As relations between the United States and Russia move from bad to worse, despite President Donald Trump's efforts to maintain good personal relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin, it is worthwhile to review a critical piece of post-Cold War history.  Back at the time of German reunification, there was a handshake agreement between the United States, Russia, Germany and NATO that there would be no eastward expansion of NATO, so long as Russia accepted the integration of East Germany into the Federal Republic and Germany's continued membership in NATO.  Ambassador Jack Matlock, who represented the United States in the Soviet Union and Russia during the transition period, verified the deal, as did General Harald Kujat, former head of the German armed forces and then chairman of the NATO Defense Committee.  Others on the Russian side have confirmed similar accounts.  

Not only was there a pledge to halt any eastward expansion of NATO.  It was clearly understood that Ukraine would be a permanent buffer state between NATO and Russian borders.  During the early days of the Clinton Administration, the U.S. launched the Partnership for Peace, which was presented as an alternative to NATO expansion.  Russia was promised membership in the new security structure.  

While some American officials, including military flag officers, called for the dismantling of NATO at the time of the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact, others argued that NATO had an important mission:  To assure that there was no new outbreak of war on the European continent.  NATO was the only treaty organization under which the United States maintained a presence in Europe.  There was legitimate concern that, after two world wars in the 20th century broke out in Europe, it was appropriate to maintain a watchful eye that no new conflict erupted among the contending European states.  Given the Balkan Wars of the early 1990s, this was not an outlandish concern.  Ultimately, according to the logic of those promoting a continuation of NATO, Russia could be incorporated in a new security architecture.  In effect, under a revived American-Russian cooperation, war in Europe would be a permanent thing of the past.

This narrative may seem absurd by today's circumstances.  But there is now a growing body of declassified documents that confirm that there was a gentlemen's agreement that there would be no further eastward expansion of NATO, and that the Partnership for Peace would be the anchor of a new Eurasian security architecture to prevent the outbreak of future wars, and to build new cooperative relations in the economic and political spheres as well.

The National Security Archive, hosted at George Washington University (www.nsarchiv@gwu.edu) has recently obtained and posted a number of documents from U.S. and Russian files from the early 1990s, recounting this story.  They can be found under the headline "NATO Expansion: What Yeltsin Heard."  They are well-worth reading for anyone looking for a way out of the current madness New Cold War rhetoric coming from Washington, Berlin, London, Paris and Moscow.

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  1. Anna says:

    “… there is now a growing body of declassified documents that confirm that there was a gentlemen’s agreement that there would be no further eastward expansion of NATO…”
    — Guess there are no gentlemen left among the US deciders… Cannot be too much of reminding about the zionization of the US army: https://israelpalestinenews.org/fighting-israels-wars-u-s-military-government-become-zionized/

  2. David E. Solomon says:

    Harper, Thanks very much for posting this piece. Somehow, I always thought (probably naively), that the agreement was always a well known fact. I often wondered why our esteemed leaders broke it. Why the desire to reduce the Russians to total insignificance?
    Thanks again.

  3. LeaNder says:

    Harper, this has been the lonely argument of Harald Kujak and a select few public others for a longtime over here in Germany.
    Yesterday I witnessed a debate under the header: Who is more dangerous Trump or Putin? on German TeVe.
    The British representative invited, the expert on British intelligence, argued he couldn’t understand in the least the German public. Seems ‘poll wise’ the vast majority of Germans considers Trump more dangerous then Putin. There were phases in his talk were he seemed to get exhausted and tried to address us more directly via our conscience/soul: We have to stand up bold against Russian aggression, since it does not necessarily mean war, but if you do it in a united fashion the other side will fold.
    Meanwhile on another public channel a day earlier, second vs first, a prominent German economist seemingly joined Trump*. Strictly this is only to
    Strictly it was part of the promotion of his latest book, something in like in search of the truth. As economist he is obviously aware of matters that lately were alluded to here via OECD. In fact it was the context of the first question to him.
    concerning European foreign policy, by now it feels the east dictates it to a large extend, led by Poland.

