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International Peace Coalition Meeting #52: ‘The Flabbergasting Question’

International Peace Coalition Meeting #52: ‘The Flabbergasting Question’

May 31, 2024 (EIRNS)—Today’s meeting marked the one-year anniversary of the International Peace Coalition, with 52nd consecutive online weekly meetings. Participating were people from more than thirty countries. Schiller Institute founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche announced that the meeting would concentrate on Ukraine, due to the extreme danger represented by the three attacks by that country on early warning radar installations in Russia. These installations are unrelated to the war in Ukraine, but integral to the strategic defense systems of Russia. The Schiller Institute circulated an emergency warning on these developments, and the story subsequently broke into the mainstream media, but is still not getting the attention it deserves.

What followed was a panel discussion by military, scientific and diplomatic experts, including nuclear weapons expert Dr. Theodore Postol, Professor Emeritus of Science, Technology and National Security at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Colonel (ret.) Prof. Dr. Wilfried Schreiber, Senior Research Fellow at the WeltTrends Institute for International Politics in Potsdam, Germany; Lt. Col. (ret.) Ralph Bosshard of the Swiss Armed Forces, consultant on military-strategic affairs; Col. Richard H. Black (ret.), former head of the U.S. Army’s Criminal Law Division at the Pentagon and former Virginia state senator; and former Ambassador Chas Freeman, U.S.-China diplomat and scholar.

The Attack on Russia’s Strategic Defense System

Dr. Postol led off the panel by explaining the function of Russia’s early warning radar system. These installations would enable Russia to detect an approaching nuclear strike. If the U.S. were to lose one of its own land-based early warning radars, it would still be able to look down from space, using its system of satellites, but Russians do not fully have this capability yet. Satellites can detect a missile launch immediately, whereas radar “fans” don’t detect missiles until they reach a certain altitude. Disabling one of these “fans” reduces the amount of time Russia has in which to decide how to react, i.e., whether to launch a nuclear counterstrike, by crucial minutes. Colonel Black added that the attacks on the Russian radars could not happen without explicit U.S. approval, and “serve no other purpose than to blind Russia’s nuclear deterrence.” Furthermore, “we don’t have the ability to preemptively destroy all of Russia’s nuclear defenses,” which include submarine-launched missiles, Black said. “We can destroy Russian civilization, but not their ability to shoot back.”

The sobering implications of an attempt to “blind Russia’s nuclear deterrence” were discussed in-depth by the panelists. Former Ambassador Chas Freeman, in a video interview which was played during the meeting, said that no great nuclear power can afford to undermine the balance of nuclear deterrence, but Ukraine, acting as a proxy, is doing precisely that. Colonel Black asserted that the greenlighting of the attack on the radars, combined with the delivery of nuclear-capable F-16 aircraft, means that the U.S. and NATO are putting in place the framework for a possible nuclear strike against Russia.

Colonel Black asked the participants to consider the contrast in U.S. and Russian doctrines regarding the use of nuclear weapons. The U.S. has no prohibition on first use, a nuclear “sneak attack.” “On the other hand,” he said, “the Russian nuclear doctrine is exclusively defensive.” Colonel Bosshard said, “In order to remain credible, NATO must threaten Russia with the use of nuclear weapons, not the other way around.”

What Were They Thinking?

There was discussion of the mindset of Western officials; what could possess them to flirt with the use of weapons that could annihilate all of humanity? Helga Zepp-LaRouche called this the “flabbergasting question.” Bosshard said, “Politicians in the West are apparently unaware of the risks they are taking,” and suggested that they think Putin is bluffing. Postol added that, in contrast to career professionals who are familiar with these issues, elected officials come into office with little or no understanding, and a preoccupation with politics. Black attributed Biden’s recent actions to his faltering re-election campaign: “President Biden recognizes that the Ukraine project has collapsed…. The more anxious the White House becomes about the upcoming elections … the greater the risk of a very high-risk military gambit.”

The role of the media in fostering this environment of brinkmanship was also examined. Ambassador Freeman acknowledged the importance of the circulation of the Schiller Institute’s emergency warning, contrasting it to the “military and strategic illiteracy of the current crop of journalists.” Zepp-LaRouche responded that the media are not simply incompetent: “Mass media are absolutely in the hands of those who are pushing this confrontation.” She described how leaders who challenge the pro-war “narrative,” such as Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico, become targets for harassment and even assassination, and she referenced the now-notorious “kill lists” of the Ukrainian “counter-disinformation” agencies.

Helga Zepp-LaRouche raised the issue of how Biden has recently given permission to Ukraine to use U.S. weapons to strike targets within Russian territory. Some European leaders, such as German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, had previously resisted that idea, but “this morning, all of a sudden, he agreed because Biden agreed.” Colonel Black insisted that the U.S. dominates Europe, and runs NATO, of which he said, “the time has long passed since it was defensive in nature. It has become a very aggressive global organization.”

Colonel Schreiber mentioned some of the new dimensions of warfare that have emerged in his lifetime, saying that digitalization opens a new horizon in war policy: cyberspace warfare. The possible military uses of electromagnetic pulse also represent a new quality of warfare.

Diane Sare’s U.S. Senate Candidacy

Diane Sare, the LaRouche-affiliated independent candidate for U.S. Senate in New York, reported that she had submitted close to 70,000 signatures for ballot access, significantly exceeding the 45,000-signature legal requirement. She said that many voters in her state are preoccupied with the various court cases against Donald Trump, and marveled that while you might think that during a presidential election we would all be focusing on the strategic danger, many people are fascinated instead by the “pornographic, infantile spectacle” of a former President being tried in a case about paying off a prostitute from the wrong bank account. She displayed for the participants her palm card, emblazoned with the slogan, “Let us beat swords into plowshares.” She reminded everyone that Lyndon LaRouche had once said that “wars of retribution and revenge” are the stupidest, and they blow back on the nation that launches them.

During the discussion period, French Schiller Institute leader and former French Presidential candidate Jacques Cheminade requested assessments from Col. Alain Corvez (ret.). Corvez replied: “I am counting a lot on China and Russia…. We have to realize that Putin has shown enormous reserve in his actions…. China can’t allow this attack on Russia to continue, because China realizes that they will be the next target.”

A brief video comment was shown from international human rights lawyer Prof. Francis Boyle, who spoke on the situation with Israel and Gaza, saying that the International Criminal Court prosecutor had requested arrest warrants for war crimes, but he should have also requested warrants for genocide; South Africa has presented carefully documented evidence. The three ICC judges are under enormous pressure, including blackmail, threats, and intimidation, to not issue warrants.

In conclusion, Zepp-LaRouche reminded the participants of the upcoming June Schiller Institute conference, saying that the Peace of Westphalia is a good historical reference. She praised the new China/Brazil initiative to end the war in Ukraine, adding that it must be combined with a Renaissance of the best cultural traditions of all nations, to achieve a new paradigm to create the basis for a lasting peace. 

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