This article appears in the May 20, 2022 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
Global NATO Opponents Embolden Others: Will They Act in Time?
[Print version of this article]
May 14—Leading nations of the developing sector still adamantly refuse to capitulate to the Western diktat that Global NATO’s murderous unipolar world order be the only show on this planet. European nations failed to get India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi to hold Russia responsible for the global crisis during his recent visit to Europe, as likewise, Japan, Australia, the UK, and President Biden had failed in their earlier attempts to pressure Modi. Indonesia, the host of this year’s G20 summit in November, has extended a formal invitation for Russian President Putin to attend, despite fierce counter-pressure.
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was welcomed in Algeria May 10, where it was announced, after talks with his Algerian counterpart, Ramtane Lamamra, that the two countries “plan to sign a treaty confirming a new quality of bilateral relations.” From there he traveled to Oman, where he had friendly, in-depth discussions with Sultan Haitham bin Tariq, Deputy Prime Minister Fahd bin Mahmoud al-Said, and his Omani counterpart, Badr al-Busaidi, on critical international and regional matters including oil production, and on Ukraine, Iran, Yemen, and Syria.
From Brazil comes the strong call by former President Lula da Silva, who is possibly also the next president, demanding that Western nations change their confrontationist policy course, and get down to negotiations.
In sum, resistance to the Global NATO drive is manifest in many statements and actions over the first two weeks in May, from within Africa, Southwest Asia, the ASEAN nations, Ibero-America, as well as the global powerhouse of India.
In the trans-Atlantic sector itself, the drive for war remains grim, but the attempt to silence all opposition has failed. Leading patriotic military, intelligence, artistic, scientific, and intellectual figures are speaking out. Refusing to capitulate, some are even going on the counterattack, as seen in the United States, Germany, Italy, Greece, and Sweden. This has emboldened not only institutional layers to join them in speaking out, but spurred ordinary citizens to break out of frightened paralysis, and take to the streets, as seen in Sweden.
In Germany, the opposition even succeeded in forcing a debate over the war policy into the mainstream media. On the May 8 Sunday evening prime-time TV talk show, a brawl broke out when spokesmen for a mass-circulation petition calling for Ukraine negotiations and stopping heavy arms shipments (excerpts below), got to reply directly to rabid spokesmen for the NATO line, including Ukraine’s thuggish Ambassador to Germany, Andriy Melnyk, an open backer of World War II Nazi Stepan Bandera. The clash on major media was a breakthrough.
The international crossfire dynamic is gaining momentum. Resistance in one country is spurring resistance in others. Retired U.S. Colonel Richard Black’s explosive April 26 Schiller Institute interview, “The U.S. Is Leading the World to Nuclear War,” is commanding world attention. Registering over 350,000 views on the Schiller Institute’s YouTube site alone within two weeks of its posting. The Black interview has been subtitled into Italian and now Spanish, and has become a center of international discussion.
This all goes to show that Schiller Institute founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche knows the human mind well, given that she insisted in a May webcast, that the seemingly unstoppable NATO drive for world war could be turned around in one week. That can be accomplished, when a relatively small handful of the world’s nearly eight billion people join forces around the demand that an international conference be convoked in which the principles of a new international security and development architecture could be hammered out, so that all nations work together to ensure the prosperity and progress of all.
Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), a group of current and former high-level officials from many branches of the United States intelligence community, active since 2003 in fighting the military-industrial complex, published a sharp warning to President Biden May 1 that his current policy towards Ukraine and Russia is playing with nuclear fire. The text of their memorandum, published on Antiwar.com under the title “Intel Vets: Nuclear Weapons Cannot Be Un-Invented,” and signed by 21 members of the VIPS steering committee, among them William Binney, Former NSA Technical Director for World Geopolitical & Military Analysis; Col. U.S. Army (ret.) Richard Black, Former Chief, Criminal Law Division, JAG, Pentagon; Ray McGovern, former CIA Analyst; Ted Postol, Former Science and Technology Adviser for Weapons Technology to the Chief of Naval Operations; and Scott Ritter, former UN weapons inspector in Iraq, follows:
Mainstream media have marinated the minds of most Americans in a witches’ brew of misleading information on Ukraine—and on the exceedingly high stakes of the war. On the chance you are not getting the kind of “untreated” intelligence President Truman hoped for by restructuring intelligence, we offer below a 12-point factsheet. Some of us were intelligence analysts during the Cuban missile crisis and see a direct parallel in Ukraine. As to VIPS’ credibility, our record since Jan. 2003—whether on Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, or Russia—speaks for itself.
1. The growing possibility that nuclear weapons might be used, as hostilities in Ukraine continue to escalate, merits your full attention.
