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Zakharova Warns of Pitfalls of Western ‘Sanctions War’

May 4, 2021 (EIRNS)–“Diplomacy is being replaced by sanctions,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova warned in an interview with RT Television yesterday, and this is “undermining mutual trust and darkening the prospects for normalizing relations” between Russia and the collective West.

“The vicious practice of imposing unilateral political and economic restrictions, especially the extraterritorial application of such measures, is an infringement on the sovereignty of states and interference in their internal affairs aimed at keeping, at any cost, their [imposers’–ed.] dominant position in the global economy and international politics, which they are gradually losing,” she charged.

She discussed various measures which Russia is taking to defend itself: consolidating its national financial system, searching for new international partners, diversifying foreign economic ties while developing advanced, competitive domestic industries which lay the basis for substituting domestic products for what was previously imported. New legal mechanisms are being worked on, and legislation “providing for measures to counter new potential unilateral steps by the United States and other countries” is being drafted.

RT asked several questions about ways Russia might protect itself from restrictions on its access to Western financial systems. Zakharova noted that cutting Russia off from the SWIFT system for international settlement of payments “is so far considered a hypothetical scenario.” That said, work is underway on reducing Russia’s dependence on the dollar, a discussion that has been underway for at least a decade, she noted. She referenced that the 2007-2008 crisis “called into doubt the sustainability of the world currency system based on the supremacy of one national monetary unit.”

 Zakharova made clear that such discussions are not taking place just in Russia, as finding ways to secure “the independence and sustainability of the financial system to external threat is increasingly becoming a priority for any state.” Russia will not be driven by the “hostile foreign policy” of others to shut out the outside world; it is discussing measures that can be taken with regional neighbors, the BRICS, and others.

Once again, Zakharova, as other high-ranking Russian officials have consistently been doing, proposed that Western nations change course, and come to the table to reach agreements which defend everyone’s interests: “We have repeatedly made it clear that we did not start this sanctions war, but we are ready, at any point, to do our part in order to end this pointless confrontation, in which there will not be and cannot be any winners…. We strongly support a broad international discussion of ways to counteract the illegitimate unilateral measures. We are confident that a systematic dialogue should help reduce the business community’s concerns regarding the uncertainty and instability in global affairs, which are provoked by the West’s one-sided and inconsistent policy.” The RT coverage can be found here.

The Foreign Ministry carries the transcript of the interview on its website.


Economist Writes ‘the Most Dangerous Place on Earth’: Taiwan

May 4, 2021 (EIRNS)--In its May 1 cover article, the Economist wrote with satisfaction about the dangerous strategic condition created with respect to Taiwan. The outgoing head of the Pacific Command, Adm. Phil Davidson, had told Congress in March that he worried about China attacking Taiwan as soon as 2027. The {Economist} notes the unique position of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), which leads the world in the production of advanced semiconductor chips, with technologies and production processes years ahead of those of either the U.S. or China. The British rag also exults in recent changes from what had been the status quo of the ambiguous state of U.S. support for a one-China policy while in effect guaranteeing Taiwanese independence. With a growing independence movement in Taiwan, strengthened by reporting on Hong Kong, will China remain at bay?

            “Nobody in America can really know what Mr. Xi intends today, let alone what he or his successor may want in the future…. Mr. Xi’s appetite for risk may sharpen, especially if he wants unification with Taiwan to crown his legacy.” To prevent this, the Economist calls for action: “America requires weapons to deter China from launching an amphibious invasion…. China must be discouraged from trying to change Taiwan’s status by force even as it is reassured that America will not support a dash for formal independence by Taiwan.” Rather than achieving an actual resolution of the dispute, through a true detente and discussion, the British magazine suggests an effort to “sustain ambiguity,” maintaining the state of conflict while acknowledging that “The risk of a superpower arms race is high.” The full article is here.


Police-State Measures Against Protesters with ‘Wrong’ Thoughts

Police-State Measures Against Protesters with 'Wrong' Thoughts

May 4, 2021 (EIRNS)--An Arkansas man photographed at a desk in Nancy Pelosi's office was taken into custody on Jan. 8, charged with trespassing, disorderly conduct, and possession of a "deadly or dangerous weapon" (the retired firefighter's walking stick -- fitted with a stun gun but without batteries on Jan. 6). Federal prosecutors requested, and secured, an order from Judge Beryl Howell, the chief judge of the D.C. district court, for the man to be taken to Washington D.C., where he has been incarcerated in solitary confinement pending his trial later this month.

