Trump and Putin in Historical Perspective: How We Got into the New Cold War

Trump and Putin in Historical Perspective: How We Got into the New Cold War


I’m Betsy Cannon
Smith, class of ’84, and I’m delighted to introduce
William Taubman, the Bertrand Snell Professor of
Political Science emeritus. Professor Taubman is celebrating
50 years at Amherst College this fall; 1967 he arrived. Congratulations. [APPLAUSE] And among us tonight
are many who’ve studied with the
Taubmans, both folks in this room of course
and watching live. With combined degrees from
Harvard, Yale, and Columbia, the Professors Taubman,
Bill and his wife, Jane, who is in the audience
and is a professor of Russian, arrived at Amherst in 1967. The historical perspective
on political science, a passion for and deep knowledge
of the former Soviet Union, and an exploration of
the impact of leaders and their personalities
has figured prominently in the work of
Professor Taubman. He’s a model for the
value of and commitment to interdisciplinary work. He’s reached across
disciplines to colleagues in history, Russian, psychology,
American studies, and more to co-teach classes such as
war, poverty, personality and political leadership,
Russian politics, and rethinking the Cold War. Today too is a special day. May 24th, the first
day of reunion, is also the day 13 years ago
that Professor Taubman received his Pulitzer Prize for
Khrushchev, The Man and His Era, in a celebration
at Columbia University, one of his almae matres. And I see a copy there
waiting to be signed, Bill, from one of our attendees. I know this as I consulted
the historical record of a reliable, local
news source in Amherst. In an April 2004 edition
of the Neighborhood News, the headline read, “Special
Edition, Neighbor Scoops Grand Prize. William Taubman Wins
Pulitzer Prize.” An edition with one
feature and one alone, an interview with the professor. The young reporters,
then 9 and 11, had an exclusive interview
right around the corner at the Taubman’s home on
Woodside Avenue in their living room with, and I
quote, “Mr. Taubman in the ruby chair and Mrs.
Taubman in the sapphire chair.” The trick it seems to garnering
the Pulitzer and three other major awards
was to work for 20 years on the topic you loved. Professor Taubman, on why he
wrote the book told reporters, Khrushchev is an interesting
man, and I love Russia. And he was a leader of Russia. Also he was complicated, a
mystery, and he was funny. And in fun facts as to
whether he’d ever met, the professor shared
that he’d seen Khrushchev in a
car in Central Park once when he was in college. Professor Taubman’s
study of Gorbachev has occupied the
year since 2004, and, like Khrushchev,
I trust he might say he too was complicated,
a mystery, and more. Professor Taubman’s next book,
Gorbachev, His Life and Times, will be published by
WW Norton in September and featured on Amherst Reads. With the frame of
history and biographies of two major Soviet
leaders as a backdrop, I think we are in
for a real treat tonight with a perspective of
a scholar whose life’s work has been understanding the influence
of personality on leadership. Please welcome my
friend, neighbor, and the very fine William
Taubman on “Trump and Putin in Historical Perspective, How
We Got into the New Cold War.” Welcome. [APPLAUSE] I should immediately tell
you that those reporters who interviewed me in our house
were Betsy’s three kids. [LAUGHTER] There was a very
funny line in there, which if I’d known you were
going to quote it, Betsy– where are you– I would have brought it
with me, but I didn’t. Now if I could figure out where
to put my books under there. OK. Well, I’m delighted
to be here to be with you, old
friends some of you, new friends, talking about
my favorite subject, Russia and the United States. Originally, I had
thought to take a somewhat different approach. Given what appeared to be
a kind of mutual admiration society between Trump and
Putin in recent months before the election, I,
like a lot of other people, anticipated an early summit. And in fact, when
the London Times reported, based on a
rumor it turns out, that the two would
meet in Reykjavik not long after the
inauguration of Trump, I was particularly fascinated
because in my Gorbachev book I wrote about Reagan and
Gorbachev meeting in Reykjavik. So I thought it would be
sort of like Old Home Week. Another reason I was interested
in this meeting that never has taken place– but who knows– was that I could imagine that
Trump, the dealmaker, and Putin would try to make a deal. And at the very end of this
talk, I’ll get back to that and perhaps even begin to sketch
out what such a deal might be, because I think, frankly,
that it wouldn’t have been, depending upon the deal,
a bad idea given the state of Russian-American relations. Anyway, in my talk I had
originally planned to go back and look at Russian, or
Soviet-American summits over the last 75 years– Roosevelt and Stalin,
Khrushchev and Kennedy, Gorbachev with Reagan
and Bush, et cetera– to try to pull
out patterns which we might look for,
or look to be absent, in the Trump and Putin summit. But given the Russian
hacking of our 2016 election and the tumult in American
politics as a result, it seems to me that
if there’s a summit, it will take its
time in happening. And it’s kind of unlikely that
there’ll be any kind of deal, although, we may be surprised. And so I put that
aside and decided to talk instead about how the US
and Russia got into a new Cold War, which I believe we are in. And here’s how I’d
like to go about this. I’d like to start by citing
four episodes in the evolution of that new Cold War
from 1989 to the present, from the end of the old Cold War
to the beginning of a new one. Then, I’d like to try to
define what I mean by Cold War or at least what the classic
old Cold War consisted of and ask the question of
how the new Cold War– if that’s what it is–
differs from the old Cold War. Then, thirdly, I’d
like to identify three features, main
features, of the new Cold War. And finally, I’d like
to take an excursion through the stages through which
we’ve arrived at this new Cold War beginning with
Gorbachev, Reagan, and Bush and leading up to
Putin and Trump. So first of all, those episodes. The first one, I think
you probably all remember. Visualize the Kremlin on a
bright sunny day, June 1, 1988. Gorbachev and
Reagan are strolling in the Kremlin sunshine. A journalist approaches
and asks Reagan, do you still consider
this an evil empire– which of course he
had said Soviet was– and Reagan says, no, that was
another time, another era. That’s how far they
had come at that point, the arch-conservative Reagan
and the Soviet leader. The second episode
is December 2, 1989. This time the scene is
Malta, and it’s raining. It’s storming
outside, but Gorbachev is meeting on a ship in the
harbor with President George H. W. Bush. And the conversation
is so warm between them that it prompts
Gorbachev’s foreign policy assistant, Anatoly
Chernyaev, who, alas, recently died at the age of 95– Jane and I got to know
him very well as we worked on Gorbachev– it prompted
Chernyaev to write the following in his diary. “I was astonished at how
sincerely Bush and Baker wanted things to work out for us–”
meaning the Soviet Union– “how they wanted our
economy to take off and for us to cope
with our own troubles. If you closed your
eyes,” Chernyaev wrote, “and blocked out
the English, you might have thought you
