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Gerhard Schroeder Reiterates: Talk to Russia, Negotiate Ukraine Resolution

July 11, 2022 (EIRNS)–Despite continued attacks by anti-Russian witch hunters, German ex-Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has kept his personal channel to Russian President Vladimir Putin open. As he told the Frankfurter Allgemeine news daily, he opposes the present government’s reluctance to talk to Russia: “Why are they focusing on the delivery of weapons? I do not believe in a military solution. The war can only be ended by negotiations. The fate of the soldiers and the Ukrainian civil population can only be eased by diplomatic negotiations.”

Schroeder said that he concludes from his meeting with President Putin in Moscow in March, that Russia is interested in a diplomatic solution. “How such a solution may look like, can, however, only be clarified in talks,” Schroeder said, adding that everything should be done by all sides “to prevent another escalation of the conflict.”


Farmers Stand Up Throughout Europe

Farmers Stand Up Throughout Europe

July 8, 2022 (EIRNS)—Many of them inspired by the Dutch insurgency, farmers in other European nations are standing up. The Italian Twitter site Radiogenova is covering Dutch, German, Polish, Italian and Spanish farmer actions. They covered Spanish protests July 1 and they covered Polish protests yesterday: “Polish farmers also rise up in Warsaw: ‘That’s enough! We won’t let ourselves be robbed!’ They accuse the political class of destabilizing production by raising interest rates, which does not stop inflation: ‘We workers cannot pay for the crisis created by the politicians!’”

Several independent regional farmers associations have started protest actions in Italy. On July 6, farmers in Calabria, supported by colleagues from Sardinia and Latium, staged a tractor demonstration in Lamezia Terme (Calabria), under the slogan “Stop the Speculators Who Bring Down Farmers.” A press release by the “Movimento Territorio e Agricoltura” (MTA) explains that the action is against “the politicians” who, “instead of listening to producers’ demands,” are protecting those who want to turn Italian agriculture “into a big trading platform in the hands of financial speculation.” Italian farmers cannot survive under the current production costs, especially gasoline, but also fertilizers, seeds, etc. The statement says the Lamezia Terme demonstration will be followed by similar ones throughout Italy.

On its Facebook page, the MTA blasts established trade unions as well and looks at the mobilization of Dutch farmers. They posted several videos and comments such as “This is a revolution!”


Retired German General: Nuclear Simulations Show the Danger—Negotiate, Before It Is Too Late to Prevent Nuclear War!

July 5, 2022 (EIRNS)–“We may be closer to a Cuban Missile Crisis-type situation than many think possible,” former Bundeswehr Chief of Staff and Chairman of the NATO Military Committee Gen. Harald Kujat warned in a June 12 assessment for Preussische Allgemeine Zeitung. “The difference being that the epicenter would not be in the Caribbean, but in Europe. So it is essentially in Europe’s interest to prevent a development of the Ukraine war that would expose us to this danger.”

How great is the danger? Kujat points to reports that Russia had simulated attacks using Iskander missiles (which can be armed with both conventional and nuclear warheads) from its Kaliningrad exclave. The practice launch was reported to have been a simulated launch at a military target in response to a nuclear attack.

“The message from the Russian Defense Ministry is apparently intended as another warning that the use of nuclear weapons is a realistic option for the Russian government,” he writes.

He warns that “the carefully safeguarded strategic stability between the two great powers [U.S. and Russia] does not mean that the risk of a nuclear war limited to Europe is eliminated. On the contrary: If the Russian leadership is of the opinion that the use of short-range nuclear missiles will not trigger a nuclear counterattack by the United States, the risk of a nuclear first use for Russia would be calculable. … [T]he former presidential adviser to Yeltsin and Putin, Sergey Karaganov, recently stated: ‘I also know from the history of American nuclear strategy that the United States will probably not defend Europe with nuclear weapons.'”

The potential for the threat is that the Ukraine conflict is not a Ukraine-Russian dispute, but a NATO-Russia conflict. Kujat warns that Western politicians are increasingly emphasizing that the arms deliveries are intended “not only for the defense of Ukraine, but also for Ukrainian victory over Russia.” He quotes U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin from late April saying that the United States “wants to see Russia weakened to the point where it can no longer do the things it did when it invaded Ukraine.”