In another case, that of the "zip tie guy" and his mother, a D.C. appellate court denounced their pre-trial detention, leading to their release--pending trial--after more than two months in jail.

As the kid-gloves approach towards Antifa protesters in Portland makes clear, this strict approach is not pursued against all protesters in the United States, but rather is trained on those who are to be exhibited as examples of the DVEs (domestic violent extremists) that supposedly pose a mortal threat to "American democracy."

Just last Wednesday, April 28, a couple in Alaska were roused from their bedroom by armed FBI agents, who had broken the door to their home and inn. The agents handcuffed the pair, along with several houseguests, and interrogated them for hours about their participation in the Jan. 6 event at the Capitol. 

The couple had attended Trump's speech and walked to the Capitol, but had not entered it. Eventually the agents revealed that they believed the wife had stolen Nancy Pelosi's laptop. After ransacking their home and confiscating electronic equipment, the agents left. The same day, Rudy Giuliani's home was searched.

In total, an enormous police and intelligence operation has led to the arrest of over 400 people for their participation in the Jan. 6 events.

Are we really to believe that this same apparatus was unable to foresee the need for additional security at the Capitol that day? 

US Sec. of State Blinken to Visit Ukraine May 5–6

US Secretary of State Blinken to Visit Ukraine May 5–6

Apr. 30 (EIRNS)–“Secretary of State Blinken tells CBS News he will travel to Ukraine next week amid rising tensions with Russia,” CBS journalist Norah O’Donnell wrote in her Twitter account on Thursday. CBS aired a clip from its interview with Blinken, a teaser for the full 60 Minutes interview to air on Sunday, May 2, in which he said, “There are more forces amassed on the border with Ukraine than any time since 2014 when Russian actually invaded…. What we have seen in the last few days is apparently a decision to pull back some of those forces and we’ve seen some of them in fact start to pull back.”

Meanwhile CNN claims Blinken’s visit to Kiev is meant to show NATO allies that the US will not relax its anti Russian hawkish policy at the possible Russian-American summit.

The State Department reports that Blinken’s visit to Ukraine is the second stop on his European tour. First stop: the G7 Foreign and Development Ministers’ Meeting in London, May 3-5, 2021. “The Secretary has said wherever the rules for international security and the global economy are being written, America will be there, and the interests of the American people will be front and center,” State explains; “the Secretary is looking forward to discussing the democratic values that we share with our partners and allies within the G7,” specifying that he intends to raise joint efforts “to address the key geopolitical issues we face as we build back better from this pandemic”—including “climate crises.” (The UK has expanded this G7 meeting by inviting Australia, India, South Africa, the Republic of Korea, and Brunei in its capacity as Chair of ASEAN.)

While in London, Blinken will also meet with Boris Johnson and Foreign Secretary Raab “to discuss shared U.S.–UK priorities related to addressing global issues and to affirm the strong alliance between our countries.”

Kiev, Ukraine, then, is May 5–6, to “meet with President Zelenskyy, Foreign Minister Kuleba, other officials, and representatives of Ukrainian civil society to reaffirm unwavering U.S. support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of Russia’s ongoing aggression.” And, State adds, to press Ukraine on “institutional reform.”


Zepp-LaRouche: Urgent Call to Stop the Genocide in Syria and Yemen; the Moral Collapse of the West Cries Out for a New Paradigm

PDF available

April 15 — The Schiller Institute is circulating an urgent response from its founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche to Apostolic Nuncio to Syria Cardinal Mario Zenari, who has alerted the world to the acute humanitarian emergency that has been deliberately imposed upon Syria, in the aftermath of nine years of war, through murderous “sanctions” measures imposed by the U.S. State Department and irresponsibly supported by a number of other governments, most emphatically the British. Action to end the so-called “Caesar Sanctions” imposed upon Syria will not only help halt the mass starvation and poverty now engulfing that nation, but will also benefit the rest of humanity. It is time to pursue, as the Cardinal states, a pathway of Peace through Development, and to reject outright the moral indifference which increasingly threatens to unleash this scale of calamity throughout the planet.

