thumbnail of Dilemmas of power; Harrison Salisbury
Hide -
If this transcript has significant errors that should be corrected, let us know, so we can add it to FIX IT+
But it's all right. Good afternoon and welcome. It states that the power in the past number of days. It could be one of the concerns the political bias. Yes it's that has been acknowledged by those outside of the fashion. It's not and it's just rock n roll. London and it's got you so this is not a morning. You went to New York. What's going on. You're right. In 1959 or 1960. Six to nine thousand six
hundred seven. Stenson. Let's run with that. George thanks. And it starts right now. Let's have one the George. That's the that's the most other thing living in Russia and China. Assistant managing editor of The New York Times since 1950. And. That's my chairman Alan Bernstein. Richard it's
my pleasure to introduce But it's like a. Thank you very much. I'm talking today about the relation. I don't know my way of thinking. You are extraordinary. You guys know what we're doing. But it's kind of a guide. The only clue in the future and what I would. Your relationship. Flowers.
If you find the relation of these words. Or it's possible application where at the present time. Just ahead. There are facts about the United States and Russia that I have shifted to Russia because I think that we must begin at the beginning and America existed long before the train. In November 17 3rd certain obvious similarities between our two countries. Each of us is a large human right.
Which at least in the 19th century seemed on the limit. It is not only an expanse but very large population. We're the largest nation in the world. And I think that in and has a great deal with it and it's headed toward it. And our attitude toward Russia and America are very expensive countries. People we are expensive. We think in large we're conditioned to do that. So these are similar.
There was a time when Russia and and its struggling nation. Our two nations are distant from each other even today in this age of transport. Yet all of the wonders of modern technology it's almost by chance a common front a tiny little one off the coast of Alaska. But it's not really accurate. We hear nothing back and forth to the except an occasional that's not very many of them. Are spheres. But I am different. I think this is important too.
One other thing which is important is the attitude of the two countries is that story. And this goes back of course. And it's continued under the Soviet system. We have rather markedly different systems of government. What have these various factors done so far as you're concerned. The relationship between Russia States during a century. We have to trade with each other. And frankly we didn't like the literary origins of this country you know which was the American Revolution.
And the Americans and Constance. And let's the contagion. The American revolutionary spirit. And to France and Russia. Nineteenth century a century of autocracy in Russia and the United States and Iraq when it's not there with great hostility. Yes it's a striking thing that some local support for the closure of the Russian revolutionary. And while we are not only locals and separately but again it's
when the chips were crises between the States and Russia. And it's actually hard at the time. It's a rush. The
cause of great power politics. It had nothing to do with the world. It was important to develop and conditioned our relationship with the government. Because the direct election between. DR and western expansionism the territories which the Russians had explored all the far south as San Francisco. The western
hemisphere. You might say in the present day. This was not a part of Europe. The Russian. Writer might wonder what today if they like it there. If you like. And a bit later on. Japanese war.
I tried it once again not a time when a country. Russia. But as a power. When you worked in Japanese we were inflicted upon the US. Which was considerably more on the cheap.