were attending a Politburo meeting in the Kremlin
where everyone was worried about our country’s fate.” So again, these two moments
at the end of the old Cold War in which it looked– and it looked for longer
than those moments– as if the world was
entering a new era. Now fast forward, as the cliche
goes, to December 3, 2014. And this is Vladimir
Putin speaking to the Russian
parliament on what he takes to have been the American
attempt to break up Russia, as I think he would have said. Although, I’ve not
asked him about this, and he hasn’t said
so specifically, I think, as he thought the
US had tried to break up the Soviet Union before it. So he says, “Despite our
unprecedented openness–” that is in Russia– “back then and our willingness
to cooperate in all, even the most sensitive issues–”
with the United States– “despite the fact
that we considered our former adversaries–”
the United States– “as close friends
and even allies, the support for separatism in
Russia from across the pond–” namely, the United States– “including
information, political and financial
support, and support provided by the special
services–” that is the CIA– “all that was obvious and left
no doubt that they would gladly let Russia follow the Yugoslav
scenario of disintegration and dismemberment. With all the tragic fallout
for the people of Russia. It didn’t work. We didn’t allow that to happen. Just as it did not
work for Hitler.” Now, in Russian parlance,
to compare the United States to Hitler in its effort to break
up and dismember the Soviet– Russia is to put it fiercely. That’s about as
strongly as it can be put for a Russian audience. Now my fourth moment
here involves 2014 again. But this time Gorbachev himself
saying in various interviews that back in the 1990, he
and other world leaders had talked of creating a new
world order that would be more just, humane, and secure
than its predecessor, but he continued the
Americans continued to play the old game so
as to create a, quote, “new empire headed by
themselves,” unquote. They, quote, “patted
us on the shoulder. They kept saying,
well done, well done, you’re doing the right
thing, but all the while they were tearing us down, looting
us, tearing us apart.” So this is Gorbachev in
2014 joining with Putin and saying essentially
the same thing. We had a guest, Jane and
I did, last weekend– a young, or not quite so young
anymore, Russian historian now living in the United States. And she said that
these words had been put into Gorbachev’s mouth,
that these are not really– this is not really him talking. But he’s been saying this kind
of things ever since 2007, and he’s even said to
us, to Jane and me, sitting across the table
from him in Moscow. OK, what then is a
Cold War, or what was the Cold War at its
worst, and then, I’ll ask how the new
Cold War differs. Several features– as defined
by a colleague of mine who used to teach at
Columbia, Robert Legvold. First, each side sees the
other as entirely at fault; second, each side sees
the conflict as basically about ideologically sacrosanct
purposes of each country rather than geopolitical
interests that might be more readily
negotiated and eased; each side believes the
Cold War can end only when the other side changes
fundamentally or collapses; fourth, both sides see any
agreement between the two as only tactical and temporary;
and five, the Cold War was global in scope. Now as I say, this best fits
the worst period of the old Cold War when Stalin was the
Soviet leader in the late ’40s and early ’50s. I don’t think it quite fits
some of the later periods like the time when, for example,
Nixon and Brezhnev worked out detente. Although, some of the
enemies of detente thought it still applied, and
hence they rejected detente and didn’t take it seriously. But what about the new Cold War? How does it compare? Well, I can see certain ways
in which it’s safer and better. I can see other ways in
which it’s more dangerous. I think it’s safer and better
because it’s no longer global. The main competition is in
Europe and the Middle East. On Korea, we’re actually
pretty close to the Russians in our view. It’s not in Vietnam, so it’s not
global the way it used to be. And in another sense, it’s
not nearly as ideological– at least ideological
in the sense of the old, Marxist-Leninist
ideology, which no longer carries
much weight in Russia except for old,
hardline communists. True, Putin has been
developing a new ideology, or rather redeveloping an
even older ideology, which features things like nationalist
patriotism, orthodox religion, and social conservatism. But I don’t think it’s quite as
dangerous as the old one, which had as a primary
axiom that the United States, or the capitalist
West in general, was inevitably out
to destroy communism, and there could never be lasting
co-existence with the West. Well, how might the new
Cold War be more dangerous? Well, there might be some people
in this audience who can– who have an opinion as to
what I’m about to tell you as to whether it could be true. I heard this fourth
or fifth hand from somebody who
has connections in the American
security establishment, so I can’t vouch
for this at all. But what he said was that
in the new world of hacking, it may become possible– it may
have already become possible– to hack the early warning
systems of the United States and of Russia. That is the warning systems that
tell each side that missiles launched by the
other are winging their way toward your side
and will arrive in 15 minutes, and that then gives
you 5 or 10 minutes to decide whether to press
the button in response and thereby lift
off the missiles that the incoming missiles
would otherwise destroy if yours hadn’t been launched. Now if this is true– and I
don’t know whether it’s true– this would be a terribly,
terribly dangerous possibility, but as I say, I have no
idea whether it’s true. There’s one more wrinkle, which
makes it even more dangerous. Same source, which is to say,
not necessarily reliable, but he told me that among
the Russian technologists, the IT people who are capable
of this kind of thing, if it’s capa– if
it’s possible at all, there are some of
Muslim background who have disappeared,
either, perhaps, kidnapped or co-opted
by ISIS, which is working on this very scenario. What else might make the
situation more dangerous? Well, I think it’s the case– Jane and I have noticed this– that Russians these days are
more anti-American than they used to be in Soviet times. In Soviet times,
they often reacted to the repression coming
down on their necks by idealizing the west
and the United States, in particular, which
the regime portrayed as their mortal enemy. And if the regime said we
were their mortal enemy, then we must be a pretty good place. But these days, as a result
of Putin’s propaganda and what’s been going
on in the world, Russians seem to be
more anti-American. They used to be,
some of them, more anti-certain American
leaders, but now you sense more anti-Americanism
in general. Are Americans more anti-Russian? I don’t know, and
here, again, you may have a better
idea than I if you have talked with your fellow
Americans about Russia as to whether you encounter
this kind of anger. OK, I said I’d mention three
basic patterns of the new Cold War. One is that both sides– or at least it’s my view of
it, both sides are at fault. I could make the
case– although, far from every historian
agrees with it– that when the old
Cold War began there was more fault on
the Soviet side because it was led by Stalin
