duminică, 7 decembrie 2014

Larry Watts raspunde punctual observatiilor lui Petre Opris

Dl. Larry Watts raspunde in engleza, observatiilor d-lui Petre Opris, facute pe romaneste.  Formatarea apartine d-lui Watts.


Problema „Larry L. Watts”
Detaliile din cărţile publicate de Larry L. Watts demonstrează că nu cunoaşte toate aspectele problemelor pe care le abordează.
RE: My Knowledge
I would like to stipulate from the very beginning that I most assuredly do not know all of the aspects of the problems that I broach in my books. However, I do know something of all of them and a good deal about some of them. I began studying the Soviet bloc in 1975 and Romania more specifically in 1978. I remained academically and then professionally occupied with it ever since, catching the last 21 years of the Cold War and observing – from time to time at first hand – Romania’s role in it. I have conducted research on various aspects of it, particularly Romanian foreign and security policy and, especially when working for U.S. “think tanks,” on its military and security services. So, I presume to believe I might make a useful contribution on this topic.
Nu ştiu dacă el a greşit sau traducătorul, însă amănuntele pe care vi le-am semnalat mi-au sărit în ochi.
Re: Translation and Editing
I would also like to stipulate that there are indeed many errors, even in the original English, to which I made an errata sheet including some 80 such errors. The work has not yet benefited from a professional editing. There are, naturally, errors in the Romanian version and, yes, I was not able to do a proper editing job on that either (volume II is actually in worse state than volume I). I would have preferred that the situation stood otherwise but, as is so often the case, life is what happens when you are making other plans.
Part of the translation/editing problem that is quite serious is the fact that, although my bibliography of some 50 pages appears in Fereste-ma, Doamne, De Prieteni (it is on pages 717-771, before the index, for those who have had difficulty finding it), somewhere along the line (typesetters, printers, etc.) it was left out entirely of the second volume Extorting Peace/Cei Dintai Vor Fi Cei Din Urma. I was unaware of this until I saw what I thought were bizarre allegations that my work had no bibliography. Well, as it turns out, the Romanian version of what is titled in English “Extorting Peace: Romania and the End of the Cold War, 1978-1989” has no bibliography. I will see to it that it is corrected in future editions. Also odd, the original English version has the bibliography idiosyncratically placed AFTER the index. And so it goes.
Cronologia elementară scârţie şi orice istoric ştie faptul că fundamentul unei opere se creează cu ajutorul cronologiei. În concluzie, Larry L. Watts nu prezintă încredere, deşi a indicat foarte multe surse documentare. Practic, a inundat cititorul cu asemenea surse – în opinia mea, într-un mod propagandistic. O carte de 700 de pagini impresionează prin dimensiunile sale şi cititorii obişnuiţi pot spune fără să citească: „Da, omul acesta a făcut o carte bună”.
Recenzia pe care am făcut-o, la cea de-a doua carte a sa, am trimis-o deja în România.
RE: Chronology and Propaganda
I don’t understand what the criticism is regarding chronology. Perhaps it might be explained more clearly?
Likewise, if you can specify the propaganda or the propagandistic aim then I might be able to respond. However, your current formulation is so vague that it doesn’t qualify for much beyond innuendo.
The first volume, by the way, is 795 pages and not 700 pages, so non-readers impressed by size (ahem) should be more impressed still.
Nu am dorit să scriu despre sistemul de propagandă „în buclă” pe care Larry L. Watts l-a folosit din plin şi în prima sa carte. Spaţiul tipografic al unei reviste este limitat şi, pe de altă parte, nu doresc să îi fac de râs pe Larry L. Watts şi Ioan Talpeş. Am înţeles că lui Larry Watts îi place în România şi doreşte să fie prieten al românilor, aşa că evit să spun tot ceea ce cred despre operele sale.
RE: Concern for My Reputation
First, please, say something concrete about the system of propaganda “in bucla” so that I will know my transgression. Secondly, I promise you, I love a good laugh. I plan on having one at your expense.
And please, do not worry about Ioan Talpes. He assumes all responsibility for his “Foreword” to my book and can certainly take care of himself.