“This is a significant change in the focus of U.S. strategy in the Ukraine war,” Kujat writes. “The center of gravity is no longer to support Ukraine in its defensive struggle, but to weaken Russia as a geopolitical rival.”

“However, the course of the war so far shows that there will be no military victor in this conflict. The rational consequence, therefore, is not to prolong the war by setting strategic goals further, but to end it through a negotiated peace. The appeal to seek a negotiated peace is also not a call for Ukraine to surrender. It is not even directed at Ukraine.

The main military players in this war are the United States and Russia. “There have been no negotiations between the two great powers since the war began. War has taken the place of diplomacy. It is the task of politics and an imperative of reason to end the suffering of Ukrainians and the destruction of the country and to prevent the war from slipping into a European catastrophe,” Kujat concludes. The full article is here (in German) and here in English machine translation.


On the 100th Anniversary of the Rapallo Treaty, April 16

On the 100th Anniversary of the Rapallo Treaty, April 16

On the eve of the 100th anniversary of the Rapallo Treaty April 16, Alexander Hartmann, Editor of the weekly Neue Solidaritaet   released this statement (computer translated from the German,) instructive for resolving today’s crisis, by presenting the principle of the common interest among nations for mutual economic development.


Apr. 14, 2022 (EIRNS)–100 years ago, on April 16, 1922, Germany, represented by Foreign Minister Walther Rathenau, and the Russian Soviet Federative Republic, represented by Foreign Minister Georgi Chicherin, concluded the Treaty of Rapallo, in which they agreed to resume diplomatic and economic relations according to the principle of most-favored-nation treatment.
            At that time, Germany’s economic livelihood, with the help of the Treaty of Versailles, was to be “destroyed,” in order to keep the Anglo-American financial system alive with the help of reparations payments imposed on Germany. Like Russia today, Russia and Germany were economically “isolated” at that time. Both sides tried to escape this isolation through economic cooperation.
            Similarly, there were efforts from German industry at that time, led by the industrialist Otto Wolff, to cooperate with the young Chinese republic then led by Sun Yat-Sen, especially in the construction of a Chinese railroad network as conceived by Sun Yat-Sen in his writing {The International Development of China}.
            The opportunity for a peaceful way out of the crisis was missed in 1922. Walter Rathenau was assassinated, only two months after the conclusion of the Rapallo Treaty. The attempt to pay Germany’s reparation debts with the help of the money presses, failed in 1923, with the infamous hyperinflation. The German population became impoverished and thus became the plaything of extremist forces. The same forces that had already imposed the Treaty of Versailles on Germany, now helped install fascist regimes in Italy, Germany, Spain and France, paving the way for World War II, which cost the lives of between 60 and 100 million people worldwide, depending on estimates. Economic policies amounted to imposing austerity on the population, while at the same time, beginning the buildup of arms for World War II.
            Of course, the situation today, in many respects, is quite different. The attempt to isolate Russia, today, is doomed to failure because of its close cooperation with China. In fact, outside the EU, only seven countries participate in the sanctions against Russia, and it is rather the West that is increasingly isolating itself.
            But there are quite a few, fatal parallels from which we urgently need to draw lessons and consequences if history is not to repeat itself. The money-printing policies of recent years (especially since 2019) have prepared the ground for hyperinflation, which is now beginning to

sweep over the world in a huge wave after the Russia sanctions have given financial speculators a way into commodity speculation. As in 1922, the economic perspective as championed by Brussels and Washington -– today, not as a Versailles diktat, but under the pretext of combating climate change–amounts to drastically lowering the standard of living of its own people. And today, rearmament is even initiated even before popular protest has brought extremist governments to power. These protests are not likely to be long in coming, given the impending energy price hikes, only this time they are threatening not just Germany, but all countries that will be hit by the consequences of this policy.
            In fact, Rapallo shows us the way out of the crisis: that of international cooperation. This approach is already being pursued, by Russia and China, in the form of the Belt and Road Initiative, in which more than 100 nations are already participating. So it would be very easy to seize the 2022 opportunity by the scruff of the neck and join this initiative.
            Instead of artificially creating new Iron Curtains that block our way out of the crisis, we should break with the policy of murderous and suicidal sanctions that can only lead to economic and probably military doom. We should subject the speculators’ bogus assets, based on financial claims that are only apparently “kept alive” by printing money, to a well-deserved insolvency procedure, and create a credit system that enables global economic construction; and we should turn together to solving the world’s common problems, thus creating the basis for lasting peace.
            If we do that, we will have learned the right lessons from Rapallo.


