Only Four Powers Can Stop World War
by Jeffrey Steinberg
It must be said, fairly, that when the Democratic Party leadership in the U.S. Congress shamelessly capitulated to Vice President Dick Cheney, and abandoned their commitment to impose a withdrawal timetable on the Iraq war supplemental funding bill, none among them were consciously thinking that their act of cowardice might have brought the planet significantly closer to World War III. Despite their collective failure to comprehend the consequences of their action, the sad truth is that the world is now significantly closer to a global "permanent war/permanent revolution" than at any time in the period since the death of U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
In a stinging commentary on the Democratic Congressional leadership failure, Lyndon LaRouche issued a statement on May 23, warning that "The Democratic leadership has lost the confidence of their own core political base" by refusing to impeach Cheney. "And they are unwilling to take the only steps that would regain it. You cannot mobilize public opinion," LaRouche continued, "without mobilizing the base of the Democratic Party." The Cheney impeachment, LaRouche concluded, "is the key domestic issue. All U.S. politics at this moment centers on the ouster of Cheney." LaRouche argued that by energizing the Democratic base by pushing Cheney's impeachment, the political conditions would be created where a large number of Republicans would join in the effort, and the removal of the Vice President would be a done deal—before the end of 2007.
The Larger Strategic Context
To properly situate the Cheney impeachment battle and the threat of World War III, it is necessary to spell out some key characteristics of the present global situation.
First and foremost, the entire post-Bretton Woods financial system is in its death-throes. Nothing by way of reform of the present floating-exchange-rate system can work. While former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan "postponed the inevitable," from October 1987 onward, through a "wall of money" hyperinflationary policy, which could still stall the day of reckoning for weeks or months longer, the prospect of the present financial system remaining intact through the next 12 months is remote at best. Furthermore, the growing monopoly of offshore hedge funds and private equity funds over the physical economies of Europe and the Americas, has done so much damage to global physical production, that any further delay in implementing a fundamental systemic change would have unfathomable consequences. With anti-science swindles like Al Gore's "global warming" and "ethanol" further eroding the planet's dwindling productive capacities, the world is facing famine, disease, and other man-made crises on an unprecedented scale.
Second, the Cheney policy of preventive war, even nuclear war, which has been the dominant London-imposed policy of the Washington, D.C. "war party" since Cheney's tenure as Secretary of Defense under President George H.W. Bush, is not merely directed at the so-called "Axis of Evil" (Iraq, Iran, and North Korea). The real targets are Russia, China, and to an only slightly lesser extent, India, the three great Eurasian powers. Recent unilateral American and NATO moves, such as the planned deployment of ABM systems in Central Europe and the Baltics, the European Union- and Washington-sponsored "rainbow revolutions" on all of Russia's immediate borders, and threats of preemptive attacks on Russia's southern neighbor Iran, constitute a "reverse Global Showdown," in which both Moscow and Beijing see themselves as the ultimate targets for a new Cold War, or worse.
Third, as the consequence of the combined assault on the nation-state system from the London-directed private offshore financier operations, and the British Arab Bureau's Dr. Bernard Lewis's "clash of civilizations," most nations today are facing a crisis of ungovernability. In many parts of the world, this is taking the form of sectarian and communal asymmetric warfare. Much of Africa, Southwest Asia, and Ibero-America is facing this crisis at this moment.
Even in the United States, the attempt to rig the 2008 Presidential elections, through hedge-fund financing of preselected candidates, and the scheme to determine the nominees of both parties by the first two months of the new year, through the front-end-loading of the scheduled primaries, could trigger popular anger and social chaos. The collapse of the home mortgage bubble, already under way, threatens parts of the country with mass evictions and foreclosures, further adding to the potential for widespread domestic social unrest.
The Iran Showdown
In this overall context, the intent of Dick Cheney and his London backers to stage a military confrontation with Iran before the Bush-Cheney Administration leaves office, is of special note. Recent inspections of Iran's nuclear sites by the International Atomic Energy Agency confirm that Iran has developed the capacity for enriching nuclear fuel. IAEA head Dr. Mohammed ElBaradei has demanded that the West engage Iran in direct negotiations, to establish an inspection regime to assure that the nuclear energy program is not "weaponized."
Employing the same propaganda techniques that sold Congress on the need to invade Iraq, the Cheney war party is intent on turning Iran's nuclear program into a casus belli, justifying a preventive bombing campaign, that could, ultimately, involve the use of mini-nukes. As one Washington source put it, "The clock has been running for several months" on a confrontation with Iran.
It was in this context that LaRouche warned on May 24 that no "conventional" settlement of the Iran nuclear power issue, in the traditional framework of IAEA inspections, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), and European, Russian, and Chinese diplomatic efforts, can succeed in averting a confrontation—a confrontation that could quickly spiral into world war.
Nothing short of a revolution in world affairs, centered around a new collaboration among the Great Powers—the United States, Russia, China, and India—can avoid a disastrous global asymmetric confrontation, LaRouche insisted.
The good news is that Russian President Vladimir Putin has made it clear, in a series of recent gestures, that he understands this situation, and is looking for an American partner in war avoidance. In the past month, Putin has conferred (during the funeral for Boris Yeltsin) with former American President Bill Clinton, about his desire to collaborate with a United States committed to a revival of the principles of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, according to sources. He has thrown his support behind the proposal to construct a Bering Strait tunnel, linking the Russian Far East to Alaska, and integrating the economies of Eurasia and the Americas for the first time.
The question on the table in Washington is: Will Putin find a partner in this war avoidance effort? Only a strategic alliance, anchored in Washington and Moscow, can offset the power of the private, offshore financial oligarchy, most visible in the hedge funds and private equity funds that are looting the industrial and agricultural wealth of Europe and the Americas. With China and India also backing such an effort, along with the vast majority of developing-sector smaller nation-states, the world could rapidly shift direction from a steady march to war, to a world of sovereign nation-states, collectively committed to physical economic development, for the benefit of all.
So long as Dick Cheney is in office, no such partnership can be realized. Remove Cheney from his current job, replace him with a competent and well-intended figure who will pursue this four-power alliance, and the vision of FDR of a prosperous world, free of the plague of colonialism and imperialism, can be made real.
That is the strategic significance of the Cheney issue today.