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International Experts Warn of Danger of Nuclear War Today

International Experts Warn of Danger of Nuclear War Today

Read the transcript International Experts Warn of Nuclear War

International Experts Warn of Nuclear War


          From the International Peace Coalition meeting, March 8, 2024

Helga Zepp-LaRouche:[Founder of the Schiller Institute, Germany] Let me all greet you and express my gratitude that so many experts are on this call because, I think a few thinking people in various parts of the world are getting really, extremely concerned about the fact that we are closer to nuclear war than at any time in history before. And given the breathtaking irrationality of many Western leaders, it is requiring an extraordinary effort of the International Peace Coalition and other peace movements, which we have to unite, to really get a change in the situation.  First of all, we have the ongoing NATO maneuver, Steadfast Defender. This is 90,000 NATO troops deployed already now since February into May, exercising for the first time the idea that there is an attack by Russia on a NATO country, and large numbers of troops are being moved in this maneuver. There is a Russian publication which comments on that, saying that such maneuvers give a very good cover and a pretext for an actual attack, so in that sense, we are in a heightened alert situation for that reason. And the same goes, naturally, for the overall strategic situation, where the idea to have an international security and development architecture on the international agenda, which would take into account the interest of every single country on the planet, that is also coming more and more into the discussion because, as you will hear in a few minutes, a congressman from Mexico has made a very important speech with exactly that demand.

          So I will stop here, at this point, but I can only say we are in a situation where we could lose civilization at any moment—it is that tense, and I think the discrepancy between what we know is going on, and what the awareness of the population is, there couldn’t be a greater gulf. And that is what we have to urgently remedy, and get people mobilized to change the policy, into a new paradigm, for a shared community of the one future of humanity, because that’s what we have: We are one humanity, sitting in one boat, and if this goes wrong, there is nobody going to be left to discuss why. That is why we have to increase our efforts tremendously.

          Thank you.

Col. Richard A. Black (ret.):[Former head of the U.S. Army Criminal Law Division at the Pentagon, former Virginia State Senator] The writing is on the wall: Ukraine is a slaughterhouse. They’re losing the war, and the time is now that NATO, if they want to do something, they’re going to have to step in and do it themselves. Keep in mind, that there are a tremendous number of people in all NATO’s countries, whose lives and reputation, whose family wealth, depends on war-connected activities, and they do not intend to let Ukraine go down.

          So it’s an extremely dangerous time. We need to do whatever we can to resist the possibility of American and NATO troops becoming directly involved in the Ukraine war to a greater extent than they already have. Thank you.

Lt. Col. Ulrich Scholz (ret.):[Former NATO officer, former Tornado pilot, Germany] What I think is the war has to end, because it’s leading nowhere. On the very first day it was leading nowhere. Now, the question is, really, why do they keep on doing it? And for me, I would say, it’s a face-saving exercise now. They want to get out, but they don’t know how.

          And the poor Ukrainians, I think, nobody is asking them, because officially we have their President, who is always very belligerent, but how do the Ukrainians feel?  So, I think they are exhausted, and they are bled out, and I think just from this point of view, whoever is going to win on the political end, whoever is going to win, the Ukrainians are going to lose. So, I think this is the issue, that we somehow get talks, in Türkiye or wherever, where we can find, in the area of both sides, the West and Russia, we come to an area where we have common interests.  I think that’s just diplomacy: Look for an area where we have common interests, and then focus on that one, and stop the shooting. That’s the only way to get out it.

Graham Fuller:[former U.S. diplomat, CIA analyst, and Islamic scholar]As long as the United States simply cannot face the reality that it is no longer able to call the shots in the world, then we are still faced with a very dangerous situation. It’s almost like a tired boxer, who insists on climbing back into the ring, and showing that he can still fight and still be number one. It’s harsh to say that, but I fear that that is the reality at this point. Perhaps the truth in the United States is slowly sinking in, with the rise of China and the rise of the BRICS powers and the Global South; maybe it’s gradually sinking in. But it cannot happen too soon, because otherwise we are in a very dangerous game of “chicken” in Ukraine, with the United States determined to prove that its side will win.

