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This article appears in the August 21, 2015 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

ELN Study Warns: NATO-Russia Maneuvers Make Nuclear War More Likely

by Helga Zepp-LaRouche

[PDF version of this article]

Helga Zepp-LaRouche is chairwoman of Germany's Civil Rights Solidarity Movement political party (BüSo).

Aug. 15—The European Leadership Network (ELN), a think tank composed of former European and Russian defense ministers and other high-level experts, published a study August 12, warning that the ongoing military maneuvers by NATO and Russia make the possibility of a war in Europe more likely. "Russia is preparing for a conflict with NATO, and NATO is preparing for a possible confrontation with Russia," according to the report. The only thing wrong with this study is the assumption that such a war would remain confined to Europe. It is in the nature of things that such a war would instantly become a global nuclear war, and would lead to the obliteration of the human species.

European Leadership Network
These two schematic maps of recent Russian and NATO maneuvers are included in the August 12 report of the European Leadership Network on the increasing probability of war.

A NATO spokeswoman, Carmen Romero, immediately issued a furious protest on the NATO website, saying that the NATO maneuvers by no means increase the danger of war; that all the exercises are proportional, defensive, and completely within the bounds of international obligations. Sputnik News in turn commented on this interpretation, saying that by reacting that way, NATO was showing precisely the logic that the ELN paper warned would aggravate the crisis. Wolfgang Ischinger, head of the Munich Security Conference, and an ELN Board Member, in an interview with the magazine Das Parlament, described the renewed arms race and diplomatic freeze between NATO and Russia as alarming. New military guidelines must be agreed upon immediately, he said, to ensure that accidents in the air, which could happen at any moment, do not lead to an "uncontrollable situation."

It is a good thing that at least people like Ischinger and former defense ministers such as Volker Rühe (Germany) and Malcolm Rifkind (U.K.), who undoubtedly are part of the Establishment, are issuing these warnings, even if they fall short of what is required. It is also useful that, precisely on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, many leading figures, from Pope Francis to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and British Labour Party politician Jeremy Corbyn, have called for banning nuclear weapons.

But it's not weapons that prepare the way for the war. It's the people who have the power to push the button, and under whose command, maneuvers such as the current ones are being carried out.

The Immediate Danger

In addition to the large number of NATO maneuvers since the Spring, "Trident Juncture 2015," the largest NATO exercise in 25 years, will take place from Sept. 28 to Nov. 6, and will include simulating the use of nuclear weapons against Russia. But it would be a total misjudgment of the seriousness of the situation to be lulled into a sense of security until that time.

In fact, there is the imminent threat that the Ukrainian Nazi organization Right Sector, which helped bring President Petro Poroshenko to power, is doing everything to sabotage the Minsk peace process. In addition to an escalation of attacks against Donetsk, with 60-80 bombardments per day by the Ukrainian Army, Kiev on August 3-4, for the umpteenth time, rejected negotiations with the subgroups of the Minsk Contact Group. These negotiations were intended to lead to the withdrawal of weapons of up to 100 mm-caliber from the front line. Denis Pushilin, representative of the People's Republic of Donetsk in the Minsk Group, told TASS: "Kiev is probably also aware that a failure of the Minsk process means war, not only in the Donbas, but it probably means a big war."

Remember that the Ukraine crisis was triggered by the EU's imperialist intention to bring that country, by means of the EU Association Agreements, into the NATO sphere of influence. The Maidan destabilization last year by the Right Sector and other Nazi groups, including the coup against the legitimately elected government of President Yanukovych, however, is fully the responsibility of U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland, who made a name for herself with her "F—ck the EU" and installed her "Yats" [Arseniy Yatsenyuk] as prime minister.

Nuland, who belongs to a non-partisan war party in the United States,—along with UN Ambassador Samantha Power, National Security Advisor Susan Rice, Nuland's neocon husband Robert Kagan, Anne Applebaum, Fred Hiatt, and Anders Aslund,—represents the full continuity of the Bush-Cheney Administration into the Obama Administration. (She was principal deputy foreign policy adviser to Dick Cheney.) This grouping personifies the long-term strategy of the past 25 years of Anglo-American neocon politics: the expansion of NATO right up to the borders of Russia; the construction of a missile defense system to provide a first-strike capacity; the color revolutions and the sanctions against Russia with the goal of regime change; and the implementation of the "Yugoslavia model"—i.e., the territorial breakup of Russia.

Christian Neumann, a member of the Darmstadt Signal, an organization of anti-militarist Bundeswehr officers, has underlined the importance of Law 2953, which Kiev adopted on June 4. It allows the stationing of foreign troops in Ukraine, including the short-term deployment of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction. Under this option the escalation of a war into a nuclear war would be imminent.

The People Must Rise Up

The overall global situation presents an incredible picture: Nuland is in charge of the escalation in Ukraine, a situation that has the potential to trigger a nuclear war between NATO and Russia. Meanwhile, the revelations of former head of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency Gen. Michael Flynn—that Obama consciously decided to build up the Islamic State (ISIS), knowing full well that ISIS was planning an Islamist Caliphate in Syria and Iraq—are being reported in countless media.

The change in the rules of engagement for the U.S. Air Force in Syria, without the consent of the Congress, could also be the spark for a major Middle East war, which could lead to world war. The escalation in the South China Sea is also not China's fault, but traces back to the geopolitical manipulation at the Paris Conference of 1919, and is the result of the Obama Administration's "Asia pivot" strategy.

This is the context for the warnings of the ELN think tank. In other words, we are seeing an escalation, over these days and weeks, that will result in the nuclear annihilation of mankind, if it is not stopped.

As I said, it is not weapons that cause wars, but the Commanders in Chief who decide to use them. One would think that no one would disagree that playing with the risk of a global thermonuclear war is the sign of a deranged moral and intellectual consciousness. In the United States, Lyndon LaRouche is therefore calling for the immediate removal of Obama on the basis of the 25th Amendment to the Constitution. This amendment was introduced in Congress in 1965 by Sen. Birch Bayh and Rep. Emanuel Celler, to close a legal loophole in connection with the presidential succession. This amendment played the decisive role in the resignation of President Nixon.

For us in Germany, the question remains what the government of Chancellor Merkel is doing to prevent the annihilation of Germany,—because that's what would happen in the event of a nuclear conflict between NATO and Russia. But,—and this is not at all meant cynically,—it would be all the same for us whether the war were limited to Europe, as some intend, or whether there were a global war. In either case, Germany would be wiped out.

Since we can be sure that the government has at least the same information as the ELN group, the question remains why Merkel, Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, and Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen are keeping quiet about this existential threat. It was bad enough that the Federal Government trampled on all the rights of the population in the scandal over NSA spying in Germany. It is intolerable for Germany to support a policy of confrontation against Russia and China, putting the existence of our own country at risk.

The Federal Government is hereby called upon to withdraw immediately from the treaty on the stationing of foreign troops in Germany, and thus, the storage of tactical nuclear weapons in Germany. Germany must immediately lift the sanctions against Russia and enter into a constructive dialogue with Putin about all relevant issues.

All citizens are hereby called upon to bring onto the streets a broad movement for peace, and to force this government to either stand up for the continued existence of Germany, or to resign. The German population is currently divided into two groups: those who have understood that the hour has struck, and those who believe that they will profit from the current system of globalization. The latter prefer to live in a virtual cloud-cuckoo-land, and are ready to literally go there over dead bodies.

The question is: Are there enough people in the first category who will now stand up and make sure that Germany will continue to exist?

This article was translated from German.

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