Top Left Link Buttons
  • English

Sanctions

Category Archives

Egeland Warns Europe Faces Hundreds of Thousands Of Ukrainian Refugees This Winter

Egeland Warns Europe Faces Hundreds of Thousands Of Ukrainian Refugees This Winter

Jan Egeland, the head of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), said in an interview with Euronews that there will be hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian refugees this coming winter. “It is really a choice between freeze or fleeing,” he said. “Therefore, very many people are voluntarily fleeing… Europe has to prepare for hundreds of thousands of new refugees this winter, from Norway in the north to the southern European countries.”

“We’re in a race against the clock,” Egeland said. “I’ve been travelling all through the south and the east of Ukraine … and every city you go to is dark and people are freezing.”


Helga Zepp-LaRouche Briefs EIR on Urgency To Implement New Paradigm in Face of World War and Economic Crash Threat

Pre-release of EIR interview:

PAUL GALLAGHER: Today is Saturday, October 22, 2022, and this is the 60th anniversary of the day that President John F. Kennedy of the United States made a speech which told the world that it was in a nuclear warfare crisis, a countdown to nuclear war which could conceivably destroy civilization. Kennedy announced that the United States had determined evidence of Soviet provision of nuclear missiles to Cuba, and said that the United States would not tolerate this, absolutely, under any circumstances, and a crisis was on, which gripped the attention of the world and held people in fear of it for more than two weeks. [JFK speech is here.]

So now, this is Paul Gallagher of EIR. I’m speaking with Helga Zepp-LaRouche, founder of the Schiller Institute, and a frequent lead candidate of the BüSo political party in Germany, about the extraordinary situation which is developing there, and internationally.

So Helga, good afternoon to you.

HELGA ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Hello.

GALLAGHER: Let me start by saying, just in terms of setting our situation here, the Nord Stream natural gas pipeline is a submarine pipeline project of Russia and Germany under the Baltic Sea, that they worked on jointly for more than 15 years. It was suspended in 2022 under U.S. pressure, and on Sept. 26, it was sabotaged, by powerful explosions which were aimed to destroy it completely. It appears that this has had an impact on German political life, despite the fact that it’s being covered up.

Helga, can you analyze for EIR what has happened here, and what does it mean for Germany and the threat of war between NATO and Russia?

ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Well, the first thing to say is that the official media and channels are obviously trying to say as little as possible about it, which is already extremely ominous, given the fact that this worsens the energy situation of Germany for some time to come. Military experts have stated that the sabotage was of such a kind that it could only have been done by a state; it could not have been done by private divers, and that naturally limits the number of states which had access. Now the questions to ask is the cui bono, who had the capacity, who had the opportunity, and who had the motive? And then, as some military experts are saying, well, if it would have been Russia, it would have meant that Russia would have to go with submarines and other devices for 300 km through the Baltic Sea under the total surveillance and control of NATO, and therefore, if it would have been Russia, it would prove that they had a huge superiority in undersea warfare, in order to do that, practically under the nose of total surveillance of NATO. If that would be the case, it would have completely other implications about military balances.

But there are also now many people saying, if there would be any proof that it was Russia, you would have seen a barrage of press conferences by NATO, by the EU, by the governments; all the tabloids would have been full of it. But since nothing of this sort has happened, it doesn’t look like it was Russia.

Instead, in an answer to a question from a parliamentarian, the German government put out an official answer, which is also extremely odd: They said that they know it was sabotage—now how did they know that if there was no official investigation? Sweden, by the way, pulled out, and so there was some strange investigation involving only Germany and Denmark, but the German divers didn’t have the diving equipment to go to the depth of 70 and 80 meters, so the whole thing is very ominous. And the statement by the German government says that, for the sake of the wellbeing of the state, they will not reveal any other information.

Now, that is extremely strange: For a sabotage of such enormous economic, and therefore social and political implications, to leave it at that, naturally raises the suspicion which is being said by many people, that this was done by another state which is not friendly to the German government. Now, given the fact that the only states which could have done it would have been the U.S., the British, Poland, maybe Lithuania, but everybody says—also and knows—that nothing in this highly surveilled area of the Baltic Sea could have been done without the control and OK of the United States.

So why is the German government not saying anything? People more and more have the feeling, this present German government is not defending the interests of the German people, and that despite the fact that the German economy is going to crash against the wall this fall and winter, in a dramatic way, to which the sabotage of these pipelines will have played a crucial part.

GALLAGHER: Is anyone in Germany, given the tremendous escalation of prices and the sabotage of the German economy as the result of the loss of natural gas supplies, and oil supplies—but particularly natural gas—is anyone arguing there that Russia and Germany should fix this pipeline? Or are there actions at all against this NATO policy of full warfare against Russia?

ZEPP-LAROUCHE: I would say so! Just today, there are many demonstrations, and there have been many demonstrations in the last days and weeks, not only in East Germany, but especially there, but also, today, in many West German cities. And what people were saying in these demonstrations is that it is exactly like it was in 1989: This was the demonstrations in which the Berlin Wall came down as a result. And the demands are, stop the sanctions against Russia, stop the weapons sales to Ukraine; this is not our war, we demand a diplomatic solution. And most interesting is, the action of the city of Stralsund, where the parliamentary groups of the Christian Democrats (CDU), the Free Democrats (FPD), and the Linke (the Left Party) and the Social Democrats (SPD), and a citizens alliance called “Citizens for Stralsund,” all signed up for an initiative, offering the city of Stralsund to be the site for Ukraine peace talks. And they say that there’s nothing more important than peace on our Earth, and they refer to the great history of creating the Peace of Stralsund, which is a reference to the conflict resolution from 1370, when a war between Denmark and the Hanseatic League (including Stralsund) ended in the so-called Peace of Stralsund. So, more than 650 years later, they want to have a new Stralsund Peace, and that is just a most spectacular intervention, and I think the spirit of 1989 is clearly revived in these demonstrations. And they’re also demanding the resignation of the present German government.

GALLAGHER: Ah, so there is the spirit of 1989 for sure! There’s one well-known blogger and strategic expert, Alexander Mercouris, who argued in a video that this coverup of the situation with the pipelines, despite some very clear indications of what happened, that it means that the German government is under the control of a foreign power, which is unfriendly to Germany—that was the way that he put it. What’s your view of this argument? Does it bear on these demonstrations that are coming up and the behavior of the government?

ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Yes. There are many calls for this government to resign, which many people think is the worst government Germany has had in the entire post-war period. That applies for sure, for the Green Party—this is a so-called “streetlight coalition” involving the Greens, the Liberals [FDP], and the Social Democrats, of which the Greens are really the war party, the NATO party, with the most hawkish, belligerent policy, and you cannot differentiate what they say from Stoltenberg or Blinken. And the so-called Economic Minister Robert Habeck, who used to be very popular in the polls, has now plunged and has become an object of public contempt, because he is clearly pushing a policy which means the deindustrialization of Germany. And we are therefore facing a huge social explosion, not “facing,” we are in the middle of a huge social explosion in Germany.

