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Schiller Institute Conference: Call for ‘New Bretton Woods’ Initiative For Economic Security, Peace For All Nations

June 19, 2022 (EIRNS)–The Schiller Institute international conference June 18-19, titled, “There Can Be No Peace without the Bankruptcy Reorganization of the Dying Trans-Atlantic Financial System,” was an extraordinary process of dialogue, on the focus of initiating the actions to mobilize world citizen leadership to bring about a new economic and security architecture as early as possible, given the present breakdown spiral, and war danger.

Participating in the conference were 31 speakers, from 12 countries, including Russia, China, Brazil, and Afghanistan. The presentations were grouped into four panels, including opening with classical music offerings, moderated by Schiller Institute activists from the United States and Germany.

Helga Zepp-LaRouche, founder of the Schiller Institute, who convened the conference, stressed the point that the views expressed by the speakers are critical to circulate widely because they are “a counter pole to the synchronized media” which present narratives based on a complete “discrepancy” with reality.

The live viewership of the conference numbered in the thousands at different points over the two days, and the advance registration of 1300, represented dozens of nations. Simultaneous translation was provided in English, Spanish, French, and German. Short video clips are in preparation for the most rapid circulation of key ideas. The conference is already archived, by panel; and will soon be available by speaker.

A special feature throughout the conference, were the selected historical video clips opening each panel, by economist, statesman Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr., whose birth centennial is celebrated this year.

The conference came about, as part of an ongoing mobilization process, including an international petition, issued by the Schiller Institute in February, 2022—”Convoke an International Conference To Establish a New Security and Development Architecture for All Nations,” which as of mid-June has nearly 5,000 signatures, from dozens of nations. On April 9, a prior Schiller Institute international conference, with attendance representing 65 nations, laid the groundwork for this month’s two-day event.

Zepp-LaRouche raised the point, during the first day’s discussion periods, that in the weeks since April, the Western governing elites are taking no action in the right direction at all. She posed the question point-blank to many fellow speakers and the audience, during the discussion periods the first day: what should be our next step? She raised as a specific proposal for consideration, the question of a new international petition calling for a “New Bretton Woods” financial framework, for a just credit system serving the development interests of all nations, in the tradition of the original intention of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

The Schiller Institute has initiated attention to this through petitions in the past, in 1997, 2000, and 2006, with thousands of backers, including lawmakers. Aspects of a New Bretton Woods were discussed, including the need for fixed exchange rates, to accommodate stable trade relations and implementing large-scale, mutual-benefit infrastructure projects, to advance the world productive platform.

The critical role of the Schiller Institute, for coalescing the ideas and forces for an emergency shift in policy is underscored by the menacing events on the eve of the conference itself. Ministers of NATO’s 30 member nations met June 15-16, to confirm their Global NATO agenda for the June 29 NATO Summit of heads of state, identifying China as a threat, and deploying still more forces in Eastern Europe. At the same time, officials in the Trans-Atlantic are backing energy-austerity and similar measures killing their own economies, and furthering famine and disease around the globe.

In contrast, the pro-development international activities are continuing, by the Belt and Road Initiative, and collaborative allied nations and groupings, including the Eurasian Economic Union. The St. Petersburg Economic Forum in Russia June 14-17 had 14,000 attending, with 130 nations represented, and multiple economic agreements adding up to $100 billion.

Zepp-LaRouche stressed at the conclusion of the conference, that, “we are heading for a perfect storm…[of crises right now] This is the moment we can inject new ideas” that can change course of history. The Schiller Institute will re-issue an international call for a New Bretton Woods, she said, asking for contingents of activists in all countries to put this forward. “This is not a moment to sit on the fence!”

Panel  I: A Decoupling of the Two Systems or a New Paradigm for Humanity?

Leading speakers from Russia, China, India, Germany and the United States presented on the first panel, a powerful picture of the global crisis facing mankind today, described by Zepp-LaRouche as the worst crisis in the history of civilization. They conveyed the urgency for a new paradigm to be negotiated and implemented through the cooperation of all the leading nations, including the U.S., Russia, China and India.

Zepp-LaRouche, in her keynote, “Let’s Win Mission Impossible or Find Another Planet!” posed the image of a high-speed train approaching a cliff at top speed, with an engineer at the controls who has gone mad, and will do nothing to stop the train. In effect, she called on people to “pull the emergency brake.” She described how the massive sanctions on Russia and the ongoing “decoupling” from China are proving to be self-destructive, interesting the already collapsing Western financial/economic system, and threatening 1.7 billion people with starvation. Lyndon LaRouche warned in 1971 that Nixon’s destruction of the FDR’s Bretton Woods System would lead to precisely this breakdown crisis, and the threat of global war we see today.

Speakers from Russia and China added to the picture. Andrey Kortunov, Director General of the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) spoke on the “Indivisible Security of All Nations.” The current severe economic and military actions against Russia are not a reaction to the deployment in Ukraine, but have been building for years. Most recently, look at AUKUS, the Quad, the Biden Summit of Democracies and many other things. However, what has been presented by imperial geopolitical forces as historic difference between East and West, North and South, are fast losing their relative importance. The new coalition of forces with China and China are uniting nations from all parts of the world.

Wang Wen, the Executive Dean of Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, and Deputy Dean of the Silk Road School at Renmin University in China, spoke on “Why China’s Rise Is Beneficial to the World.” He reviewed the miraculous rise of China over the past 40 years. Today China accounts for 30% of annual world economic growth. In Africa, China accounts for 60% of the investment. China sees its strength as a benefit for world development, and peace.

Co. Richard Black (ret.), former head of the U.S. Army’s Criminal Law Division at the Pentagon and former Virginia State Senator: “”Ukraine Has Lost the War: But Thermonuclear War Still Threatens.” Black reviewed the situation in Ukraine, pointing out that, “The war is not over, but Ukraine has lost.” He called for a resolution, perhaps using the Austrian “neutrality: model, and denounced as madness, those Western voices raising the prospect of using nuclear weapons.

Three more speakers completed the panel. Sam Pitroda, a former cabinet minister or advisor to seven Indian prime ministers, spoke from Chicago, on “India and the Emerging New World Architecture.” He called for a thorough-going re-design of the world’s economy and society.

Dr. Wolfgang Bittner, a doctor of law and a prolific author, spoke on “The West-East Conflict—An Orchestration.” He blew apart myths of “Western values” being defended in Ukraine, where neo-Nazis are openly part of the military. Europe is subservient to U.S. policy. Look at Germany, where there are 11 U.S. military bases.

Dr. Cliff Kiracofe, a former Senior Staff Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, and President of the Washington Institute for Peace and Development, decried the U.S. leading the West back to a Cold War “crusade” against the reality of a world of multipolarity and the rise of China. His topic was, “Diplomacy and Cooperation in a Time of Crisis.”

Panel II. Runaway Inflation or Glass-Steagall?

The exciting second panel had presentations from 15 speakers—nine as part of a Food Producers Roundtable, who know what it takes to solve the current economic breakdown crisis, and have been mobilizing for solutions. Harley Schlanger of the Schiller Institute was the moderator.

Fittingly, the panel started with a video excerpt from Lyndon LaRouche, speaking on Sept. 4, 1994, about how to generate credit, even during a breakdown crisis, as we have today. He stressed there must be “trillions of dollars in projects” of new infrastructure, meaning “trillions of dollars of work.”

Diane Sare, LaRouche Party independent candidate for U.S. Senate from New York, spoke on “The Collapse of the West and the Urgent Need to Join the Belt and Road Initiative.” She gave an illustrated presentation, showing four great infrastructure corridor projects, achieved through American System credit practices: 1) Erie Canal; 2) Trans-Continental Railroad; 3) Tennessee Valley Authority; and 4) the Apollo Project.

Geoff Young, the Democratic Party nominee for Kentucky’s 6th CD, is a long-time supporter of the Glass-Steagall Act and other core measures. He spoke of his winning his party primary recently, using the slogan, “Unlike [Republican Rep. Andy Barr–R] I will never vote to send billions of dollars to Nazis.”

Three speakers—from Japan, Germany, and Greece–provided important international perspective. Daisuke Kotegawa, Japan’s former Finance Ministry reorganizer of bankrupt banks, and IMF Executive Director for Japan, gave a punchy talk on, “XX.” He said that unlike in past swindles by the City of London in 1985 and since, this time we should use the principles or bankruptcy reorganization effectively to deal with them. Don’t let false “respect” get in the way of what these arrogant and criminal bankers deserve.

Dr. Uwe Behrens, a logistics expert and author from Germany, spoke on the subject, “The Non-Rival Doctrine.” He reviewed how the so-called “unipolar world” of London and Washington are challenged by China and the BRI.

Amb. Leonidas Chrysanthopoulos, former Greek Ambassador to Poland, Canada and Armenia, and former Secretary General of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization (BSEC) spoke on “The Crisis in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Belt and Road Initiative.”

The other panelists focused on agriculture and the world food crisis. Italian economist Nino Galloni, former Director General of the Italian Labor Ministry zeroed in on policies for Africa, in his presentation, “Make Africa Self-Sufficient Again.” He reviewed how Western cartels had undermined agriculture in Africa by making the continent grain-import dependent, and preventing development, including even preferred regional cereal grains. This must change.

The kick-off speaker in the Food Producers Roundtable was outspoken about the same point. Mike Callicrate, from Colorado and Kansas, who is the founder and president of Ranch Foods Direct, raising and processing cattle, denounced the nonsense that, “America will feed the world—America can’t even feed itself!” Callicrate called for busting up the food cartels, and ending the financialization of food. He presented a model of region-serving production and processing. The speakers called for restoring Glass-Steagall, and breaking up the food conglomerates, as well as the biggest banks and other commodity cartels, or face mass hunger. They denounced the hopelessness of the green outlook that people and food production endanger the planet. They stressed family scale fishing and farming, for “generational knowledge” and commitment.

The Roundtable was titled, “Science and Culture to End Famine—Principles of Agriculture Productivity.” Bob Baker (Schiller Institute Agriculture Liaison) introduced the speakers. They included from Iowa, the Kehrli family livestock and crops producers, three generations, Wilbur, Ken and Kyle. Also from Iowa Jon Baker, cattleman and farm community banker. From California, Frank Endres, wheat and cattleman in the Sacramento Valley, longtime National Farmers Organization leader. James Benham spoke, who is the President of the Indiana Farmers Union, and on the National Board of the National Farmers Union. James Moore spoke from Sitka, who is past President of the Alaska Trollers Association.

