Thermonuclear War or ‘Win-Win’ Cooperation with the New Silk Road
by Helga Zepp-LaRouche
April 1—Disguised under doublespeak—window-dressing on the one hand and blatant threats on the other—the Obama Administration, egged on by British Prime Minister David Cameron, is currently pursuing a broad array of strategic confrontations with Russia and China, which aim at cementing the United States’ claims to a unipolar world. The Pentagon’s decision to station a full U.S. armored brigade, beginning in early 2017, along the border the Baltic states share with Russia, is a case in point. So also is the prospect of the U.S. stationing the mobile THAAD missile defense system in South Korea—a decision which China decisively rejects because its range strongly affects Chinese security interests. There are also the ongoing provocations in the South China Sea, be it the refusal to recognize China’s right to establish an Air Defense Identification Zone or the setting up of naval and airborne reconnaissance patrols under the pretext of the need to defend the “freedom of navigation,” which China is not challenging at all.
Timed with the Fourth Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, held March 31-April 1, President Obama wrote in an op-ed in the Washington Post that he had ruled out the development of new nuclear warheads and had also narrowed the contingencies for the use or the threat of use of nuclear weapons. The problem with this assertion is that, to put it diplomatically, it is false: The Obama Administration has not only allocated about $350 billion for the modernization of nuclear weapons, but the relevant programs would make these weapons more usable, just as Hans Kristensen of the Federation of American Scientists, among others, has repeatedly pointed out. In his March 25 blog posting, Kristensen reported on a hearing in the Senate Appropriations Committee, during which Senator Dianne Feinstein decisively contradicted officials of the Obama Administration, who were defending the modernization.
She said: “The so-called improvements to this weapon [meaning the B61-12 bombs stationed in Germany and the Long Range Standoff Cruise Missiles—ed.] seem to be designed candidly to make it more usable, to help us fight and win a limited nuclear war. I find that a shocking concept. I think this is really unthinkable, especially when we hold conventional weapons superiority, which can meet adversaries’ efforts to escalate a conflict . . . because this just ratchets up warfare, and ratchets up deaths.”
This is exactly the intention expressed very clearly by NATO Commander General Philip Breedlove—also known as “Dr. Strangelove”—while he was in Riga, Latvia, April 1 for the announcement of the permanent rotation of 4,200 troops in a U.S. armored brigade starting in 2017: “We are prepared to fight and win if we have to ... Our focus will expand from assurance to deterrence, including measures that vastly improve our overall readiness.” This is necessary, Breedlove said, “as an answer to a resurgent and aggressive Russia.” The insinuation that Russia is planning an invasion of the Baltic states is nothing but black propaganda.
To the same category belong the constantly renewed campaign of demonization of Russian President Vladimir Putin and the internationally coordinated campaign against Chinese President Xi Jinping, as well as the shamelessly open campaign of regime change against President Dilma Rousseff in Brazil and President Jacob Zuma in South Africa—all leaders of BRICS countries.
U.S. Department of State
In a refreshing contrast to this war-mongering, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, in a joint press conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and German Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier, stressed Russia’s positive role in bringing about the possibility for a political solution in Syria. Lavrov added that, without Russia, neither the nuclear deal with Iran, nor the agreement for the destruction of the chemical weapons stocks of the Assad government, nor the ceasefire in Syria would have been possible.
What It’s Really About
What is it really all about? In an adaptation of the lines of Schiller’s poem Der Antritt des neuen Jahrhunderts (The Arrival of the New Century) one could say: “Where America vainly wrestles for sole ownership of the world.” It’s about the desperate attempt to uphold the neo-conservative doctrine of the Project for a New American Century developed by Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Robert Kagan, and Co.—just at the point at which it has become impossible. This doctrine declares that the United States will not allow any nation or group of nations to challenge its claim to unipolar leadership in the political, economic, or military sphere, plain and simple.
But even this pretension is water under the bridge. China, which is aiming at scientific excellence and advanced technology, has long begun to surpass the trans-Atlantic sector, which clings to the casino economy. While European Central Bank head Mario Draghi prints helicopter money—as the ultimate measure of a bankrupt financial system—China is building high-speed trains and fusion reactors, and launching trail-blazing space missions. Which is more “sustainable?” The Chinese model of “win-win” cooperation through the extension of the New Silk Road, and of the infrastructure projects of the “One Belt, One Road” policy, has clearly proved to be the more attractive model. The latest example of the greater attractiveness of the New Silk Road, as opposed to geopolitical confrontation with Russia and China, appeared during the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to the Czech Republic. Presidents Xi and Milos Zeman signed off on an extensive list of projects in the areas of high technology, infrastructure, and the real economy, and celebrated the role of the “Golden City” of Prague as the “gateway” for cooperation between China and Europe.
Such collaboration is also the key to the solution of the refugee crisis, which has revealed just how weak the foundations of the European Union (EU) are. China has just announced the appointment of its first special envoy to Syria, Xie Xiaoyan, a former ambassador to Iran, Ethiopia, and the African Union. This gives us justifiable hope that President Xi’s offer to extend the New Silk Road into the entire Southwest Asian region—an offer he put on the agenda during his recent trip to Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Iran—can actually be concretely implemented in the reconstruction of Syria.
It is high time for German Chancellor Angela Merkel—and the leading institutions of Europe in general—to wake up. The latest political fiasco, of relying on Turkish President Erdogan to deal with the refugee crisis, is just as abhorrent as it is incompetent. All relief organizations, such as Doctors without Borders and the UN Human Rights Commission, are denouncing as inhumane the measures ordered by the EU for the refugees in Greece. Amnesty International has only made public what was already clear: that Erdogan has hoodwinked the EU by pocketing billions on the one side, while sending the refugees back into the war and crisis zones of Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan, a breach of conventions on human rights and refugees.
While Erdogan leads the EU and Chancellor Merkel around by the nose, and at the same time denies the refugees deported from Greece their due protections and puts their lives in danger, the Russian ambassador to the UN has submitted proof to the UN Security Council that Turkey, up to this very day, is sending illegal weapons and military advisers to ISIS in Syria.
What an unbelievable farce is the claptrap of European politicians about common European values, human rights, democracy, and press freedom! And where is the outcry in this holier-than-thou Europe about the more than 2,000 children who have been killed under Saudi bombardments in Yemen? And the more than 300,000 children who are at risk of dying because of undernourishment and the destruction of the health system, both as a result of the Saudi bombing?
Deutsche Welle/Standard YouTube License
German Development Minister Gerd Müller is a small but important exception; during his trip to several African nations he once again emphasized that Europe can only solve the refugee crisis by supporting the economic development of African countries. That is the only way to prevent ever more millions of people from fleeing to Europe to save their lives. A baby step in the right direction.
It is urgent for us in Europe to take a hard look in the mirror and to uncompromisingly realize where we stand. We no longer have any reason to consider ourselves so incredibly superior because of our alleged “European values.” Although we not want to believe it, we are becoming the laughing stock of the whole world. Led by the nose by Erdogan, cruel toward the refugees, and a poodle for London and Washington—who are about to pulverize the world on the altar of geopolitics in a thermonuclear war.
Fortunately there is a way out. We can recognize and defend our own interests and, together with China and Russia, stabilize Southwest Asia and Africa through the expansion of the Silk Road into the World Land-Bridge. In that way, we can encourage America to return to its true identity as a republic.
This article, written for the German newspaper Neue Solidarität, was translated from German.