GALLAGHER: Interesting. We’ve seen this recently in the United Kingdom, where Liz Truss, who was ready to push the nuclear button and a real warrior, she came in like hell on wheels into the prime ministership, and then very quickly her wheels fell off, and now she’s resigned, and they’re in a government crisis as well as a financial crisis. So, we see these things across Europe.

Let me ask you: You’re frequently featured and interviewed in the media in China, again yesterday, on CGTN’s “Dialogue” broadcast. In one interview, they focussed on your assessment of the situation in France and Germany, what can you convey to the Chinese people about the situation in Europe? What do you think is most important that they understand?

ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Well, they are looking at Germany, in particular, with complete disbelief: A once-proud people of poets and thinkers, and admired for its scientific and technological excellence in the whole world, is committing economic suicide in front of the world’s eyes. And it’s very difficult for people in Asia in general to understand why Europe is on such a self-destructive course.

What they are doing as a consequence is to speed up the construction of a new economic system, which consists of the countries of the BRICS, the SCO, the CICA [Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia], and other organizations of the Global South, where they building an economic system which is focussed on the alleviation of poverty in the entire developing sector; and cooperation in mutual benefit; and it has to be said, to the grace of China, or to (there’s a word I’m missing), that they continuously offer to the United States and the European countries that they should cooperate rather than try to fight. But right now, it doesn’t look like people in the West have the wisdom to respond to this offer.

GALLAGHER: Well, if German business and households’ access to natural gas coming from Russia has been destroyed, as a result of this economic warfare on Russia, are the Biden administration’s economic measures against China reaching that same scale of the all-out economic warfare on Russia? And what do you think China’s reaction will be?

ZEPP-LAROUCHE: You know, if you look at the policy of the Biden administration and such people as German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, who have said many times that they want to (quote) “ruin Russia,” or (quote) “prevent Russia from diversifying from oil and gas”—this was said already on Jan. 25 by some unnamed White House official—it did not work out so well.

The effect of this was that Russia turned to Asia and did relatively better than Germany, where you now have a complete blowback, and the country is under the immediate danger of deindustrialization, and given the size of the German economy, this will have a devastating effect for all of Europe.

Now, therefore, the threat to now do the same with China, what was done with Russia, I think it would only occur at the complete price of deindustrialization of the West, at least the European part of it. And China is working with about 150 countries in the context of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the Global Development Initiative; and just at the present ongoing party conference of the 20th party congress of Communist Party of China (CPC), the report that was delivered there proudly states that Chinese economic policy is focussed on continuous innovation, scientific and technological progress, and furthering the creativity of their citizens. And the result has been a continuously prosperous economy. So, if the West wants to decouple from China, they will do so at their cost, leading to their own self-destruction: So, hopefully, they will wake up before it is too late.

GALLAGHER: Well, that was the last thing I wanted to ask you about: That the Schiller Institute is obviously mobilizing a large number of leading people around the world, and also young people around the world, to stop this nuclear war threat. And you’re the one that has launched these mobilizations: What do you think can make it possible to reach a situation of peace, and perhaps even development, before we are in an unsurvivable nuclear war?

ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Well, if you look around the world and ask normal people, like normal parliamentarians, elected officials, trade unionists, industrialists, farmers, fishermen, and so forth, nobody wants World War III! It’s a very small apparatus which is pushing this geopolitical confrontation which threatens the annihilation of the human species. So, this initiative you’re referring to comes out of meeting with Latin American parliamentarians and ex-parliamentarians, and we recognized that a similar desire for world peace and against this confrontation is prevalent all over the world. [Live event: Stope the War Before It is Too Late, Eliminate the Causes of the War Danger.] So the fact that what is at stake is the possible destruction of mankind, that makes, automatically, every citizen on the planet, to be a world citizen who has the right to speak out for the interest of humanity as a whole. And given the fact that the Schiller Institute is named after the poet Friedrich Schiller, who argued that there is no contradiction between a patriot and a world citizen—or that there doesn’t have to be—basically, we are now appealing to world citizens from all over the world to stand up against this war, and make sure that people understand that we have to make a jump in the thinking, to think in terms of a new paradigm, where everybody learns to think as a world citizen; which doesn’t mean you’re not a patriot, it just means you have to make one more step, you have to take the interest of humanity as a whole into account, and make sure that your understanding of your national interest is not in contradiction to that larger interest of humanity as a whole.

Because only if we all start thinking about the fact that we are sitting in one boat, and that if there is a nuclear war, nobody will live, and that we have, and that we have to find a new model of international relations as the precondition to get out of this crisis, that we will actually make it. And the response so far has been tremendous, because I think everybody who is concerned about world peace and the danger of war, is responding very well about this initiative, once they know about it. So help to spread the knowledge about it. [Second Seminar of Current and Former Elected Officials of the World: For World Peace, Stop the Danger of Nuclear War.]

GALLAGHER: OK, so five days from now, on Oct. 27, there is a second conference of those present and former elected officials whose deliberations you’ve been describing, and of course, at the same time, there are other meetings and discussions of potentially a new money system, a new credit system internationally, which are going on within the BRICS and elsewhere. Do you think that this can lead to an actual formation of development, an actual economic architecture, which can make development possible in the developing sector?

ZEPP-LAROUCHE: I think the need to implement that could arrive very suddenly: Because if you look at the panicky reactions in Great Britain, the desperate action to go for quantitative easing, jump to quantitative tightening, go back to quantitative easing—there’s a rapidity like that of Liz Truss going into 10 Downing Street, out of 10 Downing Street, and now they’re talking about Boris Johnson—“BoJo”—to come back, which is the farce of the century: I think the system of the City of London, and by implication the entire trans-Atlantic financial system, is teetering on the verge of dissolution. So the need to put a New Bretton Woods system, a new credit system on the international agenda may erupt more quickly than people think.

GALLAGHER: Great! OK, for EIR, I’ve been talking with Helga Zepp-LaRouche, head of the Schiller Institute, about those prospects and about this extremely complicated and dangerous situation around Europe, and Germany in particular. With that, I think we’ll wrap up our interview. Helga, thank you very much for your answers, and for taking the time with us for today.


For World Peace: STOP THE DANGER OF NUCLEAR WAR ~ 2nd Seminar of Officials

For World Peace

STOP THE DANGER OF NUCLEAR WAR

 Second Seminar of Current and Former Elected Officials of the World

Date: Thursday October 27, 2022

Time: 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. (EDT)

Place: Conference Room E, Chamber of Deputies, Mexico City; and via Zoom (with English-Spanish simultaneous interpretation)

Eight months into the war between Russia and Ukraine, with the active role of the United States and NATO, there are many dead and wounded, great destruction of all sorts of property, and very damaging economic and social consequences in Europe and the whole world, creating shocks which are worsening the very profound problems of the world economy, with consequences of a worsening crisis and greater unemployment, poverty and hunger.

