June 8 (EIRNS) – If it weren’t so tragic, this would sound like a bad Polish joke: After banning all imports of Russian coal, Poland is now suffering such a severe energy shortage combined with soaring prices, that the government has “authorized” citizens to forage for firewood in the forests.
RT reported: “It is always possible, with the consent of foresters, to collect branches for fuel,” Deputy Minister of Climate and Energy Edward Siarka was quoted by Next Gazeta as saying on Monday. However, desperate citizens will first have to be trained in such medieval technologies: “Those wishing to gather wood must first undergo training and obtain permission from the local forestry unit. The report went on to clarify that people can only take branches already lying on the ground, and cannot cut down trees.”
June 8, 2022 (EIRNS)–The UN report “Hunger Hotspots FAO-WFP Early Warnings on Acute Food Insecurity June to September 2022 Outlook” was issued June 6, sounding the alarm on the scale of the world hunger crisis today. The joint authors of this periodical report are the World Food Program and the Food and Agriculture Organization. Among the 20 nations listed as in need for “urgent aid,” the WFP press release on the report stated that “Ethiopia, Nigeria, South Sudan and Yemen remain at ‘highest alert’ as hotspots with catastrophic conditions, and Afghanistan and Somalia are new entries to this worrisome category since the last hotspots report in January 2022. These six countries all have parts of the population facing the IPC (5-point scale of severity of hunger–ed.) phase 5 `Catastrophe’… with up to 750,000 people facing starvation and death. 400,000 of these are in Ethiopia’s Tigray region….The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, the Sahel, the Sudan and Syria remain ‘of very high concern,’ with deteriorating critical conditions.”
The report gives country-specific information on the food requirements to save millions of lives.
May 26, 2022 (EIRNS)–The Schiller Institute online conference today titled, “US and European Military and Security Experts Warn: The Insanity of Politicians Threatens Nuclear War,” featured presentations and exchanges between four military and strategy specialists from France, Italy and the United States, and with Schiller Institute founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche, and moderator Dennis Speed. Within hours of the event, views on YouTube were approaching 2,000.
Today’s dialogue followed a discussion yesterday, co-hosted by the Schiller Institutes of Sweden and Denmark, conducted online, centered in Copenhagen, whose participants included five speakers based in this northern region. The May 25 event was titled, “We Need a new Security and Development Architecture for All Nations, Not a Strengthening of Geopolitical Blocs; Why Sweden and Finland Should Not Join NATO.”
These two events are part of the ongoing Schiller Institute activation process, calling on forces and individuals everywhere to mobilize against the war insanity and for a new framework for peace through development. Transcripts and excerpts of both of this week’s conferences will appear in the weekly EIR, cover date of June 3.
Zepp-LaRouche said in her closing remarks today, “Join us as an organizer, as a chance for the betterment of humanity.” On the weekend of June 18-19, the Schiller Institute will hold a multi-session world dialogue for an initiating group of forces dedicated to bringing about a new world economic and security architecture. A Schiller Institute petition for this goal, issued February 23, now has in the range of 4,500 signatures, from all continents.
Zepp-LaRouche set the focus of today’s nearly three-hour event right upfront, “Any policy consideration that does not start with consideration of the danger of nuclear war, is worthless.” She and the next speakers then elaborated on different aspects of how we got in this situation, in the spirit of a video clip of Lyndon LaRouche making the point that, “No event contains its own cause…You must start from the world as a whole.”
Zepp-LaRouche drew a vivid picture of the war’s insanity, from current examples of who is discussing nuclear weapons as part of a “winnable” strategy, to the history of demonizing Russia and China as the enemy, against whom war is supposed to make sense. She then presented the “Peace of Westphalia” approach in some detail, as the way out of this. She used the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence (the Panchsheel), from the 1950s national sovereignty period. She discussed global economic and scientific priorities, from the need for a “global Glass-Steagall,” to end the casino economics, to related measures of a public-good bank in every nation, and plentiful credit for science and technology priorities, including a “village on the Moon, a city on Mars, interstellar space travel,” all of which requires the fusion energy breakthrough and billions more creative souls. In the discussion, she reported seeing “an emergence of a non-aligned spirit” among many nations today, rejecting the attempted, deadly Global NATO world rule.