So much for the relationship. It tells us something but we need to know about our relationship. In the 20th century the most dramatic event in in this century quite clearly was the Revolution of 1917. Now look events with horror and fear and concern. We should know that there are a lot of which we have been emotionally committing for decades a movement which we as a progressive forwards and which for us for oppression. We believe and we were not the only ones of course. But in throwing off the tyrannical right
the Russians were opening a new chapter which would lead them to declare freedom and democracy which we knew in this country and which as we understood it. And I do believe that our understanding of that urine was correct. It was time to begin to talk. The initial reaction was not negative. We didn't understand what was going on but we certainly were not opposed to it. It became quite apparent that we're going to do a lot of World War One. By this time we're deeply engaged in our popular sentiments and that's beginning to turn against strange new creatures. And a
dramatic thing happened for the first time in a relationship relationship between Russia and the United States. We are a United States reluctant United States did not want the intervention of the Allied powers in Russia and intervention and B might cause against the Reds in 1990 and it was intervention or antagonism. Very little. We participated with the British or the French. There is an interesting aspect to this military
confrontation. But you are a very curious and I take an engagement against Red Russians or Russians many of which in those days. But we acted in a sense it's the Japanese who brought what. It's not Siberia so there was a good relationship. It was not real and taken against the new regime which is an effort. A great power bases in
Cyprus against the Japanese. It was a threat in the Pacific. It was a factor of the relationship. I think that in times of crisis. But it is not whether we are anti-communist. It is not whether we have moral principles or the present day. It is
quite literally our chance. The system on this tablet and turned all of Siberia into one that camp. It is not factors. When the chips were down it has been really our interest our interest and that of Russia. Today it's. Different. Perhaps we can understand better the last 25 or 30 year relationship between the two. And so far as the United States were concerned after the communists came to power we have. Seen what happened between Russia
and what happened between ourselves and the Communists. Not so. Diplomatic. Diplomatic. That's after. Yes you can. Except double time which is transpiring yet in spite of the lack of diplomatic relations. And in spite of a reflex action. I mean I
think in a sense well China in spite of all that the actual relationship in it. With Russia. Before we had diplomatic relations with trade and the specialists of every kind and in a massive project which are developing their industries and agriculture it was a very very a relationship diplomatically. We were at opposite home countries. In the world but we got along well.
This changed. But I think it's in understanding why you didn't read it 1930. Quite well for 15 or 16 years. Why did this particular woman begin to come together and given the enterprise FDR. I don't think so because it was the great world and what was happening in that year yet risen to power in Germany. Yet to begin with. But to the Japanese. We just didn't and no longer it seems to me are separate. Even if
it was on the part of the country it was to have it now national try in a closer together. But that's a pretty good idea and I think that why did the oil for the machinery which led into a diplomatic relationship that if you if you and looked at the situation. What is it called the United States and communist China. Here. It's like a track which will lead us into a diplomatic relationship
already. You know of the danger arising from the Russian danger of war. There's no doubt in my mind that on the right side this is been a very clear and leading them one. A closer relationship will be on the side of the State Department. Like clearly in their mind this new plan with all its dangers and all its unexpected. I don't lead the nation and want to force
an important course in diplomacy or simply as a closet. Because they want to tidy things up big and urgent and quite clearly now with the advantage of 40 years of your examination. What the Russians take the preliminary steps early in the decade of the 30s and war did come as a war to our intimate relationship with the Russians when in spite of the difference it's a principle. And the difference is you're right. Especially with all of the purges and all of the crimes of
we working side by side with the Russians we saw it as a monolith of world capitalism which is their belief structure. But all of that rhetoric. And indeed those principles went out the window. A common danger. It surely was not love that brought them together. Churchill the most eloquent spokesman against communism that the West possess and what dedicated his life to fighting him to gether and me and the Russians came together it wasn't an easy relation. This is patients do not die in place of peril like continue. I was
deeply taken but they did not he or did not meet the task of the effort to defeat him. It was unsuccessful but the moment that the policy of the country went back essentially almost two point one. That's really it was more essential to Russian security claim and maintain a military. We were going to Eastern Europe and were in every court along the periphery of this great empire. Than to attempt to achieve a solid friendship and relationship with the United States a great power which he really did not know and which he really felt had only come to
light because it could not help itself and it come as belatedly as it possibly could. We on our side quite clearly were not interested in a friendship in a relationship with a state as a rival for world power. A challenger to the United States a challenger to a purpose. It did not in my opinion require Winston Churchill coming to deliver his famous Iron Curtain speech to make that come down and curtain was going to down in one form or another. Yes there are some of you who do not believe in the inevitability of history and I don't entirely believe it. But surely the forces in motion at the end of the world were moving not toward world agreement not toward world
accord but more competition and conflict and we did it too. Today as the Cold War era the Cold War era a period the one period in the history of relations between the United States and the Soviet Union when the two nations were most hostile not only in their official leadership there but I think right through the great bulk of the people on either side within this country. Part of that time I was a part of that time. And while it is certainly true that the average Russian had no open for me as an average average American he had hostility in general. He was stimulated by his government. The byproduct of this intense competition.