Panel III. Principles of Science for Durable Economic Progress

The five speakers presented many aspects of science from the perspective of economic progress, and the necessity for creative breakthroughs to advance both. Moderator Stephan Ossenkopp, speaking from Berlin, began with an update on the latest insanity on energy policy in Europe, where German and other officials are extolling rationing of fuel and electricity.

The opening presentation was on “Vernadskian Time—Time for Humanity,” by Jason Ross, the Secretary-Treasurer of The LaRouche Organization, and former Science Adviser to Lyndon LaRouche. Speaking of the “arrow of time” to mean that time and development are directional, he explained that principle as expounded by Vladimir Vernadsky, who developed the division of three main domains of processes on Earth: the non-living, the living, and the “noosphere.” Ross further discussed the coherence between living processes and a human economy as defined by Lyndon LaRouche.

Three scientists—from Italy, Russia and the United States–presented aspects of their specialties. Francesco Battaglia, Professor of Physical Chemistry at the University of Modena, spoke on the “Fraud of Climate/Energy Transition.” With illustrations, he blasted the fraud of the CO2 climate change narrative, and the terrible damage to society caused by degrading energy provision to the economy.

Dr. Ed Calabrese, Professor of Environmental Health Sciences, University of Massachusetts/Amherst; Co-Editor of Hormesis: A Revolution in Biology, Toxicology and Medicine, also debunked another fraud, which is that all radiation is harmful. He spoke on the topic, “Real Science Disproves the Linear Non-Threshold (LNT) Radiation Myth.” He reported, for example, the benefits of bone healing from targeted doses of radiation.

From Russia, Professor Sergei Pulinets spoke on, “A Vernadskian Approach to Earthquake Forecasting.” He is the Principal Scientific Researcher of the Space Research Institute, of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow. The subtitle of his talk was, “We Should Unite and Survive!” Crediting Vernadsky as laying the groundwork for his work today, Pulinets presented, with many illustrations, his work, giving the audience a sense of the three-dimensial dynamics of the Earth’s atmosphere. He called for extended international cooperation, in scientific work based on a holistic approach to climate, weather and seismic activity.

William C. Jones, formerly EIR White House correspondent, rounded out the picture of Vernadksy’s life, including political history, scientific advances and the great cultural contributions. His topic was “V.I Vernadsky, Scientific Thought as a Geological Force.”

Panel IV. Classical Culture and the Dialogue of Civilizations

The stage was set for this panel’s discussion by two musical examples of classical beauty—a performance of the Kyrie from Wolfgang Mozart’s Requiem, by the Schiller Institute chorus from 2014; and a 1990s performance by the late operatic tenor George Shirley of the spiritual “Little Boy,” arranged by Roland Hayes, accompanied by Sylvia Olden Lee. Shirley described the “classical principle” in the Negro spiritual, and Mozart and Schubert as “universal.” This music was introduced by Dennis Speed, of the Schiller Institute, who moderated this and the first panel of the conference.

Four speakers, each from a different country, then followed, on differing aspects of culture, but all sharing the imperative that people must activate on behalf of humanity in today’s crisis. The fifth speaker gave an update on various anti-culture, dehumanizing campaigns that must be defeated.

Jacques Cheminade, from France, gave the keynote, on the topic “A Culture of Curiosity and Perseverance to Explore the Impossible.” He is the President of Solidarity & Progress. Beginning with reference to the U.S. and how NASA is a “treasury of optimism” still in that nation, Cheminade said that putting the dying, but still kicking financial system into bankruptcy reorganization requires both “curiosity and perseverance”—the names U.S. children gave to space rovers in a NASA contest. Cheminade stressed that time is short, but we must find it in ourselves to meet the challenge.

Prof. Felipe Maruf Quintas, from Brazil, spoke on “The Role of Brazil in the Dialogue of Civilizations and in the World’s Physical Economy.” He is Professor of Political Science, Fluminense Federal University, Rio de Janeiro, and a columnist for Monitor Mercantil. Quintas reviewed both the resource riches and mission of Brazil for “breaking the South Atlantic from Anglo-Saxon imperialism” and the beneficial relations already in motion through the BRICS and relations with Asia and Africa.

Dr. Zaher Wahab, Emeritus Professor of Education, and former advisor to the Afghan Ministry of Higher Education, and teacher at the American University of Afghanistan (AUAF) from 2013-2020, spoke on the topic, “Dialogue, Not Clash, of Civilizations.” Dr. Wahab’s homeland was Afghanistan, but now resident in Oregon, he denounced Samuel Huntington’s thesis of a “clash of civilizations” and called for an end to the Western policy of arrogant domination and mis-use of power.

A view of what U.S.-China relations ought to be was presented by Dr. George Koo, a retired business consultant in bilateral trade of these nations and Chairman of the Burlingame Foundation. His topic was, “U.S.-China Cultural Relations Are Critical to Prevent War.” He particularly warned that Washington is encouraging Taipei toward what are red lines for Beijing. This is a course for disaster.

A dramatic description of the enemy of culture and civilization was given by Mike Robinson from Britain. He is the Editor of The UK Column, and spoke on the topic, “The Dehumanizing Meta-Sphere.” Showing headlines of articles such as, “Is Nanotech Making Humans Unnecessary,” Robinson covered the spectrum of such threats as “transhumanism”—promotion of a brain-computer hook-up, to notions in the metaverse of the equivalence of a computer avatar with a real human.

The final conference Question and Answer session included Helga Zepp-LaRouche and Diane Sare, and came to the consensus that, despite, the dark menace just described, the old paradigm of suffering and geopolitics is in the process of being replaced by one concerned with mutual development and problem-solving among equal nations.


“Stop the Danger of Nuclear War!”

Schiller Institute Call for Ibero-American Presidents to

Deliver Message To Biden at Americas Summit:

June 3 (EIRNS)—Led by the LaRouche Citizens Movement of Mexico and friends in Argentina, Schiller Institute activists from many Ibero-American countries have sent their Presidents and other officials an “Open Letter from Ibero-America to Mr. Biden” on the eve of the beleaguered Summit of the Americas next week, signed by a select number of citizens from the region. Its message: “End Your Strategy of Using Ukraine to Destroy Russia. Stop the Danger of Nuclear War!”

The letter reads:

“The Summit of the Americas, which will take place June 6-10 this year, should submit a blunt resolution from the Presidents of Ibero-America to U.S. President Joe Biden: 

  1. End your strategy of using Ukraine to destroy Russia.
  2. Stop NATO’s extension and expansion towards the Pacific (Global NATO), since if that is not done, we are heading towards a frontal war against China, which at this point in human history would be truly insane, and would drive us towards general thermonuclear war.

That is why the international community should call for an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine, sanctions to be lifted against Russia, and an international conference to be convoked on a New Security and Economic Development Architecture for all nations, which takes into account the demands of the Russian government for security on its borders, as the Schiller Institute proposes in its recent call.

President Biden: the economic and financial sanctions against Russia are having a boomerang effect on the world economy. We are already in worldwide stagflation and it will get worse if an economic and financial war is opened against China. Decoupling the financial system and economies of the Trans-Atlantic axis plus Japan, Australia and South Korea, from the economies of Russia and China would trigger a general economic and social collapse much worse than the collapse of Europe and Asia during the 14th century bubonic plague. That alone could mean the disappearance of the global civilization which we inherited from the great 15th and 16th century European Renaissance.

Moreover, the entire world faces a general debt crisis stemming from the $1.9 quadrillion speculative bubble, which is the underlying cause of the hyperinflationary process aggravated by illegal sanctions.

You know the solution to this economic breakdown: You told CNN on December 15, 2016, that the biggest mistake in your political career was your vote in 1999 in favor of the cancellation of Franklin Roosevelt’s Glass-Steagall Law by President Clinton and the Congress.

Now is the time to reinstate it! 

Franklin Roosevelt’s economic system must be restored worldwide. Glass-Steagall must be reestablished across the planet along with a policy of economic relations and good will with Russia and China, so that, together with India, these four superpowers can rid themselves of their common enemy: the dark forces of the financier speculator interests opposed to human progress —the Neanderthal embers of McCarthyism and the Cold War— and found an economic system capable of eliminating poverty throughout the world. This is the path to reestablish the economic power of the United States and the whole Ibero-American region.

Likewise, a comprehensive economic and social plan to finally address the consequences of the conflicts and wars in Asia and Africa should be formulated as part of, and complementary to, China’s strategic Silk Road plan.

With all due respect for the people of the United States, they would be wise to accept that the world today can no longer be unipolar. There are other powers whose place in the new concert of nations should be recognized under the 21st century concept of multipolarity. 

The 21st century must become the century in which humanity ends hunger and the brutality of war, allowing us to overcome the barbaric state in which we still find ourselves and become truly human. That is the legacy which the 17th century Treaties of Westphalia left us, a glorious moment for humanity, which established the basis of the modern Nation-State, the concept of the Common Good, in addition to perceiving that the good of other nations signifies also doing the good for each one of our nations, and finally understanding that the security of our nations cannot be at the cost of the security and submission of others.

For more information, email preguntas@larouchepub.com


Greek Open Letter Against Government’s Ukraine Policy

May 9, 2022 (EIRNS)—There is an open letter circulating in Greece addressed to the Greek government protesting its shamelessly pro-NATO policy on Ukraine. It has 159 signatures, including many university professors, retired diplomats, two former government ministers and a very high-ranking, recently retired General.

Entitled, “Protest the Attitude of the Political System and the Media on Ukraine,” they slam the unprecedented propaganda campaign the public has been subjected to.

“Although the situation in the war zone for the past eight years was a prelude to what we are experiencing today, although we have witnessed attacks by our allied countries on various fronts (Cyprus, Serbia, Iraq, Libya, Syria…), this is the first time that the attacker has been convicted, while the campaign has reached the limits of official racism. Ideological terrorism in the media is reminiscent of McCarthyism at its worst….”

It characterizes the “unbelievable” media campaign as “rampant barbarism that, among other things, demonizes the Russian leadership” and leads to a “self-manipulation of Europe, to its complete submission to U.S.-NATO plans, while the unthinkable possibility of a global nuclear catastrophe comes closer.”

