Monday, September 21, 2009

"We won the Cold War," but didn't want it to end: reflections on the Thatcher-Gorbachev revelations

WWW--We did? Who won it? It wasn't the average person. Considering the recent revelations about former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher ("Iron Maggie," a beloved to neocons along with the Maoist veneration of Ronald Reagan) and her discussions with the final Soviet President Mikael Gorbachev--that Thatcher and the rest of the West including America--didn't want reunification of Germany under any circumstances, you'd think it would be everywhere in our media.

Fine, it came out on September 11th, our new sacred national day, but this is earth-shattering news, it downs many myths about the Cold War, including the legacy of President Ronald Reagan. The contention of "we won the Cold War" just doesn't float anymore, they wanted to keep it going, and it served many purposes for the power structures on both sides, and Thatcher's comments underscore what many have suspected all along: the Cold War was a lie, a big lie. I could have told you that, but now we have solid-proof.

As usual, the official line and rhetoric are just window dressing, a lie, cover. The Western powers wanted the Soviet Union to stay-in-place for the foreseeable future during Peristroika (the thaw of authoritarianism in the Warsaw Pact nations) and the collapse of the Berlin Wall. This exchange comes less than three months before the fall of the Berlin Wall, and it is extraordinary.

From the Times:

September 23 1989 : transcript

Thatcher: I wanted to raise some questions regarding the situation in the countries of Eastern Europe. I was deeply impressed by the courage of General Jaruzelski in Poland and by his patriotism. Of course, the future of Poland and its alliance with you are very important. I noticed that you reacted calmly to the results of the Polish elections and generally to processes taking part in this and other Eastern European countries. My understanding of your position is following: you welcome each country developing in its own way on the condition that Warsaw Pact stays. I understand this position perfectly.

Now I would like to say something in complete confidence and would ask you not to record this part of our conversation.

Gorbachev: I agree to your request.

(The following part of the conversation is reproduced from memory)

Thatcher: We are very concerned about the processes taking place in Eastern Germany. Some big changes could happen there, forced partly by the state of the society and partly by the illness of Erich Honecker. One example of this is the flight of thousands of people from the GDR to the FRG. All of this is on the surface, it is very important but even more important is something else.

The reunification of Germany is not in the interests of Britain and Western Europe. It might look different from public pronouncements, in official communiqué at Nato meetings, but it is not worth paying ones attention to it. We do not want a united Germany. This would have led to a change to post-war borders and we can not allow that because such development would undermine the stability of the whole international situation and could endanger our security.

In the same way, a destabilisation of Eastern Europe and breakdown of the Warsaw Pact are also not in our interests. Of course, internal changes are happening in all Eastern European countries, somewhere they are deeper than in others. However, we would prefer if those processes were entirely internal, we would not interfere in them or push the de-communisation of Eastern Europe. I can say that the President of the United States is of the same position. He sent me a telegram to Tokyo in which he asked me directly to tell you that the United States would not do anything that might put at risk the security of the Soviet Union or perceived by the Soviet society as danger. I am fulfilling his request.

Gorbachev: Thank you for this message. In broad terms, you have outlined our position correctly. We believe that socialist countries should solve their internal problems themselves, chose themselves the course and speed on the way of implementation of their socialist choice. We do not want and will not interfere but will, of course help our allies as we have always done.

As for the state of health of Erich Honecker, he is planning to take part in all events commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the GDR. I can tell you that I am planning to arrive to the GDR on 6-7th October to celebrate this anniversary.

In other words, Reagan was in total agreement with Thatcher and considering American might, could be presumed to have been pulling some of the strings here. And there is more, much more to establish the veracity and legitimacy of these documents. Where was it in the American press? The virtual "page eight," if it was there at all.

This is a stunning rebuttal to the mythology surrounding the Cold War, former Prime Minister Thatcher, and the late President Ronald Reagan. Former President Gorbachev comes off looking very good, even better than before. Western leaders of the time look like the lying, scrambling, unimaginative clowns that they were and are. "Conventional wisdom" is often misinformed, now we know. The real history tends to be unwritten for generations. We lucked-out on this one. What a "Man in the High Castle" moment.

"Thatcher Told Gorbachev Britain Did Not Want German Reunification," The Times online, 09.11.2009:

Excerpts from the Thatcher-Gorbachev talks and related excerpts:

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