  4. LeaNder says:

    Sorry didn’t proofread well. Had a phone call from my brother somewhere in between and didn’t look bak.

  5. Movement on the Skripal case from Russia. They called together ambassadors from numerous nations to the Foreign Ministry and held a two-hour meeting to discuss the British allegations against Russia. The video of that is here:
    Russian MFA summons all ambassadors to a meeting on Skripal case (MUST WATCH!!!)
    Although the headline says “Must watch”, I wouldn’t bother. I watched it and it was mostly a waste of time. There was one statement bringing up the point that all that is known about the alleged “Novichok” agent comes from one Russian defector to the US who is working for the US and what that means for the validity of any statement about those agents.
    What matters is the referenced “aide memoire” which the Russian MFA produced for distribution to the ambassadors for conveyance to their capitals. That document is here:
    Official Statement of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the “Skripal Case”
    The document raises a number of questions about the case which the British appear to be avoiding answering and also points out that there is a procedure under the Convention For The Prohibition of Chemical Weapons” which Russia alleges the British are not following.
    Alexander Mercouris at The Duran analyzes the EU response to the British allegations in a UNSC meeting which occurred on March 14th.
    Britain’s ultimatum to Russia BACKFIRES, NATO and EU allies reject demands for action on Skripal
    Although the EU publicly claims (and repeated these claims in the Russian MFA meeting referenced above) solidarity with Britain, the UNSC meeting was considerably more muted in terms of ascribing the Skripal attack to Russia. Mercouris believes the intent of Britain was to get a UNSC Resolution blaming Russia (which Russia would veto) and then getting NATO to impose wide-ranging sanctions against Russia under Article 5 of the NATO Treaty and that this isn’t going to happen.
    It’s important to note that the language Theresa May has been using blames Russia for a “chemical attack on Britain” which is an act of war and can be used to invoke NATO Article 5.
    In other words the British referral to the UN Security Council had the purpose of preparing the ground for an emergency NATO summit at which Britain would invoke Article 5.
    End Quote
    But it seems most of the parties decided to duck that serious step and left May hanging.
    Depending on what new details come out about the Skripal attack, I suspect the whole affair may end back-firing against Britain.

  6. r whitman says:

    I seem to remember that Yeltsin specifically asked that Russia be allowed to join NATO and was turned down. The creation of an alternate organization was suggested, probably the Partnership for Peace.

  7. Max says:

    I was unaware of the “gentlemen’s agreement,” but it makes sense, and Matlock’s testimony is good enough for me. NATO was a cold war construct, and with the end of the cold war, NATO could have been dismantled as the relic of a previous age. But institutions die hard and those vested in them seek to maintain their budgets and find new missions to justify their existence. European countries have indeed had a long history of conflict, and the alliance did seem effective at maintaining the peace in Europe. Many of the new post-Communist governments in the former Soviet Bloc also wanted in. It wasn’t all our own doing. The Partnership for Peace was another post-cold-war construct that gave the old school in Garmish a new mission and something else to do. I think it might have been possible to bring Russia in, but was that the purpose of an expanded NATO and the Partnership for Peace, or was it aimed at isolating Russia and ensuring a perpetual western domination? The Orange Revolution in Ukraine seems to have been the tipping point Did we play a clandestine role in that? I frankly don’t know, but I suspect we did. Then came Putin’s assertion of Russian interests in the Crimea and in Eastern Ukraine. And here we are, witnessing the revival of populist nationalisms in many places, including the USA.These pose a challenge to the post-cold-war “new world order” (I’m citing President #41) which likely will be less and less pretty as it gains momentum. It might have been easier to have abided by that “gentleman’s agreement,” and the issues we face to day might have been avoided. But then there would have been other issues. We are humans after all and seem to like “issues.”