Significantly, it contrasts “the Turkish counter-example of a balanced attitude” with the fact that the Greek government has “decided to destroy longstanding Greek-Russian relations, to be indifferent to the unknown fate of the Black Sea Hellenism, to endanger the energy and defense security of our homeland, to undermine even the peace in our country—not for Cyprus or but for a province of Ukraine, Donbass, defending at all costs a country that has never helped us!”

It concludes: “Those who understand the national interest of Greece and not in Euro-Atlantic terms, those who learned about war from Thucydides … and those who know who the real enemies of Greece are, feel that this government, by its attitude to the issue, offends them, poses a huge risk, and certainly does not represent them.” Among the noted signers are former Associate Minister of Finance Nadia Valavani, former Deputy Minister of National Defense Kostas Isychos, both of whom served in the previous government led by Syriza; Lt. Gen. Athanasios Tsouganatos, who retired in 2019, and Ambassador Ad Honorem Leonidas Chrysanthopoulos, who has also signed the Schiller Institute petition.


EIR Preprint of “The LaRouche Plan for a New International Economic Architecture” Now Available

Apr. 5, 2022 (EIRNS)–“The LaRouche Plan for a New International Economic Architecture,” which was prepared for the up-coming April 9 Schiller Institute conference, is now prominently featured at the top of larouchepub.com for easy download. This preprint is fully illustrated with charts, maps, and pictures. Read it and circulate it to your networks and your elected officials to demand action now for development.

It is directly accessible at via this link.


Schiller Institute Petition Quoted on DataBase Italia TV

MILAN, March 22, 2022 (EIRNS)—Three VIP signers, from Italy, of the Schiller Institute petition for a new security architecture, Alessia Ruggeri and journalists Luca La Bella and Gianmarco Landi, were on a program of DataBase Italia TV last night, entitled “The End of Globalization.” After describing the present situation in Ukraine as very different from how the mainstream media portray it, including the use of hypersonic missiles by Russia, which can put a quick end to the war and destroy the military potential of the neo-Nazi militias, host Landi quoted Helga Zepp-LaRouche and the Schiller Institute petition for a new security architecture as the only alternative to the danger of a general war, and asked Alessia Ruggeri to talk about it, as she had already in a recent interview on the Schiller Institute petition published by DataBase Italia.

Alessia Ruggeri explained that it is a very important petition, which was signed by thousands of citizens and many VIP signers from all over the world, and which calls for the principle of the Peace of Westphalia to put an end to the geopolitical confrontation policy and the failed economic policies which led to this war. She emphasized that what is being shown on TV is not the real situation, and that people are not aware of the severe consequences of the boomerang sanctions which are hitting Italy, and other countries, much worse than the Russian economy. For example, she quoted the shutting down of all McDonalds restaurants in Russia, which was quickly converted into a Russian brand to save jobs.

She also reported many mail messages she receives about hoarding of pasta and oil in Italian supermarkets, noting that people believe that wheat is produced in Italy but is not—it comes from Russia and Ukraine. She reminded viewers (around 3,000 last night) that as a result of the failed economic policies of the West, many businesses are shutting down, but as a mother of two children and a trade unionist she called on small entrepreneurs, like the ones in Southern Italy, “not to give up hope, there is a possibility for a change.” The full program is available here.


Schiller Institute Petition Presented at Symposium in Algiers

Mar. 12 (EIRNS)–The Schiller Institute participated in a symposium at the University of Algiers this morning on the crisis in Ukraine. Harley Schlanger, a spokesman for the Schiller Institute, was one of three speakers. His address was titled “Economic Warfare Against Russia Deployed to Prevent Economic Integration of Eurasia with Western Europe.”. He concluded his presentation with the call for convening an emergency conference to establish a new strategic and financial architecture, and asking the participants to join us. The host said he would make sure that the participants receive the petition

There was a twenty-minute Q&A, which followed the presentations. Other speakers were a Russian professor from Ukraine, Leonid Savin (whose website is subtitled “Carthago delenda est”), who presented a very thorough review of the background to the decision to take military actions in Ukraine, and a professor from the university. Savin joined with Schlanger in emphasizing the need to move from a unipolar world – which both agreed will not survive – to one of multipolar cooperation.


Afghanistan Crisis: Humanity Comes First!

“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”                                                                                                                  –Mark 8:36

The head of the United Nations World Food Program, American David Beasley, has fought to bring to the world’s attention the now-unfolding catastrophe in Afghanistan. Afghanistan is a nation which has known nothing but war and internal conflict for more than 40 years. The rapidly worsening multiple crises in that nation–lack of food, lack of health care, lack of a sovereign national credit system, lack of production–demand immediate solutions in the next weeks, if the world wishes to avoid the unnecessary, unwarranted deaths of millions– many of them children, who have clearly offended no one. Over 20 million people are presently at risk. Geopolitical rationalizations for continuing inaction, from “taking cautious steps to not allow the Afghanistan government to exploit our good will” to “demanding that other countries step up,” will do almost as much to take the lives of the innocent, through depraved indifference, as the coming famine 

Several of us have been outraged by the callous indifference expressed in the worldwide, persistent inequality of efficient distribution of medical care, not merely in the selective availability and affordability of life-saving medicines, but in the widening disparity in available basic facilities and capabilities. Whole continents, such as Africa, are stigmatized as “disease farms” because of deplorable economic conditions that are conveniently perpetuated but then never actually improved. That happened in the 1980s with HIV/AIDS, and is happening today with COVID-19. The clearly man-made Afghanistan disaster is an opportunity to reverse that syndrome. . A crucial first step would be the release of the $9.5 billion of assets of Afghanistan’s central bank, which are currently being held in the United States.

Why? That nation, familiar to the United States, Russia, China and several NATO countries, as well as the five other states that border it, has a clearly urgent, largely war-induced set of problems that could be quickly resolved, and offers a test case for how to actually uproot war, through multinational cooperation involving even real and/or imagined enemies working together for a common good. This Afghanistan initiative has been called “Operation Ibn Sina” after the great Islamic physician known for centuries as “the father of modern medicine” and who comes from that general vicinity. In contrast, it is perhaps the lack of exactly such initiatives that begin with compassion for, and cooperation with others, that has allowed COVID-19 to grow from being a relatively controllable epidemic to a pandemic, and is causing that pandemic to worsen by the hour. That would not be the first time that the vice of selfishness had doomed mankind. Historian Barbara Tuchman, in “The March of Folly,” warns us: “A phenomenon noticeable throughout history, regardless of place or period, is the pursuit by governments of policies contrary to their own interests.” 


We who have devoted our lives to acting upon the conviction, so eloquently enunciated by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. that, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” say that there is no injustice like famine, no crime worse than slowly snuffing out the life of a child through neglect, through depraved indifference. Though the need is equally important everywhere, the time to change “the pursuit by governments of policies contrary to their own interests,” and those of humanity, is now. The world can–must– choose one place, this Christmas season, to begin a march in the opposite direction, and prevent the slaughter of the innocent upon the altar of a geopolitical folly that would sacrifice both conscience and true self-interest for the aura of power.

Dr. Joycelyn Elders, former United States Surgeon General – On behalf on the Committee for the Coincidence of Opposites 

December 23, 2021

Dr. Walter Faggett, pediatrician, Col. U.S. Army (ret.), former Chief Medical Officer of the Department of Health of Washington D.C., professor of medicine Howard University

Dr. Bennett Greenspan, Founder Family Tree DNA

Ernest Johnson, President of the Louisiana NAACP, civil rights attorney

Barbara Kamara, former Associate Commissioner, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, responsible for the National Head Start Program (Carter Administration); former Director of Early Childhood Education, Washington DC, for 22 years

Dr. Khadijah Lang, pediatrician, Chairman of the Committee on International Affairs of the National Medical Association, President of the Golden State Medical Association, the California branch of the NMA 


Are We Sleepwalking into Thermonuclear World War III?

Schiller Institute Memorandum [Updated]
December 31, 2021

The war in Ukraine could have been prevented. If the West would have insisted on the Minsk agreement, instead of letting Zelensky capitulate to the right-wing forces in his country, it would not have happened. If the US and NATO would have responded to Putin’s request for legally binding security guarantees, which he put forward on December 17, 2021, we would not be in the situation we are today.

As a summary review of the documented record shows, Ukraine is being used by geopolitical forces in the West that answer to the bankrupt speculative financial system, as the flashpoint to trigger a strategic showdown with Russia, a showdown which is already more dangerous than the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, and which could easily end up in a thermonuclear war which no one would win, and none would survive.

Consider the facts as we present them in the abbreviated timeline below. Russia, like China, has been increasingly subjected to the threat of being destroyed by two distinct kinds of “nuclear war” by the bellicose and bankrupt UK-U.S. financial Establishment: (1) “first-use nuclear action,” as stated most explicitly by the demented Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS); and (2) the “nuclear option” in financial warfare—measures so extreme that they would be laying financial siege to Russia to try to starve it into submission, as is being done against Afghanistan.

Russia has now announced, for the whole world to hear, that its red line is about to be crossed, after which it will be forced to respond with “retaliatory military-technical measures.” That red line, it has made clear, is the further advance of U.S. and NATO military forces up to the very border with Russia, including the positioning of defensive and offensive nuclear-capable missile systems to within a scarce five minutes’ flight time to Moscow.

Russia has presented two draft documents—one, a treaty with the United States, the other, an agreement with NATO—which together would provide legally binding security guarantees that NATO’s eastward march will stop, that Ukraine and Georgia in particular will not be invited to join NATO, and that advanced weapons systems will not be placed at Russia’s doorstep.

These are neither more nor less than the verbal guarantees the Soviet Union was given in 1990 by the duplicitous Bush and Thatcher governments, guarantees that have been systematically violated ever since. They are neither more nor less than what President John F. Kennedy demanded of Chairman Nikita Khrushchev during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, which was successfully defused by the deft back-channel negotiations of JFK’s personal envoy, his brother and Attorney General, Robert Kennedy, out of sight of the pro-war military-industrial complex.

It is urgently necessary that the United States and NATO promptly sign those proposed documents with Russia—and step back from the edge of thermonuclear extinction.

