Us and them in that small world

3 April 2024

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Us and them in that small worldKondrashov S. N.К64 Us and them in that small world: The diary is watered,observer.— M.: Politizdat, 1984.— 352 p., ill.The new book by the famous international journalist Stanislav Kondrashov is a panorama of the modern world depicted through documentary journalism with its complexities, contrasts, contradictions, and acute confrontation between the forces of peace and war. A large place is occupied by essays revealing the militaristic, aggressive policy of Washington against the backdrop of fundamental international problems: relations between the USSR and the USA, American Pershings and Western Europe, the situation in Lebanon, Central America, etc. The author is hot on the trail of events, his political diary as would introduce the reader to the flow of international life and help to understand it.The publication is intended for the general reader.IT'S A SMALL WORLD...One traveler even passed through my office. He was an American of middle age and height, stocky, with a beard that made his broad face even rounder, and with blue, clear and attentive eyes. We talked for an hour and a half and, having said goodbye to him, I finally saw his back in the long editorial corridor. Conversation is like conversation; As far as I remember, we were struck by each other with fresh thoughts or aphoristic phrases, but after this meeting there was some kind of trace that stirred the soul, something caught our attention and made us think. I wanted to write about this meeting, how? The most important thing was the subtext, and this is an elusive matter, try to depict it with a pen accustomed to the direct and sharp text of political formulations. And while wondering whether to write or not to write and if to write, then how, I came across the word traveler, which has never had a place in my vocabulary.________________But why - a traveler? And their own travelers seem to have disappeared, but foreign ones do not wander across the state border, and even in Izvestia they cannot escape the duty post below, at the entrance. In addition, I know that this American is a renowned journalist, a journalist and a writer, as they say now. Traveler? He was wearing shabby summer trousers, and over his shoulder, in keeping with the spirit of the times, was a tattered canvas bag, an unusual item for my generation, which remains faithful to briefcases. It was she, this canvas bag from a foreign guest, from whom you always expect some degree of formality, that led me to the Russian word, which suggests not four walls with a ceiling and a diplomatic conversation, but a free sky above free spaces, some curly edge of a forest and poems like Blok’s: “No, I am going on a journey not invited by anyone, and may the earth be easy for me...”From the bag, however, the traveler took out not a piece of bread and a piece of bacon in a rag, but two large yellow envelopes, called manila in America. From the envelopes he took out sheets of paper folded in half, and from his jacket pocket - a thick black, desperately old-fashioned pen. We called such pens eternal until they gave way to short-lived ballpoint pens...Now it's time to introduce him. Famous journalist and writer, winner of the prestigious Pulitzer Prize. Thomas Powers came to Moscow for the first time. His work on a book about strategic nuclear weapons—the very ones that are prepared against each other in that fatal event—brought him to us. He studied the problem as best he could from his own, American side, but one side, especially in his chosen subject, as you might guess, is not enough. And now for two weeks to Moscow - to look at us and talk with us, with those who will be interlocutors.We say: strategic weapons. And each of us, depending on what pictures we saw, imagines intercontinental missiles hidden in underground mines, giant bombers, whale carcasses of nuclear submarines. These monsters, this catastrophic destructive force, cannot be humanized, but in each, in each, behind each there are people. The people who created them, the people who are on duty with them, the people who, God forbid, will use them. My God, are they ancient or... new philosophers foresaw that this chain would form and how tragically short it would be: weapons systems - politics - the meaning of existence (the meaning of life for each of us and everyone on planet Earth). Between these three forged links, only three, it is time to put a sign of identity. Some kind of super-dense compression of everything and everyone. Unheard of rocket-philosophical thinking.This did not happen either in the 40s or in the 60s, although even then the Bomb was hanging over us. The American bishops did not rebel against the American president then.There were no referendums on the nuclear freeze. And the messenger of these new times brought a blue-eyed, bearded American with a canvas bag to Moscow. How many people are carried away. He writes about strategic weapons, but underneath all the questions he asks us, the subtext is not about the weight being thrown or even about nuclear strategy, but the most important and painful one: what kind of people are you? What should I and my loved ones expect from you? The point is not in the canvas bag, but in the rope that tied us together. He came to us as a traveler because he sees us as companions, and he cannot separate his destiny from ours, he cannot, even if he really wanted to. From our common - and universal - destiny. We are all travelers, but not under free skies among free fields, but in the gloomy spaces of the nuclear age. We are all travelers - and we are all companions. This is the conclusion I came to when, under the surface layer of our conversation, I tried to find the deep psychological layer and, along with it, the secret of the appearance of another American in Izvestia.The world is small... An unknown wise ancestor boldly put these two words next to each other back when the world he knew was closed in by the dark thickets of forests on the horizon, and the unfamiliar one stretched out to God knows where and hid the darkness of wonders. Bah, it's a small world! - old acquaintances chuckled when they met in an unexpected place some ten miles from home. Bah, it’s a small world... Try the same thing, laughing good-naturedly, and say this about a missile that in just half an hour can transfer its hundreds of thousands of inevitable deaths from continent to continent, packed in three or ten nuclear warheads of individual - and precise - targeting ?It's a small world... When I was allowed from APN and asked to meet with Thomas Powers, an employee of the American magazine "Atlantic", the author of a famous book about the CIA and a recently published collection of essays on US nuclear strategy, I remembered this name. I met him in absentia, under circumstances that were not entirely ordinary, at altitudes slightly lower than those pierced by a rocket. In the fall of 1982, I was in Washington and, although I am not working on a book on strategic weapons, I had approximately the same conversations that he has in Moscow, that we all have with each other, and someone advised me to read an interesting article in the anniversary (125 years) issue of the monthly "Atlantic". I bought the magazine, with its blue-and-silver cover, at Washington's Dallas airport before boarding the widebody DC-10. The plane was heading to San Francisco. In the cabin, the size and appearance of some kind of elegant hangar, after dinner the overhead lights were turned off, the passengers were offered a detective movie, and I could not tear myself away from the article by Thomas Powers. It turned out to be more enticing and, with its still inexhaustible plot, more terrifying than any “horror film.” The lengthy article was entitled “Choosing a Strategy for World War III.”A good example of meticulous “research” journalism: first-hand information, from military and civilian generals, from nuclear planners and strategists, descriptions of presidential secret memoranda and directives, a lot of details, and they all worked towards the main idea, the main impression is the unstoppable inertial progress of the monstrous military machine. New and new, ever more sophisticated nuclear weapons systems cannot help but be invented, and more and more new military doctrines cannot help but be invented for them, increasingly based on the possibility and admissibility of nuclear war. And it is impossible to break this wheel, and it rolls towards the nuclear abyss.American journalists of this class usually do not press on emotions; the only feeling they allow themselves is unobtrusive humor. However, there was somehow no place for humor with such a topic, and the author, it would seem, completely dissolved himself in facts, figures and quotes, his style was dry and devoid of pathos. But... Unlike children, adults need to restrain themselves, and only by subtext do they convey their despair. And the subtext in the article was not about missiles, but about people, the subtext was a cry from the heart: “look, each of these Americans is logical and seemingly rational, each skillful professional is in his place, each is just doing his job, but together, in the aggregate With their labor, these reasonable people create madness that the world has never seen.His examples included former President Jimmy Carter. He came to the White House with a somewhat naive, but perhaps sincere, intention: to achieve a reduction in nuclear arsenals. Then, with the meticulousness of a former submarine engineer, he climbed into the nuclear missile labyrinths of American strategic doctrines and emerged from them as a supporter of a “limited” nuclear war, a man approaching disaster. Well, Reagan came not to reduce, but to increase, and this Carter legacy came in handy for him.So, under the roar of engines and the chirping of an action movie, in their plane, overcoming the dark evening spaces and x of the continent, I found Thomas Powers this anxiety, which strengthened mine. He reported that in December 1947, the only atomic target for the Americans was Moscow, at which eight bombs were aimed. But after a couple of years, the Dropshot plan provided for the delivery of 300 bombs to 200 targets in 100 industrial-urban areas of the Soviet Union. A long history, the pale dawn of a new century. In 1974, the Pentagon identified 25 thousand targets for nuclear strikes on Soviet territory. By 1980 there were 40 thousand of them! “Everyone is on this list now,” Powers wrote. And the list is still growing...Of course, his anxiety was not just the torment of a normal person who longs for a peaceful life and not bloodshed. The rope connecting us has two ends, just like the chain that tightly connects types of rockets with the meaning of existence and the fate of humanity. According to the law of reciprocity and retribution, taking care of its safety, the other side closely examines American territory and creates its own proscription list...I took the magazine to Moscow. I had the lines of Thomas Powers lying among other - and also serene - printed lines, and I could not have imagined that just over six months later I would exclaim to myself: “Bah, it’s a small world.”, when on the sixth floor of Izvestia their creator will come as an unusual traveler, continuing to develop an intercontinental theme poisoned by thermonuclear fusion.By the way, I asked him about this in the middle of our conversation, when I was convinced that it was not a dispassionate analyst sitting in front of me, but a living person with a living perception of other people and the world. Why did he delve into thermonuclear fusion when he took up this topic, and did he find it worse, or perhaps easier? In adults, although they are embarrassed by simple and clear children's words, childhood is hidden.As soon as he started answering me, I realized that this was the answer of millions. The bearded man sitting in front of me was five years old when the war ended; he remembered not Victory Day in May, but the day of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in August. Since then he has lived with Bomba, just like the rest of us. The difference, however, is that we seem to push it aside, keep it at a distance as much as possible, not letting it into our daily lives, but he, having chosen the Bomb for a long time as the subject of his journalistic and writing passion, the main creative content of his life, became engaged, as it were. with her. For what? - I asked sympathetically. And he answered in the sense that he wanted to see better and more clearly the drink (or the string?!) on which the Bomb was hanging. Well, having seen it, did it become easier? And looking with his small, round eyes that never smile, he does not nod, but shakes his head: “No, it’s not easier...”When you meet in person a person whom you knew in absentia, from what he wrote, he looks both simpler and more complex than his works. When figuring out the main thing, you can’t emphasize it like the lines in his article. Sitting at a low coffee table and holding a thick black pen in his hands, Thomas Powers made Moscow preparations on pieces of paper folded in half. The former eternal pen wrote surprisingly well. He knew no Russian at all and, like almost all Americans, relied on his interlocutor’s knowledge of English. He was delicate and flexible, content with my answers, asking simple questions, as if random, as if randomly. But this was the scattering of a geologist or a driller when they are looking for the same thing in different places. It seemed to me that he asked the same thing: What kind of people are you? And you, sitting opposite, what kind of person? Will we be able to jump together between Scylla and Charybdis of our common nuclear age?I also talked with the Americans more than once, asked questions, thought about something to myself, and collected as many pebbles as possible for the next journalistic mosaic. And I wanted to guess how he would fit our meeting into a mosaic picture that was not yet entirely clear to him.As I finish these notes, I want to repent. In them I fell into that unpardonable sin of sentimentality for a journalist, which Thomas Powers successfully avoided in his article. I undertook to unravel a person from another country with a different worldview, spending only an hour and a half with him and without eating a gram of salt.Defenselessness is a punishment for sentimentality, and now, having opened up, I wonder what he is writing in the report about Moscow impressions that he is preparing for his magazine. What if he is not the one I took him for? And in our conversation you saw something completely different or not quite what I saw? I’m thinking: shouldn’t I be on the safe side and, just in case, like against the Bomb, move away from this essentially unfamiliar American? Maybe it's worth it. But I don’t want to go this time. I stand my ground and think that I am not mistaken: he would like to get through to me, as I do to him, by the shortest path from heart to heart. He also felt this strong subtext of our conversation, and I am sure that he will find it if he only takes the trouble to think about it. In a word, if you knew the Russian language, he would also repeat: yes, it’s a small world! That world in which we can satisfy each other if we do not learn to save ourselves together. In political language this is called equal security - you cannot strengthen your own by weakening someone else's.However, he could not resist sentimentality and found his own way to sum up our conversation in precisely this vein. When his time was up, and our mood - after the exchange of opinions - had not improved, he asked:- Where is the exit? What to do?Thomas Powers asked it, it seemed to me, with feeling and insight in his voice, as if there was a degree of trust between us that justified such a question. And therefore, throwing up my hands - this is not a question for a journalist - I still answered:“We probably need to understand each other.”I immediately added that this is too simple an answer to a complex question, but perhaps it would not be more correct. And he also made a reservation that the two of us, he and I can - by human impulse, by a sudden wave of sympathy - understand each other, and what it is like for two huge states - with different systems, different histories, different languages and different places in the world.He nodded in agreement and, quickly softening the unexpected solemnity of his words, said that he would do everything he could to gain understanding and trust. I promised him the same. And when he left, carrying in a canvas bag several new touches for his book, our meeting could not leave my mind. And the next day I thought that there was no need to put off fulfilling my promise, I sat down at my desk, with these notes of mine.* * *Thinking about Hiroshima... This event took a very special place in the stories of the living memory of mankind, in the thoughts and well-being of each and every one of us.On August 6, 1945, the crew of an American B-29 bomber made a laconic entry in the logbook: “8.15 am. The atomic bomb has been dropped. After 43 seconds - a flash, a shock wave, the plane rocked.”They were in a hurry. They had no time to look at what was happening on earth. We've been doing this for almost forty years, looking at Hiroshima. It wasn’t just the plane that dropped the bomb that the pilots called “Baby” that rocked, it rocked the entire Earth and has continued to rock since then.Strange things are happening to Hiroshima. It defies the law of historical distance. The closer the international climate does not depend on the number of years that have passed. Hiroshima was further away in the early 70s than it was in the early 80s. Now it is closer than ever in the entire post-war period, because the threat of nuclear war has approached and increased.The more closely we look at the horror of the only Hiroshima that happened, the more Hiroshimas that have not yet happened, but are already in store, are ready. It is believed that there are now about one million of them in nuclear arsenals.It is believed that every minute the world spends a million dollars on armies, weapons, and preparations for war. This is a widely known figure. It surprises no one—the ability to be surprised has greatly diminished in the years since Hiroshima. If a million dollars a minute were distributed on some global square, then in a day there would be almost one and a half thousand new millionaires, and in a year - half a million millionaires.But, as you know, it is not ordinary people, not people on the street, who become millionaires, but arms manufacturers. And people on the street are dying in Asia, Africa, Latin America from hunger and from the indifference of other people. 40 thousand children every day (every day!) die from hunger and disease. We are accustomed to this figure. Hiroshima and the threat of global whitewash, alas, make it easier for us to perceive the difficult truths of our time.It, this time, fatally divided the peoples of the state and at the same time brought them closer together through a common destiny. Hiroshima remains on anti-war posters; posters are on the streets along which anti-missile demonstrations are moving.These are not the streets where people are dying of hunger. These are European and American streets that are destined to disappear in the event of a nuclear disaster.“No man is an island. Every person is part of the continent,” the English poet John Donne proclaimed in the 17th century. “And never ask for whom the bell tolls.” He's calling for you."Now it’s the 20th century, and the name of this bell is Hiroshima.The bell rings not only about common danger, but also about common responsibility. We, the living, are the bridge between the past and the future. In the living movement of humanity through centuries and millennia, this task of the bridge was solved by itself by each generation. The threat of nuclear disaster will not go away on its own. If we collapse, there will be no bridge to the future, there will be no future. This is the measure of our common responsibility.45-year-old Alexander Tvardovsky wrote: “You are a fool, death: you threaten people with your bottomless emptiness, but we agreed that we will live beyond your line. And behind your silent darkness, we are here, together with the living. We are only subject to you separately—death has no other option.”And then the poet motivates his bold challenge to the bottomless emptiness of death: “And, bound by our guarantee, together we know miracles: we hear each other in eternity and distinguish voices. And no matter how thin the wire is, the connection between people is alive. Do you hear this, descendant friend? Will you confirm my words?..”How true and wise this is! We are only subject to you separately, death, but together we know the wonders of immortality. Pushkin is alive, Tyutchev is alive, Mayakovsky is alive, Shakespeare and Goya, Mozart and Saint-Exupery are alive, because we, living now, are an environment in which their voices are heard and distinguished. Standing at Tvardovsky’s grave, I can confirm the accuracy of his prophecy, although I am, however, not his descendant, but only a younger contemporary. But the ticket to immortality is written not only to great creators who echo in eternity. Each of us is immortal, because each of us stands in that row where the connection goes from grandfathers to fathers and through us, through a thin wire, to children and grandchildren.Hiroshima makes an amendment. A nuclear disaster breaks such a connection, because it threatens the death of the human race, and for the survivors, the death of culture and spiritual values, making them meaningless in the light of the wild act of collective suicide of humanity.Meanwhile, in the atomic bath of 1945, many things looked simpler. The godfather of the Hiroshima bomb was President Harry Truman. In his memoirs, The Year of Decisions, Truman wrote that he “never doubted that it should be used.”Even then, the atomic bomb was used primarily against the Russians, although the Japanese died in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. As the final preparations for a secret test explosion were being made in Alamogordo, New Mexico, the American president was leaving for a post-war meeting of the leaders of the anti-Hitler coalition in Potsdam. Close people noted his secret sweet hope. He exulted: “If it blows up like I hope it does, I’ll have a real hammer on these guys.” That is, in Russian.The former unlucky haberdasher from Kansas City was withdrawing his debit and credit and did not think that the globe would shake from Hiroshima, that a mushroom cloud in which the imperishable souls of the Japanese evaporated alive would soar to the heavens, would hang over humanity the question - to be or not to be? Truman believed that the bell would not ring for his country.None of his successors in the White House disowned him. And the current president echoes him so much that it would be better if there was no such echo.Once Ronald Reagan received a group of American schoolchildren at the White House. Among other things, Hiroshima encroaches on perhaps the most valuable asset of childhood - the feeling of the infinity of life. And at a meeting with schoolchildren, the topic of nuclear weapons came up. And this is what the president said: “We are the only country that has ever used these weapons. This was during the Second World War as applied to Japan. But we were the only country that had such weapons. Now ask this question: would we have dropped this bomb if we knew that they also had a bomb that they were capable of dropping on us? I think we all know the answer to this question.”Truman didn’t think twice about whether to throw it or not, because he knew that “they” didn’t have a bomb. Here you have the origins of Hiroshima in its simplest explanation. And at the same time the entire arms race. There, overseas, everyone wants to acquire such a “bomb” that the other side does not have. Such a “bomb,” according to the president’s logic, could have been dropped.But we need to ban nuclear weapons, freeze their stockpiles, reduce them and destroy them. The closer we are to this goal, the further the obsession of Hiroshima will recede.On the eve of Ronald Reagan  WITHOUT RUDDER AND WITHOUT SAILSFrom the stuffy August New York, what remains in my memory, among others, is this politically loaded scene. On the fifth floor of the Statler Hotel, I stand behind a pass to the Democratic National Convention, which opens across the street at the elegant Madison Square Garden. There were at least two hundred correspondents in line, some with duffel bags and typewriters - straight from the plane. We are languishing in the heat, beyond the control of even American air conditioners.And now a man is slowly moving along this line with a stack of light yellow leaves in his hand. Handing us leaflets, he says that the system is worthless and that it’s time to seriously think about saving America. “He must be crazy,” the young American standing in front of me mutters indignantly, and pointedly turns away from the man and his leaflets. In fact, maybe another half-crazy eccentric? How many of them are saving America?! But I don’t turn away and take the leaflet just in case.I read and see: no, the man wandering along the line of journalists who had flown from all over America and the world to the noisy all-American political show is not crazy, nor is the unknown author of the leaflet crazy. On the contrary, like a bull by the horns, he takes one of the most important American problems, which is literally in the election air of 1980. He writes about a “political crisis.” He deciphers his thought this way: “This is a crisis of rapidly deteriorating leadership. In current terms, this deterioration is evident in our current Democratic president and the proposed Republican presidential candidate. We are adrift like a ship in stormy waters without clear navigational charts and with a blindfolded captain.”Next, a plan for beneficial changes was outlined, recipes that were perhaps somewhat naive and straightforward (special courses for preparing candidates for the presidency, the creation of a bureau of presidential advisers and a house of elders ready to share their wisdom with the White House, etc.), but dictated by the non-random need to protect the American ship of state from captains who, having found themselves on the bridge after the next election, are sailing without a rudder and without sails, moreover, with nuclear buttons at hand."In Search of American Statesmanship." I am no longer taking these words from a leaflet by an unknown author, published, as it turns out, with funds from a medicinal tea company. This is the title of an article by the prominent American historian Henry Steele Commager. He undertakes his search because he does not see reason and statesmanship either in the platforms or in the candidates of the two leading parties. In his opinion, they refuse to heed “the realities of today's world situation and the soothsayers of the future.” The historian is frightened by the newly revived, unrealizable concepts of “nuclear superiority” over the Soviet Union and those doctrines that easily declare the death of 100 million Americans “acceptable” in the event of a nuclear conflict. Commager writes: “We are threatened by paranoia, which sees the Soviet Union as a mortal enemy whose task is to destroy the United States, and we are threatened by a military policy that is dictated by this paranoia.” He also diagnoses the long-standing political-psychological disease of chauvinistic consciousness, expressed in the persistent belief of many Americans: “God, nature and history command that the United States always reign supreme on the entire globe.”“What we urgently need,” Henry Steele Commager appeals to his compatriots, “is a state approach freed from the erroneous assumptions of the past and orienting us towards a new way of thinking...”Having visited America again, I discovered that the majority of American colleagues in writing are still mindlessly nibbling on the pasture of daily, instantly forgettable sensations. And, oh, thousands of people gathered in New York to cover the Democratic Party Convention... What a record number - and what a ridiculous and empty activity that gives nothing to either the mind or the heart. Billions of words were wasted - and, of course, long forgotten - describing the meaningless nuances of the months-long election campaign.But how little has been said about its intermediate result - the selection as presidential candidates of two people who do not inspire enthusiasm among the American people. But this result again and with increasing force captures the political crisis that has been eroding the largest capitalist country for more than a year or a decade...Meanwhile, serious people, concerned about the fate of America and the world in which it plays a significant role, think with alarm about this particular part of the picture. I gave two examples. I'll give you another one. In Washington, this time I had the opportunity to meet one of those intelligent and experienced Americans who are so lacking at the helm of power now (my interlocutor, a former famous senator, had to part with an active political role, since to maintain it he did not have the dexterity of a cheap politician). We talked about the discrepancy or, if you like, the contradiction between the operation of the American mechanism for selecting political leaders and the place that America, by virtue of its weight, occupies on the international stage, the responsibility that it cannot but bear in maintaining international stability and security. Of course, this is a purely internal American matter, but what to do if, due to the specifics of the political structure of America, unsuitable people often come to power, not local, but national. They do not have the proper knowledge of international life, nor the proper degree of responsibility; all their thoughts are focused on demagogically catering to one or another group of the population and getting re-elected in the election year. What to do when all the White House employees taken together, who arrived with Jimmy Carter from provincial Atlanta, have less diplomatic experience than, say, one of the ambassadors accredited in Washington, which, however, does not deprive them of an almost missionary zeal to bring together the diversity of the world to one, American model. What should I do?How to deal with a partner if today's administration does not consider itself bound by yesterday's obligations, and those who strive to become tomorrow's administration declare that they will break the agreements signed by today's?It was felt that my interlocutor, who had experienced the American version of Griboyedov’s “Woe from Wit,” more than once pondered with bitterness these destructive paradoxes of his country’s political system. He said that the United States had become a global power, but at the same time retained the original method of nominating its leaders. This method was based on the conditions of the late 18th century, when the population of the newly independent United States was only 3 million people and the country, following the precepts of its first president George Washington, preferred to stay away from the rest of the world.“We have a lot of provincialism,” noted the former influential senator. At first glance, this definition does not fit in with such a great nation as the American one, and yet it is true - in the sense of the special American narrowness, limitation and self-absorption, those blinders that, in particular, a tense, fiercely competitive environment puts on Americans. their way of life. Americans are provincial, as they have little interest in the rest of the world, which, however, does not prevent many of them from considering it only an appendage to America. They are provincial because they are ignorant, but ignorance creates freedom for demagogues. My interlocutor unflatteringly contrasted the political structure of his country with such parliamentary bourgeois democracies as Germany, Japan, Britain, where it is more difficult for people without knowledge and experience to get into top government positions, where ministerial cabinets are controlled by a majority in parliament and can be replaced by a vote of no confidence.The crisis of the socio-political system is persistently knocking on the American gates, taking on different forms. Taking the last two decades, it is easy to detect, on the one hand, the growth of presidential power, and on the other, its increasingly precariousness. John Kennedy was assassinated in November 1963, not having been in the White House for more than three years. Lyndon Johnson, stuck in the quagmire of the unpopular Vietnam War, withdrew himself, refusing to run for a second term. Richard Nixon, after spending four years in the White House, was triumphantly elected to a second term. But less than two years after the election, he was forced to leave office in August 1974, suffering a political collapse due to the scandalous Watergate revelations. Gerald Ford, co-opted as president after Nixon's ignominious resignation, was rejected by voters in his attempt to remain in the White House for his own term. Total - 16 years of instability. And under Jimmy Carter, who forged his way around the established establishment as an unsullied outsider who promised cleansing from the Watergate filth, incompetence became the problem of the day. Polls convince us that this reproach or accusation against the president is addressed by the majority of Americans.So what is next? Incompetence, many observers say, looms large for Americans in the form of Ronald Reagan if he wins in November. Incompetence to say the least. Along with it, instability will apparently continue, and what does this mean for international life, which is already feeling the disastrous consequences of America’s feverish election struggle? (It has long been noted that the entire year that goes into the US presidential election brings additional disorientation and destabilization to international relations, since the person sitting in the White House is pursuing only one domestic and foreign policy at that time - his own re-election.)The current lack of real choice is further evidence of the failure of the American system to heed the obvious lessons of the past and present. This most important problem is not discussed in Congress, but the American attitude to the political process leaves a very noticeable and very characteristic imprint. If you look closely, listen and believe the American means of mass communications, all of America these days is shaking from the election battles that have entered their finale. But let us allow ourselves to doubt and ask a simple question: which category of American voters is the most representative in terms of numbers? It turns out that she doesn’t even bother to register in the voter lists, although she has the right to vote. The one who does not take part in elections. One that, as unnecessary, worthless, meaningless, rejects the first right given to it by American democracy - the right to vote in determining those in power.Here is one example. In 1976, about 41 million Americans voted for Democrat Carter, who ran for president, and 39 million for Republican Ford. Carter was the winner. And 70 million did not take part in the elections at all - almost half of the people eligible to vote. The President of the United States was elected by the votes of only 27 percent of eligible Americans. He was elected, pardon the pun, by a truly overwhelming minority.Figuratively speaking, noisy election events are played out by actors on stage in front of a half-empty hall, if the hall is considered the whole country, and the audience is the entire American people. It would be a simplification and a distortion of the truth to declare this an active protest against the system. But passive protest, political indifference, a kind of mass fatalism are evident. Staying home on Election Day the American seems to be voting against a political process that gives him nothing.Taking the statistics of the last two decades, we see that the relative majority of those who evade participation in elections threatens to turn into an absolute majority. In fact, in 1960, 63 percent of eligible voters participated in the presidential elections, in 1964 - 62, in 1968 - 60, in 1972 - 55.4 percent. In 1976, the voting percentage was 53.3. Even the Watergate storm did not clear the atmosphere. Distrust in politicians and politics is spreading.I touched upon only one of the brightest internal indicators of the crisis of the American political system. It has, of course, extensive international consequences. I will note only one of them - the strained relations between the United States and Western Europe. Previously, being weaker, the US's Western European allies suffered much, if not everything. No matter how they assessed the behavior of Uncle Sam, who was not distinguished by the manners of a gentleman, they had only one way out - to forgive. They could not resist American power and did not want to risk contradicting Washington because they were intimidated by the Cold War atmosphere. Now they have become stronger, moreover, they have managed to taste the fruits of detente and appreciate them better than the Americans. The inconsistency, incompetence, and unpredictability of the Carter administration are increasingly causing lamentable comments on the European side of the Atlantic about the quality of American leadership, and sometimes open criticism at the official level. The London Observer expresses perhaps the prevailing opinion when it writes: “At this stage the American system is the worst performer in international matters.”Western European criticism of America is so friendly and strong that some influential US citizens use it for domestic American use. But what they do not always dare to express on their own, when in Washington or New York, they speak with reference to the Europeans. Here is what the former US Deputy Secretary of State, famous lawyer and public figure George Ball writes: “In Europe and the Middle East, where I just visited, they view America as a crazed elephant that has gotten lost and tramples vegetable gardens.. All this would still be tolerable. , if there was any hope ahead, but our foreign friends do not expect the November elections to improve the situation. If the prospect of seeing Carter as President of the United States depresses them...then the thought of Reagan becoming President simply horrifies them. “How can we explain,” my French friend asked me, “that in a country with 220 million capable, well-educated and even brilliant citizens, the choice of leader comes down to Carter and Reagan? You should probably rethink your electoral system!” I couldn’t answer him, but deep down I knew that my friend had hit the nail on the head.”September 1980RESULTS BEFORE THE RESULTSThe US presidential election campaign is sometimes called a political attraction that lasts about a year. To understand what it is, you need to observe and feel it. I had to watch such attractions several times, in fact, in all leap years, starting from 1964. So: it gets pretty boring when you know the price of everything, but you can’t tear yourself away due to your journalistic duty. And because one way or another the issue of power is being resolved in the largest capitalist country, which is by no means isolated from the whole world.There are now less than three weeks left until the next election. This time I followed the campaign from afar, from Moscow (with the exception of two August weeks spent in New York and Washington). The position of a slow observer has its pros and cons. You don’t keep your hand on the galloping pulse of the pre-election finale, you don’t get infected by the fever of public opinion polls that put one or another candidate ahead, but you are free from the hypnosis of the significance of what is replete with your eyes (and on your TV screen), and you don’t see the details , often distracting from the essence, but rather large features of the picture. I'll try to touch on some of them.The American is told that there is no one in heaven higher than God, and on earth, especially in the nuclear age, higher than the American president. This dogma of Americanism is learned from infancy, along with milk from a plastic bottle, which replaces mother's milk overseas. A dogma as artificial as the milk in question, and as pleasing to the American soul. True, the more they expect from the president, the more likely they are disappointed in him and the more often they criticize him. But at the same time, they still do not forget to put him first on the list of people most adored by Americans. However, as you know, this does not exhaust the sympathies and antipathies of the citizens of the overseas power towards the owner of the White House. About half of them avoid electing their president, demonstrating an unacceptable disregard for the earthly god, and the rest vote in the elections not so much for one of the two proposed candidates (Democrat or Republican), but rather against the other, on the principle of the lesser evil. Finally, one more feature: the White House is the object of a devilishly serious, fierce, open and secret struggle between different factions of ruling America, and the votes of voters are captured in clearly frivolous and almost frivolous ways.And now, both main participants in the election campaign - Democrat Jimmy Carter and Republican Ronald Reagan - are armed, of course, with the programs of their parties, approved at their national congresses, and “blanks” of speeches, as well as witticisms and remarks for all occasions, for all cities and states, are surrounded by dozens of close advisers and hundreds of people ready to serve and serve. But the closer November 4, election day, the further programs and policies recede into the background and the more everything comes down to the first thing - to the “image”, the image of the candidate. First of all, the television image. In the hierarchy of American values, television is even higher than God—the president. No one in our time gets into the White House without passing the test of a television screen, without passing the telegenic test. Purely practical experts of both Carter and Reagan, fully armed with miraculous computers, solve a problem of a mystical order: how to succeed in “imageism”, how best to manipulate a candidate’s TV image, how to attract voters to one’s own, and push voters away from someone else’s. No money is spared on political advertising on television in the final stage of the election campaign; they shell out the most - $15 million from each rival camp. Former film actor and Hollywood darling Ronald Reagan, as one might expect, behaves better in front of television cameras. His opponent, who has not gone through the same school, lags behind.Where the struggle comes down to personalities, to “images”, then they become personal. The press is again writing about the “dirty” campaign. Here is a picturesque verbal picture depicted in a Washington Post editorial: “The President is calling out insulting names left and right, brazenly reshaping his own record, and displaying a frightening lack of generosity, nobility and sense of proportion. Of course, it does not follow from this that his rivals demonstrate the height of good manners by exchanging only baskets of flowers with each other. Of course, their election campaigns are full of all sorts of lies, attempts to create fog and distort the truth...”Emphasis on appearance, and after all, appearances are deceptive, television ones are no less than any other. If we add to this the traditional American disdain for political platforms, it turns out that the White House often ends up with a pig in a poke. The political uncertainty stemming from the world's longest election campaigns sets the mood for the clarity that Election Day will bring. And there will be clarity only regarding the name of the president, but not necessarily his policies. Politics is not all taken out of the bag all at once.This forecast can be made without much risk even now, summing up some preliminary results before the final results.The tinsel of the electoral struggle continues to surprise the Americans themselves, although it has long become the norm. But in the end it's their business. We are interested in internal political rivalry in an overseas power primarily because of its side, which is turned to international politics. And here it is worth mentioning again the same feature, the same result, clear even before election day - the exorbitant duration of the election campaign. In the imperial mindset of many American politicians, the world can and should wait for America to choose its president. But from the world's point of view, the year-long process of determining the supreme power in the United States looks like a serious anomaly that is upsetting international life.During this period, both people who want to stay in the White House, and those who would like to get into their place, view all international events through the prism of catching voters, election considerations, often demagogic. This time, examples began in the fall of 1979, when the White House, having begun to demonstrate “firmness” and “rigidity,” inflated - to its own embarrassment - the story of “Soviet troops” allegedly located in Cuba. In addition, in the early stages of the election campaign, while still within the Democratic Party, President Carter played against Senator E. Kennedy the story of the American diplomats captured in Tehran - after all, tradition requires standing behind the president in days of acute national upheaval. Each of the rivals further, at subsequent stages, strove to turn this long story in their favor (one can assume that the very fate of the hostages would have been easier if, from the very beginning, calm and caution had prevailed in Washington over considerations of political football).And the hysterical reaction to the events in Afghanistan?! And the ridiculous boycott of the Olympic Games in Moscow?! And what about the economic sanctions against the Soviet Union that affected farmers in the American Midwest? Over all this and much more lies the specific thick patina of the American election year, when in the eyes of a properly trained American, even an adventuristic demonstration of “hardness” pays off better than a position that the main opponent, Ronald Reagan, attacking Jimmy Carter from the right, can pass off as “soft.” " The current coolness in America's relations with its main allies in Western Europe is explained, in particular, by the fact that they did not want to succumb to the American selective psychosis, adjust their policies to it, or sacrifice European détente for it.It is quite natural that America lives by its own laws. It is clear that, from the American point of view, this is where the navel of the earth is located. But when international life begins to become feverish due to the long stay inside the American attraction, can this be considered natural and understandable? The universal claims of ruling America, which is changing its captain, in this sense look like a harmful anachronism - and more and more clearly as the elements of interdependence in international life intensify and the place and role of America decreases relatively.And one more outcome can be predicted in advance, without waiting for election day and without reassuring yourself with illusions. No matter who wins on November 4, America, under the new or previous president, will increase military spending, build up military muscles and, presumably, show them in one or another area of the world. This prospect is evidenced by the behavior of both leading candidates. Crossing the country with jet speed from end to end, at all its big and small crossroads, each proves that it was he and his party who took better care of the buildup of American military power than his opponent and his party. Each swears that, whether he remains or turns out to be a god in the White House, he will serve the main and all-powerful deity of militarism more zealously than the other.But it's not just the personality of Carter or Reagan. Perhaps they would not be such adherents of militarism if they knew that their seeds would fall on unprepared soil. But the public soil, alas, has been prepared. For several years in a row, the process of interaction has been intensively and quite successfully in which it is the militarists, precisely the masters and servants of the military-industrial complex, who, citing the “Soviet threat,” shape public sentiment, and then build on them in their calls for even greater belligerence .Carter indulged the shift to the right, retreating step by step under pressure from the militarists, engaging in that political tailism, which in America is called pragmatism or simply politicking. The shift to the right helped the conservative Reagan become the leader of the Republican Party and its presidential candidate. Realizing how difficult it would be for him to outdo Reagan in terms of conservatism, Carter recently tried to attack his opponent as a dangerous “man of war” and portray the choice between a Republican and a Democrat as a choice between war and peace. But this tactic apparently did not bring the expected result. And no wonder. The voter sees that both are moving along the same road, and if there is a difference, it is only that one promises greater speed than the other. Let's take the attitude towards the Soviet-American SALT II Treaty. Now the US President presents himself as a defender of this treaty, which is of utmost importance for relations between the two nuclear missile powers. Now Carter and other members of his administration are reproaching Reagan, who is threatening, if elected, to demonstratively abandon the treaty. And the leading bourgeois newspapers published editorials in which they explained to the Republican candidate the importance of the treaty and the dangerous naivety of his plans for the arms race. All this is true. But it is reasonable to ask where the Democratic candidate was before, when he unleashed the process of ratifying the treaty in the US Senate, and then completely froze this process?!The 1980 election battle confirms that America has built up an inertia of belligerence that is difficult to reverse. Opa is also making its presence felt in Congress. “Those who invest their money in the production of weapons, calculating future profits and losses, are by no means based on the personality of a possible president,” writes the Christian Science Monitor newspaper, noting that in its current quarrelsome mood, Congress will probably not be able to restrain but to push the White House towards even greater “defense” spending.How can we explain the powerful wave of militarism that - at the moment - has covered, buried under itself, and silenced those sober-minded Americans who understand the dangers it can bring both to the American people and to the prospects for world peace? There are many explanations, but the most general and, probably, the most important thing is the following. Under the pressure of an objective reality that cannot be undone, America gave up its military superiority over the Soviet Union. But the new reality does not automatically cancel the previous consciousness. Consciousness lags behind reality, and in America many have never given up the memory of military superiority and the dream of its return. With all their might they want to bring the new international existence closer to the lagging chauvinistic consciousness and imperial thinking. The question now is how long will it take for those overseas to become convinced that nothing good will come of this attempt.October 1980AFTER THE ELECTIONElections have finally taken place in the United States. And again we observe a peculiar division of labor. Voters, having taken part in voting or abstained from it, gave summary figures of the results. And political observers, peering at these numbers, are trying to unravel their meaning, the reasons why the Democratic President Jimmy Carter was rejected, and the mandate that the Americans gave to the Republican Ronald Reagan, sending him to the White House. It can be said that the numbers speak louder about the reasons than the mandate.Although in the last days before the election, forecasters were quite unanimous in predicting a Reagan victory, its scale turned out to be much larger than expected. For comparison, here are two figures. While Carter defeated Ford in 1976 by about a million and a half votes, Reagan now has more than eight million more votes than Carter. (43.1 million versus 34.8 million.) By American standards, this is an impressive margin, especially since it spread almost throughout the country (Reagan won more than forty of the fifty states).Before the elections, there was a lot of talk about voter apathy, about his aversion to the political process in the United States. One predicted that about half of voters would refuse to vote; others went even further, claiming that more than half would not come to the polls. The last prediction did not come true, but nevertheless, the number of abstainers set a record for recent decades. According to unofficial data, 52.3 percent of all eligible Americans—84 million people—voted. Approximately 76 million did not want to take part in the elections, thereby confirming the view of both apathy and the crisis of the system reflected in it.Shortly before November 4, Louis Harris, one of the world's leading pollsters who has been in the field for more than three decades, called the current election "the most negatively oriented election we've ever faced." Post-election comments do not contradict this assessment. The voter voted against Carter. It was disappointment with the current president that helped Reagan achieve victory. And the impressive nature of this victory is proof that disappointment, as one television commentator noted, has become “universal.”Four years ago, Carter was elected to the White House on a post-Watergate wave, promising integrity and quality leadership and cleansing the taint of political scandals. He was generous with his promises, the most important of which also concerned reducing unemployment and curbing inflation, which worried the broadest masses of Americans. He even numbered his promises, which numbered in the hundreds, and this now allowed his opponent to concretely calculate what remained unfulfilled.However, what's the point of making calculations if Americans feel the results of Carter's rule in their pockets, in stores, and in the labor market. Let us recall what is widely known: 8 million people are still unemployed, the inflation rate has risen almost 3 times (from 4.8 percent to 12.7), consumer prices have increased by half.The dismal results of the Carter administration were at the center of Reagan's election campaign. Concluding his appeal to voters on his television dates with Carter, held exactly one week before the election, the Republican candidate said: “When you make a decision (about who to vote for - S.K.), it would be nice if you ask yourself: is your life better now than it was four years ago? Are goods in stores more accessible to you now than they were four years ago? Has the unemployment rate in the country increased or decreased now compared to what it was four years ago? Is America as respected in the world as before?When it came to foreign policy, Carter's record was an indictment in the eyes of many voters. Unpredictability and incompetence are not the harshest of the accusations that both American observers and US allies, particularly in Western Europe, have addressed to the current president. But in the unpredictability, the element of belligerence increased. The further, the more often Carter rattled his sabers, even thousands of kilometers from the United States, in the Middle East, the Persian Gulf, sending American naval armadas there.He wanted to appease some of his chauvinist-minded compatriots with this, but, alas, this tactic did not work. In words he advocated for the limitation of strategic weapons, but in reality he derailed any agreement reached in this area. And with such a game one cannot expect anything good either domestically or internationally. Carter's political lesson is instructive in its own way in this sense.Now his presidency is coming to an end. On January 20, 1981, Ronald Reagan took the oath of office. According to the American political tradition, the transition period from one administration to another lasts two and a half months: consultations between the outgoing president and his staff and the incoming president and his staff take place, the composition of the new cabinet is gradually formed and announced in advance. We can say that this will also be a transition from pre-election political maneuvering with its specific atmosphere of extremes and exaggerations to the development of practical policies for the new president. And this process will also be closely watched by observers, trying to understand how the new leader and his assistants interpret the voter's mandate, as well as the mandate of the influential groups that enjoy the greatest weight in capitalist America.During the transition period, many issues arise, including foreign policy ones, that are of interest to the whole world. Among the most important, naturally, is the question of Soviet-American relations, which play such an important role in modern international life; What can you say about this?The Soviet Union has always stood for good relations with the United States based on the principles of peaceful coexistence, equality, non-interference in internal affairs, and non-damage to each other's security. He did not seek and is not seeking any unilateral advantages and does not strive for military superiority. This is our constant principled position. This was emphasized in the Peace Program developed by the XXIV - XXV Congresses of the CPSU. It was repeatedly stated in documents and speeches of Soviet leaders.Our policy towards normal relations with the United States remains fully in force today. We, of course, do not forget about the difference in ideologies, social systems, economic systems and do not turn a blind eye to the difficulties in our relations. But all this should in no way interfere with resolving issues in a constructive way. Negotiation, not confrontation, is the Soviet approach.The problem of the problems of our time remains the arms race and the need to curb it. The solution to this issue largely depends on our two countries. The current and future generations will not forgive us if we fail to cope with this problem. And it should be considered primarily in terms of limiting strategic weapons. At one time, the Soviet Union and the United States jointly developed a number of agreements limiting the arms race, including nuclear missiles. And if now our two countries do not do everything possible to set them in motion, if the issues of arms reduction are pushed aside, this will cause irreparable damage to the cause of peace.In days when a new milestone is dawning in American political life, it is useful to look back at previous stages in the history of Soviet-American relations and the chain lessons of the past. What was done well over the years between the Soviet Union and American administrations, both Republican and Democratic, should not be rejected. On the contrary, this should be used to find further correct solutions through negotiations, rather than increasing weapons arsenals. This remains the main challenge.November 1980ADVICE FROM A FORMER AMBASSADORThe American president, who did not achieve re-election and is called a shot duck, is like the British queen: he reigns, but does not rule. Jimmy Carter, as we see, is going through this period now. Counting the days until January 20, he still reigns in the White House, but no longer rules in the United States. It can be said that his entire foreign policy now boils down to new attempts to free American hostages in Iran before he leaves the presidency. But even here things are not going well yet and therefore take on the character of yet another symbol of the disastrous outcome of the entire four-year period of the Carter administration.In the tumultuous transition period that caps a tumultuous election year, eyes, of course, turn to the newly elected president. But he does not yet reign or rule. He is still freeing himself from the husk of countless campaign statements, preparing to don the robes of a practical leader of American politics. Ronald Reagan became more sparing in his words, not preventing his predecessor from finishing his term in the White House, and also fearing to tie his hands by prematurely stating his positions. The ministers he elected are not very talkative now, and only their previous reputation serves as an indicator, albeit an incomplete one, of how their future activities will unfold.In short, there is scope for political fortune tellers from newspaper editorial offices and television studios. And there is no shortage of advice for the man who will soon occupy the Oval Office in the White House.This is what, for example, the weekly magazine “Yu.” either advises or competently asserts in its latest issue. S. News and World Report: “Ronald Reagan and his Secretary of State Alexander Haig will fundamentally change the nature of American foreign policy next year. They will place the main emphasis on US military power and toughness towards Russia.”It is in this regard that the magazine, and not the only one, interprets the very fact of the appointment of retired General Haig as Secretary of State. With this fact, "Reagan underscored the emphasis placed on military power in foreign policy."Further more. II, according to the weekly, the new administration “will not be alarmed by... the impossibility of concluding a treaty on the limitation of strategic arms.” Or, to put it more simply, the arms race will become a completely natural matter that will not cause “worry.” Further more. And now the magazine prophesies that “linkage will again become fashionable in relations with Russia” and “Washington’s position, for example, in trade negotiations or arms negotiations will be influenced by the general Soviet policy in the world.”We could quote more, but isn’t it time to stop and exclaim: this predictable future is not at all different from the past, which never worked out in Washington’s relations with Moscow! Do they really want to throw the past into the future in the incomprehensible hope that it will finally work? This is, in essence, a return to the circles of the Cold War, to deliberate confrontation.An administration that has not yet begun to act, of course, is not responsible for the prophecies and recommendations of even an informed and influential journal. Therefore, we will refrain from criticizing her for now. But let us allow ourselves one small remark. During a period of a kind of American interregnum, when one president is practically no longer in office, and another is not yet in office, American observers for some reason are inclined to endow the new president with supernatural properties, although right before their eyes there is an example of the opposite meaning - the old president, who proved before everyone's eyes world, how even the powers of the head of the American state are limited by objective conditions. If we recall the American expression, the President of the United States, like any person, is no larger than life. No more so than the world he enters as one of the world's leaders.Need I say that, whatever his intentions, he must realistically assess the existing world situation, as well as the limits of his capabilities? It is a dangerous, although very typical and enduring tradition in America, according to which each new president takes up his duties as a god planning to create the world anew. And everyone, one way or another, lives out this illusion of omnipotence, without ever creating the world in their own image and likeness. And there is nothing more dangerous in this illusion than a naive belief in the salvific nature of the arms race as a means of asserting American superiority over the Soviet Union. Years and years passed, entire post-war decades, until Washington realized that only on the principle of equal security and strategic parity can relations with Moscow be built. If this main lesson of the post-war period now wants to be canceled and forgotten again, then a lost and, moreover, dangerous time awaits us.In order not to waste time, it is wiser to listen to the advice of experienced people who have not forgotten the lessons of the past. One of them, former US Ambassador to the USSR Malcolm Thune, considered the moment opportune to recall some basic truths of Soviet-American relations.Toon writes in the Christian Science Monitor: "The fundamental issue is that we cannot achieve military superiority over the Soviet Union simply because our enemy will not tolerate it."And further: “We cannot negotiate with the Russians to grant us superiority, we can only negotiate from a position of equality.”Thun calls his reminder of the experience of the past and the reality of the present “unobtrusive advice to Ronald Reagan” from a practicing diplomat. This, I must say, is very timely and practical advice.December 1980HAIG ON CAPITOL HILLOne senator attending Alexander Haig's confirmation hearings as Secretary of State found that the general answered questions "accurately and firmly." And one newspaper - I mean the New York Times - saw his virtue in another: "He is firm and flexible, clear and unclear, evasive and direct at the same time - a real secretary of state."It is too early to judge what kind of Secretary of State Alexander Haig will become; his first declarations in the Senate reveal a man who has worn a military uniform for a long time and only recently took it off. One can agree with Washington Post columnist Oberdorfer, who found that during the hearings, “the general-turned-diplomat often operated in terms of military force and felt most confident in the familiar terrain of conventional and nuclear power.”It is in military power that Alexander Haig sees a universal recipe for the success of American diplomacy, the leadership of which he is now taking into his own hands. The accelerated armament of Japan and South Korea, the increase in military spending by Western European states, even greater than in the last year under Carter, the American military presence in the Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf region... This is what the new Secretary of State spoke about more directly than evasively. And this, apparently, pleased many members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which improved before the November elections and even more after the FIR.Quite understandably, the senators were interested in the question of American-Soviet relations, the state of which worries many people around the world. And here Haig also emphasized the need to strengthen American military power before seriously engaging in arms limitation negotiations. A familiar motive: to arm in order to better control and limit weapons. It was no stranger to the Carter administration, but at least it started with a different motive and, after long, complicating delays, agreed to sign the OGB-2 Treaty.Although there were no illusions even before Haig appeared on Capitol Hill, his statements clarified the picture. The SALT II Treaty does not seem to exist for the Reagan administration, which is just about to begin its activities. In addition, judging by both Haig and the new US Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, Washington is not going to rush to resume negotiations with the Soviet Union on the issue of limiting strategic offensive weapons. Weinberger said it would take "a good six months" just to assess the situation. Haig does not give a deadline, but says this: “We are not sufficiently prepared to achieve through negotiations the kind of arms limitation agreement that I would like to see. I would like to see an improvement in our overall (military) position as an incentive for successful negotiations... We must change the background against which this discussion is taking place, and ultimately the negotiations themselves will be successful."What does this mean? I would like to refrain from making final assessments. One way or another, each administration is given some credit in time so that it moves from declarations to concrete actions - these will be the test for the declarations. But it should be noted that the initial words of the new US Secretary of State look, to put it mildly, unproductive from the point of view of Soviet-American relations.No matter how much the current political leaders of America would like to prove the opposite, the truth remains in force: the SALT II Treaty was prepared for seven whole years precisely because, in pursuing its own interests, each side was forced to take into account the interests of the other side. It follows from Haig’s words that, not content with this difficult, carefully weighed balance of interests of the two countries, the Americans would like to secure unilateral advantages for themselves by first acquiring “positions of strength.”So, can experience be a teacher? It took three decades of post-war years to practically bring the United States to the idea of strategic parity, enshrined in an interstate document. If in Washington they are again striving for “positions of strength” and this desire is becoming official policy, then conversations about the dangers awaiting the world in the 80s, alas, are filled with very specific content. These are the dangers of an uncontrolled arms race, in which each new round makes sure that the goal of superiority over the opponent is not achieved. Why are they convinced? To learn lessons about sobriety? Or to begin - with the same vain hopes - a new, dangerous and expensive and equally fruitless round?January 19811981 Defiant beginning  INSTEAD OF “PIE IN THE SKY”In the White House for the fifth day now, there has been a new owner - Ronald Reagan. We got to know him as a presidential candidate, then, from the beginning of November 1980, as the elected, but not yet inaugurated, president. And now he is already the current president, but, of course, too little time has passed to determine how his words - and many were said during the year of election struggle - will turn into deeds.The main thing that Ronald Reagan has managed to do so far is to give a speech at the ceremony of taking office, the so-called inauguration. The overseas republic has a tradition of imitating the orators of Ancient Rome. The speeches delivered at the Washington Capitol during the inauguration are in a rhetorical spirit. Reagan did not break this tradition.But two points in his speech attract attention. Firstly, there are no more election promises, no, as the Americans say, “pie in the sky”, or, in our opinion, milk rivers on the banks of jelly. Secondly, foreign policy issues are practically omitted, with the exception of two or three paragraphs. The main emphasis is on internal affairs, primarily on the economy.It was the poor state of the economy that doomed Carter to defeat. And from the American point of view, it is the economy that will be the testing ground for the new president.Reagan's speech provided a familiar catalog of American ills. I quote: “We are suffering from the longest and one of the worst periods of inflation in our nation’s history.” Rising prices “turns out to be a crushing blow for young people who have yet to make their way in life, and for older people who already have a solid income. Inflation threatens to shake the very foundations of life for millions of our people.”He spoke of “industrial downtime” and unemployment associated with “pure human suffering,” and of state budgets that “have been piling deficit upon deficit for decades.”He said that the country was living beyond its means.“You and I, as individuals, can only live beyond our means for so long by going into debt,” Reagan said. So why should we collectively, as a country, think that we are not subject to this restriction?”The assessment is sober and the question is to the point...The new president, in the tradition of Ancient Rome, did not provide figures, but they are well known, the pages of newspapers and magazines are full of them. In one of the latest issues, the weekly Newsweek sums up, for example, the results of the past decade. In 1971, unemployment was 5.9 percent of the total working population, in 1980 it was 7.2 percent and continues to rise. Price growth in 1971 was at the level of 3.4 percent, now it is 13 percent. Ten years ago, banks issued loans at 6.5 percent, but now they charge a truly extortionate 21.5 percent. This has a catastrophic effect on investment. The general indicator is the gross national product. In 1971 it increased by 1.9 percent - not God knows what figure. But in 1980 it did not increase, but decreased by 1.5 percent.And finally, the most alarming fact. If earlier real average incomes did not decrease, because wages kept pace with rising prices, now prices have surged ahead and the real incomes of Americans and their standard of living are declining. Let me give you one figure that is, of course, difficult for the average American to come to terms with. Based on average per capita income, the United States ranks behind nine Western European countries—Switzerland, Denmark, West Germany, Sweden, Luxembourg, Norway, Belgium, Iceland, and France.This is the backdrop against which Ronald Reagan took office as president, promising no longer “pie in the sky,” but slow progress, which, in his words, “will be measured in inches and feet, not miles.”But even this slow progress, cautiously promised by the new president, cannot be considered guaranteed. It remains to be seen whether the prescriptions prescribed by Reagan and his advisers for treating the American economy will be effective. What is he offering? Reduce the size and influence of the US federal government, free business from regulation by the capitalist state and let it, so to speak, work for the glory of America. But American business works for itself and its profits, and the so-called conservative approach to the economy was tried more than once by Reagan’s predecessors in the White House, and it did not save America from its economic troubles.As they say, wait and see. For the most part, American observers are cautiously skeptical about the new administration's economic program. Here's an example. The proposed budget for fiscal year 1982, which Carter left behind when he left, calls for a deficit of $56 billion. How can Reagan reduce it if he promised to cut income taxes by 10 percent this year and at the same time increase military spending - and they are already provided for by Carter at a record level of 196 billion. The New York Times asks: “It is far from clear how tax cuts, increased output, and greater economic growth can be achieved simultaneously. How these goals can be reconciled with any significant increase in military spending remains an even greater mystery.”January 1981.COLD WINDS FROM WASHINGTON“Washington is chilling under the winds of the Cold War,” wrote the London Guardian newspaper, commenting on the first press conference of President Ronald Reagan, who defiantly harshly attacked the Soviet Union, its leaders and its policies.Do Bonn and Paris, London and Rome want the cold weather that has hit them hard from the other side of the Atlantic? Official representatives, although they shudder from the chilly Washington prologue, remain silent, demonstrating diplomatic restraint. You will have to deal with the new American leadership for four whole years and it is undesirable to spoil relations right away. However, even in silence there is disapproval, a sign of secret disagreement.The response from the press can be said to be unambiguous. Definitely condemning. Journalists recall the 50s and the vicious anti-Soviet rhetoric of John Foster Dulles, the then American Secretary of State. “Such language was only used during the Cold War, and if it is used again, the world will certainly be thrown back to those times.” This opinion of the West German newspaper Neue Ruhrzeitung is more or less typical.They don’t want a return to those years when America teetered on the brink of war and Western Europe was forced into this dangerous occupation.Of course, America retains leadership in IA10, in the Western community, and bourgeois governments do not challenge the very principle of this leadership. Moreover, echoing current American pastroepies, official circles in Western Europe have recently often spoken out in favor of a “strong America” as the defender of the entire West. But... As French President Giscard d'Estaing recently explained, a strong America "does not mean that it should dictate our own policies to us in an even harsher tone."Western Europe did not get along very well with the Carter administration, especially in its last year. Iran, the so-called Camp David trial, the Moscow Olympics and the entire spectrum of relations with the Soviet Union were all points of disagreement and tension on both sides of the Atlantic. In Western European capitals, they parted ways without regret with the former American president, who played with the destinies of international detente.Reagan's arrival was awaited with mixed feelings—concern inspired by his reputation as a staunch conservative, and hope aroused, in particular, by Secretary of State Haig's assurances that the new administration would seriously consult with its allies. And immediately these hopes were met with an icy large hail of anti-Soviet rhetoric.But it's not just about rhetoric. The point is also that Western Europe differs from the new leaders in Washington in their assessments on the merits.Reagan argues that détente is a "one-way street." And Western Europeans see with their own eyes a wide two-way highway, and on this highway there is ongoing political dialogue, cultural, scientific and technical exchanges and increasingly large, multi-billion-dollar East-West trade. An example of the emerging prospects is the grandiose project of delivering natural gas to Western Europe from Siberia.The American president questions the SALT II Treaty, since it supposedly brings “unilateral advantages” to the Soviet Union. And again, the American allies disagree, seeing a common benefit in the treaty - an important step in limiting strategic arms, which will also facilitate the resolution of other issues related to the balance of nuclear missile weapons on the European continent.It is worth recalling that it was under the SALT II Treaty, under the promise of its ratification, that the Carter Administration extorted consent from Western European NATO members to deploy an additional 600 American medium-range missiles on their territory. In turn, Boni, London, Rome, persuading their public to agree to American missiles, promised it that, in parallel with the installation of missiles, negotiations would be conducted with Moscow on limiting medium-range nuclear weapons. This was precisely the essence of the so-called “dual decision” of the NATO Council session in December 1979.In fact, it turned out to be a double trap. Under Carter, the SALT II Treaty hung in the air, and under Reagan, the idea of negotiations on limiting medium-range nuclear weapons in Europe was shrouded in a dense fog. It is no coincidence that Chancellor Schmidt, reminding the United States of its obligations, speaks of the “double solution”: “Whoever questions this decision or one of its parts also questions the NATO alliance.”Let's see how things develop further. In the meantime, those observers who predicted new tensions and crises in NATO under Reagan look like good prophets.January 1981TO THE EDITOR OF THE LOS ANGELES TIMESDear sir, quotes from Teddy Roosevelt seem to continue to be popular in the United States. In your February 4 editorial, you advise President Reagan to speak softly but carry a big stick. And as a new resident in the White House admitted to reporters, another saying of Teddy Roosevelt increasingly comes to mind - that the presidency is an excellent church pulpit.From this pulpit he still speaks harshly. And you're probably right to ask in your editorial whether this tough talk will scare American allies more than the "hardened Russians." I must, however, tell you that in Moscow they also asked themselves: what is the meaning of the incredibly fierce anti-Soviet rhetoric?American colleagues suggest that President Reagan from his first days wanted to put an end to the “naive illusions” of detente. But, firstly, illusions in Soviet-American relations have been eliminated on both sides, and, in my opinion, Carter has worked a lot in this sense. And, secondly, attacks against a partner, similar to deliberate insults, have never made the beginning and progress of a dialogue easier. But one way or another we remain partners, albeit difficult ones. No amount of deliberate harshness can cancel the fact that we live on the same earth in the same dangerous age. Only madness can cancel the need for continued US-Soviet dialogue.The view from Moscow reveals more similarities than differences between the early days of Carter's presidency and the early days of Reagan. Carter also began with an anti-Soviet “crusade,” although his banner was “human rights” and not the fight against “international terrorism.”And if we take the attitude towards the SALT process, then there is little new in Reagan’s “new beginning”. The new president, like his predecessor, begins by undoing what has been achieved through very hard work. Only Carter crossed out the Vladivostok, 1974, Brezhnev-Ford agreement (so that, having lost another two and a half years after his arrival in the White House, he could come to the signing of the SALT-2 Treaty, worked out on the foundation of this agreement), and Reagan seemed to cross out the agreement itself . At the same time, like Carter, he claims that he is ready to go beyond the treaty, to a significant real reduction of strategic arms. Well, the SALT II Treaty does not solve all problems, but what kind of instinct of destruction is driving the American President, who wants to overturn the complex balance built by seven years of joint efforts of the two countries!Perhaps what our two countries lack most of all is trust in each other, and it cannot be built on sand and every time anew. It can be built on continuity, on respect and fulfillment of undertaken obligations. As a Soviet journalist who has been closely observing the political life of the United States for 20 years, I am surprised why every new American president denies the experience of his predecessors.I wanted to share these thoughts after reading your editorial. There is still a big question about the big stick. You cannot answer it in detail in a short letter. But I think that the current American cudgel is so big that Teddy Roosevelt, not used to thinking about the unthinkable, would consider it more than enough.February 1981.CHALLENGING BEGINNINGWithout being in the United States, it is difficult to imagine the explosion of emotions - both genuine and skillfully aroused - that accompanies the successful conclusion of the story of the American hostages in Iran. It lasted 444 days and ended on the day of January 20, 1981, and almost an hour when the new president, Ronald Reagan, took over from the old one.But for those who, being overseas, watched the finale of another, no less famous story, the task of imagination is greatly facilitated. I am referring to the return in February 1973 of American military pilots who bombed North Vietnam, were shot down in its skies, were captured and spent entire years in captivity. I was working in Washington at that time and I remember to what heights of sensation and emotion the problem of prisoners of war was raised then, just as now the problem of diplomats who found themselves hostages. They also became the object of sincere sympathy from their compatriots and a calculated political game. And just like that, the gigantic machine of information and propaganda fell into a kind of unconsciousness, forgot for a while about all other news, when the first batch of pilots released from captivity flew from Hanoi to the American Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines, in order to proceed from there to San - Francisco and further, to his native places.But, as we know, there are no absolute comparisons. In one case, it was about air pirates invading foreign skies in a war that was never declared, and in the second, about the fate of diplomats arrested and detained for long periods in violation of international law. However, this clarification does not cancel the political roll call of two “homecomings”—returns home to the United States. Having made your way through the thickness of emotions, I repeat, both genuine and skillfully aroused, you see two similar endings to Washington’s two largest foreign policy “undertakings.” One of them is Indo-Chinese. American imperialism, hiding behind the fig leaf of an “invitation” from its Saigon puppets, undertook an armed intervention, over the years increased its expeditionary force in Vietnam to half a million people, and left 50 thousand of its soldiers and officers on the battlefield. And the result? I had to go home. As the most precious booty of the longest American war, they took out - by agreement with the government of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam - their own pilots who were captured.The second “beginning” is Iran, American policy in this country. They relied on the Shah, who was loyal to the Americans and betrayed his own people, and carried out increased militarization of Iran with the dual goal of growing a regional gendarme in the strategically important region of the Persian Gulf, as well as acquiring a bridgehead on the southern border of the Soviet Union. For the time being, this policy, carried out under six American presidents, was considered a great success for Washington. The underside of it was fully revealed under Jimmy Carter. It was he who was hit by the Iranian revolution at the beginning of 1979 with a political earthquake, and at the end of 1979 by the seizure of the American embassy in Tehran and its staff. And now, at the end of the many-year stage of American-Iranian relations, which have always been in Washington’s asset, the same as in Vietnam, the only prize is the return home of Americans, this time not prisoners, but hostages of another country, yes, taken hostages in violation of the norms interstate behavior, due to and because of the fanatical hatred that Washington’s actions aroused among the Iranians..In his last weeks in the White House, Brzezinski liked to talk about three “central strategic zones” of the current world. The first, more stable, is in Europe. The second is the Far East and Southeast Asia. And the third, the most explosive and restless, is the Persian Gulf region, the Near and Middle East, and South-West Asia. The past decade has registered two crushing American failures in two “central strategic zones” - and two finals in the form of two “home-comings” surrounded by explosions of patriotic passions.Who is guilty? It is again accepted and even fashionable to blame all American troubles on the Soviet Union. But even in an atmosphere of chauvinistic excitement, it is unlikely that anyone will seriously deny that both mentioned failures were of their own making and were the results of Washington’s disastrous course.The ever-present question is about learning lessons. They are different, one might say, opposite. Indochina discouraged Americans from engaging in overseas armed interventions, sparked lively discussions in ruling circles about the “limits” of American power and influence in the world, and for the first time in the post-war period even gave rise to certain sentiments of “neo-isolationism.” It turned out to be for a short time. The imperial approach, political philosophy and practice of interventionism did not remain in the fold for long. In particular, the Iranian crisis stimulated American “hawks” who were experiencing bouts of a kind of revanchism (both in relation to “domestic pigeons” and at the sight of the declining influence of the United States in the world) and, of course, bringing to the fore the bogeyman of the “Soviet threat” .The protracted hostage situation, which also coincided with the election year, was adapted precisely as a visual aid. It was supposed to convince the American how America was being “humiliated” because it had become “weak” and to advocate for the build-up of military power and its use in situations arising far from American shores. Thus, in 1979, the “Carter Doctrine” was proclaimed, they began to create “rapid deployment forces” and feverishly search for bases and allies in the “third strategic zone”, placing a naval armada in the Persian Gulf region for a long time. And Reagan, having taken office on the day the hostages were released, along with his presidential duties received that extreme atmosphere of militant patriotism and chauvinism, which his administration immediately used by proclaiming a provocative campaign against “international terrorism” (although, if you look at it, its deepest source is history with hostages was the international terrorism of the CIA, which overthrew the national Iranian government of Mossadegh in 1953).The former president, fending off criticism from the right, took credit for the fact that U.S. military spending began to rise again under him, ending the post-Vietnam sluggishness, and continued to grow throughout his four years in office. When leaving, he left for consideration by his successor a draft military budget for the 1982 fiscal year of almost 200 billion dollars, and with additional appropriations over 200 billion. But it's not just about the astronomical billions for the war. The point is the outright militarization of the very concept of foreign policy. In his last message to Congress, Carter directly equates foreign policy with military power. He calls the following priority foreign policy task: “Uts. "rebuild the military power of America and its allies and friends."The influential coalition of supporters of reducing military spending that operated in Congress in the first half of the 70s is now no longer in sight. But at the sight of the billions piling up, a number of observers still risk asking: where to next? Not without irony, they write about the “big mystery”: how Ronald Reagan will be able to cut taxes by 10 percent this year, fulfilling his campaign promise to reduce the budget deficit and at the same time additionally benefit the Pentagon. The new leaders are making it clear to skeptics that all promises can be sacrificed, except for the main one - to “rebuild a strong America” by further building up its military muscles.Before the new president took office, disputes began: who is the “true” Reagan - a dogmatic conservative, as he showed himself to be in the election campaign, or a pragmatist who takes into account the realities of the modern world? Let's not jump to conclusions, but at his first press conference in late January, he evoked visions of the Cold War, launching a brutal attack on the Soviet Union, denouncing détente as a "one-way street" and lambasting the SALT Treaty. 2. In addition, the so-called fight against “international terrorism” was chosen as a new direction for active anti-Sovietism in American foreign policy.Thus, a “new beginning” (the motto of the Reagan government) announced itself from the very first days with a demonstrative return to the old rigidity and a desire for confrontation.“There are more important things than peace. There are things that Americans should want to fight for." These words of Secretary of State Haig attracted everyone's attention. It was no coincidence that the former general, one might think, highlighted both such an understanding of patriotic duty (“one must want to fight”) and such an unusual priority for the head of a diplomatic department (“there are more important things than peace”). /The toughness that is now a thing of the past in Washington goes hand in hand with the further militarization of US foreign policy.The familiar thesis about the “Soviet threat” appears as justification. Alexander Haig sees “the main strategic phenomenon of the post-war era” threatening the positions of America and its allies in the world in the “transformation of Soviet military power”, in the fact that “the continental and mainly defensive ground army (USSR) turned into global offensive armies " Richard Allen, Reagan's appointee for national security affairs, insists in interviews that the Soviet military arsenal "far exceeds defense needs." It has been said more than once that these allegations are groundless. It has been authoritatively explained more than once by the Soviet side that the Soviet strategic doctrine is of a purely defensive nature. Those who ignore these clarifications would do well to point out the logical distortions they engage in. After all, the Soviet Union is building its defense and its armed forces taking into account real conditions, taking into account the global nature and global deployment of the armed forces of that country, which considers itself the right to “defend itself” at the very Soviet borders, declaring areas of its “vital interests” everywhere. The name of this country is the United States of America. And it is not for her, of course, with its hundreds of military bases and hundreds of thousands of soldiers thousands of miles from American shores, to reproach the Soviet Union for “globalism.”Disputes cannot be resolved through an arms race—it is impossible and dangerous. The only acceptable solution that promises success remains the same negotiating table. And at the moment of the “changing of the guard” in Washington, Moscow is showing a high sense of responsibility, rebuffing the new anti-Soviet campaign and at the same time calling on the new administration to take up truly important matters in terms of establishing Soviet-American relations and normalizing the international situation in general. The Soviet Union stands for active efforts to positively develop relations between the two countries, without undoing what has already been achieved at the diplomatic table, without breaking the fundamental principles on which, in particular, the SALT II Treaty was concluded.The two sides, with mutual desire, have room to apply the principle of constructive interaction in the name of peace.Haig called the 1980s “a decade of crises.” By all accounts, the most crisis area today is the Near and Middle East and South-West Asia. Washington is not planning to weaken, but to strengthen, the American military presence in the Persian Gulf region, and the same Haig, the new oracle of American foreign policy, tells senators that the United States is ready to fight there “alone” if Western European allies refuse to follow Washington. Again the dramatic emphasis is on the fact that Americans “must want to fight.”Meanwhile, on the diplomatic table, addressed to all interested parties, lie important Soviet proposals for the demilitarization of the Persian Gulf region. They benefit everyone. For states located in the area, they provide guarantees of sovereignty, non-interference in internal affairs and respect for non-alignment status. For states dependent on oil supplies from this area, Soviet proposals promise the continuation of normal trade exchanges and the normal functioning of sea communications. Finally, with the renunciation of the creation of foreign military bases, the deployment of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction, and the use or threat of use of force, the zone of conflicts and potential global confrontation turns into a zone of stability and security.We have before us a serious peace initiative, manifested at the right moment and affecting the fate of an economically and strategically vital area. And what? No clear response from the former American administration. How can one not recall here those observers who called the “break in dialogue” between the USA and the USSR the most dangerous feature of the past year. Will the new American leadership show seriousness in its approach?In his farewell radio-television address to the nation, Carter called the growing influence of various “groups” defending their “special interests” to the detriment of national ones as “an alarming factor in American political life.” As is his custom, the former president did not list these groups by name or describe their political direction. But 20 years ago, another president, Dwight Eisenhower, in a similar situation of farewell to the White House, was also worried about the harmful influence of certain “groups” in national life and did not hesitate to point his finger at the most dangerous group formation - the “military-industrial complex.” In fact, in his farewell speech, Eisenhower introduced this term into the political lexicon. “Disarmament, based on mutual respect and trust, is the urgent demand of the time,” Eisenhower said then. “We need to learn to settle differences together, not by force of arms, but by relying on human reason and setting ourselves noble goals.”Recalling these words 20 years later, in America in early 1981, liberal columnist Anthony Lewis writes: “Anyone who spoke like that today would be accused of softness and blindness by the increasingly influential hawks.”He is not far from the truth. The military-industrial complex now dominates US public life, having absorbed or used as fellow travelers numerous neoconservative and other organizations. This so-called “moral majority,” for all its diversity, is united by demands for a return not only to traditional “American values,” but also to the “traditional” role of America - the world gendarme.And yet, at the beginning of a “new beginning,” it is useful to recall that there really is no other path (a reasonable path!) than “disarmament based on mutual respect and trust,” than the awareness of the need to “learn to resolve differences together.”February 1981AT A LITERARY EVENING...Comrades! On this evening with its extensive menu, I am offered an appetizer - rather unappetizing. You came for the beautiful poetry, tuned in to a story about science and humor. And speaking here as an international official is an unenviable task. International relations... This matter is rarely fun these days, even when someone's embassy is seized - for a year and a half - or a plane with passengers is stolen and driven from country to country. Don't expect aesthetic pleasure from this material. But, alas, we are connected in this world not only by television, and the gloomy matter of international relations is vital not only for those for whom, like for me, it has become a profession.Whatever the current problems of international life, among them there will always be a place, and usually first place, for Soviet-American relations. For me, a conversation on this topic is made easier by the fact that America is my journalistic specialty; I lived and worked there for more than ten years as a correspondent for Izvestia.The question of the difficult state of Soviet-American relations was raised with all force at the 26th Congress of the CPSU. And not only about Soviet-American relations. In the end, the cardinal question is: where are we going - towards war or peace? Our peace plan is well known. I will not list all the initiatives. In my short speech, I want to speculate a little about how and why our two countries, and indeed all of humanity, again found themselves at a crossroads in the early 80s - where to go?We are Americans too. We are more inquisitive, they are less. But we constantly look at each other, because in the world we are the two most important powers. We are in different hemispheres, the distances are enormous. Anyone who has experienced them knows. I twice sailed by boat from New York to Leningrad for almost two weeks, and on the plane you languish for seven to eight hours just over the Atlantic. And yet, in one sense we are closer to the distant American continent than to Western Europe. Indeed, in the most fundamental sense, in the sense of the choice between life and death, we are separated only by some half an hour of flight of intercontinental ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads. And it must be said that now the Americans “for themselves” want to reduce this distance to six to eight minutes, planning to deploy their Pershings and Tomahawks in Western Europe.We look at each other as we move through the most troubling period in human history. Two moments coincided and were tied in the tightest knot before our eyes. On the one hand, humanity in its most technically developed part is split into two very different, irreconcilable, socio-political systems that do not accept each other - socialist and capitalist. On the other hand, it was at this moment of radical split that in the hands of just this part of humanity there was a weapon that, for the first time in history, gives a person the opportunity to practically destroy himself as a biological species, and at the same time all life on earth.In Pushkin, Salieri, who poisoned Mozart, wondered whether genius and villainy go together? Now he could be tormented. The genius of science answered: yes, they are, and instead of the pale horses of the biblical apocalypse, he brought thermonuclear weapons onto the stage of world history.In the shadow of a nuclear apocalypse, we have learned to live almost as if nothing had happened, demonstrating the resilience and indestructibility of the human spirit, as well as cultivating positive emotions. On these joyful days of March, I myself don’t want to give them up, much less infringe on the cheerful mood of others.But now, as you hear and read every day, the pitch darkness of nuclear death is increasingly becoming more concrete and, as it were, illuminated by the light of facts. I also dare to give one small illustration on the theme of the big Bomb.Some time ago, the American magazine Progressive imagined in detail and with the most accessible accuracy, drawn from scientific sources, what the explosion of a 20-megaton nuclear bomb would look like in the center of a city with a population of 4-5 million people. 