This occurred in every part of the world but not in the military sense because it did not break out in the military sense at any point to the Russians. But we were in conflict wherever each one or the other had a special. There is a striking fact about this period at a moment when antagonism is so intense that it was a common thing to pick up an American publication and find it spread across a double center spread in a magazine. A plan for attack on Russia. Prominent military men were proposing that we launch a preventive war against the Soviet Union. And the one on the other side equally
despite all of the outstanding impression that I have from this period is that it did not spill over into. Why should they. We had the power in the United States to make war against the Russians the Russians surely had the power to make war against us. The large areas of Europe in spite of the support that we gave before our forces were put into position before even the Russians could have my answer to that is that it was not in no interest to engage in the world. Each side regardless of paranoid feelings that might have existed and from what we found that he wasn't no good at all
or at all. The other in war. And that I think is perhaps the most important lesson we need to learn about this this complex history of the relationship between our countries. But even at this moment even when you picked up every day reading about the Berlin crisis in Turkey or the Korean War any of the things they did to you is evidence of enormous restraint on the part. We did not we didn't drop the bomb on the Russians are the only ones we had. That's quite true. But I wonder whether it was a matter of. I rather suspect it was simply that I couldn't really make a
case for our national. Side. The Russians didn't you could not make a case even though you know that this is national interest to do it. Yes. Challenge them and you know cross the line you know. There are those who examining the relationship between the United States and Russia tend to take a particular incident as the controlling one of the last decade or perhaps one in particular the right. To control our relationship. It was the reaction to crisis that consistent with the
picture of the actual inner nature of our relationship. It seems to me that if our crisis we came to the brink of nuclear war with you through that we came back from that. We did not cross the danger at any moment. Right. It looks very tired if necessary to cross. The Russians were prepared if necessary. What if we match our conduct. I guess it's in the past week. Whatever we come back. It is not after all in our national
interest to go Of course not Iraq. We live in an age when many of the danger that we do something which the United States. In a war with Iraq. One cannot exclude the possibility of the but. But I think they're quite clear that even if it does not mean that you automatically go into it you have now built up a record on either side. We can do it. We are really normal compatible. You know that if we were say three or 1917.
Or that we have no love for the radical regime which the bureaucratic inherited years of Soviet and now we have no love for the kind of things the bad regime has done in a country like Iraq or earlier on in a country like Iran. We don't like it. We like Russian. In fact I like many Russian and in general I like people but I don't think that's a good relationship. Maybe I should like to be sad when they get together. It's true but
very different as well and I like politics I think to be realistic. Sort of like they don't like our country they don't like foreign policy. They're deeply disturbed by something which they're deeply the ship between US and China and I want to close by examining a little bit in the relationship between the two thirds. We are moving toward a new relation with China. In my opinion not with the intention of a
strategy. And one night we go to the next one. There was one time axis directed against. The organize. I don't think that is right. But the Model X. Right. What's the rush. It's the mark here. The world has come on the scene. It's a high class role in many different but remarkably growing technology. Nuclear Weapon
apps having front doors are sensitive to plow like the ones that left the market. Will they remember that happen when they start talking about the Lord's Koran. It's you and the column. Five hundred miles from here. 1 800 million. Even the Chinese.
It's the Russians. If we had a hundred miles from here and there were a hundred million Chinese there with you. I got it. What context to understand. There are there. Your car which could only come with the United States and there are the same next month. You're the chairman.