  8. turcopolier says:

    Good to see you back here. want a job on SST? If so, write me off line. pl

  9. Max says:

    Thanks, Pat. Not looking for a fob. But I’ll try to remain curren—hard to do when one spends most of the day in the 18th century

  10. Anna says:

    “…what would happen if Russia was to have good relations with the rest of Europe on all levels?”
    The non-obedient leaders of such countries in the “rest of Europe” would have been compromised and removed from the positions of power by the deciders. Take a closer look at May, Johnson, and, particularly, Gavin Williamson. Do they look like the persons of integrity and able leaders? Was not Macron competitor conveniently (and fraudulently) compromised during the last elections? Were not the Swedes ordered to keep the ridiculous lawsuit against Assange?
    The deciders have been weeding out the intelligent, principled, honest, and patriotic individuals from the positions of influence in order to ensure that only the mediocrities and pliable opportunists were “elected” for the important governmental positions in the “rest of Europe.”

  11. Anna says:

    It is hard to wrap one’s mind around the stupidity of the Skripal affair, considering that the UK (or perhaps the Friends of Israel in the UK) decided to use the case of poisoning of a Russian citizen Julia Skripal (and her father) during her visit to the UK, as a ground for Article 5 — before any evidence is collected and before a thorough investigation is conducted. The role of May & Johnson was so obvious and it defied the human dignity to such extend that others did not dare to participate in the provocation.

  12. Anna says:

    “Did we play a clandestine role in that? I frankly don’t know, but I suspect we did. Then came Putin’s assertion of Russian interests in the Crimea and in Eastern Ukraine.”
    Why don’t you do some minor research on the “clandestine role?’ The materials are in abundance and are widely available on the internet.
    For example: https://consortiumnews.com/2015/07/13/the-mess-that-nuland-made/

  13. Peter AU says:

    Max commented on the orange revolution, not the maidan.

  14. Balint Somkuti, PhD says:

    There has been innumerous stories circulating about the West’s broken promises towards Russia. To be honest I thought most of them was fake and the russians were making them up to to ease their pain felt about the loss of an empire.
    Now based on the above the opposite seems to be true.
    I just dont come to understand at all how can a once superpower with 1000s of nuclear warheads can downplayed for decades. I just don’t get it.
    The ignorant western elite should heed the old szekler saying: “The bear is not a toy!”

  15. hemeantwell says:

    Yes, a very worthwhile reminder, thanks. It should be run every day on the front page of major news outlets for the next year. Ignorance of NATO’s failure to sustain that accord becomes a Pandora’s box of bear-filled nightmares.
    “Why the desire to reduce the Russians to total insignificance?”
    Your question provides the answer. The US and NATO aimed for a Russian government run by natural resource-vending oligarchs. China would have been raised from its understudy role to serve as an excuse for big ticket military spending.

  16. fanto says:

    …The deciders have been weeding out …that is very important observation. The other half of that sentence is ´..who is weeded in..´ for example, in Germany, the current new government has a social democrat at minister of finance, but he nominated a guy from Goldman Sachs – Jörg Kukies. What more can be said?

  17. fanto says:

    sorry, again not written properly – it should be – but he nominated as his undersecretary a guy from Goldman Sachs

  18. LondonBob says:

    I remember some bigwig, I want to say Scowcroft but can’t really remember, said the reason Russia wasn’t allowed in to NATO is that they would be an alternate power centre to the US within NATO. NATO is really there to assert US primacy over Europe. The Russia nonsense keeps Europe divided and under the thumb, reconciliation between Germany and Russia is an abiding fear for some.
    NATO expansion was largely the result of extensive lobbying of the US Senate by American arms and manufacturers in the 1990s, exposed by the New York Times at the time, as well as for domestic political reasons to make Clinton look tough. Now it has all become a self fulfilling prophesy by creating an adversary in Russia.