20 megatons is the equivalent of 20 million tons of trinitrotoluene, one thousand Hiroshima.So here it is. This bomb explodes, say, a few meters above the surface. Instantly, in less than one millionth of a second, temperatures exceeding 80 million degrees Celsius are created. The heat is 4 times stronger than in the very center of the Sun. The bomb leaves a crater 200 meters deep and 2.5 kilometers in diameter. The embankment along the edges of the crater rises to a height of approximately 70 meters, that is, a 25-story building and looks like the tallest building in Chicago, the birthplace of skyscrapers. Because everything else has disappeared. And it didn’t just disappear - it evaporated! Literally everything around the epicenter evaporated - skyscrapers made of steel and concrete, roads and bridges, thousands of tons of earth and, of course, hundreds of thousands of people, their lives, their destinies, their everyday life and impulses, present and future, evaporated. The people who were there, every single one of them, disappeared, leaving not even a handful of ashes. Without leaving even a shadow, like that unknown, tragically famous resident of Hiroshima, who in the peace memorial museum there is shown as an eternal shadow on the surviving concrete steps of a local bank. There will be no shadow, because there will be no concrete steps left.Over the funnel, similar to the crater of a volcano, over the instantly emerging desert, a fireball with a diameter of 4-5 kilometers takes off at the same instant, and even for people at a distance of 10 kilometers from the epicenter it is brighter than 5000 suns, but they do not have time to see it and hear the sound explosion, because they instantly die from the heat. Glass melts even at a distance of 10 kilometers. Concrete surfaces disintegrate due to extreme temperatures. All flammable substances explode. The blast wave gives rise to hurricanes that consume all the oxygen, and those who, for one reason or another, were underground at that moment also die from suffocation.15 kilometers from the explosion, all the trees catch fire before they are uprooted by the blast wave. Railway bridges collapse, carriages overturn, cars are thrown into the air like children's balls. 25 kilometers from the epicenter, grass flares up on the lawns of country houses, leaves on trees catch fire, paint on interior walls evaporates, children riding bicycles go blind...This is just a dry summary that does not take into account radiation exposure, genetic consequences for the biosphere, and the suffering of the survivors who are destined to envy the dead. Synopsis of the instant death of civilization.They say that 20-megaton bombs are obsolete, that small packaging is more effective and preferable. But even one megaton is a certain 600 thousand human deaths. How many are there, these single megatons?! The number of nuclear warheads reaches tens of thousands - this nuclear death is not so concentrated, but even more comprehensive.Of course, not a single person in their right mind, even on the American side, wants a nuclear disaster, because no one wants their own death. But is it possible to live side by side with these weapons that keep coming? After all, weapons invented by man against man always fired.They talk about the balance of fear as a guarantee against war. The higher the mountains of weapons, the stronger they are, the more terrible it is to use them. Both sides know this, and this knowledge creates a balance of fear. Well, in the end this strange balance born of our age is somewhat effective. Opo relies on the instinct of self-preservation - the strongest of instincts. But can it be eternal? The balance of fear brings to mind the image of a tightrope walker. The more weapons are accumulated, that is, the higher the rope is stretched, the more careful and skillful the tightrope walker must be, because if it falls off, it will break to pieces. But is there a place for us, on that rope? Still, this is an extremely unnatural guarantee of peace. Is it possible to balance on this rope from generation to generation in POColoppa? Isn’t it better to prefer a simpler and more reliable method - to go down to earth or at least reduce the level of military confrontation and limit weapons? This is exactly what we tried to do together with the Americans in the 70s.The 70s, looking back, were a time of great hope. In 1972, despite our differences over the Vietnam War, President Nixon came to Moscow and important agreements were concluded. In 1973, L. I. Brezhnev paid a visit to the USA. We talked about the need to make detente irreversible. From competition to cooperation - this was the principle put forward by Nixon on the other side.Using the example of the movement of this formula, it is easy to trace the obstacles that grew along the path of discharge. In the first half of the 1970s, it seemed that cooperation was pushing aside rivalry, and in the summer of 1975, the emotional symbol of this, alas, short-lived period was the joint Soyuz-Apollo space flight. Then, both under Nixon and Ford, the main theorist and practitioner of American diplomacy, Henry Kissinger, began to increasingly emphasize: not only cooperation, but also competition. Brzezinski under Carter, already in the second half of the 70s, increasingly emphasized competition, almost forgetting about cooperation. And Reagan came under the slogan of rivalry, belligerence, confrontation - this is how, judging by his actions, he deciphered the mandate of conservative Americans who brought him to the White House.Irreversible detente? Alas, today this is just an unfulfilled dream. Life turned out to be tougher. In their powerful counteroffensive, the American opponents of détente were victorious. Let's hope it's temporary.Let me remind you that at the first stage of their counteroffensive, opponents of détente in the United States put forward a demand for “freedom of emigration” from the Soviet Union for Soviet citizens of Jewish nationality. This story ended with the fact that in 1974 they blocked the US-Soviet trade agreement, which had already been signed.Since 1975, their main thesis has been the thesis about the “Soviet military threat.” This is a myth - we never tire of repeating it. Yes, it's a myth. We are not going to attack America. But whenthe myth is believed, and it becomes a very real and very significant factor in political life. Meanwhile, the Americans were convinced of the validity and credibility of the myth of the “Soviet threat.”Both former President Carter, and his Secretary of Defense Brown, and NATO Secretary General Luna more than once said that there was an approximate equality of forces, that there was no Soviet military superiority over America. And yet the average American believed that Moscow threatened them, that the Soviet Union had achieved superiority.What is the explanation here? The American, as they say, was brainwashed. But it's not only that. As a person who studied America and lived there, I see another, psychologically very important circumstance.Both the American imperialists and many Americans, infected with imperial thinking, are accustomed to considering themselves the first in the world - richer, freer and more powerful militarily. They cannot tolerate equals. For them, a peer is already a danger. For them, equality is already a dangerous defeat. The American Navy can dominate all the oceans - and that's okay. And our strengthened fleet goes out into the ocean - this is a threat. In October 1962, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, we agreed to remove our missiles from Cuba. For the Americans, Soviet missiles in Cuba were a kind of doomsday, although in those years they kept approximately the same missiles near our borders, in Turkey. But when in the fall of 1979, Carter, contrary to the terms of the American-Soviet agreement, wanted us to remove our military specialists from Cuba and could not achieve this, he was embarrassed - this is a humiliation for America. The imperial thinking of the Americans includes a paradoxical and, however, indisputable principle for them: what is allowed to Jupiter is not allowed to the bull.Feeling that their country is economically stronger, in a military sense they also consider themselves to have the right to be stronger, to be Jupiter. This background must be kept in mind.The last time I was in America was in August 1980, and then I met with a very famous political scientist and futurologist, “strategic thinker” Herman Kap. An intelligent, frank to the point of cynicism, a lover of “thinking about the unthinkable,” the author of a book that describes scenarios for a possible thermonuclear war, more than forty steps leading into the nuclear abyss.“Hawk” and conservative Herman Kahn then bet on Reagan. Under Carter, if elected, Kahn predicted, there would be only a cosmetic increase in military spending, but under Reagan it would be a radical one. Under Reagan, he said, we would seek military superiority over the Soviet Union in order to constantly maintain it, winning more and more rounds of the arms race. It was in American military superiority that Cap saw a guarantee of stability in international life, stability from the point of view of the American imperialist, who still considers the 20th century the “American century.”Now I often remember this conversation. Ronald Reagan and his Secretary of State, yesterday's four-star General Alexander Haig, set about making the dream of American die-hards come true.The military budget grew during all four years under Carter. But for Reagan, these are nothing more than ground nuts, which Jimmy Carter, a successful farmer from Georgia, returned to growing. Toward the end, Carter included record military spending in his draft budget for the 1982 fiscal year, starting October 1, of more than $190 billion. And Reagan asked for another 32 billion on top of this. Then, every year, military spending is going to increase by 7 percent (in real terms, adjusted for inflation), and as a result, over five years it will amount to $1.3 trillion.A trillion is a number with 12 zeros. It takes us into the realm of astronomical abstractions. But Reagan, not lacking in imagination, once explained to his compatriots what a trillion is, due to the fact that the US national debt was close to a trillion. He took $1000 bills. It turned out that a million dollars is a stack of such bills approximately 10 centimeters thick. And a trillion dollars are 1000 dollar bills stacked in a stack... 107 kilometers high. A trillion dollars is 12 stacked Everests of $1,000 bills.And the proposed five-year military spending of 1.3 trillion dollars is 15 such Everests.The American president helped us visualize what a crazy world we live in. In America at one time there was a humorous phrase! "Stop the world, let me get out." But the world, the niche Earth, is not a bus. There is nowhere to go. We need to live together.In general, in the 80s they want to erase the achievements of the 70s, achieved with such great difficulty. And this, of course, raises a fundamental question about the possibility of progress in general in relations.And against this background, which I briefly outlined, the 26th Congress of our Party, filled with a sense of high responsibility for the fate of humanity, put forward a Peace Program designed for the 80s. The point: let's sit down at the negotiating table and try to understand the most important issues in order to find mutually acceptable solutions. Not trying to break the existing balance, not imposing a new, even more expensive and dangerous round of the arms race - this would be a manifestation of true statesmanship.The new peace initiatives are well known. I would like to emphasize that they offer ways to solve a number of important problems both on the geographical “horizontals” of the world (Europe, the Far East, the Middle East, the Persian Gulf region), and on the military-strategic “verticals”, relating primarily to the limitation of strategic arms and nuclear medium range weapons. This is the first thing. Secondly, the Soviet proposals are constructive, since the Soviet Union, by inviting its partners to the negotiating table, meets them halfway, rightfully counting on movement on their part. Both individually and together, in their entirety, they are aimed at defusing the stormy international situation.What is the reaction from the other side? When the path to easing tensions is so convincingly called for, it is politically risky to openly defend the course of confrontation and repeat that “there are more important things than peace.” Neither their people, nor the world community, nor even their allies, who must be taken into account one way or another, will understand this. The first official responses from Washington indicated interest in the Soviet invitation to resume the Soviet-American dialogue. The political and psychological impact of the 26th Congress of the CPSU on the international weather made itself felt; the thunderstorm front, which had been moving since the end of January from the other side of the Atlantic, seemed to have stopped.But there is nothing to delude ourselves with. Washington's expressions of interest in the Soviet peace plan were cautiously evasive and accompanied by an indispensable caveat: let's not rush, give us time to develop our position and our policy.Well, time is required in two cases. To prepare an answer or to get away, having received a delay, to evade an answer. In passing, I would like to note that Washington continues to rush in the development and proclamation of new military programs—isn’t this evidenced by the mentioned Everests? And in their statements, determining the priority of tasks, leading American leaders continue to prioritize achieving a position of strength, relegating arms control to the background.In conclusion, I will return to the image of fiction relevant to current international affairs. The passionate appeal of Alexander Blok comes to mind, sounded shortly after the October Revolution and addressed to the capitalist world: “Before it’s too late, sheathe the old sword...” Before it’s too late, sheathe this new one, incinerating and destroying everything, hanging over life and a thermonuclear sword above the world.WHO IS WALKING WRONG?While President Reagan lay in his hospital bed still recovering from the attack on his life in the heart of America's capital, two leading members of his cabinet, Haig and Weinberger, traveled abroad to mentor American allies and friends. For the new administration, both trips were, in essence, the first reconnaissance “on the ground,” the first practical testing of a foreign policy course that, even with its increased self-confidence, Washington cannot carry out alone, without interaction with partners. Secretary of Defense Weinberger, as we know, visited Western Europe, Secretary of State Haig - the Middle East (and also Western Europe, returning to Washington), but in these two different areas both spoke with the same militaristic sermon. Arm and re-arm) strengthen, where quantitatively and where qualitatively, the American military presence, strengthen the military bloc where it exists - NATO, and try to create it under American auspices where it does not yet exist - this is what the civilians instilled in their interlocutors Pentagon chief and general who became America's top diplomat. In the name of the fight against the “Soviet threat”, countering the “Soviet expansion”, in the name of a new “crusade” against Moscow, with which Washington wants to fill the not yet unrolled scroll of history called the 80s of the 20th century. What came of this persistent invitation to confrontation with the Soviet Union? On what soil did it fall - fertile or at least skeptical? Did the two high-ranking emissaries of the new American president manage to instill in their partners their understanding of international life and its main problems? They failed to inspire, but by imposition they achieved some results. In any case, at a session of the NATO nuclear planning group, Weinberger, despite the murmurs of Western Europeans, imposed a hard American line. The results of Haig's tour of Middle Eastern capitals were meager. The Americans remained, as they say, with their own (that is, under Begin and Sadat), without making new acquisitions in Riyadh and Amman, which they were counting on.​​In these two capitals, the US Secretary of State was reminded that the main threat in the region comes from Israel, that the main problem is Palestinian, and that the anti-Soviet military alliance advertised by Washington is not at all the path to a Middle East settlement. Even “moderate” and American-friendly Arab governments were not carried away by Haig’s anti-Soviet rage.Western Europe found itself, oddly enough, at first glance, in a more dependent position than Saudi Arabia and Jordan. Weinberger's crude anti-Soviet rhetoric did not win applause in Bonn, where the nuclear planning group met. Against his characterization of détente as a “deception,” Western Europeans, including the British, presented a “united front,” wrote the French Le Monde. But if the views of the Pentagon chief were not shared by other NATO members, then, as before, they submitted to pressure, NATO discipline, and American leadership. As a result, the communiqué of the Nuclear Planning Group contains a commitment by NATO members to “adhere to the schedule for the modernization of intermediate-range theater nuclear forces,” that is, the schedule for the deployment of American cruise missiles and Pershing 2s on the territory of Western European states. As for the second part of the so-called “double decision” of the NATO Council of December 1979, namely the US-Soviet negotiations on limiting medium-range nuclear weapons in Europe, the Bonn communiqué is uncertainty itself. No matter how his colleagues pressed the American minister, he did not give any clear answer about the possible date for resuming these negotiations.In November 1980, the election of Ronald Reagan as president was influenced by a conservative shift in American sentiment. The current administration is waving this mandate not only in domestic but also in foreign policy. It was with this mandate that Haig and Weinberger set off on their first voyages. They presented it as an argument in favor of confrontation with the Soviet Union.Weinberger was more forthcoming. Calling on Western Europeans for new military efforts and at the same time frightening them, he said in Bonn: “Our people do not want to walk alone. Unless everyone who is at risk, everyone who faces the same danger, joins our efforts, we in the United States could lose the critical public support that we have worked so long and hard to achieve.”In other words, either you join our policy of confrontation, or we Americans will refuse you protection, abandon you to the mercy of fate... and, of course, “Soviet expansionism.” This worked: in the presence of two military blocs opposing each other, the governments of Western Europe cling to their senior partner, one might say, out of an instinct for self-preservation. This forces American allies to adapt to any Washington administration, albeit extremely reluctantly, through force, forcing them to forget about tactical differences for the sake of the strategic goal - the unity of the West. Despite the fact that their total economic potential is greater than that of the United States, the United States’ Western European partners are not strong and independent enough to directly challenge Washington or challenge its primacy in the “Western Community.” This company is ready to follow the American lieutenant, even if he is out of step. But, observing the growing belligerence, observing the ease with which Washington is ready to throw away the achievements of détente, Western Europeans cannot help but think about the final result of freely or unwillingly following in the wake of American risky policies. What will this result be expressed in - self-preservation or self-destruction?The question is cardinal. If in official circles he is being shaded, the public is making him more and more assertive. It was not entirely by accident that US Presidential Assistant for National Security Richard Allen reproached Western Europe for “pacifist sentiments,” which caused another skirmish on both sides of the ocean. It is also no coincidence that after Weinberger’s visit, Chancellor Schmidt warned the Americans that he would face “political difficulties” in relations with his citizens, the West Germans, if US-Soviet negotiations on limiting nuclear missile weapons in Europe did not begin this year.These are not just Helmut Schmidt's difficulties. No matter how the “hawks” in Washington interpret the mandate received from the Americans by the Reagan administration, Western Europeans are giving their leaders a different mandate - against new rounds of the arms race, for East-West dialogue, and for ongoing efforts to preserve the achievements of detente.So, a scythe on a stone? In any case, there is no talk of the stability in relations with allies that the Reagan administration promised.April 1981AND DECEPTION AND SELF-DECEPTIONIn more than a hundred days that the Ronald Reagan administration has been in power in Washington, America has again managed to show itself as a country of extremes. Let's take just two of them. On the one hand, they were unable to ensure the safety of the American president in the very center of the American capital. On the other hand, the reusable spacecraft Columbia was launched safely and safely and returned to Earth. These are the most distant points of the current, so to speak, American amplitude, which never ceases to surprise and alarm the whole world.But in the end, the United States faces the outside world primarily with its external side, its foreign policy, and here, too, the issue of danger and security is not off the agenda. Has the world become more dangerous or safer since new people came to power in the largest capitalist power?Secretary of State Haig, even before taking office, repeated many times that in its foreign policy the new administration would follow three principles - consistency, reliability, balance. What this means was not specified then. And now the three principles have been forgotten, and this once again proves how short the life of various general declarations is. American commentators write less about principles than about practice—the practice of confusion in American foreign policy. They write that representatives of the new administration are emanating a lot of rhetoric, bellicose, tough, but that there is no established foreign policy as such. The confusion also affected the question of who exactly creates and implements American foreign policy. Mindful of the Vance-Brzezinski feud, Haig initially argued that America would henceforth tell its partners, friends and adversaries one voice, namely Haig's, speaking on behalf of President Reagan. But over the past hundred or so days, the Secretary of State has managed to lose both his political weight and his former confidence. Among the old closest friends of the new president, they felt that Haig had gone too far and needed to be pulled back. As a result, even greater disagreement has arisen in the presentation of American foreign policy than under Carter, and it is not known whose word is more authoritative - Haig, or Secretary of Defense Waveberger, or, say, presidential adviser Edwin Meese, who enjoys such confidence of the president and such powers that he nicknamed the Prime Minister.All this proves an old truth: other loudly proclaimed principles are subject to rapid devaluation when faced with the complex course of international life. But confusion is confusion, and the general direction of the US foreign policy course emerged quite clearly from the very first days and reveals a certain consistency, alas, of a negative, destructive order. With all its voices, the current Washington administration is only performing variations on a theme that the same Haig, even before January 20, defined in ominous words that have spread across many countries: “There are more important things than peace.”What is meant? On the surface, more important than the state of the world is the defense of American freedom, which is supposedly being encroached upon by the Soviet Union. This is what American super-patriots, aka “superhawks,” said in the 50s and 60s: “It’s better to be dead than red.” But this is only on the surface. But in essence, when in today's Washington international peace is relegated to second (or even further) place, then the first priority is not the defense of America, which no one threatens, but American primacy, American and Canadian military superiority over the Soviet Union, American dominance in world. This is the true foreign policy credo of the Reagan administration. 11 everything else flows from it, above all the super-armament of America, for the sake of which in the next fiscal year its military budget will increase by 16 percent, and in the next five years it will reach one and a half trillion dollars.With this acceptance, arms control becomes a task that, in order to be discovered, must perhaps be examined under a microscope. In addition, with all its voices, the Reagan administration emphasizes: negotiations can only be done from a position of strength. Only if there is “good” behavior from the Soviet Union, and Washington, of course, leaves the definition of the rules of good behavior to itself.In short, the course is towards confrontation. And this consistency under Reagan seemed to the US allies, to put it mildly, no better than the unpredictability that worried and irritated them under Carter. If we recall the evolution of their attitude (with all its shades depending on a particular country) to the events on the American political scene in 1980, we can distinguish several stages. In the summer and fall, the prospect of a Reagan victory frightened the allies more than the possibility of Carter's re-election. After the November elections, they, adapting to the inevitable, began to find some advantages in the stability of US relations with Western Europe, which was promised by the newly elected president and the secretary of state appointed by him. After Ronald Reagan took office, there was even a short honeymoon, when Western European visitors, frequenting Washington to see the new American leadership, rejoiced at the “commonality of views” and the promised regular consultations. But soon after the introductory embrace, concern and outright anxiety set in, and they grew as Western European capitals realized that détente had completely jumped out of Washington’s foreign policy concepts and that, once again carried away by the fanatical and simplistic approach - “it’s better to be dead than red,” people across the ocean forget that it is still better to coexist peacefully and look for ways to peace through negotiations.The 26th Congress of the CPSU recalled with all force the only reasonable alternative. Soviet peace initiatives, in stark contrast to the ostentatiously Childish American policy, stimulated a broad, visible social movement against the American “rocketization” of Western Europe. It united people of different political orientations, based on the belief that peace is better than war and it is better to be alive than dead. It involved different parties, both opposition (Labour in the UK) and ruling (Social Democrats in Germany). Public pressure increased the hesitation that Western European governments already had.This was the general background before the recent NATO Council session in Rome, where US Secretary of State Haig appeared for a rendezvous with his colleagues from Western Europe. The press on both sides of the Atlantic emphasized the presence of cracks and even a crisis in NATO. “The refusal of the Americans to return to the negotiating table with the Soviet Union gave rise to a powerful wave of protests in Western Europe and strengthened the position of the pacifist movement on the continent, which does not agree with the views and assessments of President Reagan regarding the intentions of the Russians,” a correspondent for the American company NBC reported from Rome. -si Marvin Kalb. The London Daily Mail predicted that in Rome the US Secretary of State would face "the most serious challenge of his 100 days in office." And the Parisian Eco even found that Haig would be found as an “accused”.German Foreign Minister Genscher put himself forward for the role of, if not the judge, then the main plaintiff - and not by chance. Official Bonn found itself in the most delicate position. Firstly, at the December (1979) session of the NATO Council, Bonn committed to deploy on its territory the lion's share of 572 American cruise missiles and Pershings. Secondly, in West Germany there is the most powerful protest movement against American missiles. Thirdly, the American pilots are running the Bonn political ship aground, ignoring what Schmidt and Genscher are defending against their opponents, namely the “double” nature of the December decision - the promise to conduct American-Soviet negotiations in parallel with the implementation of plans to deploy new American medium-range missiles.In short, the course is towards confrontation. And this consistency under Reagan seemed to the US allies, to put it mildly, no better than the unpredictability that worried and irritated them under Carter. If we recall the evolution of their attitude (with all its shades depending on a particular country) to the events on the American political scene in 1980, we can distinguish several stages. In the summer and fall, the prospect of a Reagan victory frightened the allies more than the possibility of Carter's re-election. After the November elections, they, adapting to the inevitable, began to find some advantages in the stability of US relations with Western Europe, which was promised by the newly elected president and the secretary of state appointed by him. After Ronald Reagan took office, there was even a short honeymoon, when Western European visitors, frequenting Washington to see the new American leadership, rejoiced at the “commonality of views” and the promised regular consultations. But soon after the introductory embrace, concern and outright anxiety set in, and they grew as Western European capitals realized that détente had completely jumped out of Washington’s foreign policy concepts and that, once again carried away by the fanatical and simplistic approach - “it’s better to be dead than red,” people across the ocean forget that it is still better to coexist peacefully and look for ways to peace through negotiations.The 26th Congress of the CPSU recalled with all force the only reasonable alternative. Soviet peace initiatives, in stark contrast to the ostentatiously Childish American policy, stimulated a broad, visible social movement against the American “rocketization” of Western Europe. It united people of different political orientations, based on the belief that peace is better than war and it is better to be alive than dead. It involved different parties, both opposition (Labour in the UK) and ruling (Social Democrats in Germany). Public pressure increased the hesitation that Western European governments already had.This was the general background before the recent NATO Council session in Rome, where US Secretary of State Haig appeared for a rendezvous with his colleagues from Western Europe. The press on both sides of the Atlantic emphasized the presence of cracks and even a crisis in NATO. “The refusal of the Americans to return to the negotiating table with the Soviet Union gave rise to a powerful wave of protests in Western Europe and strengthened the position of the pacifist movement on the continent, which does not agree with the views and assessments of President Reagan regarding the intentions of the Russians,” a correspondent for the American company NBC reported from Rome. -si Marvin Kalb. The London Daily Mail predicted that in Rome the US Secretary of State would face "the most serious challenge of his 100 days in office." And the Parisian Eco even found that Haig would be found as an “accused”.German Foreign Minister Genscher put himself forward for the role of, if not the judge, then the main plaintiff - and not by chance. Official Bonn found itself in the most delicate position. Firstly, at the December (1979) session of the NATO Council, Bonn committed to deploy on its territory the lion's share of 572 American cruise missiles and Pershings. Secondly, in West Germany there is the most powerful protest movement against American missiles. Thirdly, the American pilots are running the Bonn political ship aground, ignoring what Schmidt and Genscher are defending against their opponents, namely the “double” nature of the December decision - the promise to conduct American-Soviet negotiations in parallel with the implementation of plans to deploy new American medium-range missiles.What happened in Rome? Washington considered it politically inexpedient to engage in an open scandal within the framework of the ATO. Just before Haig departed for Rome, vague reports appeared in the American press about a “preliminary decision” to begin “preliminary contacts” with a view to organizing “preliminary negotiations” with the Soviet Union on European medium-range nuclear weapons. In Rome, these nebulae were somewhat concretized by Haig's assurance that the United States intended to enter into negotiations with the Soviet Union by the end of the current year. In the session communiqué, the allies “welcomed” this US intention.This moment is now highlighted by many as the highlight of the Roman meeting, its main positive result. The British Foreign Secretary, Lord Carrington, said that the American formula “entirely satisfies everyone.” Genscher's praise for playing the plaintiff is more modest. “A precise commitment, even if it is not soon, is better than a vague commitment for the near future,” is how the West German minister put it, somewhat cryptically. Is he confident that Haig's commitment is accurate? And, by the way, didn’t Genscher himself say before Rome that he would seek an immediate resumption of negotiations?If we call a spade a spade, we are dealing with a typical combination of tactical ploy, deception and self-deception. The tactical ploy comes from Washington, which has decided not to irritate its allies, who are forced to reckon with the social climate of their countries. The deception is aimed at the protest movement against American missiles: they want to drown it out with news that America has heeded the voice of reason and restraint coming from Western Europe. And finally, we have before us the self-deception of those official Western European circles who refuse to admit that their senior partner is leading them by the nose and that NATO’s “dual solution” is just a trap for Europe, as its critics said from the very beginning, just a convenient loophole for the importation of new American missiles, aggravating the position of Western Europe as a hostage to American strategy.But it’s high time to wake up from this self-deception and understand what a waste of time, what aggravation of the situation it led to. Let us recall that in October 1979, the Soviet Union proposed to reduce the number of medium-range nuclear weapons deployed in the western regions of the Soviet Union if the other side refused to station new American missiles in Western Europe. What an opportunity it was for those who shout so loudly about the growth of the “Soviet threat”! Moscow met them halfway and, as if heeding their logic, proposed reducing this “Soviet threat.”No, they didn't listen. We decided in December 1979 at the Brussels session of the NATO Council to “rearmament” and at the same time negotiate on arms control. It was understood that negotiations should begin immediately. Where is opi? A year and a half has passed, and things are still there. And he is left in place at least until the end of the year, having once again rejected the Soviet proposal to introduce a moratorium on the deployment of medium-range nuclear weapons.At least two years have been lost in terms of attempts to reduce military confrontation in Europe, but not in the sense of increasing this confrontation, not at all in the sense of complicating the situation. Is this not what the apologists of the “double solution” from Bonn are now rejoicing in, who, according to them, are interested in preserving European detente? Strange joys! But what other joys can those who have driven themselves into a trap have? They are left to follow the American logic of increasing military confrontation in Europe inch by inch and mile by mile. And now the NATO Roman Communiqué states that “the modernization of theater nuclear forces... represents the only real basis for taking parallel measures to control theater nuclear forces.”  Translated into simple language, this means that the only real prospect for Western Europe offered in the coming years is the American Tomahawks and Pershings. Those who deceive others have brought matters to this perspective, and, it seems, are happy to be deceived themselves.May 1981TIME CAN'T WAIT!It is difficult for a journalist to imagine his reader, viewer, listener, unfamiliar and invisible. Who is he? Where is he? In what position, suppose? Reading a newspaper while sitting in your armchair? Or maybe in bed, before going to bed, listening to voices on the air? Or during the summer holidays he delves into international commentary to the measured sound of the sea wave, to the sound of leaves in the forest?Meaningless fortune telling... But in one symbolic sense, we are all, so to speak, in the same position, we are all on the Earth - wherever we are, whoever we are. Child or old man, man or woman, rich or poor ultra-right or ultra-left—everyone sits on a symbolic keg of gunpowder. And everyone has a huge barrel. According to the calculations of the Italian scientist Aurelio Peccei, President of the Club of Rome, which analyzes global problems, humanity's atomic arsenals now contain 15 billion tons of trinitrotoluene. More than three tons of TNT per inhabitant of the earth.These tons cannot be used for food. You cannot fertilize the earth with them in order to grow a crop for those eternally hungry people, of whom there are hundreds of millions on the planet. This is not three tons of life, but three tons of death. For everyone. Isn't it enough? Isn’t it time to stop the madness that, at the end of the 20th century, at the peak of the achievements of human thought, with a devilish grimace crosses out the very definition of man as “homo sapiens” - a reasonable person?No, it’s not time, they answer in today’s Washington. They are thinking about new missiles and nuclear warheads, new strategic bombers and warships - and one and a half trillion dollars in military spending over the next five years. There they want to give everyone another ton, two tons of TNT.But the point is not only that America itself is embarking on a new round of super-armament. Secretary of State Haig's trip to Beijing indicates that Washington would like to arm China, of course, against the USSR. Washington has allocated $3 billion in military aid to General Zia-ul-Haq, the Pakistani dictator, and this also adds dynamite near the Soviet borders, not to mention the possible complications of Indo-Pakistani relations. If we move further into the region of South-West Asia, we will see growing stockpiles of American explosives in the Persian Gulf area. There we will see Israel, the former and current terrorist Begin, who bombs the Iraqi atomic research center in Tammuz - with American direct or indirect blessing, while at the same time, reportedly, hoarding his own atomic bombs. Finally, sites for almost 600 new American missiles are being prepared in Western Europe.It is unlikely that you will find many people in America who want war. But by spinning up the arms flywheel and refusing dialogue with the other side, things are objectively leading to war.The Soviet Union offers a different path - both with its peace initiatives outlined at the 26th Congress of the CPSU, and with the recently adopted Appeal of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR to the parliaments and peoples of the world. The appeal was adopted precisely in those days when it was 40 years since the attack of Nazi Germany on the Soviet Union, from the moment when an unprecedented count of exploits and sacrifices began in the war, which claimed 20 million human lives in the Soviet Union. (By the way, 50 times more than in the USA.)The memory of the war entered, one might say, into the genes of the Soviet people. And this genetic code powerfully dictates two things: firstly, preventing the tragedy of a new war, and secondly, preventing a situation where the other side would be superior to the Soviet Union militarily, as happened in June 1941.The second point precisely determines the Soviet military doctrine, its defensive nature. This is precisely what we are talking about, and not about the “Soviet military threat”. And in the Address of the Supreme Council, the peacefulness of Soviet intentions is emphasized with all possible certainty and convincingness.“The Supreme Soviet of the USSR solemnly declares: the Soviet Union does not threaten anyone, does not seek confrontation with any state in the West or in the East,” the Address says. “The Soviet Union has not sought and is not seeking military superiority. He was not and will not be the initiator of new rounds of the arms race. There is no type of weapon that he would not agree to limit or ban on a reciprocal basis, by agreement with other states.”This is the Soviet position - long-standing, consistent, principled. Not an increase, but a decrease in the level of military confrontation. Not confrontation, but negotiation.“There is now no other reasonable way to resolve controversial issues, no matter how acute and complex they may be, other than negotiations. No existing opportunity should be missed. Time waits!”And further: “With every day lost for negotiations, the risk of a nuclear conflict increases. The solution to pressing problems facing every parade and all nations is put aside. Time waits!”Time doesn't wait! Time lost in searching for peaceful solutions is only gained for the arms race.July 1981ARMS, NOT NEGOTIATIONSUS Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger takes credit for how quickly he was able to “remake” the military budget for fiscal 1982 left over from the Carter administration. The review took just six weeks and military spending was increased by almost $40 billion. Coming from Weinberger, speaking to various audiences, this story sounds as pathetic as the description of any of the twelve labors of Hercules in ancient Greek mythology.But let’s remember something else—not six weeks, but six months, and not about new weapons, but about negotiations to reduce them. But the same name - Caspar Weinberger - will appear in our memories. It was he who, it seems, said at the Senate hearings that the Reagan administration would take at least six months to develop a new position on the issue of the US-Soviet SALT negotiations. This “feat” of the Pentagon’s Hercules was given more time. And now six months are running out, and the positions are still gone.But from the new head of the American arms control and disarmament agency, Eugene Rostow, who also spoke in the Senate, we learned that it will take at least another nine months before the world knows what the current Washington leaders think about limiting strategic arms. Secretary of State Haig, in an interview with CBS television, confirmed that US-Soviet SALT negotiations could begin only “next year” and that this beginning was not yet “linked to the establishment of any firm deadlines.”For the Reagan administration, it is much easier (and, from a hawkish point of view, more attractive) to decide on new weapons than to resume negotiations on limiting nuclear weapons. Concerned US allies in Western Europe are also convinced of this, not knowing how to now respond to Eugene Rostow’s “surprise”,The Supreme Soviet of the USSR, addressing the parliaments and peoples of the world with an appeal to prevent a new round of the nuclear missile arms race, emphasized with all its might: “Time does not wait!” The situation in the world is heating up. New, increasingly sophisticated weapons systems will be more difficult to contain and control, inevitably adding to the already extremely pernicious atmosphere of suspicion and mistrust between the two powers. This is the Soviet assessment.It cannot be said that President Reagan and his associates looked at the situation in the current world as an idyll of a kindergarten, falling asleep in their cribs under the tender gaze of their teachers after unbridled explosions of childish fun. No, and in Washington the world situation is recognized as alarming. But, apparently, they believe that time is waiting, that there is no rush to negotiate arms control. And in this many American observers see the difference between the current Washington approach and that practiced under Nixon, Ford and even Carter. What does Reagan's "yet" mean? Until America achieves military superiority over the Soviet Union, breaking both the existing rough balance and all the US-Soviet agreements that put this balance at the forefront? There is a Russian proverb for this “for now” - while cancer whistles... Cancer will never whistle, and the arms race will never bring peace and stability to the world.Judging by information coming from overseas, President Reagan is doing a good job of pushing his economic program through Congress, as well as “selling” it to the American public. As for foreign policy, there is, to put it mildly, too much carelessness of children playing with the devilishly dangerous matches of new weapons. Sometimes you think: is this carelessness due to the fact that the Americans, unlike the Russians, unlike the Europeans, suffered little, suffered few casualties in two world wars?American observers saw the deliberate provocation of the course, which, in the words of Joseph Kraft, was to “tease the Russian bear.” His colleague James Reston writes that "in Congress and elsewhere, opposition to Reagan's ill-conceived foreign policy is growing." And he warns that a thunderstorm will “soon break out” over the Potomac.I have no intention of interfering in American internal affairs. But I think that from the point of view of the international situation, a thunderstorm over the Potomac, after which American leaders could come to their senses in their foreign policy, is better than a military nuclear missile threat.July 1981CONFRONTATIONLobby... This word, which came from the English language, has acquired a clearly negative meaning in Russian. And no wonder. We took not the literal, innocent meaning of this word (look in the dictionary - vestibule, reception, hall, corridor), but figurative, in which the self-interest and evil of those who work behind the scenes, in the corridors and halls of power.Lobby - this concept is most closely associated with the American military-industrial complex. Lobbyists are the pushers of the arms race on Capitol Hill, in the Pentagon, the big press, universities and research centers and, of course, in those corporations that are commonly called death factories. The day before yesterday they were pushing multi-charge nuclear warheads, yesterday they were pushing cruise missiles (and again successfully!), today they are clucking like hens over mobile MX intercontinental missiles, the new B-1 strategic bomber, and the monstrous Ohio submarine. They are succeeding again, under current leadership in Washington and with $1.5 trillion earmarked for military preparations over the next five years. Of course, when dividing this astronomical sum, some of the American military corporations will find themselves at a loss, the tidbits will be captured by their rivals, but collectively, the military-industrial complex lobbyists will again squeeze out a record weight, making the mountain of weapons even heavier.If now, according to the calculations of experts, every inhabitant of planet Earth is, as it were, sitting on a powder keg filled with three tons of trinitrotoluene, then after a while, you see, everyone will be “provided” with an average of three and a half or four tons of explosives, but the pushers of war even then they will not calm down and will assure that true security and lasting peace will come only when at least 10 tons of dynamite, this anti-bread of our century, falls on every brother or sister of our humanity.This is approximately the political context in which the English words - lobby, lobbyist - burst into Russian speech, having migrated from America...But recently, the American weekly Newsweek, obeying the stubbornness and impressiveness of the facts, published one review in which it seems to make an attempt to correct the unpleasant sound of these words. “The Growing Peace Lobby” is the title of this detailed review, and it talks about European opponents of the arms race and the widespread anti-war sentiment in Western Europe. The “peace lobby” is growing and strengthening, especially in recent months, marked by the militant start of the Reagan administration, and in recent weeks, when a new victory for the militarists overseas (the decision to produce a full-scale neutron bomb) provided a new powerful impetus to the activity of peace supporters.Newsweek cannot ignore the facts that prove that the anti-war, anti-missile movement is increasingly influencing the political climate in their countries. He paints the following picture: “Underlying the marches and slogans is a deeper pacifist tendency in Europe - something approaching a silent majority against the nuclear bomb. Citadels of neutralism such as Austria, Switzerland and Sweden have always avoided the nuclear arms race; the leaders of Denmark and Norway (NATO's northern flank) advocate the creation of a nuclear-free zone throughout Scandinavia. The coalition that rules Belgium is plagued by a stubborn anti-nuclear minority, while West Germany and especially the Netherlands are paralyzed by disputes over whether to accept new Pershing II missiles and NATO cruise missiles. Even in England, where Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher remains one of Reagan's staunchest supporters, the government publicly supports neutron warheads while secretly hoping that England will not be asked to stockpile them on its own soil."In short, from Washington’s point of view, there is no complete prosperity anywhere and the American schedule for additional rocketization of Western Europe is in question.It is well known that NATO's "dual solution" on missiles was met with widespread public opposition from the very beginning, encouraged by the Soviet alternative - negotiations to reduce the level of military confrontation in Europe. Since then, time has not been on the side of the American missile defense lawyers. And the peculiarity of the current moment is that Western European governments, and above all the government of the Federal Republic of Germany, which is key to the American plans, find themselves between two fires, under pressure from both sides. On the one hand, the Reagan administration, especially its representatives such as Secretary of Defense Weinberger, demands almost soldierly obedience from its allies. On the other hand, Western European governments found themselves under increasing pressure from the public, gripped by anti-militarist (and in this sense, anti-American) sentiments.What Newsweek called the emerging "silent majority against the nuclear bomb" has not yet spoken loudly, but the voices of protest are growing louder. The more visible the militarism of Washington, the more powerful the explosions of anti-war protests, and the story of the neutron bomb, according to the definition of the Hamburg magazine Der Spiegel, caused a downright “giant earthquake.” The less Washington spares the pride of its Western European partners, the more politically awkward is their position in front of their own citizens.Finally, what makes the situation even more pressing is that never before in the post-war period have Washington strategists played so actively with the idea of the possibility of a “limited” nuclear war.According to previous scenarios, a thermonuclear conflict was most often thought of as an exchange of nuclear missile strikes between the United States and the Soviet Union and occurred as if over Europe, as if leaving it above the fight (or literally under the fight) of the two powers. Now the old continent, which with the bright torches of its creative geniuses illuminated the path to the heights of humanistic civilization, increasingly appears... under a pseudonym. It is no longer Europe, but a certain theater of operations - a theater of military operations. That is, a territory where, in the event of a conflict, nuclear weapons are used along with conventional ones. This is already the site of a thermonuclear clash. It is for Europe that the American Pershings and Tomahawks are being prepared, threatening to dangerously raise the level of military confrontation. It is for Europe (primarily for it) that another American gift is being put on stream - the neutron bomb, which, without a doubt, works for the idea of ​​a “limited” nuclear war, lowering the “nuclear threshold” so much that it is a trifle to step over it, use nuclear weapons are getting lighter.The ghosts of nuclear death are haunting Europe, sparking a new phase of the anti-war movement last summer. Less nuclear weapons! Away from nuclear death! - this is the program of the “peace lobby”And therefore it is pushing Scandinavian politicians to seriously consider the project of creating a nuclear-free zone in Northern Europe. Therefore, the OPO is “tormenting” the Belgian government, increasing its hesitation, forcing the Dutch government not to rush (for almost two years now) in agreeing to the deployment of American missiles, and is trying to spread this “Dutch disease” to West Germany.Without West Germany, American structures collapse. There, as nowhere else, the confrontation between two trends is evident. The German government sits between two chairs of NATO’s “dual solution,” with one chair (NATO’s “rearmament” with American missiles) being snatched out from under by missile opponents, and the other chair (promises of negotiations with the Soviet Union on medium-range nuclear weapons) being snatched by the Americans. What causes Chancellor Schmidt the most trouble is his own party, the SPD.The broad alliance of anti-war forces includes people of different nations, ages, political views and religious beliefs (they do not want to agree with the black humor of the father of the neutron bomb, American Samuel Cohen, who declared it “Christian”). Their political philosophy cannot be reduced to a common denominator, but I would like to dwell on one aspect of their anti-war convictions.As if it were a mortal sin, they are accused of pacifism, anti-Americanism and, of course, “pro-Sovietism.” They are condescendingly reproached for naivety and ignorance, because, according to the arrogant supermen of our time, who have chosen concepts and scenarios of nuclear conflicts as their profession, an ordinary person on the street cannot understand these complex matters, and if so, then he does not have the right to a qualified judgment in a matter of his own life and death. To be or not to be? This turns out to be too complex a question for the common man. The technocratic “nuclear elite” believes that only tens or small hundreds of specialists have the right to answer this question, although the lot - to be or not to be - falls to hundreds of millions of people.The “peace lobby” opposes such accusations and reproaches, such perverted thinking, posing as the latest, first of all, with common sense, based on the strength of life and the experience of the post-war decades. The main argument is irrefutable. Doesn't experience show that all the sophisticated concepts and doctrines that prove the need for new weapons and “before! weapons" as the only real path to peace and security, only worked for a vicious circle that rolls from decade to decade, from one round of the arms race to another? A man on the street will answer this question better than an armchair strategist drowned in his paper scripts.The demand to reduce the level of military confrontation in Europe is one of the Points that unites the politically diverse “peace lobby.” The same demand is persistently put forward by the Soviet Union. The position of the Western European anti-war movement coincides with the Soviet and American position, and the explanation for this is not in sympathy or antipathy, but in common sense, based on the entire post-war experience.Those politicians who are pestered by the “peace lobby” do not want (they can, but they do not want) to understand this. The most convincing example is Chancellor Schmidt. “It shouldn’t get to the point where one fine day the Italians and the Dutch, the Scandinavians and the Germans begin to believe that the Soviet Union has long been ready to negotiate and that it is more ready to reduce its armaments than our own allies, — the chancellor both warned and complained recently. “We cannot allow such completely distorted, incorrect conclusions to be proposed.”Schmidt is banging on an open door, knowing full well from his own experience that the aforementioned conclusions are completely correct and not at all distorted. And the fact that Italians and Dutch, Scandinavians and Germans “allow” them is not the fault of Soviet propagandists, but of American politicians.September 1981LOCKPICK INSTEAD OF THE KEY TO THE WORLDIt is not easy to count how many visits Israeli Prime Minister Begin has just made to Washington during his more than four years in power, but this was his first meeting with President Reagan, and the Western press was on the eve of it. actually organized an essay competition on the topic of American-Israeli differences. Of course, there were and remain reasons for disagreement.Begin staged violent scenes of jealousy over the pending US sale of $8.5 billion in arms to Saudi Arabia, including five AWACS (Advanced Warning and Warning System) aircraft. For their part, the “fighters against international terrorism” in Washington were embarrassed when their main friend and ally in the Middle East, knowing that he could hide from retaliation behind the broad back of Uncle Sam, launched a robber air raid on the nuclear center near Baghdad in June, and Beirut was brutally bombed in July. Begin is unceremonious, confident that in Washington any of his tricks will be forgiven (the incomparable pro-Israeli lobby will take care of this). But the interests of American imperialism in the Middle East are broader than Israeli ones, and it casts its military-political nets there in hopes of catching a catch in the Arab world, which has oil and strategically important territories. At this juncture, spats, divergences and disagreements arise from time to time between Washington and Tel Aviv, although they do not change the special nature of their relationship.President Reagan, of course, greeted Begin warmer and more cordially than any other foreign leader. It is reported that at their first meeting, in the presence of his Secretary of State Haig and Secretary of Defense Weinberger, he ordered the opening of a “new era” in American-Israeli relations.I don’t know if new eras are being ushered in by presidential executive orders, but the writers of essays on disagreement have changed their tune and are now writing about increased “strategic cooperation” between the two countries. And following the negotiators, they declare this to be the main result of the US-Israeli summit. What does “strategic cooperation” or “strategic alliance” mean? And the fact that Israel is actually transferring its territory to the disposal of the American military. Now this territory is a warehouse for the placement and storage of American weapons, which in emergency situations will be used by the gendarmerie “rapid deployment forces.” The place where these forces will “deploy” before their jump to other countries. The place where joint US-Israeli military exercises will henceforth take place. With increased “strategic cooperation,” Israel reportedly intends to receive another $3 billion in military aid from the United States.It is well known that Israel has long been dependent on the American taxpayer, and in terms of military assistance (absolute and especially per capita) it is far ahead of all other US clients. Now we are talking about an even greater militarization of American-Israeli relations. And this corresponds not only to their original nature, but also to the general militaristic policy of the Reagan administration. The extremist Israeli prime minister, putting forward a plan for “strategic cooperation,” cleverly picked up the keys to the heart of the belligerent American president.“You want to sell your AWACS aircraft, strengthening the Saudi regime and winning its favor. You are ready to take advantage of Sadat's offer of bases on Egyptian territory. But I can be more useful than anyone else in this race to militarize the Middle East that you are carrying out,” Begin apparently reasoned approximately this way, spreading out the territory of his state before American politicians and the military. And so, writes the Washington Post, “the two countries will be engaged in unprecedented new areas of military cooperation,” representing “a major victory for Begin.” Playing along with Washington's militarism, Tel Aviv naturally does not forget about its benefits. And the point is not only that he reserves the position of the main and most privileged US ally in the region. By tying the United States even more tightly to themselves, Israeli extremists - a tried and tested practice - give themselves a free hand for new aggressive adventures against their Arab neighbors.Now about Washington's calculations. Under Carter, the Americans sought dominance in the Middle East, using Sadat's separatism as a tool to split the Arab world and force it to reconcile with Israeli expansion. Sadat turned out to be a worthless instrument, and the current mass repressions in Egypt prove that he is losing political face even in his own country. Under Reagan, the emphasis was on anti-Soviet militarism. It is this universal master key that the Americans use not only in Israel and Egypt, but also in Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries. It is under the auspices of anti-Soviet militarism that they want to unite the rival parties in the Middle East, intimidating them with a common “threat from the North.But Secretary of State Haig, traveling through Middle Eastern capitals in the spring of 1980, was unable to sell the idea of “strategic agreement” on an anti-Soviet basis to moderate Arab regimes. And it did not become more attractive to the Arabs after the proclamation of a new “strategic cooperation” between Washington and Tel Aviv. Neither this cooperation, nor the courtship of Saudi Arabia, also through military cooperation, provides an answer to the fundamental questions: when will Israel liberate the occupied Arab territories, when will the legitimate rights of the Palestinians be satisfied? It would be foolish to expect answers to these questions from Reagan’s meeting with Begip. American leaders are talking about reviving the “Camp David process” and another attempt to “solve” the Palestinian issue (without Palestinian participation) at the Israeli-Egyptian negotiations, which resume at the end of September. But who does not understand that the Camp David “peace process,” freed from diplomatic disguises, became an open means of militarizing the Middle East? Isn’t it obvious that this American master key will in no way replace the key to a genuine settlement?September 1981NEW MOUNTAINS OF WEAPONSPresident Ronald Reagan announced a “comprehensive plan” for new military strategic preparations, unfurling it as the banner under which militaristic America would march through the end of the 20th century and beyond into the 21st. What exactly is written on this banner? The President outlined five points to strengthen and modernize the American “strategic triad.” This is the construction and deployment in the shortest possible time of approximately one hundred new strategic bombers B-1 (which his predecessor Carter abandoned at one time), the deployment of cruise missiles on existing B-52 bombers, the development of an improved “stealth bomber” for the 90s, capable of penetrating radar barriers.These are strengthening and expanding sea-based forces, namely new Trident submarines and equipping them with a larger, more accurate ballistic missile, as well as deploying nuclear cruise missiles on some existing submarines.This is the completion of the construction of a new and more powerful MX intercontinental strategic missile, at least a hundred of them to begin with, the placement of some of them in existing Minuteman missile silos, and the study of “three promising methods” for basing them in order to select the most suitable one by 1982 .These are improvements to the “communication and control system” in the field of strategic assets, as well as the allocation of “large resources” for civil defense needs and other measures.The total (and, of course, preliminary) price is 180 billion dollars.The Reagan administration revealed its character from its very first steps. And talk about a new “assortment” in the American strategic arsenal has not ceased since the White House promised to give the Pentagon one and a half trillion dollars over the next five years and to increase military spending every year - in real terms - by no less than 7 percent. And now, after the presidential announcement, the ruling elite of the United States and the so-called “big press” are arguing not about the substance of the matter, but about the details. Some senators praise Reagan for reviving the monstrous B-1 bomber, which was buried by Carter (but not by the Pentagon). Others decry that in terms of intercontinental missiles, the MX on has given up the slack - only a hundred instead of the two hundred planned by its predecessor; It is believed that this was influenced by the resistance of residents of the states of Nevada and Utah, on whose territory they wanted to place new missiles. They are wondering which parts of the militaristic program will pass through Congress like clockwork and which will encounter obstacles.But all these are details that distract attention from the essence of the matter. But the point is that Washington is enthusiastically and for a long time starting new dances of death, building a new program of preparations for war, which contrasts so strikingly with the Peace Program for the 80s, defended by Moscow. The American president's statement mentions the word "recovery" twice. Once they talk about “improving our strategic forces,” another time about the intention to “improve our bomber aviation.” What dark humor! It does not promise an improvement in the international situation. Humanity is unlikely to benefit from the extremely dangerous intensification of the arms race.The question of motivation arises. They are the same insolvents who have long set their teeth on edge. Reagan spoke of a “weakening” of American security and a “determination to maintain the strategic balance of power.” Save... So it is not violated if you take the American president at his word?At the press conference that followed the president's announcement, one correspondent drew attention to the contradiction between the president's assessments and the explanations of the Pentagon spokesman. The latter said that the notorious “window of vulnerability,” supposedly opening up opportunities for an attack on America by the Soviet Union, would appear no earlier than 1984 or 1985, but the president hinted that it already existed, this window. And, by the way, I’ll add on my own behalf, if the “window of vulnerability” already exists, then why, Mr. President, did the Soviet Union not take advantage of it until you closed it? Where is the “Soviet threat”? The ends clearly don't meet. Even if we look closely at the official American argument, we will not find any aggressive intentions on the part of the Soviet Union.But again, it is not logic that American leaders need, but strength. The power is superior. The same superiority that Washington would like to return, but Moscow will not allow.Even more often than the word “recovery,” another term flashes in Reagan’s statements: “containment.” He is no less hypocritical. America has always acted not as a restraining party, but as an initiator of new and new rounds of the arms race. We will find recognition on this score, by the way, from the author of the “containment strategy” himself, a former American diplomat and now a prominent scientist and public figure, George Kennan, who unsuccessfully calls for prudence among his compatriots in power,“Let's not delude ourselves into placing all the blame on the USSR,” says George Kennan. “It was we, the Americans, who were the first at every step in the development of atomic weapons, it was we who were the first to produce and test these weapons, it was we who first raised their destructive power to a new level by creating the hydrogen bomb, it was we who rejected any proposal to refuse to be the first to use nuclear weapons, it was we who finally used these weapons against tens of thousands of helpless civilians.”If anyone needs to be restrained, it should be the American militarists, because I truly can’t restrain them. You think about this again when you see what program the American government offers the world until the end of the 20th century - and even beyond.October 1981A LESSON IN THE DEATH OF SADATBefore the shock caused by the murder of Anwar Salat had passed, speculation and fortune-telling began about how the disappearance of this political figure would affect the Middle East situation. What emerges from the comments is a truth that became increasingly obvious in the last years of the Egyptian president’s life: he was closer and dearer to Washington politicians than to those whom he himself called his Arab brothers. The representative of a far from radical Arab state, Jordanian Information Minister Adnan Abu Oda, said that what happened with Sadat proves that “any separate solution to the Middle East problem is doomed to failure.” Lebanese Prime Minister Wazzan said that "this event represents a historical lesson." And in the eyes of the Palestinians, Sadat was not just a separatist, but also a traitor.In Washington, judging by the tone of American comments, they feel the feeling of a person standing unsteadily on his feet, from under whom the support has suddenly been knocked out. In order not to fall, you urgently need to grab onto someone. Hence the gadapia: can the current vice president and apparent successor to Sadat, Mubarak, play the role of a pillar of American policy in the Middle East? And the second question, also not superfluous, is asked by one American television correspondent: “Will the armed forces and people of Egypt follow Mubarak?” It is known that Sadat’s last major domestic political act was a brutal crackdown on the growing opposition. About 2 thousand people were arrested and thrown into prison, and no sooner had they appeared in court than action gave rise to opposition - an attempt on the life of the Egyptian president amid the pomp of a military parade. In a way, Sadat signed his own death warrant by persisting in a policy that isolated Egypt in the Arab world and met increasing resistance from politically conscious Egyptians.If we again recall the words of the Lebanese prime minister about the “historical lesson”, then it obviously lies in the fact that one cannot endlessly and with impunity trample on objective circumstances, national feelings, and even the laws of justice. The assassinated president was popular in the West for the same reason he was unpopular with his Arab neighbors and at home. This reason is a separate deal with Israel under American auspices. They talked and talk about the “peace process”, but at what cost was it achieved?separate self-serving world? Sadat received (although he did not manage to fully receive) the desert lands captured by Israel in the Sinai, but Israel continued to hold the occupied West Bank and the Syrian Golan Heights. Moreover, Tel Aviv increasingly openly used peace with Cairo as a tool for perpetuating this occupation - and isn’t this evidenced, in particular, by the latest settlement plan for the West Bank, according to which the number of Israeli colonists there will increase 6 times in the coming years, to 120 thousands of people.Covering his political flanks, Sadat negotiated with Begin about “administrative autonomy” for the Palestinians - without the participation of their representatives and in spite of them. But this flank remained uncovered. Moreover, the comedy of negotiations on “autonomy”, which were resumed and then interrupted again, violating all the deadlines stipulated by the Egyptian-Israeli agreement, was very revealing for Sadat. In the eyes of the Palestinians, he became a man who traded their right to self-determination for their own statehood. Politically this doomed Sadat. And as what happened proved - not only politically.A strange figure... In America he is praised for his wisdom, courage and political foresight. But what kind of foresight is this - to lose your natural allies for the sake of a shaky alliance with the enemy and counting on the favor of the Americans? He, of course, has done a lot for Washington, which wants to maintain special relations with Israel and strengthen its position in the Arab world. Much, but not all. He was never able to win over other Arab states to his—and the American—side, and it is no coincidence that now, insisting on the sale of AWACS aircraft, the Reagan administration is looking for the keys to Saudi Arabia, making up for what Sadat did not give.Much, but not all. And now that Anwar Sadat has so tragically disappeared from the political arena, Washington is again, as in the case of the Shah of Iran, faced with the consequences of its own myopia. The bet was placed on the individual - and contrary to objective realities. But personality is a fragile support for ensuring the interests of a great power. How many times has America had to convince itself of this? And so, as American columnist James Reston writes, “Sadat’s death serves as a reminder that relations between states should not depend on relations between individuals.”Let us add that relations between states should be based on taking into account each other’s legitimate interests. And this is what the Americans wanted to ignore, with the help of Sadat trying to push away the idea of a general and fair peace settlement in the Middle East. And that is why the Western press now writes so much about the “fragile balance”, about Camp David’s “fragile guarantees of peace”, about the “fragile stability” that Sadat supposedly ensured.October 1981LANDING FOR THE FUNERALIn connection with Sadat's funeral, an entire American force landed in Cairo - ministers, senators, generals, diplomats and even three former American presidents. Add to this dozens, if not hundreds, of representatives of the media, primarily television, which urgently sent its most famous aces across the ocean.Why a landing party and not a delegation? Yes, because for Washington, the funeral that he arranged for his friend looks like a major military-political operation. At first, at the first news of Sadat's assassination, the American government was seized by a commotion close to panic. Immediately followed by saber rattling and military threats addressed both to opponents of Sadagov’s policies within Egypt and to other Arab states, primarily Libya. Now we are talking about a systematic military-political onslaught with the aim of strengthening and expanding American positions in Egypt, as well as, at least, in Sudan. With this hasty attack, undertaken in an atmosphere of emotional turmoil, American strategists would like to more than make up for the loss of Sadat.The landing of American journalists was supposed to provide a propaganda smokescreen around this operation, but it did not quite cope with its task. From Cairo to America they were going to convey pictures of the grief of the Egyptians. With this they rushed to the streets of Cairo, but found no grief. They discovered, as a Washington Post correspondent wrote, a “strange atmosphere” that “is more reminiscent of celebration than mourning for the assassinated president.” They discovered that in America more people are killed under Sadat than in Egypt, and that - once again - the Americans themselves have become victims of their own exaltation and misinformation.It would seem that the paratrooper-politicians led by Haig and Weinberger should have noticed the “strange atmosphere” of Cairo. It would seem that from the unpopularity of their ally, revealed under such dramatic circumstances, they should have drawn their sober conclusions. Did you do it - why? They want to wrap Egypt in even tighter hoops of cooperation with the United States.The Americans who flew to Cairo surrounded Hosni Mubarak, Sadat's successor, in a tight ring. He assured President Reagan's plenipotentiaries that Cairo's pro-American orientation would be fully preserved, that all of Sadat's obligations would remain in force, and that, disregarding the opinion of the Arab peoples, Egypt would continue its course towards a separate settlement with Israel.In Washington they both want and are afraid to believe these words. In Washington they rely on force, on forceful techniques. And so, with an astonishing lack of tact, they began to bang the gendarme’s fist on the Middle Eastern table and stage demonstrations of American power, without waiting for the ashes of the man who had been given a reputation as a peacemaker overseas to be buried.Data? They are widely known. Moreover, they are advertised by the Americans. The first reaction to Sadat’s death was to put the American 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean and the “rapid deployment forces” created for gendarme punitive operations in the Middle East on high alert. Then it was announced (from Cairo, but by the same American paratroopers) that the joint American-Egyptian military exercises “Bright Star” - “Bright Star” would soon take place. This “star” first appeared about a year ago; then American soldiers began to be trained in the Egyptian desert for a possible landing in the Persian Gulf region. Now Egypt is more closely involved in the orbit of military cooperation with the United States and, accordingly, the tasks of joint maneuvers have expanded. B-52 strategic bombers have already been deployed. Taking off from bases on American territory, they will reach Egypt with a load of conventional bombs and threateningly drop this load in the area of ​​the Egyptian-Libyan border.I remember in the early 70s, bombs from B-52s fell on Vietnamese soil. Now they will fly to Egyptian soil, as a sign of Washington’s special affection for Cairo.But this is not all the events held to the sounds of funeral marches. In memory of the “peacemaker” Sadat, arms supplies to Egypt, as well as to Sudan, are being accelerated and increased. Military assistance to Sudan was declared to be the fulfillment of the “last will” of the deceased. An American assault force was also landed in Khartoum, the Sudanese capital, by a State Department special group with the participation of the military. Opa should evaluate the requests of the Sudanese President Nimeiri, who demands an expansion of military assistance programs.Libya is being put forward as a bogeyman - and an excuse - as it allegedly threatens the Nimeiry regime in Khartoum, as well as Egypt and even Saudi Arabia. But, firstly, even American officials deny the existence of any evidence of a threat of a Libyan invasion of Sudan, much less Egypt. And, secondly, it is worth recalling one fact: the population of Libya is only 3 million people, while Sudan is 19.6 million, Egypt is more than 40 million. Libya can only be a threat to Sudan and Egypt in the eyes of political dreamers. Or blackmailers. Indeed, Libya, especially in recent days, has become the target of American blackmail and ever-increasing, increasingly provocative military pressure, which is accompanied by threats of direct military action.New York Times columnist Tom Wicker, noting the peculiarities of American mourning for Sadat, emphasizes that “the dominant themes in American politics now are increasing arms supplies to the Middle East and increasing the number of Washington’s military commitments in the region.” He further writes: “The United States acts as if it can only offer weapons and military force to the Middle East.”That's right. The course towards further militarization of the situation in the Middle East could be traced from the very beginning in the actions of the Reagan administration, which adopted the “Carter Doctrine” and expanded its scope in every possible way. Carter's other legacy—the Camp David peace process—remains in its horns and legs. And instead of hypocritical peacemaking (in fact, myth-making!) the current US President actually offers “only weapons and military force.” Take the “strategic alliance” with Israel, involving closer military cooperation and the use of Israeli territory for the needs of the Pentagon... Or the plan to sell AWACS aircraft to Saudi Arabia in order to tie this important Arab country to the American military chariot... Increasingly distinct militarization American-Egyptian relations... Now the American “security umbrella” is spread over Sudan.And in another important sense, the current American president has gone further than his predecessor - along the more dangerous road of naked imperialism. The Carter Doctrine provided that “any attempt by an outside power to establish control over the Persian Gulf region will be considered an attack on the vital interests of the United States.” Now in Washington they are proclaiming the principle of armed intervention in the affairs of the countries of the Middle East, even when internal forces undesirable to the United States make themselves known there.And earlier, even before the assassination attempt on Sadat, President Reagan said at one of his press conferences that he would not allow Saudi Arabia to become “the new Iran.” This statement caused a lot of noise, and the American press interpreted it as Washington’s readiness to carry out armed intervention not only in the event of an external, but also in the event of an internal threat to the Saudi regime. Essentially, the American president expressed regret that his country did not support the Shah of Iran by force of the bayonet, and promised not to repeat this “mistake.”They say that God deprives those whom he wants to punish of their minds. It must also be memory. Otherwise, they would remember and learn the lessons of the past.October 1981RISKY OPTIONSAmong American political elders, Averell Harriman has truly unique experience - a large capitalist, former governor of New York, ambassador to Moscow during the war, Roosevelt's ally and adviser to half a dozen other American presidents, participant in major international events. To the core, he belongs to the American ruling elite, but he is one of those exponents who carry the baton of balance, common sense and a sense of responsibility for the fate of the world, making its way through the unknown intricacies of the nuclear age.Harriman is 90 years old. But he lost his sense of responsibility. And recently in the Washington Post he shared some of his opinions, fears and anxieties.“We are in danger of subjecting our destiny to the whims of nuclear weapons,” he begins with this as the central problem. He is critical of more and more American doctrines of warfare based on, as he says, “the myth of using nuclear destruction for some “rational” purposes.”