Gen. Leonardo Tricarico (ret.), former Chief of Staff of the Italian Air Force spoke sternly to the question, “What can we do to stop this meaningless war?” He gave dates, chapter and verse of the UN and even NATO laws that have been broken, putting us in this danger, and stated, “Instead of pouring gasoline on the fire, in a war-mongering hype, we should have negotiations” take place over Ukraine. It is our “imperative duty” to bring this about.
Col. Richard Black (ret.), former head of the U.S. Army’s Criminal Law Division at the Pentagon, and former Virginia State Senator, gave a gripping account of events since the 2014 “revolutionary coup” imposed by MI6 and the CIA in Ukraine, against Russia. He said of our present situation, “This is our “1914 moment.” He pointed out how illegal, wrong and dangerous such figures are as Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD), who are saying that, “We are at war with Russia.”
The next speaker, Eric Denece, from France, picked right up on this point, starting by asking, “How did this happen? I am not pro- or anti-Russia or Ukraine. “But, this warfare should never have taken place. NATO should have disappeared at the end of the Cold War.” Denece is Director of the French Center for Intelligence Studies (CF2R). He pointed out that the Western nations supplying Ukraine are “direct co-belligerents” against Russia. He said that, “the lesson of geopolitics is that no state can secure its interests at the expense of neighbor states.”
Ray McGovern, CIA analyst (ret.), a founding member of the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), chose to begin with the admonition to “look beneath the surface. See with the heart, instead of just the eyes,” and then he used this to make sense of the politicians leading the world into this disaster, acting through MICIMATT, a now famous concept of McGovern, which refers to military-industrial-Congressional-intelligence-media-academia-think tank complex.
Questions from the international audience, as well as between speakers, brought out many points, including the observation from Zepp-LaRouche, that the cohesive collusion between politicians and media is manifest to a horrifying and hateful degree in Germany and elsewhere. In the course of observations, the proposal for an “Austria-type” model for Ukraine was raised, to use neutrality in the process of dealing with the deep-seated complications involved. Col. Black was adamant that we should understand that the intent to manufacture weapons doesn’t work unless you have enemies, so we are manipulated on who our enemies are. People must break out of this. When it comes to Russia and China, we have to “escape from the illusion that, ‘they’re out to get us’.” The “only aggressor is the U.S., UK and NATO.”
May 10, 2022 (EIRNS)—Two diametrically opposed views on what could happen in the Russia-Ukraine conflict were presented on yesterday’s “Views on News” program on Pakistan’s PTV public television channel. One, presented by a guest Pakistani columnist, was the dominant “narrative” of Russia, the sole aggressor, the sole party responsible for a war which will last for a long time, devastating Ukraine in the process, but that’s the way it is, because Putin won’t give in.
Schiller Institute founder and chairwoman Helga Zepp-LaRouche countered forcefully, when given the floor:
“Most important, is to find a way to get peace, immediately, to not accept the idea that this will be a war which will go on for very long, because if that would happen— There are some people who think this war should go on until the last Ukrainian. This is a very cynical approach, because the main suffering people will be the Ukrainians.
“There is right now in Germany a huge debate which erupted because there were several open letters directed to Chancellor Scholtz, one coming from a group of intellectuals who warned that Germany should not send heavy weapons to Ukraine, because that implies the danger of the conflict going out of control and leading to World War III, and there is generally a recognition that if this comes to WW III, nobody will be left—nobody in Germany, nobody in Pakistan, nobody in the United States! So there is a growing momentum of people who say, ‘We must have a negotiated, diplomatic solution, immediately’.”
Geopolitical thinking, the idea of exhausting, of crushing Russia, of finishing off Putin, or that you keep fighting until your enemy is completely destroyed—this will lead to World War III! People should really think about that, Zepp-LaRouche insisted.
Nor is how the war came about as simple as the last speaker made it look, she noted. For 30 years, the Schiller Institute has been trying to shape events so as to bring about a new peace order, not commenting on what happens, but presenting such ideas as the Eurasian Land-bridge as the basis of peace. That potential for peace was destroyed by the drive for a unipolar world, with its color revolutions and regime changes against any government which would not accept that unipolar order. The West does have a share of responsibility for this crisis, in which, if Sweden and Finland join NATO, we could face again a reverse Cuban missile crisis.