600 Sign Appeal Against Arms Buildup in Germany

600 Sign Appeal Against Arms Buildup in Germany

Mar. 24 (EIRNS)–Stirred up by the announcement of the government that an extra 100 billion euros shall be spent to upgrade the armed forces, 600 Germans from politics, science and culture have signed an appeal “No to War!” denouncing the war in Ukraine, but also declaring that, “A massive armament of the Bundeswehr will not help the people in Ukraine. The new weapons to be acquired will not support the Ukrainians in their struggle and right to self-defense. Already now the “defense expenditures” of all 30 NATO countries exceed the Russian ones by almost twenty times. Acquiring conventional weapons such as fighter jets and weaponized drones as a deterrent under nuclear military blocs is pointless. “

The sum of 100 billion euros for arms corresponds to the combined expenditures of several federal ministries, including such important departments as Health (16.03 billion), Education and Research (19.36 billion), Interior, Construction and Homeland (18.52 billion), Family, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (12.16 billion), Economy and Energy (9.81 billion), Environment (2.7 billion), Cooperation and Development (10.8 billion), and Food and Agriculture (6.98 billion). In the future, 2% of GDP is to be spent on armaments on a permanent basis. This would increase spending to well over 70 billion euros a year.

Since the government wants to adhere to a zero-budget increase, massive cuts in the social, cultural, and public sectors must be expected, the appeal says, pointing out that “security and social justice, not armaments, are the mandate of the constitution. The appeal concludes stating “We have to deal with a situation in which our health care systems are on edge, with a public infrastructure that has been neglected for decades and is now costing us dearly, with a cultural scene that is running on fumes, and with a climate catastrophe.”

The appeal was initiated, among others, by SPD politicians Andrea Ypsilanti and Jan Dieren, by Left Party politician Julia Schramm, by the former Green Party member of parliament Hans-Christian Ströbele, the Green Party youth spokeswoman Sarah-Lee Heinrich, the Lutheran theologian Margot Käßmann, the metal workers union executive Hans-Jürgen Urban, and the actresses Katja Riemann and Corinna Harfouch.


Franco-German call on France to Leave NATO and Bolster P5

Paris, Feb. 12, 2022 (EIRNS) – In an op-ed published by the French “souverainist” weekly Marianne, Peter Dittus and Hervé Hannoun, argue in favor of a French exit from the integrated command of NATO. The German economist Peter Dittus is the former secretary general of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), while the Frenchmen Hannoun its deputy director general. 

Their arguments are the substance of their new book called “OTANexit: Urgence Absolue”, published on Jan. 16. 

“Since November 2021,” they say, “the French, like other peoples of the West, have been subjected to an unprecedented mental conditioning conducted by the United States and Nato on the theme of the “imminent Russian invasion of Ukraine”, which may go down in history as an episode of disinformation along the lines of the fabricated intelligence on Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction in 2003.” 

This is a lie, they say. “The only war that NATO seems to be winning is the one of information. We show in our book this striking German propaganda map in the weekly Bild of December 4, 2021, giving an imaginary detailed plan of the “imminent Russian invasion”. The role of propaganda is terrifying, because of the charge of hatred generated by the lies on both sides. On the NATO side, the aggressive and bellicose discourse of Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is irresistibly reminiscent of the famous Orwellian inversion: ‘peace is war’”.  (…) “France’s current alignment with NATO, through its participation in the integrated military command under American leadership, is a strategic dead end for a country with a universal vocation like France. Today, this country has a historic role to play in stopping the march towards war in Europe initiated by the sleepwalkers of NATO. France’s exit from NATO, which will mark the end of the alignment of France’s foreign security policy with the United States, will have an immense impact on the world.”

