tv Cross Talk RT August 25, 2014 9:29am-10:01am EDT
hello and welcome to cross talk where all things considered i'm peter lavelle as russia and the west continue to drift apart into a new cold war russia's worldview of international politics is largely neglected in western media and in the halls of power russia will defend its national interest and it also has its own bread lines. to cross the world according to russia i'm joined by my guests ray mcgovern in washington he's a former cia analyst also in washington we have the boys from mali cheesed the director of the rights institute for serbian studies and in london we cross to mark macaulay he is a specialist on international affairs at the university of london are gentlemen
cross-talk rules and i think that means you can jump in anytime you want if i go to you first that's ok almost any article you read in western media portrays russia as a very aggressive country bent on rebuilding the soviet union we are bent on rebuilding an empire but reality on the ground i don't see any evidence of it am i wrong. the question is whether it's bad bad bad bad putin no shirt on bad putin on a horse no shirt on putin bad or whether that's a more realistic picture where russia feels that its national interests had been infringed upon and are still being infringed upon if you look back to when the berlin wall fell just twenty five years ago there was an incredibly potent chance for peace throughout europe from portugal to the year olds got a bit show off and shevardnadze the foreign minister were in power. h. w.
bush promised that in return for the quid the reunification of germany the quote would be nato would not move one inch eastward toward the soviet union fast forward fast forward to two thousand and seven there had been ten new nato members created all to the east of germany ok now you have two thousand and seven putin is allowed to make a major speech at the munich security conference he we versus the ration of doctrine which was incidentally responsible for the invasion of czechoslovakia exactly in one nine hundred sixty eight on this day he reverses that and he warns look you have to take darshan national interests into account what happens that was two thousand and seven two thousand and eight lavrov the foreign minister now and then color ambassador in and said look we understand we understand this is early
february two thousand and eight we understand that nato is about to issue a declaration weaving georgia and ukraine into nato nets means and yet understand that violates our national security will not allow it that was early february really weigh in on hang on hang on raised it with a side of history with what you've got here is that if you meant it. you on lines here martin let me go to you kind of. off of some of the things that we just heard from ray what it really is it seems to me is that there is no real recognition there's no real acknowledgment that russia has any foreign policy interest whatsoever because nato that's a nice quiet friendly alliance they just bring democracy to people it's not really even a military alliance there are good guys and that's how it's painted over and over and over again and any country that stands up to the west is an enemy by definition go ahead martin in london. yes i think that the west especially america did not
recognize that russia had its own strategic interests and under yeltsin the governor. everyone had the impression that. russia was going to move to the west in becoming more like what would be called a normal state normal western state which would have democracy and so on all those things and therefore the security problem wasn't very very serious and putin comes in and he said no no no no we have our own security interest and we have not decided to but in the west we're not going to be like russia we're not to be like america or france or britain we're going to be like russia and we have our own national interests and we're going to develop our own culture and so on and put it look back at governor putin and said and said they gave too much away.
