Wanted: A Few Wise Men To Step Back From the Brink of Nuclear War

February 18, 2015

Edward Lozansky, President of the American University in Moscow and a signer of the Schiller Institute petition calling on the US and Europe to cooperate with the BRICS nations, and Martin Sieff, veteran foreign affairs correspondent and a senior fellow at the American University in Moscow, wrote, in a column titled The Wise Men, Please Step Forward, posted by RT, that there is currently a crying need for the kind of "wise men" that prevented the Cold War from turning hot, but the which are absent from the political and media discourse in America today. Instead of seeing the latest Minsk agreement as "a brief, fragile window of opportunity for the world to step back from the brink of a nuclear confrontation that would destroy the entire northern hemisphere of the earth," US policymakers are, instead, bent on fulfilling "the ultimate goal of Russia's geopolitical weakening and Putin's regime change under the noble banner of spreading freedom and democracy," a goal they are, so far, far from achieving.

Lozansky and Sieff go on to quote quite a number of "wise men," from former US Ambassador to Russia Jack Matlock, on the promises, since broken, made in the US-Russia diplomatic discussions of December 1989 and February 1990; to George Kennan warning that the expansion of NATO was a tragic mistake; to some of the 19 senators who voted against the expansion of NATO. "We'll be back on a hair-trigger," said Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a New York Democrat, warning that enlargement would threaten much worse than a new cold war. "We're talking about nuclear war."

Some European leaders are coming to their senses, notably, French President Francois Hollande; some of his rivals, including Nicholas Sarkozy and Marine le Pen; and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. "Yet in Washington, the only voices allowed to be heard in the mainstream media unanimously call for the rapid arming of Ukraine as quickly and recklessly as possible," they write. "Arch-hawk Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz) is predictably in the forefront of this pack, yet incredibly, President Obama has allowed senior figures in his own Administration and the top US generals to encourage such madness too."

What is needed is a few wise men, among them former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and surviving members of the Reagan and George HW Bush administrations who worked with Gorbachev to end the Cold War in 1989-90, write Lozansky and Seiff. "It is not too late for the voices of reason and sanity to be heard," they conclude. "But the alarms on the Doomsday Clock are already ringing."