2. For almost 77 years, a common awareness of the awesome destructiveness of atomic/nuclear weapons created an (ironically stabilizing) balance of terror called deterrence. Nuclear-armed countries have generally avoided threatening to use nukes against other nuclear-armed countries.
3. Putin’s recent reminders of Russia’s nuclear weapons capability can easily fit into the category of deterrence. It can also be read as a warning that he is prepared to use them in extremis.
4. Extremis? Yes; Putin regards Western interference in Ukraine, particularly since the coup d’état in Feb. 2014, as an existential threat. In our view, he is determined to rid Russia of this threat, and Ukraine is now a must-win for Putin. We cannot rule out the possibility that, backed into a corner, he might authorize a limited nuclear strike with modern missiles that fly many times the speed of sound.
5. Existential threat? Moscow sees U.S. military involvement in Ukraine as precisely the same kind of strategic threat President Kennedy saw in Khrushchev’s attempt to put nuclear missiles in Cuba in violation of the Monroe Doctrine. Putin complains that U.S. “ABM” missile sites in Romania and Poland can be modified, by simply inserting an alternate compact disk, to launch missiles against Russia’s ICBM force....
7. Russia can no longer doubt that the U.S. and NATO aim to weaken Russia (and to remove him, if possible)—and that the West also believes it can accomplish this by pouring weapons into Ukraine and urging the Ukrainians to fight on. We think these aims are delusional.
8. If Secretary Austin believes that Ukraine can “win” against Russian forces—he is mistaken. You will recall that many of Austin’s predecessors—McNamara, Rumsfeld, Gates, for example—kept assuring earlier presidents that corrupt regimes could “win”—against foes far less formidable than Russia.
9. The notion that Russia is internationally “isolated” also seems delusional. China can be counted on to do what it can to prevent Putin from “losing” in Ukraine—first and foremost because Beijing has been designated “next in line,” so to speak…. Russia-China entente marks a tectonic shift in the world correlation of forces. It is not possible to exaggerate its significance.
10. Nazi sympathizers in Ukraine will not escape attention on May 9, as Russia celebrates the 77th anniversary of the victory by the Allies over Nazi Germany. Every Russian knows that more than 26 million Soviets died during that war (including Putin’s older brother Viktor during the merciless, 872-day blockade of Leningrad). Denazification of Ukraine is one of the key factors accounting for Putin’s approval level of above 80 percent….
12. We note that we sent our first Memorandum of this genre to President George W. Bush on Feb. 5, 2003, critiquing Colin Powell’s unconfirmed-intelligence-stuffed speech at the UN earlier that day. We sent two follow-up Memos in March 2003 warning the president that intelligence was being “cooked” to justify war, but were ignored. We end this Memo with the same appeal we made, in vain, to George W. Bush: “You would be well served if you widened the discussion beyond the circle of those advisers clearly bent on a war for which we see no compelling reason and from which we believe the unintended consequences are likely to be catastrophic.…” [Emphasis in the original—ed.]
Wilkerson Warns: Kagan’s Loose Talk of ‘Tactical’ Nukes Could End the World
Col. Lawrence Wilkerson (ret.), former Chief of Staff to Gen. Colin Powell, warned in his April 29 interview by Paul Jay for his theAnalysis.news blogsite, that over 70 years of military war games and computer simulations have all come to the conclusion that dropping one nuclear bomb, even with a purportedly limited “tactical” context, gets out of hand and cannot be controlled. No one can predict the reaction to the sudden death of such large numbers of people. Thus, present discussions mooting use of nuclear weapons by such incompetent chicken hawks as Robert Kagan, are insane. Col. Wilkerson said,
Victoria Nuland’s husband [Robert Kagan—ed.] tells the rest of us that we are shrinking violets because we won’t use the threat of nuclear weapons…. I’ve war-gamed this too much and too often, to think that the other side wouldn’t react, and react in a way that you could predict, and that way is to use them back on you. We had a saying in the military, if you use one, you’re going to use them all…. Once you have that incredible amount of casualties in a split second…. You might as well count the angels that can dance on the head of a pin.
In his considered judgment, the present leadership in the West is possibly the worst we’ve ever had: “I’ve been there. Some of these leaders are just stupid.” There actually “could be a confluence of leaders” who actually end the world.
Oliver Stone: Is Stage Set for a False Flag Nuclear Explosion?
