`Something is Rotten in the U.K.':
Great Britain Escalates Crisis with Russia
by Helga Zepp-LaRouche
On July 17, the world found itself dangerously close to a military incident between Great Britain and Russia. The London Times asserted, under the authority of the command of the Royal Air Force, that two British Tornado fighter planes had made an emergency takeoff in order to possibly intercept two Russian Tu-95 long-range bombers, which allegedly, during a routine patrol on the Norwegian coast, had suddenly headed for Great Britain. But the Russian bombers turned around, before they reached British airspace.
The Commander of the Russian Air Force, Col. Gen. Alexander Zelin, called this assertion "rubbish"; reports that Russian planes had approached British airspace were absolutely untrue, the Russian news service Novosti said. The planes were flying on a planned mission over international waters, and as usual, the flights had been planned at least six months in advance, and all the affected countries had been informed ahead of time. Therefore, the question is: What was London aiming at with this provocative, and dangerous action?
Right now, Great Britain obviously is trying by all means to slander Russia, and, above all, President Vladimir Putin, and thus is drawing upon pretty much the entire array of "Venetian" poison pills. Putin has been held responsible for several murders of Russian journalists, such as Anna Politkovskaya, or the dissident and former bodyguard of Boris Berezovsky, Alexander Litvinenko, but it is totally obvious that the "cui bono" behind these murders does not lie with Putin. London is demanding the extradition of the alleged murderer of Litvinenko, the Russian entrepreneur Andrei Lugovoy, which Moscow has refused with reference to the Russian Constitution, which, as in the case of most countries, forbids the extradition of its own citizens. On the other hand, Russia itself has offered to put Lugovoy on trial, in the event Great Britain presents sufficient evidence. At which point London expelled four Russian diplomats, and Moscow, in response, declared four British diplomats personae non gratae.
The real reason for Britain's anti-Russian campaign lies in the fact that Russia, under Putin's leadership, is resisting the idea of an Anglo-American world empire. While former President Boris Yeltsin, during the 1990s, consented to Russia being plundered, and "oligarchs" like Berezovsky and Vladimir Guzinsky became billionaires overnight, and submitted to the Anglo-American empire of globalization, Putin has taken steps to re-establish Russia's role as a world power. The current economic growth of over 10%, in the realm of manufacturing industries, over 15% in June, is a fact which no one can ignore. The mood in the country accordingly has totally changed; while several years ago, broad criticism of the state's cuts in social services predominated, now 80% of the population stands behind Putin.
Another reason for the recent escalation of the U.K.'s anti-Russia campaign in the Anglophile media, lies in the strategic initiative which Putin made toward President Bush during his visit at the beginning of July to the home of the Bush family in Kennebunkport, Maine: Putin proposed the installation of a joint Russian-American missile defense system under the control of the NATO-Russia Council, which could develop the relationship between the two countries into an extensive strategic partnership in all areas. Several days later, the Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov elaborated on this, saying that a global missile defense system was proposed, in which all nations in the world could participate with equal rights.
London sees in this proposal a threat to the Anglo-American "special relationship" as the basis for a new world empire of globalization, and has since escalated its campaign to characterize Russia under Putin as a dictatorship, in order to undermine the potential for a Russian-American strategic partnership, and to draw Continental Europe onto its side, in a staged conflict with Russia. Were Charles de Gaulle alive today, he would have found the appropriate words for this: "Perfidious Albion!" Or, as the commentator on the Voice of Russia said: "There is something rotten in the United Kingdom."
Cheney Brings Bush Back Under Control
In the United States, Vice President Cheney worked immediately to bring Bush, after his return to the White House from Kennebunkport, back under control. And while Bush, for a brief period under the moderating influence of his father, who was also present at Kennebunkport, showed an interest in Putin's proposal, he soon revealed his bellicose side again, at a later press conference, and announced a big confrontation against Iran, Syria, Hamas, and Hezbollah. Back under the influence of Cheney, Bush degenerated again into his usual hard-headedness, which prevents him, in the face of criticism, for example, about the catastrophic situation in Iraq ("we stay the course"), from allowing himself to be confused by events.
The former Deputy Treasury Secretary in the Reagan Administration, columnist Paul Craig Roberts, recently warned that Bush has already signed the necessary orders to transform the United States into a police state, in the case of a currently planned series of terrorist attacks "under false flags." Roberts stressed that police states are notorious for staging false-flag attacks on their own territories, as the 1933 Reichstag fire showed. Only immediate impeachment proceedings against Bush and Cheney, Roberts warned, could prevent the United States from becoming a police state within a year, in the case of war with Iran. Lyndon LaRouche has made a similar argument in his appeal to Democrats not to wait for the government change in January 2009, because, unless Cheney is removed now, there will probably not be elections at all.
The acute war danger was also underscored by another columnist, Pat Buchanan, who, like LaRouche previously, in reference to Barbara Tuchman's book on of World War I, warned of the "guns of August," that is, that war against Iran would be launched in August, when Congress is on Summer recess. Such a new "Gulf of Tonkin" event has possibly already occurred, when Gen. Kevin Bergner blamed Iran for being behind the raid on Karbala, Iraq, which took the lives of five American soldiers in January. With a 97-0 vote, the U.S. Senate approved Sen. Joe Lieberman's amendment, which held Iran responsible for complicity in the soldiers' deaths. The Congress has buried a resolution which demands a new authorization from Congress for war against Iran. How could Congress under these circumstances go on vacation, and leave Bush and Cheney to decide on war in the Middle East?
