Mikhail Gorbachev calls for new American revolution
Posted By Stephen C. Webster
June 9, 2009
Mikhail Gorbachev, the Soviet Union’s last communist general secretary, called for a new American “revolution” — also calling it a “perestroika,” or government restructuring —  in an editorial http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/its-time-for-a-second-american-revolution-in-the-spirit-of-perestroika-20090609-c25z.html?page=-1> published Wednesday in The Sydney Morning Herald .
“Some have reacted with understanding. Others have objected, sometimes sarcastically, suggesting that I want the United States to experience upheaval, just like the former Soviet Union. In my country, particularly caustic reactions have come from the opponents of perestroika, people with short memories and a deficit of conscience,” the former Soviet leader wrote.
He continued: “Our perestroika signalled the need for change in the Soviet Union, but it was not meant to suggest a capitulation to the US model. Today, the need for a more far-reaching perestroika – one for America and the world – has become clearer than ever.”
In Russia, Gorbachev’s “ perestroika <http://mars.wnec.edu/~grempel/courses/wc2/lectures/gorrev.html> ” was a government restructuring and the introduction of limited market economy freedoms into the Communist model, which initially caused a great deal of social unrest before eventually becoming an integral part of society.
Gorbachev called for something similar in November, when he declared then-U.S. President-elect Barack Obama “a man of our times” and suggested his administration would need to bring about an American “perestroika.”
“[He] is capable of restarting dialogue, all the more since the circumstances will allow him to get out of a dead-end situation,” Gorbachev said,  according to Russian news service RIA Novosti http://en.rian.ru/russia/20081107/118196981.html> . “Barack Obama has not had a very long career, but it is hard to find faults, and he has led an election campaign winning over the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton herself. We can judge from this that this person is capable of engaging in dialogue and understanding current realities.”
The Russian Communist, in his concluding paragraphs, strikes a surprising balance between capitalistic freedom and government controls.
“[If] all the proposed solutions and action now come down to a mere rebranding of the old system, we are bound to see another, perhaps even greater upheaval down the road,” he wrote. “The current model does not need adjusting; it needs replacing. I have no ready-made prescriptions. But I am convinced that a new model will emerge, one that will emphasise public needs and public good, such as a cleaner environment, well-functioning infrastructure and public transport, sound education and health systems and affordable housing.”
He continued: “The time has come to strike the right balance between the government and the market, for integrating social and environmental factors and demilitarising the economy.”
Finally, Gorbachev warns that the world’s current economic model, created by “America’s elite,” is “cracking.” As it comes undone, many will suffer, he predicted. “Including the United States.”
Gorbachev concludes: “However different the problems that the Soviet Union confronted during our perestroika and the challenges now facing the United States, the need for new thinking makes these two eras similar. In our time, we faced up to the main tasks of putting an end to the division of the world, winding down the nuclear arms race and defusing conflicts. We will cope with the new global challenges as well, but only if everyone understands the need for real, cardinal change – for a global perestroika.”Uncategorized | Tags: Barack Obama, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Mikhail Gorbachev, Perestroika, RIA Novosti, Russia, Soviet Union, United States | Comment (0)
President Obama Seeks Russia Deal to Slash Nuclear Weapons Wednesday 04 February 2009 » by: Tim Reid, The Times UK photo A spokesman has stated that President Barack Obama will seek an agreement with Russia to significantly reduce the two countries’ nuclear weapons stockpiles. (Photo: Senior Airman Javier Cruz Jr. / af.mil) The radical new treaty would reduce the number of nuclear warheads to 1,000 each. Washington – President Obama will convene the most ambitious arms reduction talks with Russia for a generation, aiming to slash each country’s stockpile of nuclear weapons by 80 per cent. The radical treaty would cut the number of nuclear warheads to 1,000 each, The Times has learnt. Key to the initiative is a review of the Bush Administration’s plan for a US missile defence shield in Eastern Europe, a project fiercely opposed by Moscow. Mr Obama is to establish a non-proliferation office at the White House to oversee the talks, expected to be headed by Gary Samore, a non-proliferation negotiator in the Clinton Administration. The talks will be driven by Hillary Clinton‘s State Department. No final decision on the defence shield has been taken by Mr Obama. Yet merely delaying the placement of US missiles in Poland and a radar station in the Czech Republic – which if deployed would cost the US $4 billion annually – removes what has been a major impediment to Russian co-operation on arms reduction. Any agreement would put pressure on Britain, which has 160 nuclear warheads, and other nuclear powers to reduce their stockpiles. Mr Obama has pledged to put nuclear weapons reduction at the heart of his presidency and his first move will be to reopen talks with Moscow to replace the 1991 US-Soviet Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (Start), which expires in December. Under that pact, the two countries have cut their respective stockpiles from roughly 10,000 to 5,000. “We are going to re-engage Russia in a more traditional, legally binding arms reduction process,” an official from the Administration said. “We are prepared to engage in a broader dialogue with the Russians over issues of concern to them. Nobody would be surprised if the number reduced to the 1,000 mark for the post-Start treaty.” Efforts to revive the Start talks were fitful under Mr Bush and complicated by his insistence on building a missile defence shield. “If Obama proceeds down this route, this will be a major departure,” one Republican said. “But there will be trouble in Congress.” The plan is also complicated by the nuclear ambitions of Iran, which launched its first satellite into space yesterday, and North Korea, which is preparing to test a long-range ballistic missile capable of striking the US. Mr Obama views the reduction of arms by the US and Russia as critical to efforts to persuade countries such as Iran not to develop the Bomb. » IN ACCORDANCE WITH TITLE 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107, THIS MATERIAL IS DISTRIBUTED WITHOUT PROFIT TO THOSE WHO HAVE EXPRESSED A PRIOR INTEREST IN RECEIVING THE INCLUDED INFORMATION FOR RESEARCH AND EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES. TRUTHOUT HAS NO AFFILIATION WHATSOEVER WITH THE ORIGINATOR OF THIS ARTICLE NOR IS TRUTHOUT ENDORSED OR SPONSORED BY THE ORIGINATOR. “VIEW SOURCE ARTICLE” LINKS ARE PROVIDED AS A CONVENIENCE TO OUR READERS AND ALLOW FOR VERIFICATION OF AUTHENTICITY. HOWEVER, AS ORIGINATING PAGES ARE OFTEN UPDATED BY THEIR ORIGINATING HOST SITES, THE VERSIONS POSTED ON TO MAY NOT MATCH THE VERSIONS OUR READERS VIEW WHEN CLICKING THE “VIEW SOURCE ARTICLE” LINKS. Comments This is a moderated forum. It may take a little while for comments to go live.