Film director Oliver Stone, famous for such documentaries as JFK and Ukraine on Fire, posted on Facebook and tweeted the following warning May 2, titled “My thoughts on some potential #Neocon Objectives”:
I’ve been following the Ukraine situation since 2014 with [journalist] Robert Parry leading the way as a teacher. I’ve followed the burnings in Odessa, the persecution without legal rights and murders of journalists, mayors, politicians, and citizens. I’ve followed the banning of the main opposition party, which had higher polls than the Zelenskyy government. I’ve been shocked by the sheer hatred expressed against the Russian-Ukrainian minority. It’s a long and sad story devolving from the 2014 coup, co-engineered by the U.S. which stripped Ukraine of its neutrality and made it vociferously anti-Russian; in the eight years since, some 14,000 innocent people in the Ukraine have been killed, none of which was seriously covered by our media.
I’ve watched with mounting fear these past weeks as [Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs —ed.] Victoria Nuland once again emerged out of the blue, warning the Russians and us—the target audience—that if the Russians use a nuclear device of any kind, there’ll be hell to pay. This was quickly picked up by a host of Administration officials and TV channels in the following days, amplifying the same idea—Russia going nuclear. All this coming because of Putin’s restatement of Russia’s nuclear policy, which, btw, is not as aggressive as our nuclear posture. This made me wonder, why repeat this over and over? First, there were all the war-crimes charges which came fast and furious and need serious investigation and evidence.
As a result, I wonder if the U.S. is setting the stage for a low-yield nuclear explosion, of unknown origin, somewhere in the Donbas region, killing thousands of Ukrainians? Of course, if that happened God forbid, all the world’s eyes would be trained, like a Pavlov dog, to blame Russia. That guilt has been set up already in advance, regardless of who launched the device. This usage would certainly impact the remaining 50% of world opinion, which isn’t in the Western camp. Russia would be the Satan, the Beelzebub. Keep in mind, it’s hard to know where a nuclear device is fired from, especially in a fast-moving situation like this war, in which it seems Russia can be accused of any behavior, no matter how preposterous. It would probably take a few days to find out the truth, but the truth isn’t important. The perception is, and the U.S. is running a perception war with great skill and blunt force, saturating the CNN/Fox airwaves and our satellite countries in Europe and Asia as I’ve never seen before.
In doing this, we’d be one step closer to getting what we hope is another Yeltsin, who can create for our country another huge ideological and business opportunity. But, more important, in the bargain, isolate China from Russia. Of course, China would be the next target if Russia falls. This, I believe, is the dream scenario of the neoconservative anarchists in our government to make what they deem a better “rule-based world.”
Tulsi Gabbard: Biden Is On a Path to a Nuclear Armageddon
Former Congresswoman, Democratic presidential candidate, and active-duty Army Reserve Lt. Colonel Tulsi Gabbard reported May 6 her warning on Fox News’ Laura Ingraham show:
We’re already in a hot war with Russia, and it’s going to get a lot hotter because the Biden Admin’s stated goal is the complete destruction of Russia’s economy & military. Russia has made it clear that if faced with this prospect they’ll have no choice but to use tactical nukes. Once the nuclear Pandora’s Box is open, it’ll be impossible to close. The path the Biden Admin has us on will lead to WWIII & nuclear Armageddon. Our country, families & world will suffer beyond comprehension. Obviously, this isn’t what the American people want. We want peace & prosperity. But we have to fight for it. It’s not too late. With upcoming elections, the power is in our hands to stop this insanity by supporting those, D or R, who are committed to ending this war with Russia & use our treasure for the American people.
Ritter: Supporting Neo-Nazis in Ukraine Is Spitting on U.S. ‘Greatest Generation’
Former Marine intelligence officer and UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter published “An Open Letter to the American People” in RT May 9, reflecting what the May 9 Victory Day means, using Tom Brokaw’s 1998 documentary, “The Greatest Generation,” as a reference point. He makes clear that he grew up with the principle that the sacrifices that that generation made to fight the scourge of Nazism must not be forgotten. He wrote,
There was a time when the United States and Soviet Union fought together to overcome the scourge of Nazi Germany and the ideology it espoused. Today, when Russia is locked in a struggle with the progeny of Hitler’s Germany—in the form of the ideological descendants of the Ukrainian nationalist, Stepan Bandera—one would logically expect the United States to be on Moscow’s side.
Bandera’s followers fought alongside German Nazis as members of the Waffen SS, slaughtering tens of thousands of innocent civilians, many of them Jewish. By rights, Washington should be ensuring that the hateful cause so many had given their lives and livelihoods to eradicate from Europe never again raised its evil banners on European soil.