What we chronicle below has been happening, step by step, while most Americans have been asleep at the switch. It is time to wake up, before we sleepwalk into thermonuclear World War III.

The Military Component

The collapse of the socialist states of Eastern Europe and then the Soviet Union in 1989-91 was a moment of great hope, for an end of the Cold War and the potential for the parties of the Cold War to cooperate in building a new world order based on peace through development. That moment was lost when the Anglo-American elite chose instead to declare itself “the only superpower” in a unipolar world, looting Russia and the former Soviet states, while seeking to either take Russia over, or to crush it. 

Promises were made to the Soviet Union—and thus to Russia as its recognized legal successor as a nuclear-weapons power—at the outset of this period, all of which have been broken over the past thirty years. Already in February of 1990 in Moscow, then Secretary of State James Baker promised Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachov and Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze that, in the wake of German reunification which came about later that year, if U.S. troops remained in Germany there would be no expansion of NATO “one inch to the East.” (This was confirmed in official U.S. files released in 2017.)

At that time, Soviet force structure in East Germany consisted of around 340,000 troops and extensive military infrastructure, weapons, and equipment. The terms of their withdrawal (eventually completed in 1994) and whether or not, under German reunification, NATO forces would replace them in that formerly Soviet-occupied section of Germany, were on the table. Other Eastern European countries, located to the east of East Germany, were still members of the Warsaw Treaty Organization (Warsaw Pact), whose dissolution was not then anticipated; that dissolution happened in July 1991, the month before the Soviet Union itself broke up. 

But the U.S. Department of Defense was plotting the expansion of NATO eastwards already by October of 1990. Although there were different policies being debated within the U.S. political leadership, planning for expansion was proceeding behind the scenes. 

On the surface, Russian relations with the trans-Atlantic powers remained non-adversarial for most of the 1990s. In the economic sphere, however, the “takeover” proceeded apace, with the adoption of London- and Wall Street-engineered economic reforms that resulted in the large-scale deindustrialization of Russia, and could have led to the annihilation of its military might. There was some planned dismantling of nuclear weapons in both East and West, with U.S. specialists providing on-site assistance in the transfer of nuclear weapons from Ukraine, Belarus and other now independent ex-Soviet areas back to Russia, as well as in the disposal of some of Russia’s own weapons.

On May 27, 1997, the NATO-Russia Founding Act1The Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security Between NATO and the Russian Federation. May 27, 1997. https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/official_texts_25470.htm?selectedLocale=en was signed, establishing the NATO-Russia Council and other consultation mechanisms. Among other things, the document declared that “NATO and Russia do not consider each other as adversaries.” (Sec. 2, Para. 2) NATO described the document as “the expression of an enduring commitment, undertaken at the highest political level, to build, together, a lasting and inclusive peace in the Euro-Atlantic area.” (Sec. 2, Para. 2) 

Nonetheless, a shift began to occur in the late 1990s, driven by several events. One was that the imported economic reforms, promoting enormous financial speculation and the looting of Russian resources, led to a blow-out in August 1998 of the Russian government bond market (nearly triggering a meltdown of the global financial system because of bad bets placed on Russian securities by Wall Street and other hedge funds, as ex-Director of the International Monetary Fund Michel Camdessus later acknowledged).

In the wake of that collapse, Russia’s London- and Chicago-trained liberal “young reformers” were replaced by a government under the leadership of former Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov and military-industrial planner Yuri Maslyukov, who acted swiftly to stem the collapse of the remainder of Russia’s industry.

A second factor in Russia’s troubles at that time was the escalation of terrorist separatist movements in Russia’s North Caucasus region, which Russian intelligence services had solidly identified as being backed and egged on not only by Wahhabite Islamic fundamentalists from Saudi Arabia, but also by U.S. and UK intelligence agencies directly. In summer 1999, these networks attempted to split the entire North Caucasus out of Russia.

Also in the late 1990s, NATO boosted its involvement in the Bosnian War and other Balkan Peninsula conflicts among the former components of Yugoslavia, which had broken up. This meddling peaked with NATO’s bombing of Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, in March-June 1999 without authorization of the United Nations Security Council. This action shocked Moscow with the realization that NATO was prepared to act unilaterally, as it wished, without international consensus. 

In July 1997, at a NATO Summit in Madrid, Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic were invited to join NATO, which they formally did in 1999. This was the first of five rounds of NATO expansion. In 2004, all three Baltic countries (formerly republics within the Soviet Union proper), and Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia were admitted. Four more Balkan countries joined in the years following, bringing NATO’s membership up to its current level of 30 countries. 

Vladimir Putin, in his Dec. 21, 2021 address to an expanded meeting of the Defense Ministry Board, expressed Moscow’s view of the importance of the NATO-Russia Founding Act and its subsequent betrayal by NATO:

Take the recent past, in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when we were told that our concerns about NATO’s potential expansion eastwards were absolutely groundless. And then we saw five waves of the bloc’s eastward expansion. Do you remember how it happened? All of you are adults. It happened at a time when Russia’s relations with the United States and main member states of NATO were cloudless, if not completely allied.

I have already said this in public and will remind you of this again: American specialists were permanently present at the nuclear arms facilities of the Russian Federation. They went to their office there every day, had desks and an American flag. Wasn’t this enough? What else is required? U.S. advisors worked in the Russian government—career CIA officers, [who] gave their advice. What else did they want? What was the point of supporting separatism in the North Caucasus, with the help of even ISIS—well, if not ISIS, there were other terrorist groups. They obviously supported terrorists. What for? What was the point of expanding NATO and withdrawing from the ABM Treaty?

As Putin noted, the United States, under the George W. Bush Administration, began to dismantle the system of strategic arms control assembled during the Cold War, beginning in 2002 with the U.S. withdrawal from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty, just a few months after Putin had extended an offer of strategic cooperation with the United States following the 9/11 attacks.

The U.S. administration quickly began planning for a global ballistic missile defense system (BMDS) in Europe and Asia, which in Europe led to the first sailing of an American guided missile destroyer equipped with the Aegis anti-missile missiles (the USS Arleigh Burke) into the Black Sea in the spring of 2012. In 2016 would come the inauguration of an “Aegis Ashore” installation—the same system, but land-based—in Romania, and the start of construction of a similar site in Poland.

At a conference in Moscow in May of 2012, then Deputy Chief of the Russian General Staff Gen. Valery Gerasimov provided extensive documentation, with video animations, of the fact that the BMDS was not aimed primarily at Iran, but did, in its intended later phases, represent a threat to Russia’s strategic deterrent. Putin and other Russian officials have also emphasized the possibility of the defensive (anti-missile) systems being quickly reconfigured as missile launchers for direct attack.

An increasingly sharper Russian response to the U.S./NATO pursuit of these programs and to the rejection of Russia’s offers of cooperation was also evident in the contrast between two speeches President Putin gave in Germany: before the Bundestag (Parliament) on September 25, 2001, and at the Munich Security Conference in 2007.

 Putin spoke to the Bundestag, in German, just two weeks after the 9/11 terrorist attack on the U.S. in 2001. He had called President Bush within hours of that attack—he was the first foreign leader to call—offering full Russian support for the U.S. in the moment of crisis. He told the Germans: “The Cold War is over,” and posed a vision of global collaboration in building a new paradigm based on collaboration of the nations of the world. 

Then on February 10, 2007, Putin delivered a landmark speech at the annual Munich Security Conference. The Western media and some people who were present, including the war-monger U.S. Senator John McCain, denounced it as belligerent, and it became a point of departure for the subsequent demonization of Putin. But it was not an aggressive speech. Putin simply made clear that Russia was not going to be trampled underfoot, as a subjugated nation in a unipolar imperial world.

Almost all international media ignored how he opened the speech, with a carefully chosen quotation from Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Fireside Chat of September 3,1939, two days after the Nazi invasion of Poland that had marked the outbreak of World War II. FDR said, and Putin quoted, “When peace has been broken anywhere, the peace of all countries everywhere is in danger.” This speech was the signal that, speaking in strategic terms, Russia was “back.”

In July 2007, Putin attempted to avert the crossing of a line that Moscow defined as a fundamental threat to Russian security, namely the installation of the American BMDS directly at Russia’s borders. Visiting President George W. Bush in Kennebunkport, Maine, he proposed joint Russian-American development and deployment of anti-missile systems, including an offer to the U.S. administration to use the Russian early-warning radar in Gabala, Azerbaijan as part of a mutual Russian-American missile defense system for Europe, instead of the American BMDS planned for installation in Poland and the Czech Republic (the latter was changed to Romania). Putin also offered to give the U.S. access to a radar facility in southern Russia, and to place coordination of the process with the NATO-Russia Council.

Sergei Ivanov, then a deputy prime minister, said that the Russian proposals signified a fundamental change in international relations, and could mean an end to talk about a new Cold War:

If our proposals are accepted, Russia will no longer need to place new weapons, including missiles, in the European part of the country, including Kaliningrad.

Negotiations between Russian and American officials over the Russian proposal were conducted throughout 2008, before petering out. Key to their failure was the vehemence of Washington’s refusal to abandon construction of the BMDS. In the words of then Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Political Military Affairs Stephen Mull:

What we do not accept is that Gabala is a substitute for the plans that we’re already pursuing with our Czech and Polish allies. We believe that those installations are necessary for the security of our interests in Europe.

Clearly, the target was not Iran, but Russia, and the opportunity for a new paradigm was lost. 

At the April 2008 NATO summit in Bucharest, Georgia and Ukraine were promised future NATO membership, although they were not offered formal Membership Action Plans (MAP). Their bids, nonetheless, were welcomed by many and they were left with hopes of MAPs in the future, maybe the near future—enough so that the Georgians declared:

The decision to accept that we are going forward to an adhesion to NATO was taken and we consider this is a historic success.

In August 2008, while President Dmitri Medvedev was on vacation and then Prime Minister Putin was at the opening of the Olympic Games in Beijing, Mikheil Saakashvili’s Georgia attacked Russian peacekeepers in the breakaway Georgian province of South Ossetia, leading to a short but ferocious war, which Georgia lost. The fact that Saakashvili acted on the assumption he would have full NATO backing, although it proved wrong in the event, was not lost on Moscow and has influenced subsequent Russian thinking about what would happen with Georgia or Ukraine becoming full NATO members.