You misapprehend me. I do not desire any more friends. I desire the respect of people whom I respect. But even they have my permission and encouragement to say what they think and to point out my errors. I am so dedicated to getting it right that I will even take the extreme measure of changing my mind when faced with persuasive evidence. And I am especially interested in hearing such opinions from persons whose knowledge and judgment have been confirmed repeatedly.
Aşa se cuvine din punct de vedere politic.
L-am întrebat public pe Mark Kramer, la conferinţa de la Leuven (Belgia), ce părere are despre sursele utilizate de Larry L. Watts în cărţile sale? El a răspuns într-un mod diplomatic. Nu l-a criticat pe Watts, ci a spus că, prin ideile sale, Watts susţine reabilitarea lui Ion Antonescu şi Nicolae Ceauşescu. Sunt două chestiuni de care Watts este foarte ataşat în cercetarea sa.
Re: Mark Kramer and Rehabilitation
This is deserving of a separate blog, so I will return to this in the near future. However, I cannot resist asking. Who, in your opinion, are the two most controversial characters of Romania history of the 20th Century and what might be ‘strange’ about an historical researcher being drawn to a controversial topic?
Şi eu am observat acelaşi lucru. În plus, Larry L. Watts critică într-un mod voalat sau direct anumiţi analişti americani: Ronald Asmuss, A. Ross Johnson, Douglas Clarke, Mark Kramer, Juliana Pilon şi Vojtech Mastny.
Re: Ronald Asmus, Ross Johnson, Douglas Clarke, Mark Kramer, Juliana Pilon and Vojtech Mastny
I have criticized none of these persons. However, I have taken issue with some aspect or detail of their work, which is how the process of academic debate functions. Just as I permit and encourage (hopefully useful) criticism of my own work I also feel invited to provide constructive criticism – or at least to ask difficult questions regarding – the work of others. Ron and I had many go rounds when we worked together at Radio Free Europe in the mid-1980s, when we worked together at RAND in the late 1980s, and when he was in charge of NATO enlargement and sold on the idea that only the Visegrad Group should be admitted and I was working on NATO integration and military reform in Romania and had a very different opinion. Likewise, Ross and I go back to the same period at RFE and he is one of the reasons I went to RAND. A couple of years ago we – Ross and I – were on a panel at the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars together with Mark Kramer and Vojtech Mastny (and the CIA officer who ran Colonel Kuklinski in Poland). The video of that panel is on the Wilson Center website and my written presentation is at http://www.wilsoncenter.org/staff/larry-watts.
Mark Kramer and I have locked horns on several occasions, most recently, two weeks ago in San Antonio, Texas – he maintaining there is “absolutely clarity” Romania was advocating foreign military intervention against Poland in August 1989 and me pointing out that all of his sources are Soviet, Polish or Hungarian whereas all the Romanian sources adamantly exclude any form of foreign military intervention. With Kramer, as with Vojtech Mastny, my disagreements are with their conclusions and aspects their work and they do not take my questions and differences of opinion as personal attacks. I have indeed criticized Juliana Pilon’s short pieces from the second half of the 1980s at the Heritage Foundation claiming that Romania was a Soviet Trojan horse, just as I have when Ion Mihai Pacepa, Vladimir Tismaneanu, or Ambassador David Funderburk made the same claims before the archival avalanches of the new millennium. The claims were originally made when there was no access to the relevant archives. Only someone dedicated to an agenda having absolutely nothing to do with historical truth would continue to affirm the same today. I cannot recall taking issue with any of Douglas Clarke’s work, but, if I thought it wrong-headed, I surely would have in open discussion.
Totodată, Larry L. Watts a scris de mai multe ori „Constantin şi Olteanu (2013)”, deşi sursa corectă este evidentă. „generalul Constantin Olteanu”.
Oare toată lumea a greşit şi doar Larry L. Watts are dreptate? Nu cred aşa ceva. Experienţa îmi spune că „este ceva putred în Danemarca”.
RE: “Constantin si Olteanu”
Really? I would refer you to the section on Translation/Editing. But if your experience as taught you to use this as a basis of “proof” that “something is rotten in Denmark,” you should get out more.
Dacă am încercat un contact cu Watts?
Am discutat în primăvara anului 2012 cu domnul A. Ross Johnson la Centrul „Woodrow Wilson” deoarece s-a arătat interesat de opiniile mele despre prima carte publicată de Larry L. Watts în România. I-am pus la dispoziţie materialul pe care l-aţi primit şi dvs. şi mi-a spus că îl va aduce la cunoştinţa lui Larry Watts.

