President Putin might be right about the US
Not much credence was given last week to President Putin's semi-valedictory speech blaming America for creating a new level of distrust which might lead to another Cold War. It was simply taken for granted that the boot was on the other foot, as it had always been assumed to be in the case of the Cold War proper.
In my view - as an erstwhile Cold War warrior - this assumption is dangerously complacent because, with the benefit of hindsight, it is no longer certain the Cold War proper was all the Soviet Union's fault.
It was America that, in conditions of great secrecy, invented and developed the atomic bomb and, without informing or consulting their Russian allies, dropped two on Japanese cities. Nor was that all. The US then proceeded, in total secrecy, to build an even more murderous weapon, the H-bomb.
What would we have felt if the Russians had secretly developed an atom bomb and without consultation with her allies, forced Hitler into surrendering by dropping two on Germany; and then, to rub in the magnitude of their advantage gone on to build an H-bomb?
When it comes to obsessive secrecy and ruthless deceit, the American record is as bad, if not worse, than the Russians'. As for evil hegemonic intentions, what more damning evidence for them could there be than America's ruthless development and use of nuclear weapons?
This does not mean that Putin's suspicions today are well founded; only that with America's record they are more than understandable. For countries other than Britain this will come as no surprise. It is time the penny dropped here too. ·
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