Instead, the United States is providing succor to the present-day adherents of Bandera, and by extension, Hitler, their hateful ideology disguised as Ukrainian nationalism. American military personnel, whose traditions are born from the heroic sacrifices made by hundreds of thousands of their fellow soldiers, sailors, and airmen who gave their lives to defeat Nazi Germany, are today providing weapons and training to Ukrainians whose bodies and banners bear the markings of Hitler’s Third Reich.
On May 9, Russia will celebrate Victory Day, marking the 77th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany…. Unfortunately, the struggle against Nazi ideology continues to this day and, sadly, the United States finds itself on the wrong side of history, supporting those whom we once were sworn to defeat, while fighting against those whom we once called allies.
Caitlin Johnstone: What If the U.S. Had Actually Defended Democracy in Ukraine?
Australian journalist Caitlin Johnstone, who co-authors all her articles with her American husband, Tim Foley, exposed U.S. responsibility for the Nazification of Ukraine which led to this war, by pointing out what the U.S. refused to do. Their article was titled: “U.S. Should Have Defended Zelenskyy from Neo-Nazis.” They wrote:
As we hydroplane toward the brink of nuclear Armageddon while Bono and the Edge play U2 songs in Kyiv, it’s probably worth taking a moment to highlight the fact that this entire war could have been avoided if the U.S. had simply pledged military protection for Zelenskyy against the far-right extremists who were threatening to lynch him if he enacted the peacemaking policies he was elected to enact.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy had an April 2019 landslide (73%) victory based upon his promise, if elected President of Ukraine, to work with the Russians in ending Ukraine’s war in the Donbas. But threats of civil disruption and even of assassination thwarted the thunderous electoral message.
It’s just a simple fact that for a fraction of the military firepower the U.S. is pouring into Ukraine right now, it could have prevented the entire war by simply protecting Ukrainian democracy from the undemocratic impulses of the worst people in that country.
The lengthy article concludes:
It would have been wins all around. We wouldn’t be staring down the barrel of nuclear Armageddon. Ukraine would have been spared the horrors of an insane proxy war. Western powers wouldn’t be sending arms to literal Nazi factions. And the U.S. would actually be protecting Ukrainian democracy, instead of just pretending to.
Kujat: Only U.S.-Russian Talks Can End the War
Gen. Harald Kujat (ret.), Chief of Staff of the German Bundeswehr (2000-2002), and Chairman of the NATO Military Committee (2002-2005), warned starkly that a Cuban Missile Crisis-type situation is being brought ever closer by the current “Ukraine must win, Russia must be defeated” policy. His assessment was published mid-May in Preußische Allgemeine Zeitung:
At the heart of the issue is whether to take a one-dimensional approach, enabling Ukraine to achieve military victory with arms deliveries [Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy included among the war’s objectives the reconquest of Crimea in his May 9 message —ed.], and accepting the risk of the war spreading to all of Europe and possibly a nuclear escalation, or in a dual approach, while supporting Ukraine in defending its country, avoids the risk of a major European war and possibly a nuclear escalation through a negotiated peace….
The remarks of Admiral Charles A. Richard, Commander of the U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM), responsible for the deployment of U.S. nuclear forces, to the Senate Strategic Armed Services Committee a few days ago seem to confirm this: “We are currently facing a crisis in deterrence dynamics that we have seen few times in our nation’s history. The war in Ukraine … shows that we have a deterrence and security gap based on the threat of limited nuclear use.” We may be closer to a Cuban Missile Crisis type situation than many think possible. The difference being that the epicenter would not be in the Caribbean, but in Europe. So it is essentially in Europe’s interest to prevent a development of the Ukraine war that would expose us to this danger….
Meanwhile, Western politicians are increasingly emphasizing that the arms deliveries are intended “not only for the defense of Ukraine, but also for Ukrainian victory over Russia.” U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III even recently stated that the United States wants to see Russia “weakened to the point where it can no longer do the things it did when it invaded Ukraine.” This is a significant change in the focus of U.S. strategy in the Ukraine war. [The U.S. military doctrine’s] “Center of Gravity” [COG] is no longer to support Ukraine in its defensive struggle, but to weaken Russia as a geopolitical rival....
For the United States’ change in strategy—if it was one—shows that the main players in this war are not Ukraine and Russia, but the United States and Russia. There have been no negotiations between the two great powers since the war began. War has taken the place of diplomacy. It is the task of politics and an imperative of reason to end the suffering of Ukrainians and the destruction of the country and to prevent the war from slipping into a European catastrophe.
Gen. Kujat is urging Germany to play a key role in bringing this about. In an interview with the German monthly magazine, Cicero, in May, Kujat argued that:
The German Chancellor has the stature to persuade the U.S. government, together with President [Emmanuel] Macron, to reach a negotiated solution. Just as Helmut Schmidt, together with French President Giscard d’Estaing and British Prime Minister James Callaghan, convinced President Jimmy Carter in early January 1979 to respect European security interests in arms control of nuclear weapons systems. What the German government should refrain from in any case is any form of verbal armament! Nor should it tolerate it….