with all of his paranoia. He killed millions
of his own people. He could never bring
himself as a person to trust the west whereas
some of the American leaders, like Roosevelt and Truman, for
a while, whatever else they did, did trust Russia and
did trust even Stalin. But this time, I think, it’s
quite clear, at least to me, that both sides are at fault. Second, it’s interesting
to see the way the balance of power
between the two sides, or rather the
imbalance of power, has aggravated and
fueled the conflict. What do I mean by that? Well, in 1991, when the
Soviet Union collapsed and Russia succeeded
it, Russia was as weak as it had been in
a long, long time. The United States was
stronger than ever. It was the only superpower
left in the world. Russia was not a
superpower anymore, and given that imbalance of
power, the United States– well, we could talk
about this if we want to– was in some ways
drunk with its own superiority and power. And that may explain
some of the things that we did later that
many people regret. On the other hand, Russia was
so weak that it had to submit. And even in those years when
Boris Yeltsin, who succeeded Gorbachev, was very angry with
what the United States was doing, he eventually
swallowed it because he had, he felt, no choice. Later, under Putin,
Russia has been rebuilt. He’s rebuilt the state,
he’s rebuilt the economy, he’s rebuilt the
military, and he’s begun to throw Russia’s weight
around in the world in places like Ukraine and even in Syria. And it’s not surprising that now
we are alarmed by that change from an imbalance of
power in our favor to a closer– something
closer to a balance of power. The third, general
pattern, which has been involved
in these years has to do with what are
called in diplomacy and diplomatic history,
spheres of influence. Once upon a time, the
East European countries were Soviet satellites, and
places like the Baltic states, and Ukraine, and Georgia
were, as you know, constituent republics
of the Soviet Union– parts of the Soviet Union. Taken together, this was the
Soviet Union’s external empire in Eastern Europe
and internal empire within the Soviet Union itself. With the collapse
of the Soviet Union, Russia lost Eastern Europe. Soviet Union lost it
before Russia did, and I do not think,
from what I can tell, that Russia and Putin are
trying to conquer it again. That would just be too
difficult and dangerous for them, as well as
the rest of the world. But they do not like the idea
of Eastern Europe countries becoming members of NATO,
and I’ll talk about that more in a minute. As for the former Soviet
Republics– the Baltics, Ukraine, Georgia,
and the others– so far they don’t seem to
want to reincorporate them, but they seem to want to
dominate them, at least when it comes to things like whether
or not Ukraine should even think of joining NATO itself. Now, naturally enough, the East
Europeans and the former Soviet Republics, like the Ukraine,
are alarmed and fearful. They don’t want to let Russia
continue to dictate to them, or start to dictate to them,
whereas, equally, naturally enough, the West– the United States
in particular– stake that Eastern Europe and
the former Soviet Republics have a right to determine their
own destiny, especially when– and this is not
always the case– they are plausibly democracies,
in which what the leaders say reflects what the people want– the people who
have elected them. This, however, puts us
in a tricky position because what shall we do? Shall we try to avoid
antagonizing the Russians who don’t want us to push NATO? For example, expand it. If we do so, wouldn’t
we be betraying, again, some of the East
Europeans who had been betrayed before by the
West in 1938, or 1945, or 1948? This is a serious
question, and I don’t think there’s a easy answer. Although, perhaps,
other people do. OK, finally the stages
through which the new Cold War has evolved. I’ve already talked about
how well Gorbachev got along with Reagan and Bush,
but in retrospect, you can see that as early
as 1990 and 1991 the seeds of a future conflict,
even a Cold War, were planted. Let me try to explain. Gorbachev acquiesced in East
Europe’s breaking away in 1989 from communism– Poland, Hungary,
Czechoslovakia, Romania; Gorbachev acquiesced, in
1990, in German reunification; Gorbachev acquiesced, also in
1990, in reunified Germany’s remaining, or becoming,
a member of NATO; and when he did these three
things, the West was shocked. I’ve talked to
some of the people, including Secretary
of State Baker. I corresponded with
President Bush– H. W. Bush. I talked to one
of the key people in the National Security staff,
Robert Blackwill, who said, we kept waiting for
Gorbachev not to acquiesce. We kept waiting, for
example, for him to say, the only condition
under which you can have the
reunification of Germany is if you agree that a reunified
Germany may not be part of NATO, but it never happened. Now, the whole question
of why Gorbachev did this is elaborated,
or at least I attempt to answer
it in this book. But one of the main
components of that answer is that Gorbachev
imagined a new world order and the new European order. He imagined what he often
talked about and called a European Common Home,
common home of Europe. That was often dismissed
as a kind of propaganda, but he really believed it. What he imagined was that east
and west divisions in Europe would be gone; that
NATO and the Warsaw Pact would first, shift from
being military alliances to political organizations
and then dissolve; that a new European security
architecture would replace them based on what was called a
CSCE, the Conference of Security and Cooperation in Europe. And it sounded, at the time– if you look at what Bush
was saying and Baker was saying, as if we were
open to this kind of outcome. There’s even one
famous moment, which has been quoted very often,
in which on February 10, 1990 Baker told Gorbachev that if
he agreed to Germany’s joining NATO that NATO’s military
jurisdiction would not expand one inch to the east. Well, as I will
recount in a minute, it’s expanded hundreds
and thousands of miles. Bush and the other
Western leaders pocketed Gorbachev’s
acquiescence, kept NATO, and even
started to expand it at that time in the sense
that East Germany, which hadn’t been part of NATO,
was now part of Germany, which was in turn part of NATO. Let’s turn next to
the relationship between Clinton and Yeltsin. Clinton often referred
to Yeltsin as, in a southern accent that I
can’t duplicate, as ol’ Boris. O-L apostrophe Boris. Now, Yeltsin was a
very difficult person. He was boisterous,
he was boastful, he was super sensitive,
and according to at least some sources– well, not according
to some sources. We know he was a hard
drinker, but some sources say that at least
on one occasion, he was found outside the
White House in Washington, during one of his visits, in his
underwear looking for a place to have a pizza. [LAUGHTER] Yeltsin reminds me a
little bit of Khrushchev, whose biography I wrote. But whereas Kennedy,
John F. Kennedy, let himself be, in my view,
intimidated by Khrushchev, especially at the
Vienna summit of 1961, Clinton took Yeltsin in stride,
rolling with the punches, and laughing off
Yeltsin’s excesses in which he
recognized, I believe, parallels to his own
gigantic appetites. But although they got
along, substantively the US was doing things which
irritated Yeltsin, and yet, which he, as I said
