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What Did Gorbachev Know and When Did He Know It?
Center for Security Policy ^
| Frank Gaffney Jr.
Posted on 06/10/2004 2:18:19 PM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
(Washington, D.C.): In the wake of persistent disclaimers from Mikhail Gorbachev that he knew nothing of -- not to say authorized -- a brutal crackdown in Vilnius on Saturday, the Center for Security Policy today called on Congress to demand an answer to an urgent question: "What did Gorbachev know and when did he know it?"
Responding to reporters questions today, President Gorbachev blamed the brutality in Lithuania -- which killed at least 14 persons and injured 144 -- on a "local military officer." Responding to reporters' questions, Gorbachev stated that he only learned of the crackdown Sunday morning when he was awakened. Interestingly, rather than convey to his audience any sense of remorse for this ostensibly unauthorized action, Gorbachev used the occasion to launch a new round of criticism against independence-seeking Lithuanians.
According to Boris Pugo, the former Latvian KGB chief and recently appointed Minister of the Interior, the Lithuanian demonstrators precipitated the bloodshed by firing on Moscow's armed forces. When Lithuania's President Landsbergis placed an urgent phone call to the Soviet president in the midst of the confrontation to dispel any illusions Gorbachev may have had about this preposterous charge, he was told by Kremlin aides that Gorbachev was "too busy having lunch" and would not take the call.
In case these transparent lies proved inadequate to insulate Gorbachev from responsibility for the bloodshed in Vilnius, the Soviet leadership has apparently decided to try its well-rehearsed excuse of blaming "rogue military officers" for Soviet actions which could jeopardize improving U.S.-Soviet relations. And no wonder: This ploy has been demonstrated to be singularly effective in the past in preserving Gorbachev's image as a champion of fundamental human rights and progressive policies at home and abroad -- in spite of evidence to the contrary. Consider but a few examples:
- In April 1989, the murder of 19 Georgians in Tblisi by Soviet troops wielding sharpened shovels and poison gas was blamed by Mikhail Gorbachev on local military forces. Then-Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze has subsequently intimated that he almost resigned over probable Kremlin complicity in the massacre.
- Shevardnadze, in belatedly admitting on 23 October 1989 that the Krasnoyarsk radar violated the 1972 ABM Treaty, again signalled that the civilian leadership had been blind-sided by the military.
- In March 1990, scores of Soviet-made SS-23 shorter-range missiles banned by the 1987 INF Treaty were discovered illegally hidden in East Germany, Czechoslovakia and Bulgaria. The Kremlin put out the word that this was the work of the military and that the discovery of these caches came as a shock to the Gorbachev regime.
- Some U.S. officials have found comfort from Kremlin explanations that the massive Soviet fraud in connection with the new Conventional Forces in Europe agreement -- by which tens of thousands of tanks, artillery pieces, and armored personnel vehicles were slipped outside of the zone covered by the Treaty or exempted by simply calling them "naval infantry" -- were also the work of the military acting without permission from the Kremlin's civilian leadership.
- On 4 January 1991, the Dimitry Fermanov -- a Soviet-flagged vessel -- was intercepted and diverted in the Red Sea, after a multinational boarding team discovered military hardware on the ship which included command and control vehicles, rocket launchers, explosives, tank parts, and communications equipment. Such equipment was not listed on the ship's manifest. The ship sailed from Odessa in the Soviet Union and was bound for the port of Aqaba in Jordan -- and presumably its cargo was headed for Iraq in violation of the UN embargo.
- The Washington Times reported on 9 January that Bush Administration officials were downplaying the issue suggesting that the Kremlin was "unaware of the renegade ship." (Emphasis added.) One Administration official actually went so far as to posit that the ship captain may have been trying to sell the embargoed items on his own.
(Excerpt) Read more at centerforsecuritypolicy.org ...
TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; Russia
To: Tailgunner Joe; Travis McGee; section9; Lazamataz; Nick Danger; Cannoneer No. 4; Rokke; ...
The Soviet military was *stunned* at how poorly its hardware performed in the first Gulf War back in 1991. They still hadn't recovered from having Mathias Rust fly his little Cessna into Red Square, they hadn't gotten their space shuttle Buran working, they had only begun to comprehend (no chance to counter!) the American civilian computer revolution, and they couldn't counter American stealth or field stealth themselves...and then they learned that their tanks, even in large quantities on ideal battlefields, were incapable of inflicting even the smallest damage on Americans.
Still reeling from losing East Germany, Poland, and Afghanistan, the Gulf War closed the lid on Soviet aspirations of greatness. Looking around, the Soviets saw that their biggest remaining claims to fame were the basketcase Soviet puppet-states of Cuba, Zimbabwe, and North Korea.
posted on 06/11/2004 7:41:47 AM PDT
(Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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