Letter from Hungary to Mr. Joe Biden, President of the United States

Mr. President,

   I am writing to you as a simple citizen of a small country in the heart of Europe at the historical crossroads of armies on behalf of all those my compatriots who want to live in peace with East and West and want the policy of confrontation to finally give way to peaceful cooperation based on equal rights and mutual respect.
   We had hope for your election as president because we were confident that you would review your predecessor’s policy, which led to a low point in the US-Russian relationship. We hoped you would change that and realize that there is no reasonable alternative to peaceful cooperation. We considered it a step worthy of a real politician that, as one of your first measures, you extended the New START agreement for five years and took steps to restore the dignity of American diplomacy in the multilateral system.
   Aware of your positive steps, we were shocked to learn that you had called Russian President Putin a "killer", though you may know that he is a peace-loving man loyal to his people, who wants to realize the supreme desire of the Russian people to live in peace and friendship with the American people.
   We Hungarians have not only moral concerns about your statement, but also fundamental political objections! After all, your rude and unfounded statement suggests that you not only do not want to move US-Russian relations off the low point, you do not even want to negotiate it. Based on our historical experience, I conclude from your behavior that you want to turn Hungary against Russia and tune my compatriots against the Russian people. Do I well understand your intention, Mr President? Because if so, it is my duty to inform you that the vast majority of the Hungarian people reject your plan despite the fact that our country is an ally of the United States in NATO. I would like to warn you about this fact!
   The situation of my Hungarian country has been abused too many times so that we do not have to insist on peaceful coexistence. We are fed up with one great power forcing its will on us and turning us against another. We are tired of bringing the skin of the Hungarian people to the fair, Mr. President! We have learned that our peace depends on mutual security, not on the military alliance to which we belong. This realization guided the Hungarian government when it decided in 1968 to bring the opposing parties together, and initiate the creation of a collective security system in Europe, with the participation of your country, the United States. The process of European security and co-operation leading to the Helsinki Agreement started from here, in Hungary. The peace-loving Hungarian is still proud of that, because he knows that we have done a good service to everyone with our reconciliation policy. I would like to bring to your attention the "spirit of Helsinki"!
   We are convinced that East-West cooperation should be developed, not demolished! We see that progress is not being served by attributives such as the one you have given to Russian President Putin! Do you really think, Mr. President, that you don't have to talk to the leader of Russia? How can you turn your back on the one who gives you his peaceful handshake, despite the fact that you call him a killer?! How can you respond to a proposal of phone conversation saying you would meet him when the time comes?! Don’t you think it’s time to discuss a thing or two before it’s too late?
   Mr. President! When you were elected president, you said that your goal was to heal the wounds of American society and restore its broken unity. We consider this to be very important, as the events in the United States in 2020 and early 2021 have made it clear to the whole world how much risk a civil war poses to peace. We could have seen so many manifestations of racism to this day, bloody showdowns, massacres. We could experience an increase in xenophobia, anti-migrantism. We see the widening gap between wealth and poverty, the deepening of social inequality beyond imagination, the transformation of distributional system in favor of the few to the detriment of the majority. We see that many millions are drifting to the periphery of society, and their daily worries are proper nutrition, health care, housing, and the wages needed to make a living. We feel the tensions that come from it all. We are aware of how much you have to do in this area, as American society is bleeding from a thousand wounds! But we want you to think about whether creating a mood against others is a cure for wounds? Is it possible to fight hatred by inciting hatred? Is it permissible to blame others for what is up to you?
   The intention to attribute the troubles to American society alone is far from us! Worldwide, the gap between wealth and poverty, between owners and those excluded from ownership is widening. The masses are polarizing. A multitude of unresolved issues are towering, threatening peaceful coexistence domestically and between countries. Our common problems cry out for a solution, but instead of coming together for their relief and remedy, we pretend that everything can go the old way. For the first time since World War II, we are confronted with a common enemy, the coronavirus that threatens us all in our very existence. We expected your country to become an engine of cooperation so that humanity could fight this crap as soon as possible. Instead, we see America subordinating the common cause of humanity to its own business interests.
   Mr. President! Do you think your country would be able to cope with these global problems alone? Shouldn’t global problems be remedied in collaboration with others? America would not be interested in planning for a better future with others: overcoming the pandemic, reviving the world economy, restoring a normal life? All the more so as both Russia and China are ready to join forces with you for these goals. Would you not want to attend the world summit that Putin initiated with the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and everyone said yes to it, including your predecessor, Donald Trump?
   We, here in the heart of Europe, trust that your hasty statement will not be backed up by the political practice of the American government, but that your real-political vein will be stronger than the pretensions of those circles who want to see the US Governments of all times, including your government, as an instrument of their own interests. 
   We want to look at America as the champion of peaceful cooperation! To this end, I wish you good health and creative spirit for the sake of all those who want to live in peace and tranquility!
                                                                              Dr. Endre Simó president
                                                                        Hungarian Community for Peace
                                                                               (Magyar Békekör)

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