I think it is absurd to speak of victory or defeat…. Germany could play an important mediating role here….
German Open Letter Demands Scholz Stop Heavy Weapons Deliveries
Within ten days of its April 29 publication, over 250,000 people had signed an Open Letter urging German Chancellor Olaf Scholz not to supply heavy weapons to Ukraine, as he clearly intended to do after the April 28 Bundestag vote urging the government to expand its military aid to the Kyiv regime. The initial signers of the Open Letter, posted on the change.org website, were 30-some German intellectual and cultural figures. An English translation of the [[Open Letter]][[https://www.emma.de/artikel/open-letter-chancellor-olaf-scholz-339499]] was then published in Emma magazine. The petition reads:
We welcome the fact that you had so far so carefully considered the risks: the risk of the war spreading within Ukraine; the risk of it spreading to the whole of Europe; indeed, the risk of a 3rd world war. We therefore hope that you will return to your original position and not supply, either directly or indirectly, further heavy weapons to Ukraine. On the contrary, we urge you to do everything you can to help bring about a ceasefire as soon as possible; a compromise that both sides can accept….
We are convinced, Chancellor, that the head of Germany’s government in particular can make a decisive contribution to a solution that will stand up in the eyes of history. Not only in view of our present (economic) power, but also in view of our historical responsibility—and in the hope of a common peaceful future.
German Feminist Leader Warns of Danger of World War III
If Germany delivers offensive weapons to Ukraine, “We must ask ourselves whether we are not escalating the drama,” leading German feminist Alice Schwarzer, the initiator of the April 29 Open Letter urging Scholz to take the lead in diplomatic negotiations, rather than pumping weapons into Ukraine, told Deutschlandfunk radio May 2. The danger of getting into a Third World War is real, she said, adding:
We have reached a point … where Germany—and all of Western Europe—risks becoming a party to the war…. We wonder how compelling the further destruction of Ukraine and the thousands of deaths are.
She also referred to surveys which found that half of Germans polled were against the delivery of more weapons. This is something that needs to be discussed, she said.
The 28 signers of the Open Letter, who are all very different, were counting on more intensive negotiations to end the Ukraine war, with a non-military solution, Schwarzer said. The point, she said, is to keep the high price for Ukrainians small. “We’re sitting here on the balcony looking down into the battlefield. We’re not dying.”
She had also warned of the danger of nuclear war on the May 1 Bild talk show, “The Right Questions”, saying: “For the first time in my life, I am seriously convinced of the danger of a new world war.” While helping Ukrainians defend themselves was the right thing to do, she said, it was a matter of “drawing a very difficult line between support for defense and the supply of weapons that can be understood by Mr. Putin as weapons of aggression.”
If the Russian leadership describes the danger of a conflict waged with nuclear weapons as very concrete, “then we simply have to take that seriously and weigh it very carefully,” Schwarzer said on the talk show. At the same time, she warned against overstating Ukraine’s “admirable” military successes against Putin’s forces. “Such selective victories are one thing. Bringing the world’s second nuclear power to its knees in its entirety is something else.”
Signers of Open Letter to Scholz Strike Back Against Witch-Hunters
The signers of the Open Letter to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, calling for negotiations over Ukraine, and for putting a stop to sending heavy arms, are coming under heavy attack. But they are striking back.
Peter Weibel, an Austrian art manager and co-initiator of the Open Letter, told a rather hostile interviewer at the Vienna daily, Der Standard, May 4:
The rhetoric with which the signatories of the letter are showered is not reminiscent of the free world, but rather of Russian state television, which also showers its opponents with ridicule and scorn. The warning of a third world war is admittedly based on a hypothesis. We know that today’s nuclear weapons are much more sophisticated than they were in 1945. Today, it is possible to detonate graphite bombs, which are used to render electrical installations such as power plants, substations, or overhead power lines inoperable for a limited time by short-circuiting them. So nuclear strikes are quite realistic because of their local limitation and targeting, precisely because they no longer trigger an uncontrolled, devastating conflagration.
The chapter on the eastward expansion of NATO is the crucial point in my eyes…. Again and again, it is doubted whether Gorbachev was actually promised at the dissolution of the USSR and promised at the reunification of Germany that there would be no eastward expansion of NATO. And again and again, documents emerge that prove exactly this promise. When Putin is accused of clinging to great power dreams, it obscures the realization that his phantom pain is a broken promise by the West, not the loss of the Soviet republics.
