INSTEAD OF WORLD WAR III:
Build a Eurasian Union
from Vladivostok to Lisbon
by Helga Zepp-LaRouche
April 25—If we are going to eliminate the threat of a civil war in Ukraine, which could escalate quickly into a regional war, and even to a thermonuclear World War III, concrete solutions must immediately be placed on the agenda. The abduction of the OSCE (Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe) observers today in eastern Ukraine underlines that time is running out.
Especially given the escalation of violence in eastern Ukraine, the OSCE and the signatories of the Geneva Declaration on Ukraine must return to the agreements of Feb. 21 and April 17, according to which all illegal armed groups have to be disarmed, and all illegally occupied buildings, streets, squares, or other public spaces must be vacated.
The interpretation of the Geneva Declaration by U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland (infamous for her expletive "F—k the EU!"), that this only refers to the "separatists" in eastern Ukraine, but not to the Nazi occupiers in Kiev, who meanwhile have received "permits" and are no longer illegal, is as outrageous as it is arrogant. The interventions in Kiev of Vice President Joe Biden and CIA Director John Brennan, under whose patronage elements of the neo-Nazi Right Sector, interspersed with the "Ukrainian Army," are militarily attacking the population in eastern Ukraine, shows that a different combination must be put together to solve the crisis. There is no reason why the Obama Administration should be a leading participant, since Ukraine is not a member of NATO. Furthermore, the United States has no strategic interests to defend in Ukraine, as U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey told President Obama, according to informed sources. The EU and Russia must bear the main responsibility instead.
Natalia Vitrenko, a Ukrainian economist and chair of the Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine, proposed in TV interviews this week, that Ukraine be temporarily placed under foreign receivership, jointly by the EU and Russia, since the current transitional government in Kiev is obviously too weak and also unwilling to enforce the Geneva Declaration.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, speaking by phone today, agreed that the OSCE should play the central role in facilitating an understanding among all Ukrainian forces, to achieve de-escalation and an end to violence and the Army's deployment—i.e., by disarming illegal units and fostering a dialogue between these forces through a constitutional amendment.
It is now obvious that the conditions simply do not exist to successfully conduct the presidential elections that are scheduled for May 25. Instead, a referendum on federalization of Ukraine and constitutional reform should be the immediate priority. Then the circumstances could be created for a presidential election that does not tear the country apart, but rather, creates the possibility of either retaining its territorial integrity, or proceeding with orderly ordinary partition, as occurred with the peaceful separation of the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
Geopolitics vs. Development
Even more important than these specific steps for de-escalation in Ukraine, however, is to change the strategic parameters that provide the backdrop for this crisis. It is not only Ukraine—where the average monthly income has shrunk from €400 to less than €300—that is economically at a dead end. The entire trans-Atlantic financial sector is bankrupt. Neither most of the American "systemically important" too-big-to-fail banks, nor a majority of European banks, which are currently undergoing a stress-test by the European Central Bank and the European Banking Authority, will be able to survive without continued bailouts—hyperinflationary money-printing and quantitative easing (QE). Meanwhile, the now-adopted law allowing "bail-ins," meaning the expropriation of deposits of account holders and the owners of bank shares and loans, is leading to the catastrophic collapse of the real economy.
It is this impending collapse of the trans-Atlantic financial system, dominated by London and Wall Street, that is the real reason for the acute danger of war. The same geopolitical impulses that led to the First World War are now reigning in London and New York. Just as the geopolitical ideology of an allegedly irreconcilable dichotomy of interests between the Eurasian "heartland" and the Atlantic "rimlands," propagated by Halford Mackinder and Lord Milner to prepare the chessboard upon which the First World War was then fought, so the current imperial financial oligarchy sees Asia's relative growth as a threat.
The need for this financial empire—also known as globalization—to devour more and more parts of the world for the purpose of primitive accumulation of local resources, is ultimately also behind the continual eastward expansion of NATO and the EU, as well as the encirclement of China with a network of military alliances in the Pacific region.
The only way to effectively overcome the threat of war is therefore to put a stop to the casino economy of London and Wall Street. In the United States, a broad movement is building in favor of the reinstatement of the Glass-Steagall bank separation law, which was Franklin D. Roosevelt's response in 1933 to the criminal excesses of Wall Street that had been responsible for the Crash of 1929 and the Depression of the 1930s. The LaRouche movement is at the forefront of this fight. Several U.S. Senators and Congressmen have announced at public events in the last few days that they will be launching a coordinated initiative for Glass-Steagall in the coming week.
They are being supported by "Americans for Financial Reform" and more than 200 other Democratic grassroots organizations that together are circulating an e-mail, titled "Help Elizabeth Warren Change Wall Street and Pass the 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act," which calls for "closing the Wall Street casino." The AFL/CIO and numerous civil rights organizations are also part of this campaign. If Congress enacts the Glass-Steagall standard, as these Congressmen are determined that it will do, then Europe too, since the global financial system is tightly integrated, will have no choice but to do the same thing, and to say goodbye to the casino economy.
Meanwhile, Russia is preparing for tougher sanctions, which Gen. Harald Kujat (ret.), the former Chief of Staff of the Bundeswehr, rightly called "political bankruptcy" that would hurt Germany more than Russia. He was speaking yesterday on the talk show Berlin-Mitte with Maybrit Illner [see Documentation]. Indeed, Russian economist Sergei Glazyev, an advisor to President Putin, described the sanctions as manna from heaven, because they would force Russia to turn away from monetarist premises. Glazyev also presented a comprehensive proposal for a Russian credit system, which would aim at tripling of production, growth of approximately 6-7% of GDP, and stronger trade with Asia. [See article in Economics.]
In this period of greatest danger and the disruption of "business as usual," Germany is confronted with more fundamental questions than has been the case since 1945. Germany can and must play a decisive role in overcoming the threat of war, by a courageous policy of dialogue and negotiations with Russia. The majority of German institutions are wrestling with this issue.
The West should accept the offer that President Putin has often made and has now repeated, at the height of the crisis in Ukraine. The vision of a unified Eurasian economic and humanitarian region, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, in which all EU nations and future participants in the Eurasian integration process will cooperate to their mutual benefit, is now within reach.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has put on the agenda the project for a New Silk Road and its comlpement, the Maritime Silk Road. This is a very important component of the Eurasian Land-Bridge program for economic integration of the Eurasian continent, which the Civil Rights Solidarity Movement (BüSo) has campaigned for in Germany ever since the collapse of the Soviet Union.
We have two options. Either we escalate the sanctions against Russia, shooting ourselves in the foot economically and ending up in a third world war that will mean the end of humanity; or we choose the alternative: Together with United States, we put an end to the casino economy by Glass-Steagall-style bank separation; replace monetarism, which is impoverishing and killing the world's people, with a credit system that will rebuild the real economy; and build the World Land-Bridge, which, in the tradition of the ancient Silk Road, will connect peoples and nations on a higher level.
That's the only way the crisis in Ukraine can be overcome!
Translated from German by Susan Welsh