In her weekly Schiller Institute webcast discussion on April 14, Zepp-LaRouche demanded that the world come to the aid of the Syrian people. As Cardinal Zenari has stated, more than 90% of Syrians are below the level of extreme poverty, and many are in danger of losing their lives due to famine. The last decade of war, the unjust sanctions, and the COVID-19 pandemic have created an absolutely intolerable condition of suffering for the Syrian people.

Similar horrors confront Yemen, where the agonizing reality of hunger is conveyed in the powerful documentary, Hunger Ward,” referred to by the head of the World Food Program, David Beasley, who saw children dying before his very eyes in the hospital, and he was unable to help.

There is nothing “humanitarian” Zepp-LaRouche stated, in starving children and shutting down hospitals and medical care, based on fraudulent narratives cooked up by British and American regime-change advocates, in and out of government. “This must stop and the Caesar Sanctions must be lifted. And all the members of the U.S. Congress who do not lift these sanctions make themselves complicit in every death that occurs in the region.”

Zepp-LaRouche continued: “This has reached the point where either the world wakes up and we start to remedy this, or we will not survive, because of our own moral failure as a human species. I call on you: Work with the Schiller Institute. Work with its Committee on the Coincidence of Opposites, which is working to get aid programs and reconstruction. I appeal to you: Get in contact with the Schiller Institute and respond to the call by Cardinal Zenari.”

This appeal is distributed in Portuguese, Arabic, German, Danish, Italian and Spanish, among others.


Chas Freeman: Sanctions Are “Both Hypocritical and Counterproductive as Well as Cruel”

April 22, 2021 (EIRNS)–Chas Freeman, a former defense official and a career diplomat, serving as Ambassador to Saudi Arabia and Deputy Chief of Mission in both China and Thailand, responded to the call by Helga Zepp-LaRouche to stop the genocide in Syria and Yemen with the following statement on the role of sanctions in foreign policy: 

“I disagree with our abuse and overuse of sanctions on the grounds that they are ‘feel-good’ rather than results-oriented diplomacy, are ineffective unless they are part of a negotiation with a ‘yes-able’ proposal from those imposing them, create market distortions that rapidly establish vested interests in their perpetuation, injure innocent people but allow those in authority to maximize political power through control of patronage involving humanitarian exceptions, facilitate the scapegoating of those who impose them for entirely unconnected suffering of the populations they are supposed to aid, are an excuse for failing to address the ills they purport to punish effectively, and allow politicians to posture without doing anything effective about the problems they are condemning. In short, they are both hypocritical and counterproductive as well as cruel. Since their real objective is to satisfy domestic constituencies rather than accomplish anything in the countries they target, they always succeed. But they cause immense, needlless, and inhumane deprivation where they are imposed.

“I will look for an opportunity to make these points whenever I can. I am appalled by our complicity in the immiseration of Syrians and Yemenis and say so, when asked.”


Bush-leaguers Warn U.S. Would Lose a War with China Over Taiwan

Bush-leaguers Warn U.S. Would Lose a War with China Over Taiwan

April 22, 2021 (EIRNS)–Two leading members of the CFR from the Bush administrations, Robert Blackwill and Philip Zelikow, have released a document under the title “The United States, China, and Taiwan: A Strategy to Prevent War,” calling for the U.S. to stand firmly behind Taiwan against “Chinese aggression,” but also warning that the U.S. can not win a war with China. The CFR blurb promoting the report quotes the report: “We do not think it is politically or militarily realistic to count on a U.S. military defeat of various kinds of Chinese assaults on Taiwan, uncoordinated with allies. Nor is it realistic to presume that, after such a frustrating clash, the United States would or should simply escalate to some sort of wide-scale war against China with comprehensive blockades or strikes against targets on the Chinese mainland.”

They state that Taiwan ”is becoming the most dangerous flash point in the world for a possible war that involves the United States, China, and probably other major powers.” They express a level of panic that the U.S. can no longer dictate global policy, and their proposals for U.S. actions show significant desperation. The U.S., they say, should: “affirm that it is not trying to change Taiwan’s status; work with its allies, especially Japan, to prepare new plans that could challenge Chinese military moves against Taiwan and help Taiwan defend itself, yet put the burden of widening a war on China; and visibly plan, beforehand, for the disruption and mobilization that could follow a wider war, but without assuming that such a war would or should escalate to the Chinese, Japanese, or American homelands.”

They conclude: “The horrendous global consequences of a war between the United States and China, most likely over Taiwan, should preoccupy the Biden team, beginning with the president.”