Science journalist Ranga Yogeshwar, another prominent signer of the Open Letter, defended his views May 4, to Global Happenings, saying:
It is not about leaving Ukraine alone or that it should surrender…. The letter is about a level of escalation where something could happen through heavy weapons that we all don’t want to happen…. It won’t be that one fine day Ukraine will stand up and say, “We won the war.” Likewise, the reverse will not happen either…. [That the war can be ended only through negotiations —ed.]
We must not give in to the illusion that there is no negotiating with them, and we supply weapons. In the end, that will lead to the complete destruction of Ukraine…. Russia and Ukraine must be given the feeling that both players will emerge from the war as victors.
Signer Juli Zeh defended her signature, warning in a May 3 interview with the Die Zeit weekly, that every single day that this war continues increases the risk of escalation and can lead to a “worst-case scenario for Europe and the world…. For decades we have been looking at the fatal risk of a third world war and doing everything we could to prevent it. In the meantime, there is talk about the ways in which ‘a third world war could be made manageable.’ We must not ignore that!”
Asked by Die Zeit whether it was “not simply psychological warfare” when Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov described the danger of a nuclear war as “serious and real” on April 25, Zeh replied:
The dangerous thing is precisely that not even Putin is the master of events. Escalations have a momentum of their own. An unwanted entry into war by NATO states can occur at any time, with all the consequences. All it takes is for a bomb to land on the wrong side of a border. Whether Lavrov’s statement was psychological warfare then no longer matters.
Cabaret artist Dieter Nuhr posted on Facebook that the attacks against him for signing the Letter were “inappropriate, irrational and, unfortunately, partly mendacious,” and that the real content of the Letter had been “twisted beyond recognition.” It is becoming common “for those who disagree to be devalued through labeling and defamation.” He said:
[that] about half of the population of the Federal Republic of Germany supports what was demanded in the Open Letter…. Whoever wages war must know to what end. So far, no one has been able to tell me what that goal is. No one has been able to explain to me how the delivery of heavy weapons could help bring peace to Ukraine.
Saxony Supports Call for Ukrainian Ceasefire
Saxony’s Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer, who is also the CDU’s Federal Vice President, has defended the public critics of German arms deliveries to Ukraine. Bild-Zeitung reported May 3 that Kretschmer had told a May 2 joint CDU presidium meeting in Düsseldorf that “The open letter [by prominent artists and publicists —ed.] to the Chancellor does not represent the majority of published opinion, but definitely the majority opinion of society—including mine.”
Speaking to saechsische.de, that same evening, Kretschmer reiterated that many people share the concerns and worries described in the Letter saying:
This must be dealt with seriously…. On such an important issue as war and peace, which affects us all, a broad spectrum of opinions should be included in the discussion. It needs to be seriously addressed.
According to the report, Kretschmer went on to say that there is every reason to help Ukraine, even with weapons if necessary. “But the point is to force a ceasefire. Russia will be a reality even after that.”
Open Letter in Germany: Culture Is Peace, Peace Needs Culture!
Another Open Letter, this one addressed to German Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, the German government, and Federal Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid, Luise Amtsberg, was published May 6 by Krass & Konkret. The list of 28 initial signers includes authors, singers, and people working in theater.
Author Wolfgang Bittner, a VIP signer of the Schiller Institute’s “Call to Convoke an International Conference to Establish a New Security and Development Architecture for All Nations,” and speaker at the Schiller Institute’s April 9 conference on the same subject was one of the initiators of this letter, which was signed by more than 1,000 people in the first two days of its publication.
The Open Letter begins:
With this open letter, we, being creators of culture and art, being friends and supporters of culture and art, turn to politics and the public with concern and dismay, because we feel that the country’s democracy and free society is getting into a dangerous imbalance. An indicator of this is the shocking escalation of discrimination and degradation of Russian-speaking citizens in our country, that is continuously escalating practically every day, this in the Germany which was a pioneer of the European Union.
The letter expresses dismay about the Russian intervention in Ukraine, but says the signers are ashamed by the German reaction to the war. Putin should end the war, but it is obvious that the German and European “reactionary excesses” provoked the opposite, or at least helped delay pacification instead of bringing it about.
The writers say that Russian-German associations that should foster economic, humanitarian, and cultural relations between the two countries are about to face breakdown; German and European companies that contribute with their trade relations to neighborly relations are ordered by the government into ruin. Along with the “unabated sanctions against Russia, inflation, the demise of the German economy and therefore German prosperity are considered collateral damage,” while at the same time the weapons business is booming, and the armament lobby is rubbing their hands with glee.
