This editorial appears in the January 24, 2020 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
The World Order Urgently Needs
New Principles to Ensure World Peace
The following is an English translation of an article appearing in the German newspaper, Neue Solidarität.
Jan. 19—During the hours following the murder of the Iranian political and military leader, General Qassem Soleimani, by a U.S. drone attack near the airport in Baghdad, Iraq, the world held its breath. Most thinking people were aware that we were on the brink of a potentially uncontrollable escalation. Then came the “moderate” response from the Iranian government—a missile attack on a military base used by U.S. troops in Iraq, which failed to kill U.S. troops thanks to Iran’s warning to the Iraqi government.
For many people, that was the end of the crisis. My emergency appeal of January 3, that only a summit among the heads of government of the three main nuclear powers—Presidents Putin, Xi Jinping and Trump—can create the basis for overcoming the acute danger and craft a lasting solution for peace in Southwest Asia, was circulated by friends of the Schiller Institute to many hundreds of institutions on January 15 in an international day of action—in rallies, press conferences and interventions in dozens of cities in the Americas, Europe and Australia, with the intention of creating a worldwide chorus of people calling for such a crisis summit.
But during this mobilization for the emergency summit of the three presidents, another phenomenon came to light: The vast majority of the population in the different countries has absolutely no idea that there is an acute danger that the strategic situation could continue to escalate into a Third World War. Warnings in this regard are only “scaremongering,” Trump already has “everything under control,” or “it’s already too late, the Third World War is already taking place.” The vox populi covered the whole spectrum from denial of reality to pessimistic resignation, based less on a well-thought-out analysis than on various, mostly ideologically motivated assumptions. Or, on a more contemplative than active political stance.
The maintenance of world peace in the age of thermonuclear weapons is the existential issue for humanity. It’s not a matter of scaremongering, but of understanding the dangers, without illusions, in order to then look for ways to ensure lasting peace in the world. Let us remember that during the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962, after U.S. medium-range missiles were stationed at a NATO base in Turkey and then Soviet medium-range missiles were transported to Cuba, for 13 days, the world was on the verge of nuclear war. The world public was aware of this—but the communication between Presidents Kennedy and Khrushchev and military experts on both sides, and thus crisis management, existed at a completely different level than today, when between June 2019 and January 15, 2020 there was extensive “radio silence” between the USA and Russia.
Worse But Unacknowledged
During the 1983 mid-range missile crisis, when the Pershing II and SS20 missiles in Europe were constantly in a “launch on warning” position with a flight time reduced to three minutes, politicians like Helmut Schmidt repeatedly spoke of the danger of World War III, and there were hundreds of thousands of people in the streets protesting this danger.
Today the strategic situation is much more complex and dangerous, but public awareness or even debate about it is virtually non-existent.
It borders on mockery when Western think tanks, politicians and the media speak of the need to defend the rules-based international order of democratic nations against dictatorships and autocratic regimes in the world. The most important step in the direction of today’s strategic chaos was UK Prime Minister Tony Blair’s speech to the Chicago Economic Club in 1999, in which he replaced the international law as laid down in the UN Charter with the Blair doctrine, the right of nations to engage in so-called “humanitarian interventions” into other nations, which led to the “Right to Protect” doctrine, agreed to by the United States and the UK. As Russia and China have insisted, however, and as Trump himself stated in his UN speech in 2019, respect for absolute sovereignty alone guarantees a peaceful coexistence among states.
The Blair doctrine formed the background for the subsequent wars of intervention, which were all based on lies and led to regime changes, color revolutions and the chaos and loss of millions of lives that we are witnessing today in Southwest Asia. On the pretext of defending democracy and human rights, proponents of this “rules-based order” continue to support a regime change policy against governments that do not want to submit to the dictates of a unipolar world, whether it be the British ambassador to Iran, who was brazen enough to lead the student demonstrations against the Rouhani government (!), or the think tank of the German government, the German Council on Foreign Relations (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Auswärtige Politik), which has posted a commentary on its website with the title: “First Hong Kong, then Taiwan—How Democracy is Moving in on China.” It has long been obvious that regime-change operations against proxy states are ultimately aimed at regime change in Russia and China.
If you take into account the changes in military doctrine initiated by the United States and supported by its allies, then everyone should be aware of how extremely volatile world peace is. For example, there is the “Prompt Global Strike” doctrine of the United States, which was introduced roughly in parallel with the Blair doctrine; the building of a global anti-missile defense system that Russia considers to be a clear encirclement policy; the unilateral termination of the INF treaty by the USA; the unilateral withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear agreement with Iran by the USA; and the expansion of NATO eastward toward Russia, along with the provocative orientation of the upcoming NATO maneuver “Defender-Europe 20” (in which up to 40,000 soldiers will be transferred mainly to Poland and the Baltic States).
The Underlying Crisis
Conversely, Russia will install new weapon systems that massively weaken the efficiency of the U.S. missile defense system.
When geopoliticians speak of systemic competition between the supposedly noble ideals of Western democracies and authoritative dictatorships, they are also driven by the panic that the transatlantic financial system is facing a “terrible collapse,” as George Soros’ former colleague Jim Rogers recently put it. China’s New Silk Road program, on the other hand, with which 157 nations are now cooperating, has been extremely successful despite all the prophecies of doom.
The accidental shooting down of the Ukrainian plane by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards following the murder of General Soleimani should make it clear to everyone how right, for example, the former Inspector General of the Bundeswehr, Harald Kujat, was, when he repeatedly warned of the danger of nuclear war by mistake from cyber attacks, hacking, technical failure and misunderstandings.
President Putin reflected this danger in his January 15, 2020 address on the state of the nation, and offered an extremely important proposal, saying:
We can see how unpredictably and uncontrollably events are developing in the world, what is happening in the Middle East and North Africa literally in recent weeks and recent days, how regional conflicts can rapidly grow into threats to the entire international community.
I am convinced that it is high time for a serious and direct discussion on the basic principles of a stable world order and the most acute problems that humanity is facing. . . .
The founding countries of the United Nations should set an example. It is the five nuclear powers that bear a special responsibility for the conservation and sustainable development of humankind. These five nations should first of all start with measures to remove the prerequisites for a global war and develop updated approaches to ensuring stability on the planet that would fully take into account the political, economic and military aspects of modern international relations.
This serious discussion of the principles on which a sustainable order for all of humanity must be based, is urgently needed. Instead of sticking to the backward-looking and dangerous concepts of geopolitics and more recently “geo-economics,” European nations should participate in the potential of the New Silk Road.
It is therefore imperative that all forces in Europe that are interested in ensuring world peace, support the summit between Putin, Xi and Trump. Just two examples of what this could imply: China has not only lifted 850 million of its own citizens out of poverty in the past 40 years, and has brought a perspective of hope to developing countries to overcome underdevelopment. Over the same period, China has implemented the largest reforestation program in human history. In 1981, the National People’s Congress required all Chinese over the age of eleven to plant three tree seedlings each year, which resulted in China planting more trees than the rest of the world put together; between 2000 and 2010 alone, the Chinese planted 56 billion trees.
The principles on which the world order urgently needs to be built are the common goals of mankind. The liberal establishment in Europe and the USA would do well to rethink the premises of its own financial profit-oriented system and to cooperate with the New Silk Road program in the economic development of Southwest Asia and Africa. The European Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Beijing fears that Europe will only become an insignificant caboose of a market at the end of Eurasia if Europe does not play a competitive role against the New Silk Road. The exact opposite is correct: Europe can only have its own prospects for the future if it gives up geopolitics and actively cooperates with Russia, China and the USA on a principled basis for a more human world order.