          And I hope, if some kind of voice of rationality can emerge at end, and bring this war to a close, this could, hopefully, influence other very ugly and tragic situations, like the one in Palestine and Gaza, today.  Thank you.

Prof. Richard Sakwa:[British political scientist, former professor of Russian and European Politics at the University of Kent, U.K.] First point, I do agree that we are now in the foothills of a Third World War. It’s not, in a nuclear age, this sort of war is not going to be immediately declared, but we are—so far, we actually haven’t hit the first ladder on the escalation precipice or escalator, but we are very close to doing so. There are plenty of people in Moscow who are suggesting that, perhaps, some sort of a salutary warning, perhaps a small nuclear strike on a European town has been mentioned.

          So once the taboo on even talking on a limited nuclear war is out there, and the way this is being dismissed by Western commentators, shows just how dangerous this moment is. This says precisely, which I know that the LaRouche Organization and all of us are emphasizing peace and development: In other words, a framework for commonwealth. We see it in all of the statements of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the enlarged BRICS-Plus organization, and indeed, the Russo-Chinese alignment, which is so important, and,indeed, with India and so many other states.

          So, the Global South, the political East, simply refuses and hopefully can act as a moderating voice, and hold us back, escalating and climbing up further from the foothills to the peaks of the Third World War. That’s a little note of optimism, but I think in these dark times, we have to cling to the idea that the rest of the world simply isn’t playing this game.

Prof. Steve Starr:[Professor at the University of Missouri, former director of University of Missouri’s Clinical Laboratory Science Program] There’s a false narrative that you can use a tactical nuclear weapon, to stop the Russians, you can make them back down. Well, Russia has nuclear weapons, just as the United States does. And once we introduce nuclear weapons into a war, if you’re fighting another nuclear power, you want to bet that they won’t use them against you? I  think that’s another false narrative.The Russians made fun of the idea of winning a limited nuclear war back in the 1980s.

          So I think the danger of nuclear war is greatly exacerbated by these narratives, that “we can make Russia back down,” that “we have nuclear primacy over Russia,” and if we have leaders who are delusional and accept these narratives, then it’s a very strong likelihood that we can wind up being victim to them.

Dr. George Koo:[retired business consultant specializing in U.S.-China trade and Chairman of the Burlingame Foundation] All of the previous speakers have spoken about the danger of a nuclear war, as a result of the Ukraine-Russia conflict. I just want to mention that the Pacific is also a spark, a sensitive point, because the United States is sending the signal to Philippines, to Taiwan, and trying to encourage, and trying to encourage them to start a proxy war.

          In the United States, we have learned since we withdrew from Afghanistan, it’s much better go get others to do the actual fighting for us, and we just provide the wherewithal, the arms and the military weapons. But I want to point out to the American public, that if the United States has successfully provoked a firefight between China and the Philippines, or between China and Taiwan, the P.R.C. government fully recognizes who’s actually behind such conflict. And I predict, and I feel the first thing that will happen, if such conflict were to start, the first thing they would do, would be to take out all the U.S. naval vessels in the Pacific, so that, whether it’s the Taiwan people or the Filippino people can see that China is fully capable of destroying the military backing, and that will cause them to think twice.

Ray McGovern:[former CIA analyst, co-founder of the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)] The next year, President Kennedy—actually less than a year later—in his speech to American University on June 10, 1963, warned: Look, the thing we have to remember is not to give another nuclear power a choice, between humiliating defeat and using nuclear weapons.