Ukraine

In December 2008, in the wake of Georgia’s military showdown with Russia, Carl Bildt and Radek Sikorski, the foreign ministers of Sweden and Poland, respectively, initiated the European Union’s “Eastern Partnership.” It targeted six countries that were formerly republics within the Soviet Union: three in the Caucasus region (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia) and three in East Central Europe (Belarus, Moldova, Ukraine). They were not to be invited to full EU membership, but were nevertheless drawn into a vise through so-called EU Association Agreements (EUAA), each one centered on a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA).

The prime target of the effort was Ukraine. Under the EUAA negotiated with Ukraine, but not immediately signed, the country’s industrial economy would be dismantled, trade with Russia savaged (with Russia ending its free-trade regime with Ukraine to prevent its own markets from being flooded via Ukraine), and EU-based market players would grab Ukraine’s agricultural and raw materials exports. 

Furthermore, the EUAA mandated “convergence” on security issues, with integration into European defense systems. Under such an arrangement, the long-term treaty agreements on the Russian Navy’s use of its crucial Black Sea ports on the Crimean Peninsula—a Russian area since the 18th Century, but administratively assigned to Ukraine within the USSR in the early 1950s—would be terminated, ultimately giving NATO forward-basing on Russia’s immediate border.

Turning Ukraine against Russia had been a long-term goal of Cold War Anglo-American strategic planners, as it was earlier of Austro-Hungarian imperial intelligence agencies during World War I. After World War II, up until the mid-1950s, the U.S.A. and UK supported an insurgency against the Soviet Union, a civil war that continued on the ground long after peace had been signed in 1945.

The insurgents were from the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) and remnants of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA). The OUN had been founded in 1929 from a template similar to that which produced the Italian and other European fascist movements. Its leader, Stepan Bandera, was an on-again/off-again ally of the Nazis, and the OUN-UPA, under an ethnic-purist ideology, committed mass slaughter of ethnic Poles and Jews in western Ukraine towards the end of World War II. In Europe after the War, Bandera was sponsored by British MI6 (intelligence), while CIA founder Allen Dulles shepherded Gen. Mykola Lebed, another OUN leader, into the U.S.A., despite strong opposition from U.S. Army Intelligence, based on Lebed’s record of collaboration with the Nazis and war crimes.

Next-generation followers of Lebed, whose base of operations—the Prolog Research Corporation in New York City—was funded by Dulles’s CIA for intelligence-gathering and the distribution of nationalist and other literature inside the U.S.S.R., staffed the U.S. Radio Liberty facility in Munich, Germany for broadcasting into Ukraine, up into the 1980s.2Taras Kuzio, “U.S. Support for Ukraine’s Liberation During the Cold War,” a study of Prolog Research and Publishing Corporation, Communist and Post-Communist Studies Vol. 45, Issue 1-2, June 2012, pp. 51-64.

When the U.S.S.R. broke up in August 1991, key Banderite leaders dashed into Lviv, far western Ukraine—a mere 1,240 km from Munich, 12 hours by car—and began to rebuild their movement. Lviv Region, which for many years had been part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, not the Russian, was the stronghold of the OUN’s heirs.

The Banderites’ influence got a boost after the 2004 Orange Revolution in Kiev. Backed by the U.S. National Endowment for Democracy and the private foundations of financier George Soros, this was a so-called “color revolution,” which overturned the results of a Presidential election and, in a second vote, installed banker Victor Yushchenko as President. He was voted out in 2010 because of popular opposition to his brutal austerity policies (generated by IMF-dictated formulae for privatization and deregulation), but not before overseeing a revision of the official history of Ukraine’s relations with Russia in favor of a radical, anti-Russian nationalism (whereas, historically, there had been a strong tendency among Ukrainian patriots and advocates of independence to prefer a long-term alliance with Russia).

The Lviv-based Banderites, meanwhile, recruited and strengthened their movement, and held paramilitary summer camps for young people in the Ukrainian countryside and elsewhere in Eastern Europe. At times, the instructors included off-duty military officers from NATO countries. In 2008, Yushchenko first applied for NATO to grant Ukraine a Membership Action Plan.

The turning point for Ukraine’s status as a potential trigger in the current war danger came in 2014. Ongoing efforts to get Ukraine to finalize its EUAA were rejected as untenable by the Viktor Yanukovych government in November 2013, when it became clear that free-trade provisions giving European goods unlimited access to the Russian market through Ukraine would bring retaliatory measures by Ukraine’s biggest trade partner, Russia, to counter this assault on Russia’s own producers, and thus would backfire against the Ukrainian economy. When Yanukovych on November 21 announced postponement of the EU deal, long-laid Banderite plans to turn Ukraine into a tool for isolating and demonizing Russia were activated. 

Protesters against Yanukovych’s EUAA postponement decision immediately began to assemble in Kiev’s Maidan (central square). Large numbers of ordinary people turned out, waving EU flags, because of the destruction of the Ukrainian economy under “shock” deregulation in the 1990s and the IMF-dictated policies of privatization and austerity throughout the Orange Revolution years. Many had desperately believed, as Ukrainian economist Natalia Vitrenko once put it, that the EUAA would bring them “wages like in Germany and benefits packages like in France.” A disproportionately high number of the demonstrators hailed from far western Ukraine, and pre-planned violence by the Banderite paramilitary group Right Sector was then used for systematic escalation of the Maidan.

Bloodshed and victims, all blamed on the regime, were then used to keep Maidan fervor and outrage going through to February 2014.3An EIR fact sheet, “British Imperial Project in Ukraine: Violent Coup, Fascist Axioms, Neo-Nazis,” documents the pre-planning and the step-by-step escalation. EIR, Vol. 41, No. 20, May 16, 2014, pp. 21-38. https://larouchepub.com/other/2014/4120fact_sheet_brits_ukr.html Neo-Nazi and other fascist symbols defaced building walls and placards in the Maidan, but they did not deter public U.S. support of this process. Sen. John McCain addressed the mob in December 2013, while Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland passed out cupcakes and negotiated with the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt regarding whom to place in office once Yanukovych was ousted. A Nuland-Pyatt phone discussion of this was caught on tape and circulated worldwide. 

On February 18, 2014, Maidan leaders announced a “peaceful march” on the Supreme Rada (parliament), which turned into an attack and touched off three days of street fighting. Peaking on February 20—a day of sniper fire from high buildings that killed both demonstrators and police—these clashes killed more than 100. Scrupulous research by Ukraine-born Prof. Ivan Katchanovski at the University of Ottawa, using video recordings and other direct evidence of these events, has convincingly shown that the majority of the sniper fire came from the Maidan’s paramilitary positions, not the government’s Berkut special police forces.4See Ivan Katchanovski, “The ‘Snipers’ Massacre’ on the Maidan in Ukraine,” Social Science Research Network, Sept. 9, 2015, 79 pages. https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2658245 

On February 21, 2014, a trio of Maidan leaders, including Arseniy Yatsenyuk, the man hand-picked by Nuland to be Ukraine’s next prime minister, signed an agreement with President Yanukovych, committing both sides to a peaceful transition of power: constitutional reform by September, presidential elections late in the year, and the turning in of weapons. The foreign ministers of France, Germany and Russia helped negotiate it, with a representative from Moscow as an observer. When this document was taken to the Maidan, a young Banderite militant seized the onstage microphone to lead its rejection by the mob, and threatened Yanukovych’s life if he didn’t step down by morning. Yanukovych left Kiev that night. The Rada unconstitutionally installed an acting president. 

Among the new government’s first measures was for the Rada to strip Russian and other “minority” languages of their status as regional official languages. (As of the 2001 census, Russian was spoken throughout the country and considered “native” by one-third of the population.) This, with other measures announced from Kiev, fanned major opposition to the coup, centered in eastern Ukraine—the Donetsk and Luhansk regions (the Donbas) and Crimea. Civil conflict erupted in both areas, with local groups seizing government buildings. 

In Crimea, the insurgency against the coup-installed Kiev regime prevailed. A referendum held March 16, 2014 in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol (a separate jurisdiction on the peninsula), asked voters whether they wanted to join the Russian Federation or retain Crimea’s status as a part of Ukraine. In Crimea, 97% of the 83% of eligible voters who turned out, voted for integration into the Russian Federation; in Sevastopol, the result was likewise 97% for integration, while the turnout was even higher, at 89%.

There was no “Russian military invasion of Ukraine.” On March 1 President Putin sought and received authorization from the Federal Assembly (the legislature) to deploy Russian forces on Ukrainian territory, citing threats to the lives of Russian citizens and Russian-ethnic residents of Crimea; these were troops from the Russian Black Sea Fleet facilities in and around Sevastopol, already stationed in Crimea. 

The fate of two Donbas self-declared republics in Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts (Regions), was not settled so quickly. Support from within Russia for these insurgents was unofficial, including the involvement of Russian military veterans on a volunteer basis. The Donbas conflict turned into heavy fighting in 2014-15, continuing at a lower level until now; more than 13,000 people have been killed in the past seven years. Defeats of Kiev’s forces by the Donbas militia, including their gaining full control of the Donetsk International Airport in January 2015, set the stage for Kiev’s agreement to a ceasefire.

After one false start—the so-called Minsk Protocol in September 2014—an interim state of affairs in the Donbas was agreed to in the February 2015 “Minsk II” accord between the regime in Kiev, then under President Peter Poroshenko, and representatives of the self-declared Donbas republics, which was negotiated by Kiev, France, Germany and Russia with support from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). It provided for a ceasefire, pullback of weapons, prisoner exchanges, and humanitarian relief, as well as a political settlement within Ukraine. This envisaged a special status for the Donbas, with extensive regional autonomy including the “right of linguistic self-determination.” Re-establishment of Ukraine’s “full control” over its border with Russia in the Donbas was to occur following provisional granting of the special status and after local elections. The special status was to be enshrined in the Ukrainian Constitution by the end of 2015. 

The UN Security Council endorsed Minsk II on February 17, 2015. It remains unimplemented, because Kiev almost immediately refused to conduct the elections or fully legalize the special status, until first being given control over the Donbas-Russia border. Today, President Volodymyr Zelensky’s government in Kiev refuses even to meet with Donbas leaders for negotiations, and continues to claim that the Donbas is under Russian “occupation,” and therefore Kiev should talk only with Russia, not the Donbas leaders. Sporadic fighting has continued, with a new escalation of shelling across the “line of contact” between the Donbas entities and the rest of Ukraine.

