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Cracks in the Facade of Western Hegemony – 41st. International Peace Coalition Meeting

Cracks in the Facade of Western Hegemony – 41st. International Peace Coalition Meeting

by Kevin Gribbroek

While we should not pay less attention to the danger—which is increasing daily, one can say—it is also clear that if there is a decisive action, there is hope that we can turn the situation around.

Helga Zepp-LaRouche

March 15—The 41st meeting of the International Peace Coalition (IPC) convened today, and provided a very interesting contrast—one could call it a “dissonance”—between despair and hope. On one hand, several participants conveyed a sense of despondency due to the impression that the IPC and the peace movement more generally are trapped in an “echo chamber,” with few people in the general population “getting the message.” On the other hand, many participants reported on exciting initiatives designed precisely to break out of the “echo chamber” and build a bigger base of support for the IPC process. Based on remarks from several speakers, it is also evident that there is a growing revolt in the Global South against the arrogance of Western hegemony and the centuries of colonial policies that have impoverished their nations and destroyed the hopes and dreams of their people.

Helga Zepp-LaRouche began the proceedings with a strategic overview that indeed demonstrated this growing revolt by the Global South and the effects it is having on political layers in the West. Of great importance was Pope Francis’ recent demand that Ukraine have the courage to negotiate a peace settlement with Russia. In the United States, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on March 14 spoke from the Senate floor, demanding that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu resign and that Israel hold new elections, saying that Netanyahu does not serve Israeli security by making Israel a pariah state. In Berlin, during a joint press conference between German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, Ibrahim blasted Scholz in regard to the Palestinian genocide, essentially accusing him of racism. In Denmark, the Ambassador of the Palestinian Authority, Prof. Dr. Manuel Hassassian, in an interview with the Schiller Institute, endorsed the LaRouche Oasis Plan for economic development throughout the region.

Zepp-LaRouche emphasized throughout her opening remarks that in no way has the threat of nuclear war diminished. She made it clear that only by changing the underlying axioms that continuously lead to failed geopolitical solutions to the war danger, and adopting a new paradigm of development exemplified by the Oasis Plan, is there any hope for peace.

The next speaker, Colonel Richard Black (ret.), former chief of the Pentagon’s Criminal Law Division, characterized the current historical dynamic as “moving closer to our 1914 moment,” referring to the events which triggered World War I, leading to the deaths of 14 million people. Based on various political moves being made in Europe and the U.S., he sees the emergence of a “war consensus” with the potential of NATO troops entering into direct conflict with Russia. “This is World War III,” he said. Despite the impossibility of Ukraine winning the war, the Western “elites” are determined to “snatch victory from the jaws of defeat … which will inevitably lead to a nuclear exchange.”

Terry Lodge, an attorney from Ohio and long-time member of Veterans for Peace, discussed the open letter he authored warning State Department officials that they are engaged in criminal activity by providing Israel weapons to carry out its genocide against the Palestinians. He aptly expressed the “dissonance” of the current period with his opening statement:

As dark and difficult as the last couple of years have become from an international human rights and war-making perspective, what has happened is that planetary citizens are coming together in gatherings like this, to talk sanely and talk rationally, and kind of reawaken awareness to the fact that humanity is struggling and trying to provide guardrails for the conduct of human behavior at a societal and national level.

He called the Biden administration’s arming of Israel a “ghastly, dark comedy,” but believes that “there are cracks that are occurring in this facade; that people like the numbers of you on this Zoom meeting can take some credit” for having caused those cracks.

Richard Sakwa, Professor Emeritus of Russian and European Politics at the University of Kent in the UK, began his remarks with an analysis of the now-ongoing Russian elections. Prof. Sakwa recounted an interview by well known Russian media figure Dmitry Kiselyov with Russian President Vladimir Putin, in which Putin expressed his belief that the “Western vampire ball” is ending and that 500 years of Western dominance is over. Putin believes that a new epoch has started and that Russia—as in the Soviet days—is the leader of the new, anti-colonial era. In regard to Ukraine, Putin stated:

“For us, the Ukraine conflict is a matter of life or death. For them [the U.S. and NATO], it’s a matter of improving their tactical position globally and in Europe…. If the U.S. tries to play chicken, Moscow is prepared to use nuclear weapons and considers its arsenal more advanced than anyone else’s.”

Sakwa’s assessment is that the current strategic situation is far more dangerous than the first Cold War. Essentially, the West is playing nuclear chicken and as Putin made clear, the Russians don’t play that game.

Zepp-LaRouche asked Prof. Sakwa, given the gravity of the situation, What must be done to “penetrate the mainstream brainwashed population”? Sakwa, although not having a definitive answer, pointed to the peace movement of Sahra Wagenknecht in Germany and the election of George Galloway in the UK as a sign of hope.

Zaher Wahab, a prominent Afghan-American and Professor Emeritus of Education at Lewis and Clark College in the United States, began by thanking the Schiller Institute for its relentless efforts on behalf of humanity to promote peace and development everywhere. Prof. Wahab expressed his belief that because of the “deep economic, political-diplomatic, moral and social crises” in the West, while the Global South continues to rise, this heightens the danger of nuclear war. He endorsed the Oasis Plan, and enthusiastically called for its extension into Central and South Asia.

Jack Gilroy, a member of Veterans for Peace and Pax Christi, announced a very important initiative: On March 18, Pax Christi, in collaboration with a coalition called “Christians for a Free Palestine,” are spearheading a national day of action to deliver letters to all U.S. Senators and Representatives on the failure of Christian churches to speak out on the atrocities in Gaza.

In her closing remarks, Helga Zepp-LaRouche stated that the enemy of humanity is not nation states, but what she called “super-national structures”; structures of the neoliberal financial system which rely on war to maintain their existence. She fully endorsed the March 18 day of action and suggested the IPC mobilize for May Day demonstrations in Europe and elsewhere. She also urged everybody to encourage parliamentarians everywhere to endorse Mexican Congressman Robles’ letter against nuclear war.

Zepp-LaRouche concluded by stressing the urgent necessity of implementing the new international security and development architecture, “because it throws out the idea of geopolitics, by putting the idea of One Humanity first, and that the new architecture has to take into account the interest of every single country on the planet.”

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