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Scott Ritter Slams “Chuck Schumer’s War on Free Speech”

 Aug. 3 (EIRNS)–Former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter hit New York Sen. Chuck Schumer’s support for the Ukrainian Center for Countering Disinformation extremely hard in a commentary published by Consortium News today. In the process of doing so, Ritter prominently featured LaRouche candidate Diane Sare, Schumer’s opponent in this November’s election in New York and whose name is among those on the Kiev regime’s hit list. Ritter is also named on the Kiev hit list.

 At the outset, Ritter noted Schumer’s attack on Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul’s effort to include a provision for inspector general oversight of the $40 billion that the U.S. Congress voted up for Ukraine in May. Schumer argued that Paul’s actions served to “strengthen [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s hand.”

 “What Schumer didn’t say,” Ritter noted, “was that an inspector general, mandated to oversee how U.S. taxpayer money authorized under the bill in question (the Additional Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2022, which became Public Law 117-128 on May 21), would have exposed the role that U.S. funds played to exact political revenge on the man who tried to inject a modicum of accountability into how monies appropriated by Congress are spent, namely Rand Paul.” Rand Paul, Ritter reports, was labeled an “information terrorist” by acting director of the CCD Andriy Shapovalov, a Ukrainian civil servant whose salary was paid for by U.S. taxpayer monies, on July 14. The occasion of his July 14 remarks was a conference paid for by the U.S. Civil Research and Development Fund (CRDF Global Ukraine), “an ostensible nonprofit organization authorized by U.S. Congress to promote ‘international scientific and technical collaboration,’” Ritter wrote. “It is supported by the U.S. State Department, some of whose officials sat in attendance.”

 “But there is more,” Ritter continued. That “more” is the successful petitioning campaign of Diane Sare–who Ritter correctly identifies as a “LaRouche candidate”–to get on the ballot in New York to challenge Schumer’s re-election. “Diane Sare was singled out by the Schumer-funded, State Department-supported Center for Countering Disinformation as an ‘information terrorist’ who should be prosecuted as a ‘war criminal’ because of her public stance challenging the narrative about the Ukraine conflict,” Ritter noted. “That’s right — Chuck Schumer helped create the organizational structures which have attacked the reputation of a challenger for his Senate seat, threatening her with political violence and more for the `crime’ of challenging Schumer on the issue of Ukraine.”

 “What Chuck Schumer has done in using U.S. taxpayer money to attack his political opponents is un-American. One can only hope that the New York voters see it the same way come November,” Ritter concluded. “It also appears to be illegal. As such, I hope that both Rand Paul and Diane Sare pursue whatever legal recourse is available to them to expose and shut down a Schumer-supported law that allows U.S. taxpayer money to underwrite a campaign targeting U.S. citizens, including serving senators and political challengers, with intimidation and more for the ‘crime’ of exercising their First Amendment right of free speech.”


Kremlin Spokesman: Russia Stands in “Absolute Solidarity” With China

Aug. 3 (EIRNS) – Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated yesterday that Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan was “purely provocative. We see this, it is being recorded by all countries of the world. We stand in absolute solidarity with China here. Its sensitivity to this issue is understandable. It is justified. And instead of respecting this the US is choosing the path of confrontation. It doesn’t bode well,” the Kremlin spokesman said, adding that Washington’s decision is “only regrettable.”

 Asked whether the Pelosi visit could lead to “global war,” Peskov said her visit was a “clear provocation,” but “I would suggest not to throw around words as serious [as ‘global war’]. That said, “underestimating the level of tension sparked by this visit” is not advisable either, he added.

 Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, asked by journalists on Wednesday what was behind the Pelosi trip, stated: “It was the drive to prove to everyone their impunity and to act accordingly. ‘I do whatever I want’, something like that. I can hardly imagine any other reason to create a flashpoint out of thin air, despite knowing what it would mean for China.”


U.S. Freeze of Afghanistan’s Assets Kills Landmine Clearing Effort

July 8, 2022 (EIRNS)—According to a Reuters wire dated July 7, one of the devastating effects of the Western refusal to allow Afghanistan to use its foreign assets and operate a normal banking system, will be a rise in the deaths of farmers and children due to landmines.

“Foreign governments have now frozen development aid to the Afghan government, unwilling to use their taxpayers’ money to prop up the Taliban, an Islamist group that restricts women’s rights and has been at war with much of the West,” writes Reuters.

Hence, “In a previously unreported development, the Afghan government agency that oversees mine clearance told Reuters it had lost its roughly $3 million funding and laid off about 120 staff in April—the majority of the organization—because it couldn’t pay salaries.” All the sanctions have severely affected us,” said Sayed Danish, deputy head of the agency, the Directorate of Mine Action Coordination (DMAC). “We can’t do strategic work, which is our main responsibility.”