earlier, swallowed. Clinton talked big about
giving a lot of money to help Russia build
democracy and capitalism, but he gave a lot less money
than he had talked about. Furthermore, the United
States offered a lot of aid. It sent over
economists and others to help Russians figure out
how to create a stock market and run a market economy. Key to that advice was a great
emphasis on privatization, although that was not the
only part of the advice. And now Russians– or once
that in the ’90s turned sour, as it did– raging inflation,
high unemployment– the Russians began to attribute
that to the advice they got– not just a consequence
of that advice, but as the intention of advice
to mess up their system. Not all of them did that. And furthermore, it’s not an
entirely fair accusation at all because after all, it was
the Russians who accepted the advice and implemented it. NATO expansion in the
Clinton years, 1997, the Czech Republic, Poland, and
Hungary all accepted into NATO. And here’s how one of the great
Russian experts of the United States in our history,
George Kennan, responded to that process. “I think it is the beginning,”
he wrote, “of a new Cold War. There was no reason
for that whatsoever. No one was threatening
anybody else. Our differences in
the Cold War with were with the Soviet
Communist regime. And now we are turning our
backs on the very people who mounted the greatest bloodless
revolution in history to remove that Soviet regime. Of course there was going to
be a bad reaction from Russia, and then the NATO expanders
will say that we always told you that is how the Russians are– but that is just wrong.” What Kennan is in
effect saying is that this was a
self-fulfilling prophecy to warn of the Russians,
to expand NATO to protect against the Russians, and,
as a result of the expansion, to create or at least aggravate
the Russian threat to us. Moreover, there was
the Yugoslav war, which we remember all too
well, in which the United States depicted with
great justification Serbia, a Slavic cousin of
Russia, as the main villain. You may remember
that at one point in the battle over
Kosovo, we actually went so far as to bomb
Belgrade at great length and with serious results. As a result of this, a
kind of Russian narrative began to build that the United
States had destroyed the Soviet Union or at least tried to,
that it had kept Russia down. It had treated it
like a defeated power. Now again, this narrative
is not entirely true. Bush number one, George H. W.
Bush, in 1991 went to Kiev, and with the Soviet
Union about to collapse warned the Ukrainians
who were key to the collapse of the Soviet
Union not to push too far, telling them that a kind
of virulent nationalism– which some of the Ukrainians
were practicing, not all– but would be worse than
a democratic Soviet Union of which Ukraine
would remain apart. Another thing that the
Soviet Union did was– Russia. I’m sorry, post-Soviet Russia– they created many of
their own excesses. They created their
own oligarchs, they deepened their
own inequality, they messed up
their own democracy. Witness the fact that
in 1993, challenged by a hard-line
parliament, Boris Yeltsin, in order to save
democracy in Russia, bombarded the parliament,
brought up the tanks, and tried to blow
up the parliament. And one other thing
that Russia didn’t do over the years, which
is very important I think– this goes back to the issue
of the spheres of influence– Russia hardly tried,
or if it tried it certainly didn’t succeed in
soothing the fears of the East Europeans or the former
Soviet Republics. And so, if the East Europeans
and the former Soviet Republics continue to fear Russia and
seek Western protection, that at least is in part
because the Russians didn’t do a very
good job of trying to make peace with their former
neighbors and former republics. Now we get to Putin
with Bush and Obama. In the beginning,
Putin took over in 1999 as acting president, and in
2000 as elected president. And in the beginning,
according to his colleagues in the Russian government and
according also to the NATO Secretary General,
Lord George Robertson, Putin wanted to get along. This is what one of
Putin’s associates said. Putin believed
relations with the west could and should be improved
so that we could be partners. He considered that the
problem was that “they–” the west, “did not understand
us or our difficulties that we were facing. We needed to explain
our situation, discuss it with them,
and they would help us. And it would lead to a
different relationship.” And here’s what he
told Lord Robertson. He said he believed– I’m quoting– that
“Russia should be part of Western Europe,”
that it was Russia’s destiny to be so, that he wanted to
work toward that even though not everyone agreed with him. The legacy of Kosovo
was still there, but he thought it
was a distraction. We would work together
and cooperate, but, of course,
that didn’t happen. And here is Putin
himself speaking about that time
saying, he was prepared to discuss more
profound integration with NATO provided
that Russia was regarded as an equal partner. Asked if he could
ever join NATO, if Russia could
ever join NATO, he replied, “I don’t see why not. I would not rule out
that possibility.” Now you may think Putin as a
liar and was lying back then. But I’m not entirely
convinced, at least back then, because if you look at 9/11
and the world’s reaction to it, you will recall that
Putin was the first man to call President Bush and that
he offered, “anything we can do to help. We are with you,” he said. And he offered
access to Afghanistan to American forces overflying
Russia and overflying the Central Asian republics
where Russia still had such influence. Furthermore, there was very
good personal chemistry between Bush and Putin. You may recall that Bush invited
Putin to the Crawford ranch. They had 20 summit
meetings of various kinds, but meanwhile, NATO expansion. In 2002, NATO expanded to
include Romania, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Slovakia, and the
former Baltic republics. Furthermore, we don’t need
to talk about the Iraq war, or maybe we do, but
the Russians didn’t like the fact that we started
it without their permission– that is without the permission
of the UN Security Council. Then there were what are
known as the Color Revolutions in Ukraine and Georgia in
2004 in which the United States obviously favored
the overthrow of regimes more friendly to Russia. By 2007, Putin was very
angry, but the worst was yet to come because in
2008, NATO promised eventually to make members of
Ukraine and Georgia. Well, that hasn’t
happened, but you can imagine the Russian reaction. Putin was enraged,
but from 2008 to 2012, he stepped aside and was
replaced by Dmitry Medvedev so as to observe the
Russian constitution, which barred more than two
consecutive presidential terms. Medvedev responded positively
to Obama’s reset, probably too positively in Putin’s view,
because, for example, Medvedev abstained in the United
Nations when the United Nations approved a resolution
authorizing the use of force to create a no-fly
zone in Libya. But we went beyond that,
and together with our allies we got rid of
Gaddafi, which was not authorized by the resolution. Well, Putin returned in
2012 for his third term, but not consecutive. By this point, he had been
cracking down on civil society, on the free press. And in 2011 and 2012
there were demonstrations in Moscow involving tens
of thousands of people protesting against the way