  19. All,
    Prior to the ‘Briefing Book’ to which ‘Harper’ linked, the National Security Archive published, last December, one entitled ‘NATO Expansion: What Gorbachev Heard.’
    (See https://nsarchive.gwu.edu/briefing-book/russia-programs/2017-12-12/nato-expansion-what-gorbachev-heard-western-leaders-early .)
    A crucial point not mentioned in the – generally excellent – introduction to this series of documents is that Gorbachev did not even ask for the verbal assurances he was given to be put in writing.
    This, incidentally, is a matter which Putin raised in his interviews with Oliver Stone. In these, his comments on almost all the people discussed – up to and including John McCain – are restrained and emollient. His contempt and distaste for Gorbachev, however, shine through.
    Part of the background to Gorbachev’s approach at the time was the advice he was getting – very bad advice, it now seems clear, with hindsight wisdom – in particular from Georgy Arbatov, the long-serving head of the Institute of the USA and Canada.
    In a letter to the ‘New York Times’ in December 1987, in response to a column by William Safire, which was headlined ‘It Takes Two to Make a Cold War’, Arbatov made clear that Gorbachev was intended to, as it were, ‘walk away’, from the Cold War. And he wrote:
    ‘And here we have a “secret weapon’” that will work almost regardless of the American response – we would deprive America of The Enemy. And how would you justify without it the military expenditures that bleed the American economy white, a policy that draws America into dangerous adventures overseas and drives wedges between the United States and its allies, not to mention the loss of American influence on neutral countries? Wouldn’t such a policy in the absence of The Enemy put America in the position of an outcast in the international community?’
    (See https://www.nytimes.com/1987/12/08/opinion/l-it-takes-two-to-make-a-cold-war-963287.html .)
    As it happened, Arbatov was completely and utterly wrong. The liquidation of the security posture inherited from the Stalinist period, followed by the break-up of the Soviet Union and the abandonment of communism, in no ways decreased Western hostility to Russia. The seething and near unanimous hatred of Putin is greater by far than that towards any of the leaders of the old Soviet Union.
    The truth, it turned out, was that people like Gorbachev and Arbatov were naive fools.
    What however then becomes material is that if Western behaviour makes clear that those who sought good relations with us were indeed such, it really is very foolish to expect that Russians will vote for such people.
    Something that saddens me somewhat is that, as became clear if one probed, a strong undercurrent in the thinking of people like Arbatov was the belief that, although this had not been Stalin’s intention, his post-war policies had gratuitously wrecked the relationship with the United States built up during the wartime ‘Grand Alliance.’
    I have difficulty thinking of any more promising way causing people to abandon such beliefs than allying with those who venerate Stepan Banderistas in an attempt to bring the Crimea into NATO. One thought people might be aware that Sevastopol is the scene of two great sieges, by the French, Ottomans and British in 1854-5, and by the Germans, Romanians and Italians from December 1941 to July 1942.
    In both cases, the city fell. In the latter, however, the defenders tied up Erich von Manstein – one of the greatest exponents of mobile warfare – and the German Eleventh Army for seven crucial months, which among other things made a major contribution to the fact that Stalingrad did not fall, and the Germans were decisively defeated there.

  20. Max says:

    I am certainly aware of the role that Nuland and the State Department and the Obama administration in general played in supporting the Orange Revolution. What I don’t know is what “clandestine” efforts–cash payments, secret promises, etc.–other elements of our government may or may not have played. I suspect we did, but I don’t know and for this, open research is difficult to conduct.

  21. b says:

    Here is the link to the National Security Archive summary with the relevant documents:
    NATO Expansion: What Yeltsin Heard

  22. LeaNder says:

    Now that matters are heating up in Europe-Russia relations, strictly along the lines of the representative in the political talksshow circle, I talked about above, was Prof. Glees, he speaks German has a semi-German background. Apparently was more frequently present on German media, got glimpses. DW? Didn’t take a closer look.
    Prof. Anthony Glees – Buckingham University:
    Strictly two of his arguments stuck out for me. One challenged how it would be challenged here, Iraq, anyway:
    a) it is no doubt significant that it only happened 7 km/?miles? from Porton Down. What was he doing there?
    b) if the Foreign Minister speaks he has relevant intelligence information.
    Apparently the EU followed the latter argument.

