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This article appears in the September 4, 2015 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

The World Awakens to
the Danger of Annihilation

by Jeffrey Steinberg

[PDF version of this article]

Jeffrey Steinberg of EIR gave the following review of the global strategic situation to kick off the Aug. 28 LaRouche PAC webcast, (view entire webcast) in response to the institutional question posed to Lyndon LaRouche. That question reads: “Mr. LaRouche, in your opinion, is a political settlement possible in Syria? And if so, what type of collaboration is required from the United States and from Russia?”

Well, Mr. LaRouche said obviously there is the possibility of solving this terrible crisis, this war that has been waged against Syria for nearly four years now. And of course, the United States and Russia are pivotal to any kind of solution. In fact, the Russian government—President Putin, Foreign Minister Lavrov—have hosted a number of Middle East leaders in Moscow over the past several days.

For example, you had King Abdullah II of Jordan; you had President el-Sisi of Egypt, who spent three days in Moscow, mostly meeting one on one with President Putin. And they worked a great deal on ideas for how to solve the problem of the Islamic State, and the instability that has not only triggered a crisis throughout the Middle East, but has resulted—along with the crisis in Libya—in waves of refugees seeking survival inside continental Europe; flooding an area that is already in profound economic crisis with a humanitarian crisis of severe proportions.

But as Mr. LaRouche emphasized, any possibility of solving the Middle East crisis, as severe as it is, hinges on three preconditions.

The first is that there is virtually no prospect of any kind of appropriate level of Russian or Russian/American cooperation so long as Barack Obama is in the White House. His animus towards Putin has now reached the point where many people internationally, leading figures within the United States and Western Europe, are openly saying that President Obama is driving towards a confrontation with Russia; overtly provoking a confrontation, whether it be over the issue of NATO eastward expansion, the Ukraine situation—where the Administration in Washington persists in supporting outright neo-Nazis from the Right Sector, from the Azov Brigade and others. And where Obama’s persistent commitment to the missile defense deployment, which can no longer be credibly considered to be against Iran, is clearly directed against Russia and portends the possibility of a nuclear first strike. So, all of this grave danger centers around the fact that President Obama remains in office.

U.S. Navy/Robert S. Price
U.S. and Ukrainian officials at the kickoff of NATO’s Sea Breeze-2015 maneuver in the Black Sea, September 1, 2015.

Secondly, you’ve got a global financial disintegration process underway right now, centered in the trans-Atlantic region where Wall Street, the City of London, and all of the major trans-Atlantic financial institutions—the so-called too-big-to-fail banks, the underground banks, the non-bank institutions involved in massive capital flight—are all hopelessly bankrupt. They’ve built up a mountain of debt, measurable in quadrillions [of dollars]. . .

The Military Warn

But what I want to focus on is the fact that the war danger is immediate, and has, in the past days, become a matter of widespread, public recognition. While much of the major U.S. media has persisted in lying and covering this up, you’ve got an extraordinary pattern of blunt statements coming out of some of the leading political leaders of the United States, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, and Russia; demanding emergency measures to avert a thermonuclear war of extinction. Now, this process has been ongoing for a number of months, but has really reached a crescendo in the recent days.

But I want to start by referencing back to a very significant article which appeared earlier this year on April 19. To remind people: it was an op-ed published that day in the New York Times, and the co-authors were General James E. Cartwright and General Vladimir Dvorkin. General Cartwright, up until fairly recently, had been the Vice Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, and had also previously served as the commander of the U.S. Strategic Command; in other words, in charge of the United States’ thermonuclear triad. General Dvorkin was head of intelligence for the Russian Strategic Missile Force. So, in other words, these are two people who, throughout their military careers, were directly involved in the threat of nuclear war; and were actually the individuals responsible for implementing orders from the Presidents of their respective countries, if a war were to begin.

Their article was called, “How To Avert a Nuclear War.” And they begin by saying, “We find ourselves in an increasingly risky strategic environment. The Ukrainian crisis has threatened the stability of relations between Russia and the West; including the nuclear dimension.” And what they go on to say is that right now, because of the nature of the deployment of massive, overkill arsenals of thermonuclear weapons by the United States and Russia, both countries are operating under a doctrine of “launch on warning.” Which means that the moment a nuclear launch is detected by one side against the other, the side coming under attack, or perhaps appearing to come under attack, has a very short window of time to decide whether or not to launch a full-scale massive retaliatory strike. And once that happens, you have nuclear annihilation on this planet. So, this article was an extraordinarily clear, cautionary warning.