Putin had rigged the election, not entirely, but in part, and
that seems to have scared him, convinced him that the
Color Revolutions in Ukraine and Georgia could
spread to Russia. And then in 2014,
the Color Revolution returned, you
remember, in Ukraine, where Putin’s buddy, President
Yanukovych, was ousted. And during those days
in the Maidan in Kiev, the revolution
there was cheered on by not only the German foreign
minister but by Americans like Senator McCain who
went there and the Assistant Secretary of State for
European Affairs in the State Department, Victoria
Nuland, who was actually handing out bread and food to
those engaging in the uprising. That brings us to
the denouement, at least so far,
which is very recent. Russia annexes the
Crimea, Russia intervenes in east Ukraine to
support the separatists, and Putin apparently no
longer sees, if he ever did, Russia as eventually
becoming part of the West. Rather, he has decided that
Russia will lead, or attempt to lead, the anti-Western
powers wherever they may be around the world. And so, we have a new
Cold War, at the moment. Although, it’s not
total in the sense that we’re still in
agreement about limiting Iran’s nuclear weapons. Anyway, this is the context. This is the background. This is the evolution leading
up to Trump and Putin. Will Trump still try to
ease this new Cold War? If he does, will Putin
meet him half way? If he does, will he mean
what he says or will it be some kind of trick? I was going to talk a little
bit about Putin and Trump. I don’t think I have
to talk about Trump. We’ve all been witnesses
to what’s been going on. I will just read very
quickly two excerpts from Putin’s autobiography. It’s not so much
all written by him. It’s based on interviews with
him by Russian journalists, and it includes some
of his own words. And you get a sense of
him from these two quotes. One, he’s talking about the
impoverish rundown apartment house he lived in Leningrad. “There on that stair landing–”
outside of his apartment, “–I got a quick and lasting
lesson in the meaning of the word cornered. There were hordes of rats
in the front entryway. My friends and I used to
chase them around with sticks. Once I spotted a huge rat
and pursued it down the hall until it drove me into a corner. It had nowhere to run. Suddenly, it lashed around
and threw itself at me. I was surprised and frightened. Now the rat was chasing me. It jumped across the
landing and down the stairs. Luckily, I was a
little faster, and I managed to slam the
door shut on its nose.” And this is a quote from Putin’s
elementary school teacher. She said to these reporters,
“I think Volodya– that’s Vladimir Putin’s Russian
nickname– “is a good person, but he never forgives people who
betray him or are mean to him. In any case, that’s
what I think.” Now my final,
overarching question that I’d like to end with. If as– if I’m right
that many of the things the United States has
done over these years has alienated and
antagonize Russia and Putin. Let’s play a game of imagining
that the United States doesn’t do that. Let’s imagine that NATO does not
expand, that the Iraq war does not occur, that the Libyan UN
resolution is not violated, and that we don’t cheer
on the Color Revolutions in Ukraine and Georgia. Would that mean that Russia
would be getting along with us now much better,
or would someone like Putin still find reason
to be aggrieved? Is there, in other words,
something about Russia and its penchant
for authoritarianism and anti-Western that would
lead it to be aggrieved almost no matter what we did? And on the other side, is
there something about us– something about
us which leads us to do what we do that
antagonizes and alienates Russia, and that it may
be a fantasy to imagine that we could stop doing that? Anyway, I’m going to stop there. I hope I’ve left time
for questions, comments, counter-arguments,
whatever you like. Miriam, is it? Miriam has a microphone
which she’s going to try to bring her around. No. I’ll stay up here
unless I can’t hear, which is quite possible
since I’m hard of hearing. First of all, thank you for
your thoughtful discourse. One of the things that has been,
I think, a problem for Putin, or the Russians in general,
has been the fluctuating energy market– oil, natural gas–
and particularly with the shift in
Europe toward solar, wind, and other non-carbon
based energy sources, that puts a threat to some of
Russia’s economic stability. They’ve certainly
found their ways to make money in all
kinds of other ways, but one of the
concerns that I have is that that could actually
make Putin more desperate as he tries to shore up
his financial base and to keep power by keeping
the other oligarchs happy. Yes, this is quite true. I mean, it’s already
happened as a result of the fall, the drastic
fall in oil and gas prices and the sanctions
that the West laid on after the annexation of
Crimea and the intervention in Ukraine. That’s part of the
picture that has made Putin so upset and angry. I just want to add one other
thing, too, to that I left out. I had it in my notes. The hacking itself is almost
certainly, in Putin’s eyes, equal to what he sees as
our attempts to interfere in Russian elections. What does he have in mind? I don’t think we
hacked their elections. I don’t know. What we did do, though,
was send over lots of specialists in democracy. The national Republican
the Democratic parties in this country each has
an International Institute, which sent over people to
help teach the Russians how to campaign, how
to run an election. We did this in great numbers
along with other NGOs, and Putin obviously believes
that this was interfering in their internal affairs. That’s one of the reasons
why he has now banished them, or actually, what he
did, very ominous, was he decided that to rule– or he got the
parliament to rule that any Russian non-governmental
organization that collects, that receives money
from a foreign country, must declare itself
to be a foreign agent. And what’s so ominous about that
is that phrase, foreign agent, was used in the 1930s
by Stalin and others to designate those
whose time on Earth was not going to be very long. So that’s a bit of
a roundabout answer, but I think it takes
off from your question. Yes. Which one? There seems to be a current
theory that some of the hacking was in response to a sense of
personal animus on the part of Putin and Hillary
Clinton when she served as Secretary of State. Do you find any
credibility in that theory? Again I speak without
direct evidence, but it certainly has
the ring of truth to it. We know that Hillary Clinton
condemned the very elections that thousands of Russians
demonstrated against us to protest, and
Putin thereafter said that she was behind
those demonstrations. That was probably a little
bit of exaggeration. We know she wasn’t. Hundreds of
thousands of Russians didn’t come out because she said
the elections were falsified in part. They came out because
their neighbors and friends could see it happening. But it has the ring
of truth because well, partly because of what the
elementary school teacher said. You know, he doesn’t like
that kind of behavior. It’s a kind of
betrayal, and it’s a short step given the practices
of the Russian secret police, from who’s organization
he emerged, to take the actions that they took. And they could be– they could have larger
political purposes, but they could also have that
personal animus toward her. I think– I’ve been