“These doctrines blur the crucial distinction between nuclear and non-nuclear weapons,” the veteran warns. “And they encourage the nuclear option, making all countries believe that nuclear weapons are just another weapon of military power.” (Let us add in parentheses that he further develops his thought as follows: “In fact, nuclear weapons exist for only one single purpose - to deter nuclear war. Once used, they will become a weapon of mass destruction and will destroy both the attacker and his victim ".)Harriman is right—the nuclear option smacks of a nuclear holocaust. But it’s no secret that “the nuclear option” has recently been a popular activity in front of the public eye of senior Reagan administration officials and, from time to time, the president himself.Before Harriman had time to publish his article, US Secretary of State Alexander Haig came up with another nuclear option. Before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he referred to NATO's secret contingency plans to "detonate one nuclear weapon for demonstration purposes" in the event of conventional hostilities in Europe and to prove America's determination not to hesitate to use nuclear weapons. and thereby, they say, keep these military actions at the lowest possible level.This risky logic precisely entrusts fate to the “whims of nuclear weapons”, based on the fact that after the “demonstration explosion” a nuclear abyss will not open up.This frivolity, as if flaunting the readiness to use nuclear weapons, caused a new commotion in Western Europe.Still would! After all, Europe was once again chosen as the arena for Washington’s exercises—so far only verbal—in “choosing the nuclear option.” Meanwhile, Western Europeans barely had time to recover from President Reagan’s statement in mid-October, who admitted the possibility of an exchange of nuclear strikes limited only to European territory.In connection with Haig's "demonstration explosion", the White House had to issue a special statement intended to reassure the public. It states, in part, that “the possibility of nuclear war is as abhorrent to the United States as to any other country.”But the main emphasis is on something completely different, on intimidating rather than calming. The statement reiterates that “NATO does not forego any options in advance” and that “NATO strategy is designed to expose adversaries to a wide variety of responses to aggression.”Once again we are faced with a dangerous game of hide and seek, cat and mouse, or, as Harriman puts it, “choosing the nuclear option.” By allowing any option, threatening the boundless freedom of “various reactions,” American strategists are deliberately thickening the fog, cultivating an international climate in which doubts, mistrust, suspicion, and fears prevail. All this does not weaken, but, on the contrary, strengthens the threat of war.In the same speech before the Senate committee, Haig accused the Soviet Union of allegedly using Soviet strategic nuclear missile forces for “intimidation and blackmail.” As usual, the American Secretary of State did not bother to give examples, relying on the “consciousness” of senators, intimidated by the “Soviet threat.” Meanwhile, I would like to ask him when, where and whom Moscow intimidated or blackmailed with intercontinental missiles. In any case, the world knows something different. Moscow persistently and honestly negotiated the limitation of strategic arms, and it is not Moscow that refuses to ratify the final result of these negotiations - the SALT II Treaty. Moscow is ready to return to such negotiations, and it is not Moscow, but Washington that is postponing their resumption until at least spring1982. For what purpose? But with which one - “conduct somewhat more realistic negotiations, taking into account what we can threaten them with.” These are the words of President 1 Sitna. They are going to threaten the Soviet Union. It is known and what they are going to threaten - a program to strengthen the American “strategic triad”, which in the next five years alone will take away 180 billion dollars from the American people, and in conditions when the country is entering a new period of recession, and the Reagan economic program is bursting at all the seams.Before the eyes of the world, two fundamentally different approaches are becoming more and more clearly visible - American and Soviet. During the first one, all sorts of options for a dangerous game are played out, as if inviting a nuclear catastrophe. The second approach provides only one option, excluding nuclear weapons both as a weapon of war and as an instrument of politics. In this option, there is no room for either a “limited” nuclear war, or for a “demonstration” nuclear explosion, or for any other fun with nuclear death. Reject the very idea of a nuclear attack as criminal. Refuse the first nuclear strike and thereby exclude the second, and third, etc. Thus, remove the issue of nuclear war as such from the agenda.This approach sounds like a persistent leitmotif in all speeches of the Soviet leadership, especially recently, marked by the aggravation of the international situation. The American leadership is asked to clearly and unequivocally join this clear and unequivocal position. But in Washington, it is precisely the ambiguity, the uncertainty of nuclear strategy that has been elevated to a principle. Ambiguity and the dangers it entails.November 1981COUNTING FOR SIMPLESAmericans love stunning news and sensations. And on November 18, President Reagan, as they say, issued one of them.In his speech, he proposed canceling plans to deploy American Perception 2s and cruise missiles in Western Europe, provided that the Soviet Union dismantled all its medium-range missiles.Sensations are just sensations to stun the gullible. Let's try, however, to remain calm and look at a few questions.During its ten months, the Reagan administration became notorious—and scandalous—for its emphasis on weapons and super-weapons. At first I didn’t want to hear about negotiations with the Soviet Union. It was only in May that increased resistance from Western European governments and the threat of an open split in NATO wrested from Washington a vague promise to resume dialogue with Moscow. But this promise was forced. Pershings and Tomahawks remained at the forefront of US European policy.Why did people, who so earnestly prayed to the god of war Mars, suddenly appear in the snow-white robes of peacekeepers? Simply put, they were fed up with the anti-war, anti-missile movement, which declared itself so loudly and strongly in Bonn, London, Brussels, Paris, and The Hague. It got in the way and forced them to maneuver, to undertake, as one Washington official put it, a “propaganda game.”They began to understand that talking about the possibility of a limited nuclear war or “demonstration” nuclear explosions would not win the hearts and minds of Europeans.And one more question: what might this promise from the point of view of the Soviet-American negotiations that are beginning in Geneva?The Soviet position is known: if NATO's plans for new missile weapons disappear, we will be ready to reduce the total number of Soviet missiles, we are ready to agree on very significant reductions on both sides.This position opens the way to favorable results. And the world community has the right to hope that the Geneva negotiations will not reach a dead end created by Washington’s position.November 1981TO THE MEETING IN GENEVAThe past week has brought us back to the most pressing issue in European and world politics - medium-range nuclear weapons in Europe. On November 30, Soviet-American negotiations on this topic began in Geneva. Truly long awaited.This date - November 30 - was agreed upon during September meetings in New York between Comrade L. A. Gromyko and US Secretary of State Haig, but the background to the Geneva negotiations is much longer. The war has lasted more than two years, since the fall of 1979, when the Soviet Union proposed to reduce part of its medium-range nuclear missile systems located in the western regions of the USSR if NATO abandoned plans to deploy new American missiles in Western Europe. The NATO bloc did not heed this call and in December 1979 adopted the so-called “double decision” - on the deployment of American missiles and on American-Soviet negotiations on medium-range nuclear weapons in Europe.Negotiations did not begin for a long time, in particular due to the vicissitudes of the American election campaign, and having begun in October 1980, they were quickly interrupted, as the Carter administration gave up the fight, and the new administration, Ronald Reagan, began the whole story anew.Well, in recent years, we have all witnessed more than once Washington's political red tape when it comes to relations with the Soviet Union. But the new administration is a special case. As you know, the President, the Secretary of State, and the US Secretary of Defense, upon taking up their duties, took an openly defiant position: no negotiations until America gains a position of strength! A chill unprecedented since the late 40s began to blow over the relations between the two nuclear missile powers, and, one might say, the whole world began to shiver.But, as they say, man proposes, but God disposes. God is the pressure of circumstances.While seeking a position of strength vis-à-vis the Soviet Union, Washington found itself in a position of weakness vis-à-vis its allies in Western Europe. Political weakness. Washington's belligerence alarmed and frightened Western Europeans. The anti-missile movement unfolded with unprecedented force. Western European governments, most notably Bonn, began to ask and even demand that the Americans sit down at the negotiating table with the Russians, arguing that otherwise they would not be able to defend NATO's "dual solution" to their populations, which feared the American strategy of turning Europe into a theater of war. actions.On this score, the West German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung writes: “The decision to sit down at the negotiating table with the Russians was not at all easy for American President Reagan. And yet he had to make some adjustments to his previous course. It was political rather than military reasons that brought Reagan to the negotiating table in the first place: the idea that NATO unity was at stake gradually became established in Washington.”This is a typical response. Op correctly explains why the American representative Nitze, a man with a reputation as a “hawk,” found himself at the negotiating table with the Soviet representative, Ambassador Kvitsinsky.The two delegations went into action by declaring that the discussions would be confidential, closing the door to the press and leaving both ordinary people and professional political observers asking questions: How long will these negotiations last and what will they culminate?There is unanimity in two forecasts. First of all, the negotiations will not be easy. Secondly, and this follows from the first forecast, they are unlikely to be short. Most likely, we will not be talking about days or even weeks, but about months, although they cannot be delayed indefinitely. Otherwise, they will become diplomatic cover for preparations for the deployment of American Pershing 2s and cruise missiles. After all, according to the NATO schedule, in the fall of 1983, missiles should already appear in those countries whose governments have given consent - in Germany, England, Italy.There is another point of unanimity in the comments of the world press at the beginning of the Geneva meetings. They emphasize their exceptional importance, a word from the Washington Post newspaper: “To say that the negotiations are devoted to limiting a certain type of weapons in Europe and preservingTo deny the military and psychological balance there would be to downplay their importance. The negotiations have a more important goal: limiting the risk of nuclear war. And they cannot succeed if this fundamental purpose and responsibility of the two parties is lost sight of.”We agree, adding that in the interests of the two countries, Europe and the whole world, we are talking about returning to the path of cooperation instead of slipping onto the path of confrontation.Before the special envoys disappeared behind closed doors, the leaders of both the Soviet Union and the United States made their positions public to a global audience. We know that they are different.The document of the Politburo of the CPSU Central Committee, the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR and the Council of Ministers of the USSR following the visit of L. I. Brezhnev to Germany, published the day after the start of negotiations, again reveals the essence of the Soviet proposals.First, complementing its previous proposal for a moratorium for the period of negotiations and subject to its acceptance by the other side, the Soviet Union expressed its readiness to unilaterally reduce some of its medium-range nuclear weapons.Secondly, the Soviet Union is ready in Geneva to negotiate radical reductions by both sides in medium-range nuclear weapons, reductions by hundreds of units - let us recall that both sides have approximately a thousand carriers of such weapons. But on condition that the agreement will take into account both American forward-based assets (more than 700 aircraft carrying nuclear weapons) and nuclear assets - aircraft and missiles - of England and France.Thirdly, the USSR also proposes a complete renunciation by both sides of all types of medium-range weapons aimed at targets in Europe. And, finally, I am ready to extend such mutual refusal to tactical nuclear weapons, thereby freeing Europe from any, so to speak, thermonuclear poison, implementing a truly “zero solution.”As you can see, in the Soviet position there is both a reasonable initial minimum - in the form of a moratorium, which would create an atmosphere of goodwill in the negotiations, and movement towards the maximum that most Europeans dream of - to transform Europe into a nuclear-free zone. This position opens up the near and long term prospects for searching for a mutually acceptable solution.Now about the American position. From denial, when no one wanted to hear about negotiations, Washington suddenly moved towards an outwardly radical initiative. As you know, on November 18, President Reagan proposed not to deploy new American missiles in Western Europe if the Soviet Union dismantled all its medium-range missiles in response. This proposal was supported by the governments of NATO countries, but was rejected on our part as unacceptable, and was also described by many impartial people as propaganda. There is an expression in English: something for nothing - to get something for nothing, simply put, to trick a partner. This is the essence of the American proposal.In relation to the Geneva negotiations, Washington sometimes talks about the so-called stage-by-stage approach. At the first stage, we will discuss only Soviet missiles, leaving aside American medium-range nuclear weapons, as well as French and British aircraft and missiles. And having agreed on the elimination of Soviet missiles, we will move on to the rest. That is, at the first stage we are offered to disarm, and the other side must remain with its entire existing arsenal.The Soviet Union sees this as a violation of the main principle of its relations with the United States - the principle of equality and equal security. And he will not make unilateral concessions.In short, the initial positions of the parties are far from each other. The chances of success in negotiations depend on the sincerity and seriousness of intentions, on the goodwill of the participants and their willingness to seek a mutually acceptable solution.Let's take the opinion of one person who is extremely interested in a favorable outcome of the Geneva meetings - German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt. He leads a country that is destined for all 108 American Persian-2s, plus 96 cruise missiles, where more than 7,000 American nuclear warheads are already deployed and where powerful waves of the anti-missile movement are raging outside the walls of government buildings and the Bundestag. Schmidt directly linked his political fate with success or failure in Geneva. Being a partner and ally of the United States, he is known to value good relations with the Soviet Union and in matters of Soviet-American dialogue he calls himself a “translator” who conscientiously tries to interpret Washington’s intentions to Moscow, and Moscow’s intentions to Washington.In recent weeks, “translator” Schmidt has emphasized that both sides are very serious and sincere in their attitude towards the Geneva negotiations.However, Moscow hardly needs such certification, having proven its desire for constructive dialogue through its policies.As for Washington, many statements have been made recently about their intention to negotiate in good faith and seriously, but they also continue to talk about positions of strength.Wait and see.December 1981LIGHTS ON TREESWhen there are less than ten days left until the end of the year, the topic of results and looking into the future naturally arises.It is known that the year was not easy and that in international politics its main battle took place in Europe, around Europe. It will remain as a keepsake for historians.And now the main elements of this battle are still fresh in our minds.Politicians and strategists in America increasingly referred to Europe as the theater of war, as if they had forgotten the name of the old continent from which their fathers and grandfathers had come. With alarming casualness they spoke of the possibility of a nuclear conflict limited to this “theater.”The Soviet position was consistent and clear, but Moscow's calls for early negotiations on medium-range nuclear weapons were initially ignored by Washington.Then a third participant appeared in the theater—the political theater, not the military one. Powerful movement against seam placement; American missiles shook WesternEurope. By the end of October, it became obvious even to Washington that the militant Reagan administration was losing the political battle for Europe. Western European governments put pressure on her to take a more constructive position.Europe. By the end of October, it became obvious even to Washington that the militant Reagan administration was losing the political battle for Europe. Western European governments put pressure on her to take a more constructive position.After the wide resonance caused by L. I. Brezhnev’s interview with Der Spiegel magazine, and even before the visit of the Soviet leader to Bonn, where our proposals were outlined in a detailed and very convincing manner, President Reagan, trying to save the situation, came up with his first “peace” speech with assurances that he is also ready for serious negotiations.Mentions of a “limited nuclear war” were taboo in Washington, and Europe began to be called Europe, and not a theater of military operations. As you know, Soviet-American negotiations began in Geneva, and they will continue after the Christmas and New Year holidays.In general, for history the outgoing year leaves a knot as a memory, and for the coming year it leaves a knot of controversial issues that needs to be untied. International knots cannot be untied alone, and the success of the matter depends half on the Americans.As for our intentions, they remain the same. The Soviet Union is committed to an agreement on intermediate-range nuclear weapons in Europe and believes that it is possible to create a basis for its conclusion in 1982.The key to success, the constant and reliable key, is the observance by both parties of the principle of equality and equal security.We are for an active dialogue with the United States, including at the highest level. There is no need to delay the most important negotiations on the limitation and reduction of strategic weapons, the most powerful and dangerous.And in bilateral Soviet-American relations, artificial obstacles should be removed, trust should be restored, and progress should be made.Of course, there is no place for cloudless optimism after the difficult experience gained. But we still have to live together, on the same planet, and therefore we need to get along with each other. This is the lesson of another year. In this direction, one might say, those guiding stars that are now lighting up on New Year and Christmas trees both in the West and in the East point.December 1981VERY BAD YEARIf, before the end of the year, we sum up the balance of good and bad news and, according to American tradition, start with the bad, then, perhaps, we will have to say that there has not been a worse year in Soviet-American relations for a long time. In any case, it’s not easy for me to remember the same one in 30 years of journalism and 20 years of fairly close observation of relations between the two countries.Of course, 1961, for example, with its crisis over the Berlin Wall, was far from idyllic. It was then that I first came to the United States as a correspondent for Izvestia, and I remember that in Moscow I was advised not to take my family with me, and that in the vast American selection of Christmas gifts, what struck me most were the different models of portable anti-nuclear shelters. In 1962, the Cuban Missile Crisis occurred with its thermonuclear staring contest between the two powers (as President Kennedy put it). Yes, other years were not without complications, but after the hopes generated by détente in the first half of the 70s, it is especially sad to see that our relations are seeing more and more downs and fewer and fewer ups. The final takeoff in the summer of 1979, when the SALT II Treaty was signed in Vienna, ended up no higher than Capitol Hill, where the treaty stalled in the US Senate even before events in Afghanistan gave opponents of détente an excuse to permanently stall progress towards strategic arms limitation.And then 1981, the first year of the Reagan administration. How is he seen from Moscow? The dialogue, already suffering from arrhythmia, was pointedly stopped by Washington. America is again taking the pose of a “pathetic helpless giant” (whose expression is this - Johnson’s or Nixon’s?), which needs no less than one and a half trillion dollars in military spending over five years in order to talk to the Soviet Union from a position of strength. This is like a new invitation to the dance of death in that dance hall called planet Earth and where, as experts have calculated, there are already at least a million Hiroshimas in store for four and a half billion inhabitants.Moscow's repeated invitations to the negotiating table, especially persistently voiced at the end of February from the rostrum of the party congress, are being ignored. Unconstructive feelings such as suspicion, mistrust, and outright hostility are rapidly growing on both sides. What's next? Where to go? Relations between the two countries seem to have hit rock bottom.And in this there is a strange consolation, which now, in the festive New Year season, allows us to talk about a glimmer of hope. Since it cannot be worse, it must be better. Since no one wants war, it means that the search for peace cannot be avoided.January truths do not always survive until the end of the year. In January, General Haig proclaimed that there were more important things than peace, but such a foreign policy credo did not strengthen American prestige, and on November 18, in his famous speech, President Reagan decided to prove the opposite. A kind of peaceful competition began. Ronald Reagan proposed abandoning as-yet-unexistent American missiles in Europe if the Soviet Union dismantled its existing missiles. Moscow considered this an unacceptable call for unilateral disarmament of the USSR and, through the mouth of L. I. Brezhnev, proposed a more realistic, multi-stage plan. Its ultimate goal is a Europe free of all nuclear weapons, both medium-range and tactical. At the end of November, the Soviet and American ambassadors began the difficult task of coordinating positions in Geneva. Europe is considered a third, albeit invisible, participant in the negotiations.Well, it was the year of Europe. With anti-war marches of the population and diplomatic demarches of concerned Western European governments, she brought America to the negotiating table, reminding that Washington could lose allies if it does not stop talking about a limited nuclear war and does not stop calling the old continent a theater of war. Europe has been a theater of war more often than America and knows better what it is. This difficult knowledge is possessed both in the East and in the West of Europe. It unites us and helps explain the political paradox of the year: the more Western Europeans are frightened by the Soviet threat, the more they are afraid of the Americans, who are considering options for local nuclear conflicts.In general, by the end of the year, it seems that the old truth has become established: that we are unlikely to learn to love each other, but that we need to get along if we do not want to all die together. It’s just a pity that another year has been lost for yet another American administration to assimilate this cardinal axiom.The renewed dialogue offers hope. But... But no matter how it all starts from the beginning. How would we begin to link this dialogue, let’s say, with the development of events in Poland. But, watching Washington’s reaction from Moscow, you see that they are struggling with the temptation: whether to inflate internal Polish affairs to the size of a European and world crisis. It is useful to recall some facts here. 1 Isn’t it a fact that Poland followed the path of economic crisis, financial bankruptcy and political anarchy? Isn’t it a fact that in the trade union “Solidarity” irresponsible demagogues and political saboteurs increasingly spoke on behalf of the workers, who set the task not of socialist renewal within the framework of national harmony, but of a direct seizure of power and bloody settling of scores. Poland was sliding into the abyss, and emergency measures erected a barrier on the path to a national catastrophe.Emotions are not always controllable. But, apparently, not only emotions are present among those Western politicians who are now protesting against the introduction of martial law in Poland. Did they really expect that Poland would fall out of the system of socialist states and become a Trojan horse, in the belly of which the United States and NATO would move close to the Soviet borders? These are dangerous calculations; they mean a destabilization of the situation in Europe that could increase the threat of war.But our common interests lie in ensuring that the lights of hope that shone for us at the end of a difficult year do not go out.December 1981*BETWEEN ANXIETY AND HOPEThe years fly by quickly, but they are not so short. When more than three hundred more days line up in the back of your head, blocking each other, looking back from today, December, you will not immediately see the first, January ones with their events, characters and arshin headlines. Every year is a long, motley chronicle. Newspapers are still writing the end of it, but historians are already crowding around the beginning.But in one respect, the outgoing year is, perhaps, an exception to the series of others. He immediately sharply defined his leitmotif and carried it from January to December persistently and strongly. And no matter how long and how colorful the chronicle of 1981 is, its main meaning is obvious to everyone, despite the diversity of opinions characteristic of the modern world.It was a year of anxiety—anxiety due to the increased threat of nuclear war. And it was a year of struggle - the struggle against the nuclear threat.On New Year's Day, a person wants to lose himself in festive fun and leave worries and anxieties at the door. And in the big world of politics we now feel a breath of hope, the sign of the hellish mushroom has shrunk and moved away with the start of negotiations in Geneva. No matter how difficult these negotiations are, Soviet-American contact has been established on the most pressing and dangerous issue - medium-range nuclear weapons in Europe. “So the distance is not forever obscured by clouds?” - we could ask, superimposing the words of the poet on the political weather. Who knows! However, a breath of hope allows us to return to the difficult matters and realities of the past year with a lighter heart.This was the year when nuclear alarm spilled from the offices of politicians and specialists into the streets and squares, penetrated the masses of ordinary people, and took over their conversations in shops and buses, universities and churches.The elders recalled the peace movement in the late 40s and early 50s, the collection of signatures for the Stockholm Appeal to ban the atomic bomb. Since then, the anti-war, anti-nuclear struggle has never been so massive and widespread, and the streams feeding this river of life have become even more abundant and numerous, especially in Western Europe.Let us return, however, to January 1981, overshadowed by other months and already half-forgotten. Ronald Reagan's administration was taking power, and newspapers were reporting that Washington was freezing under the winds of the Cold War. American scientists, using a symbolic clock to calculate the approach of the world to catastrophe, then moved the hand one more minute forward, leaving only 3 minutes until midnight and the onset of the biblical Judgment Day. The signal of such danger for them was America's reluctance to ratify the SALT II Treaty. Secretary of State Haig, who had just been appointed by the new president, speaking to senators, dropped a gloomy aphorism: “There are more important things than peace.” (And he would give dearly now to catch, like a sparrow, these words that have flown around the world.) Secretary of Defense Weinberger explained in another Senate committee that “a good six months” would pass before negotiations with the Soviet Union on strategic arms limitation (and the months were unkind, and there were more than twelve of them). And on the negotiating table, which had not yet begun, with a bid for American superiority, they slammed one and a half trillion dollars in military spending with a fabulous program of military preparations for the next five years.This was the original disposition. On their part, they assumed a dueling pose. And they threw down the gauntlet to us, challenging us to new rounds of the arms race, senseless and terrible. The pugnacious cockiness demanded to accept this challenge. But the code of duelists has nothing to do with statesmanship, with responsibility for the fate of humanity.There is nothing more important than peace—this was Moscow’s response at the end of February, the second month of this year of anxiety and struggle. From the rostrum of the XXVI Congress of the CPSU. Not a duel, but a dialogue. Do not crush, but respect the agreements and agreements reached. We are ready for negotiations - both on medium-range weapons in Europe and on strategic weapons. For a summit meeting. For expanding confidence-building measures in Europe, for extending them to the Far East. For the demilitarization of the Persian Gulf region. For a nuclear-free zone in Northern Europe...Let's not simplify the picture. There is no room for miracles in the world we live in. This is not a rope that can be pulled to its side by one or the other of the two nuclear powers. But the world is still vigilant enough to distinguish balance from belligerence, an invitation to cooperation from a challenge to confrontation. The contrast between Soviet and American positions—and dispositions—played a role as heightened anxieties enormously expanded and strengthened the antiwar movement.In the spring and summer there were two important political shifts, or, if you like, discoveries. A warlike and irreconcilable America revealed itself to the world, showing, in the words of President Reagan, that it was “mounting a horse.” America had to open Europe, disagreeing with its senior partner, worried at the government level, protesting in the streets and squares. It turned out that Europe was not averse to rushing America, which had sat on its spears. The second discovery, or shift, in public consciousness is also connected with the first. Under Reagan, talk about the “Soviet threat” was even louder than under Carter, but it was the American threat that began to frighten an increasing number of Western Europeans.This shift was quickly detected by German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, an experienced recorder of public sentiment. At the end of August, he advised his American friends to “constantly monitor” the effect of their warlike rhetoric on the breed of Europe. “It bothers me that so many people have mutual fears. In Europe, the fear is too great,” Schmidt said another time. In the third, he called it absurd that “some” of his compatriots were more afraid of America than of the Soviet Union. Absurd? The absurdity was reinforced by the entire logic of American behavior.The year 1981 brought many characters into the arena of current history, gave its heroes and its buffoons. Among the latter is Samuel Cohen, the inventor of neutron weapons. The “father” of the American atomic bomb, Robert Oppenheimer, was ready to renounce his brainchild, the “father” of the hydrogen bomb, Edward Teller, was and remains an inveterate “hawk,” and Samuel Cohen is a talkative buffoon.In a recent interview with the French newspaper Le Cotidienne de Paris, Cohen predicted that "nuclear conflict will begin before the end of this century unless Western countries take a more realistic position." The question followed about what realism should consist of.And here is the answer: “They must agree to enter the nuclear age. Western countries behave the way barbarians behaved in their time. They are superstitious, they have a religious attitude towards the atom, and they have decided that it is unthinkable for a volcano to erupt because then everyone will die. And so they act as if the volcano doesn’t exist.”Cohen goes on to talk about the Soviet Union: “Western countries need to understand that nuclear weapons are the basis of the military doctrine of the Soviet Union. If war breaks out, the Russians will have a fantastic advantage, namely, the advantage that they believe in nuclear weapons...”Such are the things. Do you recognize yourself, reader, among those Russians who “believe in nuclear weapons”? Or do you agree with those superstitious “barbarians” who have not yet matured to civilization according to Cohen? But jokes aside.Humanists call for the unification of all people to prevent nuclear war. This was the meaning of the call for “new thinking” that Bertrand Russell and Albert Einstein addressed to world scientists a quarter of a century ago. And for the Cohens of science and politics, “new thinking” is precisely the assumption of the use of nuclear weapons.And here we come to the culmination of this year of anxiety and hope. It happened in the fall, when participants in anti-missile marches in Bopp and London, Rome and The Hague stormed the political positions of the governments that had signed up to the NATO decision to deploy new American missiles in Europe, and the top leaders of the two nuclear powers revealed the foundations of their strategy to the whole world.This political duel began with the American President's assertion, in Cohen's style, that "the Soviet Union considers nuclear war conceivable and believes that it can be won." And then, without pausing for breath, the American president sketched out a picture of the possibility of exchanging nuclear strikes in Europe “without any of the big powers pressing the button.” Thus Ronald Reagan confirmed the worst fears of Western Europeans.Moscow's response was quick to follow. It contained a categorical refutation of American fabrications and a clear statement of the true Soviet position:“Expecting to win a nuclear war is dangerous madness... Only someone who has decided to commit suicide can start a nuclear war in the hope of emerging victorious.”And further: “It would be good if the US President made a clear and unambiguous statement rejecting the very idea of a nuclear attack as criminal.”This was truly the call of the year. A clear and unambiguous statement was not heard from Washington, leaving political observers with the impression that Moscow had won another round in the peaceful competition for hearts and minds. Apparently, this was understood overseas as well. In any case, this understanding was helped by increased criticism of thoughtless militarism from the American public and, increasingly, from among the American political elite. Apparently, Washington is thinking about it. In mid-November, President Reagan addressed the topic of peace. One Washington columnist, Hugh Saidi, wrote: “If we are lucky, the President will get used to the theme of peace. The world produces box office revenue. The world distracts critics. Peace is healthy.”Let's forgive this inappropriate tone for the Washington wit. If only those whose work he covers as a White House correspondent learn some lessons - lessons not about slicker propaganda, but about a more serious approach to solving controversial problems, to the search for a stable, lasting peace.On this path they will find a sincere partner in the Soviet Union.December 1981Two and all 52 weeks of 1982  JANUARY RUNAWAYThe other day there was an event about which we can say that it was both domestic and international, intercontinental. And at the same time, family, personal, touching everyone. We were all waiting for this event. Everyone lived through it, and not everyone has forgotten it. This is the coming of the New Year.People have always been fascinated - and cannot help but be fascinated - by the mystery of time passing without stopping, despite all the pleas, such as the classical, Faustian one: “Stop, moment!” No, it’s not worth even that moment when, to the clink of glasses, one year gives way to another, when behind one, overcome distance of time, another, still unknown distance opens - the distance of another year.There is no indulgence or respite for that ruddy, round-cheeked toddler, in the form of which artists love to depict the New Year. The little one is immediately burdened like an adult, and he must carry the whole load of work, worries, and problems thrown by his predecessor on the road on New Year's winter night.And in the new year of 1982, the inexorable march of days and everyday life immediately began. Including in the international arena.And now in the African republic of Ghana (population 10 million), 35-year-old Air Force captain Jerry Rawlings carries out a coup d'etat and arrests President Limann, whom he himself put in power in the summer of 1979, and now removed, accusing his regime of corruption and abuses .Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak appoints a new prime minister and swears in a new cabinet. They say that foreign policy will be basically the same, including relations with Israel, but economic policy promises “Egypt for everyone,” and not just for “fat cats,” not just for the parasitic layer that grew and became unruly under Sadat. Let us not guess whether this is a sop to the hungry masses or a conscious departure from the previous course, but, in any case, already three months after his violent death, Sadat appears more and more clearly as what he was during his lifetime - an anti-people ruler, and not a political one. a seer, as his overseas friends and patrons portrayed him.In Washington, National Security Adviser Richard Allen did not cross the threshold of the New Year. Deputy Secretary of State William Clark, a former California judge and personal friend of Reagan, was appointed in his place. Allen was dishonest, and most importantly, unlike his predecessors such as Kissinger and Brzezinski, he turned out to be a failure in terms of behind-the-scenes self-assertion in the White House. But it's not just a matter of changing faces. By all accounts, the coordination of the foreign policy steps of the Reagan administration is lame, and this deficiency, it is believed, should be eliminated by Clark, who is close to the president and knows how to get along with the secretary of state...In general, the mosaic of international life is as colorful as always.The UN Security Council has returned to the issue of Israel's annexation of the Golan Heights. The Israelis, who illegally settled this part of Syrian territory, have already announced a plan to increase the number of settlers there from seven and a half thousand to 40 thousand in four years. Syria demands that the Security Council, not limiting itself to condemning the annexation, adopt sanctions against Israel, that is, punitive measures. This is a legal requirement, but the Americans are threatening to block it and veto it.Here is another example of Washington's duplicity. In connection with the introduction of martial law in Poland on December 13, 1981, he announces so-called sanctions against the Soviet Union, although there is no Soviet intervention in Polish events. And he rears up when it comes to sanctions against a state that, in front of everyone, is openly pocketing someone else’s territory.As last year, the main diplomatic battles are being played out in and around Europe.Let me remind you that 1981 was marked by the fight against the nuclear threat, and it was connected primarily with plans to deploy new American missiles in Western Europe and with American doctrines allowing for the possibility of a limited nuclear war. It was this range of issues that primarily determined the temperature in Soviet-American relations, and in East-West relations in general. It also caused differences between Washington and Western European capitals and a powerful increase in anti-war and anti-nuclear sentiment.This range of questions is not far-fetched. These are really questions of peace and war, a quiet life or the threat of nuclear death.At the end of last year and at the beginning of this year, we are dealing with a large operation of political distortion and manipulation. The organizers are carrying out this operation quite consciously, but many in the West joined it without realizing the intentions of the organizers.The essence of the operation is that Washington would like to protect it from the problem of war and peace and shift the attention of Western European and world communities to Poland, taking advantage of the introduction of martial law there. By intrusively interfering with it, they are trying to inflate the Vputripol case to the size of a global crisis.It seems that Washington would like to use this thermometer to measure the temperature in East-West relations. But what can it show, this thermometer? Just the freezing point?! And with the Polish “issue,” Washington would like to solve problems in relations with Western European allies, as they say, by tightening up discipline in the North Atlantic bloc. And the Americans are not at all averse to directing the public protest movement in this same direction, thereby depriving it of its anti-war - and anti-American - character.More specifically, Western Europeans are being asked to join those anti-Polish and anti-Soviet sanctions, mainly of an economic nature, that President Reagan announced at the end of December.The foreign ministers of the countries of the European Economic Community, the so-called “ten,” spoke on this topic. As one French newspaper described it, it was “Europe's search for an external accord” with the United States. In their words and formulations, the ministers, distorting the essence of what was happening in Poland, giving unsolicited advice and almost instructions to the Polish leadership, found “external agreement” with Washington. But they did not join anti-Soviet economic actions.And Greece refused to maintain even “external consent.” President Papandreou pointedly fired the deputy foreign minister who signed the “tens” communiqué.It is appropriate to recall some facts. Last year, American exports to the USSR - due to previous sanctions - decreased compared to 1980, while those of the seven main "tens" countries increased - they were almost 7 times more than the US. These seven countries' imports from the USSR were 30 times greater than American imports.What then will the lieutenant achieve if the company still does not obey him?President Reagan met at the White House with German Chancellor Schmidt. The Chancellor, who had finished a ten-day vacation on Sanibel Island, off the coast of Florida, was waiting, as the American press warned, for the toughest and toughest conversation, almost an ultimatum from the American president. In Washington, Schmidt is considered the main Western European disobedient. He not only repeatedly spoke about the uselessness and even harmfulness of American economic sanctions, but also objected to the political assessments of Washington, which bitterly blamed the Soviet Union for introducing martial law in Poland.What is the result of the Washington meeting? As the London Times put it, the parties “plastered over” their differences, but by no means eliminated them. The Bonn leader, obviously maneuvering under pressure from the US President, accepted the American thesis about “the responsibility of the Soviet Union for the events in Poland.” But there was no unanimity of opinion regarding sanctions.Now, going beyond the events under review, a few words about the problem as a whole.As for Poland itself, the essence of the matter was clearly formulated by the Chairman of the Military Council of National Salvation, General Wojciech Jaruzelski, in his Christmas address to the Poles. “In the history of Poland,” he said, “there have often been moments when one had to choose not between good and evil, but between greater and lesser evil.” “We made this choice,” Jaruzelski emphasized.Choosing the lesser evil is the introduction of martial law. And the great evil, a true catastrophe, would be the anti-socialist choice that was imposed by extremists, anarchists and direct agents of foreign intelligence services from the Solidarity trade union. It would have been the choice of a fratricidal conflict that was already on the threshold, an attempt to violently seize power and change the system with all the accompanying settling of scores, with a bloodbath, with lampposts turned into gallows. And this choice of a greater, worse evil would fall on the economic chaos that already exists and painfully disadvantages Poles, in which national income fell by 15 percent in the past year alone.If you look at things soberly and take all the circumstances into account, it turns out that those people in the West who are outraged by the military situation in Poland are in favor of a greater, catastrophic evil.But with the option of a greater evil for the Poles, a greater international evil would also happen. The American and other inspirers of the Polish counter-revolution would, of course, interfere even more unceremoniously in Polish affairs, considering the conditions suitable for tearing Poland out of the system of socialist states. This is where a genuine international crisis would arise. The ship of the European world, already not entirely stable, could not withstand the new heavy load, tilt dangerously and, what good, go to the bottom.Would statesmen in the West and simply serious people really prefer this, fortunately unfulfilled, option? Are they really for the sense of responsibility to give way to emotions, considerations of anti-communism and anti-Sovietism, cheap demagoguery and propaganda?!And one more New Year’s question - about the fate of the Soviet-American negotiations on medium-range nuclear weapons in Europe. The meetings that began on November 30 last year in Geneva were undoubtedly the most important of the nearly three hundred meetings that took place last year in the Swiss capital. Do we need to remind you what hopes Europeans and not only Europeans pin on these Soviet-American negotiations?Moscow is in favor of resuming the Geneva meetings, interrupted for the Christmas and New Year holidays. Meanwhile, there were hotheads in America who, in connection with the developments in Poland, demanded that these negotiations, which had begun so difficult, be abandoned. As if they are only important for the Soviet Union and not of equal importance for the United States and even more important for their Western European allies?In Washington, in this case, it was not hot heads, but ordinary common sense that prevailed. At least for now, reason prevailed. The Geneva negotiations, as agreed, will resume in a few days.As one Bonn figure said, criticizing the latest US economic sanctions against the Soviet Union, trade is not a gate that can be opened and closed. American farmers learned what closed crops were when Carter imposed an embargo on the sale of crops to the Soviet Union. Last summer, Reagan, as is known, lifted this embargo, and now, having taken new discriminatory measures, he still refrained from introducing an embargo.Negotiations on arms control are also not a faucet. Let's hope Washington has realized this truth. In any case, from various Washington official offices, from high-ranking officials, we heard that the “lines of communication” between Washington and Moscow cannot be interrupted, that the aggravation of the situation makes the East-West dialogue even more necessary.January 1982TRUTH VERSUS MYTH“There is a balance; it exists not on paper, but in reality. And the United States does not need to “rearmament”, because it did not lag behind the USSR. “Rearmament” under the pretext of supposedly equalizing parity in reality means a desire for military superiority.”This situation, emphasizing the actual relationship between the military potentials of the two powers and warning against a further arms race, is well known. Its truth has been proven more than once. But rarely has the evidence been as strong and convincing as in the book “Where the Threat to Peace Comes From,” prepared by the competent Soviet authorities and published by Voenizdat. Hundreds of precise figures and other verified information create a solid foundation on which this truth stands, on which, I would like to add, it will stand and win the battle with those who, with unseemly goals, shout about the disturbed balance and, of course, about the growing “Soviet threat” .The myth of the “Soviet threat” was born and took root overseas, for some there it became the core of political philosophy and practical activity, for others it was the key to extracting multi-billion-dollar profits. From there, from the United States, it was launched around the world as one of the main products of American ideological export. And this product, let us not be mistaken, finds sales, although, like any product, it is subject to the bizarre laws of fluctuations in market conditions - the political climate in the world.The myth is as old as the post-war arms race. However, it does not cease to serve as its most powerful engine. Does everyone remember that back in the 50s, under the pretext of “lagging behind in bombers” (of course, from the Soviet Union), the Pentagon extracted corresponding large appropriations from the American Congress? When an entire armada of American strategic bombers was built, the American learned that from the very beginning the number of Soviet bombers had been inflated by the pushers by 3-4 times. In 1960, the turn of the “lag” in ground-based intercontinental ballistic missiles began. John Kennedy, who ran for president from the Democratic Party, put forward the “missile gap” as one of the main accusations against the Eisenhower administration and his rival, Republican Richard Nixon. When Kennedy was elected, it turned out that the Soviet “missile threat” had been exaggerated by 15-20 times.These are well-known—and startling—facts of the manipulation of public opinion.Throughout post-war history, it was not the Soviet Union, but the United States that initiated the creation of new types of weapons. In building its armed forces and creating new types of weapons, the Soviet Union only responded to the threats created by the West. And the Soviet military doctrine - unlike the American one - has always been and is based on the principle of retaliatory, that is, defensive actions.The book I am reviewing contains a table that shows who owned and owns the initiative in creating new weapons systems.Nuclear weapons: created by the USA in the mid-40s, by the USSR in the late 40s.Intercontinental strategic bombers: USA - in the mid-50s, USSR - in the late 50s.Nuclear submarines: USA - mid-50s, USSR - late 50s.Individually targeted multiple warheads: USA - late 60s, USSR - mid 70s.Now the Americans, also the first, began producing cruise missiles and neutron ammunition.And if we take a kind of political weapon system, then overseas the fiction about the “Soviet threat” is constantly being modernized and used for one thing or another, always harmful to the world as a whole. In the mid-70s they were given a decisive role in torpedoing détente. And in the early 1980s, these same weapons of disinformation and fear were put to use to achieve new record-breaking military programs. If you imagine a scale defining the “Soviet threat,” then no matter how great the indicators were under Carter, under Reagan they immediately jumped sharply, as did the military budget. And a particularly important place in the system of propaganda support for new American military programs was given to the Pentagon brochure entitled “Soviet Military Power,” released at the end of September last year. Then they said that the Pentagon intended to scare the American to death - and not only him (the brochure was immediately translated into the main European languages) < They fired from the biggest cannon of the big lie, but... missed. The widely advertised publication lacked one small detail - information about the American military machine, against which Soviet military power was being created. They refused to see the log in their own eye, and what a log!This gap is filled by the book “Where the Threat to Peace Comes From,” an authoritative Soviet response to another American challenge.Already in the first section, exposing the claims of the Washington product for objectivity, the book provides a lot of comparative data on different categories of the military potential of the two countries, primarily nuclear, the military budget, the military industry, the presence of bases and troops abroad, the sale of weapons to other states, etc. America is clearly joining in, trumpeting its lag. The authors of the Pentagon ordnance, who scrupulously counted the number of Soviet nuclear weapons carriers, for example, are further reminded that with one cumulative launch/flight, US strategic forces can lift into the air 10 thousand nuclear weapons with a yield of 50 kilotons to 10 megatons, while Soviet - 7 thousand . A long-established expression of extreme fear appears on the faces of American “hawks” when they talk about the growth of the Soviet naval forces, in particular about the appearance of two aircraft-carrying ships “Minsk” and “Kiev” and the missile cruiser “Kirov”, but for some reason they forget that the US Navy has 20 aircraft carriers (three of them nuclear-powered, each carrying 90 aircraft) and nine nuclear-powered missile cruisers. To listen to the same “hawks” from Washington, they are extremely concerned about Soviet arms supplies to developing countries. But they again suffer from forgetfulness: the United States is the world's largest arms exporter, accounting for 45 percent of the trade in these goods (and another 20 percent for other NATO states), and between 1970 and 1980 it sold weapons to $123.5 billion.Even more detailed information is given in the second section of the book, “The US War Machine,” in particular in the chapter “Financing Militarism.”It is worth taking a closer look at the picture of the growth of American weapons. Here is an example: in the 70s, without increasing the number of carriers, the capabilities of US strategic offensive forces in terms of delivering nuclear weapons doubled - amid panicky cries about the “Soviet threat.” The Reagan administration plans to increase spending on strategic forces by almost one and a half times, and total spending on the National Defense program in the period 1981-1985 will increase by more than 2.2 times, and the rate of increase will be higher than at the height of the Vietnam War.As for conventional armed forces, general-purpose forces, it is not without reason that their main groups are already deployed and maintained outside American territory in peacetime - more than half a million military personnel, one and a half thousand military bases and facilities in 32 states. This reflects the overall aggressive nature of US military doctrine, and its dangerous edge sticks out most strongly in the approach to the use of nuclear weapons. In contrast to the Soviet, purely defensive doctrine, the US military doctrine places emphasis on the first preemptive strike, on the multivariate use of nuclear weapons, on the possibility of a “limited” nuclear war outside American territory. This approach leads to a decrease in the “nuclear threshold” and to an increase in nuclear danger.The book “Where the Threat to Peace Comes From” corrects the malicious distortion that Pentagon propagandists would like to introduce into the real picture of the relationship between the potentials of two powers and two military alliances. At the same time, she calls for the preservation of what exists—the current approximate balance of power, which makes it possible to avoid new rounds of endless and meaningless military command of arms.January 1982TWO WEEKS OVER THE OCEAN1After Ronald Reagan, taking advantage of the introduction of martial law in Poland, canceled Aeroflot flights to Washington, you enter the United States through Canada. There is nothing new under the sun. This was the case a decade and a half ago, when it was from Canada that Aeroflot began to explore the North American continent, launching there bulky, noisy Tu-114s, in which the first class, as I remember, was like a railway compartment - with sofas on the sides and a table in the middle. Now you are flying on an Il-62, ten hours in the air - from Moscow to Montreal, there from the new, deserted Mirabell airport you are traveling among the untouched snow sparkling in the sun to another airport - Dorval, motionless smoke from the pipes hangs picturesquely under the blue cold sky, thousands of cars splashed with icy mud are waiting for workers in the parking lots of the General Motors plant, and you look around at all the signs of foreign countries in a lazy half-sleep - after all, it is already night in Moscow, in an involuntary stupor, from which you have not yet emerged after an intercontinental, transcendental, fatalistic journey.And suddenly switching internal speeds. In Dorval you have to hurry and fuss, a flight to New York appears three hours earlier than indicated on your ticket, you learn about this from the employees of the American airline Isteri, who are ready to take care of you where Aeroflot routes are blocked. Customs officers are American, albeit on Canadian territory, far-flung outposts of a powerful nation. Succumbing to your haste, they stamp it without opening your suitcase or even your briefcase, but the baggage check-in for your flight is already covered in smoke. To keep up, you run and roll the cart along some long roads - there’s no time to look! - along the corridors, past some stalls full of goods... You roll until you come across a series of narrow passages, each of which is guarded by a man in a smart uniform, leaning out waist-deep from behind his desk. You brake the cart, but you don’t have time to brake yourself. Waving your ticket and passport, you want to infect this man with your impatience, your fear of being late for the plane - but that was not the case. The man calmly processes another passenger, and pushes you aside with a hand gesture, ordering you to wait in line beyond the “red line.” You don’t immediately cool down, you don’t immediately understand what the red line is? The repeated gesture is even more commanding, and you retreat a little yourself, at the same time pushing your suitcase and briefcase with your foot, but the man continues to insist: “Wait beyond the red line!” And then, looking back, you finally see this really red line in nature, drawn on the floor one and a half meters from the edge of the desk, behind which stands a strict uniformed man.And it dawns on you that at the Canadian Dorval airport the border of the United States of America runs along this line, pushed back to Montreal for some American-Canadian reasons of mutual convenience, and that in front of you is a representative of the US immigration service, fulfilling the role that is assigned at our international airports border guards. He is not nearly as juicy an American immigration inspector as our border guard, but he is just as adamant, and he has no sympathy for a late passenger. Filling out, under his dictation, the form of a non-immigrant foreigner who was given a visa to the United States for two weeks, with a short, acute feeling of hostility - because of him you will be late! — you look at the metal strip with his name on his chest. And the surname is etched in the memory. Someone Hayes...When, already without the cart, which was not allowed past the red line, dragging a suitcase and briefcase in your hands, you run up to the desired air gate, the empty one died, the gate closed and behind the large windows in the lights of the early winter evening a New York plane rolls off from the pier, on which you were still late because Inspector Hayes carried out his duty as expected, leisurely and vigilant.And the “ride” is indeed smooth, and an hour before landing at New York’s LaGuardia Airport we sail over Manhattan, and, closing in on the memory, in reality the two 110-story towers of the World Trade Center shine with matte lights, the top of the head sparkles brightly “ Empire State Building,” and everything else is still there—the dark abyss of the Hudson. The East River and bays, the precious necklaces of famous bridges, the trembling, sparkling, bee-like movement of the lights of a huge night city...On earth, fantasy disappears. The biting wind of what they say is the coldest winter in a century, the chaos of people and cars, the oval of the airport terminal in the evening lights. And an anchor, a refuge and a refuge on a familiar and yet foreign land - Viktor Soldatov, New York correspondent for Izvestia. The rest of the journey has to be postponed until the morning - the last plane to Washington has already left. A tired, sleepy mind from a sleepless day languidly chews on the sight of skyscrapers from the Triborough Bridge, empty frost-bitten streets and avenues, cars numb in the snowdrifts by the roadside, and this lethargy does not go away even in the apartment on Riverside Drive, in which he once lived for six years old, even when looking at the Hudson, freezing outside her windows.And in the morning again LaGuardia airport and from the plane again a look at the first collection of houses and houses on all earth, but there is no longer the night, witchcraft flickering of lights, ash-gray tones are everywhere, plates of ice are dimming on the Hudson, and winter New York, like a lonely stroke in the picture of a cold world dominated by the Atlantic Ocean. Over the ocean, through the frosty haze, the red-yellow flame of a reluctant January dawn spreads, blindingly painful for the eyes. An uncomfortable, unkind winter tale. Less than an hour's flight from Washington, the industrial Northeast, one of the most populated areas of the United States, floats under its wing, but in the cold that has descended on spoiled Americans, even successive human settlements look abandoned, lifeless, the same ash-gray colors among large spaces snow.The plane passed low over the Potomac, and again the friendly hands of the guardians, the Washington correspondents of Izvestia.National Airport is located in Virginia, and from there you get to Washington proper via a bridge over the Potomac. From the foggy drizzle, a reminder of the recent, internationally televised plane crash, crane arms protrude as they fish out the remains of a Boeing 737, immediately after takeoff, crashing into the river as a coffin for 78 people.Connecticut Avenue. Small motel. The clerk on duty warns about a problem with hot water, which will certainly be fixed by evening.— Why not start a report? - suggests a colleague. - Washington - and without hot water... - And it’s true, not a far-fetched topic, right off the bat about the decline of American service, but I already started from the stove, from the airport, and the hot water started running in the evening. And what, after all, is the demand for a hotel that is cheap in today’s times—and with current inflation—where a room costs “only” $43 a night? What is the demand if, moreover, the color TV works uninterruptedly?!One nation under God - and in front of the television screen. This amendment to the American Oath of Allegiance is long overdue. Television cannot be avoided in any, especially journalistic, introduction to America. Among the shortcomings and omissions of this short trip to New York, Washington and San Francisco, I count - and quite seriously - the fact that I was not able to sufficiently soak in television images of current American life: this sharpens hearing and vision, although it does not replace one’s own, initial impressions from meetings with people and cities.But there were morning minutes when, without having time to look at the street through an ordinary window, he opened, switching channels, numerous TV windows and immediately saw, by chance and for sure, the entire range of America - from saints to criminals. Invariably, on some channel, from early morning, a young man with a disheveled look with an elegant pair of steel bracelets on his wrists was already shown - and this meant that at night life went on, someone was robbed and killed and someone was caught in order to show the fresh police catch to those who woke up Americans. And with such an immutability, the image of a holy man appeared, with a lean face, in a neat civilian suit, the image of a traveling salesman from the gospel, humbly proclaiming that he had already given 50 years - 30 of them television years - to the spread of the word of God and, on the occasion of the anniversary, slowly framed in thick crystal a commemorative medal rotated on the screen, emitting pure, clear reflections - for only 50 dollars, just a dollar for every year of well-fed and carefree, judging by the appearance of the hero of the day, asceticism...Twice in two weeks, TV images of American heroes from 1982 appeared. One was first shown in a still photograph - long unshaven, with disheveled hair and in a wrinkled tracksuit, and then he spoke and moved around in a new, ironed uniform, next to his wife, who was tenderly clinging to him. It was Brigadier General James Doser, the second-highest ranking American officer in NATO forces in southern Europe, kidnapped by Red Brigade terrorists in Italy, in Verona, and miraculously released in Padua six weeks later by special commandos from the Italian police. The second hero was introduced by President Reagan himself, in the most solemn atmosphere - delivering the traditional State of the Union address to both houses of Congress and to television viewers. Senators and congressmen, ministers and members of the Supreme Court rose to greet the hero with an ovation. And he stood frozen with embarrassment in the guest gallery, and to his right was his own wife, and to his left was Nancy Reagan, the president’s wife.One nation under God - and in front of television cameras.When the aforementioned Boeing crashed into the Potomac, the television crews were on the scene before the police and rescue helicopters. And everyone was busy with their work - the helicopter hovered over the steaming water with icy steam, television crews were filming both those being rescued and those being rescued, onlookers, crowded on the bridge, watched as a young woman froze in the water - she could no longer scream and only opened her mouth in a silent plea for help, and she no longer had the strength to hold on to the rope ladder offered by the helicopter. Everyone was busy with their own business, and the young woman was drowning in front of everyone, in front of the television cameras. And then Lenny Skutnik, a 28-year-old Washington clerk, also standing among the onlookers on the bridge, could not stand it. He threw himself into the icy water. Saved a drowning woman. And, the only one, he filled the vacant place of the hero, which was open at that moment. anyone who wants it. He was bombarded with thousands of congratulations. Then the White House called and invited him to the President’s speech in Congress and sat him down next to the President’s wife. And the president told everyone that there are no shortage of heroes in America, that there are heroes in America - people like Lenny Skatnik.But the president’s wife, having painted herself in the television rays, immediately disappeared surrounded by Secret Service agents, and the president did not even find a moment for Lenny Skutnik, and doubt crept into the hero, like other Americans: is this not another outwardly cordial , but essentially a cynical political gesture?The current president loves a heroic theme. It was he who, taking office on January 20, 1981, said: “Those who say that we live in a time when there are no heroes simply do not know where to look for them. You can see heroes every day when they enter or exit the factory gates.”Great words. But a year later, many of the heroes, leaving the factory gates, can no longer enter them. They found themselves out of work thanks to (what an inappropriate word!) the economic policies of Ronald Reagan.2One fact from modern history. Exactly one week before the 1980 presidential election, a televised debate took place between rivals Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. They were broadcast throughout America. Addressing voters watching their televisions, Reagan said, “When you make your decision, it would be a good idea to ask yourself: Are you better off now than you were four years ago? Are goods in stores more accessible to you now than they were four years ago? Has the unemployment rate in the country increased or decreased now compared to what it was four years ago?”It was a good, winning move. Carter had nothing to hide - under him, Americans began to live worse. And he, paying the price, lost the election, and Reagan became president, promising a “new beginning,” an “era of national renewal,” and, of course, a better life.After the first year of the new presidency, the time has come to take stock of the first results. Politicians often have a girlish memory. But they do not whisper their promises in private; they make promises to everyone and publicly. And the authoritative polling organization Gallup did not fail to ask Americans: are you better off or worse off than you were a year ago? Worse - answered 41 percent. Better - said 28 percent. About the same was the opinion of the others. Yankelovich’s company asked the same question, leaving only “better” or “worse” and omitting “about the same.” 59 percent answered worse. 36 percent is better.In the first place in the everyday life of Americans, like other people, is, of course, not foreign policy, but the daily home economy, personal and family well-being or ill-being. Americans as a nation feel that they are sliding down the mountain of the world's highest standard of living and are lagging behind in the growth rate of industrial production. They lost the lead to the Japanese in labor productivity. Real incomes are falling, and other nations, primarily Western European ones, are crowding them out on Olympus.Is life better or worse? I also asked this question. Sobriety prevailed in the assessments of my interlocutors, and there was a lack of optimism in their forecasts....Georgetown, an old respectable district of Washington. Modest on the outside and cozy on the inside. In the small living room there is a calm asymmetry of old-fashioned things. The owner is a well-known columnist, knowledgeable, highly experienced, thoughtful, and frequented in many places. When asked about the mood of Americans, he answers: unimportant, low, disgusting. People are becoming bitter - economic recession, high unemployment.... Designed for more than three hundred passengers, the wide-body DC-10 routinely crosses the continent from east to west in the evening sky - from Washington to San Francisco. The neighbor on the left has an intelligent look and the courageous profile of film actor Gregory Peck. Who is he? No, he is not an actor and not an intellectual. Just a farmer. Family farm - 40 acres of land and also works part-time for a larger farmer. Name is Albert Petersen. The peach on the business card is turning yellow. Fresh and fresh-frozen vegetables are the business of my travel companion, and he will return to him by flying to San Francisco, taking a car left in a paid parking lot at the airport, and immediately going at night to his home near Fresno, where I also once visited - we even find mutual friends. How is the farmer doing? He complains about low purchasing prices (and the buyer complains about high prices, and, apparently, only the intermediaries are quite happy with the profits). And behind his complaints we have an incomprehensible, but very depressing problem for American farmers - record harvests, overproduction. He should go to Japan: food is expensive there, the Japanese, as he read, spend three times as much as Americans on food.In general, the Japanese are often remembered, and not just remembered - they are visible everywhere. The Japanese are an object of envy, and sometimes even anger, especially in the automotive industry. In 1981, the Japanese produced more than 1 million cars, and the Americans, the absolute champions of the automobile of the 20th century, produced just over 6 million. And every fourth car sold in the United States is Japanese....In New York, a professional politician (a Democrat who left Washington after the Republicans came to power and found refuge in a large corporation) foresees at least “two turbulent years.” He is worried about the crisis of the cities, they have less and less money, although the urban economy - from roads to bridges - is completely neglected. Crime, he believes, will jump; for desperate unemployed people this is the “last resort” to get by and survive difficult times.Ronald Reagan promised “national renewal” by returning to the old “virtues” of capitalism, to pre-Roosevelt times. He promised to “shine the government from the people’s hump,” that is, to reduce Washington’s interference in economic and social life. Having broken the shackles of state regulation, he promised to untie the hands of business and set it free so that in the wilds and jungles of capitalism natural selection would be strengthened, in which the strong triumph over the weak, and the weak are guilty simply because they are weak; “let the loser cry”, not counting on help and compassion in the face of a harsh fate. This was the philosophy of the “conservative revolution” that would return America to its athletic form.The main attraction not only for big business, but also for the average American was the plan to sharply cut taxes - income and corporations. Thus, it was supposed to give the consumer additional money, which he would take to the market, and business - new opportunities for investment, which would ultimately lead to an increase in business activity and replenish the state treasury a hundredfold. The problem is the government itself, Reagan emphasized. And therefore - to reduce the exorbitant management apparatus. Reduce various types of benefits and assistance to those in need. Reducing federal government spending, stopping the growth of the national debt, and eliminating the budget deficit that feeds inflation within three years is evil number one. There was something about this set that appealed to the American “middle class,” which dislikes the Washington bureaucracy and is willing to see the source of its misfortune in the backwaters who live off its tax dollars.In one area, however, it was proposed not less, but more of the same thing - much more military spending in order to win America a position of strength in relations with the whole world, especially with the Soviet Union. But even here Ronald Reagan is true to himself. Because it is the same logic, the same preaching and practice - the strong win in American life, freed from the shackles of social compassion, and the strong have the right to dominate the whole world.This was the application. A year later, the old, old truth triumphs: it was smooth on paper, but they forgot about the ravines... Unemployment and economic recession are rampant in the country. American observers, using unfamiliar terminology, say that the administration's policies are polarizing society along "class lines" - into rich and poor. Who's life became better under Reagan? 81 percent felt that people with high incomes and large corporations were better off....Lafayette Square is buried in white, thick snow. The snow glistens cheerfully and painfully in the sun and crunches like a Russian underfoot. Across Pennsylvania Avenue, a smart carThe White House looks TINY. And closer to 16th Street, just like the pictures - three green tents on white snow. In front of the tents are two guys and a girl, and some photographer is putting this whole bunch, along with the White House in the background, into the frame. Everything is so elegant on the sparkling snow that at first you don’t take seriously the distress signal sent by three tents, two guys and a girl. You are just a passerby, getting out of a warm car and going to another warm place to have lunch. But the frost is bitter, and the wind is angry, and one of the three has a red nose and a cold voice, and all three, together with their comrades, have been spending the night in these tents in the snow - since the end of November. Another form of protest. In this brutal winter, people here in Washington are freezing and even dying without shelter or warmth.Ronald Reagan reproaches those who do not know where in America to look for heroes who live by the laws of human compassion. But he himself does not want to find these poor fellows in front of the tents, although they are visible from his windows and live in the snow for the sake of solidarity with the unfortunate. He does not know and does not recognize them, because - even if they are filmed for newspapers and television - they are few in number, in the grand national scheme of things they are only apothecary weights on large political scales. But this also has its own dynamics. Yes, the president still knows how to please Americans, and many are inclined to give him another chance. But the more disastrous the results of his first year in power are, the less credibility he has.3He came into view unexpectedly and abruptly. This is how those whom I often saw only in photographs or in television images appear in reality. He stood with his back against the bar and, like everyone else, held a tall glass of cocktail in his right hand.1 Pale face, whitish hair, the kind in which gray hair does not take root and is not noticed, a clearly defined forehead under a Slavic cowlick. Small wrinkles scattered across the forehead and face, evoking the image of a broken mirror. In this Washington company, where almost everyone was insiders, he was addressed by his friend Zbig, but for us, outsiders, he remained Mr. Brzezinski.- Do you want us to come over? - suggested a colleague. - Why? - Well, why? For a collection.Brzezinski looked at us with suspicion, as if we were spies, but immediately used us for his latest, freshest concept; Later, when the speeches began, he was introduced as such - as a famous conceptualist. Strong phrases, one after another, flew out of the ironically opening mouth, revealing the ability to formulate skillfully and dramatically. American-Soviet relations, he said, undermined by Afghanistan, are now at a crossroads - because of Poland. Either a sharp and long-term deterioration, or a turn towards stabilization. He did not talk about how to turn towards stabilization, but he warned about deterioration that it could even lead to war. The conceptualist said the last word, albeit with difficulty, hesitating, and not without hesitation. But he spoke out. And he explained - to war not because of Poland, but, let’s say, because of the Middle East. As if this softened the gloom of his prophecy and made the war more excusable.In the hall of the Institute of Foreign Policy at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, American ambassadors, State Department employees, famous journalists, people from well-known corporations who are not indifferent to international life, professors who only yesterday were on a kind of “academic leave”, holding certain positions, were crowding with glasses in their hands. other positions in one or another proximity to the helm of the ship of state, and ambitious young graduate students and graduate students dreaming of getting into the captain's, presidential wheelhouse. A strange and, however, familiar ritual for Washington, when first there are cocktails and half-social, half-business chatter, recognizing acquaintances and sniffing the strangers, and then lunch at large round tables and after salad and roast beef, with cake, coffee and cognac, contentedly satiatedly pushing their chairs back, crossing their legs and putting a napkin to their lips, they listen to two self-confident speakers who do not look at the papers, who, by some undisputed right in America, are discussing how to deal with Poland and together with the American allies (in their relations with Poland) and is it possible to turn things around so that Poland’s neighbor - the Soviet Union - would sacrifice its own interests for the sake of American ones...The symposium was entitled: “The Polish Crisis and US Foreign Policy.” And the two main speakers, for dessert, were the former Pole Zbigniew Brzezinski, who returned to the academic groves after government service under Carter, and George Ball, Deputy Secretary of State under Kennedy and Johnson, a prominent lawyer and representative of the “eastern establishment”, far from young, but physically a strong, large man with a large, puffy face and a steep chin. Conceptualist Brzezinski on previous translations. itVTWix has worked hard to destabilize America. capo-Soviet relations, poisoning them with suspicion and mistrust. Now, in connection with the martial law in Poland, he lamented that socialism was closed to “renewal, renewal and change.” And what do you want to do with him then? George Ball is one of those sowers who never tire of sowing the seeds of foreign policy realism into American soil, where, alas, the grains of aggressive chauvinism grow better on the abundant fertilizers of politicking and demagoguery. And here he was not talking about what to do with Poland or the Soviet Union, but about what to do with American foreign policy, which frightens American allies, which, in his opinion, is not only at a crossroads, but is going the wrong way. He warned against attempts to shake, taking advantage of the events in Poland, the pillars of the post-war European order, because everyone needs the temple of peace, and if it collapses, it could cover America too.In the debate, George Ball seemed to prevail. In any case, at the end, when the coffee and cognac were drunk, Brzezinski, answering questions, seemed to move in his direction.My colleague and I went out onto Massachusetts Avenue. It was dark, cold and deserted, and only dirty yellow snow, chewed up by car tires, flew from under the wheels of rare cars. In general, everything is nearby, everything is on the spot - the White House, Congress, ministries, embassies, monuments to the great dead and residences of the living, some of which are clamoring for a warm place in history. Outside the patch, unknown to its inhabitants, splashed a large, unsettled sea of Negro Washington with other, everyday concerns. The houses on the sovereign's patch looked sleepy, but their silence did not deceive. The hour was not so late, and behind the silent walls, of course, the brew of politics was boiling and gurgling, and the chefs without high starched caps, with cooks on hand, were preparing the next dish, or, let’s say, the dish of the next crisis.This should be emphasized more strongly: whether in sweltering August or January, when the snow shines on the hills like a beautiful glaze, in the American capital you immediately plunge into an atmosphere of nervous self-excitation, heightened passions, yet another crisis. And in general, it doesn’t matter what label this crisis is labeled - El Salvador or Poland, the “gas-pipe” project or the mythical Libyan terrorists who allegedly infiltrated the States with the task of destroying the president, vice-president, secretary of state and everyone else who comes to hand , American leaders. Whatever the name of the portioned dish of the next crisis, it always contains a mixture of arrogant imperial manners and intra-American intrigues, the struggle of different groups and individual ambitions.Brzezinski and Ball are well-known people, out of work, and they are also democrats; their voices are not so listened to in the current republican kitchen. Louder was the voice of another meeting that took place on the same Washington evening - a meeting of today's insiders. The press did not even talk about the voice, but about “thunder from the right.” The so-called neoconservatives, who helped Ronald Reagan come to power, gathered at the Mayflower Hotel and attacked their idol from the right, accusing him of “Carterism without Carter,” of softness towards Moscow, Warsaw, as well as Bonn, Paris, Brussels, etc. ..., including even Mrs. Thatcher's London. And looming among them was Henry Kissinger, still dreaming of an important position, great power and a sweet life, and therefore, before conservatives, new and old, atoning for the sins of the man involved in the détente of the first half of the 70s. And they listened to Kissinger, but they saw him off with poisonous smiles - both on the right and on the left.The star at the neocon rally was not he, but a certain Norman Podhoretz, editor of the New York magazine Commentary and founder of the brand new Committee for the Free World, which organized the “thunder from the right.” The name of the committee betrays a lack of modesty, as well as a sense of humor, but it is a good indication of the degree of frenzy of the American right: the new committee undertakes to make up for the shortcomings and shortcomings of all the numerous committees of the previous ones and, directly, in Dullesian style, undertakes to “liberate” Eastern Europe, and install the current president on the path of even more irreconcilable anti-communism.Commentary magazine, until recently, was just a quiet, inaudible literary publication for pique vests with a Zionist bent. And now it is the mouthpiece of influential neoconservatism, a political movement in which two currents merged - anti-communism and Zionism. Now New York intellectuals like Porman Podhoretz and Irving Kristol are laying a theoretical foundation for the visceral anti-communism of California's nouveau riche millionaires. And from the podium of the Mayflower Hotel, Podhoretz blasts not only his liberal compatriots, but also spineless Western Europeans clinging to the remnants of détente. Western Europe is the favorite political target of the new American ultras. “Many of us thought that a revival of American strength and resolve would strengthen the European backbone,” Podhoretz said. “But now we have lost our faith.”The new conservatism is frightening the ungrateful with a new American isolationism, threatening the US allies to fold and remove the American “nuclear umbrella” if they do not learn obedience and do not, together with Uncle Sam, begin to shake the edifice of the European world. Truly it offers tough choices!Are Americans really that excited about the events in Poland? Do they really sympathize with the adventurers from Solidarity, who carried Poland into the abyss of chaos and civil war, incited by applause (and not only applause) from the West? No, the average American is not nearly as excited as those who undertake to speak on his behalf claim. No matter how politicians talk, he, this practical American, never ceases to wonder: what is all the fuss about? He is surprised because he knows that the business of trade unions is wages and working conditions, and not the seizure of state power. One New York trade union leader told me about this, but did not forget to warn that “he is not looking for publicity” and that his name should not be mentioned in the newspaper. He has not become a victim of propaganda bombardment, but he fears that he may be defamed and made a victim of political revenge.I mentioned earlier about polls that asked Americans whether life was better or worse for them under Reagan. Now it's time to remember the old joke about pessimists and optimists. According to the joke, a pessimist is someone who believes that things cannot get worse. An optimist finds consolation in the fact that things could be worse. Many of my interlocutors were this kind of optimist.Among them was Paul Tsonges, the Democratic senator from Massachusetts, a youthful man with dark, alert eyes. He said that the president turned out to be more moderate than expected, and that the Congress was less conservative, that the economic situation had worsened - and this was a very important domestic political factor. In his opinion, the pendulum of American public life has reached the extreme right and is about to begin moving in the opposite direction, towards the center, strengthening the position of the liberals, among whom the senator counts himself.We spoke in his office on Capitol Hill. In addition to the senator's two aides, there was also a reporter from Boston, the main city of Massachusetts. The conversation turned to international affairs. The senator spoke about the dangers of the arms race and spoke out in favor of all kinds of American-Soviet negotiations to stop it. Suddenly, looking at me directly with his attentive eyes, he joked gloomily: “Do you know that a nuclear bomb is already aimed at you and me?” I objected: it’s unlikely, personal bombs are not cost-effective, but his and my cities have one bomb each, and probably more than one. And without joking, Paul Tsonges said that he has a six-month-old daughter, that we have already lived a lot, but can we live, can our children survive in the world that we leave them? And he and I were suddenly united by this anxious thought.I remember one of the late poems of Alexander Tvardovsky, sad, like the sigh of a thoughtful person. The poet writes that in the “case of the main utopia” (thermonuclear catastrophe)...It’s not a storm for us:We lived, drank vodka,It will be already behind your eyes...It's a pity, like that song - children,Our boys and girls,All the boundless beauty...Early spring twigsIn the drops of the first dew...Paul Tsonges, a senator from Massachusetts, expressed his anxiety and sadness in almost the same words as the great Russian poet who was born in the Smolensk region. And no wonder. Doesn't this permeate us all?4Cloudy February morning. Along the sidewalks of Lower Manhattan, at the very beginning of the famous Broadway, a crowd of bank employees, brokerage firms and various other business offices are hurrying along with black umbrellas open over their heads, rustling raincoats and soles. The wet pavement is clogged with cars. The strong facades of old buildings turned gray from the rain. The new skyscrapers have dark, shiny glass and sharp metal edges, their tops seem to float among low clouds. And everywhere there are reputable signs of reputable establishments. Here, next to the small cramped street that houses the New York Stock Exchange building, all these signs together create the concept of Wall Street. Nearby, another New York relic - Trinity Church - rises smoky black spiers, and it is not God who looks down on his temple, but bankers and brokers, located in the heavenly floors. The heavy gates of the church are ajar, and the rows of wooden benches with high backs are empty. People have no time.And only one person is in no hurry. Not far from the black church walls, without an umbrella or raincoat, he gets wet in the rain, kneeling, stretched forward, pressing his forehead into the asphalt like a praying Muslim.This man of mystery boldly stands out from the crowd, although most likely he is just a homeless tramp, an unconscious inhabitant of the bottomless bottom of New York, a familiar detail, like a cast-iron fire hydrant at the edge of the sidewalk. There is no more mystery in it than in a hurrying, standard cheerful, deceptively familiar crowd. Next to the street and the concept of “Wall Street,” I want to mark everyone in this crowd without looking with one brand - a servant of the golden calf. But isn’t even a standard-looking crowd made up of individual, mysterious souls?..The rain remained on Broadway. A strict and at the same time cozy office in one of the large banks. The business trinity of his vice presidents. The eldest - older, taciturn and smoking a lot - gives the floor to the second. Once again I hear the arguments to which I have become accustomed after several days of wandering around New York business establishments, about the urgent need to tidy up and clean the big house of the American economy, about the fact that recession, and not inflation, is the lesser of two evils, which in the long term There is reason for optimism, but in the short term - a painful period of adaptation to new times, that the automobile is no longer destined to play its former role in American life and that forever - perhaps for the better? — the times have gone when 11-12 million cars were sold a year, and Americans have become more careful in their spending, acquisitions and calculations for the future...A qualified and inanimate conversation of a specialist economist, in which a living person is crushed by large numbers. But in the terse words of the senior vice president, it is precisely the person who shimmers, experienced and wise, a little sad. He is both a banker and a politician. From thosethe inhabitants of Wall Street, who for the development of American-Soviet economic relations and in this direction would like to “educate” the Californians commanding in Washington. Needless to say, things are not important now (and this is the general opinion), but our interlocutor does not lose hope for the future. A person should always have hope for the future.We touch, of course, on the growing danger of war, and the smart banker-politician highlights the simplest and most fundamental fact from many others: in their national historical memory, Americans don’t even remember what it is like to fight on their own territory. And unlike Europeans - with a European memory - they are careless. The economist agrees: the danger of radiation from accidents at nuclear power plants worries Americans more than the danger of nuclear war.“I have a country house in Vermont,” the elder develops his thought. “I know my neighbors well.” Can they imagine that some missiles with nuclear warheads are aimed at them?!A memorable argument. I had been to Vermont once and retained a faded image of this small state, located northeast of the giant state of New York - forested mountains, lakes and fields, so-called farm roads leading from highways to farms and estates, and tiny , idyllic, calm towns, living in which, driving through which, it is indeed not easy to imagine that the earth and sky could be split by a nuclear explosion.Massachusetts Senator Paul Tsonges joked darkly about personal nuclear bombs—there are so many of them. And the New York banker says that his neighbors in the state of Vermont (which, by the way, borders Massachusetts) are not even listening, deaf to the menacing roar of the nuclear missile age. Who to believe? Who more accurately conveys the feelings of their compatriots?When I returned from my American trip to Moscow and, among others, was pondering this question, an answer unexpectedly came from the state of Vermont - in fresh reports from the American press. There, it turns out, residents organized a referendum: should the two powers - the USA and the USSR - freeze their nuclear arsenals? In 143 small towns, the majority supported the freeze. At 18 - against. Maybe our banker got the wrong neighbors. Or is simplicity enough for every wise man? Or can the ephemeral matter of political sensations be interpreted this way and that until it is experienced by direct political action?It was Californians, not Vermonters, who were the first to translate antinuclear sentiment into antinuclear action. California is the most populous of the states, home to many American innovations and initiatives of various kinds. On the wave of increased conservatism, it gave America the current US president with his super-armament programs, and now, frightened by the dangerous policies of Ronald Reagan, a new form of anti-war movement - the nuclear freeze. They are collecting signatures for a call for a nuclear freeze. With the light hand of Californians, anti-nuclear sentiments, smoldering under a bushel, are breaking out in one state or another, with clergy playing an active role in rebelling against nuclear encroachments on the sacred gift of life. Many senators and congressmen joined this movement. Observers predict that with the onset of warmer weather, anti-nuclear demonstrations as crowded as in Western Europe will sweep across America. And now the government is sending special propaganda teams to the localities to eradicate the seditious idea of a nuclear freeze, to try to convince the public that this freeze is beneficial only to the Soviet Union...However, did I suddenly paint a too rosy picture against a background that until now had looked so gloomy? I’ll try to approach the topic of war and peace from one more angle.In 1973-1974, at a time of hope and change for the better in Soviet-American relations, when not everyone foresaw the high barriers to détente, I had the opportunity to meet with George Gallup, the founder and director of the famous public opinion polling institute. A simple, democratic and wise man, he dislikes and is wary of politicians, believes in the common sense of his people and, aware of the differences between our countries, was still entirely in favor of normal, good American-Soviet relations.I wanted to meet him now, when not all the hopes of the last decade have come true, and we are making our way through the jungle of a new crisis decade. Gallup Sr., now in his eighties, was vacationing abroad somewhere, and I arranged a meeting with his son, GEORGE GALLUP JR. Unfortunately, circumstances unexpectedly prevented me from coming to the university town of Princeton, where the Gallup organization is located. After hearing the apology, Gallup Jr. agreed to do a telephone interview. He was true to himself: no comments, just numbers extracted from an extensive electronic dossier.From a political point of view, the numbers can be divided into positive and negative. I'll start with the positives. 76 percent of Americans, according to one recent poll, support the proposal to halve the nuclear arsenals of the United States and the Soviet Union. 72 percent are in favor of not creating new nuclear weapons, that is, essentially, in favor of the idea of a nuclear freeze. 47 percent go even further, favoring the destruction of all existing nuclear weapons (with 44 percent opposed and 9 abstaining). Only 5 percent believe their chances of survival would be “good” in the event of a nuclear conflict, which is a case where such a healthy lack of optimists is to be welcomed. A growing number of Americans (five to one) rule out war as a means of solving international problems. After Vietnam, the cat began to cry for those who were looking for new armed interventions abroad.With such sentiments, which, by the way, are fully consistent with the repeated proposals of the Soviet Union, tomorrow, it seems, the golden age of disarmament and peaceful coexistence could begin, provided that there is no distance or difference between the impulses of the people and the policies of the government. But the golden age, alas, is not waiting for us around the nearest corner. And there is another set of figures and facts that explain why the Reagan administration still holds Americans with all their anti-nuclear sentiments in ideological and political captivity.Here is something from another, negative series, also recorded by Gallup polls. Most believe that America must “be strong to be safe,” which is a mandate to increase military programs. 