It's a guess that there would be dangerous to world peace for this. Not in Mr Nixon mind you are not sure of it. Must get it right. That's why we have so many efforts to point out what is not a crock and it is if not in our direction at least with all of the. And this is why there are certain nervousness about China are doing and why. This is perhaps the most delicate period but the relationship
between United States in the long relationship which I have it's going to be carried out. It's the wrong one wrong. Maybe but this is a world power. It's not been a factor in the relationship between our two countries historically. It's going to be an experimental period and it will have to be explored. Great question because the thing to security in the world and we have enough of that. And the other part of the Russians as to the argument a couple of years ago in Moscow by the
marshals that we should that the Chinese become powerful. And I remember having American generals given to us you know after World War to try to get Russia before they got to the dangers I give. But it's one which will be nervous and and one which cannot see the future here. That is the other. The game. The more regulated. Community of which players participate and it's better to get everyone talking together rather than one of
the most important like outside. When we think of negotiations and the times in which you're going on to the talks. MARTIN You agree. But against all this the important thing to keep the world. The China but the one that put them in the number three position. They're not they're not bound by law.
They can do anything they want with their missile treaty. Once you begin to see the discussions and that's what that's why. The next maybe the most because we have a complex problem. Thank you.
For a trip to the next game. I would not be going to Russia certain. China. As a situation very active diplomacy. In many places it is not only because diplomacy is not limited to the United States the Chinese are markedly worldwide diplomatic
relations are active throughout the world. I think what you do a lot of growing up in here. You're right. Protect. Act on protect against
a sense of security on the time. Of day. In the world we must have understanding of what an
enormously powerful weapons are concerned. The question certain which are involved in security a couple of Middle Eastern situation and the situation which are threats to peace. Regardless of what about the nuclear weaponry. I don't mean to place any time. But if we don't have your weapons for example we are coming up with an even more difficult to keep.
I think that you can bet that in the near future. I thank. You. For that. It's probably
not a question of. People expressing pressure. I don't see any problem. Trust the people in this country what is not trusted by many people. What makes you think the Russians are stopping you whether I think any
leader there after me trusting in their comments and I think I think they don't like it because I like him. I don't like it too much. But you know. You know. Mocking it up. You want to get something done you have to trust him very much but I think this particular
meeting and work which either can't break or broken. We want real weapons. Get it. They don't have to be convinced. We're between two governments. So then maybe something happens but it's not a matter of Mr. Nixon. Something like that. Thank
you. There's been some resolution of the conflict first with the most politics the latest with me. What do you think is going to be any more progress on the bike I think tomorrow. It's entirely possible that very important things will occur at the ready for signature and Security Council Conference which I don't think Mr. Nixon is just right that it will be. If you are to deprive as a reaction to
a defeat suffered by I don't pick up my will goes against you. I don't think. The.
Very. Top. Executive producer. Program.
Please note: This content is only available at GBH and the Library of Congress, either due to copyright restrictions or because this content has not yet been reviewed for copyright or privacy issues. For information about on location research, click here.
Dilemmas of power
Harrison Salisbury
Producing Organization
Johns Hopkins University
WBJC (Radio station : Baltimore, Md.)
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, or if you have concerns about this record, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip/500-x34mr17q).
Episode Description
The second program in this series features journalist Harrison Salisbury talking about this history of relations between the Soviet Union and the United States.
Series Description
This series presents a variety of lectures on Soviet-American relations. The lectures are followed by informal question and answer sessions.
Politics and Government
United States.
Media type
Composer: Schwartz, Donald
Producing Organization: Johns Hopkins University
Producing Organization: WBJC (Radio station : Baltimore, Md.)
Speaker: Salisbury, Harrison E. (Harrison Evans), 1908-1993
Subject: Eisenhower, Milton Stover, 1899-1985
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 5486 (University of Maryland)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 01:00:00?
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Chicago: “Dilemmas of power; Harrison Salisbury,” University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed March 1, 2024,
MLA: “Dilemmas of power; Harrison Salisbury.” University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. March 1, 2024. <>.
APA: Dilemmas of power; Harrison Salisbury. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from