reading today’s paper, or reading online, that the
latest peep– the latest leaks, which have been coming
out from, supposedly well-informed sources,
say that our intelligence people concluded that
the hacking that went on was both pro-Trump
and anti-Hillary. Ah, yes. My recollection
of that, which is a little fuzzy and
maybe incorrect, is that George F. Kennan– Yeah, just point it towards you. –is that George
F. Kennan was not only against the
expansion of NATO but he was against NATO
from the very outset. So NATO clearly, and from
your hypothetical also, was a big factor in
each of the Cold Wars, since now we’re in
a second Cold War. Do you think a
possible deal making for elimination, or at least
a cooling of the Cold War, would be some kind of
deal involving a reduction if not a dis–
not a dismantling, but a reduction in NATO in
some way and the role of the US in NATO? You know, I– I didn’t mean to say
that expanding NATO was totally wrong. It’s kind of–
it’s not that hard to understand the logic of
people like Bush at the time, 1990, ’91, and later, Clinton,
those who expanded it. After all, NATO was
a going concern. It had worked– what
was the alternative? Was the alternative a somehow an
all pan-European organization, including everybody–
including Russia– which would have been
bigger than anybody and potentially disruptive? Was the alternative to say
limit the expansion of NATO to the Czech Republic,
Poland, and Hungary? Well, if you did that,
that’s like saying, those are the ones we’ll
protect, but these other guys, we won’t. That’s an invitation to Russia
at some point to make trouble. The one thing I feel
very strongly about was that the invitation
to Ukraine and Georgia was a big mistake. I mean, Baltics, well, we
could argue about that, but Ukraine was the
biggest non-Russian part of the Russian Empire. Many of the Russians won’t
even admit that Ukraine is a separate country. They say it and Russia
go back to Kievan Rus’, which was the founder of both. But I know that when
the National Security Council under George
W. Bush considered the expansion of NATO
into Ukraine and Georgia, Condi Rice, the
Secretary of State, is supposed to have
presented the pros and cons but not taken a position. I suspect Dick Cheney– without knowing it,
I suspect that he did take a position
that was bring ’em on, bring ’em in, and Bush is quoted
as saying, well if they ask, Ukraine and Georgia,
I can’t say no. So this whole question of
which ones you accept, if any, what was the alternative
to accepting none of them is kind of complicated
except, I think, for Ukraine and Georgia,
which was a step too far. The kind of deal
that I imagined– alluded to at the beginning–
which I can imagine now probably will not
begin with NATO. What I imagine and hear,
if anybody in the audience is from the government or been
in the government and know– you may very well
know more than I do, but what I imagine is
that the US and the West could de facto accept
the annexation of Crimea because they’re not
going to give it back. And if they’re not going
to give it back, then if we continue making
a stink about it and imposing sanctions
as a result of it, it just makes things worse. And we could conceivably begin
to lift some of the sanctions if the Russians
pulled out of Ukraine and pull back from the
borders of the Baltic states where they’ve been
conducting military exercises and they stopped the
dangerous overflights right up to the edge of NATO countries. And one other thing. This is not part of a deal, but
just part of what’s going on and what could be stopped. Have you noticed the
way there’s practically no American congressman or
senator who doesn’t preface Putin’s name when he or she
utters it with the words murderer and thug? Well, he’s not a good man. He’s probably even an evil man. He’s killed or his people
have killed a lot of people, but you don’t– you can’t have a relationship
with a country in which you refer to its leader constantly
as a murderer and a thug. Yes, just commentary. In 1994, the Budapest
Memorandum guaranteed to Ukraine its territorial
integrity in exchange for giving up the third largest
nuclear arsenal in the world. United States, Great
Britain, Russia, and Ukraine were parties to this agreement. The guarantee was that
the territorial integrity would remain. In 2014, this did not happen. It was the takeover of Crimea
during a period of weakness in the transition of
government in Ukraine, and there was specific
intention by mili– by Russian intelligence
to infiltrate the Donbass and to create the revolution
that we see today. What went wrong? What went wrong? Why did the United
States and Great Britain not defend that piece of paper
that they had been written on, and what would have
happened had Ukraine not given up the third largest
nuclear arsenal in the world for this piece of paper? That’s a very good–
that’s a very good point. The Budapest’s agreement
of 1994 did indeed stipulate exactly what
this gentleman just said. This is the kind of
thing that led me at the time they seized
Crimea and moved into Ukraine. We had a– one of these events,
a five-college event, you know, for students and faculty,
and I went down the list– I had a speech of Putin’s
in which he attacked us for doing this,
this, this, and this and justified his own
actions in that way. And I said, I think he’s
right about many of the things that he says we did, but that’s
no excuse for action that tears up one of the fundamental
pillars of the post-World War II International Order by
moving across a border. But I mean if the only way
to stop it was an actual conflict– and you may say there
were other ways to stop it– then I’m afraid
Russia had a bigger stake than we did in that area. Our stake was precisely
the one you speak of, and it’s a very important stake. But there’s Ukraine
on their borders, there are their troops
on their borders. In any war, if it’d
ever come to that, they would have been
able to escalate. And at any stage– well, I mean one
hesitates to imagine what goes on in a war between
the US and Russia today, but I think there was
a kind of discretion that is the unfortunate,
sad, better part of valor not to defend what was the
correct cause if by defending it we risked actual
conflict and war. Hello, even though
there are protests– I’m back here– against
Putin in Russia, right now, I believe
that he’s very popular with his own
people, for the most part, and it looks as though
he’s going to be the leader for some long time. And I just– my question
is, do you foresee– do you agree with that? Do you foresee any ways in which
that connection that he has with his people might change? You’re quite– you’re quite
right that Putin is extremely popular with his own people. His favorability rating
has been as high as 82%. Compare that to Trump’s 36%. And in other words, the
Russian people generally approve of what he’s doing. They began to get uneasy when
the economic situation began to crater, but then
he was very clever. He’s a very shrewd guy, and
the annexation of Crimea, and the war in Ukraine, and
the intervention in Syria all publicized nonstop
in a one-sided way on Russian television
revived his popularity again. He’s certainly,
almost certainly, going to run again
in 2018, which is really incredible
because when he serves out a six-year term beginning
in 2018 he will have been, if he does, 24 years
the leader of Russia, 25 if you count the
acting presidency of 1999, and that’s about
as long as Stalin. 1929 to 1953. Now one may ask, who is