“It will signal Europe’s independence from American exceptionalism, the renewal of multilateralism, the emergence of a multipolar world and the rapid demise of the obsolete NATO framework. France will then rediscover its universal vocation, contributing to the global balance for peace, and playing, thanks to its rediscovered impartiality, a role of synthesis within the P5, the concert of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (the United States, the United Kingdom, China, Russia, and France), a P5 whose composition must be maintained and whose role as regulator of world peace must be enhanced.”

Full text of Marianne op-ed:

Faced with the Ukrainian crisis, France’s NATO exit is an absolute emergency

The following op-ed was published by the French “souverainist” weekly Marianne, Peter Dittus and Hervé Hannoun, who argue in favor of a French exit from the integrated command of NATO. The German economist Peter Dittus is the former secretary general of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), while the Frenchmen Hannoun its former deputy director general. Text:

“Breaking with the policy of non-alignment followed by de Gaulle, Giscard and Mitterrand for 43 years, France once again became a member of the integrated military command of NATO in 2009, without the French people having been consulted by referendum. The current Ukrainian crisis reveals the serious perils to which France is exposed by being attached to a defensive collective security organization under the command of the United States that has become expansionist.

“Since November 2021, the French, like other peoples of the West, have been subjected to an unprecedented brainwashing (“mise en condition”) conducted by the United States and Nato on the theme of the “imminent Russian invasion of Ukraine”, which may go down in history as an episode of disinformation along the lines of the fabricated intelligence on Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction in 2003.

“What is the reality? Millions of Russian-speaking Ukrainians in the two self-proclaimed Donbass people’s republics live under sporadic firing and shelling by the Ukrainian army against separatist forces. The concentration of Russian troops on Ukraine’s borders is obviously aimed at dissuading Kiev from attempting to regain direct control of the enclaves of Donetsk and Lugansk by force. NATO’s successful disinformation on Ukraine has consisted in presenting Putin’s moral obligation to defend these Russian-speaking populations – which Ukraine wants to progressively deprive of the right to speak their language – as a prelude to the total annexation of Ukraine by Russia.
The myth of an “imminent Russian invasion

“NATO manages to pass off a concentration of Russian troops ready to come to the rescue of Russian-speaking Ukrainians in the Donbass as an “imminent Russian invasion” of the whole of Ukraine, including Odessa, Kharkiv and Kiev. A crazy invasion that in reality Russia completely rules out… unless it is pushed into it by a possible prior Ukrainian attack on the Donbass.

“The only war that NATO seems to be winning is the one of information. We show in our book this striking German propaganda map in the weekly Bild of December 4, 2021, giving an imaginary detailed plan of the “imminent Russian invasion”. The role of propaganda is terrifying, because of the charge of hatred generated by the lies on both sides. On the NATO side, the aggressive and bellicose discourse of Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is irresistibly reminiscent of the famous Orwellian inversion: “peace is war”.

And if France had the solution?

Paris must avoid the military spiral into which the United States and NATO want to drag it. In the coming weeks, it must not allow itself to be involved in a war in Eastern Europe that is not its own. France has already agreed to deploy hundreds of men in a NATO battle group in Estonia. On January 1, it took the lead in the NATO Rapid Response Force, which includes at least 7,700 French soldiers. President Macron has just announced the possible dispatch of a thousand French troops to Romania under the NATO banner on the “eastern flank”, in the Black Sea region. The military escalation is dangerous. For the security of the French people, it is necessary to exclude committing the French army under the banner of Nato in a war in Ukraine or Belarus.

“On the other hand, France has a diplomatic weapon to resolve the serious crisis between NATO and Russia. The detonator of this crisis was the stubbornness of Jens Stoltenberg and the Americans to pursue since 2018 a creeping process of accession of Ukraine to NATO, called “open door policy”, seen by Russia as a threat to its security. To put an end to the current confrontation, President Macron should simply declare solemnly in the name of France that his country will oppose any request from Ukraine to join NATO.

“As decisions on membership of the Alliance require unanimity, France can exercise a veto. In doing so, the president would be in line with the commitments he made during his 2017 presidential campaign not to support NATO’s expansion to Ukraine. It would be an elegant way out of the crisis. Alas, the French president, during his visit to Moscow and then to Kiev on February 7 and 8, 2022, did not consider this simple solution because French diplomacy did not oppose in the NATO bodies the crazy “open door policy” to the membership of Ukraine and Georgia in NATO. On the other hand, France supports NATO and the G7 in their demand for the return of Crimea to Ukraine, knowing full well that this cannot be done without a war, possibly nuclear.