More disturbing signals are coming from the cultural arena: contracts with the Russian operatic soprano Anna Netrebko and Russian conductor Valery Gergiev were canceled because they didn’t distance themselves sufficiently enough from their homeland. Although German basic law guarantees the freedom of speech and opinion, meritorious people in the arts community are forced to adopt the party line, or be fired. Russian classics such as those by Alexander Pushkin and Leo Tolstoy are banned from school curricula all across Europe, and performances of Russian compositions and theater plays are verboten (forbidden), or canceled in anticipatory obedience. People are threatened, humiliated, their belongings destroyed; they are berated in social media and asked to leave the country. Russians are not attended anymore in grocery stores and restaurants.
The State Minister and Commissioner for Immigration, Refugees, and Integration, and also Anti-Racism Commissioner, Reem Alabali-Radovan, is quoted as saying that harassment, including of children in school, makes people afraid of speaking Russian in public, while it is reported by the Federal Crime Office (BKA) that “in the country of the Poets and Thinkers” there are 200 weekly crimes against Russian-speaking citizens. Alabali-Radovan noted:
For critically thinking and culturally interested Europeans, decisions such as that of the World Federation of International Music Competitions to remove the International Tchaikovsky Competition from its ranks, are also completely inexplicable. After all, this is not only one of the world’s most important classical music competitions, but also a global mediator of humanistic values, whose significance extends far beyond the borders of the country. For example, when the outstanding American pianist Van Cliburn won the competition in Moscow in the middle of the Cold War [in 1958 —ed.], it was an act of peacemaking through art….
We do not want to accept that culture, as one of the highest human goods, is strangled, abused, and robbed of its peacemaking and people-binding powers.
Will book-burning in public places be the next step of “cultured Europe”? In a peace process between Russia and Ukraine, it is important and in the interest of everyone to foster common interests, not complete and irreconcilable division. The signers conclude:
We, the undersigned, demand an immediate rethinking of German politics and German media, to counteract the rampant Russophobia in Germany and Europe.
We ask the Federal President and the Federal Constitutional Court to take note of the violations of the human right to freedom of expression and opinion, to stop them and to protect law-abiding citizens from hate attacks.
We demand that authorities and other state agencies refrain from fomenting ethnic hatred against Russians, everything Russian and Russia-related.
Instead, all possible measures must be taken against incitement and criminal incidents, in order to continue to give space to the exchange of cultures and their inherent peacemaking forces.
Peace begins within us. Peace is not a one-way street, but war is always a dead end! Peace must be made for the peoples, not against them.
Culture is peace—peace needs culture.
Volkswagen CEO Calls for End of War, Negotiations on Peace in Ukraine
Herbert Diess, the boss of Volkswagen called May 9 for the EU to pursue a negotiated settlement to the war in Ukraine for the sake of the continent’s economy. “I think we should do the utmost to really stop this war and get back to negotiations and get back to trying to open up the world again,” he told the Financial Times’ Future of the Car summit. “I think we should not give up on open markets and free trade, and I think we should not give up on negotiating and trying to settle.” Diess has previously warned that a drawn-out war would do more damage to Germany and Europe than the COVID-19 pandemic.
German Website Runs VIPS Memo to Biden
The German website NachDenkSeiten published the May 1 memorandum to President Biden from the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), in German, under the headline “Putin’s Nuclear Warning Is Not an Empty Threat.” The site’s editor-in-chief, Albrecht Müller, formerly chief of planning for SPD Chancellors Willy Brandt and Helmut Schmidt and a representative of the SPD in the Bundestag from 1987 to 1994, prefaced that memo with his own, pithy commentary, which, in turn, was translated and published in English by VIPS member Ray McGovern on his website. Müller wrote:
According to Ray McGovern, this is probably the most important memo of the VIPS since the exposure of Powell’s lies at the UN. This is what veteran U.S. intelligence officers think and warn the U.S. President in a memo.
Under the subhead “From ‘Nie Wieder Krieg!’ to ‘War? No Problem!’” Müller wrote in his conclusion:
After the end of the horrible Second World War there was at least a large consensus: War Never Again! (Nie Wieder Krieg!) This avowal came also from people who were connected with the Nazis and/or with the German military. The shock of the many killed, the destroyed cities, and the millions of refugees at least had the result that the lust for war and for the military shrunk to almost zero. Nie Wieder Krieg! was the common watchword. By the way, even in 1980 there was clearly a majority for this attitude, and the SPD on May 11 of that year won the Landtag [state legislature] election in Nordrhein-Westphalen with an absolute majority precisely with this avowal: Nie Wieder Krieg!