almost sold the family silver trying to get money out of the west so as to make british strike a work and so on and he handed over germany and he handed over eastern europe and so on and putin said well that was wrong and you can see no that he would regard. i n f agreement and the various arms agreement as weakening the soviet union and a cup of joe should not have done those things and putin then said right russia has to stand up for itself because it's been treated like a boy being treated like a child and so on. because the west is so powerful russia is weak and so on and putin then is the one you say is right we have a we have our national pride and we're going to develop russia and we're going to stand up for our interests and so on we're going to say no to nato expansion the expansion of nato into georgia and ukraine which would would have been a great mistake. washington and london didn't accept that but putin made it
perfectly clear another nature. there's no we're not going to. because that's one step too far that's like russia's back door yeah but i mean if you let me go to let me go back to washington it's going to if i mean if it stands up and says no we're defending our national interest that's automatically equated into aggression we give me the logic or the illogic of that statement well peter it's not about what a russian interests alone it's about anybody's right to have interest. what russians are fighting for right now it's everybody's right to have a national interest at all because as a colleague of mine remarked a few years ago there are no country's only rebellious provinces you've got this imperialist thinking in washington as in bed embodied by karl rove's comments ten years ago to a new york times reporter saying oh we're an empire and we create facts and all of your reality based people are left to examine them afterwards these are people who
believe that their will is the law they don't believe that the rules apply to them and again there are no other countries only rebellious provinces if a country doesn't get with the program it gets bombed it gets occupied to get sanction to get regime change popular revolutions you know color revolutions that sort of thing and it's been happening over and over and over and over again over the past twenty five years and so finally somebody standing up to system and saying no no there are other countries there is such a thing as international law other people have legitimate interests legitimate right to exist legitimate right to defend themselves and if you guys have a problem with it well tough you have but the toughness is if i go back to re the toughness is that russia is said to syria russia isn't libya russia isn't iraq it is a deaf ghana stand it's actually a major power and it has the power to say no and that once that's what turns russia into an enemy in the eyes of the west. oh peter if you
accept the proposition that the united states is the only indispensable country in the world well that was madeleine albright under clinton well then all other countries by definition are and a bow on this i stand of ok yeah now this this is more more than a matter of national pride or nationalism it's a matter of national security to russia and the fly in the link but most of all is the missile defense system with putin which putin has said explicitly bothered him most and was one major factor in the referendum on crimean independence and re incorporating crimea into the russian republic why because this missile defense system by admission of former secretary of defense robert gates can act as a first strike capability taking out russian i.c.b.m.'s in
a way that has not existed since the a.b.m. treaty in one thousand nine hundred seventy two i was had must score at the time it was a major major achievement bush reversed that a.b.m. treaty and now the prospect of us or nato ships sailing into sevastopol in the crimea with these guided missile destroyers and a.b.m. system of sorts that's too much so it's a matter of national security the deterrent now if if the russians get to believe that nato thinks or the u.s. thinks that they can have a first rate capability what happens they launch on warning they launch on warning and we're all fried and that hasn't happened that situation hasn't happened since before one thousand nine hundred seventy two ok martin let me go to you in london but i thought it was all about democracy promotion and bringing western values to the world i thought that's what it was all about because that's what i seem to read all the time about the greatness and the virtue. you of the west against the dark
forces in the east russia china iran except for yes democracy is used as a legitimising to you can't go abroad and say right we're the only superpower and you must submit to us china must submit to us russia wants to submit to us you say right democracy is the best possible system because human rights people are free they can develop a market economy open market economy is the best possible economy therefore democracy plus new market economy plus the rule of law this is the paradigm this is the model which is the american model and the best there is and therefore the world will only come to peace when every country has the same model so therefore if every country like america then the world is at peace well then i suppose we could expect to ferguson to happen all over the world you've got to go i had no choice because
you know i look at the democracy promotion in export model and i look at libya and i look at. afghanistan to look at iraq at its core it's not even laughable. there's two problems with this the if democracy and free markets are such a brilliant system and this is not of the discussion of that so we'll leave that for some other time but why do you why would anybody have to impose them at gunpoint that's a question of first question the second is doesn't this sound suspiciously like another viewpoint viewpoint of another force that seeks to conquer the world and only then there will be peace i.e. radical islam i mean come on let's let's be serious here if the if the american government and whether it's democrats or republicans it honestly doesn't matter at this point because they can't even communicate and understand each other how are they going to pretend to understand the rest of the world to them the rest of world doesn't exist it's pieces on the game board and it's going to flourish and if you didn't hear i'm sorry we have to go to a short break and after that short break we'll continue our discussion on russia's foreign policy stay with us.
the feeling. is that. i'm abby martin the stories we cover here are not going on here in iraq some are fixed or in the extreme that life same time there's a reason they don't want international airport and that we should be completely out now let's break the set. there's a media leave us so we leave that maybe. i will see bush and securely play your party there's a bill. for shoes that no one is asking with the guests that you deserve answers
from it's all on politics only on our t.v. . i almost told you my language as well but i will only react to situations i have read the reports. like the pushing the no i will leave it to state clearly to comment on your latter point to save lives or carry out a car is all you're talking delgado. thank you no more weasel words when you made a direct question simply prepared for a change when you get to a punch be ready for a. critical speech and a little down to fit into costs.