          Now: Why do I mention that? Well, there is going to be a humiliating defeat in Ukraine. The Russians are not even going to have to consider using nuclear weapons, but the acolytes and the sophomores that are advising Biden, might just say to the President, “Look, you know, we only have several months before the election. We’re going to lose, it’s going to be a humiliating defeat in Ukraine. Technically, if we don’t get that $80 billion more from Speaker Mike Johnson, we’ve got these other weapons—why don’t we try these mini-nukes? That would show ‘em, that would show the Russians, and that would last us, maybe, right to the election.”

          Now: Am I imagining something? No! These people have done the unimaginable, time after time after time.

Congressman Benjamín Robles Montoya:[incumbent Member of Congress, Mexico] [addressing the Mexican Congress, translation from Spanish] Today, the threat of nuclear war is again looming— with the United States sending weapons to Ukraine and Israel, where what is happening is an atrocious genocide. And meddling in the China-Taiwan conflict, with Russiapulling out of strategic arms reduction treaties, and nuclear test bans.

          Colleagues, we have reached the very precipice of nuclear war, and it is imperative that all nations raise their voices—not the voice of one nation, nor of several nations, but of all of humanity—for peace and against nuclear war. Let all the citizens of the world also unite in pursuit of a new international security and development architecture that guarantees the right to welfare and economic development of the people of the planet. Achieving peace through development, that is the path.

          That is all, Madame President.

The 40th consecutive weekly online meeting of the International Peace Coalition on March 8 opened with a warning from Schiller Institute founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche that we are continuing to flirt with nuclear war. She cited the currently ongoing NATO “Steadfast Defender” exercise where 90,000 troops are explicitly rehearsing a war with Russia as an example of the supercharged environment. The mainstream media, rather than looking at the increasing danger of World War III, marked by the recent scandal of the leaked audio in which German military officers discuss covert means of directly entering the Ukraine war, are focusing their attention on speculation over who leaked the audio file.

Turning to the situation in Southwest Asia, she said that the conflict in Gaza is being driven by geopolitical motives and cannot be looked at separately from Ukraine. Several UN Special Rapporteurs are now calling it genocide, calling attention to the growing danger of starvation, and saying that it is intentional on the part of the Netanyahu regime. Investigation of genocide will inevitably bring us to the question of U.S. and German involvement and culpability. The Oasis Plan, as proposed by Lyndon LaRouche in 1975, provides the only way out of this ghastly situation.

Zepp-LaRouche’s strategic overview was followed by military and intelligence experts who expanded on the nature of the war danger.

Col. Richard Black (ret.), former chief of the U.S. Army’s Criminal Law Division at the Pentagon, observed that the Ukraine war was the lead item in President Biden’s “State of the Union” address, underscoring that whenever a President says he won’t send U.S. troops, it’s almost a promise to do the opposite.

German Lt. Col. Ulrich Scholz (ret.), a former NATO planner and lecturer on air warfare, warned: “NATO nations have not trained together for decades, and are not capable of going to war. If the Americans don’t do it, nobody’s going to do it.” Regarding the war propaganda in Europe, he said, “All the war talk is a face-saving exercise. They want out.” His advice? “Look for an area where we have common interests and stop the shooting.”

Helga Zepp-LaRouche interrupted the proceedings to report that the U.S. Embassy in Moscow has now advised Americans that they should avoid large Moscow gatherings for 48 hours, as extremists plan to attack such events. Numerous countries that routinely ape U.S. foreign policy gestures have followed suit.

Former U.S. diplomat, CIA officer, and vice-chair of the National Intelligence Council, Graham Fuller told the gathering: “The fundamental problem of world stability today lies in the inability of the United States to read the tea leaves, to understand the geopolitical shifts in the world today.”

He said that the U.S. is no longer the sole superpower; the U.S. can’t face this reality, and this is the danger. “One of the problems of democracy is that you have to galvanize the entire population to go to war…. You’ve got to demonize the enemy, demonize Putin, make it a struggle between absolute good and absolute evil.” Fuller asserted that advocacy of democracy is being used as a weapon, but we don’t support democracy when it is inconvenient. “We have a United States today which is perhaps the most ideologically driven nation in the world.”