The loss of demining funds could have profound consequences for the country of 40 million people which is one of the most heavily mined places on Earth, after four decades of war. Almost 80% of civilian casualties from “explosive remnants of war” are children, partly due to their curiosity as well as their regular role in collecting scrap metal to sell to bolster families’ incomes. In the seven months since last March, about 300 Afghan children were killed or maimed by landmines and other unexploded devices. Landmines are also a big worry for farmers.

Late last month, a temporary deal was reached when DMAC agreed that the UN could set up an office in the country for about six months. But with funding for the stopgap UN regulator only half that of the Afghan agency before the NATO withdrawal and the Taliban takeover, it has only employed about 30 from the original 120 staff, according to Paul Heslop, Chief of the UN Mine Action Program in Afghanistan. He added that for long-term sustainability, the responsibility of coordinating demining should be with a state, and not an outside humanitarian body like the UN agency. “We’re in a situation where we have a government that’s not recognized,” said Heslop, adding that the lack of funding was “very difficult.” “Even if you pay people, they can’t get the money out of the banks, it’s very difficult for the people of Afghanistan at the moment, they are really suffering.”


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Lavrov: US/NATO Already Waging “Total War” Against Russia

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.”


UN General Assembly–South Africa Pushes Back Against Weaponizing Aid for Ukraine

Mar. 24 (EIRNS)–Today was day two of an emergency UN General Assembly session, of a debate on what resolution text to pass on the topic of UN backing of humanitarian aid for Ukraine.
FLASH: The UN General Assembly approved Resolution ES11-2, titled “Humanitarian Consequences of the Aggression Against Ukraine,” by a vote of 140–yes, 5–no (Russia, Syria, Belarus, North Korea and Eritrea) and 38 abstentions, which included China. This vote is nearly the same as that of March 2, which was 141–yes, 5–no, and 35 abstentions, on a resolution to condemn Russia. 

The resolution approved today was put forward by Ukraine titled, “Humanitarian Consequences of the Aggression Against Ukraine.” It condemns Russia for creating the “dire” situation, pushes for humanitarian corridors, and the withdrawal of Russian troops. This resolution claims support of nearly 100 nations. A precursor to Ukraine’s resolution was a text circulated for the last two weeks by Mexico and France.

South Africa has introduced an alternative text, entitled “Humanitarian Situation Emanating Out of the Conflict in Ukraine,” that does not identify Russia for condemnation.

A similar resolution to this one has been available in recent weeks, from Russia, which introduced it last evening in the UN Security Council (joined by Syria, Belarus and the DPRK), where, as was expected, it failed, given that any measure fails if it is vetoed by a member of the P-5, the five permanent members of the UNSC.

However, very notably, China joined Russia in voting for its UNSC humanitarian resolution. The China spokesperson said that China wants to keep the focus on humanitarian aid, and not on other aspects of the situation. As the UN News reported on the text of the Russian resolution, “Under its terms, the Council would have demanded that civilians are fully protected, that all parties ensure respect for, and protection of, all medical personnel and humanitarian personnel exclusively engaged in their medical duties, that they respect international law in connection with objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population, and allow safe and unhindered passage to destinations outside of Ukraine, including for foreign nationals, without discrimination.”


Former NATO Commander, General Mini: Replace NATO with a Different Security Architecture

May 9 (EIRNS)—Italian Gen. Fabio Mini (ret.), former commander of the NATO-led KFOR mission in Kosovo (2002-2003), said in a May 7 interview with AmbienteWeb that NATO should be dissolved because it has become a threat to world security, and that we are already on the brink of the third world war, as reported in yesterday’s briefing.

General Mini: “From an operational point of view, and considering the nature and multiplicity of the actions taken against our adversaries, we are in the middle of a global conflict. The alignments between the West and the East speak clearly, and just because we are only given the ‘military’ picture of this conflict, does not mean that the war is merely military. The various wars overlap and include operations in Ukraine such as economic, financial, cyber, demographic, information and propaganda wars—these are not metaphors. They are real wars that produce greater damage than conventional warfare. And they are global. …

