Every now and again Mikhail Gorbachev opens his big mouth where be he claims he is speaking from a neutral and grandfatherly position. Shortly thereafter he spews vitriol at leaders superior to himself and to policies which make his look like the shambles that they were.
One part traitor and one part moron, no one should listen to this man. If not for his advanced age, there would be a good case to literally try him for treason, not least for breaking up a unified state against the will of its people, for creating a still largely unaddressed refugee crisis, and for sowing the seeds of the starvation economics of the 1990s.
Gorbachev and Alexander Yakovlev destroyed a country and its people when it needed new, bold, patriotic and creative leadership.
As I have previously said, in the mid-1980s, the Soviet Union needed a Deng Xiaoping. Deng Xiaoping was a far-sighted man who realised that in order to enhance China’s standing in the world and to protect its sovereignty against its enemies, serious economic reforms were needed which simultaneously enhanced the living standards of the people whilst enhancing the prestige of the state.
The result of Deng’s reforms are a modern China whose grand shimmering cities put those of the West to shame. Beautiful modern buildings, wide streets, high speed trains and a low crime rate make China the envy of the world. Soon China’s economy will outflank that of the US. China has already overtaken Japan, Germany, France and Britain.
By contrast Gorbachev and Yakovlev did the opposite. They took an economy in need of Deng style reforms and destroyed it. They weakened industry, set agriculture back decades, created and urban famine, and a black market in which the pirates of the 1980s cut their teeth in order to become the bandits and mobsters of the 1990s.
Little over ten years after Brezhnev’s consecration of the new Soviet man and woman in 1971, Gorbachev wilfully tore up the ideal of Soviet unity and fraternity amongst peoples, allowing incipient nationalism, the kind responsible for both World Wars, to tear the state and communities within the state to shreds.
The record speaks for itself: the riots in Alma-Ata in 1986, the fire unleashed in Nagorno-Karabakh which burns to this day, violence in Tbilisi in 1989, civil distress in Vilnius in 1990, effective civil war in Riga in 1991, and allowing the mad wolf Yeltsin back from the wilderness are just some of Gorbachev’s crimes.
Suddenly people found themselves strangers in their own homes, terrified of their lives due to rampant nationalism. People speaking their own language in the regions of their birth were now treated as aliens. The history of unity which both the Russian Empire and Soviet Union strove for was smashed into a million pieces.
Gorbachev’s weak leadership allowed Yeltsin to illegally disband the Soviet Union and Gorbachev didn’t even put up a fight. So ashamed was he of the destruction he sowed in Soviet society, that he would not lift a cowardly finger against open treachery and unconstitutionality. Indeed the radials in the former Polish parts of Soviet Ukraine that Gorbachev unleashed are the direct forbearers of the fascists who took power in Kiev in 2014.
The only time anyone ought to listen to this man speak, is from the defendant’s dock in a criminal court.
Now though, he has spoken and his judgement once again betrays his true intentions.
He is calling for a nuclear free world.
This utopian ideal is out of touch with the violent nature of today’s geopolitics.
Ostensibly he thinks modern Russia should do something akin to what the Soviet Union did under his horrendous leadership. Russia should surrender, Russia should disarm, Russia should forsake her allies, Russia should say ‘to hell with our own people’ because accords with foreigners are more important than national security.
The fact that the three great powers, America, Russia and China, all have nuclear weapons may be just about the only thing preventing them from going to war. If Russia did not have nuclear weapons, who can really say that they’d trust the likes of John Kerry and Ashton Carter not to declare full scale war?
No Chinese political leader would dream of saying that China should give up its nuclear weapons. An American politician calling for full disarmament would barely achieve local office let alone federal office. If either Trump or Clinton repeated Gorbachev’s words, they’d instantly lose by 75 points.
Even in Britain and France, the vast majority of politicians want to hang on to nuclear weapons, even though with America, Russia and China all nuclear armed, the arsenals of Britain and France are inconsequential.
India, Pakistan and Israel would never dream of giving up their nuclear weapons, even though their proximity to their biggest foes are regional rather than international. Their leaders would not be so foolish as Gorbachev.
Half of the world’s problems are due to the international power vacuum created by Gorbachev’s wilful destruction of a superpower in collusion with foreign enemies. He was too busy chasing personal wealth and prestige to notice the suffering of his people or to see the evils of nationalism which millions of soldiers gave their lives to stop in the Great Patriotic War.
Although largely symbolic, one remembers well in the early 1990s, at a time when one of the world’s mightiest nations was starving, when children were suicidal and on drugs, when the daughters of educated and hard working women were forced into prostitution, that Gorbachev appeared in a television advert for the American fast food restaurant ‘Pizza Hut’.
If there was ever a modern day parallel to Nero fiddling whilst Rome burnt, that was it.
The only verb he knew was destroy: destroy the economy, destroy fraternal bonds between peoples, destroy a nation’s integrity, destroy the economy, destroy stability, destroy culture, destroy people’s homes.
And this man wants to lecture the world on peace? Disgusting!
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.