A New U.S. War Posture

The Trump Administration accelerated the take-down of the entire architecture of international arms-control agreements by withdrawing the U.S. from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, signed by President Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachov in 1987, and the Open Skies Treaty, negotiated by NATO and the Warsaw Pact nations in 1992. This left the New START Treaty (Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms, signed by the U.S. and the Russian Federation in 2010) as the last of the existing arms control agreements—the one covering heavy intercontinental missiles. Upon taking office this year, President Joe Biden extended the New START Treaty for five years, a decision welcomed by Moscow. 

On January 19, 2018, the U.S. Department of Defense released its new National Defense Strategy. “Great power competition—not terrorism—is now the primary focus of U.S. national security,” said the then Secretary of Defense James Mattis in a speech describing the document:

We face growing threats from revisionist powers as different as China and Russia, nations that seek to create a world consistent with their authoritarian models—pursuing veto authority over other nations’ economic, diplomatic, and security decisions.

Hours later, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said, in response to the release of the new Pentagon strategy:

We regret that, instead of conducting a normal dialogue, instead of relying on international law, the United States seeks to prove its leadership through confrontational concepts and strategies.

All throughout this time period, Moscow has protested these confrontational actions, but to no avail. “Despite our numerous protests and pleas, the American machine has been set into motion, the conveyer belt is moving forward,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said in his dramatic March 1, 2018 address to the Federal Assembly, in which he publicly announced the new generation of strategic weapons that Russia had under development, at least two of which, the Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle for ICBMs and the Kinzhal aeroballistic missile, have since been introduced into service.

The Economic Component

Beginning in March 2014, right after the February 2014 coup in Kiev, the United States imposed financial and economic sanctions on Russia, purportedly over Crimea and the Donbas republics. These sanctions have included five Acts of Congess, six Presidential Executive Orders, ten “Directives pursuant to Executive Orders” and two additional Presidential “Determinations.” This, according to the Treasury Department’s sanctions list. There have of course been other sanctions, property seizures, diplomatic expulsions for other alleged reasons, as well as other forms of economic warfare. All of the Ukraine/Crimea-related sanctions remain in effect; none have been lifted. The last major new round of sanctions was imposed in 2018 (the CAATSA Act), coinciding with new sanctions over the Sergei Skripal poisoning case.

According to various estimates, the resultant cost to Russia’s economy of all of these sanctions (in GDP accounting) has been in the range of $250-400 billion, with comparable losses imposed on European economies.

In addition, in 2016 and 2017, President Putin accused the Barack Obama Administration of having conspired with Saudi Arabia to lower the price of oil and thereby damage the Russian economy. During the Trump Administration, that appeared not to continue, as Russia and Saudi Arabia made two significant production-pricing agreements on oil, the second in 2019 with Trump Administration participation of some kind. 

In 2021, the crisis came to a head.

2021 Timeline

February 2: The U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings published an article by Adm. Charles A. Richard, Commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, in which he claimed that the risk of nuclear war with Russia or China was increasing and called for action. 

There is a real possibility that a regional crisis with Russia or China could escalate quickly to a conflict involving nuclear weapons, if they perceived a conventional loss would threaten the regime or state. Consequently, the U.S. military must shift its principal assumption from “nuclear employment is not possible” to “nuclear employment is a very real possibility,” and act to meet and deter that reality.

March 15: The U.S. Army-led DEFENDER-Europe 21 exercise began and ran through the month of June, involving 28,000 troops from 27 different countries. The exercise included “nearly simultaneous operations across more than 30 training areas” in a dozen countries, reported Army Times

March 16: The UK Government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson released its Integrated Review of security, defense, development, and foreign policy. The report, among other things, announced that the UK nuclear warhead stockpile would be increased from 180 to 260 warheads. This was decided “in recognition of the evolving security environment, including the developing range of technological and doctrinal threats….” 

April 1: U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin called Ukrainian Defense Minister Andriy Taran “to discuss the regional security situation,” the Pentagon reported, condemning the supposed “escalations of Russian aggressive and provocative actions in eastern Ukraine.” Austin assured Taran:

Washington will not give up on Ukraine in case Russia escalates aggression. [And] in the event of an escalation of Russian aggression, the United States will not leave Ukraine to its own devices, and neither will it allow Russia’s aggressive aspirations toward Ukraine to be realized.

April 13: Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu visited Northern Fleet headquarters in Severomorsk, where he said that the United States and its NATO allies were building up naval and land forces in the Arctic, increasing the intensity of combat training, and expanding and modernizing military infrastructure.

This activity is typical not only for the Arctic region. Over the past three years, the North Atlantic bloc has increased its military activity near the Russian borders.

Shoigu then commented on the DEFENDER-Europe 21 exercise:

Now American troops are being transferred from the continental part of North America across the Atlantic to Europe. There is a movement of troops in Europe to the Russian borders. The main forces are concentrated in the Black Sea region and the Baltic region…. In total, 40,000 military personnel and 15,000 units of weapons and military equipment, including strategic aviation, will be concentrated near our territory…. In response to the Alliance’s military activities threatening Russia, we have taken appropriate measures.

Within three weeks, two Russian armies and three formations of the airborne troops were successfully transferred to the western borders of the Russian Federation performing combat training tasks.

The troops have shown full readiness and ability to perform tasks to ensure the military security of the country.

April 15: The Biden White House issued an Executive Order (EO 14024) proclaiming that Russia’s various so-called malign actions “constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States.”

That EO contained a series of new sanctions against Russia, including expelling ten diplomats, blacklisting six Russian technology companies, sanctioning 32 entities and individuals, and—most importantly—prohibiting U.S. financial institutions from participating in the primary market for ruble or non-ruble denominated bonds issued after June 14, 2021, by the Russian government and its financial institutions.

The explicitly stated purpose of the measures was to trigger voluminous capital flight and a “negative feedback loop” that would wreak havoc on the Russian economy. A background briefing by an unnamed senior administration official elaborated:

There are elements of this new EO that give us additional authorities that we are not exercising today … We are prepared, going forward, to impose substantial and lasting costs if this [Russian] behavior continues or escalates … We’re also delivering a clear signal that the President has maximum flexibility to expand the sovereign debt prohibitions if Russia’s maligned [sic] activities continue or escalate.

The latter was widely understood as a threat that further sanctions could follow barring participation in the far more important secondary bond market, and even escalate to the so-called “nuclear option” of expelling Russia from SWIFT.5 Created in 1973, the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), headquartered in Belgium, serves as an intermediary of financial transactions to quickly, accurately, and securely send and receive information, such as money transfer instructions, among more than 11,000 affiliated banks and other financial institutions in over 200 countries.

June 14: The EO announced on April 15, 2021 officially went into effect—two days before the June 16, 2021 summit between presidents Biden and Putin. 

June 23: The Russian Defense Ministry announced that a Russian warship fired warning shots at the Royal Navy destroyer HMS Defender, which it said had violated Russia’s maritime border around Crimea in the Black Sea. HMS Defender had entered waters in the vicinity of Crimea’s Cape Fiolent that are within Russian sovereign territory, and it had ignored warnings to depart the area. Not mentioned in the press coverage but visible on flight tracking websites was an U.S. Air Force RC-135V electronic intelligence aircraft, which was rounding the west coast of Crimea at the time of the Russian naval encounter with the Defender.

The BBC, which had one of its own reporters on board the British warship, confirmed that the HMS Defender deliberately entered waters claimed by Russia in order to provoke a response from Russian forces:

This would be a deliberate move to make a point to Russia. HMS Defender was going to sail within the 19 km (12 mile) limit of Crimea’s territorial waters.

June 23: Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu again warned of the strategic danger facing Europe in an address to the Moscow Conference on International Security:

As a whole, the situation in Europe is explosive and requires specific steps to de-escalate it. The Russian side has proposed a number of measures. For example, it put forward a proposal to move the areas of drills away from the contact line. 

Shoigu also pointed to Russia’s proposal for a moratorium on the deployment of intermediate- and shorter-range missiles in Europe, calling them “a special danger” for Europe because their deployment in Europe “will return to the situation, when the Europeans were hostage to the confrontation between the U.S.S.R. and the U.S.A.”

Speaking at the same conference, Gen. Valeriy Gerasimov, the chief of the Russian General Staff, pointed to NATO as a destabilizing factor:

NATO’s naval activity near our borders has grown considerably. Warships outfitted with long-range precision weapons are operating in the Black and Baltic Seas constantly, while reconnaissance, patrol and attack aircraft and also unmanned aerial vehicles are performing their flights. The operations by the warships of the United States and its allies are clearly of a provocative nature…. Preconditions are being created for the emergence of incidents, which does not contribute to reducing military tensions.

September 20: NATO kicked off Exercise Rapid Trident 21 at the Yavoriv training range in western Ukraine, with 6,000 troops from 15 countries, including 300 from the U.S. The drills are “an important step towards Ukraine’s European integration,” said Brigadier General Vladyslav Klochkov, co-director of the exercises. 

October 6: NATO ordered the expulsion of eight diplomats from the Russian mission at NATO headquarters in Brussels, alleging that they were “undeclared Russian intelligence officers.” Moscow retaliated Oct 18 by announcing that Russia’s mission to NATO would shut down and the NATO information office in Moscow would be closed and its staff stripped of their accreditation.

“If anyone ever believed in the sincerity of those statements [from NATO], there are none left today. Their true price is clear for everyone,” said Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Alexander Grushko, in response to the NATO action.

October 19: U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin landed in Kiev and, speaking at a press conference at the Defense Ministry, promised the regime’s leaders that the U.S. will back it in its conflict with Russia:

Let me underscore what President Biden said during President Zelensky’s recent visit to Washington. U.S. support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity is unwavering. So, we again call on Russia to end its occupation of Crimea … to stop perpetuating the war in eastern Ukraine … to end its destabilizing activities in the Black Sea and along Ukraine’s borders … and to halt its persistent cyber-attacks and other malign activities against the United States, and our Allies and partners.

He noted that the U.S. has spent $2.5 billion in support of Ukraine’s military forces “so that they can preserve their country’s territorial integrity and secure its borders and territorial waters.”