It is known that this war can have far more serious consequences than what we are already suffering, including massive destruction and a crisis of global proportions never before seen, because it can lead to a confrontation with nuclear weapons between Russia and the United States and NATO.

Among the growing voices calling for a sensible approach, we highlight that of Pope Francis, calling for a negotiated, peaceful solution.

The undersigned political and social leaders, current and former legislators, and other elected officials from various countries, urge Russia, Ukraine, the United States and NATO to reach an agreement which, first of all, rejects the growing loose talk about the possible use of nuclear weapons and reaffirms the fundamental commitment of the Reagan-Gorbachev Formula of 1985, that “a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.” To be lasting, such an agreement must also establish a new international security architecture that recognizes and respects the legitimate security interests of all the planet’s nations.

We recognize and emphasize that Russia, like the United States, NATO, Ukraine and all countries, has legitimate security concerns which must be taken into account and become one of the cornerstones of the new security architecture. A return to the successful principles of the 1648 Peace of Westphalia – respect for sovereignty, commitment to the good of the other, and forgiveness of debts that make true economic development impossible – is the kind of architecture we seek today.

The common good of the One Humanity is the obligatory premise for the good of each and every nation. In that way, among all the nations of the world we will be able to help build an organization of citizens in collective global action, and establish ourselves that way as a force to influence the international policy debate.

We call on people of good will around the world – notwithstanding our diverse and natural differences – to participate in this process of deliberation and search for peaceful solutions, including a thorough examination of the alternative economic policies to replace speculation, which has generated so much poverty and suffering, with a system of production and progress to meet the needs of a growing world population.

We reject all attempts to limit, intimidate, or prohibit such a deliberative process. And we call on the United States, NATO, Ukraine and Russia to advance in the direction that we present in this respectful call.

SIGNATURES:

  1. Donald Ramotar (Guyana); former President (2011-2015), former member of parliament (1992-2011, PPP)

2. Helga Zepp-LaRouche (Germany); founder, Schiller Institute

3. Jorge Robledo (Colombia); former Senator (2002-2022, Partido Dignidad)

4. María de los Ángeles Huerta (Mexico); former Congresswoman (2018-2021, MORENA)

5. Dr. Kirk Meighoo (Trinidad & Tobago); former independent Senator (2004, United National Congress)

6. Dr. Rodolfo Ondarza (Mexico); former Representative, Mexico City Legislative Assembly (2015-2018, PT)

7. Diane Sare (U.S.); candidate for the U.S. Senate from New York (2022, independent/LaRouche)


Tulsi Gabbard Tells Americans to Wake Up to Nuclear War Danger, Threats to Freedom of Speech

Oct. 12, 2022 (EIRNS)–Former Democratic presidential pre-candidate Tulsi Gabbard is using the flurry of political attention generated by her announcement that she has walked out of the Democratic Party, to raise the alarm bells on those two strategic points.

In her appearance on Joe Rogan’s show, a podcaster and comedian whose podcasts average about 11 million viewers per episode, Gabbard focused on the imminent danger of nuclear war with Russia, which she argued is not provoked by Vladimir Putin, but by the United States and some European nations in NATO which are using the Ukrainian military and people as ‘chess pieces’ with the aim of regime change in Russia.

The military-industrial complex is happy to send all those weapons to Ukraine, but, she asked, “if we vote to send these billions of dollars to Ukraine, is that strengthening our national security or undermining it?”

She charged: “What we’re seeing now is essentially a proxy war. The US is engaging in a proxy war with Russia using Ukraine essentially as their military.” US leaders pushing to prolong the Ukraine war have “put us in the most dangerous position we the American people and the world has ever been in, in that a nuclear war could break out in a week.”

She dismissed the idea that nuclear war could be limited: “Whether they‘re tactical or strategic nukes, it doesn’t matter, there is no way to win this. That would spark a nuclear war, World War Three, and the result of that is the destruction of the world as we know it…. People need to know that this is the reality we are facing. Our leaders have pushed us and led us to the brink of nuclear war. They have their own bunkers and way to protect themselves. There is no shelter for the American people.”

Rogan and Gabbard discussed how Hawaiians discovered in 2018 when a “false” incoming missile alert was set off over the island that “there’s no place where you can take your loved ones and your kids to be protected not only from the blast, but the fallout, the lack of food and water….” They broadcast for viewers the absurd Public Service Announcement put out by New York City authorities in July, which told viewers they would be safe if they did three things in case of a nuclear attack: (1) Get inside. (2) Stay inside. (3) Stay tuned in. In outrage, the two asked stay tuned to what?

Instead, Gabbard insisted: “The United States and some of these European NATO countries are fuelling this war and need to provide the leadership to bring about a negotiated outcome. That is what needs to happen here to prevent the destruction of the planet and life as we know it. They’re not doing that and they are failing the American people and putting us in this position of not knowing where we’re going to be in the event this kicks off.”

In her appearance on Fox News’s Tucker Carlson show the same night, Tulsi tied the failure of American people to stand up against this imminent danger of nuclear war to witch-hunt against anyone breaking with the official narrative:

“The whole environment of fear that those in power, these elitists in power, have fomented to where people are afraid to speak the truth… They’re afraid to exercise their right to free speech because, hey, you might lose your job, you might be canceled, you might be trashed. And God forbid in Washington, you might not be invited to the cool kids parties. You might not be as popular,” Gabbard charged. So rather than “taking a stand standing up for peace … we have too many people who are war-mongers subservient to the military-industrial complex… with no mind to the costs and consequences of their decisions which are actively pushing us to the brink of nuclear holocaust…”

The 15-minute clip of the nuclear discussion in Gabbard’s appearance on the Rogan show had over two million views within 24 hours of its posting on his YouTube channel https://youtu.be/rAfwpfUBw1M


China’s and Germany’s Prospects: Global Times Interviews Helga Zepp-LaRouche

Oct. 9 (EIRNS) – Ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China which convenes Oct. `16, Global Times has published an extensive interview with Schiller Institute founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche, “the second piece of a series of GT‘s interviews with influential scholars” on China’s economy and the BRI.

In answer to one of many question in the interview, Zepp-LaRouche warned, “The neoliberal financial system may disintegrate, either in a hyperinflationary disintegration – it would not happen in only one country – or if the central banks try to curb inflation through a ‘Paul Volcker style’ high interest rate policy, there could be a sudden chain reaction of bankruptcies of both emerging markets and over-indebted firms. While this will obviously affect China, its economic blueprint approach of caring for each segment of the economy with appropriate incentives will be invaluable.”