And later this year, more recently in the Summer, the same two generals, joined by an international group of leading statesmen under an organization called the Nuclear Zero Commission, issued a more elaborate statement. Again, laying out the danger of the doctrine of launch on warning, calling for negotiations between the United States and Russia, and NATO and Russia, to bring an end to this doctrine, because it threatens a nuclear war of extermination on virtually limited notice, measured in minutes, not hours or days. So that statement stands, and there are many other leading military figures who’ve been joining in issuing the same kinds of warnings.

‘ We Are At War. . .’

In the last week, this process has accelerated tremendously. There was a letter issued by a German organization, called the Free Thinkers Association, that was mailed out just three days ago, to every member of the Bundestag, the German parliament, and what they say, just to give a brief quote:

“The war-threatening situation is escalating. After the wars of aggression against Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria, war is being prepared against Russia. The encirclement of Russia by military bases, the NATO expansion to the East, the construction of a U.S.-missile defense shield, and Western operations in Ukraine, are part of this confrontation. We are at war and this war can turn into a total one, French President François Hollande declared in February of 2015. There is the threat of another world war. If a Russia that is attacked, retaliates, what results from that is what former Assistant Minister Willi Wimmer said in November 2014: “Nothing will be left behind.”

So that statement is circulating very widely.

Jürgen Todenhöfer, a German parliamentarian turned anti-war journalist.

Also this week, Jürgen Todenhöfer, who was a former long-time Christian Democratic Union member of the Bundestag, the German parliament, and who has since become a leading anti-war advocate and investigator—he’s written several books, the most recent one involved a visit that he paid to Iraq and Syria, where he actually was able to interview some leaders of the Islamic State, and actually lived to tell the story—so he has issued an Open Letter to the war politicians of the world. And he says in this letter:

Dear Presidents and heads of government,

Through decades of a policy of war and exploitation, you have pushed millions of people in the Middle East and Africa into misery. Because of your policies, refugees have to flee all over the world. One out of every three refugees in Germany comes from Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan. From Africa comes one out of five refugees. Your wars are also the cause of global terrorism. Instead of 100 international terrorists, like 15 years ago, we are now faced with more than 100,000 terrorists. Your cynical ruthlessness now strikes back at us, like a boomerang.

The letter goes on for quite some time and calls for a mass outpouring of protest against this policy of war.

Also, just in the last 24 hours, Professor Antonino Galloni, a leading Italian economist and strategic thinker, has issued a statement published in Il Domani d’Italia in which he warns that if there’s no fundamental reorganization of the system, economically and politically, the current financial crisis can lead to thermonuclear war. He says:

The financial crisis makes the conflict among superpowers more likely. China, Russia, and India want to avoid it, whereas American, British, and trans-national lobbies involving weapons lobbies, parallel intelligence agencies, pro-Israeli organizations, etc. consider war to be the only option at one point. Thus it will be fundamental whether the U.S.A. will regain control of policy.

And so he said: “We need international agreements.” Galloni cites a lengthy interview that was given just this past week to the National Interest by former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, in which Kissinger comes out unusually strongly, warning about the war danger, and saying that the only viable option is to begin serious negotiations with the Russians. Galloni says: We have a problem with the central banking system. They simply continue printing out money to cover up holes in the financial bubble, and he says, quite practically, because of this crisis financially, we risk a thermonuclear conflict.

And he says, “The planet’s financial means”—in other words, the bubble instruments— “are 54 times the global GDP.” He says, “We need a new Bretton Woods (or something similar),” and that all of the toxic assets must be “sterilized.” A very strong statement, but I think the critical point is that he emphasizes that the danger of war is coming primarily from the disintegration of a financial system that is hopelessly bankrupt.

Reducing the Risk

Now, there are some leading voices in the United States. Professor Stephen Cohen, known to be one of the leading Russia experts in the United States, has been engaging for the last number of weeks in a weekly dialogue on a major New York City radio station, with the host John Batchelor; and in the past two weeks, Dr. Cohen has focused very specifically on the growing danger of a nuclear war stemming from the policies coming out of the Obama Administration, for confrontation with Russia.

Stephen Cohen, Professor of Russian Studies and Politics at New York University and Princeton.

So, again, Mr. LaRouche emphasized that measures, emergency measures, must be taken.

In Europe, the European Leadership Network, which is a grouping of former foreign ministers, defense ministers, other top political figures now retired, have issued their third report since the spring of this year. They’ve issued two reports, one in July, and one in August, and this third report is bluntly called “Avoiding War in Europe: How to Reduce the Risk of a Military Encounter between Russia and NATO.”

What they say is that they’ve been cataloging an ever-increasing density of military maneuvers and other actions that put NATO forces and Russian forces in close proximity, with major deployments of weapons systems, and that this now represents a grave danger of an incident triggering a general war. They call for a number of measures, including a reconvening of the NATO-Russia Council, to set up rules of conduct, to avoid an incident turning into the trigger for a general war.