American subordination 

“At the time of the 1992 referendum on the European Union treaty, no one could have imagined that this great project of Mitterrand and Kohl for peace would be deviated from, from 1998 onwards, by the American geopolitical project to take de facto control of the European common defense and security policy. This was due to the simultaneous enlargement of the European Union and NATO to ten Eastern European countries between 1991 and 2007, and also to President Sarkozy’s decision, with far-reaching consequences, to abandon in 2008 the Gaullist strategic position of refusing to participate in NATO’s integrated military command.

“From the moment that 21 of the 27 EU countries, including France, became full members of NATO, the initial spirit of Maastricht was betrayed, because “Europe for peace” was inevitably going to be thwarted by the interference of the United States, with its own geopolitical objectives, in the common European defense and security policy. In reality, there can be no independent French or European defense within the current framework of participation in the integrated military command of NATO by France and 21 other European Union states. The concept of “European strategic autonomy” within Nato is an illusion, given the control of the United States over this Alliance. The European Union seeks to hide this fundamental flaw behind a vague concept: the “strategic compass”.

The fundamental incompatibility between the US-controlled NATO and an independent French or European defense does not prevent our leaders from defending the thesis of complementarity between the EU and NATO in terms of defense, as summarized on December 11, 2021 by the French Minister of Foreign Affairs: “We are keen for the EU and NATO to complement and reinforce each other in order to contribute to strengthening security and defense in Europe. This is the meaning of the strategic compass that will be adopted during the French Presidency of the EU Council.

Defense: the impasse of “at the same time”

The EU’s “strategic compass” is above all an effort to provide a conceptual framework for the false idea that “European strategic autonomy” in relation to the United States is compatible with the Nato membership of the vast majority of EU member states. This complementarity between NATO and the EU, the “at the same time” applied to defense, is an illusion. The fussy logic of national independence has given way to the vague and misleading concept of strategic autonomy and the search for interdependence and interoperability with our “allies”.

“Beyond the immediate crisis surrounding Ukraine, the presidential elections of April 10 and 24 must allow for a decision on the question of NATO. All those who refuse NATO’s march towards the war that is brewing on the eastern borders of the European Union have a unique opportunity, with the presidential election of 2022, to send a simple and clear message of peace to the leaders of our country, in one word: Otanexit. It is a question of ensuring that a candidate for peace is elected president, who is committed to putting an end to France’s alignment with NATO.

“One can think that the outgoing president will want to avoid a debate in the presidential campaign on the question of our military alliances in NATO: alliance with the adventurism of the Anglo-Saxons, whose arrogance was revealed by the Australian submarine affair, unnatural alliance with Islamist Turkey, alliance with Polish nationalism, and tomorrow perhaps, alliance with a Germany that could use NATO as a springboard for its remilitarization, or even alliance with Kosovo against Serbia This list alone allows us to measure the risks of a collective security system comprising 30 heterogeneous nations, and dominated by one of them. 

An unconstitutional “defense union”

“On January 7, 2022, at a joint press conference with President Macron in Paris, the President of the European Commission allowed herself a federalist statement that exceeded her prerogatives: “We agree that we need a real defense union. In the presence of President Macron, she spoke of adding a “defense union” to the Economic and Monetary Union in the future, without taking into account the fact that this statement is contrary to the French Constitution, which is based on national independence, national sovereignty and national defense. It is necessary to oppose the stealthy European federalism that is currently being practiced, which cannot replace a federalism that is democratically accepted – or rejected – by referendum, according to the procedure followed in 1992 by François Mitterrand for the transfer of monetary sovereignty provided for in the Maastricht Treaty. The French people must reject the concept of defense union under the banner of NATO that Ursula von der Leyen wants to impose on them.

“France’s current alignment with NATO, through its participation in the integrated military command under American leadership, is a strategic dead end for a country with a universal vocation like France. Today, this country has a historic role to play in stopping the march towards war in Europe initiated by the sleepwalkers of NATO. France’s exit from NATO, which will mark the end of the alignment of France’s foreign security policy with the United States, will have an immense impact on the world.

