Sharing an unheralded story of the late Mikhail Gorbachev, John Browne, a former adviser to U.K. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, on Newsmax Wednesday noted how the Cold War wound down with the assist of the United Kingdom.
With the USSR struggling financially, Browne recalled being Gorbachev's personal diplomatic chaperone during "a low-key parliamentary visit" to the U.K. to meet with the "Iron Lady" Thatcher, Browne told Tuesday's "Prime News" with Jenn Pellegrino, recalling Thatcher "was a great confidant of Reagan and a great standard-bearer for freedom, and enterprise, and defense."
Browne remembered Thatcher said privately after the third day of the "low-key" U.K. visit, "I think I can do business with that man."
"And that was the key," Browne told Pellegrino. "She handed him the door to President Reagan and an end the cold phase of the war that had lasted almost 50 years since the Second World War."
Browne got to know Gorbachev personally on the unheralded visit, telling Newsmax he "had some very interesting times with him."
A maximum pressure campaign against the USSR by the Reagan administration ultimately brought Gorbachev to the U.K. to find a way to help approach diplomatic relations with the U.S., according to Browne.
"They were getting into trouble economically," he recalled of the former Soviet Union. "With computer speeds far less than that of the United States and lack of money, they would never catch Reagan's SDI [Strategic Defense Initiative] program and therefore they were likely to lose the battle for space — the vital ground for any new strategic war."
Browne noted there were factions inside the USSR opposed to Gorbachev's leadership and visions, noting they feared a move from socialism to free enterprise, and — Browne said — Vladimir Putin-like factions that wanted to rebuild "the old Russian empire."
"They felt rather grand, and they didn't want to lose that grandeur," Browne said. "The Russians are very proud people, and here came a man that was preaching not grandeur and military might, but free enterprise for everybody and democracy.
"It was all rather strange, and it was all rather frightening that you actually had to go out and do a job and actually earn money as opposed to being given money for doing a job."
Browne called Gorbachev "a brilliant salesman, extremely well-educated."
"He was a modern man, for peace, democracy, and enterprise," Browne continued. "Therefore, they restored a vitality and a faith in Russia of the modern time."
Browne noted Vladimir Putin, by contrast, is "a man of history."
"He wants to go backwards, and Gorbachev wanted to go forwards," Browne said.
"Luckily" Gorbachev was ready to modernize with Reagan and Thatcher.
"Together, these three people gave the world peace," Browne concluded. "And, unfortunately, our politicians squandered what they call the peace dividend by just giving bribes away to people and just giving money out, and now we're in the biggest chaos you can imagine.
"And Russia is helping that, because the war in Ukraine is putting the fear of God into a lot of European countries, militarily."
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