Asked later by the host about such consequences from the war as growing malnourishment worldwide, Zepp-LaRouche urged governments to get together to set about doubling food production, to end the threat that 20% of the world’s people—1.7 billion souls— may fall into food insecurity and famine.
She counterposed the two systems developing in the world: the trans-Atlantic sector and those governments with neoliberal economic systems, which is blowing out, as Germany did in 1923; and Russia and China, which are responding to the West’s confrontational policy by trading in national currencies, setting up new banks and credit mechanisms. Much of the rest of the world —India, Indonesia, South Africa, even Brazil under Bolsonaro, Nigeria, among them—also refuse to go along with the West’s confrontation.
The danger, Zepp-LaRouche warned, is that if the West continues its confrontation, it may come to a break between the Western world and the countries gathered around Russia and China, which would be very dangerous, and an economic catastrophe, for Europe, for example. A different approach is needed! Governments must get together and agree to double food production. The U.S. could compensate for the loss of all Ukraine’s grain simply by cutting the amount of grain it burns in ethanol in half, and it should do that. Governments simply have to make available to farmers the credits, fertilizers, machinery they require to produce, and food production can be doubled.
The “Views on News” host, who had listened carefully, responded wholeheartedly: “absolutely.” The interview can be found here.
Africa Faces an ‘Unprecedented Crisis,’ UN Warns —
May 9, 2022 (EIRNS)—Representatives of the United Nations warned of major crises emerging in the continent of Africa due to the Western sanctions against Russia, in a press conference on May 6 in Geneva. Al Jazeera reported the UN officials said that the ongoing conflict has not only led to shortages of wheat, fertilizer and other goods, but also zooming inflation has impacted many nations, pointing out that already, commodity prices have soared—with the price of sunflower and colza oil shooting up 40%. “This is an unprecedented crisis for the continent,” UNDP Africa chief economist Raymond Gilpin said on May 6. “We are seeing a reduction of GDP growth on the continent.”
“With the disruptions that now happen, you see an urgent situation materialize because where do these countries turn overnight for commodities?” UN Assistant Secretary-General and UNDP Africa regional director Ahunna Eziakonwa said. “Tensions, particularly in urban areas, low-income communities, could spill over and lead to violent protests and violent riots,” he said, noting that countries holding elections this year and next year were particularly vulnerable.
In a signal development, domestic air travel in Nigeria is stopping completely. The Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) announced that starting on Monday, May 9, all domestic flights will be grounded, due to the soaring price of jet fuel, which has increased from 190 to 700 Nigerian naira per liter (from $0.45/liter to almost $1.70—attributed to the economic effects of the sanctions). This means that even a one-hour flight would cost about 120,000 naira ($289), a sum unaffordable for Nigerians “already experiencing a lot of difficulties,” said AON.
April 29 (EIRNS) – The Russian daily Nezavisimaya Gazeta warned yesterday that a recent U.N. report estimated that “the Ukrainian conflict is putting 1.7 billion people around the world at risk of hunger,” noting that “the global food price index has reached historic highs as wheat prices rose by 20% in March.” EIR reported on that same study one week ago.
The Russian publication filled out the picture with a couple of interviews. Associate Professor at the Plekhanov Russian University of Economics Oleg Kalenov noted: “Forecasts say that Ukraine’s wheat exports will halve, so the market is going to face a shortage of 9.5 million tons of wheat. Besides, countries may fail to receive wheat from Russia because of delivery and payment issues stemming from political reasons.”
Executive Director of the Capital Market Department at Univer Capital Artem Tuzov, pointed out that “Certain countries are extremely likely to face starvation unless the sanctions impeding Russian wheat exports are lifted.”
IMF Meeting Gets Underway, Under the Gathering Clouds of Growing World Famine—
April 20 (EIRNS) — IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva warned in her opening remarks at the IMF/World Bank spring meetings that began today in Washington, D.C., that the world is facing a “double crisis”: the pandemic, and now the war in Ukraine and related economic destruction. She stated that “rising food and fuel prices are straining the budgets of ordinary families to the breaking point,” and that this is particularly concerning in poor countries where there is a growing risk of a food crisis. She of course blamed Russia for most of the problem.