“It will signal Europe’s independence from American exceptionalism, the renewal of multilateralism, the emergence of a multipolar world and the rapid demise of the obsolete NATO framework. France will then rediscover its universal vocation, contributing to the global balance for peace, and playing, thanks to its rediscovered impartiality, a role of synthesis within the P5, the concert of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (the United States, the United Kingdom, China, Russia, and France), a P5 whose composition must be maintained and whose role as regulator of world peace must be enhanced.”



Ostausschuss Chairman Calls for Helsinki 2, Economic Cooperation With Russia

Ostausschuss Chairman Calls for Helsinki 2, Economic Cooperation With Russia

Feb. 2 (EIRNS)–Oliver Hermes, chairman of the Ostausschuss, the German industry’s association for trade with the East, issued an urgent appeal on Feb. 1 to de-escalate the crisis and instead negotiate solutions for the Ukraine problem centered on economic cooperation.

“The specter of war is haunting Europe. In numerous media, but also on the part of politicians, a Russian invasion of Ukraine is literally being conjured up and talked about, as if the `hawks’ on all sides had only been waiting for this opportunity for years… The danger of a massive confrontation between Russia and NATO is undoubtedly greater these days than it has been in 30 years. In addition to the terrible human suffering, a war in Eastern Europe would set back our entire continent and with it the European economy by decades. That is why all sides should try to de-escalate the situation and cool things down. Military muscle-flexing in Eastern Europe is not the way to achieve this.

“The economy can also play its part in de-escalation. Business cannot replace politics, but it can use its specific channels of dialogue. The Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations is celebrating its 70th birthday this year. Beyond our economic function, we have always seen ourselves as `bridge builders,’ contributing to political and social understanding and reconciliation with a region where Germany caused unimaginable harm in the 20th century. The result of our efforts is close economic relations with Ukraine and Russia that have grown over decades. Reliable business partners have become friends in the process. German companies are responsible for around 280,000 employees in Russia alone. Through their work, they lay the foundation for trust and mutual recognition at all levels — from management positions to employees in plants and offices – on a daily basis. This is the long-standing, hard-earned basis for peaceful and successful cooperation in the future. People, not states, build trust.

“Conversely, anyone who questions economic relations with Russia should consider what opportunities for talks and influence Germany still has without economic relations with Russia. Burning these bridges altogether would not make our world any safer. Incidentally, the majority of German citizens would like to see closer cooperation between the EU and Russia: in a representative Forsa survey commissioned by the Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations, two out of three Germans (62 percent) were in favor of more intensive relations between the EU and Russia…

“Foreign trade is only one aspect of our economic relations: Russia is the largest market in our immediate neighborhood and an important investment location. Because of the country’s importance, German companies have already established local and regional value chains to serve customer needs not only in Russia itself, but also in other markets in the Eurasian Economic Union and the rest of Central Asia that can be easily accessed from Russia. And not least because of the German exit from nuclear and coal, dependency on gas supplies from Russia, which is already 40 percent, will even increase in the medium term, Hermes notes.

“The globally-oriented German economy is fundamentally opposed to any form of decoupling. Not only in trade, energy and finance, but also in the security sector, we need European `coupling,’ that is, a pan-European security architecture including Russia and Ukraine…

“We now need a Helsinki 2.0, and jointly overcoming the consequences of Corona through new medicines and medical technology would be an important approach. Initiatives on digitization and on training and education for skilled workers already exist, but they could be more closely networked. The same applies to the agricultural sector — Ukraine and Russia are record wheat producers and rely heavily on German agricultural technology. Above all, however, the topic of energy has linked Germany, Russia and Ukraine for over 50 years. Turning existing energy relations into a trilateral climate partnership is therefore a logical and overdue step. It is time for a conference on security and climate cooperation in Europe – preferably again in Helsinki.”


Zepp-LaRouche on CGTN Dialogue Program – “Democracy Summit” Examined

Dec. 5 (EIRNS)—On Sunday, Dec. 5, Schiller Institute founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche joined a special hour-long episode of the CGTN program “Dialogue: Ideas Matter,” with host Xu Qinduo to discuss the concept of “democracy.” This is part of an assertive and confident push by China to challenge the absurd “Democracy Summit” hosted at the end of the week by the United States.