Now, as we know, as we’ve been emphasizing on this broadcast repeatedly, Friday after Friday, the main cause of this war danger is the policy coming out of the Obama White House. There are others in the Administration who are clearly working against this war provocation, including the Joint Chiefs of Staff; including, in certain instances, Secretary of State John Kerry. But the thrust coming out of the Obama White House, is for war, and while the Leadership Network statement places a certain equality of blame and concern on Russia and NATO, the fact of the matter is that this group of leading European statesmen are so disturbed that they have come out with this series of reports saying, we are on the cusp of a world war, beginning on European soil, for the third time in the last 100 years.

Just to give you an idea of the level of significance of this statement, the signatories of this taskforce paper, include: Malcolm Rifkind, former foreign and defense secretary of the U.K.; Desmond Brown, former U.K. Defense Secretary; Vyacheslav Trubnikov, former director of Russian Foreign Intelligence; Igor Ivanov, former Russian foreign minister; Adam Daniel Rotfeld, former Polish foreign minister; Paul Quiles, former defense minister of France; former German defense minister Volker Rühe; Ana Palacio, former foreign minister of Spain; Igor Yurgens, chairman of, basically, the board of the Russian Council of Industry and Entrepreneurs; and Hikmet Cetin, former Turkish foreign minister.

In other words, it’s a very extensive and actually growing list of European leading diplomats who are frankly scared to death that we’re on the cusp of a thermonuclear war, that must be avoided at all costs.

The Levers at Hand

Now, we have obviously, as we’ve discussed on previous shows, the option of removing President Obama from office immediately under the terms of the 25th Amendment, which was passed by 39 states in 1967 and became part of our Constitution, and lays out detailed procedures where the Cabinet of the President can determine that the President is either physically or mentally incapable of continuing to serve, and can be removed from office. The madness that President Obama is showing in his refusal to back off of the confrontation with Russia, qualifies as the kind of insanity that in the past, in the case of Richard Nixon, was part of the equation that led to forcing his resignation.

Now, there’s also another situation that we’ve also discussed in the recent period, but which now takes on special significance. And that is the fact that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton knows where the bodies are buried in the Obama Administration. She knows what occurred on the night of Sept. 11, 2012, when President Obama ordered her to cover up the fact that a terrorist attack, coming from terrorist networks that had been built up with U.S. de facto assistance, had assassinated the U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, and three other American officials.

White House/Pete Souza
President Barack Obama, a true candidate for the 25th Amendment. Here he’s in Selma, Alabama at the commemoration of Bloody Sunday, on March 7, 2015.

Now, this issue with Hillary Clinton takes on a special immediacy for two reasons. Number one, the Benghazi Select Committee has accelerated its timetable for investigation, and two of former Secretary of State Clinton’s top aides when she was at the State Department—her Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills, and her chief national security advisor Jake Sullivan—will be testifying under oath next Thursday and Friday (Sept. 3 and 4) before Trey Gowdy’s Benghazi Select Committee. So there’s no question that the events of Sept. 11, 2012 will be a major focus, and the question of the phone call by President Obama to Secretary of State Clinton will almost certainly come up in that questioning.

Now it also happens to be the case that this past week, President Obama personally, and the entire White House team, effectively declared war against Hillary Clinton’s candidacy for President. They’ve been behind the promotion of Joe Biden as an alternative to Hillary Clinton. President Obama, Valerie Jarrett, other Obama intimates, have been involved non-stop in arranging for major financial contributors, including some that have already been pledged to Hillary Clinton, to shift over to backing Joe Biden. Last weekend there was a meeting between Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden, prompting speculation about a Biden-Warren ticket, and the fact of that meeting taking place was immediately leaked out, within hours of the meeting happening. So, is there any reason any longer for Hillary Clinton to have any illusions that there’s anything other than an all-out Obama assault against the Clinton family, against her candidacy? And the rest is obvious.

Now, in the middle of this past week, Lyndon LaRouche issued a powerful statement which is now circulating internationally, and is particularly circulating in New York City, in Manhattan, because within a matter of days, world leaders will be descending on New York, beginning in the middle of September, for the United Nations General Assembly. Russian President Putin has announced that he will be personally in New York, and there are some indications that Putin has sent word through the Lavrov-Kerry channels, that he would be open to a face-to-face meeting with President Obama, clearly reflecting the fact that the Russians are profoundly aware of the war provocations coming out of the White House.

But in that context Mr. LaRouche said that the only framework for solving these problems is to accept the fact that Wall Street and London, and the entire trans-Atlantic financial system, are hopelessly, irreversibly bankrupt, and the only solution is to act pre-emptively with an immediate Glass-Steagall reinstatement here in the United States, but immediately followed by Glass-Steagall on a global scale.


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