And to another, on Germany’s predicament, she answered: “Top executives are already ringing the alarm bells, warning that Germany is about to crash into a wall and that its identity as an industrial nation is at stake. The straw that is about to break the camel’s back is the sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines. The destruction of these pipelines means they cannot be re-opened as a fallback source, which means the energy crisis in Germany will get extremely serious in the short term with a great deal of social upheaval. The only way to solve the situation would be for all European nations to put an end to the sanctions against Russia, and throw all their weight into insisting on a negotiated solution for the Ukraine situation. This situation has moved beyond an energy crisis. A comprehensive approach is needed, which is why the Schiller Institute has called for a completely new international security and development architecture, which takes into account the interest of every single country on the planet.” [The entire interview is available here.]


Anti-NATO Ferment Grows in Europe

Oct. 9 (EIRNS) — A large crowd, certainly many thousands judging from video of the event on Twitter, demonstrated in Paris today with the slogan “Let’s Get Out of NATO,” many waving the Tricolor. One person passing on the tweet said, “Tens of thousands in Paris say France must leave NATO.” [The Twitter video is here.]

In Italy, the popular governor of the Region Campania, Vincenzo De Luca, who is among the leaders of the Democratic Party, made a statement Oct. 7 against NATO. Taking distance from the war policy of his own party and of the Draghi government, De Luca made a strong demand that Italy stop being the passive appendage of NATO and take initiatives for peace, because, he emphasized, the alternative is a nuclear war.

“Since February 24 we have had an increasingly dramatic evolution of the war in Ukraine, we have been speaking out clearly about Russia’s responsibilities, we have been supporting Ukraine to defend itself. And in the last few days we have seen an unimaginable evolution and dramatization.” So said Vincenzo De Luca in his usual Friday Facebook live underlining that today “the hypothesis of the use of nuclear weapons has begun to circulate in a worrying way.” Therefore, according to De Luca this “obliges us to take mass initiatives in support of peace.” 

“Italy and governments can no longer be a passive appendage of NATO, De Luca said. “We have the duty to reintroduce in the language of politics the word peace that has disappeared. And we have the duty, governments and parties, to tell the Italian people what is the goal we are pursuing because we are coming by force of inertia toward a dramatic social crisis and one step away from nuclear war…. The government and parties must say we are at war if the goal is Ukraine’s military victory; we cannot live in a war economy without saying so explicitly.” 

In Berlin on Saturday, Oct. 8, a crowd which Deutsche Welle called “supporters of the far-right Alternativ fuer Deutschland (AfD) party” [quite a lot of them, from DW’s photo] demonstrated in front of the Reichstag building against rising inflation. A party leader, Tino Chrupalla, accused the German government of declaring economic war on Russia and waging war on its own people. He said, “the gas price will become normal again when we buy cheap gas from Russia.” Demonstrators chanted “Away with Habeck,” meaning Energy and Environment Minister Robert Habeck, a Green. Some 2,000 police were deployed around the rally, whose views were not expressed but would be interesting to know.


Update on the banning of opposition political parties in Ukraine

24 September 2022

Since the release on 25 August 2022 of the Fact Sheet “The Banning of Political Parties in Ukraine: Chronology and Status of Appeals”, two more of the seven opposition parties appealing their bans before the Supreme Court of Ukraine have lost their appeals. 

After an appeal hearing on 6 September, the Supreme Court declined to overturn a lower court’s decision to ban the Party of Shariy. It is noteworthy that one piece of evidence used against that party was an interview given by activist Anatoly Shariy, for whom the party is named, five years before the Party of Shariy was founded. 

Amendments to the Law of Ukraine “On Political Parties in Ukraine”, banning “pro-Russian parties”, were passed by Parliament and signed into law in May 2022. The cases brought by the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine against 16 opposition parties, however, have consistently applied that law retroactively to statements and actions dating from long before May 2022, despite the fact that Article 15 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Ukraine is a party, states: “No one shall be held guilty of any criminal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a criminal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed.” 

The appeal of the party Opposition Platform – For Life (OPFL) was heard before the Supreme Court on 15 September. This party had received 13 percent of the vote in the Parliamentary elections of 2019 and held 44 seats in the Supreme Rada (Parliament), the second largest bloc. The Supreme Court let the lower court’s ruling stand, meaning that the OPFL is now permanently banned in Ukraine.

The next hearing of an appeal is scheduled for Tuesday, 27 September at 10:00am local time. Representatives of the Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine (PSPU) will argue their case, that due process and their fundamental civil and political rights have been trampled in the Ministry of Justice and Security Service of Ukraine drive to ban their party. The Central Committee of the PSPU has released a statement, dated 8 September, “Ukrainian Democracy Needs to Be Defended by the Supreme Court against the Government’s Dictatorship” (English translation below). It will be attached to the case files, along with statements by individual PSPU members, when the PSPU representatives argue their case.

Observers, including foreign diplomats and media, are permitted at Supreme Court hearings, which are held at 8 Moskovskaya St., Bldg. 5, in Kyiv. Telephone number for Supreme Court: (044) 207-35-46. For requests regarding specific case files: (044) 501-95-30. The online schedule of hearings before the Administrative Court of Appeal (in Ukrainian) can be checked for updates.

Ukrainian Democracy Needs to Be Defended

by the Supreme Court against the Government’s Dictatorship

Statement

of the Central Committee

of the Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine

Kyiv, 8 September 2022

We, members of the Central Committee of the Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine (PSPU), lawfully elected by a Congress of the PSPU, as confirmed in the Register of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, are compelled to address the Supreme Court in connection with its review of the PSPU’s Appellate Complaint. The purpose of our address is to inform the high court about the real goals and actions of the PSPU, which have been grossly distorted in the statement of claim by the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine (hereinafter “MinJust”) and the letter of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), which led to an unlawful and groundless decision by the 8th Administrative Appeals Court in Lviv on 23 June 2022.

We dispute that court ruling and fully support the Appellate Complaint of the PSPU dated 21 June 2022, and we demand that the decision of the 8th Appeals Court’s decision be overturned. We hope that, in meticulously reviewing our Appellate Complaint, you will be convinced that that court decision, in effect, abolishes any democratic constitutional order in Ukraine, grossly violates the state’s obligations to ensure the rights of citizens of Ukraine, assembled in the PSPU, under the Constitution and conventions, and abrogates Article 15 of the Constitution of Ukraine, which guarantees the freedom of political activity, and Article 12 of the Law of Ukraine “On Political Parties in Ukraine”, with respect to the protection of opposition activity.

