Mikhail Gorbachev (91) is dead

From my Writing Room
Copyright © 2022 by Uwe Bahr

Mikhail Gorbachev 1931-2022

Through him and his policy of glasnost and perestroika, the Iron Curtain has become history without blood being shed outside the then Soviet Union, except for Romania.

The German nation owes him a debt of gratitude, because without him the fall of the Berlin Wall and thus German reunification would not have happened. Personally, I am one who is directly affected. Mikhail Gorbachev has fundamentally changed my life. The Soviets could have easily sent tanks during the fall of 1989 and crushed the East German revolution in its cradle. As historical evidence shows, already during the workers’ uprising in 1953, only Soviet intervention had saved the GDR from disintegration. Like back then, the Western powers under the leadership of the USA would have done nothing in support of the people in the GDR in 1989, as they were powerless during the popular uprisings in Hungary in 1956, Czechoslovakia in 1968, Poland 1970 and 1981.

Faced with great economic difficulties at home, Gorbachev had trusted Western assurances only to find himself disappointed in the end. In the years that followed, the West recklessly and perhaps deliberately failed to treat the former Soviet Union as a post-Cold War partner. The possibility of a lasting and peaceful cooperation between the formerly hostile camps existed very well at that time. Instead, the European West joined the American push to treat Russia as a peripheral power so that new markets and spheres of influence could be opened up in line with aggressive American policy, including in Ukraine.

These historical facts are all too often ignored today.

Let’s see how the official German reaction to Gorbachev’s death will turn out, while at the same time some European countries are trying to deny entry visas to Russian citizens because of the war in Ukraine. In the past, no one would have thought of doing the same to US citizens in the face of the criminal Vietnam War or military interventions against international law in Iraq and Afghanistan under the pretext of lies such as weapons of mass destruction and in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions. There have also been no sanctions from the Western European side against the USA because of its wars of aggression.

When German politicians and German media today talk about an energy crisis as a result of the war in Ukraine, it is not true. The energy shortage in Germany is a consequence of nonsensical Western sanctions and an unsurprising counter-reaction by Russia. These international sanctions against Russia do not harm any country more than Germany and do not lead to peace in the Ukraine, but to a lower standard of living in Germany.