RE: You and Ross Johnson at the Wilson Center
I have met with Ross virtually every year, often on more than one occasion, both here in Romania and in the United States, since 1987. I spent a month a few desks away from him in November 2013 when both of us were Wilson Center Scholars. He gave my books a sterling review on Radio Romania Bucuresti last year (October 13, 2013, 2100 hr) We had a couple of conversations at a conference two weeks ago (November 19-22) in San Antonio.
Funny, he didn’t mention you. Nor did he ever feel it necessary to pass on anything you might have given him.
În concluzie, Larry Watts nu a avut un redactor de carte care să elimine greşelile de cronologie etc. Nu ştiu dacă Watts a scris cărţile respective sau au fost „ajutat” de Ioan Talpeş, preluând masiv din ideile vehiculate de fostul şef al SIE.
Subiectul acesta nu mă interesează în mod deosebit deoarece nu am timp să mă ocup în detaliu de operele altora. Le analizez, le utilizez şi, pentru prieteni, îmi exprim punctele de vedere. Time is money!

RE: Regarding authorship
The jury is in. The 17th Earl of Oxford wrote it.
And I would still like to hear the nature of my chronological problem (other than the fact that I am getting much too old for this).
Larry Watts

LARRY L. WATTS continua dialogul inceput la Grupul Prospectiv

Domnul Larry Watts ne-a trimis urmatorul mesaj, in continuarea discutiei noastre inceputa la Grupul Prospectiv pe facebook.  Discutia initiala este disponibila aici si aici.

