US-Secretary of State James Baker: “Not one inch eastward.”
From my Writing Room
Copyright © 2022 by Uwe Bahr
Many people do not remember what happened in the recent past, but politicians in high positions of responsibility would actually be obliged to do so. This should be self-evident for a very banal reason: For yesterday’s events become the guide of action for today.
Thirty-two years may be a long time in a person’s life – in the history of the world they are only the blink of an eye. As someone who followed the events at that time very closely and was affected by them – after all, those were the basic conditions for the reunification of my country – I can understand Vladimir Putin today. The entire West – mainly Germany under the benevolent protection of the USA – have deceived and lied to the Russians and rejected Putin’s outstretched hand several times during his first term as Russian president.
Contrary to all international promises and assurances, NATO’s external border has steadily moved closer to Russia, starting in 1999 with the inclusion of Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic. There was absolutely no need nine years before to exploit the goodwill of the disintegrating Soviet Union in such obscurity. This is not an opinion, but an indisputable, historical fact.
For a short time in 1990, there was even discussion of admitting the Soviet Union itself into NATO. And one should also remember: At the end of a speech in the German Bundestag on September 25, 2001, there was a standing ovation for the German-speaking Vladimir Putin. All forgotten already.
Only a few days ago, the re-elected German Federal President, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, had nothing better to do than to warn Putin of “harsh consequences” in connection with Ukraine. Of course, there should be no more war in Europe, but Russia feels humiliated and threatened. What would be the reaction of the USA if Putin stationed soldiers and missiles in Venezuela? It should be allowed to ask this question.
The link below shows the two foreign ministers of the United States and Germany at the time, James Baker and Hans-Dietrich Genscher, with English subtitles.