all the slapping in america because every single day jamie diamond. that is the american economy shows up in bloody and you know that and they're saying oh it wasn't me that at this time it wasn't me that did it this time i. loved it he loves me and the rest the world like. choose your language. calling me kid with no interest. in the title place of the six to choose the the consensus can. choose the opinions that you think are great cooks. choose the stories but in. truth the access to.
ok i'd like to go back to ray in washington i think we would probably all agree that the cold war never really ended for for washington because russia was always going to be in the scope's it just it was a matter of time but let's talk about the recent period here particularly with syria when russia you know pulled the obama's chestnuts out of the fire last year almost exactly last year this time and then we have this this fiasco in ukraine and it seems to me that every time the united states finds itself in a bad situation which is happening more and more often it has to find a country a person to demonize for its huge mistakes ok and russia is always the easiest one you already mentioned how mr putin is up for trade in the west go ahead ray if they get serious when they screw up and somebody else has to pay for it well first i would challenge your first assumption there was a chance for peace. george bush said to got about chuff i'm not going to dance on
the berlin wall let's work out a deal where we could have a europe whole and free from portugal to the urals it was the major disappointment meant in my professional life that those who came in with bill clinton in washington screwed up royally ok so that's the first point ok now with respect to your other question about. i was going to have to refresh my memory about the other syria and ukraine and the blame game yeah well you know interest interestingly enough today is not only the anniversary of the soviet invasion of czechoslovakia august twenty two twenty one but it's also the anniversary of the first anniversary of that incident outside of damascus where chemical weapons were used namely sarin john kerry immediately got up and said no fewer than thirty five times we know bashar al assad the government of syria did this he was wrong not only did he not
know we know in retrospect it was not the government of syria it was the rebels themselves who made homemade sarin ok so that's how much credence you can give to john kerry when he gets up as he did just four weeks ago is that we know is the russians the progress of the russian missile russia russian that did down and that that plane why this is all incredibly serious is because nato is having a summit from four to five in wales forty five september now if if the situation in ukraine is his bed it is it today with the being shells with the relief convoys being prevented from coming in then and if there is no resolution of this who shot down the plane issue and the russians i would suggest really need to release what evidence they have there is no evidence from the u.s. side then nato is. it takes some very very. unfortunate decisions of the kind they
made in bucharest when they said ukraine and georgia will become members ok but let me jump in here but as i said in the introduction of my program russia does have red lines and it's not bluffing either so martin if i can go to you in london because ray brings up a very important point i mean if nato wants to flex its muscles and say who ra we found we found a reason to exist again other than bombing third world countries russia is the enemy that's setting into motion some very serious possibilities. yes absolutely because nato has got to the position where there is pressure among many to numbers to do something about ukraine and do something about syria and do something about iraq and so on that these are problems which. are not be dealt with at present nato doesn't really have a policy they don't want to intervene they may take decisions. like
known as mission creep they could take a decision right we will have to help the rebels. but we have to help the rebels. in syria and in iraq. and we have to look at ukraine will have to think about supporting the government in kiev more probably giving them more weapons and so on that could be taken a simple decision but that could in turn lead to mission creep and lead to consequences which no one could perceive i think the best thing to say about ukraine syria and iraq is nobody knows what's going to happen tomorrow and therefore one has to be very very careful what one does more ponces because it could start off a wider confrontation ok let me let me get in there marching in washington it seems to me that all the things all the countries we just heard from are in there hasn't the west help these people i'm not for mean they're all in tragic situations right
now and we're just going to help them or i mean this is beyond insanity in my mind i mean how do we help the iraqi people enough i mean do we need to do to help these were right wing militias commit ethnic cleansing in ukraine or do we need to keep churning the war in sustained syria while you know i sometimes doing less or nothing is better go ahead. well it's better for the people involved but again if you view them as game pieces then you know there is to be sacrificed i would like to mention go back a few years there was a book a few years after the kosovo war in ninety nine for published by a couple of us government insiders and strobe talbott the expert on russia to just recently published another anti putin screed wrote the preface to it and the thesis of the book was that the war on serbia ninety nine was really a war on russia it was a message to russia which you know if that doesn't sound like a conspiracy theory they flat out admitted to it and the author said you know it we