In basing its decision upon the positions of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, the court of the first instance grossly violated fundamental principles of European democracy (formulated by the Venice Commission): 1) the rule of law, including a transparent, regulated, and democratic procedure for adopting laws; 2) legal certainty; 3) the impermissibility of arbitrariness in taking decisions; 4) access to due process of law, carried out by an independent and impartial court with the possibility of appealing administrative acts in court; 5) respect for human rights; 6) nondiscrimination and equality before the law.

During the 26 years of the PSPU’s activity, there have been no claims against either the programmatic goals of our party, or against its actions. Not a single administrative or criminal protocol has been drawn up regarding any violations of law by the party, nor has any court ruling found the PSPU to be in violation of either Article 37 of the Constitution of Ukraine or Article 11, Paragraph 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

We consider the Decree of the President of Ukraine, dated 19 March 2022, on banning the activity of political parties, including the PSPU, to be a challenge to democratic constitutional principles. That Decree violated the principle of the supremacy of law in Ukraine, unlawfully halted the activity of the PSPU, and, during a situation of heightened tension in the country due to the tragedy of the war, unlawfully attached to our party the political label of a “pro-Russian, anti-Ukrainian party”.

We evaluate all that as political repressions against an opposition party, as is confirmed by the political, rather than legal, arguments provided for the claim by the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine and the ruling by the 8th Administrative Appeals Court of Lviv.

We see in this not only a presumptuous reprisal against our party, but also a violation of all the foundations of Ukraine under the Constitution and conventions. This is the road to totalitarianism, dictatorship, and fascism.

Mankind has already paid with tens of millions of lives for Italian fascism and German Nazism. And now we see horrific parallels.

In 1928 the governing body of the fascist party (the Grand Council of Fascism) became one of the highest agencies in Italy and officially banned all political parties except for the fascists. The same kind of process of banning parties took place in 1933 in Germany, making it possible to establish the Nazi regime. Hitler’s people carried out the Reichstag fire provocation, for which two days later (without any investigation!), Hitler accused the Communists. After this the court exonerated Dimitrov, Tanev, and Popov, but found Marinus van der Lubbe guilty, and he was beheaded. This Nazi sentence was overturned on 10 January 2008, and Lubbe was amnestied on the basis of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) Prosecutor General’s finding that the sentence was incommensurate with the act committed and because the communist was sentenced to death on the basis of a law adopted after the incident.

  In his presentation at the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal, member of the prosecution from the USA Maj. [Frank] Wallace exposed the essence of German Nazism as being the destruction of everything non-German. Analyzing chapter 4 of the party program of the National-Socialist German Workers’ Party, Wallace brought to the attention of the Tribunal that the theory of a superior race: “had annihilation as its goal. Call something ‘non-German’ or ‘Jewish’, and you have the full right – moreover, you are obligated – to wipe it from the face of the Earth” (Nyurnbergskii protsess [The Nuremberg Trial], collected materials in 7 volumes, Vol. 1, p. 569).

This alarming parallel to a slide into dictatorship and totalitarianism arose from the adoption by the President of Ukraine of Decree №153/2022, dated 19 March 2022, on suspension of the activity of certain political parties (including the PSPU) and the application of that Decree as the basis of the statement of claim by the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine and the Security Service of Ukraine on banning the activity of the PSPU. The 8th Administrative Appeals Court of Lviv used these grounds for making its ruling to ban the PSPU.

The political and civil rights of citizens of Ukraine, among which are the right of association in political parties, are defined solely by the Constitution and laws of Ukraine and the obligations of the state under ratified international treaties. In particular, under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights. Without withdrawal from these treaties and the passage of amendments to the Constitution, which would endow the President with the right to interfere in the activity of parties by decree (including to halt the activity of parties and to block their bank accounts), it is illegal to manipulate these processes. The application of the Presidential Decree dated 19 March 2022 by the Ministry of Justice, the SBU and the 8th Administrative Appeals Court violated a fundamental principle of the democratic order – the supremacy of law.

This Decree, in violation of the presumption of innocence, labelled all members of the PSPU as “anti-Ukrainian and pro-Russian”. Neither the Constitution nor any law of Ukraine contains any legal certainty regarding these terms, nor is there any indication of what these violations of law consist in and what the consequences are for parties in the event of their committing such violations. Consequently, the PSPU evaluates the application of such accusations to parties as a manifestation of Nazism and the annihilation of the opposition on political grounds.

This political label tarnished the dignity of members of our party, who are conscientious, law-abiding citizens of Ukraine, turning them into enemies of their own people in the eyes of not only the Ukrainian, but the world community. This was an instigation to political harassment of members of the PSPU, their families and friends, and to physical reprisals and killings.

With this policy towards members of the PSPU, the President of Ukraine, the MinJust, the SBU and the court of the first instance, in violation of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights, launched psychological and moral terror, and created conditions of fear, suffering, and inferiority for members of the PSPU.

One of the examples of such terror was the harassment of member of the CC PSPU, Secretary of the Sumy Regional Committee of the party Sergei Gavras (Serhiy Havras). This outstanding athlete, a world-class master of sports in the javelin throw, many-time champion of Ukraine, the USSR, Europe, the world, and the Olympic Games, was forced in August of this year to leave Ukraine because of harassment in his native town of Romny in Sumy Region, with not only insults, but also threats of physical reprisals. 

We, members of the CC PSPU, are disturbed by the MinJust’s and SBU’s distortion of the programmatic goals, founding principles, and activity of our party. We have been accused of crimes, defined in Article 37 of the Constitution of Ukraine and amendments to Article 5 of the Law of Ukraine “On Political Parties in Ukraine”, among which is: “The party and its members continue to propagandize a pro-Russian position and circulate reports justifying the actions of the Russian Federation” (Article 7 of MinJust’s claim).

As members of the CC, the governing body of the Party, we are authorized to inform the Court, that this position of the MinJust and the SBU is a politically motivated lie.

The PSPU has never, in the entire 26 years of its opposition activity, called for the use of violence, for a violent change in Ukraine’s constitutional order, for undermining the security of the state, for violating its sovereignty or territorial integrity, for fanning inter-ethnic, religious, or race enmity, or for infringing human rights and freedoms. The PSPU always adopted its decisions collectively – by a congress, by the Central Committee, or by the CC Presidium. All such sessions were always video- and audio-recorded and all resolutions of the PSPU were published.

We draw the Court’s attention to the fact that neither the MinJust nor the SBU presented any decision by the PSPU’s governing bodies in support of their accusations. That is because none exist.

As for the unfounded assertion regarding “continuation of pro-Russian propaganda and justification of the RF’s aggression”, we state that the PSPU has adopted no decisions in that regard, nor could it have done so, because all units of the party (including the governing bodies of the PSPU) ceased their activity as of 24 February 2022.