54 percent of Americans believe that their country and their government are doing everything to maintain peace, and only 7 percent hold the same opinion about the Soviet Union.And one more indicator that explains a lot. For a long time, Gallup has been using a special scale to measure the attitude of Americans towards other countries, using a ten-point system - from zero to positive five and from zero to negative five. From the figures that Gallup Jr. dictated to me, it is clear that in the minds of Americans the Soviet Union has long been firmly assigned a place not only as a culprit, but also as an extraordinary monster. A kind of record was registered in 1953, at the height of the Cold War: according to the mentioned ten-point system, only one percent of Americans surveyed had a positive attitude towards us. The curve shows ups and downs. The greatest rise occurred in July 1973, the peak of détente. Then again a decline and rise, to 34 percent in 1979, when the Soviet-American SALT II Treaty was signed in Vienna. According to a 1981 survey, the positive percentage was 20, negative - 77.Monographs are needed, and more than one has already been written, to politically decipher these and other figures, to explain how and by whom mass consciousness is formed, how and who manipulates it, what comes from ignorance, from deliberate deception, from conscientious errors, from sincere rejection of another system etc., etc. Now I highlight only the result of this many years of massive processing of minds.Historian and former diplomat George Kennan, who once served as the American ambassador to Moscow, defines it as dehumanization, the dehumanization of the enemy that the other side sees in the Soviet Union. Kenpan writes that dehumanization includes "an endless series of distortions and simplifications, a systematic effort to dehumanize the leadership of another great country, a habitual exaggeration of Moscow's military capabilities and the supposed malignity of Soviet intentions, a constant distortion of the character and views of another great people."At the beginning of the notes from my new American notebook, I mentioned the latest heroes placed on a pedestal by the American president - a general kidnapped by Italian terrorists and miraculously freed, a young clerk who threw himself into the icy waters of the Potomac to save a drowning woman. Every hero is good and it is not right to exalt one at the expense of another. But the courage of a citizen is even more precious than the courage of a warrior. In the current circumstances of international life, this courage is expressed in a sense of high responsibility, in the primacy of reason over hostility and hysteria. There are Americans with such qualities, and I would like to name the same George Kennan. He does not sympathize with our system at all, but in his old age he chose for himself the difficult role of interpreter, translator, interpreter. He strives for Americans to objectively represent another power with which they are linked by the same fate in our nuclear missile age. He achieves understanding and mutual understanding, which is tantamount to solving the problem of self-preservation of humanity...Before concluding with the impressions of two overseas weeks, I will return to the Pacific coast, to San Francisco. Across the bay lies Berkeley with the famous campus of the University of California, where in the 60s the stormy and fleeting “youth revolution” began and protests against the dirty Vietnam War raged.Time has washed away the traces of the turbulent years, calming down and improving the bourgeoisie of the central Telegraph Avenue. And the student went the wrong way, and it’s empty in front of Sproll Hall, on the university’s ceremonial square, and there, on a large notice board among the paper ripples of sticky notes, you’ll more often see offers for massage lessons than announcements about rallies of solidarity with the patriots of El Salvador or protests against the university’s connection with the nearby Livermore Laboratory busy inventing more and more types of nuclear weapons.On one of the streets of Berkeley we found ourselves in a small apartment of what in America is usually called a studio. It had just been rented as an office and was not yet equipped: a few chairs, unassembled cardboard boxes and in the kitchenette various sized mugs for tea. And in the midst of this chaos we were received by a handsome man, beginning to turn gray, with a high forehead and graceful gestures - Daniel Ellsberg. This name thundered in the early 70s. A senior Pentagon employee, he went over to the side of opponents of the Vietnam War, made public volumes of revealing secret documents and caused a worldwide scandal. He would have been tried and convicted if the trial had not been buried by the powerful wave of Watergate revelations. In general, the “egg-headed” intellectual from the “best and brightest” recruited under John Kennedy has seen the light and from a technocrat playing out scenarios of conventional and nuclear wars, has grown into a humanist trying to pull humanity away from the nuclear abyss. Now Ellsberg is one of the founders of the anti-nuclear movement in America, actively strengthening ties with like-minded people in Western Europe.He treated us to tea and conversations about American nuclear strategy and how it was being kept from the American people, and he had the right to these conversations, since it was in the development of this strategy that he was involved and at the age of thirty, according to the civil ranking table, he was equivalent to a three-star general. He said that American strategy has always been based on the permissibility of a first, pre-emptive nuclear strike, but try asking Americans in an ordinary audience what the White House’s position is on this issue, and 100 percent - all 100 percent! — those present will be told: of course, we are against the first use of nuclear weapons. He said that the American leadership has always strived for nuclear superiority over the Soviet Union, and now it is talking about Soviet superiority because it is afraid of the movement for a nuclear freeze, which is growing like an avalanche in the mountains. And the avalanche, in turn, was formed because the leaders of the current administration, with their frequent, frivolous and even cheeky statements about the possibility of nuclear war, awakened the anxiety and fears of the American people.He spoke for an hour and a half and did not have time to finish everything, since we were late for another meeting and had to leave, and he walked us down the second floor corridor to the exit, and we went into the evening darkness, and he remained in silhouette in the illuminated doorway of the entrance.A few days later, before flying to Moscow, I saw Daniel Ellsberg in a photograph in a New York newspaper: an open black raincoat and a gray jacket neatly buttoned at the top button, a high forehead and lips compressed in an ironic smile. He was being dragged by the arm of a guy with the face of a Neanderthal and a sheriff's star on his jacket. This was the march that Ellsberg told us about preparing for. 170 people were arrested near the notorious Livermore laboratory, which develops new and new nuclear weapons systems.What he did not tell us continued to be proven - and it seems - by time.March 1982UNFUNNYI want to laugh, but the subject is too bitter and is only suitable for that very laughter - through tears.For some time now, it’s as easy for the owner of the White House to be afraid of the end of the world as it is for us, ordinary mortals, to sneeze or, looking out the window in the morning, to say: “Look, it’s starting to rain...”So at his last press conference, the president scared again. Most of all, in the field of strategic weapons (that is, those that can deliver nuclear warheads directly to America), the Soviet Union “does have a certain margin of superiority, and large enough that it creates a danger.”Journalists accredited to the White House are no strangers to this word—“danger.” However, no matter how used to it, they perked up: they had never frightened us with such danger and in such a decisive form before. And with their horns of questions pointed forward, journalists rushed like bulls towards this red rag in the White House, where red, as everyone knows, is now presented in two mutually exclusive forms - as the favorite color of the outfits of the presidential wife Nancy and as the hated “red danger”.Excerpt from the transcript:Question. Are you saying that we are now, today, so vulnerable in the event of a nuclear strike that we would not be able to strike back?Answer. This would be possible due to the retaliatory ability that our triad possesses, but the great superiority of the Russians allows them to withstand our retaliatory strike and strike us again...No, a hasty comparison with bulls, with bullfighting, probably won’t do. Nuclear strikes bounced around like gutta-percha ping-pong balls. A Soviet strike... A retaliatory American strike... And then suddenly a Soviet strike, fatal and a complete end to the New World where the United States of America, its people and its president had so comfortably settled down. So to speak, the death of the New World.My head is spinning. But the president continued as if nothing had happened (again an excerpt from the transcript):“If they are ahead, then we are behind, and if we ask them to make cuts and join us and go down to a lower level, then they have no incentive ...By all accounts, the president is a brilliant joke teller, but press conferences with their serious and boring questions make him yawn. True, before the last one, they say he was specially trained. She was considered more important than others. It was broadcast in the evening, the best on television. And why?But because the president and his ministers suddenly began to be pestered - both by ordinary citizens and by difficult ones, including from Congress - with the extravagant idea of freezing the nuclear arsenals of the two powers. They say that's enough. How can! And at the press conference, the president had to say and, it would be nice, prove that the freeze does not satisfy him, that he is looking further, that his administration, soul and body, is for a dramatic (precisely dramatic!) reduction of strategic nuclear weapons. But... Only after their increment. After all, only then “they” will have an incentive. It should not be frozen. You have to go up to go down. Enlarge to make it dramatic! - reduce. Because if they are ahead, then we are behind....Everything seems to be going well. But it presses like a tight shoe, and the damned word “if” gets in the way. What if they don't believe it? If not ahead or behind, but on an equal footing? However, why - if? That's how it is - on an equal basis. And this is a fact of international life. And the main one. And on this equality of two strategic triads the shaky, fragile world rests, just as it was once supported, according to legend, on three pillars. And not believing the president, not succumbing to fear at all, here is what, for example, the seasoned military observer Drew Middleton, who stands for the interests of the Pentagon no worse than the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff himself, wrote: “Study of the strategic arsenals of the United States and the Soviet Union shows the existence of an approximate balance, although both sides have superiority in certain categories of weapons."We prepared and prepared, but at this press conference another embarrassment emerged. Even those who are easier to frighten than to sneeze, who get scared, so to speak, automatically, when ordered or just in case, were not frightened. On the contrary, the president's nuclear ping-pong has sparked talk that one cannot talk about diabolical weapons and the end of the world in vain. Senator Edward Kennedy, a pioneer of the nuclear freeze movement on Capitol Hill, rejected an approach to arms control that "proclaims that we must have more in order to have less."But what can we ultimately expect from these “pigeons”? But the White House did not expect such a trick from the Washington “hawks”. They attacked the president’s thesis about the Soviet “reserve of superiority” so much that feathers flew.What commander in chief has ever told the world that the United States is weaker than its enemy?And why is this even talked about when none of this corresponds to reality?It was the President who attacked the President, Pat Moynihan, a senator from New York, who always pleases the Pentagon.It's awkward to introduce Senator Henry Jackson. The personality is in some way historical - the founder of anti-détente, the founder of the Washington “hawks”. Now, just like the liver of Prometheus, the concept of nuclear freezing is pecked. And so the founder went against the president.“The real danger in all of this,” he said, referring to the chatter about American backwardness, “is that it has created a sense among our allies that we are in some sense in decline.”There is no need, they say, to go too far and play up the “Soviet threat.”And Zbigniew Brzezinski also urged not to overdo it and not to become poor:- I think this is a very harmful statement, because, frankly speaking, now there is an approximate balance...“Frankly...” And columnist Joseph Craft put it even more frankly: “The most important thing is that Ronald Reagan has not yet properly grasped the essence of the problem.”So, a nuclear strike... A retaliatory strike... Should there be a third? This is what people in Washington are narcotically excited about. Meanwhile, in Moscow they have long been proposing to ban the first as a grave crime. And without the first there will be no second. Without the second - third.Something like a postscript to unfunny laughter through tears. Secretary of State Haig recently stated that the current administration would never give up the right to be the first to use nuclear weapons. In doing so, he reportedly targeted several influential Americans (former Secretary of Defense McNamara, former National Security Advisor Bundy, former Ambassador Kennan). He launched a preemptive strike after learning that in the next issue of Foreign Affairs magazine they were proposing to change US nuclear strategy and join the no-first-use pledge, thereby removing an important cause of tension in US-Soviet relations.April 1982ALEXANDER HAIG VS VICTOR HUGOIn recent weeks, anti-war, anti-nuclear sentiment in the United States has been growing so rapidly that the American weekly Time considered it appropriate to recall the famous saying of Victor Hugo: “No army can stop him, whose time has come.”The movement of the masses is encouraging some at the top of America, those who understand the danger of the Reagan administration's policies. Those who disagree are speaking louder.Now the center of a lively debate in Washington is an article in Foreign Affairs magazine, written by four well-known and very knowledgeable figures, including former US Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara.Their main proposal is that the United States should change its nuclear strategy in one important point, namely, declare that it is abandoning the first use of nuclear weapons.In the fall of 1981, we put forward this idea both at the UN General Assembly and in a direct appeal to President Reagan - to declare the first use of nuclear weapons a grave crime. But Washington did not want to give up such “primacy”. And now the Soviet idea is being understood in American influential circles. And the American government is forced to fight off “its own people.” And this is how Secretary of State Haig does it, responding to four critics: “NATO consistently rejects such Soviet proposals (not to be the first to use nuclear weapons - S.K.), to accept which, in essence, would mean dooming Europe to aggression using conventional armed forces and weapons."That is, Haig predicts and frightens at the same time: if we refuse to be the first to use nuclear weapons today, there will be nothing to restrain them, the Russians, and Soviet tanks will be on the Rhine tomorrow, and a week later, who knows, on the banks of the Seine and the English Channel.Rave! Even Haig's opponents from among the American elite are forced to refute this nonsense. The same McNamara says about us: Russians are not crazy at all, they know what human losses are. It's not a big compliment, but it shows what monstrous distortions of the truth sober-minded Americans have to deal with.But it's not only that. First, Haig clearly downplays NATO's conventional military forces in his tales of wolves from Moscow and lambs from Washington. And as for the certain Soviet superiority in tanks, NATO, as everyone knows, has a superiority in anti-tank defense means.And secondly, Haig pretends to be afraid that if America refuses to be the first to use nuclear weapons, then the Soviet Union will be the first to use conventional armed forces. But does the US Secretary of State know that it’s already been three years—three years! — there is an official proposal by the Warsaw Pact states to conclude an agreement on the non-first use of both nuclear and conventional weapons against each other in Europe.The conclusion of such a treaty, says the proposal made in May 1979 and repeated more than once since then, will radically strengthen the political and legal foundation of compliance in Europe with the principle of non-use of force or threat of force, and will create new guarantees against the outbreak of military conflicts.Does Mr. Haig know this? If yes, then why is he silent about it? If not, is it proper for the head of a diplomatic department not to know the fundamental element in the other side's position? Or maybe, unlike Hugo, Haig believes that there is still a force that can resist an idea born of time itself. And that this power lies in misinformation and deception. Dangerous misconception.April 1982THREE POINTS IN AN ADVERTISING SPEECHOn May 9, US President Ronald Reagan gave a speech to graduates of the college in Eureka, Illinois, where he once studied. It is considered almost the most important foreign policy speech of the American president during his entire tenure in power.Reagan spoke, as he put it, about “the future fate of the West’s relations with the Soviet Union.” In early June, he flies to Western Europe for the first time as president to meet with NATO partners and announces in advance that it is this “critical issue ... that will lie behind all my discussions with all European leaders.”This means that the speech in Eureka is an element of preparation for the first appearance on the Western European stage of the American president.I would highlight three points in the speech. Firstly, discussions about the “Soviet threat”, which requires “the unity of the West”, or rather, the agreement of the rest with America. Secondly, a proposal to begin negotiations with the Soviet Union on the reduction of strategic nuclear weapons by the end of June. Thirdly, a plan for gradual reductions outlined in general terms, which, according to the president, will be proposed by the American delegation at the negotiations. In terms of anti-Soviet rhetoric, the president did not say anything new.I will take the second point - the proposal to begin US-Soviet negotiations on strategic weapons by the end of June. Let's take a closer look at the essence of the matter: on what grounds - and with what delay! - this proposal appeared. Ronald Reagan reigned in the White House at the end of January 1981, and already at the end of February of the same year, from the rostrum of the XXVI Congress of the CPSU, a call was made from Moscow for the resumption of negotiations on strategic weapons. For almost a year and a half, that is, a third of the four-year presidential term, the Americans avoided responding to this invitation. Because they gave priority to the modernization program of their strategic forces - mobile MX intercontinental missiles, new B-1 supersonic strategic bombers, Trident-2 missile systems for submarines, and so on.And if these days in Washington they talk about readiness for negotiations, then there is only one explanation for this - the anti-war pressure of public opinion, which can no longer be resisted. The Americans were frightened by the Soviet threat, and the Americans began to be afraid of the “scaremongers.”Journalist Michael Barone of the Washington Post asks, "Why are so many people expressing concern as if they had just learned about the existence of nuclear weapons?" And he answers: “Any political observer will immediately give you the answer: Ronald Reagan is to blame. According to many Americans and Europeans, under Reagan the danger that we will be drawn into a nuclear war is much greater than under any of his predecessors."What goes around comes around. Washington's current leaders are reaping a windfall of anxiety and fear. They reaped one harvest of fear last fall in Western Europe, where a protest movement against American policies unfolded, and they are now reaping another in America itself.The American president, one might say, is defending himself, disavowing the image that he created for himself by talking about super-weapons and the possibility of a limited nuclear war.He defended himself in November 1981, when, under pressure from Western Europe, he agreed to begin negotiations on medium-range nuclear weapons in Europe. And speech in Eureka is also a defense. Here's what New York Times columnist Leslie Gelb wrote about the speech a week before it was delivered: “What the administration is most interested in, officials say, is to formally announce some kind of simple, comprehensive plan to demonstrate that Reagan's "team" votes for peace, which would derail the campaign for a nuclear weapons freeze in Europe and the United States. From the perspective of senior administration officials, these movements undermine support for new American nuclear weapons...”Now let's turn to the third point in the American president's speech - his plan for a phased reduction of strategic weapons.Under this plan, at the end of the first phase of reduction, the number of warheads on ballistic missiles will be brought to equal limits and will be at least a third less than current levels. It is also proposed that no more than half of these warheads be mounted on ground-launched missiles.What does this mean? For a person unfamiliar with current nuclear missile arithmetic, this may seem attractive. And a person who knows it simply will immediately see that completely uneven cuts are being proposed. The United States leaves virtually untouched the most powerful and quantitatively superior components of its strategic triad - strategic bombers, sea-based nuclear missile forces, and the Soviet Union is offered to significantly reduce and weaken the most powerful element of the Soviet triad - ground-based ballistic missiles.An unscrupulous trick is being carried out under the slogan of achieving “stability in the balance of nuclear forces,” but in reality it leads to destabilization and a dangerous bias in the American side. It is not without reason that in America itself, unbiased observers greeted Reagan’s plan with outright skepticism.I will only refer to the opinion of Taim magazine: “Reagan’s proposed “ceiling” for nuclear weapons would require the United States to make significantly smaller reductions in strategic systems than the Soviet Union... This proposal is so clearly beneficial to the United States that it will most likely raise the question of the realism and even the sincerity of the administration’s approach to establishing arms control.”May 1982        IN THE MIRROR OF REALITYRecently, Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau, speaking to an American audience (graduate students at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana), said the following: “As allies, we have a responsibility not only to support your leadership, but also to ensure that you take into account in your actions legitimate goals of other member countries. It is our duty as friends to hold up a mirror in front of you so that you can see your reflection.”Fulfilling his duty as a mirror, Trudeau told Americans that Reagan's "confrontational mindset" between East and West had "created unprecedented public concern."Well, this discovery, as our reader knows very well, is not new. Both the US allies in NATO and the Americans themselves, including prominent political figures and authoritative military strategists, hold before the Washington leadership many mirrors in which they see the same thing, their own reflection: people who captivate both America and the whole world. the road to the nuclear abyss.In a word, these mirrors reflected the biggest moral and political miscalculation of the current belligerent administration. In Washington they decided to do something urgently, to somehow improve the image reflected in the mirrors, because with the frightening face of the herald of nuclear war it is impossible to count on a political future.We know what we did in Washington. After months of delays, we sat down in Geneva at the table of American-Soviet negotiations on the reduction of medium-range nuclear weapons in Europe. After a 16-month delay, they announced their readiness to negotiate on strategic weapons.The tone of Washington's statements has changed and softened. “There are more important things than the world...” This aphorism has not been forgotten and, perhaps, will remain in history. But they no longer risk repeating it. From Moscow you won’t be able to see what kind of hats Washington ladies showed off at the traditional spring fashion parade, but it’s noticeable that the fashion for political sayings has changed. Statements—and assurances—came in from the Washington offices that there was nothing more terrible than nuclear war.Among members of the Reagan Cabinet, Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger is by all accounts the number one hawk. But he also changed the record. Listen, for example, to what he said when he spoke a week ago at the Massachusetts Medical Society: “Today I would like to talk about a topic that worries us all equally. I mean the threat of nuclear war, which we, to our horror, have been living under for 34 years. This is a highly unpleasant and difficult topic, but I take it extremely to heart. Some Americans have expressed doubts about whether our president and his government share their aversion to war, especially nuclear war. This is a terrible misunderstanding...”The Americans are assured that they misunderstood their president and his defense minister. They share their aversion to war; they also do not want war. We admit: after all, only true madmen, pathological non-humans can advocate nuclear war. The whole question, however, is whether this or that policy works—to bring war closer or to delay it, to eliminate its threat. Looking at Washington policy from this angle, we will see that it has changed only externally, only taking into account truly global criticism, only for camouflage purposes. Because its core remains the same - an encroachment on the fundamental principle of equal security, an attempt to break the existing military balance and, by getting involved in new rounds of the arms race, to achieve an advantage over the Soviet Union.In the same talk, Weinberger told his medical audience that peace, like health, “requires care,” and explained what he meant by that care. “In the field of arms control,” he said, “we face the unfortunate paradox that the path to peace is marked by preparation for war. But there is no other rational solution.”This means it’s the same: the problem of arms control is in second place after the problem of “preparing for war.”Following President Reagan's speech in Eureka, in which he expressed readiness for US-Soviet strategic arms negotiations, statements on American strategy were made by many senior Washington figures: Secretary of State Haig and Arms Control and Disarmament Agency Director Rostow, retired General Rowney, charged with leading strategic arms negotiations, and Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs Clark. Everyone talked about the horrors of nuclear war, about the president's peace initiative, and everyone justified the continuation of the arms race.While Weinberger resorted to metaphors and paradoxes, Clark, the president's national security adviser, puts it bluntly: "The decisions on strategic nuclear forces that the President announced last fall remain the foundation on which our policy is built."Pay attention to this word - “foundation”.And Clarke goes on to detail what the President's decision was: "We are going to modernize our manned bombers, strengthen the accuracy and payload of our submarine-launched ballistic missiles, add sea-launched cruise missiles to our arsenal, strengthen our strategic defenses and deploy new ones." larger and more accurate land-based ballistic missiles.”This is the program the country is negotiating with, whose president at the same time claims that a simple limitation of strategic weapons is not enough for him, that he resolutely advocates their significant reduction.In the United States there is an expression that coincides with ours - on-the-job training. It happens that American presidents are also engaged in such studies - mastering the realities and already accumulated experience of international life. It was not yesterday—and long before Reagan’s appearance in the White House—that the idea of limiting and reducing strategic arms was born (although the current US president not yesterday, but already 20 years ago, began to oppose any attempts to control nuclear weapons).This is not the first time that the Soviet and American sides are going to sit down at the negotiating table, having it as the subject of their discussion. It took three years in the late 60s and early 70s to develop the Interim Agreement on the Limitation of Strategic Arms. The story of the SALT II Treaty, which, having been signed, remained stuck in Washington on Capitol Hill (and is already dead, according to the American government, although many prominent American figures are demanding its resurrection) lasted for seven years—and not through Moscow’s fault. With all the swings in American-Soviet relations, with all the changes in the political weather overseas, no one has succeeded and is unlikely to be able to freeze the very idea of American-Soviet dialogue. And if now even representatives of the administration, in which he was clearly not in honor, are advocating for him, then they should, apparently, keep in mind the passed, learned, useful lessons.The Soviet Union again reminds us of them, considering the other side’s readiness to resume negotiations on strategic weapons as a step in the right direction and setting out an approach that can ensure the success of negotiations and the achievement of an agreement.Firstly, it is required that the negotiations truly pursue the goal of limiting and reducing strategic arms, and not serve as a cover for continuing the arms race and breaking the existing parity.Secondly, it is necessary that both sides conduct them taking into account the legitimate security interests of each other and in strict accordance with the principle of equality and equal security.Thirdly, it is necessary to preserve all the positive things that have been achieved before.In contrast to the two discordant motives now heard in Washington, in Moscow there is one motive, one leitmotif: to block all channels of the arms race, to agree to reduce the level of military confrontation.This leitmotif is emphasized by the Soviet proposal that strategic weapons of the USSR and the USA be frozen now, as soon as negotiations begin. Do not negotiate in parallel with the arms race, but freeze it. This is another fundamental difference between the Soviet position and the American one. However, it is necessary to clarify the official American position. As public opinion polls persistently show, Americans support the idea of freezing nuclear arsenals by a three-to-one majority. The Soviet proposal for a freeze is a response to deeply rooted sentiments everywhere, including in the United States. The response is not speculative, not demagogic, but dictated by the same concern for stopping the buildup of nuclear weaponsAmerican representatives, justifying themselves to their own people, claim that the freeze will only benefit the Soviet Union and will deprive it of the incentive for serious negotiations. This is logic turned inside out. It is much more logical to assume that the freeze will help create a climate of at least minimal trust, which is so necessary in the negotiations. On the contrary, the continuation of the arms race in parallel with the negotiations will contribute to a climate of suspicion and hostility.Of course, even very reasonable ideas can scare away many Americans by hinting that these ideas “play into the hands of Moscow.” And yet, having made this reservation, perhaps today we can talk about a paradox more encouraging than the one that Weinberger trumped. It seems that in their attitude to the idea of a nuclear freeze, more Americans agree with Moscow's position than with the position of official Washington.May 1982BLOOD AND CALCULATIONSOne Charles Wilson, a member of the US House of Representatives from Texas, recently visited southern Lebanon and, upon returning to Washington, reported to reporters that the destruction as a result of Israeli bombing was “absolutely terrible.” But that was not the highlight of his press statement. “Despite the great material and human losses, Lebanese citizens are glad that Israel invaded their country, knocking out the PLO” (Palestine Liberation Organization) - this was the main discovery of the congressman. He referred in particular to a conversation with “a young woman whose home was destroyed and whose nephew was killed in Israeli shelling.” Where did the conversation take place: near the ruins of the house? Over the body of a murdered nephew? Details not specified. The main thing is that the woman, as the congressman put it, “was glad.” Happy about the Israeli invasion of Lebanon.Well, anything can happen - both unnatural joys and collaborators. Let us assume that Charles Wilson of Texas did not invent the woman from South Lebanon. Let us not forget that there is a bloody civil strife there and that the Lebanese right-wing Christians are ready to block with the Israelis in the expulsion and even extermination of the Palestinians. And the question still arises: would this insensitive aunt be happy if she had to find herself in the place of her nephew and tens of thousands of killed and wounded Lebanese and Palestinians? And another question is that many in America, turning a blind eye to blood and death, to international law torn to shreds, blasphemously and impudently seek justification for criminal aggression.By the way, how did the American congressman end up on Lebanese soil? Without a visa from the Lebanese authorities. Just as illegal as Israeli soldiers. In their train. His trip was paid for by the Israeli Institute for Strategic Studies. He traveled through occupied Lebanon with “Israeli officials.” Why was he invited to take a ride through war-torn and scorched South Lebanon? It is clear that this is a reliable frame, brought to perfection by the American Zionist organizations and the Israeli embassy in Washington. And this is not a special case at all. From him, without difficulty or any violence against logic, a bridge is thrown to the general thing - to the propaganda support in America for Israeli aggression. Wilson is a Democrat, but there is more bipartisanship and less opposition to the Republican Reagan administration on this issue than on any other. At its national conference at the end of June, the Democratic Party endorsed a statement that saw the Israeli invasion as “an opportunity to bring lasting peace to the people of Lebanon and greater security for Israel.” As you can see, dark humor: cluster and phosphorus bombs are yet again once the gates to peace and security are opened. Meanwhile, this formulation passed through the conference with unusual ease. Friction arose when someone, feeling ashamed, proposed to include in the same document - in the most toothless form - "regret for the deaths of thousands of Lebanese civilians."The American media pays a lot of attention to the tragic events in Lebanon. Let's not paint all correspondents, columnists and publishers with the same brush. Sometimes the cruel face of war, the slow, painful quartering of West Beirut, appears in its true light. And, however, one cannot deny the observation of James Abourezk, who writes in the Chicago Tribune about the following pattern: “The higher the number of killed and wounded became, the less importance the American press attached to this, which is clear evidence of their latent anti-Arab racism."James Abourezk is a former senator from South Dakota. He was the only Arab American in the Senate. Was - and ceased to be. One must think, not without the help of the pro-Israeli lobby, so powerful that any person in the United States who dreams of a successful and long-term political career should stock up on its support. Knowledgeable observers in America and outside it will agree with the ex-separatist’s thought as simple and clear as day: “Since Israel is almost completely dependent on American funds, American weapons and US political support, it simultaneously invades Lebanon has opened a second, superbly coordinated front in the United States to manipulate public opinion.”With all the variety of shades, including critical ones - in relation to Begin and his Minister of Defense Sharon, the feathers and voices of the “second front” mainly serve Israel, portraying not the aggressor, but a kind of original educator, a stern but fair executor who is forced physically punishing your neighbors is in their own interests. The “second” propaganda front won victory on Capitol Hill. As correctly noted, the unprecedented invasion of Lebanon caused fewer critical voices there than the Israeli bombing of a nuclear research center near Baghdad last summer. It would seem what a wide field of activity has opened up for senators and congressmen, these champions of the fight for “human rights” and against “international terrorism.” But they are completely silent. And the rag is a gag with which the same pro-Israeli lobby silences all critics.And here is the overall result of activity on the “second front”, reflected in a recent survey conducted by the famous Louis Harris Institute. As Harris writes: "A majority of Americans (76 to 14 percent) support the goals of Israel's invasion of Lebanon: to get Israel, Syria and the PLO out of the country and let the Lebanese manage their own affairs."Nowadays a person cannot be surprised by any falsifications. But think about this quote, these numbers. This turns out to be the “goals” of the Israeli invasion! And this is how cleverly the Americans are brainwashed!By the way, these figures help to understand one of the most remarkable paradoxes of international life in recent years, demonstrated again in recent weeks. On the Security Council, the United States stands alone (even its closest NATO allies do not vote with them), vetoing condemnation of Israel. At the UN General Assembly, in an embrace with Israel - and not a soul nearby - they challenge the entire unanimous world community. It is a rare sight to see a great power voluntarily subjecting itself to such ostracism so as not to betray a partner who has committed open aggression. Alas, the king does not look naked at home. The Harris poll is evidence of this.* * *Washington gave the green light to Israeli aggression in Lebanon. Washington - at all its levels of government - did not utter a word of condemnation towards the aggressor. Washington provided him with diplomatic cover at the UN. And now, having brought the landing ships of the 6th Fleet to the Lebanese coast and planning to land its marines for the “orderly separation” of the PLO detachments and Israeli troops surrounding West Beirut, Washington dreams of the political fruits of aggression to strengthen its positions in the Middle East, its influence in the Arab world. Figuratively speaking, without Washington's connivance, the aggressor would not have broken free. But now, when Southern Lebanon is captured and devastated, when West Beirut is under fire and the threat of a merciless assault, the Reagan administration seems to be posing in front of the Arabs with the leash and muzzle of its Marines. This pose is again hypocritical and not at all selfless. Begin is not prevented from doing his job, but at the same time in Washington they do not forget about their benefits.Current circumstances once again bring us to the question of the goals of Israel and the United States, which coincide when it comes to Israeli interests, but diverge somewhat when it comes to Washington's diplomatic maneuvering regarding the Arab states and the Palestinian issue.If we take the goals of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, then, of course, they do not look as noble and harmless as in the Harris poll or the observations of Congressman Wilson. Having ousted the PLO and intending to nullify the Lebanese NPS, Begin and Sharon want, at a maximum, to transform Lebanon into a vassal state, at a minimum, a politically weak-willed and spineless Lebanon, excluded from the Arab-Israeli dispute and not interfering with plans to create a “greater Israel.”To better understand this goal, it is necessary to place it in the broader context of the designs of Israeli extremism and, in this regard, to emphasize the internal connection that exists between the Israeli attack on Arab countries in June 1967 and its current aggression in Lebanon, which began - a symbolic detail - exactly 15 years after that “six-day war”.Then Israel captured Sinai, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and the Syrian Golan Heights. At the end of April this year, he completed the return of Sinai to Egypt - under the separate Camp David agreement, which became the main instrument of Israeli and American policy in the Middle East. Sinai Begin paid off by paralyzing the main Arab country - Egypt (this, by the way, is now being proven by the behavior of Cairo) and weakening the already fragmented Arab front. Having bought off Egypt, Begin - without any diplomacy - said that everything else captured from the Arabs would never be returned. The Golan Heights have been annexed by the Knesset, and now it is the turn of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, where 1.3 million Palestinians live.“We need our neighbors to know that, regardless of whether peace treaties are concluded or not, there will never again be a question of evacuating Jewish settlements anywhere on this earth.”These words of Begin, spoken in the Knesset immediately after the evacuation of Sinai, revealed the hidden meaning of Camp David and, as is now obvious, were a prelude to the invasion of Lebanon. They meant that Palestinian land would go to the Israelis, that Israel would never give up territory on which the Palestinians could create their own state. Begin vowed to deprive the Palestinians of their land, but it was also necessary to deprive them of the will to resist and physically eradicate the most active fighters for the rights of the Palestinian people. This is exactly what Israeli soldiers have been doing in Lebanon for more than a month.A few words about the moral, or historical-moral, ■ side of the Israeli adventure and Israeli politics in general. As you know, the state of Israel was created shortly after the Second World War and the most powerful impetus for its creation was the tragic fate of the Jews in Europe, captured by Hitler. The Nazis killed about 6 million Jews, two-thirds of them living in Europe. Israel's leaders present this monstrous genocide as the main historical mandate justifying the protection of Israel's security. This must not happen again! And who wouldn't agree with this? Yes, it shouldn't. But is it possible for today's executioner to speak on behalf of yesterday's victims and justify his atrocities by their fate? Meanwhile, Begin arrogates to himself this right, transferring to the Arabs the methods that Hitler used against the Jews. And just like Hitler, he demands “living space” - at the expense of the territory of other peoples. It is not surprising that President Mitterrand, when he was talking about the Israeli bombing and shelling of West Beirut, came to mind the fate of the French village of Oradour, where the inhabitants were completely exterminated by the Nazis. Zionism is indeed a form of racism.* * *Now again about American Middle East policy. With all the abundance of components that it consists of, two appear as key: the imperial, imperialist interests of the United States, acting under the pseudonym of national ones, and the influence of Zionist and semi-Zionist organizations and groups that form the so-called Israeli lobby. When there are discrepancies, the second factor usually turns out to be predominant, although more and more Americans are expressing dissatisfaction with this circumstance and among American Jews there are growing protests against Begin’s expansionist policy and louder warnings about the dangers of following in its wake. George Ball, a very experienced observer of American political life, recently noted that “the last time America opposed Israel” ... was in 1956, under Eisenhower, who did not approve of the Anglo-French-Israeli trifecta of aggression in the Suez Canal zone. "We allowed the Begin government to direct American foreign policy," he said, referring to Israel's invasion of Lebanon.Absolutely right. But didn’t Begin and Sharon work for America? The weakening of the PLO and Lebanon, “responsive” to the demands of Tel Aviv and freed from inter-Arab, primarily Syrian, forces maintaining order, suit Washington quite well. In blockaded Beirut, amid the roar of Israeli shells, Reagan's emissary Philip Habib is in a hurry to reap the political harvest, pleasing Israel, various Lebanese factions, and almost even Palestinian troops, as he negotiates their “safe evacuation” from the ring of the Israeli blockade. In the first act, Washington silently observed the Israeli robbery, and in the second he appeared in the role of a mediator, concerned about preventing new bloodshed. And the marines loom at the ready off the Lebanese coast.“It’s so important for us to have not just one, but several friends there,” Defense Secretary Weinberger recently explained to American journalists. This means that the Americans, portraying themselves as opponents of Israel's bloody excesses, want to prove their usefulness to the Arabs. This means that Camp David, which was buried, is being revived anew - in the hope that Jordan’s resistance to American-Israeli pressure will weaken under new circumstances. What about the Palestinian problem? There is a lot of talk in Washington now that it is not off the agenda, that it must definitely be addressed. But how? They hope that now the Palestinians will be more receptive to the idea of scant autonomy, which, in fact, Israel sought - in the spirit of Camp David.President Reagan declared that “new Egypts must be created,” meaning, of course, Sadat’s, capitulatory Egypts. Washington and Tel Aviv are now working in this direction, having distributed their roles.July 1982HYPOCRISYThe general truth about Washington's connivance and direct complicity with Israeli aggression in Lebanon is so obvious that it seems to make “details” unnecessary. However, it is precisely through the details that the full extent of complicity in this international crime and, at the same time, all the pathetic double-dealing of the Reagan administration are revealed. The details, as they say, shoot. The details kill you on the spot - and not just in a figurative sense. And not only Palestinian resistance fighters fighting with weapons in their hands, but also civilians. And this especially applies to such “parts” as American ball shells and bombs supplied to Israel and used by it in Southern Lebanon.What is this thing? A relatively new fruit of the evil genius of the Pentagon specialists, who are tirelessly improving the science of exterminating the human race and at the same time moving in two directions: on the one hand, they are packaging nuclear death (let’s say, into neutron charges), and on the other hand, they are bringing conventional weapons closer to weapons in terms of destructive power mass destruction. Ball shells and bombs, opening above the ground as if from a cloud, sprinkle it with a hail of metal balls. Every hailstone contains death!The Americans first tried this hail on the Vietnamese. According to the description two years ago, the ball bomb is a 35-centimeter cylinder with a diameter of 7.5 centimeters, with 250 steel balls embedded in the wall. Up to a thousand of these cylinders, packed in cassettes, could be carried on board fighter-bombers. American experts have calculated that the destructive effect of such a bomb load is equal to the firepower of 13,160 rifles, each firing a magazine of cartridges. And a very recent description, current days, speaks of ball shells or bombs that open up and disperse 650 mini-bombs that explode on contact with the ground.“Progress” does not sleep, and Israel gets the newest products from the American death conveyor. By its nature, it is a weapon against large concentrations of troops. There are none of those in Lebanon, and in cities there, including Beirut, military formations are located side by side with the civilian population, like islands in the sea. It was this peaceful sea of people that Israeli generals began to rain down with American hail from ball shells and bombs.Weapons of terror? Yes. And the weapon of Zionist racism, ruthlessly used against the Arabs. Here you can immediately see the handwriting of two terrorists in government positions - Begin and his Minister of Defense Sharop. If quite a lot has been written about the first, then the second deserves at least a brief description, especially since some are already raising him to the pedestal of triumph and promising him the post of prime minister in the near future.The American weekly Newsweek, having published the biography of Ariel Sharon, highlights two features of the man nicknamed the Bulldozer for a reason: unscrupulousness in the Israeli internal political game (since he changed parties and allies more than once) and “principled” cruelty, a reputation as an “arch hawk” in regard to attitudes towards Palestinians and Arabs in general. The magazine cites one typical episode. In 1953, Ben-Gurion, Israel's first prime minister, ordered 25-year-old Sharon and his subordinates to kill "ten to twelve" Arabs in the West Bank village of Qibiya in retaliation for the killing of three Israelis. Sharon went beyond his plan without flinching, blowing up 46 Arab houses and killing 69 civilians, including many women and children hiding in cellars. Then the UN Security Council for the first time condemned Israel for its act of merciless extermination of Arabs.How many times has Israel been condemned like this since then? And young Sharon grew into an overweight Minister of Defense nicknamed Bulldozer and remained true to himself. Same handwriting. Same tactics. Only the number of victims is different - many thousands. And other instruments of extermination - including ball bombs.Israeli bombing and shelling of Lebanese cities represent a gross violation of a number of international conventions and UN resolutions prohibiting military operations against civilians (among these documents is the Charter of the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg, one of the articles of which equates the senseless destruction of cities and villages to a war crime) . This was highlighted in the recently published communiqué of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers. But this is not just a slap in the face to international law. Israel also challenged the domestic laws of its main ally and patron. This refers to those laws of the United States that allow the use of American weapons supplied to foreign countries only for the purpose of self-defense, and also establish special restrictions on the use of weapons such as ball bombs and projectiles.Begin and Sharon issued a challenge, but the American president and the American Congress evaded it and for a long time pretended that there was, in fact, no challenge to American laws. And here we move on to the Washington comedy around the Lebanese tragedy. The comedy, like the tragedy, lasts from the beginning of June.From the first days of the Israeli invasion, there were reports that Lebanese and Palestinian civilians, young and old, were dying from barbaric American “balloons” dropped by the Israelis from American-made aircraft. Journalists and other observers, including American ones, even singled out this “detail” from the general horror that befell Southern Lebanon. Facts: The corpses of the dead lay on Lebanese streets and roads. Correspondents of official representatives in Washington were pestered by these facts: why is the American government silently swallowing this violation of American laws? And the further, the more the abyss of Washington's hypocrisy opened up. Only about half a month after the invasion of Lebanon, the State Department sent a corresponding request to the Israeli government. As if a crime committed in front of everyone can be recognized as such only when the criminal himself repents and confesses? But the criminal was in no hurry to answer, he had no time, he continued to commit the crime.On July 11, an NBC television program featured the following dialogue between correspondents and Secretary of Defense Weinberger:Question. But three weeks ago you asked to answer the question whether cluster bombs were used. What answer did you receive?Answer. We are still conducting an investigation and have not yet completed it...Question. Isn't it surprising that the Israeli military cannot tell the United States whether they used prohibited weapons or not? Doesn't this seem strange to you?Answer. This is simply an example of how we have no control over this country or its military...Question. Will it be necessary to change laws in the future in order to prevent this kind of use of American weapons and bring greater clarity to the issue of American responsibility for this...Answer. The law is still completely clear. This weapon can only be used for defensive purposes. But the question arises about what self-defense is...Caspar Weinberger in Washington is considered one of those who would like to be tougher with Israeli leaders, bearing in mind that it is politically unprofitable to alienate such “moderate” Arab countries as Saudi Arabia and Jordan from the United States, or to put Egypt in an “uncomfortable position.” PI, after all, this patented “hawk” is cooing “dove” here. There are no “hawks” against Begin and Sharon in official Washington. Meanwhile, “control of this country or its armed forces” (Weinberger’s words) would be easy for America. For this, only one thing is required: that, observing their own legislation, the President and Congress of the United States point their fingers at the aggressor and stop supplying him with weapons and other American assistance. “The law... is absolutely clear,” we repeat Weinberger’s words. But neither legislators nor the executive branch want to comply with it in relation to Israel.Finally, on July 16, 40 days after the invasion of Lebanon, apparently delivered on a turtle (since all supersonic planes are occupied by other things), the Israeli response regarding ball bombs and shells arrived in Washington. Its contents are kept secret. And just as secretly there are contacts between the White House and Capitol Hill: what to do next? A "study" of Begin's response is reportedly underway. Judging by the fact that “there is no deadline for completing the study” (the words of Deputy White House Press Secretary Speaks), it too may move at a snail's pace.At the same time, on July 19, it was announced that President Reagan had ordered a “suspend” on the supply of ballistic missiles and bombs to Israel. What does this gesture mean? That Israel has already done everything it wanted with the help of the American savage hail? That Sharon has enough “balls” in reserve to survive the American “suspension”? Or is this a pathetic bone that the American president has thrown to the outraged American and world public? It is difficult to test the first and second assumptions, but the third seems correct. Yes, bone. Yes, pathetic. And, besides, a screen. After all, the White House has not said a word about suspending or terminating other military supplies to Israel. American military assistance continues as if nothing had happened. There are opinions that it can be increased in order to compensate Israel for the “damage” it has suffered.The tragedy in Lebanon continues. The comedy continues in Washington. Would you believe it, they still haven’t come to an official conclusion: did Israel undertake a criminal aggression or just an action of legitimate “self-defense”?July 1982SEASON OF THE DEADAugust has begun and the holiday season is in full swing. Journalists, unless, of course, they themselves are on vacation, write and talk in their reports about the low season, about capitals that are abandoned by residents and stormed by tourists.Dead season... How does this sound in relation to Lebanon, where they do not have time to bury the dead. And it’s not tourists who are besieging Beirut.Lebanon remains in the spotlight. For eight weeks now, on the ancient land, which nature has so endowed with a gentle sea, beautiful mountains and paradise, a long hot - damned - summer has been dragging on.Just three or four days after their invasion of Lebanon, which began on June 6, the Israelis broke through to the outskirts of Beirut, and since then, the siege has lasted for more than a month and a half.Not an execution, but a slow, painful torture. A ceasefire was established and violated 7 times.In the following days, Israeli air raids and artillery shelling of tormented West Beirut were the most brutal. The Israelis deliberately targeted areas where only civilians lived—more than 600 people were killed and wounded.On Thursday, the Security Council, having urgently met, unanimously adopted a resolution demanding an end to the blockade of Beirut and not impede the supply of food and basic necessities to the population. Only the US representative did not join this demand, although in it, if you like, the voice of the conscience of all mankind is heard. A person cannot and should not put up with it when an innocent person is tormented and killed before his eyes. All of humanity cannot come to terms with this.What is the political meaning of the torture to which the half-million population of West Beirut is being subjected? Why do the invaders, constantly threatening execution, that is, storming, still not go ahead with the assault?They are afraid of losses in their army, which is accustomed to fighting with little blood in its lightning attacks on its Arab neighbors. And one more consideration. Israeli extremists have demonstrated many times their disregard for the opinion of the world community, but the execution of a city of half a million is fraught with such moral and political damage for them, including in the United States, that they cannot ignore it.For Begin and Sharon, torture by siege is an attempt to achieve the same goal at a lower cost. And the goal is known - by bleeding the Palestine Liberation Organization as much as possible, by destroying it physically as much as possible, to achieve the political capitulation of the PLO, to bring it publicly to its knees. The Israeli, Zionist leaders want the PLO with its military units not only to leave Beirut, from Lebanon, but also to sink into political oblivion, without receiving any promises to resolve the Palestinian issue on the basis of self-determination and the creation of a Palestinian state.What about the Palestinians? As one of the leaders of the PLO, Abu Ayyad, told the Italian agency ANSA: “In order to save Beirut and our Lebanese brothers, who resisted the enemy with us, we are ready to agree to anything. But there is, however, a line that we cannot cross. We cannot give up and betray our cause. We are ready for anything except capitulation.”They are ready to fight. And if you leave Beirut, then with your head raised, subject to the withdrawal of Israeli troops from Lebanon and the preservation of the PLO as the legal representative of the Palestinian people.So, along with the armed struggle there is a political struggle. Speaking to each other in the language of weapons, opponents naturally do not sit down at the negotiating table. There is no table as such at all, but there are intermediaries, and the emissary of the US President Philip Habib, an American diplomat of Lebanese origin, imposes himself as the main mediator. Habib speaks directly to Israel, and to the Palestinians through the Lebanese, Syrians, Saudis, Jordanians, since Washington, in solidarity with Tel Aviv, does not recognize the PLO as a representative of the Palestinian people. In Washington they say that they will be ready for direct contact with the PLO if it recognizes the right of the State of Israel to exist. At the same time, Washington is hinting that in this case the American government will be able to put pressure on Begin to take a more reasonable position on the Palestinian issue.Intricate tactics. Moreover, she is hypocritical and deceitful. Habib poses as an impartial mediator, but, in fact, he is an emissary not only of Reagan, but also of Begin.Let me illustrate this with a fresh example. On July 25, PLO Executive Committee Chairman Yasser Arafat was visited in West Beirut by a delegation of five American congressmen touring the Middle East. After the meeting, Congressman Paul McCloskey told reporters that in the presence of the Americans, Arafat signed a document recognizing all UN resolutions on the Middle East, and therefore Israel’s right to exist.This message caused an extraordinary uproar in the Western press. But Israel's reaction was completely negative, and in Washington officials first called for "extreme caution" and then - following Tel Aviv - declared the whole thing a "propaganda stunt."This is not about a trick, but about a willingness to make a reasonable compromise. Representatives of the PLO clarified and explained the contents of the document signed by Arafat in the presence of American congressmen. The PLO accepts all UN resolutions “relating to the Palestinian question.” That is, we are talking about recognizing the right to exist of both Israel and the Palestinian state. We are talking about mutual, not unilateral recognition. Reasonable and fair. But it is against this - against the Palestinian state - that Begin, Sharon and company rear up.Israel speaks in the language of ultimatums. The Israeli government said in a statement that the PLO must "disappear" from the Middle East scene, both militarily and politically. This line is essentially being followed by Washington.August 1982BEGIN AND HITLERThese days, Beirut has become our common bleeding wound, the wound of all humanity.Even those people, especially in the United States, who justified Israeli aggression in Lebanon are now uneasy. Their composure betrays them when they see the cruelty of the conquerors and the suffering of the innocent in West Beirut.Here is one example of this kind - the Washington Post newspaper. Recently, in an editorial, she indicted President Reagan personally. She wrote: “Yesterday a photograph was sent from Lebanon in which the results he (Reagan) achieved were reflected like a drop of water:"Photo shows a seven-month-old baby who lost both arms and suffered severe burns when an Israeli fighter jet mistakenly struck Christian residential areas in East Beirut."So, it was a “mistake”—it was not a Muslim, but a Christian seven-month-old boy who lost both arms and received severe burns, and not in West Beirut, but in East Beirut. But this time, the Washington Post does not excuse either the Israelis or the American president, suggesting that he either really seek a ceasefire, or “drop the mask and openly accept a share of responsibility.”And on the same day, the Israeli newspaper Jerusalem Post published the text of Begin's message to Reagan. Thanking “dear Ron” for the birthday greetings, Begin writes: “I feel like a prime minister entrusted with the task of commanding a valiant army outside the walls of “Berlin”, where among civilians he hides in a bunker hidden deep underground, Hitler and his henchmen."Think about these words. Begin lives in some kind of upside-down world and is looking for like-minded people there. He, Begin, is confident that the US President will accept the blasphemous comparison of Beirut, being destroyed by the Israelis, with Nazi Berlin, and at the same time agree with Begin’s right to exterminate innocent residents in order to get to the armed Palestinians, and not just anywhere, but on the soil of a foreign state, where the Israelis entered by force.The hated word - Hitler - now appears frequently in international news. But not in the connection in which Begin attracted him. It is he himself, it is Begin, who is compared to Hitler - both in the East, in socialist countries, and increasingly in the West. He shows himself to be a maniac and fanatic, like Hitler. And a racist, perhaps, no less than the Fuhrer. Yes, a racist, although his racism, consciousness of racial exclusivity, sense of permissiveness are directed not against Jews or Slavs, like Hitler, but against Arabs, against Palestinians.A seven-month-old child with his arms torn off... How many times our hearts sank these days! But Begin, Sharoya and the like go ahead, exterminating innocent people. And not just people. An entire people “guilty” only of the fact that the state of Israel decided to settle on those lands where Palestinians lived from century to century.There is a cruel immoral rule - the end justifies the means. The goal even coincides, merges with the means, if the goal is genocide, the destruction of an entire people.History, of course, will have its say. But even now, despite all their propaganda covers, the Zionists stand close to the Nazis in our minds, shocked by the pictures of barbaric destruction and massacres in Beirut.August 1982HOPES FOR SCHULTZTime flies so quickly, today's events so confidently displace yesterday's events from our consciousness, that one name has already been forgotten - due to uselessness - which only a month ago was familiar to us, like slippers, although far from being so comfortable and cozy. I mean Alexander Haig, the former US Secretary of State.Let's remember him for a moment to move on to his successor and some thoughts on US policy. Haig managed to utter many words with an eye to eternity. Which of them will become his political epitaph? Maybe these: “There are more important things than peace.” Or this exclamation: “I’m taking command here.” It burst out from Haig on March 30, 1980, immediately after the assassination attempt on President Reagan, when the Secretary of State appeared before reporters at the White House in complete panic - with shaking hands.The ambitious general, who had made a dizzying career in just ten years, could not even take command of American foreign policy. As the ancient Romans said: Sic transit gloria mundi! This is how worldly glory passes!However, some suggest that the glory has not faded, that Haig is aiming for the presidency - in 1984. If this is so, then his chances are approximately zero - the same as in the unsuccessful attempt in 1980. Haig does not have any broad political base in the Republican Party, to which he counts himself, there is no real support “on the ground.” And without this, a successful start in the election campaign is impossible. Secondly, the post of Secretary of State did not add to his attractiveness, even in the eyes of his possible supporters, showing inconsistency, an ability to divide rather than unite, and for an American politician who relies on different factions of the ruling elite and seeks the support of different groups of the population, it is important if not maybe, then at least look like a “unifier”. In short, the “eastern establishment,” that is, the political and economic elite of the Northeast of the United States, dissatisfied with the dominance of Californian newly minted and inexperienced millionaires in Washington, will, it seems, find another candidate in 1984, not Alexander Haig, to try to seize power.In political parlance, the name Alexander Haig has already been replaced by another name - George Shultz, the new Secretary of State. True, he has not yet had time to gift the world with his aphorisms and at first, unlike his predecessor, he prefers to listen - and remain silent.Shultz, 61, an economist by training, held three ministerial posts under Nixon and in recent years was president of Bechtel, a major construction corporation headquartered in San Francisco with operations in dozens of countries around the world. Unanimously approved by the Senate. And he was showered with praise from bourgeois observers and politicians - honest and decent, unambitious and, however, not allowing himself to be pushed around, calm and - unlike Haig - able to “play in a team”, not throwing tantrums and noisy scenes at any occasion. In addition, he is a Californian - at least at his place of last residence, who personally and well knows the president himself, his closest aides, commanders in the White House, and such a competitor of the Secretary of State as Secretary of Defense Weinberger, with whom, by the way, he worked at the Bechtel corporation "We must see, firstly, how all these characteristics are verified in practice. After all, with a passion that does not fit with their usual practicality and even skepticism, American observers at first attribute to many statesmen the qualities of a superman, or, let's say in Russian, a miracle worker. And secondly, and this is the main thing, what all these qualities will be applied to, what kind of policy.Shultz is, without a doubt, a conservative. Otherwise he would not have gotten into Reagan's cabinet. But he is considered a sober-minded conservative who understands the world in which America exists and the limits of its capabilities. Can such a person pursue the short-sighted and dangerous policies that President Reagan calls a “crusade for freedom”?Let's listen to the opinion of American observers.Here, for example, is what the New York Times hopes for Shultz: “Although in his public appearances George Shultz, as befits him, fully supports Reagan’s policies, the new Secretary of State knows well what a terrible mess the President has turned politics into United States in relation to the Soviet Union. Unofficially, his sober vision will undoubtedly advise the President something like the following: the task of the United States in Poland and the Soviet Union cannot be to overthrow the power of the Communists. American policy must be one of coexistence—and a norm of behavior that can be determined by agreements and reinforced by economic incentives. In this spirit, the arms race can be curbed...Only on such a platform can the allies be persuaded to remain faithful to their alliance.”Such hope for Shultz's "sober view" exists among despairing American observers. Here are the words of one of them, Leslie Gelb: "Only two things can force the administration to change its course to the right - failure or Shultz." Another well-known observer, Joseph Kraft, calls Shultz “the country’s last hope for avoiding the collapse of another president.”Listen to what they say: collapse... failure of the president...Powerful words.And not random.Over the past ten years, America - constitutionally - could have easily gotten by with two presidents, given that a president can be elected twice and spend a total of eight years in the White House. Instead, we are faced with the fourth president in ten years. Over the same ten years, the United States now has its sixth Secretary of State. There were Rogers and Kissinger under Nixon and Ford, Vance and Muskie under Carter. The pace is accelerating - and now Reagan has a second secretary of state, although only a year and a half of his presidency have passed.But I digress. With all the hopes for Schultz’s “sober view,” a more plausible, although less comforting, forecast is expressed, in my opinion, by the weekly Business Week. He writes: "Shultz's main task will not be to change Reagan's policies, but to make them more effective."But how can unrealistic policies be made effective? You can’t tell the whole world: “I’m taking command here.” But even if you say it, the world won’t listen.I will conclude my commentary with the rather pessimistic words of the Baltimore Sun: “It seems that Reagan’s America is quite ready to declare that it intends to listen only to its own drummer, telling the rest of the world to go to hell... Unfortunately, the president is narrowing rather than expanding your view of the world."August 1982UNDER COVER OF THE AMERICAN VETOThe concept of catharsis comes from the ancient Greeks - the purification of souls through tragedy. Translating the high style into the language of the Russian proverb, we get: every cloud has a silver lining. Trouble reveals the characters of people, and international crises reveal the policies of states. What is hidden and feigned appears in its true form, in the light of day. Now, watching with shudder and pain the tragedy of West Beirut, we can, however, talk about a kind of catharsis - about clarifying the truth, about becoming familiar with the truth. We can and should talk about political lessons. They are complex and multi-layered. Without pretending to be complete or even new, I will try to present a few considerations.The first layer of accusations brought by the Beirut tribunal against the killed and wounded people and the destroyed streets is of a moral, moral order. Behind the brutal shelling and merciless (and unpunished) air raids, Begin and Sharon's tactics are visible to reduce the number of Israeli casualties at the cost of tenfold, hundredfold increase in casualties among the innocent civilian population of West Beirut. They pay at someone else's expense. They neglect the anger of the whole world in order to reduce criticism of their adventure in Israel itself.However, the cruelty (on a racist basis) of these leaders of Zionism does not need proof. And it’s worth talking about the hard-heartedness of the American president. In America, they often talk and write about Ronald Reagan's indifference and insensitivity towards the fate of the American poor. He was nicknamed "Robin Hood in reverse" - robbing the poor to further enrich the rich. Now the cruelty towards the unfortunate, towards those in trouble, has been demonstrated using an “international” example - the plight of the civilian population of West Beirut. It is within the power of the American president to stop the bloodbath, the destruction of a big city, the murder and torture of its inhabitants. He has a kind of veto power over the extremist practices of Israeli leaders, because they rely only on American comprehensive assistance. But Reagan does not want to use this veto, due to the nature of the US-Israeli relationship, and therefore takes a large share of responsibility for what is happening. For him, on the scale of human values, humanity is clearly lower than political calculations and the desire to please American Zionism. In addition, humanity in the minds of the American president apparently has nothing to do with personal freedom - this is the leitmotif of his sermons on moral and ethical topics. Apparently, the personality for which he stands is free from the feeling of compassion, the strongest of the ties that bind people.The parallels with the past are relative, but the permissibility of mass casualties among the civilian population of another country (for the sake of preserving the lives of its soldiers) is in the tradition of warfare by the United States. Let us remember Truman with his atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Or the bombing of Dresden during the Second World War, a “regular” bombing that killed many tens of thousands of people. Or the “Christmas” 1972 raids of American strategic B-52s on Hanoi and Haiphong with their “carpet” bombings, when bombs laid out paths of death among residential areas. Let us remember all this to say that Begin and Sharon had teachers, and Reagan had predecessors.Since we are talking about the moral lessons of the Lebanese tragedy, it is necessary to fill in some omissions that are now characteristic of American politicians, as well as the press. Where has the problem of “international terrorism” that the Reagan administration debuted in January 1981 gone? And why has she disappeared these days? Of course, not only because Alexander Haig, the number one fighter against “international terrorism,” disappeared from the scene. No, she disappeared, because the figures of true, without quotes, international terrorists stood out very prominently on the stage. They capture not just any planes, but a third of the territory of another country. They turn into hostages not a few dozen passengers, but half a million residents of the capital of another country. International terrorists don't just keep the world on edge by threatening to kill hostages if their demands aren't met. No, they kill their hostages day after day, week after week. They do not seize foreign embassies. No, they are raining artillery shells on their territory. And as soon as, let’s say, the French government takes a political position that does not suit these terrorists, targeted artillery fire opens on the French embassy and the ambassador’s residence. These are all the bloody everyday life of Beirut, which has now completely closed the topic of international terrorism in the mouths of AmeFor some reason, another crowning theme - “human rights” - is not mentioned in the meager descriptions of the concentration camps created by the Israeli occupiers for Palestinians in southern Lebanon. Such forgetfulness reeks of hypocrisy thousands of miles away. But it's not all about hypocrisy. Another explanation, of course, is that the ally of Zionist racism is the racism of the American ruling elite, wittingly or unwittingly (which is no better) dividing people into first-class, second-class, third-class, etc.One more thing. In the set of maxims that the American president, taking the pose of a defender of morality and law, addresses primarily to the Soviet Union, there is invariably a call for “restraint” in international behavior. It's time to remember restraint now by calling the Israelis back. But no, and it is forgotten. And this is nothing more than empty hypocrisy. Washington remembered and unleashed Israeli extremists, but extremism is the opposite of restraint.Taking primarily the moral side of the Lebanese events, one cannot ignore the international legal one. Israel committed an act of aggression by armed entry into Lebanese territory and seizing part of it. Challenging the international community, Israel violated the ceasefire agreements in Beirut a dozen times and approximately the same number of Security Council resolutions. And if for Begin and Sharon the Council resolutions Security is nothing more than scraps of paper, then the explanation for this, again, is in the position of Uncle Sam, who extends his patronizing hand over the heads of international criminals. In Tel Aviv they know that - with the tacit or secret blessing of Washington - they can violate even those resolutions for which they voted American representative, and that this representative will certainly impose a veto when sanctions are envisaged against the aggressor.And here, on the issue of sanctions, we also come across the famous American “double standard”, or simply duplicity. Who doesn’t know about the notorious “sanctions” of the Reagan administration against the gas-pipe project and in connection with the situation in Poland. The last time, at the end of June, they were even directed against Western European corporations participating in the implementation of the mentioned project, contrary to international law, international trade laws and the sovereignty of countries allied with the United States. It is known that this caused something like a bitter trade war with strong political overtones between the United States and Western Europe. But when the question is about applying legal sanctions against the aggressor (they are only minimal in nature: stopping the supply of weapons to the aggressor), the Americans impose a veto.What is common between Washington’s unauthorized imposition of illegal sanctions and its rejection of legal sanctions provided for by the UN Charter? The common thing is that in both the first and second cases, the United States is going against the will of the world community, finding itself in complete isolation, abandoned even by its closest friends. In both cases, the overseas power also proceeds from the fact that the law is not written to it, and selfishly tears away the material without which normal international cooperation and maintenance of peace are impossible...Last week, President Reagan hosted Israeli Foreign Minister Shamir at the White House. About the beginning of their meeting, the New York Times wrote the following: “Although the president likes to joke during such a procedure, which is usually attended by reporters, this time he sat silently, trying not to look at Shamir.”This, if you like, was the entire American “sanction” against Israel. For photojournalists - and the public. Caused by unprecedented Israeli raids on West Beirut, which resulted in unprecedented casualties. Since then, the Israelis have set new records of brutality. And the Americans imposed a new veto on the resolution calling for sanctions against the aggressor.August 1982POLITICS AND COMPRESSORSIn the port of Le Havre on August 26, the French company Dresser, France loaded three compressors on board the Borodin vessel intended for the construction of the Siberia - Western Europe gas pipeline.In normal international life and trade, this would be a minor fact for a collection of short reports hidden in the bowels of large newspapers. But the word “normal” is somehow not entirely suitable to describe current international life and trade. A minor fact was reported in headlines. It became the culmination of a still unfinished, developing bitter political dispute between the United States and its Western European partners and allies.In fact, the background to the shipment of the three compressors has been widely publicized and is therefore well known. The Reagan government and the American president himself personally do not want a gas pipeline to Western Europe from the Soviet Union, nor the participation of Western European firms and governments in this project, called “gas-pipe”. They don’t want to - that’s all. Although, it would seem, what do they care? The Western Europeans both hinted and directly told the Americans that they themselves would somehow figure out whether Soviet gas threatened their economic independence or, on the contrary, would help normalize the temperature in East-West relations.Although the backstory lasted a long time, the American president and some of his closest advisers did not heed either the hints or, as they say, the direct text. On June 18, Reagan went all-in by prohibiting branches of American firms located in Western Europe from fulfilling already concluded contracts for the supply of equipment for the gas-pipe project. For all its diplomatic flourishes, this decision was an outright insult to American allies. It raised at least two questions. Will they follow American cavalier attitude towards international agreements and abandon contracts already concluded with the Soviet Union? And the second question, even more significant: are they masters in their own house OR will they tolerate a kind of extraterritoriality of American firms operating on their territory and recognize them as a kind of legal economic “fifth column” of the US government? The second question is no more and no less a question of national sovereignty, which, and in front of everyone’s eyes, is being crushed under a cowboy boot.And here is a specific example - the case of three compressors. American authorities prohibited the American multinational company Dresser Industries (headquartered in Dallas, Texas) and its French subsidiary Dresser France from shipping three already manufactured compressors to the Soviet Union. The French authorities ordered Dresser-France to ship the compressors. This is what was done on August 26 in Le Havre. Not shying away from such a head-on collision with Washington, Paris set an example for Bonn, London and Rome, and, judging by official statements from these capitals, they will follow this example, defending both their sovereignty and the European concept of respect for trade and economic obligations, without which it is impossible present the maintenance and development of interstate relations.Here, for example, is how the West German newspaper Westdeutsche Allgemeine describes the essence of what happened: “Of course, concern about gas supplies is also not removed from the table, but at present we are talking primarily about protecting national sovereignty. Mitterrand reacted to American attacks and the US desire for dominance no less painfully than de Gaulle did in his time. However, unlike at that time, the French now feel... representatives of the entire European community. France stands as a united front with England, Germany and Italy against the American embargo and its extension to European companies.”The same thoughts, also bluntly, are expressed by the American newspaper The Washington Post, declaring in an editorial about the “failure of the embargo.” Here are her words: “President Reagan’s crusade against the Soviet gas pipeline... was supposed to be a test for East and West. Instead, it turned out to be a test for the United States and its European allies. In Europe, this problem is no longer considered in terms of relations with the Soviet Union. It became a problem of European national sovereignty. The more Reagan puts pressure on France, the more the governments of these countries will resist.”The next step in the long-overdue and yet unexpectedly dramatic confrontation across the Atlantic Ocean lies with the United States. In economic terms, it has already been done. The US Department of Commerce has reportedly ordered a ban on Dresser-France from operating in the US and from receiving US equipment and technology. The ban also applies to the French company Creusot-Loire. This is a direct warning to other Western European companies participating in the gas-pipe project - they too may end up on the American “black list”.As for the political plan, having received a well-deserved punch on the nose, the White House seems to have given it some thought - in hindsight. Of course, they did not think so much that they would abandon their impudent policies; no, President Reagan, as they report, is still in favor of a “tough” approach and for a “crusade.” However, they became thoughtful, suddenly realizing that in this case the hands are short, you can’t stamp your foot on the French president, you can’t return the compressors, and stirring up a loud scandal in the “Atlantic family” will not add political capital to the West.The old Russian word “tyranny” is quite applicable, it turns out, not only to the merchants of Ostrovsky’s era, but also to modern Californian nouveau riche millionaires who combine external polish with very deep ideas about the world around them. They also show their “temper” - and what a character! Might, not right. Strength, not truth. These are the features of the current Washington tyranny. America, of course, is above all and, according to the tyrants, not only looks after its own interests, but also understands the interests of its allies better than them, especially when it comes to the “insidious Russians” who, having put the Western Europeans in their energy balance through an insidious gas pipeline, will take them with their bare hands, without even bothering to move their tank armies across the Rhine. Here is the concept of the Californians from the White House, stated briefly and in simple words.It is difficult for a strong person to object. Western Europeans know this from the experience of their relations with America. Moreover, they cling to its nuclear missile wing and have by no means gotten rid of their fears “regarding the Russians.” With all the disputes across the Atlantic, which have already become permanent, one cannot underestimate the moment of ideological kinship and a sense of common destiny in the bourgeois West. But the differences in approach and in politics are increasing, because in the Atlantic family the “children” have matured economically and cease to believe in the political wisdom of their overseas guardian, realizing despite him that the path to peace on the European continent does not go through a severance of East-West ties, but through their development, not through saying goodbye to détente, but through preserving it.Politics intervening in the compressor story and pushing it to the forefront of international news indicates an intensification of Atlantic divisions and outright contradictions. Of course, there are enough Western propagandists who draw only one conclusion from what happened - that this is “to the advantage” of Moscow. How to respond to these attempts to divert attention from the essence of the matter? Probably something that even the most inveterate anti-Sovietists cannot doubt: after all, the Elysee Palace did not act at the prompting of the Kremlin. And one more thing: not only Moscow, but, obviously, the overwhelming majority of people benefit from everything that asserts the predominance of common sense over adventurism and political irresponsibility.August 1982THEY DON'T THINK ABOUT LEAVING...The withdrawal of Palestinian units from West Beirut has been completed. You have seen these scenes on your television screens: trucks filled with fighters, raised machine guns and fingers spread in the form of the Latin letter V - victory, victory.They won not in a physical sense, but in a moral sense. They didn’t give up, they left with weapons in their hands and their heads raised. Morally, Israel and Zionism, of course, lost. But this is little consolation if the moral and political isolation of Israel in the international arena does not turn into the force that will push the aggressor out of Lebanon. For now, Begin and Sharon are not thinking about leaving. Quite the opposite...As they say, shame does not eat away at the eyes, but appetite comes with eating. It is worth recalling some steps. Israeli leaders explained their invasion of Lebanon by the need to create a so-called “security zone” in the very south of Lebanon. But it immediately became clear that their plans were broader. They occupied the entire southern half of Lebanon, entered East Beirut, besieged and destroyed Western Beirut. Now, after the departure of Palestinian fighters from the Lebanese capital, the Israelis are setting their sights on the northern half of Lebanon - under the pretext that some Palestinian troops remain there.The invaders are also strengthening their positions in eastern Lebanon, in the Bekaa Valley region - on the border with Syria and against the Syrian troops stationed there. Having acquired new “positions of power,” Israel is talking about accelerating the construction of new Jewish settlements in the Arab lands of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.This is what is really happening, which requires resistance to new and new claims of the aggressor. Meanwhile, they want to gloss over these alarming real processes, now inflating some imaginary disagreements between Tel Aviv and its patrons in Washington.There is a lot of fuss about President Reagan's televised speech on September 1st. He, in particular, proposed that the Israeli government freeze the creation of new settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, which is presented as a “toughening” of the American position towards the unruly “strategic ally.”But this is just a deceptive American balm for Arab wounds. The text of the presidential speech takes up 15 pages, but there is not a word in it about the most pressing issue - the withdrawal of the Israelis from Lebanon. Many words have been said about the Palestinian problem, but very vague ones - in any case, there is no talk of a Palestinian state. A clear hint is the idea of putting pressure on Jordan to join the Camp David process.In general, Washington gave the green light to Israel's attack on Lebanon, and now, as in previous Arab-Israeli wars, it is helping it digest the fruits of aggression.September 1982BOMBS AND DIPLOMACYThe guns have not yet fallen silent in Lebanon: even after the departure of the Palestinian troops, the Israelis continue to tighten their military grip around West Beirut and threaten the Syrians in the Bekaa Valley. The guns had not yet fallen silent when diplomacy began to speak. The same American diplomacy that, since the beginning of June, has supported (contrary to world public opinion and all other members of the Security Council) Israeli bombs, Israeli guns and the slow, painful execution of West Beirut by Begin and Sharon.Washington has given Tel Aviv everything from cluster bombs to Ambassador Philip Habib to achieve its goals in Lebanon. And now that Palestinian fighters have left West Beirut, President Reagan, immediately and suddenly? proclaims a “new American policy” and sees among the ruins of southern Lebanon “a new opportunity for peace in the Middle East.” Yes, he still stands strongly for the “security” of Israel, but he seems to be concerned about the fate of the Palestinian people, upset by their “homelessness.” And the new Washington plan is praised to the skies even by that part of the American bourgeois press that critically assessed Reagan’s position of full support for Israeli expansionism. And this same plan is resolutely, although from opposite points of view, rejected by two political antagonists - Israel and Syria. But, judging by press reports, some moderate and pro-Western Arab regimes find certain “positive elements” in the “new initiative,” although they do not dare to define them in any clear words.In general, a large trial balloon has been launched from Washington, and, pointing a finger at it, many Western politicians and journalists say that the Americans, taking into account the lessons of the latest Middle Eastern tragedy, are making a political regrouping, that considerations of a “balanced policy” still prevail over the blind following Begin and Sharon, and that even Reagan, the most pro-Israeli of American presidents (although it is very difficult to establish primacy here), understood the simplest and most essential of the Middle Eastern truths - there can be no peace among the sands and orange groves there until it is resolved Palestinian problem. What is the point of Washington's new noisy political propaganda operation? The Americans want to strike while the iron is hot, taking advantage of what Israeli bombs and shells (mostly American-made) have done. They think about their oil interests, about strengthening their influence, but at the same time, without any twinge of conscience, the US President declares the primary problem in the Middle East is “the strategic threat posed by the Soviet Union and its vassals.” What is it like to be frightened by the “Soviet threat” in those  days when Israeli units were captured with the full blessings of America.South of Lebanon and are in positions around West Beirut, which they destroyed?! However, trying to reassure Washington politicians is a futile effort.It’s better to try to understand the essence of the American plan and the reasons that gave rise to it right now. Here's what American balance looks like, literally translated from English into Russian of three key paragraphs from Reagan's speech:“...If we talk about the future fate of the West Bank (Jordan River) and Gaza, peace cannot be achieved on the basis of the creation of an independent Palestinian state in these territories. Nor can peace be achieved on the basis of Israeli sovereignty or permanent control over the West Bank and Gaza.Therefore, the United States will not support the creation of an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza any more than we will support annexation and permanent Israeli control of that territory.However, there is another way to peace. The final status of these lands must, of course, be determined on the basis of compromise solutions reached during negotiations. But the United States firmly believes that self-government for Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza, in association with Jordan, offers the best hope for achieving a lasting, just and sustainable peace.”The West Bank and Gaza Strip are Arab lands captured by Israel in 1967. Home to 1.3 million Palestinians, they are considered, traditionally part of Palestine, to be the most natural place for the formation of an independent Palestinian state. But, as we see, the US President rejects the creation of this state on these lands. A direct blow to the Palestinians, a direct challenge to their aspirations.How is the American plan “balanced”? And as we see, Washington opposes Israel’s annexation of these Arab lands. So, the Palestinians are paying by abandoning their most cherished, historical dream. And Israel receives this payment for its refusal of what does not belong to it. The loot must be returned to the rightful owner without any compensation to the robber. This is an indisputable norm of criminal law. Need I say that no norms of international law provide for encouragement and reward for the aggressor?Aggression is a type of international crime, and the return of foreign lands seized by the aggressor is not an act of generosity, but a rule without which normal international life is unthinkable. Meanwhile, according to the “Reagan plan”, Israel should receive a very large political prize for its seizures - in the form of the Palestinians abandoning the idea of ​​creating an independent state. According to current Washington terminology, this is called “new realism.”However, Begin and other Israeli leaders do not want even such “realism” and even such a jackpot is rejected as insufficient. Intoxicated by their takeovers in Lebanon, they are more militant than ever. They openly seek annexation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip and therefore rejected Reagan’s call to “freeze” the construction of new Israeli settlements in these territories—the long-tested method of creeping annexation that precedes official annexation. In response to Reagan's peacemaking appeal, the Israeli cabinet ordered the immediate construction of three new settlements in the West Bank. This challenge to the American patron testifies to the determination of Israeli leaders to go ahead, hoping that their intra-American connections and the influence of the Zionist lobby will help “manage” not only the Capitol (Begin openly boasted of such an ability), but also the American president himself - with the help of the same Capitol .In a certain sense, one can understand the indignation of the Tel Aviv terrorists at the inconsistency of their senior partner. In fact, the Americans fed and fed Zionist expansionism, patronizing it or, at least, turning a blind eye to acts of creeping annexation in the West Bank of Jordan or to blatant robbery in Lebanon. The Americans taught Israel to act not in accordance with international law, but according to the law of the fist, the law of force. And now these same Americans are speaking out against the annexation of the West Bank. There is something to get hysterical about! Moreover, and this is worth emphasizing, it is the Israeli fist and strength demonstrated in Lebanon that now allows Reagan to claim the role of a peacemaker and almost an arbitrator in the Arab-Israeli dispute (and, by the way, we add, they make this role false).This is the logic of Tel Aviv's indignation. But Washington remembered its interests in the Middle East, which were broader than Israeli ones. And here it is appropriate to say a few more words about the reasons that forced President Reagan to take his initiative at this very moment.On the one hand, aiding the aggressor resulted in significant moral and political damage for the overseas power in the Arab world. A friend in need is a true friend, but an enemy in need is a true enemy. The Arabs saw America as such an enemy, and therefore it was urgently necessary to repair its political reputation both in the Arab East and among non-aligned countries in general.On the other hand, perhaps never before have Arab fragmentation and Arab helplessness been as visible as during the days and weeks of the siege of West Beirut, when the Palestinians waited and did not receive real help from other Arab countries. In these conditions, American hypocritical groans about the need to solve the problem of “Palestinian homelessness” and the proposed compromise regarding the fate of the West Bank and Gaza Strip seem to some Arab regimes, mainly pro-Western, as a way out of the political embarrassment they have experienced. Since - after what happened in Lebanon - there is no pie in the sky, at least give a bird in your hands. Apparently, Washington was also counting on such a psychological bait, and some people fell for it, judging by the “positive elements” that some Arab capitals suddenly discovered in the “Reagan plan.” One must think that American diplomacy is now working in this direction, even behind the scenes of the Arab summit meeting taking place in the Moroccan city of Fez.And finally, about omissions. The American initiative is also very characteristic of them. She passes over in silence the role of the PLO, which is recognized by more than a hundred states of the world as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. And the topic of Lebanon is present only as a topic of the already mentioned “favorable opportunities” created by Israeli aggression for Washington’s diplomatic efforts, but not at all as a topic, not as a problem of the speedy departure of the aggressor’s troops. Not a word about leaving. Lebanon is being left to the mercy of the Israelis.The reference to a “strong and revived Lebanon” is a mockery as long as the invading forces remain in that country as the defining military force. Now Begin, Sharon and others are insisting that they will leave Lebanon only after the evacuation of the Syrian units, which, as is known, are there under the mandate of the Arab League.From a military point of view, the departure of the Syrians would mean that Israel would become complete master of the situation. And from a political point of view, the new Lebanese President Bashir Gemayel completely suits the Zionists. As a result, they provide the so-called “security zone” - a pretext for invading Lebanon - not only in the Lebanese south. This entire country would become a “security zone”, or simply a satellite of Israel, bound hand and foot by a “peace treaty” similar to Camp David. Further more. Having pocketed Lebanon, Israel would hang on the Syrian borders, greatly increasing political and military pressure on the most intractable of its Arab neighbors. The position of Jordan, which has long been subjected to treatment in the spirit of Camp David and which, as we have seen, is given a special place in Washington’s new Middle East plan, would also be weakened.This is what follows from the mere silence in this regard—the silence about the need for the immediate withdrawal of Israeli troops from Lebanon. It turns out that here too the aggressor will be rewarded - and very generously. The Lebanese crane is left in his hands, and the Arabs are lured by the already mentioned tit of the vague “self-government of the Palestinians” in the vague “framework of association with Jordan.” But Begin, who continues the Israeli colonization of the West Bank, intends to take away this miserable tit. So much for the “new realism” of American diplomacy, which is trying to selfishly crown the bloody affair of shells and bombs.September 1982THE BACK SIDE OF KHABIB'S MEDALSPhilip Habib is a Lebanese-American diplomat and special envoy to President Reagan. This is not the first year that he has acted as a mediator between the Arabs and Israel. In the past three months, as the Israelis invaded Lebanon, Philip Habib has flown countless times to Beirut, Jerusalem, Damascus, Amman, Cairo and other Arab capitals, negotiating terms for the disengagement of the warring parties in West Beirut.Terms were finally worked out, an international disengagement force, including 800 US Marines, was brought into Beirut, and Palestinian fighters withdrew under their supervision. For Khabib, an elderly and sick man who carried a suitcase with medicines, the time had come for rest and rewards.Last week, outgoing Lebanese President Sarkis presented him with the large ribbon of the Order of the Cedar of Lebanon. This week, President Reagan awarded him America's highest honor, the Medal of Freedom, at a special ceremony at the White House.It seems like: finished the job - go for a walk safely. But, if I may make a pun, these Habib medals are just the front side of the medal called the situation in Lebanon. The matter is far from over.The Palestinians left, last Friday the American Marines began evacuating, Habib left, but Sharon and his troops are not going to leave Lebanon. The agenda of Israeli aggression is far from exhausted, and here, looking back, we see either short-sightedness or malicious intent on the part of those who believed that the whole Lebanese problem, in fact, consisted of the withdrawal of the PLO and its armed formations from Lebanon.No, Begin and Sharon looked further from the very beginning, but for the time being they disguised their plans. And so the Palestinians left, but the Israelis left West Beirut alone. Now they are crowding out the Lebanese there national-patriotic forces, continuing to change the balance of political forces in Lebanon to their advantage, strengthening the Christian right and weakening the Muslim factions of Lebanese society.Another - and very significant - issue on the unexhausted agenda of the aggressors. They want Syrian units from the inter-Arab law enforcement forces, mandated by the Arab League back in 1976, to leave Lebanon after the Palestinians.