Video link updated now viewable. "The US dreams of a unipolar world and wants to drag Russia into an arms race." The most recent debate on the Iranian PressTV news service, New nuclear arms race (21/10/18), is embedded in this article. The 23 minute video of this debate about the US pulling out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty features ex-CIA officer John Kiriakou arguing against the United States' decision and Frederik Peterson attempting to defend that decision.
This was an important debate on a crucial subject, which needs much more airing. In my opinion, Frederik Peterson lost the debate, which was also marred by both participants interrupting each other. In the earlier part of the debate John Kiriakou, for all the good points he made, was, unfortunately, the principle culprit. Whilst many viewers may understand the outrage felt by John Kiriakou, his speaking over Frederick Peterson would have made it harder for viewers to follow the debate and gain a better understanding of all the issues at stake.
Nevertheless, such debates, if widely viewed would help a greater proportion of humanity understand the true nature of the threat that we all face from this new escalation in the nuclear arms race and act against it.
One shortcoming in the case made by John Kiriakou, and many others who also put the view he was arguing, is their failure to put their arguments in an even broader historical context. When placed in the broader historical context, the evidence that the United States is the principle threat to humanity is even more overwhelming.
Since 1945, the United States has killed many millions in a vast number of wars, both covert and overt - Vietnam, Korea, Greece, Indonesia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Ukraine, Chile, southern Africa, Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador, etc., etc. Of these, only the near-genocidal war against the people of Korea between 1945 and 1953 had any semblance of legality. That was because, in 1950, the Soviet Union stupidly failed to veto a US-sponsored resolution to make the war a United Nations war. No other war waged by the United states had any legal basis under international law.
What, in all those years, has the Soviet Union, Russia, Iran or China done that is remotely comparable to all those many vast crimes against humanity? Such a list might include Hungary in 1956, the 1968 crushing of the Prague Spring and the Red Army's 1980s war against the insurgency fomented by Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan. The destruction and loss of life in these conflicts, compared to all the destruction and loss of life caused by the United States in those conflicts listed above, is trivial, even microscopic.
Had John Kiriakou framed his argument within this broader historical perspective, Frederik Peterson's claim that Russia poses a bigger threat to humanity than the United States would have been seen as truly laughable.
These debates could be made much more important in world politics by inviting key politicians to defend their policies
Video debates on both PressTV and RT could be used even more effectively. Why not issue standing invitations to the likes of John Bolton, John Brennan, Benjamin Netanyahu, Nikki Haley, Emmanuel Macron and Petro Poroshenko to put to their audiences, before an interviewer and other detractors their ludicrous points of view?
PressTV's debates are possibly livelier than most, with skilled comperes sometimes pressing home extremely sensitive big political questions, the kind usually avoided by the mainstream.
As they stand, the total of 23 minutes or so allowed for debates is insufficient for most important subjects. Crosstalk on RT has tried to rectify this kind of problem by having 'extended parts' to some debates on youtube, so that the