Georgieva also expressed concern as to what will happen as central banks tighten their monetary policies by ending QE and raising interest rates, and urged them to be “mindful of spillover risks to vulnerable emerging and developing economies.” Given their already high level of indebtedness, rising interest rates will place 60 percent of low-income countries at or near debt distress, she reported.
That is true enough. So, what does the IMF recommend be done? “To address debt, countries need domestic policies that can help bring their budgets back on track” – in other words, the neoliberal “structural reform” austerity policies that created the problem in the first place.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s approach is to throw oil on the fire. According to comments by a Treasury Department official on April 18, Yellen is going to tell her colleagues at the IMF meeting that they should help “ramp up the economic pain on Moscow… The secretary will also underscore our shared resolve to hold Russia accountable.” She’s also planning to boycott any meetings that the Russians attend.
While Yellen was bashing Russia, her Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo attacked China. “China has in the past — and we expect them to continue to follow — the sanctions regimes that have been introduced by us and the coalition” of sanctioning countries, Adeyemo said at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. “China’s business with the rest of the world is greater than its business with Russia,” he threatened.
Apr. 16, 2022 (EIRNS)–Dr. WANG Wen, the Executive Dean of Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, and Deputy Dean of the Silk Road School at Renmin University of China, warned that the world was heading “in the direction of global disaster” and potential nuclear war. Writing on the website of the Valdai Club in Russia, Dr. Wang, who spoke at a recent conference of the Schiller Institute, wrote that “More and more scholars estimate that the possibility of the outbreak of World War III is increasing, and have even concluded that this could lead to the outbreak of a nuclear war.” He said that the war in Ukraine is, “In essence, a total outbreak of Cold War confrontation thinking in Eastern Europe, and it is also a total counterattack by Russia against the endless strategic expansion and extrusion of the U.S. and NATO. Despite not formally sending troops, the U.S. and NATO have used almost all means of mixed warfare such as financial sanctions, an information blockade, intelligence support, satellite navigation and air and space technology to comprehensively strangle Russia.”
The West has imposed more than 5300 sanctions on Russia during these 40 days of war, Dr. Wang noted. Famine and rise in energy prices, caused by the war, have limited production in more and more countries. If we continue, Dr. Wang asked, will Elon Musk’s prediction of economic crisis “maybe happening around spring or summer 2022, but no later than 2023” become a fulfilled prophecy?
“Looking back, tragedies in history often come from five sources: war, famine, economic crisis, pandemic and climate disaster. In spring 2022, people didn’t expect that with the outbreak of the war, the five aspects would be experiencing unprecedented resonance. The world may be on the eve of its most dangerous moment. What should we do? Perhaps it is time to revisit President Franklin Roosevelt’s words: `More than an end to war, we want an end to the beginnings of all wars.’” (Dr. WANG Wen’s full article is here.)
April 16, 2022 (EIRNS)—Ambassador Tony Kevin, who served in the Australian Embassies in Moscow, Warsaw and Phnom Penh, has provided a core piece of evidence proving beyond any doubt that the slaughter of innocents in the Ukrainian city of Bucha, which is the key “evidence” justifying the massive mobilization of the U.S./NATO forces for a war on Russia, did in fact take place—but well after all Russian forces had pulled out of the city! It was already known to readers of EIR that the bodies displayed in the streets and in mass graves in the Ukraine military videos taken in Bucha after April 4 could not have been killed by the Russians. The Mayor of Bucha had publicly announced on March 31 that all Russian troops had completely departed the city four days before the videos were taken. As Kevin notes: “One would have to suspend belief in medical science data that four days after death in a prevailing temperature range of 3 to 11° above zero Celsius, human bodies would already be dark-blotched, visibly decomposing, putrescent, giving off highly noxious gases, and almost impossible to approach without vomiting.”