  23. Thomas says:

    “I just dont come to understand at all how can a once superpower with 1000s of nuclear warheads can downplayed for decades. I just don’t get it.”
    Look at the advocates. Russia committed the gravest of sins, they killed Trotsky! And stopped the looting of their country by the same advocates’ kin.

  24. JW says:

    Anna, re #11. There is very little ‘weeding out from positions of influence’ as you suggest. The political preselection process ensures that such people do not actually get started on the train, but in most cases they have already left as soon as they arrived, having seen, to them, the nauseous and noxious collection of people with whom they would otherwise spend years rubbing shoulders.
    You will not find a Teddy Roosevelt or a George Washington in the current era.

  25. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I think you are underestimating the demand side of NATO expansion; many Eastern European states wanted to be included in NATO – for reasons of both security and prestige (of being associated with the dominant civilization on Earth and the Winners of the Cold War).
    In fact, EU membership, NATO, and Plato went together – it was an act of joining (or re-joining) the “Civilization”.

  26. et Al says:

    I seem to recall that the purely European WEU (Western European Union) was touted as replacement for NATO that would be purely European and built up, so there would have been at least some discussion. I wonder what the dynamics of that fail were and if there are any public documents that highlight it?

  27. Jubal says:

    Stalin promised free elections in these exact same eastern European countries now conquered by Nato only 45 years earlier. Instead he delivered murder, gulags, rape and ethnic cleansing. Because of his total obliteration of any opposition, the postwar history today is still corrupted with Stalin’s and the Bolshevic’s lies. Not to mentioned all those falsely charged and executed at Nuremburg.
    Take Stalin himself. Many Russians would claim that his continuing murder of millions after the war was already won cannot be blamed on Russia or Russians. They claim it was the USSR that perpetrated these deeds. But many of these same Russians suffer from nostalgic delusions about the good old days under “Uncle Joe”.

  28. Casey says:

    Yeah, I’d say they’re moving from worse to as bad as it gets, as Mr. Global sets up a coordinated, simultaneous, four-front attack (Syria, Ukraine, Iran, DPRK) on Rus allies, along with their various false-flag absurdities. We’d better hope any adults left in the room put Mr. Global in the psych ward, and real soon.

  29. Anna says:

    I wonder, what nation makes your cultural/genetic roots. According to your post, your people have been ruled by angelic creatures.

  30. JW says:

    A handshake agreement to limit the eastward expansion of NATO ? This handshaking was going on while Western commercial interests were penetrating, en-masse, the newly de-Sovietised economies of Russia and the CIS states and that alone should have been a hint of what was to come. I’d suggest that Putin was not one to miss that hint.
    Power depends on domination and monopolisation of resources, people and ground, or at least in an interim period denying their exploitation by competitors such as their contemporary owners. Control of or denial of use of the wealth of Eurasia, the greatest land mass on the planet, is the key to hegemonic control of the planet for an inestimable time interval, and numerous routes have and will be tried to achieve this objective.
    With that in mind, could anyone really express surprise at some long ago handshakes and broken agreements made to Boris Yeltsin and a bunch of bewildered former Soviet bureaucrats ? The Chinese has long since learned the lesson.

  31. JW says:

    Re your #27. Some of those outcomes are now apparent and are leading to disquiet among some of the once eager participants. It would be interesting to discover Iran’s view at the time of the future likely outcomes for the participants of this ‘civilising’ process. Iran obviously had little interest in becoming a participant and it’s thinkers would thus have been able to retain some objectivity in observing this process.