Schlanger on Caesar Sanctions Posted by Russian International Affairs Council

Schlanger on Caesar Sanctions Posted by Russian International Affairs Council

April 19: An article by Harley Schlanger, just written for LaRouche publications on Helga’ Zepp-LaRouche’s call to revoke the Caesar Sanctions, and how the U.S. Congress was incited to pass them, has been posted on the RIAC (Russia International Affairs Council) site. In addition, the RIAC tweeted the article to its 9,500 Twitter followers. RIAC is a institution of the Russian Foreign Minister, and is directed by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Here is a link to the Tweet.


Syria Times Covers Helga’s Webcast and Appeal

Syria Times Covers Helga’s Webcast and Appeal

April 15, 2021 (EIRNS)–The English-language official Syria Times daily today published a detailed news item on Helga Zepp-LaRouche’s call during the weekly webcast. The video is also posted on the Syrian Times page.

The-moral-collapse-of-the-western-system-cries-out-for-a-new-paradigm The article is accompanied by two pictures, one of Helga and the other of Cardinal Zenari. The full text follows:

          “In her weekly dialogue, Helga Zepp-LaRouche made an impassioned appeal to viewers to join with her in addressing the dangerous moral collapse which characterizes virtually every western government, including the United States. This collapse poses a threat to everyone, as the crisis in Ukraine continues to build toward a war between Russia and the forces of the U.S. and NATO. The possibility of a Biden-Putin summit is a positive development, but at the same time it was announced, his foreign policy team was voicing full support for the fanatical extremist wing of domestic forces in Ukraine, which is pushing to cross the “red line” announced years ago by Moscow, that of placing NATO troops on the Russian border of Ukraine.

          “She also emphasized the urgency of lifting the so-called Caesar Sanctions against the people of Syria, citing the appeal of Cardinal Zenari to end the sanctions. There is nothing “humanitarian”, she stated, in starving children and shutting down hospitals and medical care, based on another fraudulent narrative cooked up by U.K.-U.S. regime-change networks. We must insist that every policy maker who does not speak up against this fraud is complicit in every death which occurs in Syria, and in Yemen.”


Tulsi Gabbard Warns Ukraine Tensions Could Cause War

Tulsi Gabbard Warns Ukraine Tensions Could Cause War

Apr. 14 (EIRNS)–Appearing on Tucker Carlson’s show on Monday, former member of congress and presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard warned the American people of the existential threat of conflict with Russia: “[The situation with Russia and Ukraine] is moving in a very dangerous direction. The question for the American people is, ‘are we willing to go to war with Russia on behalf of Ukraine’? And we need to understand that such a war would come at a cost beyond anything that we can really imagine. Because this is not a war that’s happening to someone else, somewhere else on the other side of the world. No, this is something that will directly impact me, and you, Tucker, every single one of your viewers, and all of our loved ones.

“And this is a war that is not a game. It’s a war in which there are no winners, because you’ve got thousands of nuclear weapons that the U.S. has aimed towards Russia; Russia has thousands of nuclear weapons that are aimed towards us, that could hit any town or city in the U.S. in less than thirty minutes, that could exact a cost on every one of us that would result in excruciating death and suffering beyond comprehension — hundreds of millions of people dying and suffering seeing their flesh burned from their bones. This is something that you can’t really even imagine. And it’s a cost that we will {all} pay.”

In response to Carlson’s question, “why in the world would we ever contemplate going to war with Russia, honestly?” Gabbard continued:

“It is one that we should not do, for those very reasons. You look at the impacts of what a nuclear brings. It brings about the end of the world as we know it. And our leaders should understand this consequence and take it seriously. This is why President Biden, instead of continuing to escalate tensions and escalate this new cold war between the United States and Russia, he needs to de-escalate these tensions, to take the heat out of it, and bring an end to this new cold war. Because if he doesn’t, it’s not a question of {if} we go to war with Russia, {if} this war goes to a nuclear holocaust: it really is then just a question of {when}. And if we continue down this path that we are on, it’s something that could happen a lot sooner than any of us think.”

Carlson concluded by referring to how he had opened the segment, by contrasting the importance of Gabbard’s warning to the war over pronouns: “I’m just amazed by the magnitude of the stories that all of us are missing, including those of us who are paid to follow this stuff, and especially this story. So, I appreciate how you so crisply and wisely addressed that. It’s terrifying.” Watch the interview here.


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