Negotiating world order: a view from Madrid
The basic Western notion that prevailed in Helsinki was that lasting peace means more than the absence of war, cherished as that is. The absence of war is only the reflection of a moment in history that can quickly pass, whereas peace has a more lasting and fundamental aspect to it. The West successfully argued that peace had to encompass the totality of the relationship of the states negotiating toward that peace. The Helsinki Final Act reflected that totality. In addition to provisions on the vital issue of military security, there were provisions for the exchange of peoples and institutional representations. A commitment to human rights, unique in its breadth, became a major component of the search for peace. Its underlying premise was that a state that declares war against its own people cannot be trusted not to declare war on its neighbors. Our nonattendance in Madrid would have destroyed the Helsinki Final Act and with it the force of these Western values.Skip to next paragraph
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One of the great accomplishments of Madrid was that it provided an opportunity for the most thorough review of the Soviet Union and its crimes against humanity that has ever taken place in any international forum. A united Western group of nations, speaking in many languages but in one voice, documented the Soviet record of slave labor camps; the use of psychiatric hospitals as political punishment; government-sponsored anti-Semitism; armed aggression in Afghanistan and Poland; religious persecution of evangelical Christians, Baptists, Seventh-day Adventists, Pentecostals, Catholics; strangulation of scientific freedom; the decimation of cultural and national heritages; the defiance of agreements against the use of chemical and biological weapons.
Our uniform message was that the Soviet Union had to comply with the agreement it made in 1975 if it wished to be accepted as a responsible member of the international community.
Negotiation without confrontation, where the objective facts require blunt talk, is not a serious negotiation at all; it is a charade. A purpose of negotiation is obviously to reach agreement. Where difficult issues are involved , however, that agreement may not be possible in the short run. Equally important, therefore, the negotiating process must be used to communicate concerns . . . , so as to lessen the likelihood of ambiguity.
There is today sensitivity within the NATO alliance. Crises are ever present. There is always the potential for divisiveness when 16 free and sovereign states , governed by democratic principles and with differing histories and cultural backgrounds, attempt to formulate common policy. What is necessary is constantly to keep in mind that it is our values, indispensable to our being, that tie us together and that it is those values that are under attack and must be preserved.
Let me now make an assertion about dealing with the Soviet Union that is based on conviction and on my experience. The Soviet Union respects military strength. Its incentive for negotiating an agreement is greater when the positions taken by its negotiating partner have the added dignity of being supported by that strength.
The leadership of the Soviet Union is serious. Its diplomats are serious and well trained, and they appear to be ideologically committed to Leninism. The comment of one Soviet diplomat to one of our arms control negotiators - ''We are neither philanthropists nor fools'' - tells much of their seriousness of purpose. Their response in a negotiation is motivated by one primary consideration: their perceived national interest.
The integrity, character, strength of our society and of our people will undergo the greatest challenge of our history as we learn how to live with Soviet military power, meet it, challenge it, and simultaneously strive to maintain the peace as we remain constant in our ideals. . . . This is our faith, and what we should talk about.
As we do so, however, we must understand that we thereby implicitly threaten the Soviet Union. As in any dictatorship, its ruling class is deeply concerned about the subversion of its power - power accumulated not by agreement but by military and police power alone.
The very fact that there are neighboring free societies creates a powerful draw and attraction for those who live under totalitarian rule. By example, democracies inevitably tend to subvert Soviet authority.
Thus, we attended, talked, debated, negotiated, argued, dined, condemned . . . . We achieved some results in words. We have not yet achieved a change in (Soviet) . . . behavior. That will only come, if it ever does come, when the Soviet Union concludes that it is in its interest to change, and when its leadership decides it can best keep itself in power when the pattern is changed.
We, therefore, return again to negotiation. We have nothing to fear and everything to gain from an open relationship with the Soviet Union. This is what we were doing for three years in Madrid; this is what we must be prepared to continue to do wherever (possible).
We also must be prepared to visit. . . . Neither of the present leaders of the two superpowers has ever set foot in the sphere of the other. We must never forget the impact on Khrushchev of the sight of an American grain field and how it was tilled and managed.