MOSCOW, September 23 (RIA Novosti), Ekaterina Blinova - Washington has proved exceptionally inept in dealing with Russia: it has launched a new Cold war which has put the global stability at grave risk, deems Jeffrey Tayler, an American writer and a contributing editor at The Atlantic.
"Russians watched the United States invade Afghanistan and Iraq, torture detainees, drone suspected terrorists, spy on its population and allies (as revealed by Edward Snowden), favor the super-wealthy in Supreme Court rulings, and suffer a seemingly endless series of mass shootings that would be unimaginable in Russia or almost anywhere else. 'Who are the Americans to lecture us?' they asked. The West's moral authority, always shaky here, disappeared," Jeffrey Tayler emphasizes in his article "The Seething Anger of Putin's Russia."
The author underscores that the long-standing conflict between Russia and the West had begun in the mid-1990s, when the White House announced its ambitious plans of further eastward NATO expansion, "in violation of a gentleman’s agreement that Mikhail Gorbachev had struck with the first Bush administration." Despite Moscow's objections, NATO took over the Czech Republic, Poland, and Hungary, the former members of Warsaw Pact, during the "first round of enlargement" in 1997. In the following years, NATO conducted an unprecedented military attack on Yugoslavia, Moscow's longstanding ally in Eastern Europe, and then the alliance inducted several more European countries including the Baltic states in 2004. Lately, in 2008, NATO had asserted Ukraine and Georgia that they would be incorporated into the alliance as well. The writer raises a question, how Washington reacted when Russia intruded into the Western hemisphere, reminding of the 1962 Cuban crisis.
Jeffrey Tayler cites George Kennan, a prominent American politician, historian and diplomat, dubbed "the father of containment," as saying in 1998 in an interview with the New York Times:
"I think [NATO’s expansion] is the beginning of a new cold war. I think the Russians will gradually react quite adversely and it will affect their policies.
I think it is a tragic mistake. There was no reason for this whatsoever. No one was threatening anybody else. This expansion would make the Founding Fathers of this country turn over in their graves."
Mr. Tayler emphasizes that the Obama administration is evidently repeating the mistakes of the past. However, while breaking ties with Russia, the White House should answer the question "how this ends," notes the author. "We are being marched off to a new war—a cold one for now—with no idea of what the outcome will be," he stresses.
Jeffrey Tayler is expressing his deep concerns regarding the NATO's current course, announced at the latest summit in Wales. The idea of creation a "rapid-reaction 'spearhead' force" in Europe will apparently aggravate further tensions with Moscow and persuade it "of the threat posed by the bloc."
"It is, most of all, uniquely ominous," Mr. Tayler warns, "When nuclear-armed America and Russia quarrel, peace and life as we know it are threatened the world over."
Although the West may dislike Vladimir Putin, Washington and Brussels ought to take Russia's national interests into consideration due to the fact that it is "in the interests of peace and stability." "Russia must have a place at the table," insists the author, stressing that the West didn't ignore Russia in the past and "cannot afford" to ignore it now.
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