The fuse for global asymmetric warfare is thus already burning. Whether it can be extinguished, definitely depends on whether Cheney can be immediately removed from office, and whether Bush can be brought, without Cheney, to agree to Putin's proposal for a strategic partnership. So far, Bush doesn't appear to be ready to give up his plan to install missile defense systems in Poland and the Czech Republic. At any rate, Bush spoke about this on July 15 with Polish President Lech Kaczynski during the latter's trip to Washington.
On the same day, Russian head of the General Staff Yuri Baluyevsky warned Poland about the illusion of security, which such a missile defense system would apparently bring. In reality, these missiles would be very dangerous for the country in which they were stationed, because if there were actually an interception of ballistic missiles by the American interceptor rockets, considerable territory would be threatened by plunging debris and radioactive elements, especially if these rockets were armed with atomic warheads and weapons of mass destruction. It is precisely this circumstance which explains why the United States wants to position these systems as far away as possible from its own territory. Therefore, they provide only the illusion of security.
Then Baluyevsky pointed on a map to where American military bases have been established, all of which have been erected in proximity to Russia's borders and on the latter. This placement is the reason, he said, why Russia speaks of being militarily encircled. Otherwise, these topics also concern all Europeans, and they must therefore be discussed on a multilateral basis. It would be dangerous to speak about matters of such significance, without speaking about them with one's neighbors. For weeks, President Putin has stressed that the establishment of these missile defense systems in Eastern Europe would be unacceptable. In the face of the possibility of converting interceptor rockets in a short time, and equipping them with atomic warheads, such rockets, with a flight time of three minutes to Moscow, represent in any case a strategic provocation of the first order.
Moscow is obviously drawing the first consequences from this situation. The spokesman for the Russian Air Force Alexander Drobyshevsky explained to Interfax News Agency that Russia would install the S-400-Triumph missile system around Moscow at the end of July. This missile system has the capability of shooting down middle-range rockets and airplanes at a distance of 400 kilometers, and therefore has double the range of American Patriot missiles. These plans have been in existence for a long time, but in light of the debate over the systems in Poland and the Czech Republic, the announcement of their deployment takes on new meaning.
That the encirclement strategy by the U.S. and NATO does not only concern Russia, but, especially, also China and India, is well known in these countries. "Russia's security concerns are multiplying, and this fact should be fully understood," wrote Wang Baofu, deputy director of China's Institute of Strategic Studies at the Chinese National Defense University, in a commentary printed in the People's Daily July 17. Russia doesn't have patience anymore, he said, as its freezing of the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty shows. Russia is not ready to submit to the change in the strategic balance of forces represented by the deployment of the missile defense systems in Eastern Europe, and the non-ratification of the CFE Treaty by the new NATO members.
In the case an American military strike would actually occur, then future historians will all identify the the developments mentioned here as the precursor to the Third World War. In fact, these are just manipulations on the chessboard, on which not a few lunatics are operating. Thus, the proposal in an interview on Fox News on July 12 by neo-conservative Bill Kristol, that the U.S. should carry out military strikes against al-Qaeda networks in Pakistan without the backing of the Musharraf government, only shows how totally crazy they are. Should Pakistan, the sixth-largest country on Earth by population, with 164 million inhabitants, now fall under the control of the radical fundamentalists? Today, there are al-Qaeda forces in Iraq—under Saddam Hussein there were none! And why has no European government denounced the proposal of Avigdor Lieberman, that Europe should support an Israeli military strike against Iran?
We would do well to take the advice of General Baluyevsky, and in Europe engage ourselves vigorously in the debate over the future world security order, because our physical existence is also at stake. Until now, only Bavarian Gov. Edmund Stoiber and Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Araz Azimov have supported Putin's proposal for a common strategic missile defense system. Bill Clinton, for his part, demanded at the beginning of July, in Yalta, Ukraine, that we take up again the Strategic Defense Initiative of President Reagan from 1983, whose author is well known to have been Lyndon LaRouche. German Chancellor Angela Merkel only recently expressed the view that Putin had made some interesting proposals which we must discuss. In the face of a world situation which stands so dangerously close to the edge of a Third World War, thse statements are too few.
When world peace or a new world war is so clearly at stake, everyone is called on to participate in the discussion. Politicans who don't have courage, or who always swim with the stream out of opportunistic habits, are part of the problem, and should be voted out at the first opportunity. There is a clear hope that the LaRouche movement in the United States will succeed in so increasing the pressure for the impeachment of Cheney, or his resignation, that catastrophe can be averted. According to polls, the population is far ahead of the Congress: 54% of all Americans want Cheney's resignation; 76% of Democrats, and as many as 17% of Republicans.
Presidential pre-candidate Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Oh.), who introduced the resolution for Cheney's impeachment officially in the Congress (H.R. 333), receives thunderous applause at all campaign events, while his hedge-fund controlled co-candidates are still quiet on this subject. If Hillary Clinton would join the growing chorus, and demand Cheney's impeachment, she would have a good chance of winning the election in a landslide. If she fails to do it, then there would be considerable doubt about her leadership qualities as a President.
In any case, we on the European continent should make it very clear that Great Britain does not speak for us. And the debate over Putin's proposal is more than urgent.