First off, let me say that the discussion I have read on your blog has been admirable, with very many points well worth discussion. I hope to address many of them. For now, however, there are a few points that I would like to clarify and considerations I would like to introduce (although some of them have already been raised by your readers in other contexts.) My statement, “In mid-1965 Romania was ‘abruptly’ dropped from Warsaw Pact war planning altogether,”     is made on the basis of a Parallel History Project Hungarian study on Soviet war planning.  Since this was a measure undertaken without informing the Romanians, one would require additional evidence from Soviet or other loyalist member sources to falsify it. Evidence of Romania’s continued participation in map exercises regarding defensive operations, as you rightly point out, does not negate its exclusion from offensive war planning. There are several issues involved here. First, Romania’s exclusion from offensive war planning, the evidence for which I cited Imre Okvath, the former head of the Analysis Department in Hungary’s Office of History and current chief of the Main Department of Science at the Historical Archive of the State Security in Hungary. According to Dr. Okvath’s study of Warsaw Pact war planning (at http://www.php.isn.ethz.ch/collections/coll_wargame/introduction_okvath.cfm?navinfo=16606):
Interestingly, until 1965 the Hungarian 5th army was expected to work in close cooperation with the Romanian 3rd army in all military manoeuvers and operational plans; afterward, the Romanian armed forces abruptly disappeared from the scene. This abrupt change in Warsaw Pact military planning can be explained by the emergence of a new political line followed by the Romanian leadership now headed by Nicolae Ceauşescu. This was aimed at fostering the idea of national sovereignty within the alliance and trying to gain national control over nuclear weapons, while at the same time the new leadership declared the policy of working for the elimination of the two opposing military blocs. Since none of these ideas were welcomed by the Soviets at the time, this resulted in a special treatment of the Romanian armed forces as far as military planning was concerned from this time on.”
Any evidence from Romanian sources – military or otherwise – is of the wrong sort to falsify this. One would require more compelling evidence from the other Pact members at the time (for example, from the Soviet-era, Polish, East German or Czech or Slovak archives) or contrary evidence from the Hungarian archives.
Verification of Romania’s lack of serious military cooperation from Romanian archival sources, other Pact – including Soviet - sources, and from American sources during 1964-1966 is plentiful.  It was even plastered on the front page of the New York Times (e.g. December 19, 1964; May 14-18 and 22, 1966). And it was far worse than mere “lack of cooperation,” it had become an active effort to constrain the USSR’s unilateral use of the military force of the Warsaw Pact. As I note in the book, in July 1965 Ceausescu told Deng Xiaopeng that Romania “intended to do away with” Soviet control of the national armies in the Warsaw Pact (see the document in the collection by Dennis Deletant, Mihail Ionescu and Anna Locher at http://www.php.isn.ethz.ch/collections/colltopic.cfm?lng=en&id=16325&navinfo=15342).
A month earlier, in June 1965, Sherman Kent, the chief analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency and the head of its Office of National Estimates from 1953 until 1968, captured Romanian thinking and the dilemma it posed for Moscow with extraordinary insight. This document was not available to me when I wrote With Friends Like These/Fereste-ma, Doamne, de prieten, so, with your indulgence, I append some sections of it here (the paper, which was for CIA internal distribution only, is titled “Staff Memorandum No. 24-65: Rumania and the Warsaw Pact, 25 June 1965” is available at http://www.foia.cia.gov/document/5166d4f899326091c6a606e3.)
Certainly the evidence suggests that Bucharest would at least like to leave the Pact, and certainly, if it should do so, the repercussions would transcend the purely local… [T]hey almost certainly view the Pact as another Soviet device for insuring Soviet hegemony in Eastern Europe and as another instrument for bringing pressure to bear on the member states. …
Moscow’s ability to alter the Rumanian attitude is probably quite limited. Should Bucharest reduce its participation in the Pact to a purely formal level, refuse to participate in Pact exercises and make only a minimal contribution to Pact forces, Moscow would either have to tacitly acknowledge Rumania’s sovereign right to do so, change its plans for the Pact as a whole (as in fact it did for the CMEA when faced with comparable Rumanian opposition), or seek somehow to compel the Rumanians to acquiesce in Soviet plans.
The latter would be most difficult to accomplish. The Soviets almost certainly do not possess sufficient assets within the Rumanian party to overthrow the present regime. Nor do they possess a throttlehold on the Rumanian economy. Bucharest is probably in a better position to resist Soviet economic pressures than either China or Yugoslavia were; in any case, a Soviet boycott would almost certainly turn the Rumanians toward the West for help. A withdrawal of Soviet military aid would probably have the same effect. A Soviet bribe, such as a major economic aid program, would also be unlikely to work. The Rumanian leaders are not the sort who would be likely to barter their independence, even were they in great need of outside economic assistance. …
[T]here is one very telling reason why the Soviets might actually use force in the event that Romania was, in effect, defecting from the camp (by withdrawing from the Pact or in some other way): to preserve their empire, not only in Rumania but throughout Eastern Europe. A failure to intervene would signal to the other Eastern European states and, indeed, to the world at large, that the USSR had either deliberately decided to let the empire break up or that it was powerless to prevent it. …
The nature of the general Soviet dilemma is most clear in this context. An invasion of Rumania is most clear in this context. An invasion of Rumania would in many respects damage Soviet interests throughout the area and would carry with it at least the risk of trouble elsewhere in the Bloc.”