But that leaves the question, who did kill them, and why? Here Kevin provides the missing clue:
“On Friday, 1 April, the Deputy Mayor of Bucha, Kateryna Ukraintsiva, made an important, and in retrospect chilling public announcement on the ‘Bucha Live’ Telegram website, a local news site watched by local people: ‘The emergence of the Armed Forces in the city does not mean complete liberation, it does not mean that the city is safe and that you can return here. About evacuation, it should be understood that evacuation can take place only in safe conditions. That is, after complete cleaning, demining, and creation of evacuation routes. The same goes for humanitarian supplies. Civilians who remained here are advised to stay in their shelters and not to wander down the street, so as not to interfere with the cleaning of the city.’”
With the population thus confined to their homes, Kevin notes: “The working assumption of the fanatically anti-Russian Azov Battalion soldiers who had entered Bucha would have been that, of the few people who had remained in their homes in Bucha during the month-long Russian occupation (when most had fled the war southward), many were pro-Russian or at least neutral in sentiment, i.e. traitors to Ukraine.” The Nazi killers then had two days to conduct systematic, nighttime house-to-house searches for “saboteurs and accomplices,” who were killed and dumped on the streets and in mass graves, where they were “discovered” on April 4 and shown around the world.
The Schiller Institute Conference of April 9 demonstrated to the world that the NATO planning for war on Russia and China—a war that would certainly be nuclear and destroy civilization as we know it—is virulently opposed by most of the world. Anatoly Antonov, Ambassador to the U.S. from the Russian Federation, shared the Plenary Session proudly with Schiller Institute founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche, as well as leaders from China, India, South Africa, Italy, and others, and with participants from 65 nations. Ambassador Antonov emphasized the importance of the Schiller Institute, that “without your assistance, it will be very difficult to find a compromise which fits everybody.” Speakers addressed the fact that the illegal and criminal sanctions against Russia have created a field day for the Western speculative hedge funds to further drive up the prices of food and commodities, driving destitution and starvation on a massive scale worldwide. (Zepp-LaRouche and Amb. Antonov’s opening remarks are here.)
Lavrov: US/NATO Already Waging “Total War” Against Russia —
March 26 (EIRNS)–Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, during a meeting of the Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund in Moscow, charged that the US/NATO/EU combination is already waging a hybrid war on Russia and that its objectives are no different from those of Hitler in 1941. “Today we have been declared a real hybrid war, a total war,” he said, adding that the latter term “was used by Hitler’s Germany” and “is now voiced by many European politicians when they talk about what they want to do with the Russian Federation.” The goals are not hidden, they declared them publicly – to destroy, break, exterminate, strangle the Russian economy and Russia as a whole, he remarked.
Lavrov lashed out at the “sanctions spree” against Russia pointing out that it is becoming clear that all values that those in the West have been preaching to Russia, like freedom of expression, a market economy, the sanctity of private property and the presumption of innocence, are not worth a red cent.
In this environment, the Kiev regime is being encouraged to continue to behave badly. Lavrov charged that the Kiev regime, in fact, has been getting away with bad behavior for years, with complicity of the Western corporate news media, particularly with respect to its crimes in the Donbas region. “All throughout these years, when the Ukrainian leadership evaded its obligations under the Minsk Accords, nationalists were openly wiping out civilian facilities, schools, hospitals. It was well-known and all facts were regularly reported by our mass media but were swept under the rug by the Western media,” Lavrov said. “It included the slaughter of civilians, and you may all know well that the death toll among the population exceeded 10,000,” he noted. “No one in the West cared at all about the inhumane economic, trade, transportation or food blockade of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics.”
The Kiev regime’s bad behavior has extended into the Russia-Ukraine talks as well. Russian presidential aide Vladimir Medinsky, the head of the Russian delegation at the Russia-Ukraine talks, accused the regime of seeking to drag out the talks. “They are in no hurry, obviously thinking that time is on their side, and say it openly that they have many decision-making centers they have to agree on these or those solutions with. This is the reality we are in,” he said, reported TASS. “Regrettably, as far as we understand – they make no secret of it, they are limited in making independent decisions. So, the current state of things inspires little optimism,” he stressed, adding he doesn’t share the Ukrainian delegation’s optimism, when it speaks about “great progress.” Further he said that “So far, there is no progress on matters of principal importance that the Russian side insists on.”