Prof. Richard Sakwa, British Emeritus Professor of Russian and European Politics at the University of Kent, warned: “We are now in the foothills of the Third World War.” He said that we should distinguish between two levels: the world as it was structured in response to the horrors of World War II, with the UN and international law in the spirit of “Never Again”; and the paradigm which replaced this after 1989, or what he termed the “Second Cold War.”

In the first Cold War, diplomacy continued. But when Obama expelled the Russian diplomats in response to unproven allegations, diplomacy was being destroyed. “A political West emerged based on Cold War thinking.” Sakwa said that there is an emerging consensus against this in the “Political East.” They promote an idea of commonwealth, in opposition to the imperialism of the West. “The Global South and Political East can hold us back from moving from the foothills to the peaks of a Third World War.”

Mexican Congressman Benjamín Robles Montoya’s statement March 6 on the floor of Mexico’s Chamber of Deputies, was shown to all assembled. The Congressman emphasized, “We have reached the precipice of nuclear war…. Achieving peace through development, that is the path.”

Prof. Steve Starr, the former director of the University of Missouri’s Clinical Laboratory Science Program and published author in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists warned that the war danger is heightened by the fact that Joe Biden is up for re-election, and can’t be seen to be losing the war in Ukraine. He said that “the danger of nuclear war is greatly exacerbated by false narratives,” such as the one where we can use tactical nukes to make Russia back down. The electromagnetic pulse generated from a single nuclear weapon, detonated above the U.S., could take out our entire electrical power grid, all solid-state circuitry and computers. An 800-kiloton nuclear weapon detonated directly over a target such as Manhattan would ignite a firestorm over an area of 100-150 square miles. Each side has thousands of nukes, and the resulting smoke and soot created from their nuclear detonations would form a global stratospheric layer reducing the sunlight reaching the Earth’s surface and halting agriculture for 10 years, in what is called “nuclear famine.”

George Koo, retired specialist in U.S.-China trade, concurred with Colonel Black: The U.S. has a tendency to say one thing and do the opposite. He said that the U.S. is sending a signal to the Philippines and Taiwan, encouraging them to start proxy wars with China. The P.R.C. government fully recognizes who is behind this. They will take out U.S. naval forces in their neighborhood in response.

Humanity for Peace coordinator Anastasia Battle presented a report on the March 2 meeting in Detroit, “Emergency Conference for Peace in Gaza: The Children of God Cry Out for Justice,” at New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, the historic church of C.L. Franklin, where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered a speech in 1966. Nine videos of the speakers are now available on YouTube.

Ray McGovern, co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, reminded the participants that President John F. Kennedy, during his June 10, 1963 speech at American University, warned that we should never give an adversary a choice between humiliating defeat, and nuclear war. Now this very choice is being presented to Russian President Vladimir Putin at re-election time. He presented his assessment of Vladimir Putin: “I would say he’s a statesman, and he’s a pretty cool customer.” McGovern went on to wryly quote former President George W. Bush: “Don’t ‘misunderestimate’ the Russians.”

McGovern presented some provocative speculation about the recent resignation of State Department harpy Victoria Nuland. He pointed out that we haven’t seen the entire leak from the German officers. If Russia intercepted it, so did the U.S. National Security Agency. Maybe Nuland was working behind everyone’s back with German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius to transfer Taurus missiles to Ukraine. McGovern emphasized that this is speculation, but as likely an explanation as any.

This was followed by a discussion session in which many new participants introduced themselves. In conclusion, Helga Zepp-LaRouche recommended that the Americans ally with the Global South. “The signs of hope are small, but sometimes when you are in a crisis, even small signs of hope can cause a shift.” She reported, as such a sign of hope, the growing number of leaders who have endorsed Lyndon LaRouche’s Oasis Plan for peace in Southwest Asia.

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