Xu put the first question to Helga Zepp-LaRouche: what does democracy mean? Zepp-LaRouche pointed out that democracy wasn’t necessarily considered a good thing by Plato, to whom it was the other side of the coin of tyranny. Beyond the use of the term, it is essential to look at what governments do. Open-minded people considering China’s approach to democracy will recognize that it has advantages not present among the “Western” democracies.

Martin Sieff, with the Global Policy Institute spoke next, emphasizing that there does not exist a single form of democracy in the world. Social democracies, Japan, India, the United States—these are different types of democracies.

Politburo member Huang Kunming appeared next, in the form of a clip from a recent speech. He reminded his audience that the Communist Party of China arose in the pursuit of democracy to replace the old feudal order, and it continues to lead the fight for Chinese democracy. This phrase itself means that people are the rulers, and the purpose of government. And there is no one-size-fits-all approach to democracy. Indeed, having such a view is itself undemocratic. Allow the people of each nation to decide.

The next guest, Dr. Wang Huiyao, a member of the China State Council, discussed what is meant by “whole process people’s democracy.” There is a consultative democracy, whereby suggestions and criticisms from across the country are considered. The selection and election process itself is designed to ensure that the people best able to serve the people take office. The powerful development and social development of China vindicates its approach.

Michele Geraci, of Italy, agreed that the point of government is to achieve results, to provide for the people (unlike a feudal system). He contrasted process-democracy with results-oriented democracy. Which system delivers better results for the people; results that people will be happy with?

Following a clip in which the head of China Media Group asked whether the people of Afghanistan benefitted from American democracy, and whether George Floyd benefitted from democracy, Zepp-LaRouche was asked whether the police reflect the will of the people. She pointed out that the militarization of the police over decades has created problems, and that the people of the United States are extremely polarized. Biden said he’d unify the country. But the only way to bring about a unity is to collaborate on a worthwhile mission, as did the Founders, Lincoln, FDR, and JFK. Afghanistan represents the enormous failure of attempting to impose a model on another country. And the theft and withdrawal of financial and other resources from that nation is a terrible crime.

The Syrian Ambassador to the P.R.C., Imad Moustapha, spoke up to say that the United States is in no position to be the cardinal arbiter of what democracy is, or to declare whether another nation’s system is democratic. The United States is truly a single party state, ruled by the rich, which cynically uses the terms “democracy” and “freedom” to justify its policies.

Must the concept of “democracy” itself be updated to be more relevant to the modern, connected world, asked the host. Michele Geraci compared the cartelized control of social media to the feudal order in which individual rulers could make decisions, rather than a government that is answerable to the general welfare.

Sergey Shakhray, former Deputy Prime Minister of Russia, spoke in the form of a video clip, to say that by creating a division line between democracies and autocracies ignores the actual outcomes provided by China and many Western nations. Former Japanese Prime Minister Hatoyama also spoke to the need to look for commonalities with other nations, rather than focusing on differences.

Zepp-LaRouche responded that it was absolutely necessary to seek out shared interests. A dialogue of cultures can best proceed by seeking out the best aspects of other countries and cultures. She took on the descent into broadly expressed anti-Americanism that had entered the discussion to point to the powerful historical successes of European culture. The Italian Renaissance was based on the idea of man as a limitlessly perfectible being. The problem in the West is not that we did not have a great tradition, but that we moved away from it to a liberal outlook in which everything is allowed, creating a decadence of culture. “To focus on the common aims of mankind, we must appeal to the best traditions of each culture.” Zepp-LaRouche called for joining together to achieve modern health care in every nation, with a particular focus on Operation Ibn Sina to begin with Afghanistan, which is in such great need, along with such countries as Haiti, Yemen and Syria. Building health infrastructure goes hand in hand with overall development, both requiring and enabling it.

The common aims of mankind should be more clearly defined, and present conditions provide the opportunity for a breakthrough. Contrast the inflation of the trans-Atlantic with the physical economic growth typified by the Belt and Road Initiative. {The full Dialogue can be accessed here.}

The broadcast reflected China’s confident efforts to undermine the “Democracy Summit” and the need for a greater understanding in China of the history of and fights within extended European civilization, including, emphatically, the United States.


