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Former U.S. Ambassador to U.S.S.R. Explains What Happens When You Turn a Nuclear Superpower into a Pariah

April 6, 2022 (EIRNS)—As the images from the Bucha narrative swept over United States, seasoned former diplomat Jack Matlock ran counter to the CNN segment on April 4 in an interview: “I share many of these emotions, but to the idea that we can make a major nuclear weapon state a pariah, that by our actions we actually are destroying those elements in that society that could bring a positive change in the future. I think that is not wise.” Matlock dealt with the Moscow government as the U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union from 1987-1991, in addition to earlier postings to the Moscow embassy, in 1974-78.

He made clear as to what kind of foolishness was involved in rushing to judgment, when so much was at stake. One can feel outrage over instances of the “horrors of war,” but the issue was how to end such horrors, he argued. Against a nuclear power, there must be deescalation accomplished through actual negotiation. Any other path leads to uncontemplated horrors. “To think that the world would benefit from making Russia, a nuclear power equivalent to the United States, a pariah, I think, does not really represent our interests in the future. I fear a world of that sort.”

Matlock’s April 4 intervention appeared in a CNN segment in which the Bucha photos were accepted, whole-cloth, as proof of Russian war crimes. After University College of London Associate Professor in Global Politics and Washington Post columnist Brian Klaas claimed that the killings of civilians in Bucha were “orchestrated” by senior Russian military officials, Matlock offered: “We do not know for sure exactly what happened with these apparent atrocities. And, certainly, we don’t know that they were ordered from Moscow.” He then reminded CNN’s viewers that NATO’s expansion in Europe and the gradual rising of tensions between Western powers and Moscow were the fruits of U.S. foreign policy, and an avoidable mistake. Klaas took umbrage: “I think the characterization that this is somehow our fault is wildly wrong.”

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