couldn't allow the existence of a country that wasn't getting getting with the program of reforms and democracy and so that's a clear message to the rest of the world obey or be destroyed while russia is drawing a red line and saying no. but again you look at iraq you look at isis you look at these people they were essentially created by the help to the rebellion in syria isis is a creation of the u.s. government helping the syrian rebels so this is not help this is harm and it needs to stop but if these people continue acting like this we're all fried ok ray it seems to me that it's really interesting is that you have out of washington in brussels you have this kind of post-modern this view of the international system is that they truly believe i think they really do i think it's scary but they truly believe that they're exporting a value system and russia is a more conservative country and more of a modern this country and it looks itself at its own national interest in a very purest sense for example with crimea if crimea were to be in the hands of
nato would be an existential threat to the russian federation and i'm that's why it was a good idea for him to return but what i'm saying is that the west hasn't totally different view of the international system as opposed to countries like china and russia when you talk about crimea. putin every now and then allows himself a little humor and in a major speech in april he said you know the prospect of our having to visit nato sailors or u.s. sailors in service stoppel you know that doesn't really appeal to me i know that they're very nice felt fellas he says but i'd much rather have it the way it is now where they could visit us in sevastopol ok now that was a very light hearted way of saying what was essentially important to putin and which i already said he indicated was a major factor in his decision to take in crimea now the other thing about this
liberalism run amuck peter i don't know for sure but you know it really piqued my interest was one that the german and french firm that building a new modern tank common tank for all of europe to defend against oh there was nobody there now there's somebody defend against so all i'm saying is that's a little vignette that persuades me that the people who make the arms of people selling arms the military industrial complex and wall street to finance this all this has a lot more to do with it in my view than liberalism run amok ok martin but it does seem that with the west does need an enemy and russia is always the convenient one because it just doesn't back down and i have to remind our viewers is that as we speak right now the most recent public opinion poll among russians i think it's eighty seven percent are standing behind their present president because of what they see is western aggression and it's nonstop i'm afraid i have to disagree for
the first time with ray i think it will russia has always been in the scope because it's the great power that can release this this kind of demonic dream of western liberalism to conquer the world an asset strip the world ok go ahead that's kind of my two cents go ahead mark. i think. if you look at the last hundred years for the last hundred fifty years relations between russia and england the russian of britain they've always been stretched or negative or strained it's very very rare over the last century that relations between mosco in london were normal or happy relations perhaps you're a bit of the garbage of the euro and a bit of the era the rest of the time there's been strained and therefore there's a natural how about world war two if something is child. a world problem world war two that it's also in the but a normal child to go to school and when they read about russia over toward russia
and so on it's a big bogey so on and the russian bear the russian bear if you're not careful the russian bear will come and get you it's on so this image is there it's very very unfortunate and you have to say world russia has its own interests and so on is the fourth and you should really be afraid of the russian bear you should be afraid of the chinese dragon because china is will in the future be a much more potent force and so on so try and avoid this. this this concern. if you like this psychosis that you have looking at russia from from london's point of view russia is. has its own interests is a normal state it's not going to invade and so on and you may not like what it's doing and so on and it's very rich natural resources and so on but china you should be looking at china and so on and china is going to compete with you in the future
ok i will let you have the last word to the boys here in washington it seems to me that everything negative the west sees in russia it's the west is actually it's a self reflection of itself it quick claims that russia is aggressive it's the west it's truly aggressive it doesn't live by it valid its values it breaks international law repeatedly and it just points a finger go ahead twenty seconds. it's a classical propaganda ploy it's called flipping the script you accuse the other guy of what you yourself intend to do and then the other guy goes on the defensive and he can never win that the russian neither to russians nor the chinese nor anybody else is trying to conquer or take over or dominate the world the people that are trying to do that are sitting right here ok we're going to live going to end on that point gentlemen thank you very much you've run out of time thank many thanks to my guests in washington and in london and thanks to our viewers for watching us here at r.t. see you next time remember. leave the police.
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