Unlike the organizational form of the Nazi Party in Germany or the Fascist Party in Italy, which implemented the “fuehrer” principle, i.e., members of the party, before joining, pledge allegiance and unconditional obedience to the head, or fuehrer, of the party, the PSPU Charter embodies the principles of collectivism and democracy in decision-making.

The MinJust, to deceive the court, concealed the contents of the PSPU Charter, according to which all units of the party (from local cells to regional organizations to governing bodies) make their decisions democratically, i.e., by a majority vote of those present. A unique element of democracy within the party is that the governing bodies of the PSPU, the leaders of the PSPU, and the governing bodies and leaders of local and regional PSPU organizations are chosen by secret ballot. That is the highest form of democracy.

The MinJust deliberately left out of account that, upon joining the PSPU, citizens of Ukraine united around the party’s programmatic goals, but did not surrender their personal rights to freedom of speech, freedom of thought, and freedom of belief.

Thus, in accordance with the PSPU Charter, the party’s position on any economic, social or political issue was determined by an officially adopted decision. The party bears responsibility for its adopted decisions, but not for the statements or actions of members of the party. We cite Paragraph 1.4 of the PSPU Charter:

“The activity of the PSPU is incompatible with the propaganda of violence, of ethnic, religious, or social enmity, or of narrowing the content of existing human and civil rights and freedoms.

“The party shall bear no liability for the statements or actions of a member of the PSPU, or of leading persons in the local, municipal or regional organizations of the PSPU and their governing bodies, if they violate the Constitution of Ukraine or fail to adhere to the PSPU’s Program and Charter and to the decisions of the Party’s highest governing bodies.”

The PSPU has always been guided, in its programmatic goals and actions, by two fundamental documents, on the basis of which the entire world recognized the sovereignty and independence of Ukraine, and, inclusively, guaranteed its territorial integrity. Those documents, adopted by the Ukrainian Parliament, are the Declaration of State Sovereignty of Ukraine and the Declaration of the Rights of the Nationalities of Ukraine. Section V of the PSPU Program recognizes fulfillment of these two declarations as the PSPU’s minimum program.

The programmatic goals and activity of the party in fulling the aforementioned declarations have not been found to be illegal under any law of Ukraine. It is not the PSPU, but the government of Ukraine, without the approval of our people (without holding a referendum), that has refused to implement those declarations in the conduct of domestic and foreign policy. The government authorities have ignored repeated warnings from the Progressive Socialists about threats to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the state, in the event that domestic and foreign policy contradict those declarations.

It is the governing regime, not the people of Ukraine by referendum, that adopted the laws on lustration, on decommunization, on the functions of an official language, on making heroes of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (OUN-UPA), on Ukraine’s path into the EU and NATO, and on the sale of land. It is the government, the President, the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, the SBU, the Ministry of Defense, and the Ministry of Justice – upon whom the Constitution lays responsibility for defending the sovereignty, security, and territorial integrity of Ukraine – that miscalculated the risks and consequences of such policies. And now they lay the blame on us.

The essence of democracy, which the governing authorities are obliged to defend, has been set forth many times in decisions of the European Court of Human Rights. In particular, in the Prager and Oberschlick case (Prager et Oberschlick c. Autriche. 26.04.95), the court emphasized that the freedom of speech applies not only to “information” or “ideas” that are received positively and considered harmless or insignificant, but also to ones that offend, shock, or perturb the state or any part of society. 

We are disturbed by the position of the SBU and the MinJust, that ideas about developing Ukraine upon the principles of the Declaration of State Sovereignty of Ukraine have become, in effect, the basis for banning the PSPU. Moreover, that Declaration was supported by the population of Ukraine in two referendums, those of 17 March and 1 December 1991, and acquired the status of highest juridical authority.

The political pretensions set forth by the MinJust in its complaint, supported by the SBU and applied by the court of the first instance in making its ruling on banning the PSPU, contradict the requirements of European democracy and Ukrainian legislation. No law forbids discussion of such political issues as these:

  • a neutral, non-bloc status for Ukraine (i.e., against its joining NATO);
  • granting the Russian language the status of an official language for inter-ethnic communication or the status of a second official language;
  • the impermissibility of making heroes of the OUN-UPA fighters, who collaborated with Nazi Germany;
  • Ukraine’s entry into an interstate union with republics of the former USSR (i.e., against joining the EU);
  • opposition to the sale of land;
  • opposition to a colonial model of capitalism in accordance with International Monetary Fund reforms.

Therefore, to indict the PSPU for raising such questions constitutes political repression and is a manifestation of totalitarianism and dictatorship.

We, members of the CC PSPU, inform the High Court, that our party has funded its activity by contributions from members of the party and has not received financing from any Russian funds.

We reject the SBU falsehood that our party has financed L/DPR terrorists.

We are disturbed that the SBU, having failed to provide any legal substantiation against the legal position of the PSPU’s Appellate Complaint, resorted once again to pressuring the court by packing the case files with so-called evidence in the form of screenshots from Internet websites. That is, information from the Internet cesspool. This has been done on the basis of a review, dated 1 August 2022, of six web pages of little known and probably SBU-controlled websites, on which a pile of dirt against N. Vitrenko has been poured (beginning from her activity in the year 1974), along with fabrications about illegal activity by the women’s organization Gift of Life. 

In violation of the law, the SBU did not submit this information to the court of the first instance, where evidence is supposed to be investigated, but rather attached it to the case files in August of this year. We state that not a single piece of this information has anything to do with the activity of our party in general and, in our view, cannot be recognized by the court as proper and authentic evidence.

We also state that the PSPU did not manage the activity of the All-Ukraine Women’s Organization “Gift of Life”, did not receive any funds from it, and had no plans to use such funds for any illegal activity.

Our party took no decisions and endowed no one (including L. Shesler) with the right to create a Facebook group called “Our Leader is Natalia Vitrenko!” and post information there in the name of the PSPU.

We are disturbed by the MinJust’s distortion of the content of interviews given by PSPU leader Natalia Vitrenko on 22 February 2022 and 24 February 2022. Without study of the transcript, without any forensic examination by expert linguists, without examination of the original electronic evidence, and without the establishment of N. Vitrenko’s guilt in accordance with the procedure established by law, the MinJust has submitted its personal conclusions, suppositions, and personal evaluations as evidence for banning the party.

The MinJust, the SBU, and the court unquestionably know that publications of N. Vitrenko’s interviews without examination of the original sources in the form of complete transcripts (not posted fragments) cannot be accepted as appropriate, authentic evidence. The European Court of Human Rights has determined the need for special protection of statements of a person’s own opinion and evaluative judgments on issues of general interest. For example, in the case Altuğ Taner Akçam v. Turkey, from 25.10.2011, it stated: “…the plaintiff stated his own opinion and critical judgments regarding the situation with the freedom of expression, and his statements were clearly part of debates of issues of general interest. Consequently, his freedom to express his views should enjoy the highest level of protection, while interference in his exercise of that freedom ought to be under strict control; moreover, government agencies should be allowed a narrow limit of freedom for review.”