“We will not leave until the Syrians leave.” This is how the Israelis pose the question, pulling up their tanks to the Bekaa Valley, where armed clashes have occurred more than once these days.Habib received his medals supposedly for achieving peace, and Lebanon is actually facing the threat of two conflicts: the resumption of an internecine civil war between Christians and Muslims and the outbreak of a large-scale battle between Israelis and Syrians.Having troops on Lebanese territory, Israel wants to make the most of this fact. And the maximum includes a persistent, almost ultimatum demand for Lebanon to conclude a separate peace treaty with Israel on the Camp David model. Even the Lebanese well-wishers of Tel Aviv, like the recently elected President Bashir Gemayel, who has not yet taken up his duties, are taken aback. What is it like to sign a treaty with a neighbor whose troops command on your territory?But Sharon insists: we won’t leave until you sign. And thus he proves even to Lebanese collaborators that Israel is not to be trifled with, that if you extend a finger to it, your whole hand can be snatched away.On September 6, an Arab summit meeting began in the Moroccan city of Fez. It was called Fez-2 because the first phase took place back in November 1981 and was interrupted due to disagreements among the participants. The Moroccan, Saudi, Jordanian kings, Syrian, Iraqi and other presidents, as well as other leaders, gathered. There was no Egypt expelled from the Arab League after a separate deal with Israel. Libyan leader Gaddafi was not there either.Never before has the fragmentation of the Arab world been as evident as in recent months. But at the meeting in Fez, despite the different political orientations of the participants, they still came to a common opinion on the Palestinian issue. It, contrary to Washington's expectations, does not coincide with the noisily advertised “Reagan plan.” The American plan, as we know, excludes the idea of creating an independent Arab Palestinian state and ignores the PLO as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.The final declaration of the Fez meeting included the following points: the withdrawal of Israeli troops from all Arab territories occupied in 1967, including the Arab part of Jerusalem; the elimination of Israeli settlements on these lands; reaffirming the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and the exercise of their inalienable national rights under the leadership of the PLO, the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinians; transfer of the West Bank and Gaza Strip to UN control for a transition period not exceeding a few months; the creation of an independent Palestinian state with its capital in the Arab part of Jerusalem; provision by the Security Council of guarantees of peace for all countries in the region, including an independent Palestinian state; providing Security Council guarantees for the implementation of these principles.The Fez proposals have been widely commented on. In Washington, Secretary of State Shultz said that the Arab plan contradicted the “Reagan plan.” The Israeli Foreign Ministry categorically rejected the Arab proposals out of the gate, although, as many observers note, this is the first time the Arab world has recognized Israel’s right to exist in this form.In the Fez principles, among others, I would highlight the following point: emphasis on UN control and Security Council guarantees. The Arabs rightly fear the kind of peace that America is imposing under its auspices. From both Egyptian and Lebanese experience, they know what this leads to. They do not want to be at the mercy—and arbitrariness—of Washington and Tel Aviv.September 1982LESSONS OF SABRA AND SHATILASurely books will be written about the new drama of people and ideas that is unfolding on an ancient land baked by the sun and history and called Israeli aggression in Lebanon. But even now, when the action is far from over and promises new moves and turns, it is clear that this drama has already had its climaxes - planned and unexpected.Those planned, at least by American diplomacy, include the withdrawal of Palestinian fighters from West Beirut. With the help of Israeli shells and bombs, the plenipotentiary worked tirelessly for this climax. American President Philip Habib. Before the Palestinian troops had time to leave the Lebanese capital, victorious fanfares were heard across the ocean, and in their sounds one could discern the usual mixture of piety and hypocrisy, as well as typical American efficiency, a passionate desire not to miss the moment. Undeterred by the fact that the blood was still wet and the ruins were smoking, President Reagan announced in a televised address to Americans on September 1: “Today is a day of which we should all be proud.” The same speech identified a “new opportunity” for peace in the Middle East and outlined yet another American plan for resolving the Palestinian problem. In it, as is known, Washington moved even further away from recognizing the Palestinians’ right to self-determination, decisively excluding the idea of an independent Palestinian state, but did not come close enough to the position of Begin, who, having ironized Lebanon, considers his “right” to annex the West Bank confirmed. and the Gaza Strip. Nevertheless, this was an American-style climax, prepared in advance - the Americans, taking advantage of Israeli aggression, wanted to re-establish themselves as the arbiter of Middle Eastern peace and order.However, being in blessed California in those days, the American president and his advisers apparently did not sense the internal, secret course of Lebanese events. The bloody drama required a different, bloody climax. It came not when armed Palestinians left West Beirut, but two weeks later, when in the Palestinian camps of Sabra and Shatila they began to kill unarmed people in the hundreds and thousands - women, children, old people. The armed Palestinians left, having received guarantees from Philip Habib (and therefore Ronald Reagan) that those who remained, unarmed and peaceful, would not be touched. We know what the American guarantees have become from the terrible photographs showing piles of dead bodies. The American guarantees give off a cadaverous smell. Under the agreement worked out by Habib, Begin promised Reagan not to enter West Beirut—and broke his promise.Who flooded Sabra and Shatila with streams of blood? Who killed indiscriminately, shooting infants in the back of the head, not sparing the very old and pregnant women? The Israelis claim that they did not do this, and by way of clarification they most often mention the right-wing Christian Phalangists, and sometimes the thugs of the South Lebanese Major Haddad. Futile attempts to evade responsibility. "The killers!" - this accusation thrown in the face of Begin and Sharon by one of the Knesset members is irrefutable. The whole world is presenting it. Begin and Sharon had military control over West Beirut and at the same time the right to issue or not issue a “pass” to the killers.After the climax in Sabra and Shatila, the American president again appeared in front of television cameras. But it was no longer “a day we should all be proud of.” He had to talk about the “heartbreaking scenes” and how to “put an end to this horror.” He recalled something he had forgotten in his previous speech—the Israeli occupation of Lebanon—and even said that “it is imperative that the Israelis leave Beirut.” But he remained silent about the fact that it was the Americans who gave security guarantees to the unarmed and defenseless Palestinians. He didn't have the courage to admit his guilt.Well, there are times when even the most cold-blooded politicians can hear the sobs of the living over the corpses of the innocent dead. They can't help but hear. They are heard, if only because deafness and dumbness are a political miscalculation at those moments when a spasm of pain distorts the face of humanity. Nowadays, the word “investigation” is often heard in the American Congress and in the Israeli Knesset. Who are the perpetrators? Who allowed the terrible massacre? It seems Begin has put the finishing touches on his long-painted self-portrait as an international terrorist. Although he managed to win a vote of confidence in the Knesset, never before has domestic opposition to the presumptuous prime minister been so broad and assertive. Many assume that his cabinet's chances are numbered and that this time he will not be able to get away with it, even by sacrificing Sharod, whose resignation is being demanded by indignant critics. Wait and see. In any case, Begin was forced to retreat from his previous arrogant position, which excluded any kind of investigation into what happened in Sabra and Shatila.In Washington, there are different feelings and considerations behind the demands for an investigation. Tel Aviv is providing Washington with invaluable services, trying to tame another Arab country - Lebanon and giving the Americans the opportunity to once again pose as curators of peace in the Middle East. At the same time, Begin is confusing the American game: his aggressive strategy, to put it mildly, is not to the liking of the Arabs, and they, alas, are sure that it is the connivance and patronage of the overseas “strategic ally” that is letting Israeli extremists off the chain. In America, they would like to acquire both capital (dominant positions in the Middle East) and maintain innocence (keeping a distance from their overzealous junior partner). Difficult task. And Begin and Sharon do not want to “put themselves in the position” of their American guardians. Even in appearance, they now increasingly do not take them into account, they go ahead, being confident that with the intercession of the most powerful Zionist lobby they will get away with everything. This sense of impunity - and given the extraordinary circumstances of the global shock over what happened in Sabra and Shatila - is causing irritation in the White House and on Capitol Hill. There is a lot of talk now about American-Israeli disagreements, and a lot of thunder and lightning is falling from Washington to Tel Aviv.What is their, so to speak, destructive ability? To tell the truth, it is very small. The sanctions are purely verbal, and even then with constant reservations on the topic that the “security” of Israel is the primary American concern in the Middle East (as if any of the neighbors are able to threaten this heavily armed state). Are the sanctions practical? This would be a reduction in American aid, the foundation of Israeli expansionism. But no, the maximum “punishment” that the American Congress is now capable of is a denial to Israel of... an increase in aid, which Tel Aviv insists on when seeking reimbursement for the costs of aggression in Lebanon. It appears that assistance for the next financial year will be left as it was intended. And this is more than 2 billion dollars, two thirds of which are for military needs. Wanting to make visible the enormous amount of American aid to Israel, columnist James Reston notes that it amounts to “three and a half to four and a half thousand dollars per year for each Israeli family of five...”.In general, without downplaying the current tactical disagreements between Washington and Tel Aviv, we can say that they are like the dust raised by the bulldozers of murderers raking up dead bodies in Palestinian refugee camps. When the dust settles, we will see that the edifice of US-Israeli relations remains essentially intact.Yes, an investigation is necessary. We must tell the truth about the monstrous crime, which became the culmination (is it the last?) of the Lebanese drama that is far from over. But at the same time, it is important to find out not only who the killers were and who let them into two Palestinian camps in the southern outskirts of West Beirut, who set them on the unarmed and defenseless. It is important to explore and recognize where the road to the massacre historically led, which, of course, will remain another grim sign in history. Having engaged in such an investigation, we come across one picturesque mountainous corner in the American state of Maryland called Camp David. It was there four years ago, also in September, that the so-called framework for a Middle East settlement was developed by ex-President Carter, the late Sadat and Begin, who had not yet left the political scene.Under Carter, and now under Reagan, they tried and are trying to introduce Camp David into the consciousness of the Arab and international public as a password word on the path to peace in the Middle East. Meanwhile, Camp David has the same relation to the world as the terrorist Begin has to the Nobel Peace Prize, although, let me remind you not for gloating, but for the sake of truth, he shared it with Sadat in 1978 - to the shame and disgrace of the Nobel Committee.The Camp David “peace process” turned out to be a trap for the Arabs, and for Israel a road to unpunished aggression and reprisals against Palestinians, Lebanese and who else is next?! Egypt, having returned the Sinai Peninsula through Camp David, actually deserted the Arab ranks, weakening and further fragmenting them. Israel, having secured itself in the south, is increasingly eager to fight in the north. The American-Israeli strategic alliance has strengthened and, as was repeatedly emphasized, has received much more opportunities to “work” the Arab countries one by one, forcing them to separate deals along the lines of Camp David. Now the record of Camp David can safely include the act of genocide in Sabra and Shatila.What's next? In light of the new bitter experience, the Arab states and their leaders must turn away from the Washington sirens who once again sing about the delights of Camp David. A trap remains a trap, and only a Middle East settlement that is not separate, but comprehensive, can be fair. Israel is now in complete moral and political isolation, but in any separate tripartite negotiations, it, together with America, will always form a “majority” against another Arab state to be processed. The only true path to a fair settlement is not another behind-the-scenes Camp David, but an international conference with the participation of all interested parties, including the Palestine Liberation Organization, and certainly with the participation of the Soviet Union. Not American guarantees of peace and security, about which the victims of Sabra and the Shuttle could say a lot, but international guarantees, guarantees of the Security Council or its permanent members.This is a common sense approach that opens up a true perspective of peace. He is being pushed out. Soviet Union. The leaders of Arab states also spoke in favor of this approach at their meeting in Fez. This closeness of positions illuminates the cloudy, gloomy sky of the Middle East with a glimmer of hope.September 1982SEVENTEENTH WEEK OF AGGRESSIONLast week was the seventeenth week of Israeli aggression in Lebanon. Over the seventeenth week echoed the echo of the fifteenth week, that terrible act of genocide when, on September 16, 17 and 18, thousands of civilians were brutally shot, stabbed, exterminated in the Palestinian camps of Sabra and Shatila, located on the southern outskirts of West Beirut.What was this echo? First, last week Begin was forced to agree to a legal investigation into the massacres in Sabra and Shatila. At first he and Sharon were adamantly opposed to the investigation. With an arrogance that reeks of racism, brushing aside the indignation of the whole world, the Israeli cabinet in its first statement about the incident said: “No one dares to teach us morality and respect for human life, qualities on which generations of Israeli fighters were brought up and will be brought up.”No one dares to teach... World public opinion doesn’t care about Begin. But when a protest demonstration of almost 400,000 people took place in Israel itself, when several ministers threatened to resign and collapse the government coalition if the prime minister did not order an investigation, Begin had to maneuver and ultimately concede. The members of the special commission will be appointed by the President of the Supreme Court of Israel. The commission will reportedly examine the government's political and military decisions that led to the massacre, as well as those that followed.Let's see how objective this commission turns out to be. Begin's motives are clear - by giving in, he wants to at least gain time, avoid a government crisis, and at most, push the truth under the carpet of red tape and chicanery.What happened in Sabra and Shatila caused very widespread outrage in Israel. But - it also doesn’t hurt to say this - Begin and Sharon, as leaders, continue to enjoy the support of many Israelis. Recent polls indicate that if general elections were held now, Begin's bloc of right-wing Likud parties would win. Chauvinism and militancy still prevail in pastroepia.Now about another echo of the massacre in Sabra and Shatila. At the request of the Lebanese government and to ensure the safety of the civilian population, the so-called multinational force was reintroduced into Beirut: 1,140 French and the same number of Italians. The last to land, on Wednesday September 29, were the American Marines. They were delayed, waiting for Israeli units to leave West Beirut, in particular the area of Beirut International Airport. There are now 1,200 Americans, not 800 as during their first landing in August. They will be concentrated in the area of the airport, where the movement of civil aircraft began on September 30. The Italians and French take over the security of Palestinian camps to prevent a repeat of civilian deaths. Life in Beirut is returning to normal.It is appropriate to recall some recent facts, pushed aside by terrible sensational events. Armed Palestinians completed their withdrawal from West Beirut in early September, after a nearly three-month Israeli siege. They left because they did not want further deaths of civilians under Israeli shells and bombs and also because they received American guarantees - written guarantees from Reagan's representative, Ambassador Philip Habib - that the remaining defenseless, unarmed, Palestinian civilians would not be touched. And they were touched, shot and slaughtered in the thousands. And Begin and Sharon also, of course, bear full responsibility for the monstrous massacre.The Palestinians left in early September. And the American Marines seemed to hasten to leave ahead of schedule, finally hanging a dashing banner over the ramp of the landing craft: “Mission accomplished. Farewell!" We saw this scene on our television screens.The task may have been completed. And the residents of Sabra and Shatila found themselves defenseless sheep in front of the bloodthirsty wolves.And now - not goodbye, but hello.How long will American soldiers stay in Beirut? As President Reagan made clear at a press conference on September 28, they will leave only when both the Israelis and Syrians withdraw their troops from Lebanon.This could be a long time coming. Israel is in no hurry, nodding to the presence of Syrian units in the Bekaa Valley. And in the current conditions, when Israeli artillery is holding Damascus at gunpoint, the Syrians say that they will leave only at the same time as the Israelis. Apparently we are talking not about weeks, but about months...In addition to the Americans, the multinational forces include the French and Italians. Let us not be mistaken, however: the main game is played by the Yankees. 1,200 soldiers is not that much, but their presence gives Washington a very strong, more political than military, leverage over the Lebanese government.Not only Ambassador Habib, but also American soldiers are now becoming mediators in the difficult “relations” of the Lebanese government with the Israeli occupiers. Without American services, the Lebanese cannot clear out the intruders. And they pay for services.What do they pay? Increased American influence in Lebanon. Of course, maneuvers will continue to involve Lebanon in the Camp David process, in the implementation of the “Reagan Plan,” which, as we know, excludes the creation of an Arab Palestinian state. Israel acts and demands a vassal “peace treaty” from the Lebanese. Washington will, as it were, keep its ally on a leash, without forgetting, however, either its own or Israeli interests.October 1982TWO LETTERS FROM WASHINGTON1. At the end of the first actWashington greets the newly arrived person with still warm autumn and, as always, a bustle of news.Everything mixed up. Causing waves of panic and horror, throughout the country, FBI agents are catching and cannot catch maniacs of a new, even here still unknown variety - they are adding deadly poisons to medicines and products sold in stores. Looming on the television screen in a prison uniform is automobile tycoon John de Laurin, who yesterday was the embodiment of American entrepreneurship and luck, and today he was caught selling a record batch of drugs...Like autumn leaves blown by the wind along the sidewalks, sensations fly across the pages of American newspapers and on television news. Everything is mixed up and everything is skipping, at the frantic pace here. But in this kaleidoscope, where the private and the general, everyday life and politics are intricately mixed, one event attracts the first attention. On Tuesday, November 2, the so-called midterm elections will take place. They are intermediate because, according to the US Constitution, NTOs take place between presidential elections. Two years have passed since conservative Republican Ronald Reagan was elected president in November 1980. And exactly two years remain until the next presidential election. And now all 435 members of the US House of Representatives, 33 of 100 senators and 36 of 50 state governors are being elected.Thus, no one has yet encroached on the White House. But it is the occupant and politics of the White House that is once again drawing the most attention. The midterm elections are like the final act of the first act in Ronald Reagan's four-year term. Midterm elections are the intermediate results of the next presidency. The development of the action in the second act, over the next two years, will largely depend on how the voter fails them. The interim results of the midterm elections will to some extent determine whether the current president will run for a second term in 1984. In short, according to local observers, on November 2, when local voters vote for Republican or Democratic candidates for Congress, there will be a kind of referendum on Reagan, or more precisely, on Reaganism as a trend in American political life. And since the work of the pocket and stomach is the most important for the typical average American, first of all it will be a referendum on “Reaganomics,” that is, on the president’s economic program.In that alternation of hopes and disappointments that is called “American democracy in action,” now is the time to account for promises. And here's what's remarkable. Republican candidates in many places are choosing to stay away from Reagan, even if they swept into Congress two years ago on the wave of his victory over Carter and the Democrats. This is, of course, no coincidence. The President with his “Reaganomics” stands before the people empty-handed.In declaring his “conservative revolution” and taking the ax to social assistance programs, Reagan promised that Americans would live better lives, forgetting the worries of the past decade, that inflation would fall sharply and unemployment would end, that taxes would be cut and a strong economic recovery would come. As the New Republic magazine now quips, in 1980, “the public couldn’t resist the lure of a free four-course meal.” The magazine adds mockingly: “Now America has tasted this Reagan food and found it inedible.”Inflation has indeed fallen, and this is the only thing that Reagan never tires of taking credit for, although the explanation does not lie at all in the recipes of “Reaganomics”. But then begins that familiar and impressive list of failures with which Republican candidates now so do not want to associate themselves. Unemployment rose to 10.1 percent, reaching a record high of the last forty years. The deep economic downturn continues despite a winter promise to end it in the spring and a summer promise to end it in the fall. Americans' real incomes and living standards continue to decline—a very worrying development for a nation accustomed to feeling like the darling of fortune. The ax of Reaganomics has been falling on America's poor over the past two years, with social programs being sacrificed to two gods—the god of skyrocketing military spending and the god of deficit reduction. But these two different gods cannot be fed at the same time. The first god feeds his fill, but what about the second? The budget deficit topped $100 billion last fiscal year, and that all-American record is expected to be double that in the current fiscal year.Overall, by the end of the first half of his term—and the midterm elections—Ronald Reagan had achieved disastrous results. Many Americans still like his posture as a strong and confident leader, but when they find themselves not in front of a television screen but in front of a questionnaire sent out by a polling firm, they are becoming increasingly thoughtful. Recent polls show that more than half of Americans disapprove of Reagan's presidency. More than half believe that life has become worse under him. One more thing. More than half prefer Democrats, and not because the Democrats have overcome the crisis in their party caused by the defeat of 1980. And not because they have some kind of constructive platform - there is neither a platform nor a generally recognized leader. They are turning away from the Republican president because, as is becoming clear to more and more Americans, he is leading the country in the wrong direction.It has long been known that the average American has two approaches to elections. First, based on the principle of “a plague on both your houses,” he abstains from voting. It is assumed that this is the path that the majority of citizens with the right to vote will take on November 2. The second approach is the so-called negative voice. This means that the voter votes against someone, against a representative of one of the two parties, and only because of this opposition for a representative of the other party.Republicans running for Congress are most afraid of a negative vote in the House of Representatives. Here their failure is considered a foregone conclusion. The only doubts are about the size of the upcoming republican losses. Let us recall that in the House of Representatives the formal majority already belongs to the Democrats, but the Republicans in a coalition with conservative Democrats over the past two years managed to achieve an actual “working majority” and with its help push the administration’s economic program through Congress. Now the “working majority” is under threat. It will disappear if the Republicans lose 20-30 seats in the lower house. As you know, there are more Republicans than Democrats in the Senate. This ratio is expected to remain the same, although some seasoned observers are not ruling out surprises in the Senate.Pre-election bitterness is growing. President Reagan has launched a propaganda blitz in recent days across a number of Western states, trying to rescue both his policies and his party's candidates from impending disaster. Frankly admitting failure would be disastrous. Therefore, the president brings to the fore his determination to continue the same course, demanding new loans over time and repeating everywhere the call: “Keep it up!” He accuses Democrats of sowing unfounded fears and tries to counter them with a “strategy of hope” that smells of outright demagoguery a mile away. The whole question is, is it possible to fool the public endlessly with the same tricks?In addition to attitudes toward Reaganomics, another important test of public sentiment will be taken in the November 2 elections. In nine states, as well as in 30 individual counties and cities, activists to freeze the nuclear arsenals of the United States and the Soviet Union achieved the inclusion of this issue in local referendums. It is known that this form of anti-war movement has become widespread in recent months. The White House, the State Department, and the Pentagon, having sent out agitators in all corners, did everything possible to discredit and kill the idea of a nuclear freeze before it captured the majority of Americans.October 30, 19822. The Reagans are stallingLast Tuesday, Americans experienced another Election Day and another evening and night in front of television screens, in which the teams of the three major television corporations competed for the attention of viewers no less zealously than the candidates of the two parties for the votes of voters. Moreover, this was another battle of computers, played out according to the laws of the American political circus with its inherent breakneck speed. Television computers outpaced those connected to polling stations, trying to predict the results of the vote when even a tenth of voters had not fulfilled their civic duty. By the way, two out of every three Americans chose to avoid it altogether. Obviously not finding any meaning in it. Only 39 percent of eligible voters reportedly took part in the elections. Amazing? No, this is such a common and familiar fact that it is only mentioned in passing by local observers.Now they are busy with something else - turning simple arithmetic of results into a more complex algebra of estimates and forecasts. First about arithmetic. The Republicans, that is, President Reagan's party, lost 26 seats in the House of Representatives. In the new Congress they will have 166 seats (instead of the current 192). Democrats strengthened their position as the majority party, passing 269 people. If the entire House of Representatives was elected, the fate of 33 out of 100 seats was decided in the Senate. Here the numerical breakdown remained unchanged: 54 Republicans versus 46 Democrats. Governors were also elected in 36 of the 50 states. Democrats won 7 more posts in addition to the existing ones. Opi now govern in 36 states, and Republicans in 14.This is “arithmetic”. Moving on to estimates and forecasts, they primarily talk about the losses of Republicans in the House of Representatives. President Reagan, putting a good face on a bad performance, said yesterday that he was "very pleased with the results" and that this was exactly what he had foreseen, considering a loss of 17 to 27 seats quite acceptable. House Speaker Democrat Thomas O'Neill thought differently. "This is a crushing defeat for the president," he said. Most observers also talk about the defeat of the Republicans, and Reagan personally. But they don’t consider it crushing. In their view, it is more realistic to say that the voter sent the president a “warning signal”: he, the voter, is alarmed by the consequences of “Reaganomics,” especially such as unprecedentedly high unemployment, the ongoing economic downturn, and the attack on social programs."Keep it up!" - Ronald Reagan outlined his position with this slogan, campaigning for his economic program and for candidates loyal to him. The voter did not succumb to his call and gave a ride to many “Reagan robots” (this is the nickname of the ultra-conservatives who entered Congress in 1980 on the victorious wave of Reagan and Reaganism).Two years ago, having won a majority in the Senate, the Republicans dreamed of achieving a majority in the House of Representatives - becoming the undisputed majority party, that is, changing places with the Democrats on Capitol Hill. The dream was associated with the era of conservatism, which Reagan personified. But it happened differently. This means, perhaps, that the offensive of Reagan-type conservatism on the American political scene is running out, that, moreover, the American voter is turning it back. This conclusion, however, should be drawn cautiously and with reservations. The popular voter seems more willing to push back against conservative Republicans than their Democratic opponents. The latter are disorganized, otherwise the size of the Republican defeat would have been greater. The fact that Republicans spent 5-6 times more money on voter processing than Democrats also played a role. In general, the election campaign set two records: a record for the amount of dirt that opponents poured on each other, and a record of expenses, totaling more than $300 million.Elected office, to put it mildly, has never been the right or privilege of the poor in America. But no election has ever turned into such an open competition of millionaires. Time is money, especially time bought for television political advertising. Where can I get them? This is not a question for a millionaire. One of the candidates, a certain Lewis Lerman, an extravagant gentleman who appeared before voters in nothing less than wide red suspenders, without a jacket, shelled out $8 million from his own pocket to run as a Republican for governor of New York. True, even for this amount Lerman failed to “sell” his conservative views to the voter.Keep it up? This number didn't work. The Americans are demanding a course correction. This is precisely the main result of the elections. Democratic leaders such as Edward Kennedy, who was re-elected to the Senate, as well as Senator John Glenp and former Vice President Walter Mondale are now talking about the need for "changes in economic policy."The Reagan administration, of course, prefers to accept the absence of losses in the Senate. But she can no longer count on another easy victory for her “conservative revolution” on Capitol Hill. Firstly, the former “working majority” at its disposal, consisting of Republicans and right-wing Democrats, has now disappeared in the House of Representatives. Secondly, the Senate, despite the Republican majority, is now believed to be more independent in relations with the president. Time will tell whether these predictions will come true in practice. However, there is already talk of possible clashes on two issues - social security and military spending. The new Congress will be less accommodating, insisting on preserving relief programs and reducing the enormous Pentagon tribute. This is emphasized by the first comments. In response, administration officials are already launching a counterattack, arguing that in inflating military spending, the administration will remain faithful to the old slogan: “Keep it up!”Foreign policy issues have barely been addressed in the current midterm elections. This is one of the paradoxes of American political life, which is too busy with purely “domestic” affairs even at a time when the US government is so aggressively pursuing an increasing threat of nuclear war. But what the candidates for political office “overlooked” was remembered by ordinary people. I mean the results of the vote on the issue of freezing the nuclear arsenals of the USA and the USSR. As is known, this form of anti-nuclear struggle was born spontaneously and has spread widely since last spring. They tried to nail down, extinguish, trample and uproot this idea. Nowhere have official representatives been so zealous, from the president to dozens of experts from the Pentagon and the State Department, as in California, the “home state” of the current occupant of the White House. And what? Nuclear freeze referendums took place in nine states, from Rhode Island in the east to Oregon in the far west. Eight states (except Arizona) had a majority of voters in favor of the freeze, including California, the largest state in the United States. He spoke out contrary to the position of his government, which fools the Americans with claims that the freeze is beneficial only to the Soviet Union.This is truly a victory of common sense over the belligerence of official Washington, over its rabid anti-Sovietism. It is no coincidence that I write “official Washington.” In unofficial Washington, with its unofficial houses, streets and residents, in its polling stations, outside its offices, a referendum on the nuclear freeze was also held on November 2. Roughly two-thirds of voters approved of the idea. So, both his state, California, and the capital, Washington, where he lives and works, rebelled against President Reagan’s views on this essential issue. And seven more states, a number of counties and cities, including Philadelphia, the fifth largest in the United States.Of course, it would be premature to assume that the latter won in the confrontation between official and unofficial Washington. But, on the other hand, it is impossible not to emphasize the following: when in the current elections an American had the opportunity to speak out for peace, against the threat of nuclear war, he did not miss this opportunity.November 4, 1982REPORTING FROM SAN FRANCISCOWilliam Brockett is a 41-year-old lawyer from San Francisco, co-owner of the law firm Kecker & Brockett. What business could a Soviet journalist who came to the United States for several weeks have with an American lawyer? I knew which one when I walked up the slope of one of the famous San Francisco hills along Montgomery Street to a two-story red brick building, still strong, but much aged from the proximity of new skyscrapers on financial and banking California Street. I knew, and I think the reader will guess if he remembers,what common cause we now find with American lawyers, American doctors, American nuclear physicists. One of those who in recent years has added the word “concerned” to the name of their profession. Concerned about the increased threat of nuclear war.And before we get to W. Brockett on the second floor of the red brick mansion, here's just one example of why they're so concerned. The New York publishing house "Random House" has just published a book with a catchy, somewhat mysterious title - "If only there were enough shovels." Its author Robert Scheer, heading the Washington bureau of the Los Angeles Times newspaper, had many heart-to-heart conversations with high-ranking representatives Reagan administration. They were frank. And Scheer saw that the current administration was playing more dangerously than any previous one with the idea of the possibility and, so to speak, “survivability” of nuclear war. Sometimes with appalling frivolity. One of the government officials, namely T. K. Jones, Assistant Under Secretary of Defense for Strategic Nuclear Forces, in a conversation with Scheer, told the Americans what to do in the event of a nuclear conflict. “Dig a hole, cover it with a couple of doors and then throw a meter thick earth on top... The earth will save you... If there are enough shovels, anyone can handle it.”It sounds like a bad joke, but these are the true words of Mr. Jones. And his, one must think, is an authentic philosophy. If surviving a nuclear war is easier than a steamed turnip, then isn’t it easy to start one?That's why San Francisco lawyer William Brockett is among so many concerned. Lanky, with a high forehead and a boyish, pure smile, he jokes: “Lawyers are known to be eloquent. We cannot allow our gift to go to waste.” Two years ago, in Boston, Massachusetts, on the other Atlantic coast of the United States, an organization of lawyers opposing the threat of nuclear war was created. It became national. Brockett runs its San Francisco office, which employs about 400 people. He sees his task as educating the public about the realities of the nuclear age. Meetings, meetings, symposiums... They convince Americans that they are unlikely to be saved from nuclear warheads, even if there are plenty of shovels.In recent months, public debate in the state of California has revolved around a proposal to freeze the nuclear arsenals of the United States and the Soviet Union. Signatures were collected to submit this proposal to a referendum, a general vote of state residents. Collected. The matter, as we know, was not limited to California. Nine states and 30 counties and cities put the nuclear freeze proposal on the ballot in the November 2 elections. Let me remind you that a majority of voters in eight states and almost all of these counties and cities were in favor.According to press estimates, of the 18 million voters in the states and cities and counties mentioned, 10.8 million were in favor of a nuclear freeze. This is an impressive majority, especially considering that the American was going against the policies of his government. This is, as they point out, the largest referendum ever held in America on any issue. But being the largest, this is still not a national referendum; it has no binding force for those in power. According to the conditions, for example, of the California vote, the state governor will bring to the attention of the US President that the majority of Californians would like to freeze the nuclear arsenals of the two powers. But the White House, of course, already knows about this. And judging by the official reaction, the results of the vote on the nuclear freeze have not yet made the slightest impression on the government. More broadly, even after suffering political damage in the last election, the White House has no intention of cutting “one iota” of its $1.6 trillion five-year military spending budget, people familiar with the matter said.Let us return, however, to the supporters of the nuclear freeze. What's next? I remember that in August, a resolution to freeze the nuclear arsenals of the United States and the USSR, drafted by Senators Edward Kennedy and Mark Hatfield, was rejected in the House of Representatives by a vote of 204 to 202. In the new Congress, the lower house looks more liberal. Voters voted out a number of Reaganite conservatives. So, with one more vote, the previous freeze resolution could pass. This would be a major blow to the administration. But so far this option is not beyond the realm of speculation.The struggle over the nuclear freeze acquired symbolic significance, becoming an indicator of the balance of social forces on the issue of US nuclear strategy and a barometer of the political climate. But the American cannot be content with symbols for long if they do not result in practical political changes. What's next? Having won a significant victory in the elections on November 2, the anti-nuclear movement in America is looking for new issues, new areas of application and unification of forces, fearing that otherwise its scope will be reduced and its progress will slow down. In particular, if we take Bill Brockett, he believes that worried San Francisco lawyers will soon split into two groups. One will continue to engage in anti-nuclear educational campaigning, the other will move on to “political action.” In his view, the challenge today is to turn the success of the nuclear freeze vote into political action. What is meant? The political struggle against the creation of new weapons systems, primarily MX intercontinental missiles, for changing the government’s position on fundamental issues of nuclear strategy, primarily for the United States to join the Soviet call to renounce the first use of nuclear weapons.It is not always appropriate to type a living specific person. This is not a literary hero. It is dominated by the individual. But looking from the outside, which makes things easier and excuses some simplification, I see something typical in the San Francisco lawyer from Montgomery Street. Bill Brockett graduated from the Naval Academy, fought in Vietnam, and his father is a retired admiral. Bill's anti-nuclear organization has five former Marines on its advisory board. These details show that Washington's risky course aroused protest among those who had previously not been in the habit of participating in protest movements, who were more likely to see in anti-war protest some kind of anti-American activity. Such people are accustomed to trusting the American government. And now a lawyer who came from the admiral’s family, answering a question from a Soviet correspondent, admits that on the most important issues (nuclear freeze, ratification of the SALT-2 Treaty, a complete ban on nuclear tests) his views are closer to the official positions of Moscow than to the official positions of Washington.What made this ordinary American lawyer become an advocate for peace and understanding? He replies that he loves life and people, snow and sun, travel and meetings. Are these words too general? Do they just smack of sentimental romance? Yes pet. This is probably a business answer. A business-like answer to Mr. G. K. Jones, a constructive alternative to his advice to dig a gap, cover it with a couple of doors, cover it with earth and nothing else to worry about.But here’s another detail that I don’t want to mention. When we spoke with Brockett, there was a tape recorder on the lawyer's table. Not mine, but my interlocutor's. Brockett recorded our conversation. He explained why: “If tomorrow an FBI agent comes to me and asks what I was talking about with the Soviet visitor, I will let him listen - that’s what.”This is not just lawyerly forethought. This is new. I have never seen anything like this in 20 years of journalism in America. A person who speaks loftily about the love of life is not in the heavens; he knows what the frenzy of anti-Soviet psychosis and the new McCarthyism that came to his country are. They are again looking for the “Reds” under tables and beds. Washington does not want to listen to the voice of 10 million Americans who two weeks ago spoke in favor of a nuclear freeze. But he does everything to drown out this voice. The president himself does not shun methods of direct intimidation. He again resorted to it at his press conference on November 12, claiming that “foreign agents” are stirring up anti-nuclear protests in the United States, without bothering himself with any evidence due to the lack of it.Here in San Francisco, in the Church of St. Mary, built in a modernist style, a kind of seminar of activists from various groups and organizations was held the other day, showing what a wide range of people and social movements were created by one idea - the idea of ​​vigilance in the face of the increased threat of nuclear war . Among the speakers was Harold Willens, a millionaire Los Angeles businessman who was the most famous organizer of the California nuclear freeze campaign. He called the president's new accusations and hints unworthy and called for continuing the fight against two current Washington diseases - Russophobia (i.e., blind hatred of the Soviet Union) and militarism.The anti-nuclear struggle has many supporters and well-wishers, sometimes unexpected. Eugene Newport, mayor of Berkeley, across the San Francisco Bay, told us that six out of every seven voters in his city approved a nuclear freeze. But Berkeley is not indicative - a liberal student fool. It is significant, however, that the largest California newspapers took the same position. And if you take the whole country, you find that a large number of very well-known figures who held major government positions are in favor of the nuclear freeze. A few days before the election, in a group letter to the New York Times, the idea was endorsed by Averell Harriman, former Secretary of Defense Clark Clifford, former Secretary of Defense William Colby, and former US SALT II negotiator Paul Warnke. On the other hand, one cannot help but see the dangerous stubbornness of people in power, not former ones. Columnist Anthony Lewis writes: "The public advocating an end to the nuclear arms race should not lose sight of this central political fact: Many of Reagan's key advisers want an arms race."Right. They want to. And this is the danger. This is the origin of the current unprecedented concern of Americans and the tension of the confrontation unfolding on the local political scene.November 1982ANOTHER LETTER FROM WASHINGTONCan American Catholic bishops, of whom there are about 300, fall into heresy, and not just individually, but, as they say, in their overwhelming majority? They can. In the eyes of the White House. They can, and have already, challenged Washington's gospel of the Big Bomb, according to which the path to peace lies through mountain ranges of new weapons, primarily nuclear weapons. The spiritual shepherds of 50 million American Catholics have fallen into the “nuclear heresy.”What exactly does it consist of? American military strategy, almost since the day of Hiroshima, has justified nuclear weapons as a “means of deterrence,” and this deterrence, especially according to current ideas, is the more effective the more weapons the United States has. It is under this article of faith that new nuclear weapons systems, such as, for example, MX intercontinental ballistic missiles, are based. Catholic bishops, contrary to the American government, are ready to recognize the concept of “nuclear deterrence” only if Washington advocates not for building up, but for reducing nuclear arsenals and abandons the “search for superiority” over the Soviet Union. The “heretics” also disagree with another Washington dogma, which proclaims readiness to be the first to use nuclear weapons. Under no circumstances can the use of nuclear weapons be “morally justified”—that is the position of the Catholic hierarchy in the United States.These are the two points of this far from theological dispute, but the disagreements do not end there.The “nuclear heresy” took its toll when a special group of bishops began work on the so-called pastoral letter on issues of war and peace, which is supposed to be read from church pulpits and made, as it were, a religious and moral guide for American Catholics. The first draft of the message appeared in June and, of course, caused a wide response from different quarters. Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger, among others, responded. To God - God's, to Caesar - Caesar's, and give the Pentagon what is Pentagon's. Weinberger did not approve of the bishops' incursion into the diocese that he considered his own, and only his. On the other hand, he insisted that there was nothing more godly than an arms race. He was joined around the office. As columnist Mary McGrory quipped, "Various members of the government began telling the clergy that the future of humanity was not their concern." But they failed to convince. The bishops persisted in their errors. In October, a second draft of the pastoral letter was published, and in it the immorality of preparations for nuclear war was condemned even more forcefully.And in mid-November, the author of these lines personally had the opportunity to observe in the Washington Capital Hilton Hotel, from which it is a stone's throw from the White House, many handsome men, identically dressed in black formal suits with black stand-up shirt collars. About 300 Catholic bishops gathered for their national conference. It would hardly have come into the spotlight if not for the same project of a pastoral letter on issues of war and peace. Again public discussions, and even more heated. Again approval from below and censure from above. On the official side, the most active participant in the dispute this time turned out to be the President's National Security Adviser, William Clark.It was he who addressed the bishops with a letter, which for some reason the newspapers received first. Appealing to patriotic sentiments, the presidential aide urged the conference to spare the “doctrine of deterrence” and be generous in its praise of the White House's nonexistent arms control efforts. The short meaning of the long letter was understood correctly. “We will not be intimidated,” Archbishop Bernardin of Chicago, who is leading the drafting of the pastoral letter, responded to Clark. Conference participants intensified, rather than weakened, their criticism of official policies. They will meet again in May 1983 to approve the final text.Why is Washington so excited about the “nuclear heresy”? The reasons are no mystery. And one of them is that on a number of key issues, the American bishops are closer to the position of atheistic Moscow than the American government with its new “crusade” against communism. Thus, they are quite clearly in favor of a nuclear freeze, in support of “agreements to end the testing, production and deployment of new strategic systems.” They are against the first use of nuclear weapons. They are for a complete and general ban on nuclear weapons testing, which Washington actually opposes.Another reason for the government's concern is that these heretical critics cannot be anathematized as "foreign agents." Who will believe? At the same time, by disagreeing with the government, they undermine trust in it and encourage dissent among other Americans. For faithful Catholics, including military personnel, the bishops essentially pose thorny questions of conscience and the propriety of participating in activities that contribute to the growing threat of nuclear war.So, another - and unusual - manifestation of growing anti-nuclear sentiment. There are concerned doctors, concerned scientists, concerned women and lawyers. There are also concerned clergy - Catholics, Protestants and others. Washington's dangerous policies have brought a variety of professions and groups into protest. The policy is not only foreign, but also internal, internal economic. It is no coincidence that participants in the same Catholic conference called on American leaders to “reject current policies that attempt to free themselves from the burden of economic ills at the expense of the poor and unemployed.”Two years ago, when he became president, Reagan believed that voters had given him two mandates - for a gigantic build-up of the military and for an economic “conservative revolution” that sharply cut social assistance programs for various categories of needy people. The main attraction for the average American was the reduction in income taxes.The American President to this day proceeds in his actions from the fact that both mandates remain fully in force. Op is wrong. The most characteristic, although not yet fully revealed, feature of the current moment is that the American is gradually but persistently taking away the aforementioned mandates from the president, receiving, instead of the promised economic miracle, unemployment at pre-war levels and a hopelessly long recession.“In the fall of 1980, a triumphant Ronald Reagan captured Washington and reaffirmed his campaign vow to balance the federal budget, cut taxes, and boost military spending more than at any time in decades,” Peter Stone recalls the president’s original goals. in the New York Times. What happened? “The first thing that was thrown away was the goal of a balanced budget,” explains Stone. “The second was the goal of cutting taxes. And now, when the old Congress, which is in its final weeks, returns to Washington, the president may also be forced to abandon his third goal.”Refuse? Isn't that too sweeping and optimistic? Stone clarifies his forecast: “Of course, military spending will grow faster in the near future than in the recent past. But President Reagan's ambitious plan to increase Pentagon spending by more than 8 percent in real terms each year faces formidable opposition both inside and outside the government."Here is a significant fact that illustrates this idea. Commissioned by Business Week magazine, the well-known service of Louis Harris conducted a public opinion poll. It found that only 17 percent of Americans support increased military spending. And two years ago, when Reagan came to power, 71 percent of those surveyed were in favor of satisfying the Pentagon's appetites, no matter how insatiable they may be.The changing political climate, as already written, is evidenced by the results of the midterm elections held in early November. Let us recall that the Republican Party was short of 26 seats in the House of Representatives, and at the expense of those who came to Capitol Hill in 1980 in the wake of Reagan’s victory. On the other hand, three-quarters of the Democrats elected to the House during the election campaign advocated slowing down the growth rate of the military budget.Activism has intensified due to the increased threat of nuclear war. Economic necessity became their influential ally. You can't jump higher than yourself. To be convinced of this, you just need to try it. They tried it in Washington. And it turned out that Reaganism did not work in the field of economics and that America could hardly afford Reaganism in the field of military spending.The officially projected state budget deficit for the next fiscal year is about $185-195 billion, which reminds us of the economic necessity. The chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, Republican Peter Domenici, refers to economic necessity, saying that the unemployment rate is “politically unacceptable to the American people.” Having lost seven colleagues after the election, the Republican governors, meeting in Kansas City, said that they could not do without cutting military spending and that unemployment and the general policies of the administration were “scaring the people to death.”How does the Reagan administration respond to all these voices? Mainly by a stubborn reluctance to take into account new sentiments. By announcing on November 22 the decision to station 100 new MX intercontinental missiles in Wyoming in a "compact basing" manner, President Reagan again tried to convince Americans that there was no other path to peace except preparing for war.And what? Half a month after the President's MX speech and just a week after the 97th Congress resumed its session, the White House suffered a major defeat on Capitol Hill. The House of Representatives, by a vote of 245 to 176, removed $988 million from the Pentagon budget intended for the production of the first five MX missiles.True, the Pentagon has $1.7 billion left for the further development of this type of intercontinental ballistic missile and another $715 million for developing a method for basing it. The truth is that there are different motives for voting. Some congressmen, in principle, oppose the new nuclear weapons system, which violates the SALT I and SALT II agreements and destabilizes the strategic situation in the world. Others, having no objection in principle to the MX, rejected the administration's proposed method of basing it. Still others, placing purely economic considerations above all else, considered that this was not the time to waste and it was time to reduce the Pentagon’s exorbitant piece of the national pie (both the first and second fall into this third category to one degree or another).One way or another, on Capitol Hill, Reagan suffered the most serious defeat of his two presidential years on the issue of military appropriations. A number of observers, delving into history, believe that this is generally an unprecedented case. Congress, they point out, has never turned so against a president to block such a large military program.The battle over MX between the Belsh House and Congress is far from over. Predicting the complete victory of common sense is premature and risky. Having learned some lessons from the overconfidence that turned into political humiliation, the administration is now intensifying its handling of the Senate, where, unlike the House of Representatives, the Republicans have a majority. To save the MX missile itself, President Reagan appears willing to compromise on how it will be deployed.But one conclusion can be drawn now. Critical public sentiment will increasingly manifest itself in critical actions of Congress, especially the new Congress, which begins work in January next year.December 1982A LITTLE MORE ABOUT AMERICAN IMPRESSIONSI just had the opportunity to spend several weeks in the United States as a special correspondent for Izvestia. I returned home and from my friends I again heard a familiar question that I had to answer so many times. They ask: how is it there in America?To answer with a joke, Americans, firstly, live in an American way, and secondly, in different ways. But you can’t seriously answer in a few words.However, I will try to share some impressions.I was, for example, in San Francisco, and there was a noticeable increase in skyscrapers of banks and corporations in the so-called financial district. I visited the headquarters of the giant construction corporation Bechtel, which has recently become famous for the fact that Secretary of State Shultz and Secretary of Defense Wineborger emerged from its depths. Bechtel is doing well—billion-dollar turnover, orders in dozens of countries, multimillion-dollar profits.But in the state of California, where President Reagan and many of his closest collaborators came from, unemployment is now above the national average. And when I was there in January of this year, it was below average. Nearby San Francisco is the famous Silicon Valley, an area with a large concentration of advanced electronics industry. The science editor of the San Francisco Chronicle told me that Silicon Valley was increasingly feeling the pressure of Japanese competition. The Japanese, he said, are developing fifth-generation computers; the speed of operations will increase a thousand times. The Americans are lagging behind. More Japanese color televisions are sold in the United States than American ones.Charleston is the capital of the small state of West Virginia. It's an hour's flight from Washington over the Appalachian Mountains. The town is small, 64 thousand inhabitants, but it is an American town. A tiny local university with 2.5 thousand students, imagine, has three branches abroad - in Rome, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo. Its president, a youthful, ironic man, reports this in passing, but not without pleasure. Also in passing - that tuition costs students 5 thousand dollars a year, although the university is an obscure, quiet one.Charleston, as a city, is economically quite prosperous due to the surrounding chemical industry. The mayor in his office brings me to a diagram - a lot of development, private business is investing tens of millions of dollars in construction. The hotel, just built by Marriott, meets capital standards. Insurance companies, bank branches, many stores, so-called "fast food" cafeterias, streets filled with cars - all these are features of America.But here is a conversation with four leaders of the local branch of the AFL-CIO trade union association. Their words breathe deep pessimism. Beyond the prosperous city of Charleston lies the distressed state of West Virginia. In the construction industry, unemployment is __ 60 percent. And in the coal regions in the south of the state - would you believe it? - unemployment up to 80 percent. What's the matter? The crisis in the automobile industry leads to a crisis in the steel industry, and then, like a falling domino, a crisis in the coal mines. They also say that West Virginia coal is now poorly exported to Europe. And also, as one of the trade unionists suggests, it is a matter of self-interest of American oil corporations. After all, they bought up almost all the coal deposits in advance and now, as he put it, “sit on coal” like a dog in a manger - until they squeeze the last dollar out of oil.Trade unionists complain: the suicide rate has increased, families are breaking up, people are turning to the bottle more often. Unemployment benefits are issued for 29 weeks, then through other channels you can scrape together another 20 weeks. And then? They're surprised it hasn't exploded yet.We heard about expectations of social explosions caused by record unemployment and fears of such explosions more than once in Washington and New York. And, of course, it wasn’t just about miners.The panorama of American life is extremely varied and contains a lot. Sometimes, in the same episode, seemingly impossibly distant poles come together. Here's an example. In November, a South Korean boxer was brutally beaten—and essentially killed—during a match in the ring in Las Vegas. Wildness! And - sensation! Journalists, not for the first time, compared the cruelty of professional boxing to the battles of ancient Roman gladiators. But what happens next? With the mother's permission, kidneys are taken from the dead man and, appropriately preserved, they are taken by plane to San Francisco to be transplanted into a sick person who has long been on the waiting list for kidneys. Yes, there is such a queue: “numbers” are not written on pieces of paper or on palms, they are stored in a special computer.This is an interweaving of unimaginable savagery and the latest achievements, and this is very characteristic of America.When you follow the United States from afar, you mainly see its foreign policy, that is, the side that faces the rest of the world. When you arrive and the broad stream of life of this large country flows into your consciousness, you immediately realize anew, so to speak, the primacy of everyday life over politics, the predominance of internal affairs over external ones. The main, overwhelming concerns of the American are economic. Especially now, when the economic recession is not ending and unemployment is still rising.Through this prism of the economy and their well-being or ill-being, people look at President Reagan and his administration, and from communicating with them you discover that there are almost no happy people, and a lot of worried ones. Reagan's gigantic military programs are viewed through the same lens—and increasingly critically. Hence the obstacles that the MX missile program proposed by the White House encountered in Congress.I won't repeat myself. I’ll just say that one of the main arguments of opponents of MX is very simple - it’s not affordable.In general, from conversations with American journalists, politicians, businessmen, and from direct observation, a certain dual picture is now emerging: on the one hand, there is widespread dissatisfaction with Reagan’s domestic economic and foreign policies. On the other hand, the president persists in this policy and even seems to flaunt his purely conservative principles, regardless of the facts of the growth of the opposition.Recently, Time magazine dedicated its profile to President Reagan, his characterization, and manner of making decisions. With all its desire to sweeten the pill, Time was forced to warn the owner of the White House: “The deepest concern of the American public is that the Reagan administration is losing touch with reality.”This conclusion also relates to the question: how is it there in America?December 1982THE FORGOTTEN DISCOVERY OF AMERICAEvery profession has its guilty pleasures. For some time now I have liked to lure an Americanist colleague into my office, seat him in a swivel Finnish chair, with which, in the absence of suitable domestic ones, the new Izvestia building is equipped, and sit opposite him with a small brochure, bending it so as not to see there was the author's name on the yellow cover.- Try, brother, to guess whose it is?Bowing his head, turning gray in ideological battles, the brother tunes in to guessing. Reading:“...The Yankees have two permanent occupations. Doesn't make money and boom. He makes money and makes noise. He cannot live without both.When in America they want to ask what kind of person this is, they ask: “How much is he worth?” And, looking at the numbers, they determine that he is a “big” or not a “big” person.Ordinary signs and posters would be lost among the 22-story buildings. We need some grandiose, flashy signs, posters... All this screams from the walls, screams with its bright colors, its monstrous letters... This is the “boom” that trade and industry make. You have to shout on the street, among this hustle, bustle, running, shouting, noise, din - you have to shout to be heard...There is no more noisy people than the Yankees."Taking my eyes off the brochure, I look questioningly at my colleague. He has long since passed the age of the participants in the television quiz “What? Where? When?". But the Yankees are his specialty. Here he is in a club of experts, and his pride is clearly hurt. And the text is familiar, like the alphabet. There is no people more noisy than the Yankees. Business - advertising - skyscrapers... But where? When? And why are the buildings only 22 stories high? A colleague lived in New York when two houses were built there, exactly 5 times higher. He wrinkles his forehead and fidgets in his Finnish chair.- Mayakovsky?This is the first thing that comes to his mind.— Ilf and Petrov? - another cartridge from a familiar clip.- No, brother, I’m passing by again.- Kataev? Yesenin?- Finger to the sky. Better listen again.After flipping through a few pages, I read again:“Who would have thought that this Yankee, who measures everything in dollars, is as superstitious as an old woman?! This car called the Yankee has soul. A completely unnecessary thing for a “businessman”. But since it exists, it makes its demands. No one is so keen on everything metaphysical, everything supernatural, supersensible, mysterious, incomprehensible, as the “positive” Americans. This is a protest of the spirit against the materialism that has eaten up the poor Yankee. Nowhere is there such a mass of sects, and moreover, the most incredible, the most absurd, the most senseless, as in the United States... The birthplace of the phonograph, the telephone, is at the same time the country of spiritualism, monotheism, occultism, worldview and thousands of other all kinds of nonsense. Yankee believes in the existence of some mysterious “other world.” But man is a machine, he demands that “that world” not sit idly by. “That world” must constantly work, show signs of its existence, show miraculous phenomena... discover the future, help the Yankees in business.”How captured! The soul of a man-machine. Practicality next to superstition - and about the “other world”, which should also work for a practical Yankee. The proud colleague is tormented again. Damn it, he not only read about all this, but he himself described it a thousand times, only angrier and more irritated! And now the green newsstands of America and special sections of wealthy bookstores in New York or Washington with various “nonsense” in eye-catching bindings emerge in his memory. There are especially many of them before the next New Year, when the demand for divination increases and fresh products from astrologers, clairvoyants and fortune-tellers enter the market. But who saw all this in ancient years, when skyscrapers did not rise above the twenty-second floor?The colleague feels like he has lost. But before raising his hands up, he shoots back with the last bullet.- Bitter?No, and not Gorky...Frankly, I am not flattered by my victory. If he had a yellow brochure, I would have had to raise my hands. The newspaper lives for one day. Newsboy - one day, in her rhythm. When you don’t remember yesterday, the world is full of discoveries - just like in childhood. They say that the new is the well-forgotten old. But even more often, the new is the old that you simply did not know.But it’s not useful to at least look through the yellowed files of old newspapers and magazines from time to time. What did you do once at the Crocodile? And so, having looked through, we found notes about the travel to the United States of America of the pre-revolutionary Russian newspaperman Vlas Mikhailovich Doroshevich.The name of Doroshevich thundered during his lifetime, but after his death it gave birth to an echo of legends and stories that did not immediately fall silent. I remember myself: from the old editor of Izvestia, Vasily Ivanovich Gridip, when we were still newspaper newcomers, we heard stories about how Vlas Doroshevich, straight from a theater premiere, without taking off his tailcoat, came to the printing house at night and, perched at the steel layout tables, among the oily typesetters , wrote a review for the issue. Incomprehensible efficiency! It turns out that it existed at a time when, one must think, the word itself did not yet exist - “operator.”But let's not get distracted. So, Vlas Doroshevich, even before his high-profile St. Petersburg and Moscow years, while still an employee of the Odessa List, went to America in 1897. And, like everyone else, he opened it. Eighty-five years ago. This contribution to Russian American studies, like many others, would have sunk into oblivion if not for the memorable “Crocodile”. It was he who celebrated the anniversary by releasing a collection of Doroshevich’s essays called “Gold Rush.”Why, by the way, “Gold Rush”? Arriving on June 12, 1897 in the then main Californian city of San Francisco, Vlas Doroshevich discovered that California did not exist. California in those days moved to Alaska, to the Klondike, to the shores of Ukoia. America was experiencing another gold rush. This is what Vlas Doroshevich called one of his wittiest essays, anticipating the grotesque and humor of Charlie Chaplin in the film comedy of the same name.“With these stories about jam jars full of gold that happy “miners” brought from the Klondike, the blood of brave adventurers, the blood of pioneers, awoke in the Yankees. And they rushed to this polar region, the land of eternal cold, where nature, like a miser, hid its riches under the icy crust,” wrote a Russian newspaperman.He made an accurate diagnosis of this disease - crowd madness.Crowd craze? Isn’t this the disease we now call mass psychosis? Two words with foreign roots instead of two Russian words. The meaning is blurred by apostasy from the native language. Mass psychosis? No, it is the madness of the crowd, and it directly arises from the two activities of the Yankees - making money and making noise...A lot of water has flowed under the bridge of the cold Yukon River since the energetic Americans, grabbing the miserly nature by the collar, robbed it clean. California returned to itself a long time ago, forgot the Klondike “miners”, managed to become the first in population of the fifty United States and gave a lot of all kinds of good and bad, including Ronald Reagan and members of both his cabinets - the shadow one, from Californian millionaires, and the official one, too. not from the poor.There is more of everything in America: money, noise, crowd madness, floors in skyscrapers. More disdain for Europe - Doroshevich also wrote about the contempt for Europe of the smug Yankee. “Big” is America’s favorite word, he wrote. But I didn’t know in those years that the world’s largest car would appear overseas and rush along the biggest road, leaving the largest and most toxic clouds of smog over American cities.He did not consider himself a “prophet,” of which he found more in America than anywhere else, but he inadvertently predicted American television. How else can we understand his words: “The ideal of a newspaper is a newspaper of only drawings, where all the events are, as it were, drawn”?“Everything is here,” Doroshevich wrote. “...And if you start reading an American newspaper in a row, you will get the impression of feverish delirium.” This is exactly the impression we get from American newspapers and even more so from American 24-hour and multi-channel television.Everything passes and everything remains... You think about this old wise formula as you read the pages where the forgotten discovery of America is captured. The Anglo-Saxon Yankees, this native of the New England states, now stand up to their necks in a sea of diverse, motley people that has flooded America, and the genetic code of the strange nation of immigrants is still the same as in the essays of Vlas Doroshevich.With one big difference. Vlas Doroshevich chuckled benevolently - a wonderful country, wonderful people. It was an incredibly distant country. And it didn't concern us. Now there is no time for complacency.America has become even further - and dangerously closer.We were separated by an abyss called the difference between two systems. And nuclear missile weapons brought us closer, discouraging complacency and humor. America has ceased to be an outsider - no, both our peoples are concerned with issues of war and peace and the very survival of mankind.Everything passes and everything remains... Alas, it does not pass, but the entrepreneurial spirit of the Yap, mixed with adventurism, remains.“Yankee is a player. His fathers, his grandfathers came here, leaving everything: their homeland, relatives, friends. Having liquidated everything, put everything! on the card: it's either hit or miss. And they passed on the temperament and instincts of a gambler by heredity. The Yankees are always a gambler, in everything: in business and pleasure... This nervously tense people must play, must play constantly, continuously, in order to maintain their tense, God knows how high, nerves.”Were nerves really tense at the end of the last century?But the problem is not with them, not with their nerves, but with the fact that the Yankees have more toys. They play variants of nuclear wars, limited and protracted. The man-machine is superstitious, like an old woman, and at the same time practical - to the point of madness. He thinks that nuclear warheads will not get out of his control even if they start to explode. After all, he hasn’t smelled gunpowder on his land for 120 years, this incorrigible player is a Yankee.How can we prevent him from playing until the end of the world? Which may not be followed by new discoveries of America.December 1982The most pressing question of 1983  THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTIONOf the problems that the past year left to its heir, the most acute is the problem of nuclear weapons in Europe. In our age, diplomacy, alas, is directly linked to nuclear weapons. It is weapons that are increasingly on the agenda of diplomatic negotiations. Diplomacy, one might say, is competing with missiles and nuclear warheads: who will get ahead of whom?This is the case with the Geneva negotiations on limiting nuclear weapons in Europe. If a mutually acceptable agreement is not reached, then, according to the NATO schedule, the deployment of new American missiles should begin in Western Europe by the end of 1983. As medium-range missiles, the Pershing 2s looked to the Soviet Union like strategic first-strike missiles, reaching vital targets on Soviet territory in just 8-10 minutes. It’s not hard to guess that with such “gifts” under the New Year’s tree next December, peace in Europe will become even more fragile.So, who will emerge victorious: diplomacy resuming Soviet-American talks in Geneva at the end of January, or a new round of the arms race?Time is running out. That is why, at the end of two years, there was, perhaps, no international issue that would have been discussed more intensively than the new Soviet proposals for medium-range nuclear weapons, introduced by Yu. V. Andropov on December 21, 1982 in a report on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the formation of the USSR.The Soviet Union took a major step towards its American partners in the Geneva negotiations and, of course, Western European governments, which, according to NATO’s “dual decision,” are ready to accept American missiles on their territory if the negotiations fail. What is this step? Previously, when making calculations on the Soviet side, we were talking about the total, cumulative quantities of different medium-range nuclear weapons carriers, be they missiles or aircraft. The Soviet Union said, and this corresponds to the true state of affairs, that there is a balance in the field of medium-range nuclear weapons, since both sides, that is, the Soviet Union and NATO countries, have approximately a thousand such carriers.So, the new Soviet proposals put forward the principle of separately counting missiles and aircraft carrying nuclear weapons.Moscow seems to be saying to its opponents in Washington, as well as in Bonn, London, Paris and other Western capitals: “Listen, you are emphasizing Soviet superiority in missiles, insisting that it worries you most and that is why you are going to deploy in Western Europe has about 600 American Pershings and cruise missiles. Fine. We are ready to give up this superiority and keep in Europe exactly as many missiles as England and France have - and not a single missile more. Now you see that we really want an agreement, that we are meeting you halfway.”And Moscow is really meeting halfway, and far too far. After all, if we translate the Soviet proposal into numbers, it means that the Soviet Union would reduce hundreds of its missiles, including more than a dozen of the most modern missiles - the SS-20.Along with this, it is proposed to reduce to equal levels the number of aircraft carrying nuclear weapons intended for operations in Europe.So, not one more missile, not one more plane. The Soviet leader confirmed this principle in his answers to J. Kingsbury-Smith, conveying his New Year's greetings to the American people and emphasizing that the Soviet people and the Americans now have one common enemy - the threat of war and everything that strengthens it.The principle of strict equality has now been brought to arithmetic clarity. And there is much more logic in it - and justice! - than in the so-called “bullet version” of President Reagan. This option provides for the elimination of all Soviet medium-range missiles in exchange for Washington's refusal to station American missiles in Western Europe. All Soviet missiles are eliminated, but British and French missiles - 162 in number - remain untouched. What kind of zero is this? When there are 162 missiles on the NATO side against the Soviet zero, this is called an invitation to the Soviet Union for unilateral disarmament.The Soviet plan, to use American terminology, has more to do with the “zero option” than the American plan, which has kept the Geneva negotiations at idle for more than a year. The Soviet Union leaves exactly as many medium-range missiles as its American NATO allies - England and France - have. As for the missile confrontation in Europe between the USSR and the USA, it really comes down to zero. The Soviet plan looks true, and not a deceptive “zero option,” if we remember what maximum program it puts forward for Europe - a continent free of all nuclear weapons - both medium-range and tactical.Washington rushed to reject the Soviet initiative with a haste that betrays not state prudence, but automatic militant anti-Sovietism. But I think the story will not end there. Judging by the reaction of the Western European public, and even political circles, judging by the responses of many thinking Americans, this time automatic anti-Sovietism does not ________________. It seems that Washington will have to return to these large, serious proposals. Or - otherwise - admit in front of the world community that in the competition between diplomacy and missiles, under the sign of which the new year has begun, the Reagan administration is relying too defiantly on missiles.As the New York Times wrote in one of its editorials, “in all conscience, the Western allies are obliged to consider the Soviet proposal as suitable for negotiations.” Obliged - this word is not accidental and is well chosen. “Whether it will now be possible to limit the number of Euromissiles by agreement depends more on psychology than on arithmetic,” the New York Times opines.Indeed, questions of rocket arithmetic cannot now be put forward as a fundamental obstacle. The ops have been eliminated. The matter now comes down to psychology, in other words, to political will. In good will for agreement - in the name of strengthening European - and not only European - peace. People have the right to expect such good will, such political will, from the West, especially from Washington.January 1983PEACEFUL OFFENSIVE JANUARYAt the end of 1982, notes by the famous Italian writer Alberto Moravia were published in the Italian magazine Espresso. Op talked about visiting Hiroshima. The notes were called: “The atomic bomb and us. Letter from Hiroshima." There are a lot of interesting and rather sad thoughts there, sometimes unexpected. Moravia, for example, writes that in relation to the atomic bomb, even wisdom, which is the highest of human qualities, “does not make sense.” After all, wisdom, he says, “is the final result of all human experience,” but what is this experience worth if nuclear weapons are intended to destroy man in general, as a biological species.I would like to bring up another idea from Moravia, which in my opinion is very important. He writes: “The most terrible aspect of the atomic bomb is probably the impossibility of the world continuing to exist, develop and progress under the threat of nuclear destruction.”In fact, the prospect of nuclear death not only obscured, clouded tomorrow for us. It poisons our present day, puts pressure on the psyche, and affects the economic health of peoples. An individual cannot live normally with his head in a noose or on the chopping block, at gunpoint. All of humanity cannot live normally under the threat of destruction. We need to pull off this veil, throw off this burden, get rid of this obsession. And this is the main task of diplomacy, of all international politics.The New Year is aging before our eyes, it has already counted down two weeks. And for almost four weeks now, the main thing in international life has been the “peaceful offensive” of the Soviet Union and other socialist countries. If we highlight the stages of this “peace offensive,” the first began on December 21, when new Soviet proposals were put forward to reduce medium-range nuclear weapons in Europe and strategic nuclear weapons. The second stage is the meeting of the Political Consultative Committee in Prague, its results, the Political Declaration of the states parties to the Warsaw Pact, and, first of all, the proposal put forward in it to conclude an Agreement on the mutual non-use of military force and maintaining peace relations between two military-political alliances opposing each other. friend in Europe.The writer Alberto Moravia - and not the only one - is sad and fatalistic. But fatalism is unacceptable in politics. On the assistant on the way to war. The situation in international defense in general, in Europe in particular, is alarming, but there is a real alternative to nuclear war and the nuclear threat - dialogue and fair agreements, a radical reduction of nuclear arsenals, strengthening mutual trust and general security. This is the general meaning of the New Year's prologue, the New Year's message from the leaders of socialist states to the governments of the West and the whole world, to all peoples. This general meaning is powerfully reinforced by specific sentences.In the current battles for and against détente, the Federal Republic of Germany has played a special role. There, more acutely than anywhere else in Western Europe, the anti-nuclear, anti-missile drama is unfolding, and in it, one might say, the old principle of dramaturgy is observed - the unity of place, time and action. Place? After all, more than one third of all American medium-range missiles should be deployed in West Germany, including all 108 Pershing-2s, the most dangerous for peace in Europe. Time? The year has begun. By the end of the year, the first missiles should be deployed in Germany. This is provided for by the NATO schedule. Action? This is the anti-nuclear movement in Germany, wider and more active than ever. The plots of the West German political drama are also getting twisted because elections to the Bundestag are coming up on March 6 and politicians have to answer to the voter. One confidential survey commissioned by Helmut Kohl's government showed that 61 percent of German residents believe that the deployment of new missiles should be delayed, even if Soviet-American talks in Geneva fail to reach an agreement by the fall.The Soviet Union opened the way to a realistic agreement by putting forward the principle of an equal number of missiles and an equal number of aircraft carrying nuclear weapons on the Soviet side and on the NATO side. The Americans are still stuck with their deceptive “zero option.”The Kohl government, even in the light of the new Soviet initiative, continues to cling to the unpromising American option. In the opposition Social Democratic Party, anti-missile sentiment is very strong. SPD candidate for chancellor Hans-Jochen Vogel wants to prove to his party colleagues and his fellow citizens in general that his approach is more flexible.At the end of last week, Vogel visited Washington, this week - in Moscow. The West German politician was explained the meaning of the new proposals of the Soviet Union and drew his attention to the fact that the implementation of US and NATO missile plans in Western Europe, and especially in Germany, would have extremely dangerous consequences.At a press conference in Moscow, Vogel said that the Soviet leader's statements were constructive and expressed hope that at the Geneva negotiations, which resume at the end of January, the American side will not insist on its original position.We are not spoiled by Western praise. But these days, both the Western press and even officials, in general, do not skimp on words about the initiative and constructiveness of Soviet foreign policy. They also talk about clever propaganda designed to win public opinion in the West. This is a compliment with a catch. Propaganda is an important thing, but the Soviet Union is not interested in propaganda victories, but in a real movement towards peace, in real ways out of military-political deadlocks in Europe, in relations between the USSR and the USA, in agreements that take into account the interests of everyone.Unlike a military one, a “peaceful offensive” does not need to be repelled. You need to join him. And to join means to take steps towards. How do things stand in this sense? There are many positive responses in the West, even official ones, but no practical steps towards it have been noticed yet. To use the same military terminology, NATO is now on the defensive. On defense, the main Western capital is Washington. Moreover, we have to defend ourselves from “our own people.” “Our people” attack, “our friends” criticize.We read, for example, on the pages of the London Times newspaper:“The time has come for those who have long considered themselves to be proven supporters of both NATO and multilateral disarmament to openly question the rights of President Reagan and Mrs. Thatcher to act as the sole and true representatives of NATO... PJU must put forward positive counterproposals, rather than simply rejecting all Soviet initiatives.”How does the Reagan administration view this?The American president announced that on January 30 he was sending Vice President Bush on a 12-day trip to Western Europe, to NATO capitals and to Geneva, the site of Soviet-American negotiations. The declared purpose of the trip was consultations with allies, coordination in the face of Moscow’s “peaceful offensive.”What is this - a useful business action or another gesture to the public?Let's give the floor to the Washington Post, which knows well the ins and outs of the events held by the White House. She considers Bush's mission "impossible." And here’s why: “No one knows how the president really feels about the prospect of negotiations with the Soviet Union to conclude an agreement. The president has seven Fridays a week on this issue.”And further the Washington Post writes: “Proposals to reduce armaments, invitations to a summit meeting, proposals to conclude an agreement on the non-use of military force between NATO and the Warsaw Pact countries are pouring in from Moscow. The President hides his head in his shoulders and dodges in every possible way, sometimes displeased, sometimes good-naturedly brushing it off. The question that will be asked behind the scenes of Bush during his trip to Europe is: Does the president truly want to see an end to the arms race? This question can be answered: “Yes and no!”Yes and no. This is not just humor. Reagan is feeling the pressure, including from Congress and the American public. But he cannot suppress his anti-Soviet instincts. Add to this the infighting within his administration. As a result of the infighting, Eugene Rostow, the agency's director of arms control and disarmament, resigned. This is a patented “hawk,” but in the current hierarchy of those close to power, Rostow, it turns out, looked almost like a “dove.” After all, Reagan—and this should not be forgotten—is also under pressure from the extreme right.January 1983BEGIN'S WORDS AND DEEDSHere is one interesting piece of verbal evidence: “Israel does not want to keep its troops in Lebanon even a minute longer than necessary. Lebanon is not Israeli land. It is a sovereign foreign country. We want an independent Lebanon whose borders we will respect... We are ready to leave Lebanon today, tomorrow, at any time in the near future. We want our soldiers to return home..."Whose words are these? Menachem Begin, Israeli Prime Minister. And they were said where he visits quite often - in Washington. Said in early July 1982, about a month after the Israeli invasion of Lebanon began. Six and a half months have passed since then. Almost five months have passed since Palestinian fighters fled West Beirut to save civilians from Israeli shells and bombs.Begin, Sharon and the campaign said that they were not fighting against Lebanon, that their goal was only to create a “security zone” in the south of Lebanon and oust the Palestinian troops. They managed to achieve this goal. And what? Israeli troops are not leaving Lebanon, the sovereignty and independence of which Israeli leaders hypocritically talked about last summer.The tragedy that was the merciless siege of West Beirut was replaced by the comedy of the Israeli-Lebanese negotiations. They began three weeks ago and continue either in the Lebanese town of Khalda or in the Israeli town of Kiryat Shemona. Or rather, they do not continue, but continue to mark time. For three weeks the parties could not agree on what to talk about or on the agenda. The Lebanese say: withdraw your troops immediately and completely. What could be simpler and fairer! Lebanon is truly a sovereign state that has the right not to tolerate foreign soldiers on its soil. But the Israelis reject such an agenda and demand to discuss the so-called “normalization” of relations.The innocent formula is normalization. But only outwardly innocent. In fact, they want to forcefully include Lebanon in the Camp David process, split it off from other Arab countries, and force it to sign a “peace treaty” with Israel. “Peace” with Israel is unceremoniously imposed on Lebanon at the cost of quarrels, strife, and a break with the Arab states. Lebanon is being pushed into the path of Egypt, although in Egypt - already at the official level - there are more and more doubts about Camp David.And the occupation forces, their presence, and the refusal to withdraw them are used as an instrument of pressure.The negotiators sit at the table in a triangle. The third side is occupied by the Americans. False friends of Lebanon, they actually help Tel Aviv sabotage the withdrawal of Israeli troops and at the same time prolong the stay of their own marines on Lebanese soil.January 1983TWO YEARS OF “EXPERIMENTS” IN WASHINGTONOne American political scientist has suggested that Ronald Reagan's presidency will go down in history as "experimental." This guess comes to mind now that exactly half of the presidential term has expired. Of course, two years is not an anniversary date. On the other hand, the activities of the White House are always in the field of view of political observers, and in this sense, results are summed up almost every day. And yet... And yet, there is a reason to look back halfway and share some thoughts about Reagan’s “experiments” and what comes out of them.In a narrow sense, from the point of view of his political views and psychology, the current president is the flesh and blood of Californian nouveau riche millionaires who successfully amassed their fortunes and therefore defend the “right” to impose themselves and the country where they succeeded as an example for the whole world to follow. . In a broader sense, Ronald Reagan is a spokesman for the interests of the conservative right wing of the Republican Party, for which the leaders are usually supplied by the poor American province, and ideological equipment - in recent years - by New York neoconservative intellectuals. Let us remember that, moreover, he came on a wave of conservative and militant-chauvinistic sentiments, which also caught the attention of the mass voter. This voter, in particular, succumbed to talk about the “Soviet threat” and in the fall of 1980 also believed that it was necessary to ultimately stand up for America, which had been insulted by Islamic extremists in Tehran, who had taken American embassy personnel hostage and held them captive for exactly 444 day.The aforementioned political pedigree and political base predetermined the nature of the Reagan “experiments.” How far to the right can the American political pendulum be moved, and how long can it be kept at that far-right point? Is it possible, economically and socially, to act as if the self-interested views of California millionaires were shared by the majority of Americans? Is it possible, by accelerating the arms race in new orbits, to achieve military superiority over the Soviet Union and trample upon the principles of peaceful coexistence, despite the fact that in our nuclear missile age they operate, among other things, with the strength and immutability of the instinct of self-preservation of mankind?In general, it seems that the essence of Reagan’s “experiment”, or, in other words, “conservative revolution”, was to fight the clock, using power and, therefore, access to considerable American power.It was called, naturally, in different words. It is useful to return to them. Here, for example, from Reagan’s inauguration speech on January 20, 1981: “To paraphrase Winston Churchill, I will say: “I have just taken the oath of office not to watch, as president, how the most powerful economy in the world collapses before my eyes.” world."The past two years have been years of economic decline, which has no parallel in the post-war history of the United States. Unemployment, which rose from 7.4 to 10.8 percent over the same two years, finds only parallels to the pre-war period 40 years ago. 12 million unemployed (and with those partially employed and desperate to find work - all 20 million) became the guinea pigs of “Reaganomics”. They are panicking about the well-being of others, and the fear of losing their jobs cannot be quelled by boasting about the fact that price growth has actually decreased. Homeless people sleeping in cardboard boxes is a new twist in the changing landscape of American streets. A sign of the most recent times.Let's be honest: many Americans believe that social assistance programs for various categories of needy people only breed parasites and parasites. Reagan exploited these sentiments, but even here his “experiments” went too far in the direction of callousness and cruelty towards the poor and disadvantaged. For his war against the poor, he earned the nickname reverse Robin Hood. Without wanting it, he became a fairly effective healer, able to save many of his compatriots from conservative fever. How far to the right is the American political pendulum moving? A partial answer was given in the midterm elections last November, when Reagan's conservatives were ousted in the US House of Representatives. Now even Congress is preventing the pendulum from being pushed “even further to the right.”Even Jimmy Carter, thoroughly forgotten, in his last message to Congress declared the primary foreign policy task to “strengthen America’s military powerand her allies and friends." All post-war US presidents were guilty of militarizing foreign policy. But, perhaps, such an acceptance has never been made on this as under Reagan. Especially in contrast to the 70s, when his predecessors recognized the existence of military-strategic parity between the USA and the USSR and, one way or another, considered the principle of equality and equal security. And, perhaps, never before has there been such a great need for those in power to quench a special thirst - hostility and outright hatred for the Soviet Union, for socialist countries, for communism.These Californian emotions, as well as calculations for achieving military superiority over the Soviet Union, when translated into the language of military programs, gave everyone a well-known figure - $1.6 trillion in appropriations for the Pentagon over five years. Can the American economy withstand this “experiment”? Doubts are multiplying. Opposition to crazy military spending is growing as budget deficits grow. The deficit could reach about $200 billion in the current fiscal year and grow even further next year, that is, when, according to the president's initial promises, it should have been reduced to nothing.It is reported that there are currently approximately 250 books on the American book market about nuclear weapons, nuclear war and its consequences, and nuclear disaster. 