  32. guidoamm says:

    A blast from the, albeit recent, past.
    “[…] Anders Fogh Rasmussen said alliance members must be willing and able to exercise military power “beyond our borders” to combat threats such as terrorism and missile attacks.”
    “[…] By contrast, Britain and the US believe that to remain relevant, Nato must be prepared to tackle potential security threats beyond its members’ borders.”
    “[…] Afthanistan could serve a template (sic) for future threats and Nato’s response to them.”
    No mention of course of who defines what may or may not represent a threat.
    Note also the author’s opinion that Afghanistan is to be held up as a model of how to go about things. The MIC’s dream come true.

  33. b says:

    I linked it above as HTML link under
    “NATO Expansion: What Yeltsin Heard”
    Works in my browser.
    Here is the raw link:

  34. Balint Somkuti, PhD says:

    Nobody would have thought only the names are changed. The situation remains.

  35. Sarah B says:

    Whatever aliby is offered to explain whatever promise ever made by the US and Western allies on whatever issue is difficult to take into account, since their very way of procceed have been consistently always the same.
    On historical facts on inteventions by US Imperialism in Russian sphere of influence and everywhere, I bring in this Spanish translation of 56 chapter of the book “Killing Hope” by Wiliam Blum, currently discontinued, with the following comment by the editor of the blog which made the effort:

    The recent American Empire (chapter 56 of Assassinating Hope, by William Blum)
    “The way Bush and his people managed to deflect America’s anger from Bin Laden to Saddam Hussein is one of the greatest public relations sorcery tricks in history.” John le Carré, quoted by Blum.
    Note from the blog editor: We offer the last chapter of William Blum’s book on interventions by the CIA and the US Army since the end of World War II. In this chapter that closes his book, Blum tells us about the recent American “Empire”, from 1992 to 2002. It is obvious that between 2002 and 2016 many events have taken place in the world, linked to US imperialism. The last 13 years are not reflected since Blum’s book was finished writing in 2003 and published in 2004. Even so, it is a chapter that we can extrapolate perfectly to understand US imperialism. since then. Perhaps, everything that Blum describes has been accentuated more and more in recent years. It is, then, a text that maintains its relevance.
    The term “Empire” applied to the United States it began being used by critics of imperialism. However, as Blum tells us, more and more apologists of US foreign policy are using it proudly; recognize and defend such imperial reality.
    “The American Empire” is the last chapter of Blum’s book. It closes a magnificent and indispensable work whose knowledge and diffusion are required if we want to understand the contemporary world. It is not possible to understand international relations, peaceful or violent, outside of imperialism, just as it is not possible to understand capitalism outside of the latter.
    Documentary reference: William Blum: “The North American Empire from 1992 to the present”, in “Killing Hope. Interventions of the CIA and the United States Army since the Second World War”, chap. 56, pp. 460 to 471. Editorial Oriente, Santiago de Cuba (Cuba), 2005 (original in English: William Blum, “Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II”, Common Courage Press, 2004).
    Digitization source and corrections (cite and keep the hyperlink): Blog Del Viejo Topo.
    Images, captions and bold: they are our addition.
    Other chapters of the book: to access other chapters published on the blog, see the index at the end and click on the hyperlinks that are active.”


  36. LeaNder says:

    David, I am familiar with the argument you refer to in the last paragraph. It surfaced in looks at the larger ideological battle at the time as far as the more then extreme Nazi propaganda was ‘echoed’ or found supporters for historical reasons e.g. in Hungary and/or the Ukraine, arbitrarily. The larger “Judeo-Bolshevik” complex. I have a deep inner resistance to where it feels it would end theoretically. Had they taken a different route they could have made it? Seriously? They should have?
    Along these lines, I am not sure either, if I want to reduce Ukrainians collectively to Banderistas. Fact seems that obviously everyone in Russia is anti-Nazi, which includes the extreme right.
    Prof Glees alluded to several people beyond the more spectacular cases in the UK. Eight, I seem to remember. Only three were mentioned: Litvinenco, Skripal and Berezovsky’s (suicide)*. Not sure if Glees does include him in this list. unfortunately no one asked him for a list. Who else does he have in mind?
    Arbitrary google search:
    Glushkov? Who else may be on his mind?
    * Now, if anything wouldn’t a service use something less spectacular then Polonium and whatever poison gas?