The interviews given by our party’s leader N. Vitrenko concerned an extraordinarily high level of general interest. N. Vitrenko was not found to be in violation of the law for these personal opinions and evaluative judgments. Consequently, we consider the employment of her statements as evidence for banning the PSPU to be unlawful and disproportionate.

A mockery of the principle of the supremacy of law, and in particular the establishment of actual circumstances, is the MinJust’s position (supported by the SBU and employed by the court of the first instance in making its ruling on banning the PSPU) in submitting as evidence the assertion: “From publicly available sources and analysis of the activity of the Defendant, it is known that the political party Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine is a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine” (p. 5 of the MinJust complaint). This is a travesty of all requirements for the concept of evidence – requirements established both by national legislation and by international norms of law.

By analogy, for example, anyone – in particular, Minister of Justice of Ukraine Maliuska – may be accused of crimes involving drug addiction or pedophilia, based on information from “publicly available sources”, and his dismissal and punishment be demanded. 

We, members of the CC PSPU, inform the High Court, that the political persecution of our party by the SBU and the MinJust has been going on since 2015. On 29 October 2016 the SBU, without stating any pretensions against the PSPU, and without notifying the party’s leaders and in their absence, conducted a search in the central party office in Kyiv (seized the day before by the raider Shatilin). During the search the SBU seized the party’s archive in both paper and electronic form (on hard disks), party literature, blank party cards and official PSPU stationery, and the personal scientific and political libraries of N. Vitrenko and V. Marchenko. In violation of the norms of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, the SBU did not make copies of the seized documents and did not return the originals to the party. We are disturbed, that the SBU could have used the party stationery and blank party cards to fabricate any video-montage, falsifying the activity of our party for the purpose of discrediting it.

Since 2015 the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, by its unlawful activity, impeded the PSPU’s participation in parliamentary, presidential, and local elections, refusing to register the PSPU’s amendments to its Program, Charter, and the make-up of the PSPU’s governing bodies, which had been adopted by congresses of the PSPU. The party was forced to litigate with the MinJust until 2019, trying to overturn its illegal juridical conclusions. We won the court cases, by which the unlawful refusal to register the PSPU’s documents was lifted. The party has attached the judges’ decision to the files of this case.

In 2020 the MinJust was compelled to register the PSPU documents submitted. But this was done only after the presidential and parliamentary elections had taken place, which deprived the public of a political alternative. We believe that by doing this, the MinJust deprived our society of a chance to avoid war.

We, members of the CC PSPU, believe that the MinJust, supported by the SBU and subsequently also by the decision of the 8th Administrative Appeals Court of Lviv, has completely annihilated the legal system of Ukraine as defined by the Constitution of Ukraine and by our country’s obligations under international law, by retroactively applying Article 5 of the Law of Ukraine “On Political Parties in Ukraine”. This is a disgraceful parallel with Nazi Germany. In 1933, the Communist Marinus van der Lubbe was executed there as the arsonist against the Reichstag, on the basis of a law adopted only after the incident. In 2008 the Prosecutor General of the FRG amnestied him on the grounds that the law was adopted after the incident and the sentence was out of proportion to the violation of law.

The Constitution of Ukraine sought to avert the commission of such dictatorial, totalitarian crimes by establishing in Article 58, Part 1 of the Constitution: “Laws and other regulatory acts have no retroactive validity…”, while Part 2 of that Article states: “No one is answerable for actions, which at the moment of their commission were not recognized by law as violations of law.”

This norm of the protection of democracy against totalitarianism has twice been explicated and supported by the Constitutional Court of Ukraine. This question is central to the protections of the European Convention on Human Rights and the practice of the European Court.

Consequently, the MinJust had no right to file on 18 May 2022 its complaint for banning the PSPU on the basis of Article 5 of the Law on Political Parties with amendments, adopted in May 2022, and including indictment of the PSPU for actions that occurred before 24 February 2022.02.2022.

We draw the Court’s attention to the fact that there were no allegations against the programmatic goals and actions of the PSPU until the adoption of points 10 and 11 of Article 5 of the Law of Ukraine “On Political Parties in Ukraine”. Yet upon the adoption of those points regarding justification of the Russia Federation’s aggression and so forth, the MinJust applied these types of violations, newly introduced into the law, to our party. And it accused us of committing these violations from the moment the PSPU was founded in 1996. For this reason, it submitted to the court the documents of incorporation of the PSPU, from April 1996.

Such a violation of a fundamental principle of juridical certainty – the ban on retroactive application of a law – was likewise committed by the court of the first instance in making its ruling on banning the PSPU.

If the Supreme Court does not overturn the ruling of the 8th Administrative Appeals Court of Lviv, dated 23 June 2022, on banning the PSPU, we believe that will mark the end of democracy in Ukraine.

Addressed to the Supreme Court by members of the CC of the Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine: Natalia VITRENKO, Chairman of the PSPU; Vladimir MARCHENKO, First Deputy Chairman of the PSPU; Vasily RUDAKOV, Deputy Chairman of the PSPU, Secretary of the Committee of the Kharkiv Regional Organization of the PSPU; Victor BOBOSHKO, Secretary of the Committee of the Cherkasy Regional Organization of the PSPU; Sergei GAVRAS, Secretary of the Committee of the Sumy Regional Organization of the PSPU; Ivan DONETS, Secretary of the Committee of the Chernihiv Regional Organization of the PSPU; Lyudmila GORBACHOVA, Secretary of the Committee of the Vinnytsia Regional Organization of the PSPU; Vera MARISAY, Secretary of the Committee of the Kyiv Regional Organization of the PSPU; Larisa SHAKALENKO, Secretary of the Committee of the Mykolaiv Regional Organization of the PSPU; Tatyana MAKARENKO, Secretary of the Committee of the Dnipropetrovsk Regional Organization of the PSPU; Vladimir SOLOZHUK, Secretary of the Committee of the Kirovohrad Regional Organization of the PSPU; Nina SORBA, Secretary of the Committee of the Chernivtsi Regional Organization of the PSPU; Alexander DERENYUK, Deputy Secretary of the Committee of the Odessa Regional Organization of the PSPU; Larisa SHESLER. 

Chairman of the PSPU Natalia Vitrenko


Pope Francis Is the Latest Target of Ukraine’s Myrotvorets Hit Squad

Aug. 31, 2022 (EIRNS)–On August 28, the website of the fascist Myrotvorets (“Peacemaker”) hit squad in Ukraine attacked Pope Francis for his recent comments about the assassinated Russian journalist Darya Dugina. Although they did not place His Holiness on their official hit list (at least not yet), the Myrotvorets site warned: “The Myrotvorets Center is closely following statements by the Pope. We note with astonishment that Francis of Rome is voicing Kremlin talking points and belittling the blood-letting of the fascist Russian invaders of Ukraine.”