“I think our posture in the region continues to present a credible threat against Russia and it enables NATO forces to operate more effectively should deterrence fail,” Austin said the following day in Romania. “And I think this is borne out of our commitment to sustaining a rotational U.S. force presence.”

October 21: The NATO defense ministers, on the first day of their meeting in Brussels, endorsed “a new overarching plan to defend our Alliance.…” The new plan includes: “significant improvements to our air and missile defenses, strengthening our conventional capabilities with fifth generation jets, adapting our exercises and intelligence, and improving the readiness and effectiveness of our nuclear deterrent.” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that the alliance has been increasing its presence on the Black Sea, “because the Black Sea is of strategic importance for NATO.” 

October 21: Putin warned in a speech to the Valdai Discussion Club in Sochi that Ukraine doesn’t even have to be formally brought into the NATO alliance to pose a strategic threat to Russia:

Formal membership in NATO ultimately may not happen, but the military development of the territory is already underway. And this really poses a threat to the Russian Federation … Tomorrow, rockets could appear near Kharkov, what are we going to do about it? It’s not us placing our missiles there, it’s them shoving theirs under our nose.

Putin cited NATO’s promise not to move its infrastructure eastwards after the reunification of Germany, a promise which it did not keep:

Everyone from all sides said that after the unification, in no circumstances would NATO infrastructure move toward the East. Russia should have been able to at least rely on that. That’s what they said, there were public statements. But in practice? They lied … and then they expanded it once, and then they expanded it again.

October 30: The Washington Post, citing unnamed officials, reported that the Russians were engaged in another buildup of troops along the border with Ukraine. The article’s authors said the troop movements have reignited concerns that arose in April.

“The point is: It is not a drill. It doesn’t appear to be a training exercise. Something is happening. What is it?” said Michael Kofman, Program Director of the Russia Studies Program at the Virginia-based nonprofit analysis group CNA. 

November 1: Politico published satellite imagery purporting to show a Russian troop buildup near the Ukrainian border, including armored units, tanks, and self-propelled artillery, along with ground troops massing near the Russian town of Yelnya close to the border with Belarus. Elements of the 1st Guards Tank Army were spotted in the area. The army “has been designed to conduct operations at every level of combat from counterinsurgency to mechanized warfare,” Jane’s analysis reported. 

Even the Ukrainian Defense Ministry denied the reported Russian military buildup, stating officially: “As of November 1, 2021, an additional transfer of Russian units, weapons and military equipment to the state border of Ukraine was not recorded.”

November 2: The Russian Security Council announced that CIA Director William Burns was in Moscow for two days of talks with Nikolai Patrushev, Secretary of the Security Council. According to leaks reported by CNN on November Nov. 5, Biden sent Burns to Moscow to tell the Russians to stop their troop buildup near Ukraine’s border, which the U.S. was monitoring closely. 

November 8: For the first time, a Resolution passed by both Houses of Congress voiced the demand for “crushing sanctions” on Russia’s economy, purportedly to stop the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, because, in the words of Sen. James Risch, “Russia is creating and weaponizing this energy crisis.” Sen. Ron Johnson said the U.S should “use crushing sanctions to stop the pipeline.” Sen. Tom Cotton added: “The Nord Stream 2 pipeline will expand Russian influence and threaten energy security throughout Europe. Since the Biden administration won’t hold Putin accountable, Congress must take action to ensure our NATO allies aren’t hostage to Russian energy.”

November 11: Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov warned that Russia is prepared to act against any NATO provocations:

If necessary, we will take measures to ensure our security if there are provocative actions by our opponents near our borders. I’m referring to NATO and NATO forces that are taking rather active and assertive actions in close proximity to our borders, be it in the air, on water, or on land.

November 16: British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace met in Kiev with Ukrainian President Zelensky, and signed a joint statement with Ukraine Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov. Zelensky “thanked Ben Wallace for the unwavering support of the UK for the independence and territorial integrity of our country within its internationally recognized borders,” according to a statement issued by his office. Zelensky “also praised the signing of the Ukrainian-British Bilateral Framework Agreement on official credit support for the development of the Ukrainian fleet’s capabilities:

The United Kingdom has become our key partner in building the Ukrainian fleet. I expect that future security projects planned under this agreement will be effectively implemented.

November 18: During an address to a meeting of the Russian Foreign Policy Board, President Putin protested the repeated flights of U.S. bombers close to Russia’s borders:

Indeed, we constantly express our concerns about these matters and talk about red lines, but of course, we understand that our partners are peculiar in the sense that they have a very—how to put it mildly—superficial approach to our warnings about red lines.

Putin repeated that Russian concerns about NATO’s eastward expansion “have been totally ignored.”

November 19: U.S. Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines landed in Brussels to brief NATO ambassadors on U.S. intelligence on the situation and the possibility of a Russian military intervention in Ukraine. 

NATO’s Stoltenberg suggested that if the new German government (which was still the subject of coalition negotiations) were to pull out of the NATO nuclear sharing arrangement, the B61 nuclear bombs currently stored in Germany could be moved eastwards:

Of course, it’s up to Germany to decide whether the nuclear arms will be deployed in this country, but there’s an alternative to this; the nuclear arms may easily end up in other European countries, including these to the east of Germany. 

That is, even closer to Russia’s border.

November 20: Ukrainian military intelligence chief Brig. Gen. Kyrylo Budanov told Military Times, on the sidelines of the Halifax International Security Conference, that Russia has more than 92,000 troops massed near Russia’s border with Ukraine and is preparing for an attack by the end of January or beginning of February 2022.

November 21: Bloomberg published a report citing unnamed sources saying that the U.S. had shared intelligence including maps with European allies that shows a buildup of 100,000 Russian troops and artillery to prepare for a rapid, large-scale push into Ukraine from multiple locations, should Putin decide to invade.

November 30: Radio Free Europe reported that U.S. Republicans had blocked voting on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) until Nord Stream 2 sanctions were added to it, objecting that the Russia-to-Germany Baltic Sea pipeline will deny billions in annual revenue to “ally” Ukraine. (The overland pipeline from Yamal in Siberia to Europe traverses Ukraine, which collects transit fees.) 

December 5: Neo-con Democrat Michèle Flournoy, former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy under President Barack Obama, appeared on “Fox News Sunday” and declared that President Biden, in his upcoming December 7 video-conference summit with Putin, was going to threaten “much more severe” financial/economic sanctions on Russia than anything previously done:

[What] the administration is actively considering with our allies, is an escalating set of sanctions that go beyond what’s been done before. I’m sure they are looking at sanctioning the banking system, sanctioning the energy sector, possibly cutting off Russia from the SWIFT system,@5 which enables all of their international financial transactions. So, they’re looking at much more serious means … much greater level of pain than anything [that Russia has faced to date]. 

December 6: The day before the Biden-Putin video conference, an anonymous senior White House official briefed the press that all NATO allies had agreed on a package of “financial sanctions that would impose significant and severe economic harm on the Russian economy” should Russia invade Ukraine:

We believe that there is a way forward here that will allow us to send a clear message to Russia there will be genuine and meaningful and enduring costs to choosing to go forward—should they choose to go forward—with a military escalation…. We have had intensive discussions with our European partners about what we would do collectively in the event of a major Russian military escalation in Ukraine, and we believe that we have a path forward that would involve substantial economic countermeasures by both the Europeans and the United States, We have put together a pretty damn aggressive package.

In its coverage, CNN raised the “nuclear option” directly:

Officials have also been weighing disconnecting Russia from the SWIFT international payment system, upon which Russia remains heavily reliant, according to two sources familiar with the discussions. This is being considered a “nuclear” option. The European Parliament passed a nonbinding resolution in the spring calling for such a move should Russia invade Ukraine, and the U.S. has been discussing it with EU counterparts.

Later the same day, after Biden had personally spoken with European leaders, the White House issued a statement which did not mention financial sanctions or significant economic damage to Russia. It said, “diplomacy is the only way forward to resolve the conflict in Donbas through the implementation of the Minsk Agreements.”

December 7: Presidents Biden and Putin held a video conference summit, after which National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan assured the media that Biden—

told President Putin directly that if Russia further invades Ukraine, the United States and our European allies would respond with strong economic measures, and would provide additional defensive material to the Ukrainians, above and beyond that which we are already providing, [and that the United States] would fortify our NATO allies on the eastern flank, with additional capabilities in response to such an escalation.

Biden himself emphasized later that he was considering Putin’s demand for security guarantees, which later resulted in Russia’s proposals (see below).

December 12: The new German Foreign Minister, Annalena Baerbock, declared on a national television interview that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline could not become operational because, according to the German government coalition agreements, the pipeline was not consistent with European energy law.

The previous government of Chancellor Angela Merkel had found the opposite. Baerbock, a war-hawk Green Party leader, did not explain the reversal. The Hill pointed out that the Greens want Ukraine in NATO.

December 17: The Russian Foreign Ministry released two draft treaties specifying guarantees for Russia’s security, one, an agreement between Russia and NATO, and the other, a treaty between Russia and the United States.

Both documents call for recognizing a principle of “non-interference in the internal affairs” of each other, acknowledge that a “direct military clash between them could result in the use of nuclear weapons that would have far-reaching consequences,” reaffirm “that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought,” and recognize “the need to make every effort to prevent the risk of outbreak of such war among States that possess nuclear weapons.”

The operative part of the U.S.-Russia treaty calls for refraining from taking actions “that could undermine core security interests of the other Party.” Cognizant of the drive for NATO-ization of Ukraine, Article 4 states:

The United States of America shall undertake to prevent further eastward expansion of NATO and deny accession to the Alliance to the States of the former U.S.S.R.

And,

The United States of America shall not establish military bases in the territory of the States of the former U.S.S.R. that are not members of NATO, use their infrastructure for any military activities or develop bilateral military cooperation with them.

It goes on to state that the Parties (the U.S. and Russia) will not take military actions outside their own borders that threaten each other’s national security, or fly bombers or sail warships outside of their territorial waters in ways that would threaten each other. On the U.S.’ expansion of its nuclear weapons to include those stored in such locations of Germany, the treaty states,

The Parties shall refrain from deploying nuclear weapons outside their national territories and return such weapons already deployed … to their national territories.

December 19: An anonymous senior White House official told CNN and other media that there was “only about a four-week window” to compel Russia to de-escalate and that U.S.-planned sanctions “would be overwhelming, immediate, and inflict significant costs on the Russian economy and their financial system.”