Romania did indeed think about leaving the alliance from 1964 on-and-off until the end of the 1960s/beginning of the 1970s. However, the central question – “Will it improve the security situation of Romania?” – could never be answered positively. NATO never offered it an alternative and was quite explicit on the impossibility of such a consideration (regardless of the fact that Bucharest actually concluded a friendship and assistance alliance with NATO member Portugal in the mid-1970s; a unique occurrence in the Warsaw Pact). Had Romania left the Pact it would have remained in the same geographic space with the same three Warsaw Pact members encircling it, only, instead of being allies – even if purely pro forma – they would be open adversaries. And, instead of the limited access to information and planning that membership afforded it, Romania would be completely blind and deaf to the inner workings of their alliance. 
Thus, Bucharest decided to remain in the Pact, but on ROMANIAN rather than SOVIET terms. Bodnaras clearly stated this to U.S. Ambassador Harry Barnes in March 1974, as I note in my book. The Soviet interest in keeping Romania a member of the alliance was also paramount, surmounting even public challenges to Soviet authority and active obstruction of its foreign and security policies and even military operations (for example, in the Middle East). Participation in Pact exercises that didn’t contravene Romanian policy – i.e. non-offensive operations – was one way in which Romania ‘proved’ its on-going membership. Another was participation in Pact and Soviet-sponsored meetings, although often the participation in non-Pact and especially ideological meetings was only pro forma, the Romanian delegation would often leave after the opening ceremony. Moscow, in contrast, would seek to portray them as enthusiastic participants.
How did Romania’s de facto withdrawal while remaining a member of the Pact play out with the Soviet Union, and especially the Soviet military? There are a variety of sources on this, ranging from the State Department and CIA reports of 1964/1965 to the memoirs of Soviet military officers. First off, it is useful to disembarrass ourselves of the twin myths that Romania never considered leaving the Warsaw Pact and that the Soviet Union would not have been bothered had they done so. However, even if the communist regime in Romania had been fully committed to the alliance throughout the Cold War, it would have mattered not at all if Moscow believed it was contemplating departure, especially if Moscow assessed such a departure as seriously undermining Soviet security. In interstate relations, as in politics everywhere, perception is everything. (To quote Marx “The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made.” – that’s Groucho Marx, by the way).
Romanian military interest in leaving the alliance appears in CIA and State Department reporting from November 1964 and in reporting from within the Pact that summer, including Khrushchev’s declaration to Czechoslovak Party leader Novotny that “The Balkans would become uncontrollable if Romania moved into the anti-Soviet camp. [We must] stop Romania leaving the Pact.” [Jan Sejna, We Will Bury You). We have the Polish transcript of the Pact’s Budapest meeting – plus Yugoslavia and minus Romania – in June 1967 where Brezhnev stated, after Romania refused its territory and airspace for the transport of Soviet and Warsaw Pact military assistance to its client states during the 6-Day War, that  “everything indicates they intend to break relations with our camp” and announce their “departure from the Warsaw Pact.” (Available at http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/113622.) We have Soviet Defense Minister Grechko stating to the Politburo that Romania is seriously considering “full withdrawal from the Warsaw Pact” and that the Pact “could not withstand this loss.” (Czech archive document cited in Matthew Ouimet, The Rise and Fall of the Brezhnev Doctrine in Soviet Policy)
To my mind, the clearest expression of actual Soviet-Romanian military relations is that given by the former chief of staff of the Warsaw Pact, General Anatoly Gribkov, in his 1998 memoir. Again, unfortunately, I was unaware of its existence at the time I published With Friends Like These, so this is not included in that volume. It is, however, well worth considering:
The Romanians were concerned they would share the fate of Czechoslovakia. So they adopted a doctrine of “defense of the entire people.” Gradually and secretly they redeployed their troops. The best-equipped and most combat capable divisions were deployed close to the Soviet border and to the Iron Gates, and close to the border with Bulgaria. Later the Hungarian front was strengthened – the contested territory of Transylvania. They deployed anti-aircraft batteries with combat charges, at all airports, including the capital, for destruction of aircraft and airborne troops. The Commander-in-Chief and Chief of Staff of the Warsaw Pact Armed Forces did not have the right to land at Romanian airports or to fly across its territory to Bulgaria without written permission from the Romanian authorities. When a [Soviet] aircraft approached Romania - it was as if it was about to be put under enemy fire. All of Romanian became an armed camp. In technical schools and standard schools students in the higher grades intensively studies military affairs. There as no fulfillment of operational plans worked out previously and no fulfillment of plans for the event of a NATO attack—although this was plainly necessary. Fundamental changes were introduced into the plans for the purchasing of armament; the Romanians only procured basically defensive systems for anti-aircraft, for interceptor aircraft, communications equipment and anti-tank weapons.”