Fifty-five years ago this week the Cuban Missile Crisis risked nuclear war. It was created by poor diplomacy, and it was resolved by talking and compromising.
Mikhail Gorbachev, leader of the Soviet Union from 1985 to 1991, has issued an urgent plea to Presidents Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump, proposing a tried and tested means of improving relations between Russia and the United States.
"Relations between the two nations are in a severe crisis," writes Gorbachev. "A way out must be sought, and there is one well-tested means available for accomplishing this: a dialogue based on mutual respect."
Just as former U.S. President Jimmy Carter proposes the supposedly impossible idea of negotiating with North Korea, as someone who has successfully done so, Gorbachev proposes the defusing of a U.S./Russian crisis through top-level meetings as someone who has successfully done just that.
Click here to add your name to Gorbachev's plea.
When Gorbachev and U.S. President Ronald Reagan first met, 30 years ago, presidents of the two countries had not met for six years. Members of Reagan's cabinet opposed the meeting. Gorbachev came out of the meeting saying of Reagan, "He's not a hawk, he's a dinosaur." Reagan came out denouncing Gorbachev as "a die-hard communist."
But the two men kept meeting. And concerned members of both societies and the rest of the world kept encouraging them to do so. The results included extremely successful disarmament treaties now in danger of being abandoned.
It's critical that we create the environment in which Trump and Putin understand it to be in both of their interests to dialogue. Click here to help do so.
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-- The RootsAction.org Team
P.S. RootsAction is an independent online force endorsed by Jim Hightower, Barbara Ehrenreich, Cornel West, Daniel Ellsberg, Glenn Greenwald, Naomi Klein, Bill Fletcher Jr., Laura Flanders, former U.S. Senator James Abourezk, Frances Fox Piven, Lila Garrett, Phil Donahue, Sonali Kolhatkar, and many others.
> Mikhail Gorbachev: "My plea to the presidents of Russia and the United States"
> David Swanson: "Gorbachev: It Was Worse Than This, and We Fixed It"
> Noam Chomsky, TomDispatch: "The Week the World Stood Still: The Cuban Missile Crisis and Ownership of the World"