. We must know how far the political leadership of America controls pursuit of the foreign policy of the country.... The impression is that there were mediocre decisions taken on vital issues." Lavrov sharply criticized what he called the "privatization of American foreign policy on key issues [which] suggests a diplomacy that is absolutely nontransparent, which undermines the very foundation of our cooperation."
"America is on the threshold of major changes," Lavrov wrote, changes which have already affected Russia, Europe and other nations. These changes were forced on Russia; the U.S. has long "had the possibility to choose between recognizing the necessity of changes on the basis of sober analysis or to wait until they descend -- as a harsh exigency. The present situation may well indicate that in US history a lengthy cycle is drawing to an end -- the one that was commenced by Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal." Lavrov warns of the danger of war: "History indicates that in the past major economic and financial upheavals led to aggressive policy on the international stage," although Russia is determined not to wage wars abroad.
"In a globalizing world isolation and self-isolation are not a rational choice. True progress can be achieved only through joint efforts and close cooperation. That's exactly what Russia offers to all our international partners, America in the first place," he wrote. With Britain, Russia can still work with them internationally, even "if our bilateral relations with this or that country reach the freezing point. Something like this is now taking place in our relations with Britain. But the US is not Britain.
"Can we afford or, to be more precise, can the world afford any further alienation between our countries, for which Alexis de Tocqueville predicted a great future? Should it be two separate futures or, perhaps, one common destiny? I profoundly believe in the latter....
"Americans will have to stop 'feeling lonely in their might,'" he wrote. "I would add that everyone needs the America of Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy, an America which is not afraid of change."
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