likely to replace him and how? One of the things
that Putin does is he cuts off at the knees
anybody else who might become a pretender– a contender. One can imagine a
peaceful transfer of power within his own circle in which– not Medvedev because Medvedev
has now been discredited by revelations of corruption. But there is a man who is the
Secret– the Defense Minister. I don’t know if
anybody’s heard his name. His name is Sergey Shoygu. He’s not even Russian. I think he’s a Tatar. But the people one
talks to say that he is the kind of guy
Putin might trust with taking over after him. One other thing is that
Putin’s people say, and some Russians who
are not his people find plausible the argument that
given the extremes in Russia and the irrationality
of both extremes, Russia may be more stable
under Putin than without him. Now they use this as propaganda,
you know, keep us in power because I’m better
than the alternative. But people I know who
are not Putin people take this seriously
as a question needing to be pondered. Hi. Sir, do you have a question? I know we’re going
over the limit. We’re about at the limit, but
may we continue for a while? Yeah, absolutely. Anybody who wants– Well, just a– –you’re welcome to do so. Continue– If not, we
can continue for a while. There’s stuff that might– Right here. So in terms of US foreign
policy and the likelihood that Putin outlasts the next,
you know, two presidents maybe in the US, is there anything
more than a tactical strategy– you know, tactical thinking
versus strategic thinking that could possibly go on? I’m not sure that there is. You know, even in the
Soviet period when we were very pessimistic
about what could be done and we assumed that the Soviet
Union might last forever only to be shocked and pleasantly
surprised when it disappeared, there were still
people who thought that through exchange programs,
through exposing Soviets who lived for a long time
behind an iron curtain to the reality of life
in the West we could– we could sort of change or
affect the attitudes of people and maybe bring about a
change in the long run. At the moment, the kind
of anti-Americanism that one sees on the
part of a lot of Russians offers less opportunity
for that kind of approach. I think the hope
is if you find– if you look forward
to a day without Putin when the country
continues or goes back to building the democracy
that Gorbachev started, the hope is that– the middle class is expanding. It’s now estimated that about
25% of the Russian population is living pretty darn well. Not very well, but well,
and they want to travel. Putin is shrewd. He allows them to travel. They want to read books. He allows them to read books. He even allows at least
one newspaper, which happens to be
co-owned by Gorbachev and an oligarch
called, Novaya Gazeta, which does tell the truth. And he allows one radio station
called [SPEAKING RUSSIAN] which tells it like it is. So he’s shrewd in
those ways, but I guess the hope would be that
this burgeoning middle class, which wants really un-rigged
elections, as they showed when they went out to protest,
will get bigger and bigger. At the moment, they’re primarily
in Moscow and Petersburg, but there’s some of them
in other big cities. In the long run, they
may bring about change, but I think if and
when they do, they will bring it about themselves. And it’s not we who will do it
for them because we’re probably no better equipped to build
a democratic nation in Russia than we were in Iraq. This may be a naive
reading of things, and I’d hope that
you’d point that out. I’d like to tease two threads
from what you’ve been talking about and see how they relate. One is the idea that– the
popular idea that there’s some continuity in the
character of the Russian state over the decades, that from
the czarist to the communists, to Putin you’ve got
authoritarianism, you’ve got the relation of
the other cities and provinces to Moscow, you’ve got the
state control of religion depending on what the
state religion is. So that’s one thread,
the idea that they just change the patches. Combined with the
asymmetry of tools used between the US and Russia
to achieve their goals– that is the Russians
were of course, famous for the great game
in Afghanistan with Britain and then popularly, and
I think particularly, in the book Legacy of
Ashes about the CIA, they were much better at
the spy game than we were. They managed to
put spies among us, and we– generally, when we
tried to do that they got rolled up and
turned immediately. However, you know, the
US has an economic power, an optimistic power, a sort
of a brash story it tells. So my question is,
given these two threads, the asymmetric
tools that each country has and the perception of Russia
as sort of being constant, if you were to wipe
away all this history and start from year one and
let each country be itself, so to speak, would
they inevitably still come into
conflict in the areas where they touch just because
of the very separate tools and characters available
to their respective states? So you’ve– you want to wipe
away the history which makes Russia what it is? No, the relations
between the two. If all the bad blood
were erased tomorrow but you still have the countries
being where they are and still had their prospective
interests and tools, would they invariably come back
into conflict in the same way? That’s sort of what I was
asking at the end of my talk when I said, let’s imagine
that the United States doesn’t do any of the things
that drive Putin crazy. Would Russia, under him
or somebody like him, nonetheless, because
of its history, because of its
penchant, its tendency toward authoritarianism
and anti-Westernism, would it, nonetheless,
feel aggrieved and a rival, and we’d end up in trouble? And I don’t really
know the answer. I think that is, in a
way, the big question. I think based on what I
know of Russian tourists, the answer is probably yes. Based on what you know
of Russian tourists? Yes. Where? In this country? Around the world. Oh. [LAUGHTER] Well, you care to say a
word about Russian tourists? No, we’ll– My impression is they bring the
little rain cloud with them. Oh. [LAUGHTER] So I’d like to– We need to talk more
about that later. Yes? I’d like to ask
you to speculate. Assume for the
moment that evidences comes forward establishing
without a doubt that the Russians
hacked the election and changed the outcome
of the election. Let’s assume, for the moment,
that Trump is no longer president and Pence
is and that there’s strong anti-Russian attitude
developing in the United States. How would the Russians
react to this, or how would Putin react
to such a course of events? A lot of speculation there. Well, it would be nice
if he felt guilty– [LAUGHTER] –as if he had contributed to
an outcome that he doesn’t like. Probably wouldn’t happen. I think from their
point of view, Pence will be much
more difficult than Trump might
have been if Trump felt free to do what
he wanted to do, which he may no longer
feel free to do. I guess that’s my reaction. Can you amplify that? Amplify that? In what way? Just in a global
generality to [INAUDIBLE]. OK, well, then we have to
go back to the question. Can you ask your
question again, and I’ll try to be more specific? My question? Yeah, I was responding
to you, right? I’m interested in an outcome
in which, number one, the facts are established
without question that the Russians
hacked the election, and there is a theme and outcry