10 times more than ten years ago. Why did Americans suddenly take up this sad reading? Fear and anxiety, unprecedented fears and anxieties are also intermediate consequences of the “experimental” presidency. Of course, anti-Sovietism is being intensified more and more, but the line between fables and absurdities, absurdity is relative and often elusive. This happened with the fables about the “Soviet threat.” They were brought to the point of absurdity and absurdity. They are believed less and less, and fears and anxieties increasingly stem from the words and actions of Americans in power. The thirst for hatred is quenched only by a minority. Most people just want to live - simply and in peace.It is always difficult to dissect time, which flows in a continuous stream in which you yourself swim. But if we still try to divide the period we are observing, we will see that in 1981 the dangerous policies of the Reagan administration awakened a massive anti-nuclear movement in Western Europe. Since the spring of 1982, America woke up and declared its new sentiments with referendums for freezing the nuclear arsenals of the USA and the USSR, and then with the June million-strong demonstration in New York, timedto the beginning of the second UN special session on disarmament. In the November election, millions of Americans in various states, cities and counties voted in favor of the freeze, expressing opposition to government policies.American observers are still debating whether President Reagan is more of an “ideologist” or a “pragmatist,” a man of rigid views, captive of his conservative worldview, or a man willing to be flexible and take into account circumstances when circumstances is called above us. We will not get involved in this dispute, but note, however, that on the most important issue of arms control, the current administration has been forced to take into account such a powerful circumstance as the pressure of public opinion. For ten whole months in 1981, the White House did not want to resume US-Soviet negotiations on medium-range nuclear weapons in Europe and was forced to send its ambassador to Geneva when anti-nuclear and anti-missile demonstrations swept through Western European capitals. For almost a year and a half, Washington delayed the resumption of negotiations on the limitation and reduction of strategic nuclear weapons, citing the unhurried process of “developing” a new position. In the spring of 1982, he had to rush to bring down the powerfully rising wave of the anti-nuclear movement in America.But... In both cases, these were handouts to worried peoples on both sides of the Atlantic, and at the same time to Western European allies. What is needed is not negotiations to cover up the arms race, but negotiations to conclude a mutually beneficial agreement. At both negotiating tables in Geneva, the Americans, as is known, come up with obviously unacceptable proposals. The irreconcilable ideology of conservatives takes precedence over considerations of political realism and concern for the future of the world and humanity.How to overcome this intractability? And can it be overcome, given the visceral anti-Sovietism of the current Washington leaders? There is no clear answer to this question. I had the opportunity to visit the United States twice in 1982, at the beginning and at the end of the year. The growing isolation of the government in society and the growing opposition to it are noticeable. The attempt to defy time and swim against the tide is becoming increasingly difficult, but the president continues to stick to his line. Despite the discord within his administration,as evidenced by a series of resignations. Despite the chaos, which a number of observers prefer to call complete collapse. Despite differences with NATO allies and the continuing decline of American authority.What is needed is political will for dialogue, cooperation and agreement. This idea runs like a red thread through the Political Declaration signed by the leaders of the socialist countries in Prague on January 5, 1983. How to achieve this will from Washington? Obviously, a determination to prove to the Americans that their attempts to achieve superiority are doomed to failure. And also through the will of the public, the peoples, which governments cannot but take into account. The peace initiatives of the Soviet Union and other socialist states work on such a political climate, on such a will of the people, which should influence the actions of governments. They work more efficiently and stronger than before. Here, it seems, a new quality arises.Soviet positions (on the non-first use of nuclear weapons, on freezing nuclear arsenals) have always enjoyed the support of the world community. And now new proposals - on strategic nuclear weapons and nuclear weapons in Europe, the idea of ​​a Treaty on the mutual non-use of military force between the member states of the Warsaw Pact and NATO - act as an effective factor in the struggle for peace and disarmament. The nature of the responses from the Western press and political figures illustrates this point. Do not brush aside Soviet initiatives, but consider them in a positive spirit and take reciprocal steps towards them. And again public pressure forces Washington to maneuver...These notes offer just a few thoughts on the second anniversary of Reagan's presidency. The author started from the term “experimental”. I don’t know if this definition is suitable for a historian, but for a journalist it is filled with irony and bitterness. Short reflections cannot capture the whole dialectic, the whole play of time and circumstances. “Experiments,” and even risky ones, with such big concepts as world politics and the fate of nations, imply an exorbitant dose of egocentrism and arrogance, an exaggerated opinion of the possibilities of American capitalism. “Experiments” are fraught with loss of time, and, as we know, these losses occurred not only under the current president. Opies represent missed opportunities to promote peace. They lead to dangerous instability in US-Soviet relations.January 1983GALLOP THROUGH EUROPEVice President of the United States of America George W. Bush is moving around Western Europe, planning to visit seven capitals in 12 days and on February 10 head back to Washington with a report to the one who sent him on this tour - President Ronald Reagan. Let's first try to apply a simple arithmetic approach to this trip. Dividing 12 days into seven capitals, we get approximately 40 hours for each. Let’s also subtract the trip to West Berlin and an audience with the Pope, time for flights, the inevitable ceremonies of meetings, breakfasts and lunches, time for sleep and physical exercise, which the vice president indulges in every day so as not to lose shape.What remains? It remains - galloping across Europe. Let us add that only last week Reagan, as well as Bush, received German Foreign Minister Genscher in Washington, which seems to make Bush’s meeting with German Chancellor Kohl in Bonn impractical. Let us add that in Geneva Bush is meeting with the US delegation at the negotiations on intermediate-range nuclear weapons, although President Reagan just recently addressed the head of this delegation, Ambassador Nitze. Let us finally add some of Bush's own statements, for example from his press conference before the trip. He said that his mission “does not involve negotiations” and - more importantly! — that he “is not bringing any new proposals with him to Europe.” Why, then, is the gallop being organized, which was announced with such noise three weeks before the start? Bush talks about consultations with allies. But consultations, if they are serious consultations, also require time, which, as we estimate, Bush does not have.There is only one explanation left - advertising, political advertising. Another performance staged by those who just these days in Washington proposed a budget increasing by 35 billion dollars and without top) gigantic military spending, and during the European tour wants to assure everyone of their desire for arms control and their limitation. In the play, those Western European leaders who are visited by the American vice president are invited to play their roles.Meanwhile, the matter is extremely serious. 1983 promises to be a turning point - either towards an improvement in the political situation in Europe, or towards its further aggravation. By the end of the year, if the Soviet-American negotiations in Geneva do not end with an agreement, the Americans will begin to introduce their Pershing-2 and cruise missiles into Western Europe.On the table at the just resumed Geneva talks are new Soviet proposals for medium-range nuclear weapons. As is known, they proceed from the principle of approximate equality between the Soviet Union and NATO countries - both in missiles and in aircraft carrying nuclear weapons. Moreover, equality is proposed at an incomparably lower level than now.We need reciprocal steps from the other side, from the United States. The need for these steps is being discussed not only in Moscow. The broadest Western European circles, not only public but also official, are looking towards Washington, expecting a concrete and constructive response to Soviet initiatives. This is the most characteristic feature of the current moment, and it is enough to look through almost any major Western European newspaper to discover this persistent motive: it’s up to Washington, it’s Washington’s turn. And one more motive that echoes the first: Reagan’s “zero option,” which in fact provides for the unilateral disarmament of the USSR, and the stubborn defense of this option do not open the way to an agreement in Geneva, but, on the contrary, keep Soviet-American negotiations at a dead end.The need for flexibility, including abandoning the rigid structure of the “zero option” and new constructive proposals from Washington, is being discussed in one way or another in Paris and London, Rome and Bonn. And most of all - in Bopp, where passions are running high due to the political struggle before the elections to the Bundestag on March 6. In Bonn, the Social Democratic opposition calls for a compromise in Geneva, taking into account the new Soviet proposals, and the ruling coalition led by Chancellor Kohl, although it demonstrates solidarity with the American position more than others, does not look without fear at the mass voter, who clearly prefers to do without American missiles on West German territory.The current American administration, during its two years in power, has proven its fidelity to the principle: if the facts are against us, so much the worse for the facts. But even she cannot ignore the facts of the Soviet “peaceful offensive” and its impact on the Western European public, fearing political isolation and an even greater aggravation of relations with the allied governments, which are experiencing increasing pressure from their peoples.Recently, overseas there has been a lot of talk about the battle for the minds and hearts of Western Europeans, about “public diplomacy.” As you can understand, “public diplomacy” is an attempt to sell a slow-moving product, an unpopular policy, in a new, more attractive propaganda package. George Bush is now traveling around Western Europe not for negotiations or even for the sake of consultations with Western European leaders. His suitcases are empty (“he doesn’t carry any new proposals with him”), but they are covered with colorful labels of the newly-minted “public diplomacy.”Examples? President Reagan's address to the peoples of Europe, which Bush announced in West Berlin. The appeal advocates the same “zero option,” although the term itself is omitted—isn’t this the only “concession” to public opinion?The response of the Western European and American press to this appeal was strikingly unanimous - nothing new, a purely propaganda gesture. There was a quick official response from the Soviet side. 10. V. Andropov’s answers to questions from a Pravda correspondent say that the American president’s adherence to his previous position “shows one thing: the United States does not want to look for mutually acceptable agreements with the Soviet Union and thereby deliberately dooms the Geneva negotiations to failure.”The West German General Apzeiger writes that American policy “is increasingly encountering skepticism even among friends.” The trip of the US Vice President also met with skepticism even among the bourgeois, “Atlantic” press. Many observers considered her goal obviously unattainable.Meanwhile, there is one sure way to achieve success in “public diplomacy”. Not from the arsenal of Hollywood and advertising agencies. And this method does not consist in sending the American vice president at a gallop across Europe. The point is to put constructive, realistic proposals on the negotiating table in Geneva that would contribute to reaching an agreement. This is exactly what the people expect from the American leadership. It is precisely these expectations that Western European figures and Bush's interlocutors cannot fail to take into account these days.February 1983HOW THE GENERAL GOT IN TROUBLEAccording to a widely held opinion, the “bullet version” of President Reagan died politically, unable to withstand the test of logic and criticism from the public, as well as many politicians and experts. But it’s too early to talk about his official funeral. Instead of consigning the “bullet option” to the ground or oblivion, the Americans still stubbornly keep it in the halls of the Geneva negotiations on medium-range nuclear weapons in Europe. Vice President George Bush takes the deceased around Western European capitals. Moreover, having pressed the American allies to the wall, during his trip he got them to declare that the “zero option” was unhealthy and nothing better had yet been invented.American General Bernard Rogers, the commander-in-chief of NATO troops in Europe, must defend - and defends - the “bullet option”, as they say, out of duty. But last Sunday he had a chance to appear before the ABC television cameras. Part II was given to him as a questioner by ABC correspondent Sam Dopaldsop, known for his ability to pose questions head-on and for his persistence. And this is what came out of the confrontation between the general and the correspondent. We present their dialogue verbatim.Donaldson. Mr. General, the “bullet option” seems like a very fair solution, but there is one troubling aspect to it, which the Russians have successfully exploited in their propaganda campaign. The French and British have their own missiles aimed at the Soviet Union. Under the “zero option” they will not be taken into account. If we reduce our weapons to zero on each side, the Russians will have to dismantle their SS-20 missiles, we will abandon the deployment of their Pershing missiles and cruise missiles, but the French and British missiles will remain. Please clarify this question. Why is it fair to let the British and French keep these missiles?Rogers. Honestly, it’s not for me to judge what is fair and what is not. The British and French very decisively declared that they...Rogers. I would say that I am very alarmed that I not only have to take into account the weapons systems that the United States could deploy, but that I also have to take into account the systems of other two countries. Personally, this helps me a lot in my post as Supreme Allied Commander of NATO in Europe, since the Russians have to take into account these weapons systems, in addition to the American ones.Donaldson. Well, you see, but that's the problem, Mr. General. How to solve it? If we really seriously insist on the “zero option”, what are we talking about French and British missiles?Rogers. All that needs to be said must be said by the British and French, and they have stated that their missile systems will not be discussed in the current bilateral negotiations between the United States and the Soviet Union. And, as I already said, I cannot blame them for taking this position, since they always say that they will have their own independent nuclear forces, and, as I already indicated, this helps me a lot .Donaldson. But if you lived in Kyiv and were blown up by a French rocket, would it really matter to you that it was French and not American?Rogers. I do not live in Kyiv, and therefore I cannot take a position that is obviously desirable for the Russians, although I understand their problem...This turned out to be a frank and instructive dialogue. The reader is able to draw his own conclusions from it. For my part, I will only say one thing: what “greatly helps” General Rogers and his bosses in the Pentagon and the White House is very harmful to the cause of peace.The general says: “It’s not for me to judge what is fair and what is not.” Tell me, what modesty! But the point, of course, is due to modesty or the lack of defense, but the fact that it is impossible (even out of duty! Even the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of NATO!) to defend that very “zero option”, which does not seem to notice the presence of more than one and a half hundred British and French missiles. And General Rogers, as you can see, is losing ground, retreating under the attack of the correspondent, who has only one weapon, and not the nuclear bog, but the usual one - logic.Logic and justice require that British and French missiles be counted in the overall balance of nuclear forces. It is from this that the Soviet proposals come from, affirming the principle: not a single missile, not a single plane from one side or the other.February 1983PRETENDING AND PINDINGAmong observers of the foreign - and military - policy of the State of Israel, the Jordanian King Hussein does not occupy the last place. Living with a neighbor for many years, who cannot be called kind, gives his observations poignancy and weight. And here is one of them, expressed to Western journalists in the summer of 1982, when the troops of Begin and Sharon were besieging West Beirut:“Israel is constantly trying to expand at the expense of others, to secure acquisitions for itself at the expense of the Arab nation,” said the Jordanian king. “Israel is trying, as in the past—successfully, I must say—to unexpectedly confront the world with a new status quo. In such situations, the world’s attention is diverted to resolving issues related to resolving the existing, that is, new, situation, while the main problem requiring resolution is forgotten or pretended to be forgotten...”In other words, they need each new act of expansionism and aggression undertaken by Israeli leaders today not only “in itself,” but also in order to pile up what was done yesterday, make it habitual, or, as Hussein says, put the world before a new status -quo.This is a true thought that has occurred to many. Current events convincingly confirm this. In fact, what do we have today on the front line, so to speak? The Israelis seemed to be hanging over Syria, concentrating troops in the Bekaa Valley and threatening strikes on Syrian air defense positions and even on the Syrian capital Damascus. This is a new threatening situation. And it is also a barrier with which Israel would like to divert attention from how it is “digesting” the spoils of its aggression in Lebanon.Last July, Begin insisted that he “does not want to keep his troops in Lebanon even a minute longer than necessary.” But what is “necessary”? Israeli troops are not leaving, Israeli-Lebanese negotiations are marking time, since, as it turns out, Israel “needs” to maintain military control of at least the south of Lebanon, depriving this Arab state of sovereignty (although, if we recall Begin’s recent statements, it is precisely to restore this sovereignty from the encroachments of Palestinian troops, Israeli troops invaded Lebanon). Begin now counts more than just minutes. He calls for patience and says that negotiations to resolve the Lebanese crisis cannot be completed “in a day or a week.” It smells like it lasts for months and years. It smells like a new status quo, violating all norms of international law.So, in the foreground is the crisis situation on the borders of Syria. In the background is the endless prospect of Israeli-Lebanese negotiations, and in this perspective the rushing figures of Washington mediators Habib and Draper, persuading Begin to hurry up.And in the third place in this Israeli tactic, when they want to push aside yesterday’s crises with today’s crises and solve them in their own way, the most important thing is the Palestinian issue. Israel forced Palestinian troops to leave South Lebanon and West Beirut and forced the Palestinian leadership to move to other countries. But the most dramatic and ominous things do not necessarily happen amid the roar of shells and bombs. The most dramatic thing is happening now precisely on the third plane - and without military action. Israel is swallowing and “digesting” the Palestinian land it has seized in the West Bank. And for the Palestinians this is the worst thing. A state cannot exist without territory. The Begin government wants to kill the idea of an Arab Palestinian state in the most radical way possible - by depriving the Palestinians of their land.What are we talking about practically? About the program of unprecedented active resettlement of Israelis to the Arab Palestinian lands of the West Bank. Judge for yourself: from 1967, when these lands were captured by Israel, until now, about 130 Jewish settlements have been created there with a total population of almost 30 thousand. By the middle of this year, 6,000 housing units should be built there for 35,000 people, so that the Jewish population of the West Bank exceeds 60,000. According to official forecasts, by 1987 or even earlier, the number of Israeli settlers in the West Bank should reach 100 thousand. This means that they will have five representatives in the Knesset and such political power that even the Israeli government, with views not as aggressive as Begin’s, is unlikely to undertake to resettle them back.And the current Israeli leaders, according to the American weekly Time, dream that by 2010, 1.4 million Jews will live in the West Bank of Jordan along with 1.6 million Arabs, reduced to the status of “second-class citizens” and economically, and politically.Intensified colonization and the creeping annexation of the West Bank are no secret to those in the West who (remember the words of King Hussein) would like to forget the “core problem.” Former US Presidents Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford write in Reader's Digest: "The facts clearly show the Arab world, and other countries too, that Israeli leaders.“Fantasy” once occurred to US President Ronald Reagan. In his plan for a Middle East settlement, announced on September 1, 1982, after the withdrawal of Palestinian fighters from West Beirut, he called on Israel to “freeze” the creation of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, viewing this as a step towards returning the occupied territories to the Palestinian Arabs, who , according to Washington strategists, must decide their future within the framework of an “association” with Jordan. The American plan, let me remind you, denies the PLO recognition and the Palestinians the creation of their own independent state. But this is not enough for Begin and his supporters. They will never agree to freeze Israeli colonization of the West Bank.And to this day Begin stands his ground. Recently, he again stated bluntly: “If someone ordered us to freeze the process of creating settlements, we would respond that it is as impossible as it is impossible to stop life itself. This is absolutely impossible."The response to the American call for a “freeze” was, as we see, a program for the accelerated settlement of occupied lands. Washington's exhortations did not help. And they couldn't help. When last fall the conversation turned to who would overpower whom in the American Congress - Reagan or Begin, Reagan was the one who came out on top. Congress, contrary to the administration's recommendations, gave Israel about half a billion dollars on top of the proposed two. American aid does not “freeze”, but rather unfreezes the construction of new settlements.Now, once again, the American press is full of reports about another (and again unprecedented) aggravation of relations between Washington and Tel Aviv: because of Lebanon and Israeli reluctance to withdraw troops from there, as well as because of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. There really are disagreements, because Washington, striving for hegemony in the Middle East and having an alliance with Israel as the initial springboard for achieving this goal, would like to get along with the Arabs, with Lebanon, with Jordan, and even with Palestinians if they abandon theirs and accept American conditions. But if we take not the surface, but the guts, the core of American-Israeli relations, then all these disagreements are a sham. It's a sham as long as America's indulgence in Israel lasts.The pretense is also because it gives the United States the opportunity to act as the guardians of the Arabs. For some Arabs, this American pose is seductive today, encouraging them to play the American game. But should we forget about the bitter experience, that tomorrow and the day after tomorrow such a game is fraught with enormous political damage to the Arab cause? By enticing the Arabs with the specter of a settlement that is obviously unrealistic, the Americans are giving Israel time to gain, giving them time to digest the spoils and prepare for new conquests.February 1983CAPITOL HILL INCIDENTPresident Reagan, as they say, was asking for trouble by proposing that the US Senate approve the candidacy of Kenneth Edelman for the post of director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. And he got it. As already reported, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee postponed the vote on this candidacy “indefinitely” and suggested that the president find another, more suitable one. Reagan stands his ground, and the outcome of the new clash in the corridors of Washington power is not yet clear, which, however, does not prevent us from taking a closer look at it.Such clashes between Capitol Hill and the White House occur infrequently: consider that the majority in the Senate as a whole and in each of its committees belongs to the Republicans, that is, the party of Reagan. Therefore, two questions acquire additional urgency. Why was no confidence expressed in Edelman? And why did Reagan choose him to head the government department that has an important role in developing and implementing American arms control and limitation policies?The Senate commission “gored” Edelman’s candidacy because in two hearings this young, 36-year-old presidential nominee showed, firstly, deep ignorance in the most important matter that they were going to entrust to him. Secondly, he saw his task not as achieving arms control, but as preventing this control in the name of the so-called “rearmament” of America. Edelman called the efforts to limit weapons, which the White House is now talking about at all crossroads, just “a sham.”Why did Reagan propose such a controversial candidate, to put it mildly? His incompetence apparently does not bother him. She is the trademark of the current administration. It is no joke that during the 1980 election campaign the president confused Indochina with Indonesia, and his national security aide later amazed members of the same Senate Foreign Relations Committee with his vast ignorance of the names of international figures and the substance of world problems. Further. The case with Eidelman once again demonstrates that in choosing both politics and people, the American president is a voluntary captive of his very conservative views, emotions, and instincts.The slap in the face received from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where, I repeat, the majority belongs to his party, is indicative. Since we are talking about sentiment, it would be useful to cite the data of one of the latest surveys by the famous specialist Louis Harris. By a ratio of 66 to 31 percent, Americans considered the president's performance in arms control negotiations "unsatisfactory." By a ratio of 57 to 39 percent, respondents registered their alarm that he "could drag the country into a major nuclear war."The generous credit of confidence given by Congress to the new president when he took office in early 1981 waned primarily as Reaganomics failed. The results of the midterm elections in November 1982 were a major blow to Reaganism in general and signaled the emergence of a more critical Congress. Giant military programs are no longer a sacred cow on Capitol Hill, although for now they are merely being pinched, not slashed. In December, a story happened with the MX missiles, when, in defiance of the administration and the president personally, Congress postponed until March the decision on the issue of appropriations for the creation of the first five missiles. Many observers saw the White House defeat as a sign of changing times. The Washington Post wrote at the time: “Congress is finally drawing the line, showing the limits of its willingness to allow itself to be pushed towards administration plans it considers dubious at best.” Now another dubious idea is being disputed - with Eidelman.When Edelman appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for the first time in early February, he was reminded of his comments that arms control talks were a stunt to placate Western European allies, that the talks had no meaning until Americans will not finish “rearmament”. In those days it was well known - 240longtime NBC columnist Joey Chancellor spoke. “All this is happening while Vice President Louis is running around Western Europe, grabbing allies by the buttons and telling them that the Reagan administration is really sincere about disarmament. What to believe?Bush has already returned home, having unscrewed many buttons in a propaganda frenzy. Together with Reagan, he continues to talk about a sincere desire to limit arms. But, apparently, it’s not him or the president who needs to be trusted. You need to believe Edelman - “rearmament” and “rearmament” are above all and above all. It is a frank and accurate statement of the current administration's direction, although it has so far failed the young hawk before seasoned senators on Capitol Hill.February 1983HOW SHARON GET AWAYThe commission worked for four months, promising that there would be complete order with truth and justice. Regardless of faces. How did the faces look at this? They trampled the truth, mocked justice. And they remained in power.We are talking about a “special commission” in Tel Aviv to investigate the circumstances of the massacres in the Palestinian camps of Sabra and Shatila. They occurred on September 16-18, 1982. Who doesn’t remember the terrible photographs and film footage - piles of dead bodies of women, old people, children, babies, lying side by side under the hot southern sun, in the dust of poor streets, near the walls of adobe houses?! Who was not horrified by this bloody apotheosis of Israeli aggression in Lebanon? How did the killers end up in camps surrounded by Israeli tanks and soldiers and, moreover, “protected” by American guarantees of the safety of peaceful settlements?Let me remind you that Begin and his cabinet initially wanted to avoid both answers and responsibility. The first government statement, made when the blood was still wet and the sand covering the mass graves had not yet dried, breathed with incomprehensible arrogance. “No one dares teach us morality and respect for the human person,” it said. Begin rejected the outrage and protests of the whole world with contempt. But when an unprecedented 400,000 (10 percent of the entire Israeli population!) demonstration took place in Tel Aviv, he had to change tactics. A three-person “ad hoc commission” was created, chaired by Judge Kagan.And now, after four months of investigation, after interviewing 65 witnesses, the commission published its report on February 8. The direct participants in the massacre are the Lebanese phalangists-right-wing Christians, the intelligence unit of their militia led by a certain Eli Hubeiza. The commission reported that the killers entered Sabra and Shatila with the permission of Israeli Defense Minister Sharon. They kept in touch with the head of Israeli military intelligence, Sagi, and before entering the camps, they conferred with the commander of the Israeli troops in Beirut, Brigadier General Yaron.“The Minister of Defense bears personal responsibility for what happened,” was one of the conclusions. The commission recommended the resignation of Sharop and Saga and the deprivation of General Yarov for three years of the right to hold leadership positions.Resignation, just resignation for complicity in a heinous crime... The commission was more merciful than harsh towards Sharon and his subordinates. The truth was softened and obscured. They tried to shield Begin and dismiss the accusations of direct assistance to the murderers, which looks illogical even in light of the facts presented by the commission itself. But the facts, judging by many signs, were not all made public. The interaction between the Phalangists and the Israelis was in fact even closer. American intelligence agencies are well aware of this. CBS special correspondent McGlockmap reports: “According to American sources, Hubeiza and his men were equipped, armed and paid by Israeli intelligence and acted on its orders. Intelligence ordered Khubaze to enter the camps, knowing that he was bent on revenge."Sharon and his assistants cynically did the dirty work with someone else's hands. In particular, because they did not want to put their soldiers at risk. The official representative of the Israeli Prime Minister, Uri Porat, pointed this out in connection with the commission’s report. The Phalangists were allowed to enter Sabra and Shatila in order, as he put it, "to avoid heavy losses in the Israeli army." Large casualties among innocent civilians were not a concern. Remember: “No one dares teach you morality and respect for the human person.”What happened to the commission's recommendations? They, of course, were proclaimed as a triumph of Israeli democracy and were rejected.On Tuesday, February 8, the commission published its report. On February 10, the Israeli cabinet met and by 16 votes to one (Sharon) decided to accept the recommendation for the resignation of the Minister of Defense. The next day, Sharon resigned. But... he was left in the office. Then, quite in the spirit of the “triumph of democracy,” they came up with a cynical trick with the Knesset (Israeli parliament). He was handed Sharon's fate - in anticipation of the desired result. It turned out as planned. On Monday, by a vote of 61 to 56, with one abstention, the Knesset left Sharon “minister without portfolio.” After the vote, Begin washed his hands of it, saying that his government had implemented the commission's recommendations and would do nothing more.Begin got off even easier than Sharon: no government crisis, the possibility of which was loudly shouted after the publication of the “special commission” report, no responsibility for what happened, and no changes in policy. Israeli Ambassador to Washington Moshe Arens, a “hawk” as inveterate as Sharon, has been appointed to the post of Defense Minister. And Sharon, as they say, is going to be entrusted with an important and not new area for him - the settlement of lands conquered from the Arabs by Israeli colonists, the work on the practical implementation of the idea of ​​a “great Israel”. There he may well show the same qualities.Sharon, as is known, was nicknamed the Bulldozer for his tough temper and cruelty. He bulldozed through Lebanon, just as the killers used Israeli bulldozers through Sabra and Shatila, raking up the corpses of their victims. Together with Begin, they bulldozed through truth and justice, shielding themselves, accomplices in the crime. They cannot wash their hands, stained with the blood of innocents. It is easier to hush up a dirty case administratively than to close it in history, erase it in the hearts and memories of people.February 1983BETWEEN A HAMMER AND A HILLThe position between the hammer and the anvil is not one of the most comfortable and does not promise a quiet life. The governments of those countries in Western Europe where American nuclear missiles are planned to be deployed know this from their own experience. They now find themselves in exactly the same situation.Hammer is the anti-missile movement of the general public. It acquired such a magnitude that, from the point of view of domestic political consequences for the countries concerned, NATO’s decision on “rearmament” became, according to the definition of the London Sunday Times, like a “catastrophe.” What about the anvil? This is the position of official Washington at the Soviet-American negotiations in Geneva, the “bullet option” that President Reagan does not want to say goodbye to. The longer the Americans persist in their intransigence, the less chance there is for an agreement and the more chance there is for the Pershings and cruise missiles that will begin to be delivered to Western Europe by the end of the year. And the stronger the hammer blows, the pressure of the Western European public on governments. This is best seen in the example of Germany, which is in tense circumstances during the last week of the election campaign.However, our comparison needs clarification. A red-hot piece of metal is malleable under a hammer in the hands of a blacksmith. This cannot be said about the line of governments in those countries to which American missiles are intended - in the Federal Republic of Germany, as well as in England and Italy, and even in Holland and Belgium. Yes, to some, mainly tactical, extent, their policy line succumbs to the hammer of anti-missile sentiment. But if the medicinal words about “concern” are compared with deeds, with foreign policy actions, it turns out that it is not the hammer that plays the decisive role, but the anvil - the American position accepted by other NATO members for reasons of solidarity and habitual subordination to the senior partner.Let us recall the lessons of US Vice President George W. Bush's recent trip to Western Europe. Bush toured all NATO countries intended for American missiles, everywhere waving his boss’s “zero option” and at the same time declaring his readiness to listen to the advice of his allies. The advice, according to press reports, took into account the mood of the public and was clear: more flexibility, more constructiveness at the Geneva negotiations. The public was widely notified of the advice. So what is next? Bush came with what he left, and achieved official approval of the American position by Western European leaders. True, then it was rumored that he, taking into account the wishes for flexibility, would recommend an “intermediate option” to Reagan. The rumor turned out to be perhaps the most fleeting of those that are born every day in the Washington kitchen.The American allies were listened to, but not listened to. They could not and did not want to convince Washington and did not show sufficient independence in relations with their senior partner, although the fate of their countries is at stake. This is not a comforting fact, but it should not be forgotten, even while noting the growing pressure of anti-missile sentiment in Western Europe.Comrade A. A. Gromyko drew attention to the regrettable duality and inconsistency in the behavior of official representatives of a number of NATO countries in his answers to questions from a Pravda correspondent. On the one hand, they declare their commitment to resolving the issue at the negotiating table, focusing on that part of the 1979 NATO decision that speaks of a possible agreement as an alternative to the deployment of American missiles in Western Europe. On the other hand, they express support for the American “zero” intended for the Soviet Union, with the help of which Washington is moving away from the agreement. The actual position of official circles contradicts statements in favor of the agreement.What are they trying to justify it with?After the Soviet Union proposed leaving in Europe only as many medium-range missiles as France and England have, and put forward the principle of an equal number of missiles and aircraft carrying nuclear weapons on both sides, the United States and the West as a whole are experiencing an acute lack of logical arguments. In Washington, as well as in Paris and London, they simply don’t want (they don’t want to - that’s all!) to take French and British missiles into account, declaring them “independent” or “national”, as if this makes them less lethal and no longer belongs to the overall nuclear potential of the West. In Bopp, official representatives from the ruling coalition also do not see French and British missiles at all; they continue to talk about the Soviet “monopoly” on nuclear weapons in this category and that this non-existent “monopoly” can only be balanced by American missiles.It turns out that logic is on the side. Now they insist on a kind of “principle”, without bothering themselves with evidence. In principle, the West does not want to tolerate Soviet medium-range missiles in Europe. In principle, the West needs American missiles on European territory. For what? And here we are faced with the central argument of the supporters of nuclear “rearmament,” which, due to the lack of logical support, hangs in the air. In order, it turns out, to prevent the “breakaway” of Western Europe from America, or - if at the other end - to ensure a strategic “joining” of the defense of Western Europe with the United States.Most of all, the threat of a “breakaway” is being talked about again in Bonn, again in the ranks of the ruling coalition of the CDU/CSU and the FDP, again justifying automatic following in the wake of Reagan’s policies. Here, for example, are the words of Chancellor Kohl: “The double solution was and remains the response of the Western Union to the USSR’s attempt to open the way for Europe to break away from the United States... The consequence of this would be Europe’s vulnerability to political blackmail, and at the same time it would also be under threat our freedom." Here are the words of Foreign Minister Genscher: “The Soviet Union's medium-range nuclear potential... raises the possibility of Western Europe breaking away from the United States. And this would entail the separation of our country from its neighbors - France, Great Britain and other allies. This is where the path to the abyss begins."As you can see, Genscher has developed a whole new “domino theory” - in relation to “breakaways” leading into the abyss. And American missiles appear everywhere in such statements as connecting nodes, as clamps, without which the poor and unfortunate “Western Union” would instantly fall apart at the seams under the onslaught of the Soviet Union.When taking the matter “in principle”, the American Pershing-2 and cruise missiles are not just weapons systems, but, first of all, a vital military-strategic guarantee to Western Europe that America will not abandon it in trouble and to the mercy of fate, or, more precisely, Moscow. Reagan and Bush call the presence of 300 thousand American soldiers on the European continent a “living guarantee” of the strategic relationship between the United States and Western Europe and American determination to defend its NATO partners. But now a “living guarantee” is not enough. How insufficient are the approximately thousand units of medium-range nuclear weapons that NATO countries as a whole have in the European region. How colossal American power in strategic nuclear weapons is not enough. All this, it turns out, is no longer able to prevent a “breakaway” if about 600 more American missiles are not deployed on Western European territory.The concept of a “breakaway” for bad luck was first put forward by Western European politicians. On the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, in a militaristic frenzy, they are eagerly developing it further. And they turn... the other end. “Don’t you want our new missiles? Then we will completely and forever “break away” from you! Western Europe is threatened with the complete collapse of the “Western Union”. And not without success...How can one argue with an imagination that is wild and yet purposeful, feeding from an inexhaustible source under the familiar name “Soviet threat”? How to stop flights of fancy in which Soviet tanks, with the help of Soviet missiles, instantly move to the banks of the Rhine, or even the Seine and even the Tiber? After all, no matter how you slice it, this is perhaps the main argument of the American missile defense lawyers. It is widely circulated in the most serious institutions of the West.Of course, there is experience, there is history, there is the same logic. Opies are opposed to fiction and fantasy. Logic, for example, is called to witness by prominent SPD figure Egop Bar. “If the presence of American missiles is a condition for engagement with the United States,” he says, “then today we are separated from the United States, because there are no such missiles. And this is obvious nonsense.”And in fact - not Lepitsa: Germany is not cut off from the USA.American columnist Tom Wicker refutes the concept of “breakaway” with the historical experience of the last twenty years. Recalling that in 1963 the United States withdrew its Thor and Jupiter medium-range missiles from Western Europe, he writes: “However, this did not lead to any ‘break in the relationship’.” And he explains why: “...for most of this period, American land- and sea-based intercontinental missiles, combined with British and French nuclear weapons and NATO nuclear-armed aircraft on board, were considered a sufficient deterrent potential...”In other words, parity in medium-range nuclear weapons was maintained—and continues to be—in Europe.If the new Soviet proposals were implemented (not one missile, not one more aircraft from the USSR and NATO), a total of more than 1,300 medium-range nuclear weapons would be reduced in Europe.Moreover, both the number of launchers of Soviet medium-range missiles in the European part of the USSR and the total number of warheads on them would be less than in 1976, that is, before the Soviet Union began modernizing medium-range missiles.Let me explain that it was this modernization that gave rise to talk in the West about the danger of a “breakaway.”These are the facts. But from the point of view of current American leaders, they still have the same significant and inexcusable flaw - they do not support the fantasies born of inflamed anti-Sovietism.The Reagan administration is frightening Western Europe with an American “breakaway” and, as a consequence, “Soviet blackmail.” But in reality we are talking not about Soviet, but about American blackmail, and the blackmailers have two addresses at once - the Soviet Union and Western Europe. Washington's innermost plans are no secret. It is enough to look at a map of Europe and estimate that from the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Pership-2 missile reaches the vital centers of the Soviet Union in 8-10 minutes. The Americans do not need an additional “coupling” in the defense of Western Europe, but a first-strike weapon, very close to the borders of the USSR. This is where the real threat of extreme aggravation of the military-political situation in Europe lies.Much has been turned upside down. In the test of loyalty, the fidelity that Washington inflicts on its allies, their obedience, their readiness to deploy American missiles, is highlighted, rather than their consideration of their own interests, their duty and right to seek a fair agreement in Geneva.“It seems that Western European states do not have the right to play the role of outside observers, much less popularizers of the current American position,” said A. A. Gromyko in answers to a Pravda correspondent.This role did not belong to Western Europeans. Besides, she is dangerous.March 1983LIES TO HELP THE GUNSIn the post-war history of the United States there is recorded as a classic case of speculation on the fiction of the “Soviet threat.” During the 1960 election campaign, John Kennedy, competing with Richard Nixon for the White House, was buzzing into the ears of Americans, scaring them with Soviet missiles and the American lag in this area. His data, as it turned out later, were exaggerated by 15-20 times.Both before and after, almost every US president contributed to the merciless exploitation of the myth of the “Soviet threat.” But no one was - and is not trying - as hard as Ronald Reagan and his team. And the explanation for this is extremely simple: no one has ever proposed such gigantic military budgets or made such efforts to break the strategic parity between the USA and the USSR that developed in the 70s.The current conveyor belt of falsifications, launched during the 1980 election campaign, can be said to have never stopped since then. Old lies come out in new editions. Sometimes - literally. We are referring to the second edition of the Pentagon brochure “Soviet Military Power”. It was first published in September 1981. Now updated and provided with a new foreword by US Secretary of Defense Weinberger. Printed in a circulation of 320 thousand in English - with the promise of translations into five more languages. At a press conference held on March 9 and broadcast not only to the United States but also to Western Europe, Weinberger solemnly released this duck. She flapped her wings heavily. And it’s immediately obvious that it won’t fly far.Why? And here the explanation is simple. They exaggerate Soviet military power in every possible way, but do not notice their own. This distorted vision, like a year and a half ago, was noticed. For example, in the brochure the number of American B-52 strategic bombers is underestimated by more than half, by 300 units. And the Soviet strategic aviation includes those bombers (“Backfire”) that, according to their characteristics, do not belong to it—this fact was recognized by Washington in the pre-Reagan era. The Soviet Union reportedly has three Kyiv-class aircraft carriers. And the United States has 21 aircraft carriers - and much larger ones! They are scaring the Americans with the Soviet Typhoon class submarine, neglecting such “small things” as the American Ohio class submarines. Each of them fires nuclear warheads in one missile salvo, the destructive power of which is equal to approximately 1,200 bombs of the type dropped on Hiroshima. The new Trident-2 missile system is on the way. With this, each Ohio class boat will carry more than 8 thousand Hiroshimas.Meanwhile, the Soviet Union proposed that the United States jointly abandon the development of these new missile systems, as well as other new types of nuclear missile weapons. There was also no place to mention this proposal in the Pentagon brochure. As for many others, testifying that the Soviet Union has long called and is calling on the United States to stop the arms race.In their own eyes, the authors of the Pentagon brochure do not see not only the log of gigantic American weapons, but also the log of American policy. And it, this log, is the main barrier to agreements on arms limitation and reduction. Who refuses to take the pledge not to be the first to use nuclear weapons? Who avoids invitations to sit down at the negotiating table and sign an agreement on the mutual non-use of military force between the Warsaw Pact states and NATO? They say it's not rockets that kill you in the end. People kill their own kind. This is true in the sense that the threat of war is posed by a policy that gives the green light to nuclear missile weapons. Everyone knows which politicians pursue such policies. President Reagan does not miss a single opportunity to demonstrate his hostility not only to the Soviet Union, but also to the very idea of ​​peaceful coexistence. His speech at the convention of American evangelists in Orlando, Florida, is further evidence of this.But these performances have become more frequent lately. And here it’s time to move on to the question: why has a new edition of the tattered Pentagon lies been published now? The immediate cause was the passage through Congress of the fiscal year 1984 budget, with its military appropriations being more than $30 billion higher than the current fiscal year's expenditures. The Pentagon's salary is at risk. Not under the Soviet one. Under threat from an American, an American who, during just over two years of Reagan's rule, became convinced that his greatest threat lay not overseas, but at home - in the form of "Reaganomics" with its record unemployment, cut social programs and economic recession.“The economic foundation of our national security, which is as important as the defense component, has been undermined,” former Secretary of Defense McNamara, former Secretary of State Waps, former National Security Advisor Bundy and retired Admiral Zumwalt said recently about Reagan policies. , who served as Chief of Staff of the Navy FORCE and enjoys the reputation of a “hawk.” The four sent to the House and Senate budget committees a proposal to cut President Reagan's military budget by $135.9 billion over the next five years.These are critics from among the “well-intentioned” and “trustworthy”. Their number is growing in Congress itself, as evidenced by the recent vote in the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives, which supported the idea of ​​mutually freezing the nuclear potentials of the United States and the USSR, and in the Budget Committee of the same chamber, which spoke in favor of reducing the growth rate of military spending. The belligerent administration, experiencing a kind of crisis of confidence in its country, mobilizes lies to help the guns, but with less and less success.March 1983RANSTORYI'll start with two lengthy quotes. They will help you get to the point.Quote one: “With regard to Lebanon, it is clear that both we and Israel are equally committed to ending the violence in that country and to ensuring that Lebanon becomes a sovereign, independent state under a strong, centralized government.”Quote two: “Israel does not want to keep its troops in Lebanon even a minute longer than necessary. Lebanon is not Israeli land. It is a sovereign foreign country. We want an independent Livap, whose borders we will respect. We want to conclude a peace treaty with Lebanon based on its territorial integrity. We are ready to leave Livap today, tomorrow, at any time in the near future... But, as President Reagan recently said in the English Parliament, the scourge of terrorism in the Middle East must be eradicated. We will not leave Lebanon until the lives of our children are freed from threat."The first statement is from Reagan, the second from Begin. Both were taken in June 1982 in Washington, two weeks after the Israeli invasion of Lebanon.I! Washington and Tel Aviv then passed off the aggression as a justified act of Israeli self-defense. In the eyes of many Americans - and this is the main thing for Israeli leaders - Begin could still justify the deaths of Palestinian and Lebanese children by the need to protect Israeli children, although they did not die from shells and bombs.Shaming cynics is a pointless exercise. But it is not unnecessary to remind others about yesterday’s cynicism - for the sake of a sober assessment of the present and future. So, both agreed about the “scourge of terrorism,” which “must be eradicated” through actions of “self-defense,” including the seizure of the capital of another state. And both tried to whitewash their actions by repeating that Lebanon is a sovereign and independent state.It's been nine and a half months since the Israelis invaded Lebanon. Eight months since Palestinian troops abandoned West Beirut and American Marines, along with French and Italian soldiers, landed on the coast. What happened to Begin’s willingness to withdraw his troops “today, tomorrow, any time soon”? Even in Washington he acquired a reputation as a liar.Previously, he delayed the start of Israeli-Lebanese negotiations, now for two and a half months the negotiations have been delaying, and at the same time, of course, the solution to the issue of the withdrawal of the aggressor’s troops. He spoke about the territorial integrity of Lebanon, but insists on having so-called “tracking stations” manned by Israeli soldiers on Lebanese territory. Wow, “territorial integrity”! He spoke about the independence and sovereignty of Livap, but imposed on the Lebanese government Sadat’s capitulatory line of separate peace - peace at the cost of quarrels, strife, a break with the Arab states. This is the “independence” and “sovereignty” of a satellite, a puppet. Not only a political, but also an economic puppet, because Israel would like to completely undermine Lebanon’s position as the most trading of the Arab countries. It is no coincidence that the Lebanese authorities resolutely reject “peace” in the Israeli way.The example of Lebanon over the past nine and a half months once again convincingly proves that Israel and international Zionism do not let go of any of their victims without subjecting them to some kind of complex treatment, without squeezing out of them the maximum of territorial, political, and economic concessions.The other day, Lebanese-Israeli negotiations, taking place round by round (about 20 rounds) either in the Israeli town of Kiryat Shemona or in the Lebanese town of Khalda, moved to a new stage - in Washington. The guests of the American Secretary of State were simultaneously two foreign ministers - Israeli Shamir and Lebanese Salem. They did not meet with each other, perhaps because the shadow of Sadat and the former “tripartite” meetings at Camp David hovered warningly over Salem. But they discussed the same issue with Shultz - the withdrawal of Israeli troops from Lebanon.Result? It comes down to a new American “initiative” - to ensure that the wolves are fed and the sheep are safe... with the help of other wolves, American ones. The Americans acquiesced to Israeli demands for “security,” which were based—as in American politics—on a position of unceremonious force and military superiority. According to the new proposals, which will apparently be put on the negotiating table, the Israelis must abandon their direct military presence in the south of Lebanon, but Major Haddad’s military formations will become part of the Lebanese army, which means the legalization of this Israeli puppet and through it Israeli “rights” on Lebanese territory. In addition, the “multinational disengagement force” will be increased and the area of their control expanded. First of all, this means that the number and role of American Marines will increase, and at the same time, naturally, their stay will lengthen.The parallel visits of Shamir and Salem to Washington and their results make us think once again about the distribution of roles in this strange triangle. The Lebanese president and government, which are far from fully controlling the situation in their own country, have a forced role. They seek justice for one robber from another robber. The Lebanese authorities are resorting to US assistance in the hope of expelling Israel and thereby unwittingly opening the way to their country for Uncle Sam. After the lesson of Sadat’s Egypt, this is another lesson for those who believe that the keys to peace in the Middle East are in the pocket of the said uncle, and as a result find themselves one on one, or rather one on two, with the United States and Israel.Israel's role is quite obvious. Having clung to Lebanese soil with his troops, he does not let go of the victim, as already mentioned, extorting more and more concessions. His tactic is to treat Arab countries one by one. For efficiency - one at a time. Next in line are Syria and Jordan. And the Israeli method of “solving” the Palestinian problem is the settlement of Palestinian lands in the West Bank and Gaza Strip by Israelis, which is now in full swing.Washington's role is two-faced. In the current conditions, he acts as a curator of Lebanese-Israeli relations, capable of supposedly impartially balancing the interests of both sides, without pursuing his own benefit. To suit the needs of the predominantly Arab public, scenes of disagreement with Israel are staged, and the highest presidential “impatience” is played out over Israeli delays in withdrawing troops. Fake game.First, Washington made the aggression against Lebanon possible, and now it wants to prove to the Lebanese and other Arabs that only it is able to restrain the aggressor. But, firstly, those overseas will always forgive and protect Israel, equating its “security” with American security. In the latter case, during Shamir’s visit, “the positions became closer,” and the Israelis were promised new compensation—an increase in military assistance. Secondly, those figures from Tel Aviv who are not in their hearts and will complain that Israeli soldiers have to pull chestnuts out of the fire for the Americans are also right. If the Israelis had not invaded Lebanon, how would the Americans have managed to land there? If the Israelis had not bargained so much about “security guarantees,” how could the Americans justify plans to strengthen their marines, expand their area of operations in Lebanon, and extend their stay there?The Americans pose as Lebanon's protector, but act as extortionists.March 1983A WORD ABOUT KINGToday is a special anniversary. Exactly 15 years ago, on April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King, the most famous and popular leader of black Americans, was assassinated. Struck down by a sniper shot from an assassin, most likely sent and paid for by racists, those to whom King was an eyesore.The murder happened in Memphis, Tennessee. Pastor King came there to support with his authority the strike of city garbage workers. The armed National Guard was sent against them. Guardsmen stood with bayonets at the ready, and scavengers walked on pickets with placards on their chests. The posters said; "I am human!" In the end, this was what King’s program, his struggle, his life boiled down to. To establish the proud, worthy “I am a man” in the minds of every American Negro, in spite of their opponents.King fought for human rights and for the brotherhood of man. He liked to say that people learned to swim in the seas like fish and fly in the sky like birds, but they did not learn to walk on mother earth like brothers.When King was assassinated in Memphis, I was in New York, working as a correspondent for Izvestia. I remember these days before the grand funeral in Atlanta, King’s homeland. I remember the shock of the Americans, and my own.King's method was mass nonviolent action, and he took a lot from Mahatma Gandhi. And violence removed him from the stage. And the response to his death was also violence - riots and uprisings of blacks in dozens of American cities, primarily in Washington. King called his government for the Vietnam War “the greatest purveyor of violence” in the modern world. His assessment remains valid to this day.King's journey as a man was only 39 years long. King's journey as a fighter is even shorter, 13 years. Since 1955, when a young 26-year-old priest led a boycott of city buses in Montgomery, Alabama, pegrams were given only back seats on buses, and even from these seats they could be kicked out by any white person.During these 13 years, King was thrown into jail more than once, pelted with stones, beaten, and once stabbed. His path was not strewn with roses, he did not think about laurels. But he became world famous and received the Nobel Peace Prize. And all the time he was in the forefront of civil rights marches. In the eyes of his black compatriots, he grew into the prophet Moses, who led them to the promised land of equality and a worthy life.And now 15 years have passed. Martin Luther King is not forgotten. Schools and libraries, streets and squares are named after him in the United States. He is recognized as a great American, above all post-war presidents. The American Congress is discussing the issue of declaring King's birthday, January 15, a national holiday. However, the decision has not yet been made by Congress. But such a question is not worth asking about anyone else. And only two Americans have been awarded this honor - Presidents Washington and Lincoln.King is not forgotten. What happened to the civil rights movement? Under him and after him, it achieved great success. Segregation laws between whites and blacks were abolished. Negroes received equal voting rights with whites and now occupy quite a few elected positions. But King was right when he said: “The vast majority of white America is still poisoned by racism, which is as native to our soil as pines, sage and buffalo grass.”Racism persists even in the Northern United States. We know this from anti-Negro attacks in such a “liberal” city as Boston.The main thing, however, is not this. Having achieved formal equality under the law, blacks did not become equal in fact, equal economically. Here we cannot help but recall the current - and not only the current - most terrible American plague. About the ulcer of unemployment. The national average is more than 10 percent, but among adult blacks, not one in ten is unemployed, but one in five or four. Among black youth - every second. Poverty still locks blacks in ghettos, where there is crime, drug addiction, fatherlessness and other social ills...I got to see and hear King, the living King, and then revisit his life—and death—as I worked on a book about him. He was a fiery, magnetic speaker. His speeches were captivating and captivating, just as the words of a great poet are captivating. He dreamed with such a person, about such people, in whose eyes, as he said, “the beauty of true brotherhood is more precious than diamonds, or silver, or gold.” He thought about the fate of the world and warned that through the spirals of the arms race, humanity could descend into the hell of a thermonuclear catastrophe. Of course, now he would be in the ranks of the anti-nuclear, anti-missile movement.There would be, but, alas...More than one bullet was cast in America for Martin Luther King, not just the Memphis one. He foresaw his end and calmly discussed the possibility of premature death. In these reasonings, a touch of religious mysticism was mixed with political realism, because he knew the country in which he lived the dangerous life of a fighter.Knowing all this, he did not change his path - like a true ascetic and hero.April 1983LIVE ALIVE IN PEACEAmerican opposition to Reagan's belligerent policies has moved beyond mere critical words to political action, primarily on Capitol Hill. Examples are there for everyone to see. Only after a two-month effort that included a kind of one-by-one wooing of undecided senators did the administration push for the post of arms control and disarmament agency director in Kenneth Edelman, a hawk who had twice been rejected by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Fearing defeat in the House of Representatives, the White House with great difficulty achieved a second postponement of the vote on the resolution to freeze the nuclear arsenals of the United States and the USSR. The budget commissions of both chambers spoke in favor of reducing the growth rate of military spending by at least half...What motivates American lawmakers to engage in these fights with their government? Of course, the mood of the masses, voters. They are concerned about Reagan's vast militarism.But there is another, less encouraging side of the picture. The militarists have by no means completely lost the ability to play on the fears of the Americans. Methods of catching intimidated and not very knowledgeable souls have long been worked out, tested and re-tested.Recently in Massachusetts, experts from three respected universities conducted another public opinion survey. Among the questions asked to residents, one had a truly dramatic twist: “What would you prefer—a nuclear war or a communist regime?” 49 percent of respondents preferred nuclear war, 40 percent preferred the “communist regime,” and one percent declined the proposed choice without giving an answer. Those who preferred nuclear war were again asked: “If you believed that as a result of an all-out nuclear war, everyone in our country would die, would you still prefer war or would you choose the “communist regime”? 33 percent passed this test. Let everything, they say, burn with a blue atomic flame, but we will remain faithful to our American way of life, although there will be nothing left of anyone or us...However, before it comes to the flames, it is worth speculating about these, to put it mildly, desperately extreme sentiments. The next survey did not yield anything fundamentally new. I will refer to my own experience: I don’t remember when the biting proverb, even rhymed in English, first entered the consciousness of Americans: better dead than red - it’s better to be dead than red, but I know for sure that it never left the mentioned consciousness. No matter what the weather is like in the international court, the consciousness of the American man in the street, stuck for decades, stalls on this false dilemma, like a car stuck on the road under a hopeless autumn sky.Better to be dead than red. On this touchstone, people who are famous for their common sense and pragmatism in everyday affairs hone their blind and dangerous fanaticism. Especially under Reagan. Over the past 30 years, this gloomy saying, like the entire myth of the “Soviet threat,” has never been in such vogue as it is now.Meanwhile, we have before us an example of a monstrous and, alas, tenacious fraud. Two questions have been distorted. One is about choice, about preference for one or another socio-political system. We have no desire or plans to convert Americans to the communist faith with fire and sword. What “color” it should be is a purely internal matter, the sovereign right of any people, including, of course, the American one. And all peoples and governments must choose between war and peace, between the dead and the living. And in what this choice will be - not in words, but in deeds - the political courses of the United States and the Soviet Union play an extremely important role.The far-fetched choice between the dead and the red serves only to international attackers to increase hostility and suspicion, to divide people and nations. But is this really required by difficult times, which threaten to lead all the political and national diversity of the world to one lifeless, ashen denominator of nuclear death?! In general, there is only one reasonable choice and solution. Without encroaching on the ways of life that separate us from each other, unite for the sake of saving Life itself.It's better to be alive and live in peace with each other. If such a question were put to the residents of Massachusetts, then, probably, there would not be even one percent of those who objected. But such a formulation of the question, what good, will neutralize the inoculations of hatred towards the Soviet Union, with which the Washington administration would like to cover all Americans, spreading the epidemic of Sovietophobia. Since the disease of Sovietophobia is of a pronounced political nature, it is not doctors who undertake to define it, but politicians and professors of political science.A word from Stephen Cohen of Princeton University: “Sovietophobia is an old American political disease... Among its symptoms are an approach to Soviet-American relations tinged with militarism, alarmist statements about the intentions of the Soviet Union and its capabilities, and baseless claims that strategic “lag” is creating danger to the United States. In the 60s and early 70s, Sovietophobia waned for a short time, and then revived in an even more dangerous form...”It is better to be dead than red - this cry, of course, comes from those infected with Sovietophobia. It gives rise to panic and borders on madness. Professor Cohen writes: “The best cure for Sovietophobia is to recognize it as a pathological rather than a normal reaction to the existence of the Soviet Union.”It would be naive to expect that this medicine will be used by the current occupants of the White House offices. Their chronic Sovietophobia, as experience shows, cannot be treated. The entire post-war past is not very consoling either, proving that almost every decline in Soviet phobia is followed by its rise. What remains? Looking to the future in the hope that the common sense of the majority of Americans will once and for all recognize pathology as pathology. A lot in the relations between our two countries depends on this.April 1983SPRING AND ROCKETSIn April, when the trees bloom and smiles bloom on people’s faces, even a journalist dealing with the unsmiling matter of international life comes to mind Tyutchev’s wonderful lines: “What can resist the breath and the first meeting of spring!” They contain a hymn to the glory of a joyfully and serenely reborn life. Although you understand that no magic of spring and poetry can dispel persistent problems, nor eradicate thermonuclear poison from the air of international relations and even from the ordinary, but inseparable from the politics of human existence these days. These lines come to mind, although you yourself know very well what will resist and who will resist “before the breath and the first meeting of spring.”It just so happened, according to the overseas political calendar, that the time of spring coincided with the prosaic time of passing - and pushing through - a budget in Congress, in which real (minus rising prices) military spending jumps by more than 10 percent. And now, since the end of March, well-known figures have been celebrating a kind of month of friendship with missiles and an unspring love for the arms race. They, in fact, have been cultivating these feelings since that January 1981 day when Ronald Reagan pronounced the words of the presidential oath with his hand on the Bible. But, looking back over the past, you think that the mentioned perverted friendship and love mixed with hatred have never, perhaps, declared themselves so convincingly. And so varied.Let's take rockets. A wide selection has been offered in recent weeks to suit all tastes. With an “interim solution” precluding an agreement at the Soviet-American negotiations in Geneva, Washington officials moved even closer to deploying their Pershing 2s and cruise missiles in Western Europe. Then a special presidential commission led by Brent Scowcroft, dealing with the future of US strategic weapons, proposed two types of intercontinental missiles. One, an old friend, MX. A powerful first-strike missile with ten individually targetable warheads. The Scowcroft Commission proposed the immediate placement of one hundred MX missiles in silos for old Minuteman missiles. The second recommended rocket is new. Small in size, which does not prevent it from being intercontinental. With one warhead. MX is for the 80s, and the new Midgetman is for the 90s. It is planned to bake hundreds, if not thousands of these small-sized weapons and change the strategy with a new type of strategic weapon. Instead of the previous emphasis on missiles with multi-charge warheads, which the Americans made in the 70s, having begun the next round of the nuclear arms race, they are proclaiming as a new word a return to single-charge warheads on missiles scattered throughout American territory and therefore, they say, less vulnerable to Soviet blow. Will this new (also old) concept, as its authors assure, lead to strengthening strategic stability? There is no doubt that it foreshadows a new round of the old arms race. By the way, they would like to entice the Soviet Union with it, kindly inviting it to write off its current weapons as scrap metal.President Reagan approved the recommendations of the Scowcroft Commission and sent his ministers to Capitol Hill to seek agreement from US legislators. As you might guess, with their consent, the next Decade will take over the baton of the current one.The future is being laid today. The American president is looking not only to the next decade, but also to the next century, ushering in a new millennium. And this view also manifested itself during Washington's month to commemorate the arms race. As you know, the president called on American scientists to look at the third millennium from the angle of the possibility of “star” and space wars. They are expected to produce fantastic weapons that could shoot down Soviet intercontinental missiles and satellites in space. This is being presented as missile defense, and anyone familiar with the ABCs of the nuclear age can understand the hidden meaning of the new fantasy: preparations for the first missile strike on the Soviet Union in the hope that the American missile defense shield in space will repel a retaliatory strike and protect the attacker from retaliation. If fantasies are indulged in seriously, then one real outcome is inevitable - an arms race in the 21st century. With new costs running into hundreds of billions of dollars.These are the pictures with which Washington futurologists greeted the arrival of another spring, and this is how they painted the future. What else is on display at the spring opening day in Washington? On Capitol Hill, the US administration is trying hard to freeze the movement for a nuclear freeze, achieving another delay in voting on the relevant resolution in the House of Representatives. In Geneva, it also froze negotiations with the Soviet Union on both medium-range nuclear weapons in Europe and strategic weapons.The American position was and is opposed by the position of the Soviet Union. This is again clearly expressed in the responses of 10. V. Andropov to the magazine “Der Spiegel”: “Do not start an arms race where it did not exist, stop it where* it is now taking place. This is the essence of our position, this is what guides us in the negotiations.”And further in his answers, Yu. V. Andropov touches on the entire post-war history, which explains the present day: “... the situation has always been that in building up armaments we only followed the Americans, and not vice versa. Moreover, while catching up with the United States, we always proposed to stop this race, proposed to freeze the level of weapons on both sides and move on to reducing them. Unfortunately, we did not receive the consent of the American side for this.”Spring is a time of hope. The battles between the White House and Capitol Hill show that unbridled militarism breeds anxiety and fear, but also a desire to look at things rationally and soberly.