  37. janes says:

    david, it is always interesting and informative reading your comments.. thanks for making them.. i struggle with the idea that anyone is is idealistic is being naive.. this is how it would appear gorbachev has to be taken, but i struggle with it regardless, as i am attached to the idealism that is built into his way of thinking as you outline here.. at what point does humanity seek an alternative to war and the build up and preparation for war which is the basis for NATO? as john lennon said ‘give peace a chance’.. i think gorbachev did this..
    i read today an article by peter hitchens where he mentions “Nato is the real barrier to peace” –
    would the usa ever let europe drop nato? would europe ever recognize how it is a block to greater peace in europe? or, do bigger fences make better neighbours?
    pat mentioned you might do a thread on the skripal / uk dynamic at some point.. i hope you do… thanks..

  38. Jubal says:

    @Anna, RE: “roots”
    Actually, the bezirk of which I am a citizen and taxpayer was once the oldest Republic in Europe. Some Alemeni hill volk and some lake dwellers managed to purchase their freedom from the Habsburgs in about 1350. This Free Republic existed for centuries until its representatives arrived late at the Congress of Vienna in 1817. Our Republic was lost in the same way that Switzerland was lost when it joined the UN.
    Switzerland had a long history of preventing rulers and powerful cliques from gaining a monopoly on power. Unfortunately, that history has been discarded in favor of giving up sovereignty to globalist agendas like refugee settlement, global warming, tax law, and here specifically: to NATO empire building (Switzerland is active in “defending” Kosovo).

  39. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I forget the name, but in 1954 (I think), there was this very popular Russian song, which, I think, emotively influenced the minds of Gorbachev’s generation. The ideal of “Perestroika” might have been born then.
    The moving hand, however, has written that Gorbachev & Arbatov were wrong while Stalin and Alexander I right.

  40. Babak Makkinejad says:

    In the link below, Ambassador Chas Freeman (Rtd.), engages in what I have been advocating several times on this forum; viz. The Rectification of Names – among other topics.

  41. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Defending against “Terrorism and Missile Attacks” are code words for war against Iran, I guess. Reminds me of the war plans of the Imperial General Staff that late into autumn of 1939 called for war against USSR.

  42. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Well at least you can now travel freely and tell jokes about your leaders without fear. Reminds me of my great aunt who stated: “At least under communists we could drink.”

  43. turcopolier says:

    What have you don with the true Babak? He would not have had a great aunt who lived under communism. You do not acknowledge the religious baraka of the Hashemite king? He, too, is sharif. some time ago one of you Baraks posited that a group of trolls ar working this site rotating invented personalities. How much do you think they get a word? pl

  44. Babak Makkinejad says:

    My great aunt was making a joke about post-revolutionary Iran.

  45. Babak Makkinejad says:

    The King of Moroco is acknowledged and accepted by the population as Emir al Mouamenin; he could legitimately make rulings on Islam. That does not obtain for the Hashemite Kingdom in Jordan.

  46. turcopolier says:

    As you know,the religious authority of the king of Morocco is a matter of Moroccan politics and was the basis of the establishment of the country under French protection. Muhammad II is called “amir al mumeneen” because he wishes to be called that. Abdullah II’s lineage seems equally worthy to me. pl

  47. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Yes, I am only discussing an accident of history. The Kingdom of Morocco has the thoretical capacity to transform itself into an Islamic Constitutional Monarchy along the Eur4 models. The King could deputize a religious council, etc.

  48. Babak Makkinejad says:

    King Abdullah II is acknowledged as the Custodian of Christian and Muslim Shrines of Jerusalem. Even Iranians accept that but he has never promoted himself as such; a political mistake in my opinion. But then again, “The foremost interest of the Realm is known only to the Monarch and none other.”

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