Robert Legvold vs. Valdai Club – goals in conflict

Russians cannot afford to be naïve about Americans. The Americans who control power and policy in the United States have goals in conflict with most of the world, including Russia. The organizations that formulate and maintain the current iterations of the “America pre-eminent” philosophy, such as the Council on Foreign Relations, exist in a reality-less vacuum. They live to further their agenda and nothing else. There is no compromise, no room for discussion with opposing views. They have no mirrors for self-reflection and humility. These individuals are not just misguided; they are very, very dangerous to the rest of the world.

There are other Americans who make excellent choices to speak or moderate at international symposiums for peace due to their commitment to building peace and harmonious world community, respecting national sovereignty, multi-polarity, and speaking truth. They view other people as neighbors, not threats or competitors. They are humble, honest, reality-based, and well aware of America’s faults. They are not bound by prejudice or narrow interest. It is possible to collaborate with them to move our world towards peace and understanding.

Robert Legvold is not one of them. Robert Legvold’s background is with the Council on Foreign Relations and the Harriman Institute. He and his compatriots have absolutely nothing to do with the goals of Valdai. CFR’s recent report on China is one example of their supremacist philosophy.

Legvold was given the powerful and important role of moderating the final session at the Valdai Club with President Vladimir Putin in October. Why?

Below is the transcript of his long 11-minute speech, followed by the responses of President Putin and Jack Matlock.

Legvold refused to deal with the facts about American imperialism and foreign intervention. He wrote off American history as a distortion in other people’s perspective. That shows Legvold is a liar and a fool. Any school child can find reams of evidence and testimony from official government reports and think tank documents on American objectives, including from the CFR itself. Legvold’s stance also indicates pathology. Unfortunately, he is not alone.

Here is Legvold out of context:

“…it is not just misguided policy, but it is malevolent policy. The US foreign policy today is designed, in the case of Russia, to do genuine harm to Russia’s foreign policy interests, to contain Russia, to roll Russia back, to reduce its influence and to damage its strategic interests and stakes, both more broadly and within the immediate neighborhood. But even beyond that, that it is now a case of a US policy committed to regime change within Russia itself…”

If he had said this, he would have spoken the truth. Instead, he lied to the audience, and he did it with clever words.

In addition, he rudely and inappropriately excluded Mr. Larijani and Mr. Klaus in his remarks, choosing to focus on the United States-Russia relationship which he called the most important. The “me, me, me” focus was immature and embarrassing. And it was such a waste of time for those two men.

Why was he chosen to moderate? Was this an attempt at bridge-building by Valdai members? Instead of facilitating a productive back-and-forth discussion between panel members and the audience, Legvold hijacked the meeting. That’s inexcusable.

Russians and others must understand that these Americans smile, they have impressive titles and CVs, they know exactly what words to say to appeal to people or confuse them (“if you will forgive me and if you will indulge me”), but they will walk right over or through anyone. To understand these people, look at American history. Their friends are coup d’etat agents and financiers. They have an inflexible agenda, and they’re very self-focused.

There is no conceivable reason for having someone like Robert Legvold speak at Valdai. To do so interrupts Valdai’s important work.

Here are links to the video

The other speakers on the panel were:

  • Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation
  • Ali Larijani, Speaker of the Islamic Consultative Council (parliament) of the Islamic Republic of Iran
  • Vaclav Klaus, former President of the Czech Republic
  • Jack Matlock, last US Ambassador to the USSR, Professor of Princeton University
  • Andrey Bystritsky, Chairman of the Board of the Foundation for Development and Support of the Valdai Discussion Club

Complete transcript of  President Putin’s remarks with some of Jack Matlock and Robert Legvold’s remarks

Transcript at 1:24:06

Robert Legvold: Thank you, Ambassador Matlock. Thank you for reminding us of what was necessary and what worked in ending the Cold War and in many respects, what’s missing in our own day at this point.

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