The remarks by Pope Francis that were considered offensive were made while addressing a congregation in the Vatican on Aug. 24: “Whether they are Ukrainians or Russians … I think of so much cruelty, of the many innocents who are paying for the madness, the madness of all sides because war is madness… I think of the poor girl (Darya Dugina) who was blown up by a bomb under her car seat in Moscow. The innocent pay for the war.”

That quickly led to a protest by Ukraine’s envoy to the Vatican, Andrey Yurash, who called the remarks “disappointing,” because it is a mistake to speak about the “aggressor” and the “victim” in “the same categories.” Then Kiev summoned the Vatican envoy, Archbishop Visvaldas Kulbokas, to lodge a formal complaint, which Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba told the media about on Aug. 25. Kuleba also said “Ukraine’s heart was torn by the Pope’s words,” calling them “unjust.”

The Pope has been considering a trip to Ukraine, but has made it clear that he will only go if he can also travel to Russia. This is a standard Vatican diplomatic effort to maintain neutrality in such conflicts. The Zelensky government in Kiev has made it clear they are totally opposed to such a Russia trip by the Pope.


A Group of 9/11 Families Tells Biden Afghan Central Bank Funds “are Theirs, Not Ours”

A Group of 9/11 Families Tells Biden Afghan Central Bank Funds “are Theirs, Not Ours”

Aug. 18, 2022 (EIRNS)—In a letter to President Joe Biden dated Aug. 16, 77 members of the 9/11 families called on him to affirm that the $7 billion in Afghan Central Bank funds currently being held at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York belong to the Afghan people and should be returned to them. To use those funds to pay off 9/11 family members in court judgments “is legally suspect and morally wrong,” the letter argues, and urges Biden to modify his Feb. 11, 2022, Executive Order and “affirm that the Afghanistan Central Bank funds belong to the Afghan people and the Afghan people alone.”

In previous court cases, some 9/11 families were awarded $3.5 billion from the confiscated funds, while the Biden administration began negotiations with the Taliban to create a mechanism by which to distribute the remaining $3.5 billion to the Afghan people, stipulating that the Taliban could not access it, and offering the spurious argument that the Afghan Central Bank lacked the appropriate regulatory and other means to handle the funds responsibly. Following the recent killing of Al Qaeda leader Ayman Al Zawahiri, the administration halted negotiations on creating this alternative mechanism on the pretext that the Taliban hadn’t broken with Al Qaeda.

The letter from the families notes that earlier legal suits brought by a small group of 9/11 family members, “and the legal claims involved, are complex. But these arguments are founded on a false premise. This money does not belong to the Taliban,” as the lawsuits claimed. “This money comes from Afghanistan’s Central Bank, and as such, it belongs to the Afghan people. Victims of terrorism, including 9/11 victims, are entitled to their day in court. But they are not entitled to money that lawfully belongs to the Afghan people,” the letter charges.

The letter goes on to describe the impoverishment of the Afghan people, with nearly nine million at risk of starvation. While affirming that these funds belong to the Afghan people won’t solve Afghanistan’s problems, and figuring out how to transfer the funds is a formidable task, it underscores, the simple reality is that the money “is theirs, not ours.”


Sanctions Crippling the Syria that Was Once Proudly and Steadily Growing

Aug. 9, 2022 (EIRNS)—The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) released a study, “Syrian Arab Republic: Access to Electricity and Humanitarian Needs,” in March 2022, documenting meticulously, respecting Syria, what Helga Zepp-LaRouche contends in her July 12, 2022 statement, “Lift Sanctions Against Russia Immediately!”: that sanctions are a “brutal form of warfare” that kill, and must be lifted everywhere they are currently enforced.

In 2011, the European Union enforced sanctions against Syria with the intent to overthrow the country’s President, Bashar al-Assad, following the Bernard Lewis Plan overthrow and eventual killing of the leaders of Iraq and Libya. Britain, the U.S., and other nations joined the sanctions regime, and the range of sectors of the Syrian economy against which they were applied was expanded. The U.S. and other nations carried out military intervention in Syria in 2011, first using proxy terrorist groups, then directly.

Syria’s electricity sector was brutally targeted. The OCHA study reports, “Two of the country’s 13 major power plants were fully destroyed: the Zeyzoun Power Plant in Idlib governate (487 MW installed capacity) and the Aleppo Thermal Power Station (1,065 MW installed capacity).” The World Bank reported that six other power plants were partially destroyed.

“As a result of this damage, the country’s electricity generation capacity fell from 5,800 MW in 2010… to 4,000 MW in 2018.”  The further tightening of sanctions caused Syria’s installed electricity generation capacity to fall to 2,000 MW in 2021, a collapse of 63%! Obtaining replacement parts and maintaining the surviving plants, due to sanctions, has become even more acute. Whereas, in 2010, “93% of the country had access to electricity,” that is sharply down today. Compared to 2010 standards, today’s Syrian population consumes 85% less electricity per capita, twelve years later. Thirty percent of Syria’s population has access to electricity for only 2 hours per day. That slashes electricity to industry, and households, and all the equipment that goes with that.

But electricity is the source for powering all other features of society. Around 2010, “access to safe drinking water in Syria was estimated at 92% in rural communities and 98% in urban centers. Seven major water systems serve the country’s eight largest cities…. However,” the study emphasizes, “by 2019 annual public water production in Syria had fallen by 40% relative to pre-crisis levels (from 1,700 Mn cubic meters in 2010 to 1,020 Mn cubic meters in 2019.” But to use water from groundwater and springs, or most rivers, requires continuous electricity to pump water and distribute it, a commodity Syria now lacks as the study highlights.

The lack of electricity (and water) also means there is sometimes insufficient power to run medical facilities and health clinics. Because of damage to infrastructure, Syria runs its schools on two shifts. In the second shift, in particular, often there is no clean water in the bathrooms, and not enough electricity to heat the schools. Some students study at home by candlelight.

The OCHA’s ReliefWeb website reported March 12, 2022, “this year, 90 percent of Syrians live below the poverty line, and more than 80 percent are food insecure. Families say they are eating less, cutting meals, and going into debt to meet their basic needs.” {Emphasis added.}

As Zepp-LaRouche says in her July 12 statement, sanctions “are a brutal form of warfare against the respective populations of the sanctioned states with the aim of making their living conditions so intolerable that they rise up against their respective leaderships, and overthrow them. But the victims are always the people.” It is past time to lift them in Russia, Syria, and everywhere.


Page 1 of 5123...Last