December 21: In an extensive report delivered to an expanded meeting of the Defense Ministry Board, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu stated:

Tensions are growing on the western and eastern borders of Russia. The United States is intensifying its military presence at Russian borders. 

The United States and NATO are purposefully increasing the scale and intensity of military training activities near Russia. Increasingly, they involve strategic aviation, carrying out simulated launches of nuclear missiles at our facilities. The number of their flights near the Russian borders has more than doubled.

NATO pays special attention to the issues of the transfer of troops to the eastern flank of the alliance, including from the continental part of the United States. The exercises are practicing various options for using coalition groups against Russia with the use of non-aligned states—Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. 

The presence of more than 120 employees of American PMCs [private military companies] in Avdeevka and Priazovskoe settlements in Donetsk region has been reliably established. They equip firing positions in residential buildings and at socially significant facilities, prepare Ukrainian special operations forces and radical armed groups for active hostilities. To commit provocations, tanks with unidentified chemical components were delivered to Avdeevka and Krasny Liman cities.

Speaking at that same meeting of the Defense Ministry Board, Russian President Putin himself sounded the alarm:

What they [the United States] are doing on the territory of Ukraine now—or trying to do and going to do—this is not thousands of kilometers away from our national border. This is at the doorstep of our home. They must understand that we simply have nowhere to retreat further…. Do they think we don’t see these threats? Or do they think that we are so weak-willed to simply look blankly at the threats posed to Russia?

As I have already noted, in the event of the continuation of the obviously aggressive line of our Western colleagues, we will take adequate retaliatory military-technical measures, and react toughly to unfriendly steps. And, I want to emphasize, we have every right to do so, we have every right to take actions designed to ensure the security and sovereignty of Russia…. We are extremely concerned about the deployment of elements of the U.S. global missile defense system near Russia.


Committee for the Coincidence of Opposites Sends Relief Shipment to Mozambique—The World Needs a Modern Healthcare System in Every Nation

Committee for the Coincidence of Opposites

December 15, 2021: Media Release:

Committee for the Coincidence of Opposites Sends Relief Shipment to Mozambique—The World Needs a Modern Healthcare System in Every Nation

The Committee for the Coincidence of Opposites announced today that it has completed its initial pilot project of relief aid to Mozambique. The Committee has sent a significant financial donation for the purchase of food that has been received by the World Food Program office in Mozambique, which will coordinate the purchase and distribution of food in the neediest region of Cabo Delgado. A representative physical shipment of air cargo boxes containing medicines, medical supplies, water purification tablets, and emergency high-protein supplements has also been collected in the Washington, D.C. area, and will be shipped directly to Maputo within the next few days.

The Committee was co-initiated during the late Summer/Fall of 2020 by Schiller Institute Founder and Chairman Helga Zepp-LaRouche and former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Joycelyn Elders. This was in response to multiple crises: the COVID-19 pandemic; the equally catastrophic impending deaths of millions through global famine; and the large-scale international social unrest generated in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd in the United States.

The purpose of the Committee is to demonstrate, by means of a few pilot projects, that “citizens without portfolio” can not only help mitigate tragic circumstances, but also inspire a larger-scale response and the collaboration of major governments, particularly involving the United States, Russia, and China, required to address these global crises. This is not simply a humanitarian or moral issue, but a strategic issue as well.

Over five million people worldwide have already died from COVID-19. New variants, including the more vaccine-resistant Omicron, threaten countless more lives. Nearly one billion people face food insecurity, two billion people do not have access to clean, safe, drinking water. These dire human crises continue to be left unaddressed, while tensions and the danger of war mount between the major political powers.

The Committee emphasizes that solving these crises requires full, modern health systems in every nation, which means not only hospitals and medical personnel, but also food, safe water, sanitation, electricity, decent housing, roads, and other infrastructure. This situation cries out for the approach of the “coincidence of opposites” from whence the Committee derives its name, which refers to a new type of thinking, first put forward by Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa (1401-1464) in his organization of the 1439 Council of Florence. The concept, then and now, calls for acting first for the common good of all mankind, and rejects pitting sub-groups against each other.

Over the past 15 months, the number of Committee members and collaborators has increased internationally to include medical personnel, farm leaders, civil rights and religious leaders, scholars, engineers, retired military and engineering experts and specialists—people from all walks of life. Many individuals have participated in the public dialogues at the Schiller Institute’s frequent international webcasts, and informally, in private discussions of initiatives. Notably, in Washington, D.C., the Committee has been instrumental in establishing a program in which youth corps volunteers were deployed to further the rate of COVID-19 community vaccination, to create a model for youth involvement in public health measures around the world.

Mozambique Initiative

Mozambique was selected as an initial area to receive aid, both because of the recent terrorism in the northern Cabo Delgado region, which has intensified the refugee crisis, and because of the ongoing food crisis, resulting from many factors, including the pandemic, low rainfall in 2021, cyclone damage, locusts, and decades of suppressed development in southern Africa. At present, 1.9 million people in Mozambique are estimated to be in varying degrees of food insecurity, out of population of 32 million.

This initiative has been spearheaded by Committee member Dr. Khadijah Lang, Chair of National Medical Association (NMA) Council on International Affairs and President of the Golden State Medical Association (California branch of NMA). The NMA is the largest and oldest national organization in the U.S. representing black physicians and their patients.

Dr. Walter Faggett, former Chief Medical Officer of the Washington, D.C. Department of Health, has played a pivotal role.

Dr. Lang has led three prior humanitarian missions to Mozambique, delivering donated supplies and providing training to medical personnel. Scores of individuals from throughout the United States contributed funds or material supplies for our 2021 project. This aid package of food, medicine and medical supplies to Mozambique comes at a crucial time with Covid-19 cases surging by 140% over the recent period in Southern Africa, driven by the Omicron Covid variant centered in South Africa, which borders Mozambique.

It is the Committee’s intention that this initiative, while modest in scope, will provide a model for what can be done, and will help to spur immediate action in the neediest situations, in Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria, Haiti and all others. For example, in the case of Afghanistan, where 18 million people are now threatened with starvation, and over 2,000 hospitals and health centers have been closed, Helga Zepp-LaRouche has issued an urgent call for “Operation Ibn Sina,” named after the great Islamic physician and philosopher of the 10th century. Its purpose is to free up the funds belonging to the Afghan nation, now withheld by U.S. and European banks, and to launch collaboration among the U.S., China, Russia, Afghanistan, and neighboring nations, to reconstruct Afghanistan, and in the meantime, to mobilize all necessary emergency provisions to prevent as many as 20 million people from starving.

This holiday season, as we prepare to enter a New Year, is a most appropriate moment for every individual and every nation to make a commitment to ensure the future of humanity. The Committee welcomes members and collaborators.

For Additional information on the Committee’s initiatives: 

Contact email: Lynne Speed –  lynnespeed@schillerinstitute.org


Helga Zepp-LaRouche and Hussein Askary Appear on PakistanTV

Dec. 17 (EIRNS)—Helga Zepp-LaRouche and Hussein Askary appeared on Pakistani PTV World today, commenting live on the meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) dedicated to Afghanistan. {A transcript of Mrs. Zepp-LaRouche and Askary’s remarks will be posted soon.}

In her intervention, Zepp-LaRouche praised Pakistan for hosting the OIC conference on Afghanistan, given the failure of the West to take responsibility for the enormous risk to life of millions of people in Afghanistan. The withholding of Afghanistan’s funds by Western banks is shameful. She promoted Operation Ibn Sina as a path forward in creating a health and development path forward for Afghanistan, and hoped that the OIC would incorporate it into its proposals.

The American-NATO defeat by the Taliban was a humiliating experience, but this does not end the responsibility to the well-being of the people of Afghanistan. The given reason for withholding funding is the Taliban’s mistreatment of women and children, but creating the conditions for mass starvation is essentially genocide, and this is what the economic blockade does. Withholding funds may also cause Afghanistan to turn to drug production, which the Taliban opposes. She appealed to the entire world to choose the side of humanity over barbarism.

Responding to another question about the discussion of Afghanistan and the OIC meeting in the West, Zepp-LaRouche emphasized the potential of the human impulse to do good could overcome geopolitics. As an example, she cited the coordination between India and Pakistan of Indian supplies going to Afghanistan via Pakistan. Another example is the collaboration of the Central Asian Republics with Russia and China. If the United States could be induced to make a positive contribution, this would be of absolute world historical importance in shifting the world paradigm: “I think the whole destiny of mankind is concentrated like a laser in what happens in Afghanistan.” It must become an issue of the whole world. Is humanity fit to survive? “In one sense, I think the fate of Afghanistan and the fate of humanity are more closely connected than most people can imagine.”

Askary praised Pakistan’s efforts to support the people of Afghanistan, both to release the billions of dollars held by American and European financial institutions and to end sanctions. Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Qureshi has made commendable efforts to these ends. The release of funds is essential, but more is required. The crisis in Afghanistan was not caused by the Taliban, but by twenty years of failures of Western military action. The current situation in Afghanistan will cause the rise of terrorism and of immigration, outcomes that Western nations supposedly oppose. The geopolitical game must be ended, replaced by the new paradigm exemplified by the Belt and Road Initiative. The immediate crisis must be addressed, but the way must be paved to the long-term solution provided by infrastructure, including health infrastructure. The Schiller Institute’s Operation Ibn Sina is a proposal that allows for international cooperation across the geopolitical divide to provide for the common well-being of the people of the world. This is the opportunity presented by the current crisis, an opportunity that must be fought for.

Askary explained that Afghanistan had fallen off the media in Scandinavia as well. Although there are many Nordic organizations pushing for humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, this receives scant coverage. But with the push among institutions to oppose China and Russia, there is little room to support useful efforts.

He emphasized that Muslim nations have been pitted against each other by British geopolitics, as happened in Libya, Syria, and Yemen. But, the age of geopolitics has ended with the failure in Afghanistan and a new paradigm beckons, based on economic cooperation. Muslim nations should join this new paradigm. He also spoke to the importance of India taking its rightful position as an Asian nation rather than an Atlanticist one, working with Pakistan and other neighbors of Afghanistan like China.

He closed by stressing that although narratives may appear to have a certain power, it is reality that ultimately has the upper hand. {The link to watch it is here.}


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