Railway Service in Europe Seriously Disrupted by Floods

July 22, 2021 (EIRNS)–The Trains.com website comments that portions of the rail network in Western Europe could be out of service for months or years in the wake of flooding that has left hundreds dead across a swath of western Germany and Belgium. Rail service has been suspended after the floods, which saw rivers running three yards higher than previous records in some cases and destroyed homes and businesses. See report here.

In Belgium, most rail lines south of Brussels saw disruption, with many in the hilly Ardennes region seriously damaged. The high-speed rail line connecting Brussels with Cologne in Germany was briefly closed, but as this goes through hills and over valleys, it was not seriously damaged. Services restarted over the weekend. The older rail lines that follow river valleys, often no more than a few yards above the river, fared much less well. Several routes are so badly damaged that reconstruction is expected to take until late August; less damaged routes reopened July 19.

In neighboring Germany, where the scale of destruction and loss of life has been greater, some rail lines, again built following river valleys, have been completely washed out. In total, German national railroad Deutsche Bahn has reported that 600 kilometers (more than 370 miles) of tracks and 80 stations are impassable.

The worst affected route along the valley of the Ahr River from Remagen to Ahrbrück has seen around 12.5 miles of its 18-mile length destroyed by flood water, with all seven bridges destroyed where the line crossed from one side of the river to the other.

In the Ruhr region, the main station in the city of Hagen was flooded and closed, along with rail lines through the city, as were those in the nearby city of Wuppertal. The flood waters knocked out power and telecom services in many areas. In the city of Bonn, the electronic signalling center controlling the main rail lines along the Rhine valley was unable to function, due to flood damage. Countries neighboring Germany have also seen flooding, with the south of the Netherlands hit with large-scale disruption to rail and road travel. As the weather system moved on, flood waters have affected Switzerland and by last weekend the rain had moved east to Bavaria in Germany and the neighboring Czech Republic, with the rail line between Dresden and Prague shut down July 18 as the Elbe River burst its banks. The Elbe alley was the scene of massive flooding in August 2002, which closed the rail line for three months.


State Department Admits Sanctions Would Not Prevent Nord Stream 2

State Department Admits Sanctions Would Not Prevent Nord Stream 2

July 21 (EIRNS) –In comments to the press yesterday, State Department spokesperson Ned Price reiterated President Joe Biden’s recent statement that the United States suspended its sanctions against Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline project because they could hardly prevent the project’s completion. He explained that President Biden couldn’t have been any clearer when he met with Chancellor Merkel last week: “We continue to oppose Nord Stream 2. … We continue to believe it’s a bad deal for Germany, it’s a bad deal for Ukraine, it’s a bad deal for Europe and Europe’s broader energy security goals.” And, “of course in May we imposed sanctions on 19 entities and vessels, and at the same time … we have come to the conclusion … that it was not in our interest to significantly undermine … the relationship we have with our ally, Germany for a pipeline whose construction would continue, nonetheless.”

Price commented on reports by Bloomberg News that the U.S. and Germany were close to reaching an agreement on Nord Stream 2 that will reportedly include a provision that Germany will impose sanctions on Russia should Moscow use the pipeline to pressure Ukraine or engage in other “aggressive” behavior. “The Germans have put forward useful proposals…. That shared goal is ensuring that this pipeline cannot be weaponized against Ukraine, against any other European partner. That is our goal in doing so. I do expect we’ll be able to share more details on this today.”

State Department Counselor Derek Chollet arrived in Ukraine for discussions yesterday, and then headed for Poland which also opposes Nord Stream 2. According to Bloomberg, the draft agreement with Germany would seek to promote investments of as much as $1 billion in a so-called Green Fund to help Ukraine’s transition to cleaner sources of energy. Germany reportedly would commit to an initial $175 million investment in the fund, and would also appoint a special envoy—with $70 million of funding—to support bilateral energy projects with Ukraine.

Meanwhile, in a posting to his website, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) denounced the reports of an administration agreement, growling that, “If the reports and details of a deal are accurate, this will be a generational geopolitical win for Putin and a catastrophe for the United States and our allies. President Biden is defying U.S. law and has utterly surrendered to Putin.”


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