of anger toward the Russians. And at the same time Pence
replaces our current president. Well, I think that’s
going to be worse. The situation’s going to
be worse than it is now. How will the Russians– Oh, how will they react? –they react to this? Well, I think they
will probably continue with business as usual. That is they won’t– I think they hope for some kind
of deal with Trump of the kind that I began to imagine. I think they won’t get
that deal from Pence, so they will be back in it in
dealing with a situation where they don’t see
much give, if any, in our position and we
don’t see much in there’s. I think we will have a kind of
status quo, sort of frozen Cold War– which is redundant, I realize– which means the two of
us– until that leadership changes again with a
Democrat coming in. Now, will a Democrat
be more likely to make a deal with the Russians? Probably not. So I mean– I guess
what I’m saying is that if it’s
established that they did the hacking and Trump
is driven out of power for the foreseeable future,
any Republican and any Democrat will be reluctant to try to
make the concessions which might ease the new Cold War. And if that’s the
case, it will be fought in the way
it’s been fought until maybe Putin
is gone, but then it depends on who replaces him. I’d like to go back before
that happens because it hasn’t happened,
and we don’t know how long it’s going to take. So how– if Trump
has enough time to do something that he
wants to do vis-a-vis Russia, what will that be? I appreciate that you’re talk– what you talked
about was the norms in Russian thought, which
were very helpful to me without Trump, without Trump. But a lot of things
that Trump wants to do would not drive
the Russians crazy. Well, Trump obviously wants
trade with the Russians. He wants cooperation
against terrorism. He seems to think
that there are ways in which we could cooperate
much more than we have. Although, in a place
like Syria, that hasn’t happened yet,
although, despite the efforts of John Kerry and
perhaps Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister. Well, I already
mentioned what I imagine. I imagine Trump
might say, let’s– we’re not going to
get Crimea back, so let’s stop giving them
a hard time about that. And we’d like them to
get out of Ukraine, so let’s offer to lift
sanctions, gradually, as they leave Ukraine. That’s what I
imagine, a deal like that plus an effort to
cooperate against terrorism, plus an expansion of trade– I’m– do you have
something else in mind? No, no. I just don’t– I wanted
to make sure I had it all. Maybe two– one
more or at most two. Yeah, I was thinking
about this idea of a deal, and I’ve sort of
thought of this before. One idea I was
thinking is maybe you could call for an
internationally monitored referendum in Crimea so
that people can actually vote themselves whether
they want to be in Russia. Say OK. If they want to be
in Russia, OK fine. And then also, on
Ukraine part, you could say, OK, once you
have a Ukraine that’s sort of shorn of such
territorial ethnic disputes with Russia, then
that would actually be a much stronger NATO
candidate, and you could you could bring
Ukraine into NATO. It’d be sort of a move,
countermove response that you could say to Putin,
OK, well, you get Crimea, but we’re going to have a
response to this if this is the way you’re
going to play, we’re going to have a certain
security architecture here to sort of stand against
any further moves like this. I like the idea of an
international supervised referendum in Crimea,
although I am pretty sure it would vote to stay in Russia. That’s the whole point, but
it would– it would give a– But as for a Ukraine free
of Russian-semi-occupation joining NATO, I don’t
think Russia’s going to allow that anyway, no how. That’s why they’re there. I think you’re more likely to
get the Russians to move out if you lead them to
understand either explicitly or implicitly that we will
not favor Ukrainian membership in NATO, which brings
us back to that issue I described at the beginning
where if they want to join it and their people want to
join it, who are we to say they can’t because the
Russians won’t like that? That sounds terrible, but it
may be, for the sake of peace in that region, that’s
what we should do. I should mention that Robert
Gates, the former Secretary of Defense and head of the
CIA, was here last year and gave a talk,
and Biddy Martin had a dinner which Jane
and I were fortunate enough to be invited to. And I asked him about this,
and he said essentially that. Let’s agree that Ukraine
will not join NATO, and then the Russians might
be willing to get out. Even if they did–
even if that happened, if Ukraine were free to
be what it wants to be, the Russians wouldn’t like it. And if Ukraine were
proved better able than it has been so far– it’s not been very
successful so far in building a functioning
democracy and an economy that works, then the
Russians would feel threatened that that would
promote a change in Russia– which at least
Putin doesn’t want– that is a Color Revolution. So I could imagine
Putin, I suppose, even refusing to get out if
he were assured that Ukraine wouldn’t be a member of
NATO, but once again, imagine that assurance. It sounds like the Yalta. You know it sounds like
a spheres of influence deal between Stalin
and Churchill where we give 50%
control of Greece to them and 70% of Romania. That kind of stuff
makes a lot of sense, but it doesn’t work
very well in the world. A lot of people don’t like it. Rightly so. Betsy, what should we do? Do you want to take one more? Isn’t the next step
for NATO Moldavia? Oh. It’s a tiny country, but it’d
make it very interesting. Yes, the question is isn’t the
next step for NATO Moldavia? Actually, it’s now
called, I think, Moldova, but it’s the same place. And well, one reason
it can’t happen is that under the rules of
NATO admission of new members there has to be stability
and no territory which is the subject of dispute,
but it is in Moldavia. The Russian troops occupy
what’s called Transnistria. That’s, by the way, one
reason why the Russians may stay in Ukraine because as long
as Ukraine’s eastern region is up for dispute, then
according to NATO’s own rules it can’t admit Ukraine. And that’s one reason
why the Russians are in Georgia in the areas of
Abkhazia and South Ossetia where they have occupation
forces, because as long as that’s the case
under NATO’s own rules, they can’t be admitted to NATO. The phrase for
this, the cliche is, these are frozen conflicts
which have the effect of giving Russia the outcome it wants. Thank you. [APPLAUSE]

5 thoughts on “Trump and Putin in Historical Perspective: How We Got into the New Cold War

  1. The neocon Zionists are the greatest serial breeders of Wahhabi Jihadists since the time of Muhammad in the 6th century to do terrorism in their geopolitical interests. However the fake MSM news narratives will give credits to the trumpeter rather than Putin as the Hammer over IS and AQ linked terrorists. The Christian Evangelicals, National Security, State Department and the Pentagon honchos like McMaster, Tillerson, Mattis etc. have all clearly recognised that Putin as their Gog from Magog as the main obstruction to their New World Order and hence, is more dangerous than the Wahhabi terrorists.

  2. Outstanding and very lucid lecture.
    A joy to watch and learn. It comforts me that I was not mad after all.

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