“The best way to stop the arms race is to stop it now, rather than trying to deal with increasing levels of nuclear escalation,” the sponsors of the nuclear freeze resolution, Senators Edward Kennedy and Mark Hatfield, and members of the House recently wrote in the New York Times. representatives Edward Markey and Silvio Conte. Please note: their words are consonant with the words of the Soviet leader. The explanation for this, of course, is not in ideological proximity, but in a sober reading of the past, which warns about the future.April 1983TWO DEFEATSUS President Ronald Reagan, no less than any other post-war American president, claims to be the leader of the entire “Western world.” Meanwhile, in the United States of America themselves they openly express dissatisfaction with Reagan's policies. Two events that occurred in the first week of May confirm this. In Chicago, the Catholic bishops of the United States spoke out against Reagan’s policies, and in Washington, members of the House of Representatives of Congress approved a resolution calling for “an immediate, mutual and verifiable freeze on the production, testing and deployment of nuclear weapons of the United States and the USSR.”Both events will undoubtedly cause a wide public outcry, and perhaps lead to other events. Both will be subject to detailed scrutiny by political observers. But even in the first hasty response, several points can be highlighted. First of all, it is not some “leftists,” “radicals,” or “extremists” who are easily dismissed by the White House or the Pentagon who rebelled against the policy of the current administration, and its approach to nuclear war in general, but authoritative representatives of the American political middle, the political center, which, in particular, gives the majority of voters in presidential elections.Catholic bishops proclaim immoral the very idea of the possibility of being the first to use nuclear weapons (and such a possibility is sanctioned by the US strategic doctrine), the very idea of the permissibility of a nuclear war, “limited” or “protracted” (and these ideas have been expressed more than once by the American leadership). Who will say that the pastors of 50 million American Catholics are guided by the “hand of Moscow”?! Who's to say? - if we also consider that their pastoral letter was discussed by them for about two years, it was adopted by their national conference by a majority of 238 votes with only nine votes against.Meanwhile, Washington’s hand was there. Presidential Assistant Clark sent special messages to the bishops, Secretary of Defense Weinberger had soul-saving conversations with them in the Pentagon style, and the President himself repeatedly persuaded them to come to their senses and think about what damage their spiritual position could cause to his diplomatic position. Washington's hand turned out to be powerless - after some concessions to the official line, the bishops in Chicago returned to the previous and even more decisive formulations of their message to the flock.What does this mean? On taking into account the sentiments of the general public. The fact that considerations of moral duty are placed above official-patriotic ones, above political conjuncture. And first of all, about how frightened, moreover, how intimidated and extremely alarmed the Americans were by the policies of their government and the danger of nuclear war.The vote in Chicago is a reflection of broad material sentiment. It is even more appropriate to say this about the vote in Washington, in the House of Representatives. Since the beginning of 1982, the movement to freeze the nuclear arsenals of the United States and the Soviet Union has rapidly gained strength in the United States - at the level of the “grass roots,” that is, the grassroots. Last August, a nuclear freeze resolution narrowly failed to pass the House of Representatives, with 202 votes in favor and 204 against. In the November elections, referendums on the nuclear freeze were held in nine states, with freeze supporters winning in eight. And here is a new test of strength on Capitol Hill: the resolution was adopted by 278 votes to 149, not only the Democratic majority of the House voted for it, but also part of the Republicans - Reagan's party. The outcome was clear two and a half months ago, when the nuclear freeze resolution was reintroduced. Instead of grasping the obvious and incorporating it into policy one way or another, the administration launched a fierce campaign to discredit and disgrace proponents of the freeze, who allegedly play “in Moscow’s hands” (hand again!) and undermine the American position at the negotiations in Geneva. It did not help - as in the case of bishops.The vote in the House of Representatives was called a de facto vote of no confidence in the Reagan government. Constitutionally, there is no vote of no confidence in the United States; the resignation of the president and cabinet will not follow. However, it is important to understand the political implications of this apparent mistrust. What do congressmen not trust? They do not trust the sincerity of the President and his staff when they talk about their ardent desire for arms limitation and for success at the Soviet-American negotiations in Geneva. Such distrust was recently evidenced by the story of Kenneth Edelman, whom the president appointed director of the agency for arms control and disarmament. With great difficulty we managed to get this appointment through the Senate, although the Republicans have a majority there. But let's assume that many congressmen are still ready to believe in the sincerity of the president's desire to limit arms. What then do they not believe? What could the White House not dissuade them from? The answer is obvious - they do not believe the correctness of the path proposed by the administration. They do not believe its main message, aimed at the public - that arms limitation can and should only be achieved through “rearmament”, through new rounds of the arms race. A freeze is an end to the arms race and the first step towards limiting them, towards the ultimate goal - disarmament.So, despite the recent known active attempts to establish a kind of trusting relationship with the Almighty and pose as his political vicegerent of evil, the bishops seem to have discovered this center on American territory, where dangerous nuclear doctrines are being developed. And on Capitol Hill these days common sense has come out against the president, provingIt remains to be seen whether the Senate will follow the House of Representatives and how the White House will respond to such an unequivocally expressed opinion of the American people.May 1983PROPAGANDA AND POLITICSAmerican General Bernard Rogers, Supreme Commander of NATO Allied Forces in Europe, cannot be classified as a classic type of silent military man. The general speaks willingly. He talks incessantly, making him remember that his academic background includes not only the military academy at West Point, but also three years at Oxford University. He gives out his interviews so often and generously that in all NATO countries they are covered - and more than once - by all any noticeable bourgeois publications.Bernard Rogers, like his predecessor Alexander Haig, appears in three guises: just a general, albeit with four stars, a general-diplomat in relations with presidents, prime ministers and ministers, and a general-propagandist on printed pages and on television screens. In military terminology, this is a forward-based propaganda tool brought forward by the Pentagon to European borders. It is put into action to preach the gospel of Ronald Reagan (that is, the arms race), to silence the voices of doubters whenever possible, and to keep Western Europeans in daily and nightly fear of the “Soviet threat.”To listen to the general, the increase in spending on conventional weapons he requires for the average European will result in the loss of only “a couple of good dinners a year.” Conventional weapons in no way block nuclear weapons for him: “We must retain the possibility of being the first to use nuclear weapons and never (!) give it up.” He threatens his wards with the withdrawal of American troops from Western Europe if they refuse new American missiles. And he consoles them with the determination of the United States to fulfill its “defensive functions” to the end, citing as proof of this determination the fact of the construction of a nuclear bunker for him, Bernard Rogers, 50 kilometers from Brussels. He, Bernard Rogers, is ready to share their fate with the Western Europeans, hiding from it in a bunker.These are some of the revelations and propaganda constructs of the Supreme Commander of NATO. What he cares most about, along with his President and Secretary of Defense, is American missiles for Western Europe. And in this most important matter for him, alas, he feels the least contact with the audience. Here, according to Rogers, a fierce battle with the Russians is already underway - a propaganda battle. And, as he said in a recent interview with the Italian newspaper Giornale Nuovo, “there is an alarming imbalance in this area”—in favor of the Russians, who are taking Western Europeans captive with their propaganda. What can you answer to this? The general, skilled in propaganda, still exaggerates its importance. Is it a matter of propaganda? Rogers should have known from his Atlantic experience that propaganda is no substitute for politics. Propaganda may be worse than politics or better, but not so much better as to repair all the cracks, much less the abysses, of bad politics. Promoting an undignified, hypocritical policy is like putting on a good face on a bad game.Rogers says in the aforementioned interview: “I believe that, leaving aside pro-Soviet circles and professional demonstrators, it is necessary to convince the reasonable and sensible part of the public, quite sincerely concerned about the fate of the world, that the Soviet Union will not conduct serious negotiations in Geneva until We will not deploy our missiles (in Western Europe) in order to conduct these negotiations from a position of strength.”Here is an example of bad propaganda that accurately reflects bad policy. From this short argument, as if from a Russian nesting doll, all the figures of Reagan’s strategy are taken out, right down to the original “position of strength.” Nothing, it turns out, can happen in Geneva, where Soviet and American representatives will soon gather again until the Americans deploy their missiles in Western Europe and gain a “position of strength.” And nothing could happen because these positions did not exist. And that means a year and a half of negotiations to divert attention (remember that almost a whole year, the first year of the Reagan administration, took the Western European and American public to extract this consent from the belligerent American president). And the “zero option” is to divert attention. And the current one, “intermediate”. Because the main thing is to place the missiles. And then with the Pershing 2, this first strike weapon, and begin the fight for peace...With all this, Rogers claims that the Soviet Union is not conducting “serious negotiations” in Geneva. These words could be left on the conscience of the NATO commander. But is it worth it? You can’t leave untruths on your conscience, to put it mildly. Once again we have an example of bad propaganda. Bad because it neglects the truth and suppresses inconvenient and objectionable facts.We will give just one of them, but what a major one! In accordance with recent Soviet proposals, the medium-range nuclear weapons of the USSR and NATO should be precisely equalized in the number of missiles, aircraft and warheads. As a result, in the European part of the Soviet Union there would be significantly fewer medium-range missiles and warheads on them than before 1976, when there were no SS-20 missiles. Meanwhile, NATO's 1979 decision to deploy almost 600 American missiles in Western Europe was motivated by an increase in the number of Soviet missiles. The Soviet proposals clearly and convincingly deprive the NATO decision on “rearmament” of its very foundation. But this cardinal fact is hushed up by the general propagandist, as well as by almost the entire Western press.They remain silent when there are no arguments and no desire to change a position that cannot be maintained with the help of logic or common sense. They prefer to remain silent or brush aside in response to the Soviet demand that French and British nuclear forces be counted when determining the overall nuclear balance of NATO and the USSR in Europe. Meanwhile, these two NATO states hold one quarter of NATO's nuclear forces in Europe. They are being modernized. It is planned to equip British submarines with American Trident-2 missiles. Each such boat will be able to simultaneously hit 100 targets on the territory of the USSR. The Soviet Union is being asked to close its eyes even to such a not very distant future.And again the general propagandist and his like-minded people, in uniform and without, refuse to see the facts. But such facts explain the alarming “imbalance” in the minds of Western Europeans, who put peace above missiles and prefer truth to disinformation.May 1983ROBBY IN BRIGHT DAYLIGHTOn May 17, after five months of negotiations, an Israeli-Lebanese agreement was signed on the withdrawal of Israeli troops that invaded Lebanon almost a year ago. Will the troops be withdrawn - the grandmother said in two. But the immediate result of this “peace agreement” is an even greater aggravation of the situation.Let's look at the Israeli-Lebanese “peace agreement” specifically, textually, in relation to Lebanon, as well as more broadly – in relation to Syria, the Palestinians and the entire Middle East problem. As newspapers reported and as officially recognized (for example, US Assistant Secretary of State Veliotes), the agreement is accompanied by secret annexes. But even from the text of the agreement itself it follows that Lebanon has been assigned the status of a semi-vassal state in relation to Israel. And this is no secret. The articles of the agreement contain nods to international law and the UN Charter; they seem to concern both parties, but in fact they place restrictions only on Lebanese sovereignty. Only on Lebanese territory is a so-called security zone being created, where control will be carried out by Lebanese personnel together with Israeli ones. Only for Lebanon it is strictly regulated how many and what kind of military and paramilitary units it can keep in this zone, what composition and what kind of weapons and military equipment they can have, including the number of, say, tanks for the Lebanese brigade (40 pieces), infantry fighting vehicles ( 4 pieces), armored vehicles (10 pieces), armored personnel carriers, artillery (how many units and what caliber), air defense systems, communications equipment, etc.There are no restrictions for Israeli troops on the other side of the border.And what is, for example, Article 6. I quote: “The parties do not allow entry into their territory, deployment or passage through it, including airspace, etc. territorial waters... of armed forces, military equipment and equipment belonging to a state hostile to one of the parties.”The explanation to this article states that a “hostile” party is considered “any state that does not have diplomatic relations with either of the two countries.” This means that all Arab countries, with the exception of Egypt, are transferred to “hostile” not only to Israel, but also to Lebanon. Lebanon itself becomes, as it were, a “hostile” state, since the agreement does not provide for the establishment of Israeli-Lebanese diplomatic relations.Further. Lebanon does not have diplomatic relations with Israel, but from now on it subordinates all its international relations, treaties, and agreements to the interests of Israel. Isn't that what Article 9 of the agreement is about? I quote: “Within a period not exceeding one year from the entry into force of this agreement, each of the parties will take all necessary measures to annul contracts, laws and regulations that contradict this agreement... The parties undertake not to fulfill existing obligations that contradict this agreement ..."Thus, the entire foreign policy of Lebanon is subject to the provisions of the agreement with Israel.The Lebanese government signed a “peace agreement”, the Lebanese parliament approved it, but the impression does not change: this is robbery in broad daylight, violence against the Lebanese state, whose leaders apparently considered that in the face of joint pressure from the United States and Israel there was no other choice .Now I will take the wider consequences of this vassal agreement. It is clear as daylight that Syria is now becoming a direct target of Israel and the United States, that we are talking about further undermining the Palestinian liberation movement. Take Article 4, which states: “The territory of each party will not be used as a base for hostile or terrorist activities against the other party or its people.”We already know what “hostile” is - everything that interferes with Israel. This article is directly aimed at Syriantroops in Lebanon, brought in at the invitation of the Lebanese government and under the flag of the Arab League. This article prohibits the presence of Palestinian military units in Lebanon.As the London-based Financial Market rightly noted, Lebanon “will turn from an ally of the Arabs into an ally of Israel.”A very serious danger looms over Syria, especially considering that Israeli units are located 40 kilometers from Damascus. The sharply negative reaction of the Syrian authorities to the “peace agreement” is no coincidence. Israel, while declaring that it will not withdraw troops unless Syria does the same, is simultaneously concentrating its forces in the Bekaa Valley and putting political pressure on Syria through Lebanese representatives.Threats against Syria are coming from Washington. It is not without reason that Secretary of State Shultz, and then President Reagan, repeat this threat in almost the same words. Shultz says: "I am confident that all countries realize that the risk involved in the failure of the withdrawal process (from Lebanon) is greater than the risk involved in carrying out the process to completion." And here are Reagan’s words: “This opportunity should not be allowed to go unused. The danger that arises if such care is not carried out is much greater than the danger of completing this care."We are talking about the danger of Israeli reprisals against Syria.But the main victim of the Israeli-Lebanese agreement is the Palestinians. After all, it proceeds from the assumption that there is no Palestinian problem, but only a problem of Israeli security. Most observers saw all this as yet another attempt to push the Palestinians out of the Middle East scene, and, moreover, to abolish the Palestinian problem itself - the main one in any genuine Middle East settlement. The Palestinians are also threatened from Washington. State Department spokesman Romberg says: "There is now a chance for peace and Arafat must take part in it."Under existing conditions, this is nothing more than an invitation to capitulate. Naturally, the Palestinians, the PLO, as well as Syria, resolutely reject the Israeli-Lebanese “peace agreement.”May 1983DANGEROUS CHARACTERPresident Reagan is in the midst of another round of pushing the MX missile through Congress. Missiles are now closely linked to politics; they become actors in the dramas of international life. MX is an extremely serious and dangerous character. This is an intercontinental ballistic missile equipped with ten individually targetable warheads with a capacity of 600 kilotons of explosives each. Each warhead is 30 Hiroshimas. Each rocket is 300 Hiroshima. 100 MX missiles are 30 thousand Hiroshimas.To this we must add that, according to the widespread opinion of experts, the MX high-precision missile is a first-strike weapon.By the way, the Washington Post recently published an article by columnist Jack Anderson, who knows how to reveal the ins and outs of American politics. Anderson this time wrote that “despite repeated denials, there is secret evidence that American military strategists have plans to launch a nuclear first strike on the Soviet Union.” “The MX rocket,” writes Anderson, “is an important element of these plans.”So this menacing character appeared on the scene ten years ago. They can’t find a roof over his head, shelter or, to put it in technical language, a way to base himself. Under Carter, the so-called “shell game” or the “racing circle” principle was proposed. 200 MX missiles had to be constantly moved in containers between shelters, of which 4000 were supposed to be created, 20 per missile. The Russians will be at a loss as to which “shells” are empty and which are filled, and therefore will not attack America, fearing a retaliatory strike from the surviving MX.This was the public version. It must be said that even under Carter and especially under Reagan, the need for these monsters was derived from the presence of a certain “window of vulnerability.” A “window of vulnerability,” in short, is an alleged lag in American strategic weapons that tempts the Soviet Union with the opportunity to launch a first strike without fear of a retaliatory strike. This “window” was required to be closed, primarily with the help of MX.The “shell game” option did not work. The US Congress considered it too expensive. Reagan initially wanted to attract Congress with a cheaper method of basing - only 100 missiles in old, additionally fortified Minuteman missile silos. This option did not work either. Then the method of “compact basing”, or “missile fratricide”, was proposed. 100 MX were located in mines on a relatively small strip of land. The calculation was this: during a nuclear attack on MX, concentrated in a small area, Soviet missiles should fall so thickly that the explosions of the first missiles would destroy subsequent missiles flying behind them. This was called “fratricide”, “fratricide” of Soviet missiles, which was supposed to protect the American MX.All these games of adults and people in power look like some kind of unbridled science fiction. Especially for us, since we don’t recognize ourselves in those Russians with whom they scare the Americans. But the Americans, we must give them their due, did not miss the “missile fratricide.” In December 1982, the US House of Representatives blocked dollars intended for the production of the first five MX missiles.As you can see, even in a brief retelling, this is a rather long story. And although, according to the White House, there was a tempting “window of vulnerability” all along, the Russians somehow never took advantage of it.What happened next? After being defeated on Capitol Hill, Reagan created a special commission chaired by retired General Scowcroft. At the end of March, the commission submitted its recommendations to the president. First, it was discovered that there was no “window of vulnerability.” The commission did not find it and thereby confirmed that it was an official fabrication to justify the super-armament of America. Second, after closing the aforementioned non-existent window, the commission still recommended the deployment of 100 MX missiles in Minuteman 3 missile silos. Opa proceeded from the fact that the MX missile would be a convincing American “argument” in negotiations with the Soviet Union on arms limitation. Thirdly, in the 90s, the commission proposed the creation of small-sized intercontinental missiles with a single warhead. They should be dispersed in large numbers over American territory in order to make it difficult for the Soviet Union to attack the United States.This is the last of the nuclear scenarios and anotRecently, the Senate and House Appropriations Committees approved initial spending of $62 million for the creation of MX missiles. Where have the former critical sentiments gone? The conclusion is hard to avoid: Reagan managed to win over the undecided at this stage. He sent them special letters, assuring them that he was committed to arms control with all his heart, that this was what the MX was for, and that he was, in principle, ready to support the new idea of a “guaranteed reduction.” What kind of idea is this? formulate: For every warhead on a new missile, remove two warheads on old ones from service.This is now the “new” American path to arms reduction, or rather, the latest ploy. Looking back, the new approach is difficult and simply impossible to take seriously. Watching Reagan break through the most dangerous MX under the promise of “guaranteed reductions,” journalist Mary McGrory writes that "merchant Reagan is trying to sell a deliberate marriage to congressional suckers."She writes: “Our commander-in-chief is fussing around like a small used car dealer trying to sell a bad brand to a provincial simpleton. “No doubt, the main product is junk, but look what comes with it,” he says to a member of Congress. “Yes, we will add a stereo system, air conditioning and a built-in bar in the rear at no additional cost.” And the subtext: accept the MX program - and that’s enough for you. As for achieving arms control, you can’t count on it.”Seeing how the President now wants to bully Congress, one is reminded of the words of former Secretary of State Dean Ryask - “One of the oldest and most fruitless ideas that is periodically thrown at the gullible American Public is the idea that we need to quickly increase our nuclear capabilities, in order to be able to negotiate arms reductions from a position of strength.”May 1983VISITING YOUR NEIGHBORAs an international journalist, I had to fly abroad many times. But I traveled only twice, and both times to Finland. And I became convinced: it’s better not to fly to your neighbors, but to drive. Moving along the rails, without leaving your native land for a foreign land, you can almost feel with your skin how they adjoin each other in their masses,  At the end of May at ten o'clock in the evening the day still lasts. Ready for departure, train N2 32 stands at the platform of the Leningradsky station, running daily from Moscow to Helsinki via Leningrad and Vyborg. The name of the train is “Tolstoy”. A surname without a name must indicate that of all the famous Tolstoys, the Ministry of Railways recognizes only Lev.By the signs of clothing and posture you want to distinguish yours from the Finns. An unfamiliar young man approaches and introduces himself as the press attache of the Finnish embassy in Moscow. Oi is tall and handsome, speaks fluent Russian and later, at dinner in the dining car, between Moscow and Kalivin, he makes us feel Finnish hospitality - without Caucasian toasts, akin to Russian: “Let's go!” It’s still a long way to the border, and Hannu (Vanya) Märkälä is already taking care of you, six Soviet journalists invited by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland on the eve of the official visit to Moscow of President Mauno Koivisto.Thus begins the journey to visit a neighbor. The May night comes reluctantly and passes quickly. The wheels have already clocked up more than 600 domestic kilometers. Beyond Vyborg, the train moves more slowly and, as it were, more carefully, customs officers, people in green caps, and among the clean and dense, untouched forest - the Luzhaika border station, a strip of plowed land• between two rows of barbed wire. And the same birches, pines and spruces, the same spring with scatterings of yellow buttercups, but on Finnish territory.At the Vainikala station we move the clock back an hour, have breakfast in the cafeteria, where the Western standard of service asserts itself, and for another three-plus hours this neighboring northern country, Finland, flashes outside the window on the fast, smooth ride of the train. Yes, spruce, pine and birch trees are like ours, except perhaps not stronger and thinner. Granites bulge menacingly out of the ground, advancing on the road. Spring fields. Cities and towns with difficult names are low-rise, neat, and clean. The cars are small. The roads are good. More modest is the sun itself and the pale blue sky that the children of the European North inherited. But it was cloudless for all five days. We arrived in the best season. And they traveled, one might say, under the double auspices of the Finnish Foreign Ministry and the White Nights. From the Ministry of Foreign Affairs there was business prose of clearly scheduled and organized meetings, conversations, inspections, lunches, and transfers. And from the white nights - that charm that is better conveyed in Pushkin’s words: “Transparent twilight, moonless brilliance...” White nights make the Finnish capital related to Leningrad.However, can an international journalist succumb to this charm? Does even calm Finland have the right to forget from the heavy missile and nuclear passions of our time? And is she really so calm - even in the transparent endless twilight of the white nights? In Tampere, by the way, we were shown a major nuclear bomb shelter at a depth of 27 meters underground - there is now a city swimming pool and a huge paid parking lot. But an optimistic view of the world still prevails in this country. There, in the northwest, lies a nearby state where considerations of good neighborliness have firmly prevailed.About 5 million people live in Finland, 50 times less than ours. In terms of area (one third of a million square kilometers), it is 60 times smaller than our country, although it ranks fifth in Europe, ahead of England and Italy. But this country and these people evoke genuine respect. Labor, as they say, created man. Labor creates a reputation for people and states. Finns have a long reputation for being good workers. Maxim Gorky wrote about pre-revolutionary Finland: “... every piece of land is carefully cultivated, fenced, and the slow Finns work stubbornly everywhere, conquering stone and swamp.”Currently, only 10 percent of the self-employed population is employed in Finnish agriculture, and the “slow Finns” conquer not only stones and swamps. Since 1950, industrial production has grown by an average of 5-6 percent per year, and half of the production is sold to other countries...The wise principle of combining business with pleasure is implemented by the Finns through the sauna. The top, eighth floor of the headquarters of the famous concern “Vyartsilya” was given over to the sauna, not to the management. Through the large, clean windows of the dressing room, the rooftops of Helsinki are visible in the steady light of another long evening. And on the slides that the owners show us, there is a white icebreaker in the crisp smoke of 52-degree frost: testing of the Taimyr on the Yenisei. The owners say that the concern’s headquarters is “strategically” well located, everything is nearby - the residence of the prime minister and the leadership of trade unions, parliament, the port, the train station. “Vyartsilya” is also well positioned on the world market. Afterwards, its shipyard produced almost 50 icebreakers, that is, most of the icebreakers in the world. In the 70s, it built a third of all cruise ships. In addition to ships, does it produce di? Veli, excellent equipment for the woodworking industry, agricultural machinery, the world's best (as they say) Abloy door locks, so-called sanitary porcelain, etc. It has 16 factories in Finland, 8 foreign branches (from Sweden to Singapore and California) and at the beginning of 1983, the order book was worth about $2 billion. Here's a company from a small country. 16,900 workers and employees. And there is no boasting in the explanations, just numbers and facts.The Finnish way of combining business with pleasure is deliberately demonstrated to Soviet journalists. The Soviet Union is the main trading partner of this concern, as well as Finland in general. Since 1932, the Turku and Helsinki shipyards have delivered approximately 450 ships of various types to their neighbor. Without the Soviet market, the old “Vyartsilya” would not have become the “Vyartsilya” of today. Finland would not have become the “leading country in Arctic shipbuilding.” We heard this not in the sauna from the directors of Vyartsil, but in the office of Prime Minister Kalevi Sorsa.I'll get back to talking to him. In the meantime, a few words about the Finns' reputation as good workers. In addition to Helsinki, we visited Tampere and Lahti, talked more than watched, and I would not dare to generalize if it were not supported by well-known facts. Finland is a small country, but it does not give itself any indulgences or indulgences. It does not recognize and does not think of another level and standard other than the world, technically advanced one. But at first glance, this is the task of a giant - to hold the world standard on his shoulders. In addition, it is constantly increasing, and Finland's government and business community constantly see Finland's pressing economic problem as keeping up and remaining competitive in the global market.While visiting our neighbor, we were primarily interested in politics. Trade expands and strengthens the path, and it is politics that pave it. Paves, and sometimes even cuts through, the rubble of history. This is what happened to Soviet-Finnish relations at the end of the Second World War. After the post-war presidents, this route was called the “Paasikivi-Kekkonen line” on the Finnish side.Since January 1982, Finland has had a new president - Mauno Koivisto. On June 6, 1983, his first official visit to the Soviet Union will begin. Mauno Koivisto received our journalistic group. The Presidential Palace is small and modest, quite in keeping with the national spirit, but still it is, perhaps, the only place in Helsinki where two sentries with rifles stand at the entrance. In the halls on the second floor there are parquet floors, carpets, paintings on the walls and old-fashioned solid furniture made of birch, which we call Karelian, and there - Finnish. Mau-po Koivisto is 59 years old. He has a tall stature, a stern face and large palms of a man who came from the bottom and has not lost his passion for physical labor and sports.Already on the platform, just before departure, we were given written answers from the president to our questions. He attaches special significance to his official visit to Moscow because the governments of Finland and the Soviet Union decided to sign during the visit a protocol on extending the 1948 Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance between our countries. The conclusion of the agreement, the President said, had a decisive impact on the establishment of relations between our countries based on good neighborliness, mutual trust and mutual benefit. The results of friendship and cooperation obtained over these 35 years are indisputable proof of the correctness of the far-sighted decision taken then. Mauno Koivisto stated: “The extension of the treaty in its unchanged form in the current international conditions is convincing proof that no opportunistic changes in the field of international politics can shake Finnish-Soviet cooperation.”The statement, as you can see, is clear. The 35 years that have passed since the conclusion of the agreement is a considerable period. Nowadays, a kind of generational change is taking place in the leadership of Finland. At the last elections in March of this year, almost a third of the parliament was formed, largely at the expense of younger people.When Foreign Minister Paavo Väyrynen received us, I told him that he was essentially the same age as the 1948 treaty. He replied that he was only two years old at that time and that he knew about that time only from books and stories of people of the older generation. Among Finns, including political and public figures, there were still many prejudices regarding the intentions of the USSR in the 40s. Many were afraid and distrustful. And yet, the minister noted, the state authorities of Finland, showing sobriety and a realistic assessment of the situation, agreed to conclude an agreement with the Soviet Union that met the fundamental interests of the Finnish people. It marked the beginning of a new foreign policy for Finland, and, as subsequent events showed, support for the treaty grew very quickly among various sections of the Finnish people.“We have achieved that there are no longer disagreements in Finnish society regarding the agreement,” said the minister. “In practice, the experience of our cooperation has overcome all prejudices and now we can move forward.”— Can we say that the new generation has taken up the baton of the outgoing one? — we asked the minister one more question.And this is what he replied:“I belong to those politicians who became involved in public life when good relations had already been established between our countries. We took up the baton of friendship and cooperation under favorable conditions... President Koivisto received a valuable inheritance. Under his leadership, Finland continues the foreign policy “Paasikivi-Kekkonen line”. And she is unshakable. Speculation that this term has been eliminated from our political vocabulary is unfounded. This line is developing in the same way as it developed before. The essence of the conversation that we had in parliament with prominent representatives of different parties is clear: relations of good neighborliness and trust with the Soviet Union have become the blood and flesh of Finnish politics, the Finnish national consciousness.The current government is based on a parliamentary majority provided by deputies from four parties: the leading Social Democratic Party of Finland, the Center Party (its chairman P. Väyrynen holds the post of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs), the Swedish People's Party and the Finnish Country Party, which was nominated in the last elections. To the left of the government coalition is the Democratic Union of the People of Finland, which includes communists along with socialists. The opposition on the right is the National Coalition Party.What do conservatives think? After a short trip there is no guarantee what they think, but in Tampere from the leadership of the conservative newspaper Lamulehti, in Lahti from the conservative mayor we heard what they say: disagreements between the government and the right-wing opposition are only in the internal, but not in foreign policy. But I know whether all words and assurances can be taken on faith. At the very least, they speak to the prevailing social and political climate.Finally, back to what I mentioned. Relations with the Soviet Union are beneficial in the truest sense of the word, they pay for themselves economically. Prime Minister Sorsa elaborated on this.The economic depression of the 70s did not bypass Finland, and even now the difficulties are not over: the country has quite strong inflation, unemployment is also a problem, although it is 5.8 percent, half as much as in a number of capitalist countries of Western Europe. But what has helped and is helping Finland in difficult times? The prime minister emphasized that his country coped with economic difficulties better than other countries due to the nature of trade relations with the Soviet Union, their stability and longevity. Five or more years into the future, Kalevi Sorsa said, we know how these ties will develop, and this makes it possible to build our economic policy more systematically. “This is a stabilizer of our foreign trade” - this is the definition given by the Prime Minister. At the Central Union of Finnish Industry, an important organization of Finnish entrepreneurs, Managing Director Stig Häste found equally expressive words: “Thanks to the Soviet Union, we got out of the hole of depression faster than others...”Five days is just five days. But when he tries to put them into words, it turns out that there are more impressions than the allotted space in the newspaper. And again you have to cut off a lot for the sake of what you consider to be the main thing. In the presidential palace we heard a mention of the old days, when the northern Finns, like all people, very caressed by the sun, loved songs about the south, and in them, of course, they sang that life was better in the south. Now, the narrator added, more information is coming in and Finns are aware of the conflicts occurring in different parts of the world. And it is no longer songs, but public opinion polls that now say: Finns are happy that they live in the place of the world that history has assigned them....We also returned home by train. In the moonless splendor of a charming evening we crossed the state border. And early in the morning I woke up to the brisk sound of wheels. Blue-green jagged spruces rushed past, birches had not yet ceased to rejoice in their fresh foliage, the narrow mirror of an unknown river calmly sparkled and remained lonely behind. And reabsorbing my land, I thought: it’s good that there, in the northwest, we have good neighbors and that we have learned to understand each other.June 1983ANNIVERSARY OF THE INVASIONIn early June 1982, Israeli troops invaded Lebanon. The month of June has arrived again, and they are still there, occupying about a third of this Arab country.Curious to remember where it all started? From the assassination attempt on the Israeli ambassador in London. The Israelis attributed it to the Palestine Liberation Organization and used it as a pretext for the first bombing of Beirut and the invasion in general. Now they don’t remember this - the pretext turned out to be far-fetched, false. The PLO had nothing to do with the assassination attempt. In this story, cruelty is always justified by lies. Later this was proven once again by what happened in Sabra and Shatila. Begin and Sharon denied their involvement in the mass extermination of innocents until their involvement was confirmed - albeit with reservations - even by a special Israeli commission.At first, aggression was also called an act of self-defense - “against the shelling of Israeli territory by PLO detachments.” And this pretext has long been forgotten. The PLO armed forces left South Lebanon and left West Beirut back in August last year, preventing further death of the city and its population under shells and bombs. Israeli troops remained, although all pretexts had disappeared.Now the year-long occupation of Lebanon brings to mind the 16-year-long occupation of Israel in the Syrian Golan Heights, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The West Bank and Gaza are being populated by Israelis with might and main, and the meaning of this process is very clear - to pocket these Palestinian lands forever, to deprive the Palestinians of territory on which they could create their own state.What is in store for Lebanon? The fate of a captive state. This is written in black and white in the so-called “peace agreement” between Israel and Lebanon.This is what comes out of one “act of self-defense” taken a year ago. In “self-defense” they seize an entire neighboring state and threaten two more - Syria and Jordan. This captures the signature of Israel's strategic ally and patron. The United States also “defends itself” by declaring any areas of the globe as its security zones.In general, Israel has no intention of leaving Lebanon. The Americans, you see, allowed him not to leave until the Syrians left. That is, until the Syrians agree that neighboring Lebanon will become a vassal of Israel. Of course, the Syrians do not want to agree with such an undermining of their independence and security.The situation in Lebanon remains extremely tense. Even on those days when the guns are silent there, it is only a deceptive and fragile calm. The world is even further away than a year ago.June 1983ROCKET COURSEAt the beginning of summer, you don’t want to rush time and look into December with its cold weather and short gloomy days. But what if frosts hit at the end of May? The political frosts of the winter fortress are being unleashed by Western leaders as they gather for their summer meetings.Supreme meeting of the G7 in Williamsburg. Then in Brussels there is a session of the NATO Defense Planning Committee with the participation of defense ministers. Now the NATO Council session in Paris has just ended, to which the foreign ministers have flocked. The weather - even in the two mentioned glorious European capitals - is done by the Americans: Reagan, Weinberger, Shultz. And, judging by their weather at the beginning of June, at the end of the year - “on schedule” - we will see the first Pershing-2s on the territory of Germany, as well as the first clusters of American cruise missiles in England and Italy. Missiles at the last stage - this is, perhaps, how the military-political content of the period between June and December is formulated on their part.December marks four years since NATO’s so-called “dual solution” was adopted. It promised a “parallel process” of preparations for the deployment of almost 600 American nuclear missiles in Western Europe and negotiations on medium-range nuclear weapons between the USSR and the USA. Alarmed Europeans were hinted that if the negotiations were successful, there would be no need for missiles. In fact, the “double decision” was and remains a race between two runners with a predetermined result. One runner entered the four-year course before the starting pistol fired, and coaches from Washington ensured that he ran on schedule (in preparation for the placement of rockets). Another runner - negotiations - was almost two years late with the start - only in November 1981 did the Americans meet in Geneva with Soviet representatives. And how can he keep up with the first, if he was immediately hobbled by the American “zero option”, and now by the “intermediate solution”?By looking through the newspaper files, refresh your memory of this important and not yet finished story. From the very beginning, the Soviet Union warned the Western Europeans: the Americans needed missiles, and negotiations were just a camouflage net under which the missiles were hidden for the time being. The Soviet Union said that the Americans were seeking nuclear superiority in Europe, but we would not allow it, caring for our own and our allies’ security, as well as for the future of the entire “old continent,” which was threatened by the adventuristic habits of overseas crusaders. The Soviet Union made a number of important proposals demonstrating that we will be satisfied with no more, but also no less! - than strict adherence to the legal principle of equality and equal security. The latest proposals give this principle, one might say, mathematical completeness: the same number of carriers of nuclear weapons and nuclear warheads both on the side of the USSR and on the side of the North Atlantic Alliance, which includes such nuclear states as England and France.Alas, the warnings were not heeded and the proposals are refused to be taken seriously. And now, when the negotiations are still running on the spot, and the missiles are reaching the finish line, the Soviet Union, in the spirit of its consistent policy, is making another attempt to stop the dangerous development of events. A Soviet government statement issued on May 28 warned that the installation of American missiles would lead to a serious change in the situation in Europe, sharply escalate the nuclear standoff and increase the risk of war.And again, two emphases in the Soviet position are readiness for a reasonable compromise and firmness in the face of a threat. On the one hand, in the opinion of the Soviet Union, it is not too late to stop the dangerous escalation of the situation if the United States and its allies carefully weigh the consequences of their course and respond to constructive Soviet proposals. On the other hand, if the deployment of American missiles begins, the Soviet Union will take timely and effective retaliatory measures, bearing in mind both the territories where the new American missiles will be located and the territory of the United States itself.How did the West respond? In Williamsburg, and now in Paris, a familiar tune was heard. They express their “desire” to reach a “balanced” agreement in Geneva. Well, if the “desire” is not satisfied - “the planned deployment of American systems.” What is the value of “desire” if it is not backed by good will and political position? This is just an unrealizable desire to achieve the surrender of a partner in negotiations. In Williamsburg, the Soviet demand to take into account British and French nuclear forces was called “an attempt to split the ranks of Western countries.” Meanwhile, the legality of this demand is confirmed by the behavior of not only London, but also Paris. Both the fact of convening a session of the NATO Council in the French capital (for the first time since 1966), and the demonstratively declared similarity of the nuclear strategies of the United States and France prove that all the nuclear forces of Western states form a single arsenal.The best way to see the direction towards missiles, however, is in the speeches of some high-ranking officials. Among them is Caspar Weinberger, who loves to cut Peptagon's truth. Having recently visited Western Europe on missile matters, he said two or three times: “If we don't deploy these missiles, there will be no meaningful negotiations.” From the American perspective, NATO Secretary General Joseph Lupe is playing with this idea. “I think an agreement can only be reached after the first missiles are deployed,” he said. Already one Pership missile will change the situation.”So, on the way to December, the hypocritical “dual solution” is modified. In mid-1983, it was no longer possible to fool the public with the promises made at the end of 1979. And therefore, instead of a parallel approach, they propose, so to speak, a sequential one, in which successful negotiations are possible only after the successful deployment of missiles. The new propaganda act will now be performed increasingly in front of Western Europeans. Let's see if it passes.But in addition to the new trap for the public, there is another component to this “one-by-one” approach: a threat to the Soviet Union. Threat - and blackmail. It is as if they are offering us a settlement on American terms and at the gunpoint of new American missiles. Once again, forgetting that such numbers never happened with the Soviet Union.June 1983ABOUT ONE SPEECH BY J. SCHULTZRecently, Secretary of State George Shultz spoke at the Foreign Relations Committee of the US Senate. He spoke for almost an hour, and the text of his speech, entitled “US-Soviet Relations in the Context of American Foreign Policy,” took up 35 pages. But the point is not the volume, but the significance attached to this appearance of the Secretary of State on Capitol Hill. His speech is called the most detailed, comprehensive, outlining the “philosophy” of the current administration’s approach to relations with the Soviet Union. It is also reported that the text was personally reviewed, corrected, and seemingly blessed by President Reagan.What did the head of the US diplomatic department say? What does the approach he outlines promise for US-Soviet relations, on which the fate of the world decisively depends and which gives so much cause for concern under the current US administration?A few words about the “formatization” of Schultz’s speech before moving on to his analysis of the substance.It must be said that Shultz in his speech spoke a lot about the importance of peace and the importance of American-Soviet relations for the cause of peace.“It will not be possible to quickly resolve the differences. Any other assumption would be unrealistic,” said the Secretary of State. “At the same time, both of our brothers are vitally interested in preventing war.” This common interest encourages you to strive to establish such relations between our countries that they can contribute to strengthening security in the world in the interests of all mankind.”Well, here, perhaps, you can subscribe to any word.“We do not want to accept the inevitable prospect of an endless dangerous confrontation with the Soviet Union, and there is no need for this.”Indeed, there is absolutely no need for humanity to swing on the rope of the “balance of fear” stretched between growing mountains of nuclear weapons.“It cannot be considered eternally inevitable that the rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union should necessarily play a dominant role in international political life and distort its overall picture.”And in these words, in the denial of the “eternal inevitability” of American-Soviet rivalry, some hope is visible.One could sincerely welcome statements of this kind if they were supported by a constructive approach and constructive positions in various areas of our relations. But this doesn't happen. The programmatic speech of the US Secretary of State, with all the mentioned curtseys, not only does not change, but, on the contrary, completely confirms the previous course of the American leadership, which is generating growing tension in international life, leading to an escalation of the threat of nuclear war.Let us not, however, be unfounded. Realism in politics begins with a sober and timely consideration of existing circumstances. Meanwhile, even 50 years after the establishment of diplomatic relations with Moscow, Washington continues to wrestle with the question: to recognize or not to recognize? And they are inclined to not recognize Soviet power, the socialist system, the socialist community. This lack of realism in assessing the modern world, characteristic of the current Washington administration, is proven by Shultz’s speech.A year ago, speaking in the British Parliament, President Reagan called for a “crusade” against the USSR and promised to throw socialism into the “ashes of history.”Secretary of State Shultz is more moderate in his expressions, what does it mean: “in connection with our commitment to peace, we consider it our duty to promote the gradual evolution of the Soviet system”? In principle, this is the same unceremoniously proclaimed policy of interference in the internal affairs of another power. Moreover, in its most overt manifestation - with the American imperial claim to domination and dictatorship, to impose its views and orders on others. This is not a “commitment to peace,” but an undermining of the peaceful coexistence of states with different socio-political systems.Shultz talks about “involving the Russians in an active and productive dialogue” - and at first glance this sounds noble, although one can, of course, note that it is not appropriate for the administration that broke it off when it came to power to pose as the initiator of the dialogue and refused to resume it for a long time . But what is the first item on the agenda proposed for dialogue? And here’s what: “To achieve improvement in the activities of Russians in the field of human rights.” Again, without asking or ceremony, they meddle in other people's affairs and practices, again the claim to measure everything and everyone by American standards. And under the guise of concern for “human rights” there are attempts to acquire a kind of “right” for ideological sabotage, to give free rein to opponents of the socialist system. Let us not here raise the counter-issue of “human rights” somewhere in El Salvador, Chile and South Africa or, ultimately, in the black ghetto splashing around in Washington just a mile from the White House and a mile and a half from the State Department. But it is worth emphasizing with all sincerity that tension in our relations with the United States will remain truly “eternally inevitable” if American politicians - generation after generation and each time again - ignore the fundamental fact of the differences between the two systems.Shultz says that in developing a strategy for US-Soviet relations, the current administration "has drawn in part on a variety of old strategies, from containment to détente." Some things were taken and some things were discarded. They discarded what went along the lines of cooperation between the two countries. This is what Schultz calls “the fragile web of interdependence.” And they adopted, from Trump’s time, a “strategy of containment.” But they considered it geographically insufficient, too limited. We decided to expand it to the whole world. This, perhaps, is the grain of the “new philosophy” set forth by the American Secretary of State: since the USSR has become a “global power” pursuing a “global foreign and military policy,” the United States must contain it on a “global scale.”Essentially, we are talking about a global confrontation, not only with the Soviet Union. About global and all the changes in the world, be it (to take names from Schultz's list) in Southeast Asia, southern Africa or the Caribbean - with all the changes that are displeasing to American imperialism. A truly global “crusade” is proclaimed by the Reagan administration in the speech of its Secretary of State, which is also presented as “conciliatory.”Three years ago, on his way to the White House, Ronald Reagan said: “Let's not kid ourselves - the Soviet Union is behind all the unrest that is happening. If the Russians didn’t play this game of dominoes, there wouldn’t be a single hot spot in the world.” What has changed since then in this, to put it mildly, simplified approach? Maybe it’s just that American leaders are losing their sense of not only reality, but also humor. They never stop teaching us “restraint” – even, for example, in the Middle East. As if it was with the blessing and with the direct help not of the United States, but of the Soviet Union, that Israel launched an aggression against Lebanon a year ago and has been occupying other Arab lands for 16 years now? As if it was not the American allies who provoked the massacre of innocents in the Palestinian camps of Sabra and Shatila, which horrified the whole world? And if we take other areas in both hemispheres, then it is worth remembering how “restrained” the Americans behave when carrying out the intervention of their minions in Nicaragua through Honduras or keeping their aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf region.When the world is viewed through the prism of global confrontation, economic ties are seen not as bridges to cooperation, but as merely “a permanent component of the strategic equation.” True, Shultz declares himself an opponent of the “economic war” East-West, but this is rather a matter of terms - he allows economic battles, as well as credit restrictions and other measures of discrimination.There is no need to give other examples. Let's better see what position is taken on the central issue of American-Soviet relations - arms control, curbing the arms race. Shultz's speech made a conscious attempt to downplay the significance of negotiations on this issue. It says that arms limitation “is not, and cannot be, the main topic of our dialogue with the Russians.” There, the untenable concept of “linking” negotiations on arms reduction with the international “behavior” of the Soviet Union is being revived. Io and “linking” is not enough. In Washington they are demanding a completely special, unheard of right, which could be called the right to fail negotiations.Let's listen to Shultz: "There is no certainty that the negotiations we are now conducting with the Soviet Union will lead to acceptable agreements ... We are not placing such a large bet on the prospect of a successful outcome of the negotiations, so as not to insure ourselves in case of failure."In a word, like a poet: “I accept you, failure and success, my greetings to you!” The poet, however, did not negotiate the fate of the world, standing on a mountain of nuclear weapons capable of incinerating humanity.Here's an additional explanation from the Secretary of State to the clueless senators: "We have to be careful that we don't somehow end up in a position where we feel like it's very important for us to get an arms control agreement."Ponder this valuable self-revelation. Since concluding an agreement is not so important, then you can put forward conditions that are unacceptable to your partner, refuse to consider his proposals, exclude any reasonable compromise and, as a result, keep negotiations at a dead end for months. Which, in fact, is what is happening in Geneva. The Americans have not made a single attempt to negotiate seriously and with all their obstructionist behavior they are dooming them to obvious failure, because it cannot be assumed that only the other side will move towards an agreement. From the point of view of strengthening peace and international stability, this is a frivolous, moreover, irresponsible and dangerous approach. It can only be defended by those who make their primary goal not the reduction, but the increase in armaments. However, should we be surprised? Washington has long argued that the arms race is the shortest path to disarmament. And the American side is using the Geneva negotiations as a screen behind which it intends to fully implement the decision to deploy new American missiles in Western Europe, upsetting the current balance in favor of the United States and NATO...A careful examination of Shultz’s speech convinces us of the hypocrisy of attempts inspired by official circles to pass it off as a manifestation of “flexibility” and almost ((conciliation) of the US administration. Those who, having read this speech, discerned the same rigid course behind the elements of a certain verbal “prettiness” are right to global confrontation.Normal and promising relations between the USA and the USSR can only be built as relations of equal partners, on the basis of mutual benefit, with fair consideration of mutual interests, which excludes attempts to break the established strategic parity and achieve superiority over the other side or advantages to the detriment of it. Even if overseas they do not want to acknowledge this truth, they cannot cancel it there. And the sooner it is recognized, the better it is for the American people, as for all peoples. In the meantime, it remains to express regret that the creators of American policy persist in their foreign policy program, in which not a grain of constructiveness can be found.June 1983FAKE COIN J. BUSHOn June 25, US Vice President George W. Bush found himself on the left bank of the Rhine River, in the city of Krefeld, and for this reason: together with his official West German hosts, the overseas guest solemnly celebrated the 300th anniversary of the arrival of the first German settlers in North America. The date is venerable and important in many respects, especially since approximately one in four current US citizens has German roots going back centuries or decades.But of course, it was not only respect for historical roots that prompted the American vice president to board a jet plane and fly to Europe, fortunately this path is now much shorter and more convenient than 300 years ago. Mr. Bush flew in to advocate for one “settler” whom America is now sending to West Germany, as if as a return courtesy. The day before arrivalBush in Krefeld, this “settler” was just passing the test, the fourteenth in a row, in the desert expanses of the American state of New Mexico and, as reported, “hit the target.” It has the name of an American general, and the reader, I think, has already guessed that we are talking about the Pership G-2 missile.In his speech about “common roots” and “spiritual values,” the vice president, so as not to arouse passions, diplomatically did not mention missiles. But he was nevertheless understood correctly. A 20,000-strong anti-missile demonstration took place in Krefeld. The guest's bulletproof limousine was pelted with stones and bottles. More than a hundred demonstrators were arrested. Chancellor Helmut Kohl apologized to the American and assured him that the German government “will not bow to street terror.”The old German city of Krefeld has been widely known to the world since 1980 as the birthplace of the Krefeld Appeal. It calls on the German government to abandon the deployment of American missiles on West German territory. The appeal became an active form of public mobilization. More than 4 million people signed it. And now Krefeld is on everyone’s lips again. Bush came to celebrate the past and threaten the future. That is why his words were answered with stones.But protests and curses did not interrupt the route of the American emissary and did not force him to abandon his intentions. His trip will last until July 7 - England, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Ireland, Iceland. In England and Germany, Bush checked to what extent the allied governments were committed to accepting American missiles, and was convinced: yes, they are true. During visits to northern European countries, where anti-nuclear sentiment is widespread, the vice president, depending on the situation, will try to muffle criticism of US policy, as well as discourage the idea of ​​creating a nuclear-free zone, which has recently received growing public and official support.The ambivalent reception given to Bush in Krefeld is symbolic of the political situation in Western Europe five months before the start of the deployment of American missiles. On the one hand, policies that exacerbate the threat of nuclear war are met with increasingly strong opposition and condemnation. The most convincing example is the World Assembly of Peace Forces, held last week in Prague. Anti-war demonstrations are being organized in many European and American cities. On the other hand, official circles in the West have never spoken with such openness about the deployment of American Pershings and Tomahawks as a done deal, not subject to any further delays.It should be recalled that George Bush is a frequent visitor to Western Europe. His last visit took place in January February of this year. At that time, Washington still clung to the “zero option,” which kept US-Soviet negotiations in Geneva at an impasse for more than a year. “Zero” has clearly exhausted its propaganda appeal. Then, after testing the waters with his allies, Bush returned home with a rough idea for an “interim solution.” After several weeks of deliberation in Washington, it was approved and publicly outlined by President Reagan. The changed American approach pursued the old goal of blocking negotiations. Well, this goal was not difficult to achieve by refusing to count British and French weapons in the overall balance of medium-range nuclear forces in Europe.And here is Bush's new visit. The camouflage robes are now discarded. After his visit, London reported that both sides agreed on a “tough approach” to the missile issue. Chancellor Kohl, receiving the guest, put it this way: “If a miracle does not happen at the negotiations—and everything suggests that it will not happen—the deployment of missiles will be carried out.”Hoping for a miracle is an unusual position for a statesman. Kohl did not clarify what he meant. By way of guesswork, we offer two options. The United States, and at the same time its allies, take a constructive position at the Geneva negotiations, taking into account the realities of the existing situation, including the far from mythical British and French missiles actually aimed at the Soviet Union. If we take the current, frivolous approach of the Americans to negotiations, then this elementary realism, perhaps, would be a “miracle” on their part. Or, on the contrary, like a miracle, are the West expecting the Soviet Union to agree to an agreement that puts it in an unequal position and its security under direct threat? Most likely, this is the “miracle” that the German Chancellor had in mind, not without reason assuming that it “won’t happen.”I recently wrote that as November-December approaches, when the first Pershings and cruise missiles will be delivered and installed, the propaganda cover for this action is changing. In Williamsburg at the Western summit meeting, and then in Paris at the NATO Council session, they began to say, both in hints and in plain text: do not expect results in the negotiations before the missiles are deployed, and with American missiles deployed in positions, things will go better in Geneva . This is the latest stage in deceiving the public, begun by NATO's "dual solution" of December 1979. And now, after the “zero option”, after the “intermediate solution”, George Bush and his interlocutors in the NATO countries are even more cynically putting into circulation a new counterfeit coin, trying to pay for the doubts, anxieties and fears of Western Europeans.June 1983SECRETS IN PLACE FOR EVERYONEIn Washington, many, one might say, do not accept the Nicaraguan revolution in spirit. Is it any wonder that the events there, which coincided with the fourth anniversary of her victory, were by no means congratulatory in nature? On July 19, just on the day of the Nicaraguan holiday, the House of Representatives of the US Congress met for a secret (rare) meeting. The agenda included a report from the Special Intelligence Commission and a discussion of whether to continue funding efforts to overthrow the Nicaraguan government. Assistance to counter-revolutionaries through the CIA is also considered secret, although it has long been in the public eye.How do you like this illustration of American democracy? Elected representatives of one people ponder what to do with another people.And on July 18, President Reagan himself spoke in Hollywood. And although it was Hollywood in Florida, his speech was quite consistent with the spirit of that famous Hollywood in California. The American president presented himself as a zealous champion of the Nicaraguan revolution, but not the one that won four years ago, but the “genuine” one.Here it is appropriate to briefly recall what the 20th century meant for Nicaraguans. For a quarter of a century, Nicaragua was occupied by North American soldiers, and then for almost half a century the hated Somoza family sat as occupiers in their own country. And from the White House, from Reagan's predecessors, no objections were heard against the tyrannical regime or calls for a “genuine” revolution. And now the most conservative US president in the last half century has awarded the title of revolutionaries to the undead followers of the tyrant attacking Nicaragua from Honduras.If the success of a policy were determined by demagoguery alone, the Washington administration would have nothing to worry about. But the unexpected concentration of events dedicated to Nicaragua and the entire Central American problem suggests that concern is growing. Despite the feverish activity that unfolded immediately after Reagan moved into the White House, the American people do not believe that their “freedom” is threatened by a small country with a population almost 100 times smaller and an area more than 60 times smaller than the United States. Polls, including the most recent ones, show that the majority opposes US intervention in Nicaragua.The same sentiment is strong in Congress, especially in the House of Representatives. In general, there is a clear lack of public support within the United States for its rabidly militant policies in Central America.Of course, Washington's interventionism in Latin America causes an even greater reaction of rejection. Refusing to repeat North American prompters, they have a better understanding of the roots and nature of the Nicaraguan revolution, as well as where the true threat to the countries south of the Rio Grande comes from. The other day, members of the “Contadora group”—the presidents of Venezuela, Colombia, Mexico and Panama—met in the Mexican city of Cancun. The declaration they adopted outlined a series of measures for a political solution to the problems of Central America and issued a strong warning: “The use of force as an alternative to resolving the conflict will only worsen the situation in the region.”On behalf of the leadership of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega, speaking at a rally of 200 thousand people in Leon, dismissed the proposals of the “Contadora group” as positive. For his part, he put forward a number of initiatives, among them: to put an end to the military confrontation in Central America, in particular by immediately concluding a non-aggression pact between Honduras and Nicaragua; completely stop the supply of weapons to the warring parties in El Salvador; otka? to refuse military support to any anti-government forces in the region, etc. These are important initiatives that outline specific and real ways out of the crisis situation.How did Washington respond? Sending a second aircraft carrier formation to the shores of Nicaragua. The announcement that major US-Honduran military maneuvers will take place near the Nicaraguan border in August. According to Managua, up to 12 thousand counter-revolutionaries are already operating from the territory of Honduras against Nicaragua. But the White House and the Pentagon consider the page to be insufficient.Recently, a secret report of a special interdepartmental group prepared for a meeting of the US National Security Council held on July 8 was published. In his assessments and recommendations, he reveals, alas, no new secrets. “The situation in Central America is approaching a critical point” is the report’s conclusion. What about recommendations? They are aimed not at a political, but at a military solution. The continuation and intensification of subversive activities against Nicaragua is recommended. It is recommended to increase military assistance for the 1984 fiscal year to El Salvador from 86 million dollars to 120-140 million, to Honduras - from 41 million to 55-56 million, to Guatemala - from 10 to 18-20 million, to Costa Rica - from 2.2 to 7- 9 million.Against this background, the US President announced the creation of the so-called “national commission for Central America.” Henry Kissinger, a former Secretary of State who had long yearned for a prominent official or semi-official position, was appointed head of the commission.The White House has emphasized the bipartisan nature of the commission, bringing to mind another presidential commission, Brent Scowcroft's Strategic Weapons Commission, and the approach of 1984 and the election battles. The Scowcroft Commission was created when the House of Representatives failed the administration's request for initial appropriations for MX missiles last November. Following the commission's recommendations, Congress approved these appropriations in May. Reagan's Central America policy is currently failing on Capitol Hill, and he would like to pull it out and save it with a new "bipartisan" commission.In addition, Reagan would like to turn this commission into a kind of political lightning rod. She must deflect criticism from him of Democratic contenders for the White House.“An already bankrupt policy is now presented in a new package,” this is how Senator K. Dodd defined the meaning of Reagan’s maneuver. Columnist T. Wicker called it "laying the groundwork for unpopular policies."Well, new packaging will not change the substance, and the foundation cannot be strong under a policy if it is increasingly called bankrupt or unpopular.July 1983TRENCHES OF THE “NEW VIETNAM”For official representatives speaking to the press, a sense of humor does not harm, but a sense of proportion is simply necessary, in particular when, in the course of their duties, they have to gloss over reality and pass off black as white. On Tuesday, White House deputy press secretary Speke exposed a gaping lack of both humor and sense of proportion when he said the Reagan administration's planned major military maneuvers would "help ease tensions in Central America." It is worth recalling what the American “tension mitigation” forces look like and what they consist of.A naval force has been sent to the Pacific coast of Nicaragua, the core of which is the helicopter carrier Ranger. The eastern, Caribbean, coast of the Central American country, disliked by Washington, will be patrolled alternately and, together with other warships, by the powerful modernized battleship New Jersey and the aircraft carrier Coral Sea, which ten years ago stood in the Gulf of Tonkin, raising its planes to bomb Vietnam. And on land, in the north, it is planned to “soften tensions” around Nicaragua through unprecedentedly large-scale American-Honduran maneuvers. They will take place in August, and 5 thousand military personnel will take part in them from the US side.Nicaragua, with its 2.7 million inhabitants, is almost 100 times smaller in population than the United States (which does not stop American leaders from talking 100 times more about the “threat” from Nicaragua). So, if these two countries, as well as the upcoming maneuvers, were swapped, then 5 thousand American soldiers in Honduras on the border with Nicaragua would turn into about half a million Nicaraguans in Canada on the border with the United States. If we extend this fantastic analogy to include American naval measures to “soften tensions,” we would have dozens of hostile aircraft carriers and hundreds, if not thousands, of warships off the Pacific and Atlantic coasts of the United States.What would they say in Washington then? Probably the same thing they say in Managua now? The pincers of a naval blockade are being laid over Nicaragua from the west and east. In the north, forces of cynical political pressure could become forces of direct invasion at any moment. However, the forces of invasion, sabotage, and provocations, made up of Somosists thirsty for blood and revenge, are already operating under the leadership of CIA instructors. And these are considerable forces. According to Nicaraguan data, there are now about 12 thousand people in the bandit formations carrying out raids on Nicaragua from Honduras.They have been doing their hired counter-revolutionary job for a year now, but have not succeeded in the main thing - in trying to rock the revolutionary regime and deprive it of popular support. In Washington, of course, they would prefer to do the job through someone else's hands. They turned out to be short. And now the hands of the North Americans themselves are reaching out to the throat of the young Sandinista republic, reaching both from the sea and from the land. Recently, President Reagan has made it clear more than once that his administration is seeking the overthrow of the Nicaraguan government if it continues to refuse to dance to Washington's tune.Thus, in the “dead season” of the end of July, when state and interstate activity traditionally subsides, Washington rumbled with “gunboat diplomacy”, creating a crisis of unprecedented severity around a small country to which it has not been able to “pick up the keys” for two and a half years.The reliance on brutal military pressure, the threat of a naval blockade and armed invasion look especially provocative now, when both the members of the “Contadora group”, who authoritatively represent the sentiments of Latin America, and the Nicaraguan leadership speak out for a peaceful resolution of controversial issues. The Nicaraguans have put forward a number of important practical initiatives.These proposals, with goodwill on all sides, open up the possibility of a political settlement. But, obviously, President Reagan wants something else in Central America - a surgical operation to eliminate the source of sedition. Experienced American journalist J. Oaks reasonably writes in The New York Times: “Escalation of the arms race is the Reagan administration’s response to any complex political or diplomatic problem in any part of the world.”This answer does not suit most Americans. Washington's military moves in recent days have drawn a storm of criticism. The specter of a “new Vietnam”, which has always accompanied the Central American policy of the current administration, has come closer and is increasingly taking on real memorable features. The opposition in Congress appears to be on the verge of gaining the upper hand.But... Under the current president, they are proud that politics can be done not in agreement with, but contrary to the sentiments of the general public. Just in case, the administration is looking for ways to bypass Congress with its “power of the purse,” that is, the manager of loans and foreign aid. This is how Israel appeared on the scene as a supplier of weapons to Central American clients of the United States. As you can see, in both hemispheres there is a system of mutual favors in the relations between Reagan and Begin. Much has been written these days about how the “new Vietnam” threatens an acute crisis within NATO, since Western European allies do not approve of US militarism in Central America. Well, these assessments are not without foundation. But, on the other hand, we should not forget that in a number of large Western European capitals in recent months there has been a game of giveaway to American militarism - take the same question of the deployment of new American missiles. This game has its own logic, which can manifest itself in greater connivance than before by Western European governments even now, when it comes to saber-rattling in Central America...Last fall, a monument to the Americans who died in Vietnam was unveiled in Washington, a kind of giant trench, the wall of which is made of black marble slabs with the names of the dead. The new black memorial is located next to the white marble memorial to President Lincoln. I don’t know whether it was the intention of the creators of the monument to remind with this proximity that from greatness to infamy there are only a few steps. In any case, this is what you are thinking about now, when, neglecting the lessons of the recent past, official Washington is digging trenches for a “new Vietnam.”July 1983THROUGH KNOWLEDGE - TO UNDERSTANDINGAverell Harriman is a rich man, which is widely known in the United States, and not only there. The ignorant could verify this some time ago by reading that together with his wife Pamela, he donated $10 million to Columbia University in New York. Harriman was once the governor of New York, but in this case he acted as a former US ambassador to Moscow during the war years and military US-Soviet cooperation. Averell Harriman specially donated his 10 million to the Russian Institute at Columbia University, which is now called the Harriman Institute for the Advanced Study of the Soviet Union.The former governor and ambassador, a veteran of American political life, is concerned about the poor state of relations between our two countries. He believes, in particular, that the study of the Soviet Union in his country is extremely poor and that this contributes to the maintenance of bad relations.The gesture made in October 1982 attracted widespread attention not only to Columbia University, but generally to the problem of studying the Soviet Union, Soviet life and politics in the United States. The general opinion of American experts: the condition is critical. Paradoxically, it seems to be a fact that the level of knowledge about the Soviet Union among Americans is declining rather than increasing. And this is if we take not the public as a whole, but the number and quality of specialists. Here are some of the indicators. Since 1968, the number of students studying Russian in universities has decreased by 40 percent, and in secondary schools by more than 70 percent. Funds allocated by various private and government organizations for the study of the Soviet Union and the socialist countries of Eastern Europe have decreased by 70 percent.Rockefeller Foundation Assistant Director John Stremlow recently wrote in the Washington Post: “In its competition with the Soviet Union, the United States continues to act like a dinosaur. Although the nation willingly spends nearly $250 billion on defense, the number of graduates each year we graduate with the latest techniques to analyze Soviet foreign policy rarely exceeds seven or eight, and the number ofIn the Soviet Union, there are less than 30 people writing books and articles on these topics.”John Stremlow, in his position, knows the subject matter quite well. The Rockefeller Foundation is a major charitable organization with a very clear political bent. Concerned about growing American ignorance of the Soviet Union, the foundation recently held a competition among American academic institutions. 2 million dollars were raffled off to those who could prove that they would use it better than others for an in-depth study of “Soviet problems.” One million was won by the Garrimup Institute at Columbia University, the other was shared by two universities in California - Stanford and Berkeley. The renowned Harvard University has announced the launch of a campaign to raise $5 million to improve the activities of its Center for Russian Studies, created 35 years ago. Other facts can be cited that indicate the scope of the problem and the current attempts to solve it through the dollar.Now I’ll try to talk about this topic, touching not only dollars. Never in the America of the powerful, in America, which is usually called the ruling one, have they spoken so much about the “Soviet threat.” And now, it turns out, it’s been a long time since she had such gaping gaps in her knowledge of the country from which, as they say, the threat comes. What are the reasons for this paradox? There are many of them, ranging from the special American arrogance to American pragmatism. Arrogance comes from confidence in America's divine destiny: we are above everyone else, and everyone else only dreams of becoming like us, and therefore they should study us, not we them. Ignorance hurts your business, but it turns out that it helps your well-being. The less knowledge, the easier it is to declare the enemy the “focus of evil” and oneself the embodiment of divine providence. And in general, one cannot help but note a certain pattern: the further you move west across the United States, the more often you meet people of two categories - politicians ignorant of the rest of the world, and their friends from the nouveau riche millionaires. In this movement, you finally come to the “golden state” of California, from where people of the two categories mentioned sometimes move to Washington.From the heavens of arrogance, which, of course, is not characteristic of all Americans, even those who quickly got rich, let us now descend to the land of American pragmatism. He does not favor knowledge that does not bring dividends and does not pay for itself.In the first half of the 1970s, when détente promised rapid growth in trade and economic ties with the Soviet Union, the United States experienced an increase in practical interest in the other great power. But hopes did not come true, connections were strangled first by Carter and then by Reagan, and practical interest fell. But the fewer connections, the more tense the relationship and the stronger the connection of a special kind of common destiny in the nuclear missile age. The more dangerous is the paradox, which is expressed in two figures: in the United States there are fewer students (24 thousand) studying Russian than there are nuclear warheads stockpiled against the Soviet Union. The question, therefore, is: will the number of the latter decrease if the number of the former increases?In fact, what harvest will grow on the beer of “Sovietology”, now fertilized with Harriman and Rockefeller dollars? It would be the height of naivety to expect that American scientific centers will produce people sympathetic to the idea of socialism. We remember, for example, Zbigniew Brzezinski, who lived in the White House under President Carter, and the rabid expert on the Soviet Union, Richard Pipes, who served President Reagan.Averell Harriman and those who practically control his millions will not grow “reds” or “rosies” in American academic groves. In our divided world, knowledge does not yet provide magic recipes for overcoming differences, and sometimes it deepens them. But at least knowledge of the other side, the structure of her life, the motives of her behavior, the traditions of her people keeps her from attempts to remake her in her own image and likeness, dangerous and adventuristic attempts even when they are declared the will of God. Thus, knowledge provides a service to the idea and practice of peaceful coexistence.Understanding is through knowledge. We desperately need understanding of each other. And the path to it cannot possibly go through the cultivation of ignorance and lack of information that the Americans suddenly discovered among themselves.August 1983FATE OF A FRIENDHis life was cut short before his time, but now it looks like a complete story with a dramatic core. At the age of eighteen, almost a boy, Boris Strelnikov fought and was seriously wounded, studied at the Central Komsomol School 303, worked at Komsomolskaya Pravda and then spent a hundred days in Vietnam in the mid-50s. Then, for 15 years, in two sittings, he was a correspondent for Pravda in New York and Washington, and upon returning, after several years in Moscow, from Pravda, he went to London. It was not the young romantic wind of wanderings that drew him there, on his last business trip abroad, but not for everyone a retreat and only from the outside an enviable plan for international affairs.The London business trip did not last even a year and a half. One day, after a short trip home to Moscow, he was traveling by train to his place of work abroad. In Orsha the journey had to be interrupted. Did his aching heart tell him that Orsha, which had never been included in the routes of his thirty-year journalistic wanderings, would become their final destination? There he died in a local hospital...Born in a Siberian village, became famous for his essays and reports from New York, returned to work in London and died among his native snows in an unfamiliar Belarusian city. He was 56 years old, and his life will tell a lot to anyone who could look at it year after year, and then look at it all at once.Three and a half years have passed since his death and a year and a half since the book “With all my heart I believe...” was published by the Pravda publishing house. Boris stands there on the cover among some American expanses, either the Dakota prairies or the Arizona desert, a handsome and thoughtful man on the road. I received one copy of the book and kept meaning to write about it, and the longer it lay on the table, the sadder his gaze seemed. But I kept getting ready and putting it off. The nature of our profession - and our hustle. Either his own impressions of a new trip to America, then the Falklands crisis, Weinberger said something, Haig went somewhere (at that time we were still interested in his movements)... Forward, time! We chase the current day, achieving synchronicity in its reflection; we illuminate the freshest, most recent event, forgetting for its sake everything that is left behind. Even if the whole life of an extraordinary, famous representative of our hurrying profession is left behind. And Boris Strelnikov’s book continued to lie to the side, already under other books, and when I took it out with a feeling of guilt, his look was farewell.We met there in New York. He was five years older - in age and knowledge of America. I comprehended the truths that he had already comprehended. We have been friends for many years, and I know first-hand what he writes about in his book, “My mouth, why should I make excuses now.In addition to the bustle, another circumstance interfered. The newspaper does not give more than one and a half to two pages for a review about the newspaperman, about his own. What can one and a half or two of them say about a book that seems to sum up the literary summation of the life of a writer? Meanwhile, on the same newspaper page, we, internationalists, do not skimp on strangers, we write and talk about people, distant and sometimes random, about various high-profile figures - how many of them there were in the memory of each of us, flashed and disappeared without a trace - but it seemed as if the light had almost converged on them like a wedge. And here is a great and close man with all his unexpectedly short life, our correspondent flagship, our best artisan and his wonderful posthumously published book. This is not just a tribute to memory. Here, if you want, is an indicator of the seriousness of your attitude towards your own profession. And one and a half to two pages? Why? Our life is full of paradoxes, which have not ceased to be absurd because they have become familiar.But recently the same question about a review arose on a fundamentally different plane: “This is your sacred duty.” And the last two words struck me with their simple and immutable truth. A sacred duty is a duty that cannot be ignored and cannot be transferred to others.II with such persuasion, vanity recedes. I read Boris Strelnikov’s book, his Favorites, return with him to New York houses and streets, travel nearby to Tennessee, Kentucky and Michigan, see through his eyes dozens of people and through words and lines I also see him, alive, as I knew him ,—with my wife and children, with friends.What does he tell us, remaining to live in books? The first of Boris Strelnikov's lessons is the most difficult to learn. This is a purely individual talent lesson. The title of one of the sections of the book - “Pencil Sketch of New York” - indicates the main property of Strelnikov’s gift. He is a master of miniatures. The American part of the book contains about forty excellent verbal depictions of various human types and aspects of life. In the newspaper, with its needs and the topic of the day, the newspaperman Strelnikov squeezed the writer, but in his books the writer gained the upper hand. Before us are small stories of the artist of the word, which have already stood the test of time and have the right to a long life. They should be republished along with other works of original Russian classics on international themes. And here an old problem arises: international affairs specialists are homeless children in our literary economy, because they chug along purely in the department of politics, and not literature. Each of the living takes care of himself to his own extent, but who will bother the publishing houses about the departed?Boris Strelnikov never forgot that American life was unknown and invisible to his general reader. He wrote it visually, and it was easy for him. He had an excellent command of Russian speech and—a rare quality for an international journalist—protected its dignity from the onslaught of foreign words; It’s very difficult when you write about a foreign country and live there, when words and concepts of another life surround you on all sides. His taste was impeccable, something Chekhovian was visible in his sense of proportion, as well as in his softness, calmness, and balance. Strelnikov preferred soft humor to sarcasm, which is indispensable in denunciations and revelations, proving that humor also kills on the spot if the presence of power is felt behind it.He was a writer not only because he mastered words and knew how to interest the reader. He was a writer because he was tormented by a thirst to tell about what he saw and felt, and because a kind and wise heart beats in his books. He wanted understanding between people, and in his place as an international affairs specialist, this meant understanding between two peoples - Soviet and American.Strelnikov cannot be considered a typical international specialist. In his youth he was brave enough and went through the universities of war. His education was more national than international. Formulas never blocked him from living people, and newspapers and magazines from personal impressions, and the last book fully expresses this property of his. He flocked to ordinary people, whether in America, India or England, chose them as his heroes and interlocutors and felt out of place among noble, “big” people, even when he himself began to be classified as such.Of course, coverage of political events and phenomena, diplomatic, military-diplomatic and purely military actions occupies the main place and time in the work of our foreign correspondents, especially in the USA. Politics is our daily bread. Journalists, in one way or another, participate in the making of international politics. But it is important that the political kitchen does not turn into the only territory familiar to the correspondent in which he operates. Striving for a three-dimensional, rather than two-dimensional, vision of things, an international journalist must correlate politics with the everyday life of ordinary people, with their worries about their daily bread. This is one of the important lessons of Boris Strelnikov. In the common sense of the people, he found hope for better times and a cure for the tightening of politics and stubbornly refused to participate in the dehumanization competitions in which our ideological opponents overseas are trying to drag us into. His humanity was organically combined with the views of a communist and internationalist.A person lives where he works, but an international worker’s place of work is abroad. But the mind is one and the heart is one, belonging to the native land. For Boris Strelnikov, the circle of life was approaching a time when he was increasingly drawn to his roots. And he goes to a Siberian village near Minusinsk, where he spent his childhood, and recalls episodes of the war years. However, this native principle of his life was latently, one way or another, reflected when he wrote about abroad. He wrote about America, about Vietnam, about India, and in the depths of the text, like in the mysterious water of a well, his native land shimmered.Retelling the short story “The Three-Legged Horse” is as difficult as a painter’s canvas. New York life. American service. In various stores, the author makes preparations for his next trip to this distant and familiar country, and in the evening an order from his wife takes him to the supermarket, where he needs to buy “tenderizer” or “tenderizer” powder for meat. And there, in the American consumer paradise, he meets his neighbor Mrs. Grip, a gray-haired and still flirtatious old lady. Mrs. Green invites him to have a cup of coffee and at the same time once again demands from him an explanation as to why we, the Soviets, don’t have supermarkets like those in America—explanations “without politics.”However, nothing can be explained without politics, without history, without war, without memories. And the memories begin. Mrs. Green recalls her wartime hardships, when gas cards were introduced for cars and she could not buy chicken livers every day for her beloved cat who was sick.And Boris remembers. He remembers his father, a village teacher, and in peacetime he always wore tunics, tunics from the First World War, and civil war tunics. In 1942, near Kharkov, my father’s eyes were burned out by a shell, and he died two years after the Victory and was lying in a tunic in a coffin. Boris remembers... Memories suddenly take him far from the familiar and familiar and yet alien America.“Wait, Mrs. Green, I remembered something too. It was in the winter of 1942 near Mtsensk. I was a signalman in the 21st Special Mobile Group. Behind me I had a walkie-talkie, the then famous “6 PC”. I was looking for a repair shop, which was located somewhere in the forest. The frosty sunset was burning down. It was so cold that the month seemed like a piece of ice to me in the quickly fading turquoise sky. The snow creaked under my felt boots.At the edge of the forest something was black: either a hut or a haystack. I went there along the sled track, trying to put my feet behind the runner - it was easier to walk that way. I walked with my head down, crumbs from crackers sizzling in my pockets.Raising my head, I was stunned. What I thought was a hut or a stack of sep was a stack of corpses. These were our soldiers killed the day before. They haven't had time to bury them yet. They were lying on top of each other wearing only tunics, without earflaps, and barefoot. Mouths frozen in the last cry, eyes wide open, arms outstretched.One of them looked like me. It was as if I saw myself killed. It could have been me. Just as young and thin. Snow in my curly hair, like mine, a transparent ice crust on my face.Then I came to some burnt village. The chimneys silently rose their grief to the sky. Suddenly the cat darted away from me into the bushes, and it seemed to me that the beat of my heart reached a month.A horse stood leaning against the pipe, head down. I was glad to see her. There were three alive here: me, the cat and the horse. But the horse didn’t even move as I approached. She stood on three legs. Instead of the fourth one, there was a bloody stump sticking out. Her head almost touched the snowdrift. Tears rolled down the frosty face, leaving grooves from the eyes to the nostrils, glistening in the moonlight, one after another...”Memories are cut short. Mrs. Green brings him back from a winter night near Mtsensk to New York...Memories are cut short because life is cut short...Talent in the newspaper means recognition and fame at first, but in the end it means a cross and a difficult fate. Boris Strelnikov was eager to write about his country and his life path. To do this, it was probably necessary to leave the international affairs profession and from the newspaper to become a freelance writer. The moment of choice, however, was missed, and in a constant internal competition, the newspaperman in him again defeated the writer. He had come too far along the road of international journalism to change routes, and was too accustomed to working with live material for his essays and reports to find himself in analytical articles and commentaries, for which an influx of fresh direct impressions is not necessary. This would be a denial of yourself and your gift. He couldn't stop. For this live material, he again went on a long trip abroad - to London, and it turned out to be his last...In his years abroad, Boris Strelnikov never missed an opportunity to describe some tiny Moscow from the state of Tennessee, saying that in America there are less than a dozen namesakes of our capital. At least somehow connecting a foreign land with one’s native land is a legitimate and proven way to entice the reader, and he did not neglect enticement. II, in Scotland, shortly before his death, he also found Moscow and talked there with a powerful gray-haired old man, a worker.The old man told where Scottish Moscow came from, and then added:- We have a Volga. It's flowing right behind the bushes. True, you can jump over our Volga if you take a good run......Over the hills the lark forged its silver threads. The Volga gurgled behind the bushes.