“[NATO] Articles 5 and 6 on so-called mutual defense refer to the territories of individual member states threatened by armed attack. Ukraine is not a member state, but we are sending weapons and whatnot. Article 7 states that the treaty does not and shall not be considered in any way detrimental to the rights and obligations under the charter to the parties that are members of the United Nations or the primary responsibility of the Security Council for the maintenance of international peace and security. Russia, like Serbia, is a part of the United Nations and NATO’s policy has harmed its rights, compromising peace and security throughout the world. Finally, I believe that the European NATO countries have renounced that all states are to be treated on an equal footing, not because of the United States, but because of their own choice and convenience. The United States is doing its job and protecting its own interests. These interests never coincided with those of Europe, not even during the Cold War, when a hot war was being prepared that would have taken place in Europe and not in the U.S., where it was clear that the U.S. would not have lifted a finger to save Europe except if the continental United States had been directly attacked. No European state objected to NATO’s call to arms in areas outside its responsibility and for reasons not pertaining to Europe. Nor did anyone object to certain countries being invited to join NATO, that did not meet requirements, but brought with them a heavy burden of insecurity. We were disloyal to the United States by not pulling them up short when they wished to do things that made no sense. You can show your loyalty to friends by moderating them, not by egging them on or passively supporting them. I believe that at the end of the day, a restructured and revised NATO would also benefit the Americans, with or without their participation.” The Ambienteweb article is here.


Greek Open Letter Against Government’s Ukraine Policy

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

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

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

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

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

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


China: Failed Bloc Policy in Europe Not Needed In Asia

China: Failed Bloc Policy in Europe Not Needed In Asia

May 7, 2022 (EIRNS)–Global Times lead editorial today expressed the outrage in China at the new military cooperation between Japan and the UK, following the Thursday signing of a Reciprocal Access Agreement (RAA) between Prime Ministers Boris Johnson and Fumio Kishida in London. They write: “NATO, which created division in Europe and waged wars around the world, is trying to apply the tricks of `bloc politics’ and `confrontation between camps’ to the Asia-Pacific region. For a long time, the UK has propagated on several occasions `the globalization of NATO’ and the `need to preempt threats in the Indo-Pacific’ and to ensure the island of Taiwan `is able to defend itself.’ Within the Asia-Pacific, Japan is abnormally active in catering to such a scheme. It seems Tokyo wants to be the `traitorous guide’ for NATO’s expansion in the Asia-Pacific region.”

The editorial warns that Japan is planning to dump its pacifist constitution and “resurrect its militarism.” Noting that Kishida visited Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand before travelling to Europe, the editorial says his efforts to get these ASEAN nations to join in bashing Russia and China did not succeed: “Asian countries that received Japanese officials have kept vigilant toward Tokyo’s remarks and been reluctant to echo Japan. Not until in the UK, which wants to recover its glory, has Kishida felt some `warmth of a friend.’ This will easily make people recall the Anglo-Japanese Alliance in the 20th century.”

 Asia has remained peaceful in recent decades, they add, because Asian nations “have been seeking common ground while putting aside differences. With vision beyond ideological and geopolitical divergence, Asian countries have engaged in pragmatic cooperation in the globalization era. These made Asia the most vital and dynamic region in the world and made `Asian century’ a lasting discussion topic in the international strategic sphere.” It is now clear that the western security model has failed, they add, and bringing that failed model to Asia has the “intent to undermine regional peace and stability…. Asian countries must remain on high alert. History over and over again showed that a country’s security cannot be based on other countries’ insecurity…..  The NATO military bloc is poison, not an antidote, to the security anxieties and tensions in the region…. Vigilance against and rejection of the `NATO expansion into Asia-Pacific’ should become the strong consensus and collective consciousness of all countries in the region.


Putin Tells Ambassadors, the Pathway to Peace Lies Through ‘Love for Humanity’

May 19 (EIRNS)—Welcoming new ambassadors from 23 countries yesterday, Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed the unstable international situation, which as he observed, “is even becoming more complicated.” He named the crises facing the world’s nations: the coronavirus pandemic, the deterioration of the system of strategic stability and arms control, terrorism “rearing its ugly head once again,” growing problems in the sphere of international information security, the risks of drug trafficking and organized crime, decades-old regional conflicts in Afghanistan and Libya becoming aggravated, and now the dramatic escalation in the Middle East.

Putin then, in his own way, invoked the principle of agapē without which Schiller Institute founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche has recently insisted humanity may not survive as a species, as the way out for all nations. Putin told the Ambassadors:

“The epidemic has proved a real test for such universal human values as solidarity, mutual assistance, and love for humanity….

“I repeat once again: It is possible to ensure peace, stability and sustainable global development only through the efforts of the entire international community. We are calling for well-coordinated work by states, permanent members of the UN Security Council and all concerned countries. As you know, Russia has recently celebrated the anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War that started 80 years ago, on June 22, 1941, when the Nazis treacherously attacked our Motherland….

“We are convinced that everything must be done to prevent the tragedy of World War II from repeating itself, so that its lessons will not be forgotten. All of us must cherish the priceless experience and spirit of allied relations during the struggle against common challenges and threats. We must remember the consequences of policies pandering to nationalism and xenophobia, and we must jointly elaborate a positive and unifying agenda to forge a more equitable and democratic multipolar world order. We must ensure the well-being and prosperity of all human beings.”


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