Europe Has a Choice:
Russia as a Wartime Enemy,
Or as a Partner
by Helga Zepp-LaRouche
This article was translated from German.
The Russian government's decisive reaction to Georgia's sneak attack against the South Ossetian enclave has fundamentally changed the world strategic situation. Lyndon LaRouche's view that it would have been absolutely tragic for human civilization, had Russia capitulated to the "Soros puppet regime" in Georgia, is shared in many nations, as is LaRouche's characterization of this aggression as an outgrowth of British imperial policy. But Russia has drawn the line, and has made it clear that no longer will it tolerate the continuation of the almost 20-years-long policy of encirclement that has been behind the eastward expansion of NATO and the European Union.
David Blair, the London Daily Telegraph's diplomatic correspondent, wrote on Aug. 12 that by seizing this opportunity to intervene militarily into Georgia, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin "is sending an emphatic message with global consequences. The curtain has fallen on the era when NATO steadily expanded into Eastern Europe and onwards to embrace the former republics of the Soviet Union—and Russia was able to respond with nothing more than bluster.... The balance of power in Europe has fundamentally changed."
And Michael Binyon, writing in the British TimesOnline on Aug. 14, observed: "Russia has not made one wrong move. Mr Bush's remarks yesterday notwithstanding, in five days it turned an overreaching blunder by a Western-backed opponent into a devastating exposure of Western impotence, dithering and double standards on respecting national sovereignty.... There are lessons everywhere. To the former Soviet republics—remember your geography. To NATO—do you still want to incorporate Caucasian vendettas into your alliance? To Tbilisi—do you want to keep a President who brought this on you? To Washington—does Russia's voice still count for nothing? Like it or not, it counts for a lot."
It is precisely on this point, that Western views diverge: Some have gotten the message, and some not. What former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld once described as "Old Europe"—which now fortunately includes Italy, in contrast to its behavior during the Iraq War—has no interest in a confrontation with Russia. The Bush Administration, on the other hand, has remained unswayed by this new reality just created by the Russian government, and continues to pursue a policy of brinksmanship. In direct reaction to the Russian actions in Georgia, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk and John Rood of the U.S. State Department have signed an agreement, after 18 months of postponements, for installing an anti-missile system on Polish territory. Poland made this conditional on its receiving 96 of the latest Patriot missiles at a cut-rate price, and thus is clearly now relying on the United States for its defense.
During his joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russian President Dmitri Medvedev commented on Poland's action: "This decision clearly demonstrates everything we have said recently, namely, that the deployment of new anti-missile forces in Europe has as its aim the Russian Federation. The moment has been chosen well, and therefore any fairy tales about deterring other states, fairy tales that with the help of this system we will deter some sort of rogue states, no longer work."
As Moscow has repeatedly made clear, most recently in mid-July, it views such an anti-missile system as a direct threat to its territory, and intends to take corresponding countermeasures. Which is not surprising, in light of the fact that these defensive missiles can be quickly turned into offensive ones, capable of reaching Moscow in three minutes. The U.S. argument that the ABM system in Poland, along with the radar system to be installed in the Czech Republic as per a July 8 agreement, are solely for defense against missiles launched from Iran, is credible only to the most gullible man on the street.
Putin, during his visit last July with the Bush family in Kennebunkport, extended a comprehensive offer for a joint global anti-missile defense system, which included a proposal to utilize the existing facilities in Azerbaijan—which would be much more sensible, given its geographic position, if the intention were really to repel the threat of missiles from Iran. Russia complained bitterly afterwards, that the United States had not shown the least sign of readiness for serious negotiations.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov put a point on it, saying that he certainly can understand that it would be painful for the United States, since it had already invested so much in Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, but that the United States has to make a fundamental decision on whether it wants to cling to a "virtual project," or whether it desires a real partnership with Russia, for cooperation on real-world problems. And that's precisely the question which Mrs. Merkel should answer as well.
In Russia, at any rate, there is little doubt about which other "virtual project" could be the source of the next provocation: namely, Ukraine. Sergei Markov, member of the Russian Duma (parliament) in the United Russia party bloc, wrote that it is very likely that Victor Yushchenko will give "the order for the Ukrainian Army to provoke military conflict against the Russian Black Sea fleet." Kiev has already declared that Ukraine will not permit the docking in Sebastopol of Russian ships returning from the Abkhasian coast, as part of the pacification operations in Georgia.
In a refreshing contrast to the hysterical utterances of other "virtual projects" who have George Soros's strategy of multicolored revolutions to thank for their careers, Czech President Vaclav Klaus contradicted the historical quibblers who have been comparing the Russian actions with Soviet operations in Prague in 1968. Contrary to what Georgia has done, Klaus said, Czechoslovakia did not attack Ruthenia in the Carpathian Mountains, and Alexander Dubcek cannot be compared to Saakashvili either in word or deed.
No Militarization of the EU
The oligarchical forces which for some time now have been working to transform Europe into an expansionist military empire, are evidently determined to stick by their extremely high-risk policy. Elmar Brock, for example, a Christian Democratic member of the European Parliament, who is extremely close to the Bertelsmann Foundation, felt obliged to argue in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, that now is the time to get the Lisbon Treaty signed, sealed, and delivered—as if Ireland had never voted "No" in its referendum.
The militarization of the EU provided for in this treaty, would be a sure step into catastrophe. The unspeakable report by five former military General Staff chiefs, advocating a transformation of NATO, in close cooperation with the EU, that foresees the first use of nuclear weapons, is by no means off the table. And even after the Georgian aggression, one of these five former generals, Klaus Naumann, made remarks to the effect that the inclusion of Georgia and Ukraine in NATO had already been decided upon at the Bucharest summit on April 2-4, 2008.
A report issued in June by the London Centre for European Reform (CER), is even more explicit. It proposes specific "defense perspectives" for the EU, and urges that the EU maintain not only peacekeeping troops, but also combat troops for deployment in conflicts abroad. Coming after the five former generals' strategy paper, and the proposals by the European Council on Foreign Affairs, which was founded by George Soros and former German Foreign Minister Joschka Fisher, these defense perspectives clearly show where we are supposed to be headed: straight into a military confrontation with Moscow—one more reason why not only the Lisbon Treaty, but also all EU treaties since Maastricht, should be thrown in the wastebasket.
It is by no means certain whether the EU and the European Monetary Union will even be able to survive the currently detonating financial crisis. And there ought to be an investigation into whether the European Central Bank's incessant injections of liquidity into foundering Spanish banks—which German taxpayers, too, will ultimately have to foot the bill for—is consistent with the ECB's own statutes, which assert that it neither desires, nor is permitted to become a "lender of last resort."
If we Europeans don't want to toboggan right into a new catastrophe, then we should take up Lavrov's offer of real partnership with Russia, and we should also implement Lyndon LaRouche's proposals for a New Bretton Woods system and a global New Deal, hopefully with a U.S. President who is not controlled by Soros—and with Russia.