“And Russia is there,” the old man pointed to the east, “that way, behind the hills....”It's sad to read these lines. They are no longer attractive, but unspoken. Behind the abundance of ellipses is nostalgia, this secret illness that progresses over the years and the correspondent’s constant, although not allowed into the newspaper, companion. For too long Russia was there for him, behind the hills of seas and oceans.August 1983LEBANESE TRUCE AND AMERICAN GUNSOn the morning of September 26, another truce came into force in Lebanon. In the ensuing silence, there is an opportunity to reflect on the present day of Lebanon and what the coming day may have in store for it.Lebanese truces are deceptive and fragile: how many have there been?! And the new truce differs from the old ones in one more important feature. It reigned under the muzzles of American guns, which roared for three weeks in September, exploding the Lebanese soil with their shells and killing Lebanese who were disliked by the Americans, and at the same time the Lebanese who were simply subjected to it. Moreover, a truce reigned almost at the moment when the powerful American battleship New Jersey approached the shores of Lebanon. Its monstrous 16-inch guns, firing shells weighing one and a half tons, tripled the power of American naval artillery aimed at Lebanon.When the guns fall silent, the number of unfortunate victims of war stops. Therefore, the news of the truce is encouraging. In this case, the truce reached through the mediation of Saudi Arabia and Syria provides a chance for a political, not military, not bloody settlement of internal Lebanese problems. These problems consist of the need to restore the complex political, religious and other balance on which Lebanon rests and which is extremely difficult to maintain if, in addition, foreign forces begin to shake the balance to their advantage.In Lebanon, one might say, everyone is Arab, but they belong to different communities: Christian Maronites, Muslims - Shiites, Sunnis, Druze, etc., in total there are no less than 15 recognized communities. Religious differences mask political and economic differences, and this diversity is kept within the framework of a single state by the distribution of power between communities, which is legitimized by the Lebanese constitution.Israel has long played on internal Lebanese contradictions, encouraging and strengthening the Christian right. His invasion of Lebanon last year, his protracted occupation of a large part of Lebanese territory led not only to the withdrawal of Palestinian armed forces from the Lebanese south and from Beirut, but also to a general imbalance in favor of the right-wing Christian Phalangists, to the election of President Amin Gemayel, who to this group. The Druze in particular suffered. Under the patronage of the Israelis, the Christian right began to displace the Druze from their ancestral territory in the mountainous Chouf region, near Beirut. When Israeli units, redeploying, left the area in early September, the Druze, under the leadership of their leader Walid Jumblatt, decided to restore what had been lost. Thus began the latest armed conflict in Lebanon, and in it the place of the shooting Israelis was taken by the shooting Americans. We can say that the “strategic allies” have also changed roles: the Americans are pulling chestnuts out of the fire for the Israelis, who are protecting their soldiers and are therefore holed up across the Avali River. True, at the same time in Washington they do not forget about themselves.Now, with their weapons aside, rival Lebanese factions are preparing to resolve their differences - and delicate balances - at the negotiating table.While closely following attempts at settlement, we cannot, however, forget about the policies and actions of opponents of the unity, independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Arab country. The Lebanese crisis did not erupt in early September. And by no means all its causes can be eliminated even by a successful dialogue between the leaders of the National Salvation Front, the Lebanese Front and the Shiite Amal movement.Let us remember again about Israel. Having ushered in Begin's resignation and engaged in the formation of a new cabinet headed by the old "hawk" Shamir, Israel is temporarily absent from reports from Lebanon, but remains the primary source of Lebanese troubles. First, Israel physically holds a third of Lebanese territory. Secondly, he mentally influences the atmosphere of this country, keeping the whip of his troops ready both in the south and in the Bekaa Valley. Thirdly, legally Israel keeps Lebanon in the position of a semi-vassal, since the Lebanese-Israeli “peace agreement” remains in force, depriving Lebanon of the right to full control over its own territory and independence in foreign policy.Israel is pursuing a policy of fait accompli. The current main goal of Tel Aviv is to consolidate Lebanon in a semi-vassal position and, with this latest fait accompli, gradually increase pressure on Syria. Syria perfectly sees the Israeli trap and is therefore so irreconcilable with regard to the Lebanese-Israeli “peace agreement.”Finally, back to the Americans. A little over a year ago, there was only one “mediator” in Beirut representing the US President, the now-retired Philip Habib. Now there are 1200 “intermediaries”. They are in the uniform of the American Marine Corps. Unlike Habib, they prefer not shuttle, but sedentary “diplomacy”, having spent exactly a year in the Lebanese capital. And besides this, the aircraft carrier Eisenhower with its aircraft, and now the battleship New Jersey with its 16-inch guns, have been thrown into the delicate Lebanese balance. According to the agreement between the White House and the US Congress, they want to keep the American Marines in Lebanon for up to a year and a half.It sometimes happens that a teacher learns from his capable student. Let’s not argue who has primacy in this case, but the United States, following the Israeli expansionists - and in alliance with them - is also pursuing a policy of fait accompli in Lebanon, following the path of escalating its direct armed intervention.How long will the truce last under the guns of American guns and under the threat of Israeli tanks? How will the intra-Lebanese national dialogue in the name of “national reconciliation” end in this situation?October 1983A FEW QUESTIONS FOR THE PRESIDENT OF THE USARONALD REAGANMr. President, being a peak international journalist, I have written hundreds of articles, notes, correspondence, and essays, but I have never resorted to the genre of an open letter to the President of the United States. The genre is somewhat extravagant. I understand this well. As well as the fact that my letter, in some way a registered letter, delivered through a newspaper, most likely will not reach the addressee, and if it does, it will be written off as another exercise of the Soviet propagandist^ Why, in this case, did I still Am I writing it? A person who writes, willingly or unwillingly, searches for the best form for what he would like to express. So, in my search for a genre, I came to the conclusion that it is the letter with its special intonation of trust and direct appeal to a specific person that best suits my purpose.I am considered an Americanist because the United States is my main professional interest. At one time I worked as a correspondent for Izvestia in New York and Washington, I have been studying your country for more than 20 years, and for me you are the sixth American president. Life is first and foremost work. I readily admit that you do not know me, Mr. President, and due to my journalistic activities I have to constantly keep you in my field of attention. It’s funny to say, but I think about you, perhaps, no less than about my loved ones, especially since their fate to some extent depends on your behavior. Instead of thousands of my colleagues around the world, I am trying to explain the political and human phenomenon called Ronald Reagan.Lately, more often than usual, you have been addressing not only your fellow Americans, but also “fellow citizens around the world.” In this case, you and I are “fellow citizens”, and I can address you in response - from my rostrum. On the stage of world politics, where there is no main director and roles are not distributed, but rather sorted out, you are increasingly choosing the role of the supreme judge in matters of humanity and morality. I probably won’t be wrong if I say that in September your favorite word was the word civilization. You mention the norms of civilization and care about civilized order. An extremely important question. The alternative to peace is war. The alternative to civilization is savagery and the law of the jungle. Essentially these are the same alternative. There can be no peace in a world where the law of the jungle reigns instead of international law. And in ethical terms, addressed to the human person, civilization presupposes the superiority of reason over instincts, which sometimes awaken the beast and savage in man. Reflections on this emphasis of your speeches also prompted me to take up an open letter.Well, it provides concrete material both for you and for my notes - in abundance! - just gone, but not forgotten, not sunk into oblivion September 1983.Whether this is the finger of providence or someone else’s, we are touching on this controversial issue, but the day reminded us with prophetic power that we live in a furious world. Not even from the day of your first, but from the very first night. It was in the dead of night from August 31 to September 1, in the cold stratospheric silence over the island of Sakhalin, suddenly broken by the whistling of jet engines, that a meeting took place between two aircraft - a violator of Soviet airspace and an interceptor designed to stop such violations. It wasn't just the whistling of jet engines that split the silence. The flight of the intruder aircraft was stopped in exactly the same, alas, harsh way that, in extreme cases, the flights of intruder aircraft that behave like reconnaissance aircraft and do not obey interceptors are stopped. A harsh axiom of our time, when military people guard the world on the edge of their own land and not far from someone else’s, never forgetting for a second about the possibility of sabotage, provocations, and war. But... But along with the intruder plane, a cluster of human tragedies crashed into the ocean. Innocent people from different countries died because the intruder turned out to be a giant passenger Boeing 747 of a South Korean airline, which for some reason evaded the well-trodden international air route by as much as 500 kilometers.The night holds a secret. This time the mystery turned out to be longer than the first September night and the entire stormy month of September, and the answer to the original question is still shrouded in a veil of secrecy: how did it get there, this Boeing, with its perfect electronic equipment, eliminating the electronic possibility of getting lost?But one thing is not a secret. The night incident over Sakhalin is a consequence of modern international weather, which, Mr. President, you have actively and definitely shaped since January 1981, from the first days of moving into the White House. And now the whole sky is covered in thunderclouds of suspicion and hostility, and where there are thunderclouds, there is a possibility of a thunderstorm, there dazzling lightning, bursting out of the darkness, shows how thick and terrible the darkness is.And one more thing is not a secret, and, summing up the month of September that has passed from us, I think no one will dispute this. The level of hostility and suspicion has not decreased, but has jumped and increased sharply. It grew, although statesmanship dictated that a completely different lesson be drawn from what happened.You cannot bring back the dead; it will take not a month, but years and years for the pain of relatives and friends to subside. But if they were resurrected by a miracle, what would they tell us? Really - what? Would you say that you would never have flown on this flight 007 for anything in the world, that you would never have trusted the pilots who flew the ill-fated Boeing 747? Yes, they probably would have said that. And what else? Would they really, referring to their tragic experience, preach even greater suspicion and enmity, which, already set on fire by a fuse, are reaching towards the mountains of weapons, the most terrible in history - only it is not given to us to consider in the impenetrable future how long the cord is and how fast it runs there is fire on it and will they trample it before it’s too late?Would they really preach that, Mr. President? The people there were different, but a person, as they say, is not his own enemy. And if we spent September with disastrous results, if tensions mixed with mistrust, fear and outright hostility increased, then to whom do we owe this? Which international incident turned into the most acute international crisis in recent years? Who sensationally brought together the meaning of two words similar only in spelling - history and hysteria?Even the genre of writing, in the end, does not forbid calling a spade a spade. You turned what happened into an unprecedentedly acute political and propaganda confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union, while at the same time trying to give it a different, more acceptable color for the confrontation with the Soviet Union of the whole world. This was not just an accent, but a genuine leitmotif of your numerous speeches: that the entire world community condemns the Soviet Union, that the entire angry world is throwing stones at the Russians it rejected. One definition comes to mind that I would like to highlight: Hate Month. In your country, like in ours, there are no weeks or months of friendship with this or that people. But now your administration can add to its record a Herostratus discovery: from September you organized a genuine month of hatred towards the Soviet Union, towards the Soviet people. Are civility and inciting hatred towards another people compatible?The Month of Hate, unfortunately, was a success and was widespread. As a person who has lived for a long time in the United States, I know that public hysteria in your country comes with the speed and force of a hurricane, and then no one and nothing dares to resist it, then the timid mind raises its hands in the air, capitulating, albeit temporarily, to the chauvinistic instinct . And now the Congress, which has long doubted and resisted, instantly accepts your, Mr. President, program for creating MX intercontinental missiles, because the same hysteria has established an incomprehensible cause-and-effect relationship between the incident over Sakhalin and the acquisition of dangerous weapons of a first nuclear strike. “We must not allow ourselves to turn this incident into the foundation of a new mountain of weapons and militaristic demagoguery.” These are not your words, Mr. President. They belong to Congressman J. Crocket. In September it was a voice crying in the wilderness.Hysteria marches hand in hand with cheap politicking, and now two venerable governors of two large states - New York and New Jersey - are rushing to make their feasible contribution to the month of hatred, closing airports for the plane carrying the head of the Soviet delegation to the session of the UN General Assembly.Hatred is more intoxicating than alcohol - and in different states, different restaurateurs no longer drink, but drink Russian vodka, not forgetting, of course, about television cameramen and commercial advertising of their patriotism. Fun, but not the innocent kind.As for me, Mr. President, in the very center of this September hurricane, which should, as is customary in your country, be given a female name - Hysteria, I see one coupling. In the small village of Glencove on Long Island, where New Yorkers take a break from their city, a crowd of local residents, filled with the most destructive intentions, rushed - and broke through - into the territory of the residence of the permanent Soviet representative to the UN. Something was trampled, torn and broken, but this was not the furious eye of the typhoon. No, not in material damage, but in the fact that posters were flying above the heads of the crowd: “Kill the Russians!”This is the “capital punishment”—and the highest form of hatred.The crowd in Glencove was eager for lynching, or, in American, lynching. The crowd poured out its unbridled rage and hatred on the Russians, on the Soviets, on all of us; they are attacking their refusal to consider us full-fledged people, just like everyone else, to whom American racists traditionally justify reprisals against their black compatriots.You have not responded to the Glencove episode, Mr. President, but I am sure that you cannot support this wild call to kill Russians. As a person who personifies the highest power, you, of course, are against mob rule - the power of the crowd, trampling law and order. You cannot share this call for another reason. For a person in your position, this means war, a war that, not according to Glenn, but according to world standards in the nuclear missile age, is tantamount, among other things, to inevitable suicide. Your Secretary of Defense, Mr. Weinberger, does not favor the Russians, but he, too, when your uncontrollable fans demanded that you turn up the heat on sanctions, even to the point of severing diplomatic relations with Moscow, he reportedly threw up his hands: “Well, what are you doing?” , do you want us to declare war on them?!”And yet, if, in order to clarify the truth, we continue this painful conversation, another question arises: who incited the crowd that was ripe for lynching in Glencove - and not only there? Who fed this wild versionAbout cold-blooded terror about the premeditated destruction of peaceful people in the skies? Here we have to return to the question of your responsibility, Mr. President. The mentioned version was powerfully imposed on American - and world - public opinion by your own repeated statements. You stirred up horror and hatred with your qualification of what had happened, with all your epithets: “barbaric destruction”, “crime against humanity”, “the creation of a society that generally ignores individual rights and the value of human life.” Would you like me to remind you of your words? “The Russians are making it clear,” you said, “that yes, shooting down a plane - even if there are hundreds of innocent men, women and children on board, including infants - is part of their procedure... »The crowd at Glencove was well-versed as they marched towards the Soviet compound carrying signs: “Kill the Russians!”Did the American president know that the Soviet pilot did not know that there was a passenger plane in front of him? Information from your own intelligence services testifies: yes, the pilot did not know. It seems that you did not want this knowledge, even avoided it, because the truth interfered with your intentions. The worse, the better - that’s what answered them, because worse works better for your anti-communism, for the fiction of an “evil empire” and calls for a “crusade”, for continuous attempts to dehumanize, dehumanize Russians, Soviet people and the Soviet state in the eyes of the American and other peoples. The worse, the better - that’s the principle you acted on, although this principle pushes towards a catastrophe, which there is nothing Worse for all of us, “fellow citizens all over the world.”The world is large, contradictory and complex, and your responsibilities, Mr. President, are varied and difficult. But even in this world one should not neglect the high simplicity that wisdom chooses as a form of expression. The great poet Alexander Pushkin serves for us, Russians and non-Russians living in the Soviet Union, as a tuning fork by which the best in our multinational culture—and conscience itself—is tuned. Almost a century and a half ago, in his poetic testament, he said wisely and simply: “And for a long time I will be kind to the people because I awakened good feelings with my lyre...” Everyone here knows these words, from a young age.Not only the lyre, but also politics, in order to be amiable to the people and peoples, is called upon to awaken good feelings.And this is what you were doing in September. You sowed bad feelings - and immediately reaped the harvest, because hatred is more contagious than love and more commanding than love, it demands reciprocity. The relationship between us became even colder, even more bitter. You were not far from the truth when, in a recent radio address, you admitted that your portrait in some countries “looks rather gloomy.”Only one clarification - not a portrait, but a self-portrait. Statesmen paint their portraits with their own words and actions - in the whole gamut of their combinations and contrasts.Keeping hope for better times,Stanislav Kondrashov,political commentator for IzvestiaOctober 8, 1983UNCALLED WISDOMNovember 1983 marks 50 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the USSR and the USA. I will not anticipate an anniversary that does not look festive. But the approaching date provides a very, very legitimate reason for reflection. And I remembered this 50th anniversary, having recently read a lengthy article by an American who has been keeping his finger on the restless pulse of Soviet-American relations for 55 years.A man with such experience is George Kennan, a prominent historian and former diplomat. He accompanied the first US Ambassador William Bullitt when he presented his credentials to M.I. Kalinin, in the 30s and 40s he worked at the American Embassy in Moscow, and in the early 50s he himself served as ambassador. If we add that his great-uncle, also George Kennan, traveled around Russia in the last century and wrote a well-known book about Siberia, then it turns out that the Kennan family has a kind of stable tradition: they know a lot and think a lot about our country and, of course, , about our two countries in their relations with each other.George Kennan, especially in recent years, is often quoted in the Soviet press as a sober American. But I think that this does not diminish the significance of his article in the monthly New Yorker, entitled “Reflections.”From the very beginning, we must make a reservation: Kennan does not have any sympathy for our system, but his thoughts are valuable to us for their sobriety and sense of responsibility. One can object to him when he classifies the problems of “ideological conflict” that divided us as “problems of the past.” One can agree with Kennan when he sees the current “common interests” of the two countries in preserving peace, and counts, for example, environmental protection among the common “problems of the future” (arising from the present). The dynamics of Soviet-American relations appear before him as a motley picture, in which there is much for and much against. He realistically believes that this picture “leaves no room for unjustifiably rosy hopes or for hypocritical, feigned assurances of friendship.” For about 65 years, Americans have lived in peace with the Soviet Union - this is a plus, as Kennan notes. But what kind of peace is this if, in his words, “the Soviet Union is treated as if, on the one hand, we are at peace with it, and on the other, in a state of war”?What prospects are open to this knowledgeable man at the age of a patriarch? Is there, as they say, positive pathos in his thoughts? Yes, I have. Here are his words: “It seems to me that I understand as well as anyone else the difficulties associated with the development of these relationships. However, not once in all 55 years have I lost confidence in their constructive potential. Despite all their historical and ideological differences, our two peoples - Russians and Americans - complement each other. They need each other, they can enrich each other, working together - with the necessary foresight and restraint - they can do more than any the other two countries, to ensure peace on the planet.”What optimistic words! Isn't this positive pathos?! But in our age, the thoughts of an intelligent person, as you might guess, cannot be filled with serene, rosy optimism. George Kennan is deeply troubled. In recent years, he has repeatedly warned about a “cloud that brings danger,” about the growing threat of nuclear war. Now his anxiety is even deeper, because, according to his definition, the current state of Soviet-American relations “cannot be called anything other than nightmarish and dangerous.”What are the reasons? We can imagine them well without Kennan. And yet, it is interesting which of them are highlighted by an experienced American who knows what is in the soul of the current leaders of America. First of all, stupid hostility towards the Soviet Union, which excludes the possibility of learning lessons from the past. The American ruling class for 16 years, until 1933, did not recognize the existence of the Soviet state, believing that it would perish from this record-breaking stubbornness of non-recognition. The Soviet state did not disappear, they recognized us, but... But even 50 years after recognition, the hopes of American ultra-conservatives that communism would still disappear did not disappear. Now they are in power. Ronald Reagan makes no secret and spares no effort to prove that time—or, at least, politics—can move backwards, back to the 50s, when John Foster Dulles also dreamed of sending communism to the “ashes of history.”According to Kennan, the current approach of Washington politicians to relations with the Soviet Union is completely militarized, permeated with “nuclear delusions” and their preservation does not bode well. “At the end of our current path leading to limitless military confrontation,” he writes, “there is nothing in sight but collapse and horror.”Is there another way out? You need to fight for it, you need to believe in it, and it is this faith and, I repeat, a sense of responsibility that makes the old man take up his pen again and again. This solution is simple (in words) and incredibly complex (in practice). Washington must seriously and irrevocably agree with the principles of peaceful coexistence, and for this to see the modern world in its true light and overcome its anti-communist blindness. Kennan refuses to be swayed by tales of a “Soviet threat.” Highlighting encouraging elements in the “motley picture,” he writes: “The most important are the numerous and continuing indications that the Soviet leadership, no matter how difficult its relations with the West, is not seeking to unleash a major war, that it is seriously interested in preventing such a war and what if it is before? such a possibility is presented, it will go far enough with us to avoid it.”In other words, the American, who has been studying the Soviet Union for 55 years, is convinced that Moscow is ready to go its half way in the name of lasting peace between our peoples and on planet Earth in general. We know this very well - even without him. But the fact is that Kennan’s advice and assessments are addressed to the American side, official Washington. And there, alas, they don’t want to know them, because they don’t want to go their half way.Kennan's reflections are distinguished by political wisdom; unfortunately, with political wisdom, as with everyday wisdom, one disappointing thing happens at times: It remains unclaimed by those for whom it is intended.October 1983SEEING OUT CLARKUntil recently, William Clark was considered the number two man in the Washington hierarchy of power. But then man number one, Ronald Reagan, moved William Clark from the post of assistant to the president for national security to the post of secretary of the interior. How did he become? Not only this question arose after Clark, having removed the commemorative Colt of his beloved sheriff grandfather from the wall, left the White House.In the United States, the Department of the Interior is in charge not of protecting public order, but of protecting the environment, and so lovers of nature and its resources are now anxiously asking each other what kind of trouble the sheriff’s grandson might mess up in American national parks. On the other hand, American allies in Western Europe are reported to be vaguely relieved to have seen off the most zealous advocate of hard-line politics and hope that there will now be less confusion in international affairs. In the same direction, there is speculation that Secretary of State George Shultz, whom Clark has recently pushed into the background, will finally take the reins of American foreign policy into his more experienced hands.And, naturally, Robert MacFarlane, appointed to replace Clark, came into the spotlight. Previously, the post of assistant to the president for national security was occupied by more professors of international relations - Rostow, Kissinger, Brzezinski. Under Nixon and Ford, however, generals of the political type began to intervene - Keig, Scowcroft. The current president has his third assistant in less than three years: political scientist Richard Allep, who scandalously suffered a bribe (Japanese watch), was replaced by Californian judge William Clark, and now it’s the turn of a 46-year-old retired Marine colonel. Robert MacFarlane is no stranger to the White House, or to the State Department. He is considered a professional, seeing this as a plus of competence and discretion. Views are conservative, in keeping with the political environment. But, unlike Clark, MacFarlane is not listed as a friend of the president and is not part of the presidential “political family.” According to many observers, this reduces his weight in the White House compared to his predecessor.These are current estimates. Experience teaches that they should be used with caution when predicting the future. The post of Assistant to the President for National Security is extremely important and has “organic” political potential. Let me remind you that in the battles for power and influence on the president, which go on day and night in the Washington corridors, Kissinger under Nixon defeated Secretary of State Rogers and then became Secretary of State himself. Under Carter, the hawkish Brzezinski defeated the more moderate Secretary of State Vance. What happened to the speculation in early 1982, when William Clark was appointed National Security Assistant? It was then believed that he recognized the primary role of Secretary of State Haig, for whom he worked as first deputy for a year. But only six months passed, and with the active participation of Clark, Haig was essentially expelled from the Reagan administration. And a year later, just last summer, Clark, with his only two years of international “education,” seemed to have triumphed over the new Secretary of State, Shultz. By all accounts, it was Clark who had the decisive voice in the three main areas of American foreign policy - relations with the Soviet Union, the Middle East and Central America.In general, in the light of existing experience, I would not undertake to predict with confidence MacFarlane's political future. His new position provides a unique opportunity for access to the President and close working contact with him.Environmentalists want to take Clark to task on Capitol Hill when the Senate considers his confirmation as Interior secretary. But in the end, the US Secretary of the Interior is entirely a US business. While everything is fresh in memory, let us once again remember Clark International and, using his example, consider the mechanism of policy making under Ron al-De Reagan.At one time, Clark was expelled due to poor performance from two law schools and failed to pass the bar exam, but this did not prevent the Californian Governor Leigan from appointing his faithful colleague to the California Supreme Court. In early 1981, during a hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Clark received a "C-minus" from Senator Biden and a very unflattering assessment from Senator Glenn, one of the current Democratic contenders for the presidency. J Lepi said: "In my years here in the Senate, I have never seen such ignorance of foreign policy." Other senators were also far from happy. But that didn't stop Clark, a close friend of the president, from becoming Principal Deputy Secretary of State, Reagan's eyes and ears at the State Department.Clark did not need experience and knowledge, because his main slogan, which gained the support and gratitude of the president’s ultra-conservative supporters, was this: “Let Reagan be Reagan!” With this creed, he felt very comfortable and confident in the office of the President's assistant for national security: it was knowledge and experience that would prevent Reagan from being Reagan.Many in the United States were confused by this alliance, which was fraught with global danger. The Washington Post saw "contempt for public affairs" in Clark's very acceptance of strategic positions. The newspaper wrote: “If, say, your neighbor is a plumber, then you will not invite him to perform a neurosurgical operation on your child.” The Boston Globe quoted an unnamed expert as saying: “With a president who also lacks sufficient knowledge, a situation arises that leaves much to be desired. Clark's instincts reinforce those of the President, with both unwilling to take into account any sober considerations." Columnist James Reston put the problem succinctly and powerfully: "It's a case of the blind leading the blind."And what? And it is no coincidence that in the American bourgeois-democratic republic they talk about the “imperial presidency.” The term originated under Nixon: he fought the Vietnam War despite the opposition of Congress and the people.Watergate stopped this process, but now it seems that tendencies towards autocratic rule are again making themselves felt. They feed on arrogance and presumption of power. They give birth to American Mitrofanushek of the late 20th century. That one, Fopvizinsky, two centuries ago, did not see the need for geography, since there are cab drivers. But today's Americans don't need knowledge if they have power. But where will the force take it if it is driven by the blind?Clark's sudden descent from the pinnacle of Washington power is most often explained by two kinds of pressure; firstly, from his rivals in the White House, other people close to Reagan - Deaver and Baker; secondly, from the work itself, which the former Californian was tired of. judge. The explanation seems too simple, but I am ready to see in it the same logic of the “imperial presidency”, in which instincts take precedence over reason, and personal considerations over state ones. However, personal considerations in this case may include the upcoming election year. The "Imperial Presidency" must renew its mandate with the mass voter in the face of a difficult battle with candidates from the other party. In such a fight, Mitrofanushka, moreover, with a Colt on the wall, does not necessarily count as an asset for a person seeking re-election.October 1983GRENADA LESSON FOR WESTERN EUROPEOf the Western European leaders, Margaret Thatcher is politically closest to American President Ronald Reagan, closer even than another conservative, German Chancellor Helmut Kohl. She was the only one the US leadership consulted before the invasion of Grenada - and acted contrary to her advice, which gave the Labor opposition a reason to criticize the Prime Minister and the nature of Anglo-American relations in general.But that’s not what we’re talking about now. How Margaret Thatcher herself responded to American aggression in Grenada and how she assessed the “justifications” for it coming from the lips of an overseas political friend, ally and senior partner. Very critically. “If it comes down to the proclamation of a new law according to which the United States is obliged to invade the territory of communist countries, then we are facing truly terrible wars in the world,” Thatcher said, speaking on a BBC radio program.Let’s not argue about the loose terminology adopted among conservatives, according to which Grenada was included in the number of “communist countries.” Let us also leave aside the moment of resentment of a person who was listened to but not listened to. Let's focus better on the essence of the dark prophecy. Projecting into the future the logic of unceremonious force that brought President Reagan to Grenada, Prime Minister Thatcher saw the prospect of “truly terrible wars.” The British associate of the US President is not at all delighted with this prospect.At the official level, other Western European allies of the United States have expressed varying degrees of disapproval. In Paris they came out with sharp criticism. The Bonn policy is one of the pillars on which NATO's plan to deploy American missiles in Western Europe rests. The greatest praise for American firmness is heard in today's official Bonn. But in the case of Grenada, they also preferred to distance themselves from Washington, saying that the German government was not informed in advance, and if it had been informed, it would have spoken out against it. (I’m talking only about the reaction of official circles. As for the general public, it can be said that it is clearly protesting.)The modern world is organized according to a system of communicating vessels. The voltage level from one place is instantly transmitted to another. It is difficult to say how carefully Reagan and his aides calculated the consequences of their action, but the American Marines in Grenada raised the issue of American missiles in Western Europe. Once again and with even greater acuteness, it aroused doubts: can the United States, its leaders, and its policies be trusted? To trust in the situation that we are examining means to entrust your life and destiny to the Americans. After all, Western Europe, represented by governments that agree to the deployment of American nuclear missiles on the territory of their countries, is essentially withdrawing itself from deciding questions of its own destiny. Its leaders decided and, alas, decided only the question of inviting American missiles, and the question of whether to use them against the Soviet Union (and thereby bring a retaliatory nuclear strike on Western Europe) is decided by the Americans - and only Americans.While not approving of US actions in Grepad, Thatcher, Kohl or Mitterrand remain in their previous positions as supporters of the deployment of American missiles, but the subtext of their criticism is precisely the question of general trust in Ronald Reagan's America. Will American missiles “work” to enhance security or, on the contrary, to increase the danger for Western Europe?If, according to the “new law” of permissiveness, Reagan would not be tempted to invade the territory of another country, which he, in his rampant anti-communism, classified as “communist,” then where is the guarantee that in emergency circumstances he will not be tempted to use a preemptive first-strike weapon against the Soviet Union in the form Pershings stationed in West Germany? Where is the guarantee that Reagan's America will not use this advantage to get "winning" first points in a nuclear war - at the expense of its allies? For Western Europe, this would be “a truly terrible war.”The story of Grenada undercuts the already shaky justification of Western European lawyers for Pershings and cruise missiles. With one variation or another, this argument is repeated again and again, and most recently Chancellor Kohl formulated it in the following words: “If our readiness for defense prevents an attack, that is, a war, it is not only morally justifiable, but it is an urgent necessity.” More specifically: if there are no American missiles (“readiness for defense,” according to Kohl), it will be more difficult to prevent a Soviet “attack” with missiles.This argument is based not on facts, but on an interpretation of the intentions of the two great powers, and the picture appears simplistically black and white. The Soviet Union is credited with a dark intention to attack Germany, although experience itself proves the absolute falsity of such an interpretation. As for the United States, they are higher in this picture and beyond any suspicion, their intentions are dove-like and pure, and their thoughts do not go beyond the selfless “nuclear defense” of Western Europe. Actually, the transfer of the fate of Western Europe into the hands of the Americans and the incomprehensible fact that Western European leaders, like the biblical Pilate, wash their hands of the life or death of their own countries are based on such an idyllic idea of Washington’s intentions. American leaders are trusted more than themselves. According to this logic, it would never even occur to the Americans, in their own interests and contrary to the interests of Western Europe, to use the strategic advantage that a first-strike weapon gives them, reaching important targets on Soviet territory in 8-10 minutes.Let's return to Grenada. Reagan's behavior dealt a very serious blow to the naive theory of purity and dovish purity of American intentions. Using a practical example and practical experience, it has been proven how the United States can act in a situation that it considers an emergency and when it is solving some military-political problem in its own interests. They forget about their allies. Is it then possible to rule out an adventure - in its missile version - on the European continent? Is it possible to divide the political thinking of an adventurer into two halves, one of which harbors reckless plans, and the other sober and prudent?With these questions, Thatcher, Kohl and others do not risk publicly appearing before their people now, even when they criticize American aggression against Grenada. They avoid open and explicit discussion of the Grenada lesson for Western Europe. They do not want to admit out loud that Reagan's behavior proves the credibility and validity of Soviet fears in connection with American nuclear missiles on the European continent.Finally, there is another important side to the Grenadian story that has puzzled Washington’s allies. An American president, especially one of such an imperial and chauvinistic bent as Reagan, when contemplating adventurous actions, if he is able to look back at anyone, it is only at the Americans, at his own people. Experience shows that Americans are easier than Europeans to succumb to the social hysteria required by the imperialists. And polls conducted after the invasion of Grenada indicate that while in Western Europe this action caused general disapproval and criticism, in the United States two-thirds of Americans supported their president (at least at first). This is a very significant touch. What public restraint will be placed on him if, by inciting and using chauvinistic passions, he will not be afraid next time to bring the prospect of “terrible wars” closer for the sake of the imperially understood “vital interests” of America?November 1983        PERMISSIVENESS, ' -4 і » • * 1 » ; z і *        ?        • . •In our everyday life, we know well what word to use to describe a person who freely turns to facts, turns the truth on its head, or—which doesn’t make it any easier—turns it inside out. Well, what if this life is not ordinary, but political, and this person is a private person, but an official? And if we are not talking about individual acrobatic exercises with truth, but about the principle and system, about the firm conviction that the most comfortable and best position for truth is to stand not on your feet, but on your head. What to do then? And what would you like to call this official?Let's call him by his position - President of the United States of America. And let’s move on to examples, especially since there are a dime a dozen of them, especially recently, when the administration of Ronald Reagan, with the man who headed it and gave it its name, celebrated a thousand days in power and, in connection with this, was busy promoting its achievements.Let's start with the president's recent interview with UPI columnist Donald Lambro. The interview did not last that long - 35 minutes. But how much does it take to turn the truth upside down? In half an hour, the president succeeded twice, and on the biggest issue of the arms race and arms control.First, the president said that if he, Reagan, had not held the Russians together in the Geneva talks, "the Soviet Union would have been delighted if it could continue the arms race alone." Secondly, he said the following: “Only the world community forced the Russians to enter into these negotiations. They don’t risk standing aside from this.”If the same scale of disregard for the truth were allowed by a private person in our everyday life, then, without passing by, we could somewhat rudely, but quite reasonably, advise him: lie, but know when to stop. But the president would not dare say such a thing, even if he does not know the limits. The tongue will not turn, but what then to do with the truth? After all, truth, when it concerns the most fundamental facts of international life, is more valuable than politeness. And everyone remembers the facts, and it won’t be difficult to recall them. So, from Ronald Reagan’s statement it follows that only the international community led the reluctant Russians to Geneva, where the Americans were tired of waiting for nothing at the negotiating table. False statement. Quite the opposite was the case.Ronald Reagan came to power on January 20, 1981, but only ten months later, on November 30, 1981, Soviet-American negotiations on medium-range nuclear weapons in Europe resumed in Geneva. And these ten months of delay are entirely on the conscience of Washington, because only in November 1981 the American president expressed consent to negotiations (while putting forward that same “bullet option” that, with various intermediate variations, is still blocking the agreement). And the role of the world community, primarily Western European, mentioned by the president, then was precisely to force the Americans to meet with the Russians in Geneva through the grandiose anti-nuclear demonstrations in the fall of 1981. This is what truth looks like standing on its feet.But perhaps the president, speaking about pressure from the world community, is referring to other Geneva negotiations between the USA and the USSR - on the limitation and reduction of strategic weapons. But even here the truth is in plain sight, and it will not be possible to turn it around. Yes, these SALT negotiations began in June 1982, almost a year and a half after Ronald Reagan entered the White House. But again, it was not the Russians, but the Americans who resisted all this time. The American president, having derailed the fruits of the previous seven-year Soviet-American labor by removing the question of ratification by the American Senate of the SALT II Treaty, signed by his predecessor, only in May 1982 agreed - anew - to begin negotiations on strategic weapons. He agreed under pressure from his allies and the world community, primarily the American one: in the spring of 1982, a mass movement to freeze the nuclear arsenals of the two powers spread like wildfire in the United States.If the president has forgotten, then we can remind him that he stubbornly remained silent on the issue of SALT until May 1982, before his speech in Eureka. And when he was once pressed, he frankly explained the delay tactics by measuring, as he put it, “to conduct more realistic negotiations, taking into account what we can threaten them with.” “To them” means to us. “Threaten” - with new strategic weapon systems. The administration of Ronald Reagan was and is engaged in the development of military programs and pushing them through Congress - before Geneva and during Geneva. This is now a popular word in Washington - “flexibility”. Previously, they didn’t know him, they only talked about cruelty, about the “position of strength.”The reader will ask: why bring these well-known facts, even if the person from the White House has once again distorted them? You can't say hello to anyone who sneezes, but the facts speak for themselves, no matter what new nonsense the American president may make about the Soviet Union. Right. But, unfortunately, wisdom about the facts speaking for themselves does not improve the state of affairs in the world. And I gave two non-new examples not in order to restore the truth or to shame the one who turns it on its head. What world does the American president live in? - that's the question. Why does he so casually shuffle the realities of international life in his statements? It’s not a matter of forgetfulness - this sin can be easily eliminated with the help of helpers if desired. And not even in free use of well-known truths. The point is a way of thinking that allows all this easily and naturally. If the facts speak for themselves, against us, then so much the worse for the facts—this is the way of thinking. All the worse for the facts if they do not fit into the long-standing and strong pattern of ideas about the Soviet Union, if they do not work on the principle of an organically hostile attitude towards the Soviet Union. This is the way of thinking, and from it flows a way of acting that is increasingly alarming to all of us.The American president's defiant independence from facts was on full display at a press conference on October 19, dedicated to the thousand days of his administration.Again he talked about the constantly arming Russians and the myopically disarming (before Reagan) Americans and that it was these “scissors” that doomed all the US-Soviet arms control negotiations that took place (before Reagan) to failure. Here's a typical Reagan: “I know that the history of negotiations in the past has been a history of very long negotiations. But note that some negotiations in the past may have taken so long because the longer the Russians sat at the table, the more we unilaterally disarmed. And they came to the conclusion that they just need to wait, and they will be able to achieve what they want. Now we no longer behave like that. We are arming ourselves."“We are arming ourselves”... But Reagan’s predecessors were by no means disarmamentists. One of the knowledgeable Americans, the director of the influential New York Council on Foreign Relations, Elton Fry, recently recalled in the Washington Post newspaper that since 1968, the “disarmamentists” living in the White House have more than doubled the total arsenal of American strategic warheads - from 4 thousand up to approximately 10 thousand pieces.Elton Fry's article is titled "Strategic Myths Mislead Reagan." He is referring to the myths of American "hawks" about the United States' nuclear missile gap. The author expresses concern that the president and his closest associates, who do not have sufficient experience, are “constantly misinformed on key issues of defense policy.” He concludes: "Ronald Reagan fell victim to his administration's penchant for making claims that turn out to be untrue."Wanting to keep hope alive, Elton Fry downplays the problem and spares Ronald Reagan too much. No, in our opinion, the American president was not a victim of disinformers. He became their leader because this kind of disinformation, as already said, suits his way of thinking and justifies his way of acting. As for the history of Soviet-American negotiations on arms control, which Ronald Reagan tried to delve into, it testifies: while negotiating, the American side never forgot about its strategic needs and new military programs, and never “unilaterally disarmed” . We can take information, for example, from Henry Kissinger, who, under Presidents Nixon and Ford from January 1969 to January 1977, stood at the helm of the American government. In his memoirs, The White House Years, Kissinger recounts the history of the development and conclusion in 1972 of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and the Interim Agreement on Certain Measures for the Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms between the United States and the USSR. Then he writes: “During the year immediately following the SALT agreement, we began a number of new strategic programs to overcome our gap: the development of the B-1 bomber, MX missiles, cruise missiles and the Trident missile-submarine system.” In a word, events took such a turn that it was time to listen to the judgment of one senator, who once told me that, from a financial point of view, we cannot afford to conclude another SALT agreement if it leads to the same increase in our strategic budget.” .This is how things stood (before Reagan) with American “unilateral disarmament.” But everything is relative. And the dark joke of the unnamed senator no longer holds true under Reagan, since it is the absence of new and more comprehensive agreements on the limitation and reduction of strategic arms that creates truly unprecedented opportunities for increasing the American strategic budget. This is what the current administration is using, declaring: “We are arming ourselves.”Violence against facts and truth is only part of the picture. And not the most important part.. During the current president’s tenure in power, with various shuffles in the Washington hierarchy, with changes in the Secretary of State and presidential aides for national security, debates have flared up more than once about what is more in Ronald Reagan - an “ideologist”, a shackled into the armor of anti-communism, or a pragmatist who takes into account the realities of the surrounding world. Not without success, he himself proved that there was no room for illusions in his assessments. To briefly formulate the essence of the problem, the American president denies the right to exist for the socialist system (believing that it belongs in the “ashes of history”), and, therefore, he, in principle, denies the peaceful coexistence of the two systems.Reading the report on Reagan’s twentieth anniversary press conference, one recalls the first, which took place at the end of January 1981, when the new administration had not only its first thousand days ahead, but also its traditionally celebrated first hundred days. It's hard to forget her. It immediately set relations with the Soviet Union in a defiantly harsh tone of hostility, hostility, and confrontation. The American president did not extend his hand for the sake of a common goal - peace on earth, but threw a stone - and what a stone! - towards another nuclear missile power. He attacked us with deliberately insulting attacks, without burdening himself with evidence, asserting that it was impossible to deal with communists because they could lie and deceive, did not follow the principles of generally accepted morality and did not honor the agreements reached. Much was written then about the cold winds coming out of Washington, and these were essentially the winds of a renewed Cold War.And so Ronald Reagan's thousand days in the White House have passed, during which time he has provided the world with ample evidence that the accusations he has made against the other side should rightly be corrected at his present address on Pepsivania Avenue. It is he who unceremoniously treats the truth and preaches the principle of permissiveness in international life. This was expressed in the most naked and cynical form at the same press conference we were discussing. Never before have such praises been sung for the CIA and the secret activities of the American government in general. The President said: “I think that covert operations are an integral part of the government, part of its responsibilities.” And even more scathingly: “I do believe that a country that believes its interests are best served by conducting covert activities has the right to engage in such activities.”The specific motive was the CIA's secret war against the Nicaraguan government, but of course Reagan went beyond his Central American policy. He formulated a whole program. He has, in principle, placed the non-existent right of covert subversion above international law. Where international law ties the hands of American leaders, restricts their freedom of action, where Washington’s interests, to use the president’s words, “are best ensured by conducting secret activities,” there Ronald Reagan proclaims his “right” to release his intelligence services, his knights into the arena cloak and dagger, international terrorists on the staff of the American state.And from secret to obvious is one step. This can be seen in the example of Nicaragua, where the CIA’s extensive subversive operations against the Sandinista government have long been an open secret. And one more step - to aircraft carriers and marine battalions, to direct armed intervention in Lebanon, to open, unprovoked aggression against Grenada. The takeover of the Caribbean island nation is a demonstration and, to date, the culmination of Washington's power politics. From the imperialist way of thinking it moves to practical actions that bring suffering and bloodshed to other peoples (and the American people) and increase the threat of a major catastrophic war. Appetite comes with eating. The lesson from Grenada is that it is in the interests of all nations to curb this Reaganite appetite before it is too late.October 1983SHOOTING POLITICSIt is difficult to imagine a more peaceful person than Anton Pavlovich Chekhov. He didn’t fight, didn’t serve, didn’t write about the war, and the officers in his plays are just intellectuals in greatcoats. He had no particular interest in politics, but one of his famous statements is remembered now, when we see off 1983 in an atmosphere of dramatically increased tension.According to Chekhov, the gun that appeared on stage in the first act must certainly fire in the last. This statement has become commonplace in relation to the laws of drama. But good dramas develop according to the laws of life, and life these days is oversaturated with guns that shoot. In general, the past year has brought a lot of evidence that Chekhov also grasped some patterns of international politics.An American “gun” in the form of the battleship New Jersey appeared on the Middle Eastern scene at the end of September of this year. This was his first act. And for more than two months the silent silhouette of the battleship loomed off the Lebanese coast near Beirut - for the sake of warning, as a demonstration of the flag. In December, its main caliber guns, as we saw on our television screens, began to spew fire. The 16-inch gun of Reagan's Middle East policy has fired. Without waiting for the last act, which is undoubtedly ahead.US Marines were sent to Lebanon last fall. The American president, reassuring his compatriots, who, like the shadow of Hamlet’s father, is still haunted by the ghost of Vietnam, gave categorical assurances that the days of her stay there were strictly numbered and that there could be no question of the participation of American soldiers in any hostilities. Was the president insincere or simply frivolous? Either he did not take into account the harsh logic of life, or he hid the unseemly goals of his policy? One way or another, Anton Chekhov looks more perspicacious than Ronald Reagan. The Marine Corps “gun” doesn’t hang idly on the wall either. And it has been shooting since the beginning of September.And now American representatives are making other statements - that she cannot help but shoot. That their soldiers in Beirut and near Beirut shoot only in self-defense. And these statements are insincere or frivolous, designed for simpletons or fools. For a person in his right mind, sitting on an anthill in the forest, cannot hope for peace and a state of philosophical contemplation of his surroundings. The Americans got involved in Lebanese internal affairs, set out to change everything there in their own way, and are now counting their losses. As far as I remember, they didn't lose a single person in Lebanon last year. There are about three hundred in this one. As always, in the spirit of ineradicable supermanship, they scrupulously count only their losses, not noticing or downplaying the death, disaster and grief that they, foreigners, brought to yet another people.But we must talk not only about a shooting battleship or shooting marines. It seems that, summing up the outgoing year, we should talk about the shooting foreign policy of Ronald Reagan. This is the peculiarity of 1983, its difference from the two previous years, when the current president also sat in the Oval Office of the White House. In fact, he displayed his “gun” for everyone to see even before moving to the White House. Then for two years he shook the world with militant rhetoric about “crusades”, pushed record military programs through Congress, creating “positions of strength.” In the third year he started shooting. And this, in my opinion, is the main result of the year, if you look at it from the angle of the development of American foreign policy under Reagan. From the same angle, a question arises for the coming year: what next?When applied to Central America, Grenada illustrates this idea even more clearly than Lebanon does when applied to the Middle East. In Nicaragua, Reagan had long been shooting through the Somostas, through his secret and overt agents operating from the territory of Honduras. Naval squadrons were also sent there to intimidate and demonstrate force. But Nicaragua is a piece you could choke on. There you will encounter resistance. There, a direct armed invasion is fraught with significant American losses, and therefore politically unacceptable damage—indignation of the American public and the US Congress. In any case, Nicaragua needs a boost. And then in October the “gun” of Reagan’s policies went off in tiny Grenada.The seizure of this island, the forcible change of the socio-political structure that existed on it, recognized by its population - this is Reagan imperialism without Hollywood smiling, in all its, as they say, bestial grin. For small states in the Western Hemisphere, the image of an imperialist beast clanking its teeth has left room not for illusions, but for struggle. Only fearless opposition, only persistent resistance, excluding bloodless “victories” of the Yankees, will make the current rulers of the United States think.Finally, last but first in importance. Another American “gun” appeared on the European stage this year. By the end of December, nine Pershings in West Germany and 16 cruise missiles each in England and Italy will be operational. And here a truly fatal question arises.' Will this weapon also go off in the hands of the current US administration? Is it really that the conditionality of dramatic action, which A.P. Chekhov once reasonably preached, will spread to the realities of the nuclear missile age unknown to him? Is it really possible that, according to the principle immutable for some pathetic theatrical guns in personal dramas of the end of the last century, all the accumulated thousands of nuclear megatons will go off in the last act, which, perhaps, will indeed be the last - in all of human history?Just as it was previously forbidden to take the name of God in vain, so now there is no point in talking in vain about the inevitable end of the world. And in today’s Washington, the opponents of socialism, blinded by hatred, understand that the Soviet Union is not Grenada and that if something happens, it will not be an easy boat trip, but the suicide of American imperialism. But the situation left by 1983 is extremely serious. American nuclear weapons are moving closer to Soviet borders. The distance between a fragile peace and a terrible war was reduced to six minutes, the so-called flight time needed for the Pershings to hit targets on Soviet territory. And these Pershings, of course, go to the disposal of the commander-in-chief of the shooting policy of the United States of America. And there are their temptations, their temptations. And suddenly, in an emergency, crisis situation, the temptation to use the wealth of those same six flight minutes will be irresistible...For the sake of the interests of the world, the Soviet Union had to put an end to such a temptation and, in response to the American nuclear threat approaching Soviet territory, create an equivalent threat that would approach US territory for the same short minutes. The Soviet Union could not continue negotiations on medium-range nuclear weapons in Europe at the gunpoint of new American missiles. The deployment of American nuclear weapons in Europe could not but affect other disarmament negotiations, the next round of which recently ended in Geneva and Vienna. As a result, 1983 brings its curtain down when, for the first time for 14 years, there have been no negotiations on arms control between the USSR and the USA, between East and West. A warning sign. But it is better and wiser to let friends and foes understand the seriousness of the current situation than to play the irresponsible game of Washington leaders.And they wanted to play a win-win game in negotiations, moreover, a winning one. But, of course, not for both sides. Only for myself. To the detriment of Moscow, no matter the outcome. If negotiations fail, the deployment of American missiles in Western Europe and, consequently, a strategic advantage over the Soviet Union. With luck, that is, if the American “zero solution” or “intermediate option” passed, there would again be a weakening of Soviet security through the elimination of Soviet medium-range missiles. And this whole game would take place on European territory, far from American shores. Like the battleship New Jersey near Beirut: it’s firing, but it’s out of reach. The American Ideal of War. That is why we had to break this game and respond with measures that concern their territory.After the Soviet representatives left Geneva, a new game became fashionable in Washington - feigned sighs and regrets. But not everyone participates in it. The weekly Time magazine recently published an extensive profile by its diplomatic correspondent Strobe Talbott, entitled "Behind Closed Doors." Not all Washington doors opened for the journalist, he did not tell everything he saw, but it was enough to conclude: those who secretly doomed them to failure from the very beginning are publicly crying about the Geneva negotiations. Talbott quotes one of the key architects of American tactics in Geneva, current Assistant Secretary of State Richard Burt: “The goal of this entire exercise (that is, negotiations) is maximum political gain. We are not concerned with arms control, but with dealing with our allies.”In other words, they went to Geneva under pressure from Western European governments and in order to make it all the easier to defend NATO’s “dual solution” from the attacking movement. They dealt with the allies. The Allies launched American missiles behind the barbed wire of military bases, which remained impregnable islands amid a sea of public indignation and protest.Disassembled missiles were flying from America, and on the other hand, from the Soviet Union, natural gas was about to begin flowing through the Siberia-Western Europe gas pipeline. Thus, by the end of the year, two export products from both sides, signs of war and peace, mixed in contrast in Western Europe, showing who is who and what they are striving for. Unfortunately, the symbol does not change the essence of the matter. The governments of Germany, Great Britain, and Italy confirmed their trust in the American shepherd precisely in the year when he repeatedly tore the gun off the wall. Considerations of spiritual kinship, as well as traditional subordination to a senior ally, took precedence over concerns for peace, security and cooperation on the European continent.Well, we must admit that the past year has debunked some of these hopes, or at least shown them to be premature. Hopes, in particular, were aroused by the rapid development of anti-war sentiment in the United States. Two-thirds of Americans supported the idea of a nuclear freeze. It was approved by the Catholic bishops. The US House of Representatives voted for it. But this movement of the majority, being vague and fragmented, did not turn into a striking political force, was not able to impose its will on official Washington, and did not set such a task for itself. Opposition on Capitol Hill to the MX intercontinental ballistic missile project showed promise. But he was paralyzed by a clever maneuver by the administration - the so-called bipartisan Scowcroft Presidential Commission. The commission helped to break through not only the giant MX, but also the intercontinental “baby” - “Midgetman”, and under the deceptive motto “increase - reduce”. To break through in the garb of “bipartisan unity” that is convenient for President Reagan to advertise his foreign policy in the coming election year.The revival of the American economy in the spring and summer also played into his hands. The official drums of optimism, promising an economic boom, drowned out opposition to a foreign policy that was beginning to fire. And in the fall, almost all the protesting voices were silenced by three powerful explosions of chauvinism, to which, it is always worth remembering, Americans are very susceptible. The first strong public confusion came in the wake of the story that happened with the South Korean Boeing over the island of Sakhalin. Then chauvinistic passions thundered in October as an echo of the explosion in Beirut of the headquarters of the American Marines, which led to the death of 241 people. Thus, the public ground was prepared for the seizure of Grenada to replace “Ours are being beaten!” came the triumphant “Ours took it!”When speaking about outbursts of quasi-patriotic feelings, I mean their strength rather than their spontaneous nature. These were targeted explosions. If you like, these were injections of chauvinism with which the Reagan administration nervously excited Americans and discouraged them from common sense.What psychosis was like during the capture of Grenada, the famous historian Arthur Schlesinger told in brief but expressive words. “Judging by the triumphant public reaction to this glorious victory,” he wrote sarcastically, “by the complacency of the government and the shameful silence of the democratic opposition, except for a few brave souls ... the invasion of Grenada was regarded as one of those proud moments in American history.” "The historian himself was not silent and was not proud - and some of his excited readers ended up as... agents of Moscow.Let's return to A.P. Chekhov. He correctly pointed out the pattern of modern drama. However, the journalist, especially on the eve of the New Year, which gives rise to new hopes, is still seduced by the outdated but noble principle of classical comedy, according to which evil must be punished and virtue must triumph. Common sense is already virtuous, but it is still ineradicable among the American people. They return to it after suffering from attacks of chauvinism, and this (I know from the experience of the Vietnam War) happens when more and more soldiers of a country in which half a dozen generations did not know what it was like to fight on their own territory are killed in the next adventure overseas.One more thing. Poll numbers in America are as changeable and capricious as the weather. But again, almost two-thirds of Americans fear that Ronald Reagan could lead them to nuclear war. Recently, in the sensational television movie “The Next Day,” they were shown what would happen to an ordinary American city in the event of such a war. Like all reasonable people on planet Earth, they know: in order to avoid such a next day, it must be prevented at least the day before.December 1983SHOOTOUT IN WASHINGTONIt seems that the concrete gouges, hastily erected here and there on the periphery of the White House in anticipation of a raid by some Middle Eastern terrorists, do not help President Reagan protect himself from bombers of a different kind. These demolitionists are not hiding, they sit on Capitol Hill and, imagine, even in the Pentagon and use such dynamite that the mentioned gouges cannot save you from it. We are talking about growing criticism of Washington's Middle East policy. Opa focused on the question: what to do next with the American Marines, who were stationed near Beirut International Airport almost a year and a half ago?It is not only the Democrats who are actively looking for his vulnerabilities in the initial stages of the election campaign who are firing at President Reagan. William Buckley is a conservative Reagan-era commentator. Republican Senator Barry Goldwater is something of a spiritual father of “Reaganism.” But both believe that it is better for the American Marines to get out of Lebanon as quickly as possible. “Nobody knows why we are in Lebanon,” says Speaker of the US House of Representatives T. O'Neill. This discovery, although somewhat late, echoes the position of the leader of the Republicans in the same chamber, R. Michael, who demanded the withdrawal of the Marines.Opposition has become so widespread that one English newspaper concluded that only "three significant politicians" in Washington oppose the Marines' withdrawal from Lebanon - the president himself, his Secretary of State Shultz and his national security aide MacFarlane. This is perhaps said too broadly. But Reagan, now building political and diplomatic obstacles against his multiplied critics, took up a perimeter defense. He is taking precautions to avoid falling victim to his own politics in November. The situation in Lebanon is difficult to predict, but it is quite clear that from the point of view of official Washington, there are mines laid there that could cause strong explosions on the American stage in an election year.What's the matter? A Russian proverb says: if you love to ride, you also love to carry a sled. This is one of those bitter truths that you don’t always like. Translating it into the language of American politics, we get that Americans love, especially under the current president, to demonstrate their military strength - both close (in Grenada or against Nicaragua) and far away, but at the same time they do not like to pay, they do not like to bear any costs. or losses.Over the past year, about 260 American Marines have been killed in Lebanon. Since a suicide bombing in late October that left 241 Americans dead, emotional shock and political scandal in the United States, Marines along the Beirut coast have been largely policing themselves. The situation was described quite realistically by New York Times columnist Flora Lewis: “The Marines became invisible behind their barricades. It cannot even ensure regular operation of the nearby airport, which, as stated, is its first priority. She is in a prisoner of war camp that she set up for herself.”That’s why the Americans brought in the battleship New Jersey with its monstrous guns and their carrier-based aircraft to “work.” But the aviation also suffered some losses while carrying out raids. One American pilot, a black man, found himself in Syrian captivity, which, as we know, led to the odyssey of the black politician Jesse Jackson to Damascus, the release of this pilot and the corresponding pantomimes of President Reagan, expressing sympathy for the prisoner, gratitude to his liberator - and desire in no case don't miss out on votes.Losses violate the ideal of unpunished aggressiveness (precisely aggressiveness and precisely unpunished), the dream of bloodless victories. All polls show that the vast majority of Americans support the immediate withdrawal of Marines from Lebanon.Let me briefly remind you of the history of the appearance of American soldiers in Lebanon. As part of the so-called “multinational forces,” they landed there in August 1982 with the modest goal, as it was presented in Washington at the time, of facilitating the orderly separation of the warring parties and the withdrawal of Palestinian military units from West Beirut, besieged by Israeli troops. Having completed this task, they left after two or three weeks. And then, in September, there was a bloody mass extermination of Palestinians in the Sabra and Shatila camps. The Americans returned to maintain “order.” Then this concept was filled with ever broader content, in the end the goal became a “new order” in Lebanon, pleasing to Washington and Tel Aviv? Along with this, using the instrument of their physical military presence, the Americans began to interfere in Lebanese internal affairs, trying to rebuild the complex balance in the multi-communal country so that the pro-Western factions would strengthen and the Arab, national-patriotic and nationalist factions would weaken. An essential part of the task was to intimidate Syria so that it would agree to the Israeli-Lebanese “peace agreement” developed under the auspices of Washington, although this agreement turns Lebanon into a vassal of Israel and the United States and thereby causes irreparable damage to Syrian security.In general, they wanted too much - and at too little price. From the very beginning, political goals and military means were not balanced. They thought that they could be achieved with just 2 thousand soldiers on the shore and a naval fist off the coast. And they encountered resistance that they did not expect. As one unnamed Marine said after the October bombing in Beirut: “We were put here too few to fight and too many to be killed.”If we allow ourselves some play on words, the Americans wanted to take their opponents to task in Lebanon. It failed - even when it was the 16-inch guns of the battleship New Jersey. The opponents did not give in. We must either increase troops or reduce tasks. Theoretically, we can talk about throwing tens and hundreds of thousands of soldiers there, but in practice it is impossible to imagine. Even apart from the catastrophic international consequences, this would mean getting seriously bogged down in a war that the American people are unlikely to accept. But the gun, the current gun, won’t take on either the Lebanese opponents of the American intervention or the Syrians. The question arises of how Washington can reduce its appetite in Lebanon and, while saving face, get out of the trap that it has set for itself. Critics are pushing the Reagan administration in this direction. They were now led by Mondale, the Democrats' main contender for the presidency. To avoid further losses, he demands the immediate withdrawal of the Marines. And with this he hopes to score points in the developing election campaign.January 1984  NEW YEAR'S VISIONSNew Year is stopped time. Perhaps not an original thought, but to the writer of these lines it appeared with a sudden revelation on New Year’s morning, when, amid the sweet silence of the Moscow region, he woke up in the editorial dacha. Time also stood still because there was nothing occupied on the last Saturday of the year, and, judging by the empty dacha street, no one was in a hurry to occupy it, start it up and let it go.So I found myself the only person among the dacha buildings, prickly frozen bushes and naked black linden trees. For the first and last time of the year, a city dweller walked through the trampled snow, and there were no tracks in front of me and only my tracks remained behind, and in the forest the pre-dawn snow had already dusted the tracks of the beast. The world was white and silent, the earth stretched white before the gaze, and, surrounding the familiar meadow that had sunk under the snow, the familiar birch trees went towards the sky, which was also white, timidly gaining a pale bluish color from the shy December sun. When I stopped, complete silence reigned. It seemed that everything was looking at a lonely man who had wandered here on the eve of a new year unknown to nature, and the man, confused and moved, felt that the humble beauty of his native land was about to extrude from him words of love, admiration and guilt. Yes, VIPs, because are we worthy of this beauty?Time stood in the midst of white space and white sensitive silence. And as happens with stopped time, it was filled with pictures of the past day when it moved. And the characters in these films were not the American president or American missiles, which the internationalist-American specialist had been studying all year. No, through the white snow and in the white sky I saw images of close and dear people, those with whom, living side by side, flowing into each other, you spend a period of time called life.I remembered how the day before, when I was getting ready for work, I offended my wife and then, to atone for my guilt, I belatedly ran around the perfume kiosks and shops. I remembered how my son grunted with pleasure after receiving an unexpected gift, and the expression of pleasure on the faces of his daughters. Simple visions of the past day haunted me, and they were joyful among the white snows of a silent and deserted white light. As in the long editorial corridors, in the buffet and dining room, everyone congratulated each other: Happy New Year! How they visited each other and at three o'clock in the afternoon silently clinked plastic glasses with green Georgian tarragon liqueur. The newspaper was still absorbing and absorbing the news of the world; for its employees on duty it was neither festive nor idle, but the rest, in the whirlwind of New Year's Moscow, accelerated their movement towards the moment when the counter invented by man, called a clock, would bring two hands together, marking another frontier of what, again, he, man, calls time and what began unknown when and flows unknown where and exists against human will.Every year is an annual ring at the cross-section of our lives. Every time we seem to die in order to be resurrected on a new ring, on a new circle, and therefore we want to wrap up the old year in such a way that we can meet a new beginning with a light heart.And so, on a quiet New Year’s morning, finding myself among the white, untrodden snow at the editorial dacha, I thought that everything seemed to have worked out well the day before and, although it was not in your power to make the people dear to you happy, at least you did not darken their festive mood.But two fresh memories, albeit pushed into the background, stung my heart. Both concerned work, not the small and personal, but the big world.One was the memory of a greeting card sent from Omsk. The postcard was enclosed in an envelope with a picture and under the picture it was typewritten: “Meet my Omsk!” On the top of the envelope, also in typewritten text, was: “May there always be Sunshine!” Give me peace 1984! Give me a five-year period of peace for disarmament!” On the card, a short text, written in a strong and quick hand, contained a greeting to the Sun, a call for disarmament, congratulations to journalists and a wish for success in the peace watch. An optimistic message from a well-wisher. I would say that it was implausible, bravuraly optimistic, breathing with indestructible cheerfulness and, despite all seriousness, that inner healthy irony that is inherent in cheerful people. And after the signature, a lingering echo of the past, a passionate appeal to the future, evoking a stormy range of feelings, followed the explanation: “Inv. Otech. war (legless)."The second memory that broke the pre-New Year mood was also associated with a letter - from Washington. The letter was sent by Izvestia correspondent Alexander Palladii, and in addition to the greeting card, I found a magazine clipping in it - a large, 30-page article from the January issue of the literary and political monthly Atlantic. The article was written by the American journalist Thomas Powers, the same one about whose meeting I wrote at the beginning of this book.He came to Moscow to understand how we, the Soviets, individually and together, relate to the nuclear threat hanging over the world, and I was one of the people who was asked to talk with this famous journalist.I took a liking to a stocky, bearded American man in his early forties. In him I found naturalness and intelligence, sincerity and that attractive courage when a writer with a name and experience, freed from so-called respectability, is not afraid to ask seemingly childish questions, the answers to which seem to have long been known to respectable adults. He wanted to understand us and our attitude towards the Americans and thereby test the attitude of the Americans towards us, and from his various questions, I felt, the result was one of the most childish and, in essence, the wisest question of questions: what are we (that is, we and they , and all of humanity) what kind of people are we, what awaits us in the future in the presence of such weapons and such an international position, and what should we do?And somehow it so happened that the conversation with Thomas Powers went into the mainstream of my own thoughts and created that emotional critical mass that produces an explosion - an urgent need to write about the most intimate and a form of expression of this intimate. And unexpectedly easily I wrote sentimental notes from a political observer about how the world is a small place, since the Americans are only half an hour away from intercontinental missiles, and since we are in this world - is it really that unexpected? — we find each other with our anxieties.Maybe it wouldn’t be worth returning to these notes, mentioning the thoughts that dawned on you early on New Year’s morning, but, firstly, without this there will be no New Year’s visions of time stopped and again anxiously moving, and secondly, not only the world is indivisible , but a person is indivisible, and in him everything merges and everything is intertwined - home and work, near and far, a footprint in the snow and scratches on the heart.I won’t say that these notes were a confession. But there was sincerity in them, a sincere attempt to get through to this American. And there was also, if you take a more sober look, some experience: will he understand this impulse? In sentimental - and subjective - notes, if we judge this experience in hindsight, there was a question of an objective order - about the possibility of understanding two people, two journalists from different worlds. And one more question - about the connections between these two worlds: will a large article dedicated to the meeting with him and published - with good intentions - in a famous Soviet newspaper, reach him in America? Do they hear us the way we hear them? Do they read as we read? Are they capable of contact? Not empty questions, because without contact there is no understanding, and without understanding, don’t expect anything good ahead.And so, having received his article in the hectic hours of New Year’s Eve, I frantically leafed through it and made sure: no, I had not heard. The experiment was not a success! They talk about contacts with extraterrestrial civilizations. Is there any with the earthly, between the earthly? This is also not an empty question. I did not in the least exaggerate the insignificance, smallness, or particularity of my experience, but at the same time I excluded the randomness of the result obtained. My notes turned out to be an empty signal that sank into the abyss of the Universe. Is it a small world? Do we find each other? And if such an American turns out to be deaf at such a time, then what really awaits us?It was impossible to forget this question among the whites, healing fields of pi that night when on the banks of Pakhra we took the New Year by storm, frying kebabs on the fire.It was an unforgettable picture. From afar, in the dancing reflections of the fire, men in winter jackets and knitted hats, barbecue masters, created silhouettes of medieval warriors. And up close, visions of a nuclear auto-da-fé suddenly came to mind. When another box brought from the farm yard flew into the fire, its wooden planks flared up and melted fieryly, reminiscent of the eerie footage from the American television movie about nuclear war, “The Next Day,” which we all read about. In these frames, also instantly, like light slats in a fire, human ribs flashed red, only to become part of a charred skeleton in an elusive split second, and after another elusive split, evaporate without a trace.The sky above the merry people was silent and solemn. “The constellations rose above the world in the cold pit of January...”Then the stopped time started again. And my first read in the new year was Thomas Powers’ article “Because of What?” I read it carefully and must urge that this is a serious journalistic study, honest and desperate. Perhaps his answer is not whether he heard the signal sent or not, but that he did a different experiment - and a different job. He dug like a mole into history - from Pericles and Aristotle to modern military historians, and also obtained primary information - into "bad news" - in numerous meetings with those Americans who, according to him, invent, create, test, buy , guards, explains, targets and is ready to deliver nuclear weapons to the target.And so my New Year’s visions were invaded by the dark phantasmagoric visions of the American Thomas Powers.While working in America, I once flew through Albuquerque, New Mexico. This city itself is closed to Soviet citizens. Nearby, at the Air Force Base in Kirtland, there is, it turns out, the National Atomic Museum. I see Thomas Powers there looking at a replica of “Fat Man,” the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki, a caricature of the Bomb. Here is the body of the first American hydrogen bomb - an eight-meter monster weighing a ton.But this is the archeology of the nuclear age, the first attempts at a science of mass destruction that is developing faster than any other science. Now I see Thomas Powers near the MK-12A type warhead. Neither caricature nor monstrosity. Contemporary Design: Sleek, tapered, waist-high, with a jet-black, rounded, polished surface. Three or four of these things will fit into the trunk of a station wagon. The MX rocket will carry ten of them. Each one contains 23 Hiroshimas.Another vision. One of the insiders tells Thomas Powers how he developed plans to use tactical nuclear weapons in Central Europe. His goal was to reduce the number of civilian casualties. Just on the birthday of his daughter, who turned four years old, the analyst came up with a successful idea: to subject railway junctions to nuclear attacks and thereby deprive the Soviet troops at the front of reinforcements. Having laid out special military maps on the floor for convenience and taken a special computer that calculated the effect of using nuclear weapons, he got down to business. Things were going smoothly. The idea quickly acquired digital calculations that supported it: “only 100 thousand killed,” and not millions, as in previous developments. It saved America. According to calculations, these were tolerable losses for the enemy, much less than those that would have caused an exchange of strategic nuclear strikes that would have fallen on American territory.During the lunch break, the analyst, pleased with himself, drove home and took his daughter to the automated McDonald's cafeteria, one of those that dotted American cities and roads in hundreds. He stood in line, looking around the hall and the people dining. And suddenly he remembered - “only 100 thousand.” There were only a few dozen in the hall, but they were living, not statistical. Chaotic visions flashed through his organized brain, and he saw himself among the military maps on the floor and - suddenly - his murdered daughter and was horrified by what he did for a living for himself and his family. Then, of course, he came to terms with his wild imagination: life went on and with it came ordinary madness...In the study of Thomas Powers there are more, however, not such details, but reflections and comparative psychological observations. He compares us and the Americans. We remain unfamiliar territory for him: only meetings in Moscow and in Minneapolis, where the American-Soviet public conference on issues of war and peace was held in May 1983. He has no doubt about our aversion to war and commitment to peace. At the same time, he is confused and alarmed by your political thinking and views on the international situation, your concessions in disputes with Foreigners and your demonstration of a sense of being right. He knows his compatriots better and does not spare, especially the professionals from the Bomb “We have passed the worst of what happened in the great wars of this century... It is so difficult for some Americans to see in the war anything other than a romantic time that 20 million dead in the Soviet Union they take it as evidence that the Russians have become hardened by the war, not cautious, and therefore will not flinch at the risk of another war. The Russians I met were, for the most part, patient, careful, reasonable, efficient, and not easily angered. But at the thought of all their murdered brothers, fathers and uncles, starving and freezing children, blood rushes to their faces and passion appears in their voices. Americans do not have such a national memory...”Many of his Soviet interlocutors admitted that things could come to a nuclear war, but the Americans, on the contrary, as one, believed that it would not work out. The observation seems controversial. It can be easily refuted by statements of American officials who not only admit, but also preach the possibility of nuclear war and even victory in it. On the other hand, when you think about it, you discover that this observation contains a thought to which the author, without directly formulating it, leads. Those who are aware of the seriousness of the situation behave more responsibly and more cautiously, while those who believe that they will “get by” behave more irresponsibly, recklessly, and rashly.As for the author of the study, he is filled with deep pessimism.Because of which? That's the title of the article. What reasons could justify nuclear war? There is none of them. In a world divided by an abyss into two irreconcilable socio-political systems, neither of them will win and both will lose as a result of a nuclear disaster, threatening the very existence of humanity. But wars, Powers is convinced, were never subject to logic and common sense and began because there was fear and suspicion - both armies and weapons were ready for war. Wars have never been prevented by the knowledge that they are insane, “impossible” and “unthinkable.” “The problem is not in the evil intentions of one side or another, but in our satisfaction with the state of hostility, in our readiness to follow the wrong path; is that we rely on the threat of extermination to save ourselves from extermination,” he writes.Thomas Powers' journal publications on the growing threat of nuclear war are of interest. When he is invited to perform in various American audiences, he usually does not refuse. After the speech, questions follow, primarily about the types of nuclear weapons: what do they look like, how do they operate, is it true that they can hit a football field on the other side of the globe? Yes, that's right. And he answers the rest of the questions as best he can. And gradually the listeners disperse.But one person remains. He waits for everyone to leave, this last person with the last question. They approach gypsy fortune tellers in the same way, as if without any superstition, just for fun, to ask, how long do I have left to live? Fortune tellers recognize such people a mile away, and Thomas Powers learned to immediately recognize this latest listener with his last question. Will there be a war? The man waited for everyone to leave in order to receive a confidential and most reliable answer. But there is no answer, and he hears: “I don’t know...”I don’t know... Thus ends the January visions of Thomas Powers in the Atlantic Monthly magazine, and therefore my new correspondence meeting with a traveler who, lost in the wilds of the nuclear age, sends distress signals from another continent. I could advise him to learn optimism from a veteran from Omsk, but I am afraid that he will not want to take this advice: we take our optimism or pessimism from the world around us, near and far, from our nature and destiny.What remains? In his publication, I recognized myself in that Russian who says in a “heavy and thoughtful voice”: “We must hope. Who owns the words that hope is the last thing we say goodbye to? How else can you live in this world?”In fact - how? We must hope—and act on hope, rather than give up in despair. With Americans like Thomas Powers, we can find common ground of common sense. He understands that we cannot re-educate or remake each other with the help of nuclear weapons. And we must strive to ensure that there are more and more such understanding people and to turn this understanding into an instrument of peace. May there always be sunshine! It will... Even if at the moment, these days in 1984, it is hidden behind the clouds.СОДЕРЖАНИЕThe world is small...                        3The day beforeRonald Reagan                        13Without a rudder and without sails        15Results before the result                        21After the elections                        26Advice from a former ambassador        30Haig on Capitol Hill                        321981Defiant beginning                        35Instead of "pie in the sky"                37Cold winds fromWashington                                39To the editor of Los Angeles half        41Defiant beginning                        43At a literary evening…                        49Who is out of step?                        57Both deception and self-deception        60Time doesn't wait!                        65Armament, not negotiations                 68 Confrontation                                70Master key instead of the key to the world                                74New mountains of weapons                77Lesson from Sadat's death                80Landing at the funeral                        82Risky options                                85Counting on the simpletons                88To the meeting in Geneva                90Christmas tree lights                        94Very bad year                                96Between anxiety and hope                 98Two and all 52 weeks1982                                 103January run                         105Truth vs Myth                 110Two weeks overseas         114Unfunny                         136Alexander Haig vs.Victor Hugo                         140Three moments inadvertising speech                 141In the mirrorreality                                144Blood and calculations         148Hypocrisy                         154Season of the Dead         159Begin and Hitler                 161Hopes for Schultz                 163Under coverAmerican veto                 166Politics and compressors         170They don’t think about leaving... 173Bombs and diplomacy         174Reverse sideKhabib medals                 179Sabra's lessons andShatily                         182Seventeenth weekaggression                         187Two letters fromWashington                         189Report fromSan Francisco                 196Another letter fromWashington                         201A little more about American impressions                         206The Forgotten Discovery of America                         220Stanislav KondrashovWE AND THEM IN THIS CRAZY WORLDDiary of a Political ObserverEditorial Head A. V. NikolskyEditors O. V. Vadeev, E. B. BurkovspayaArtist L. V. KostinaArt editor E. A. Andrusenko Technical editor GO. A. Mukhin hIB No. 5005Delivered to set 07/03/84. Signed for publication on November 12, 1984. A 00205. Foreman 84x108‘/z2. Printing paper No. 1. Typeface “Ordinary new”” High quality printing. Conditional oven l. 18.48. Conditional cr.-ott. 18.90. Uch. ed. l. 20.95Circulation 100 thousand copies. Order No. 418. Price 1 rub.Politizdat. 125811, GSP, Moscow, A-47, Miusskaya sq., 1,Printing house of the publishing house "Ural Worker", 020151, Sverdlovsk, Lenin Ave., 49

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