Today that is pretty much forgotten. We have become accustomed to this reality that the Bundeswehr has been transformed from an army for defense into an instrument of military intervention abroad, fumbling around outside the NATO area. Now we talk about and admit to delivering weapons, training Ukrainian soldiers by the U.S.A. on German soil, ammunition for tanks, etc.
McGovern, in reporting on the Müller article, listed six pro-war articles on the front page of the Sunday edition of his regional newspaper Die RheinPfalz am Sonntag for May 1, and said:
What is being done here on a single page of a newspaper is an example of what many media in Germany are doing these days….
This is dangerous because it systematically grinds down resistance to wars. The latest polls showing great admiration for German Foreign Minister [Annalena] Baerbock and her [Green] party colleague and Economics [and Climate Action] Minister [Robert] Habeck indicate how popular the advocacy of confrontation has become. We have come a long way from the erstwhile consensus on “Never Again War.” Today’s politicians no longer have to take into account a popular opinion favoring peace.
It is good that at least veteran officers of U.S. intelligence agencies are warning against war. This is how far we have come: The leaders of the Green Party are playing with war. Intelligence veterans are warning against it.
Greek Open Letter Against Government’s Ukraine Policy
An Open Letter is now circulating in Greece addressed to the Greek government protesting its shamelessly pro-NATO policy on Ukraine. It has 159 signatures, including many university professors, retired diplomats, two former government ministers and a very high-ranking, recently retired general.
Titled, “Protest the Attitude of the Political System and the Media on Ukraine,” they slam the unprecedented propaganda campaign the public has been subjected to, saying:
Although the situation in the war zone for the past eight years was a prelude to what we are experiencing today, although we have witnessed attacks by our allied countries on various fronts (Cyprus, Serbia, Iraq, Libya, Syria…), this is the first time that the attacker has been convicted, while the campaign has reached the limits of official racism. Ideological terrorism in the media is reminiscent of McCarthyism at its worst….
The letter characterizes the “unbelievable” media campaign as “rampant barbarism that, among other things, demonizes the Russian leadership” and leads to a “self-manipulation of Europe, to its complete submission to U.S.-NATO plans, while the unthinkable possibility of a global nuclear catastrophe comes closer.”
Significantly, given tensions in Greek-Turkish relations, the Letter contrasts “the Turkish counter-example of a balanced attitude” with the fact that the Greek government:
decided to destroy longstanding Greek-Russian relations, to be indifferent to the unknown fate of the Black Sea Hellenism, to endanger the energy and defense security of our homeland, to undermine even the peace in our country—not for Cyprus, but for a province of Ukraine, Donbas, defending at all costs a country that has never helped us….
Those who understand the national interest of Greece and not in Euro-Atlantic terms, those who learned about war from Thucydides … and those who know who the real enemies of Greece are, feel that this government, by its attitude to the issue, offends them, poses a huge risk, and certainly does not represent them.
Among the noted signers are former Associate Minister of Finance Nadia Valavani, former Deputy Minister of National Defense Kostas Isychos, both of whom served in the previous government led by Syriza; Lt. Gen. (ret.) Athanasios Tsouganatos, who retired in 2019, and Ambassador ad honorem Leonidas Chrysanthopoulos, who has also signed the Schiller Institute petition.
Greek Syriza European Parliament Member Urges Ceasefire in Ukraine
Greek Member of European Parliament Dimitrios Papadimoulis, from the Syriza party, argued that sanctions against Russia will not stop the war in Ukraine, but only diplomatic efforts to arrange a ceasefire and a settlement can. Papadimoulis, who also serves as Vice-President of the European Parliament, told the Greek media outlet N that the EU should focus on a peaceful resolution of the war in Ukraine and not so much on the need for its enlargement, and bringing Ukraine into the EU. He wrote:
Sanctions have proven to be ineffective in bringing a quick end to the war…. So now, the European leadership must prioritize initiatives to end the war as quickly as possible in order to achieve de-escalation.
According to a report, in the Greek daily, Naftemporiki, he added:
I do not imagine a future with zero economic cooperation with Russia. I think that after the end of the war in which the EU has an interest in working, the channels of communication, no matter how difficult it may seem now, should remain open, to a pan-European security system and mutually beneficial cooperation. To bet not on the increase of armaments, but on their mutual reduction. It sounds utopian, but it is the common sense and interest of all European peoples…. [To the question of sanctions against Russia]
Syriza, with statements by [party leader] Alexis Tsipras, has characterized the sanctions as reasonable, but at the same time we do not consider that to be the solution. The solution is a ceasefire, peace and de-escalation in both armaments and sanctions.
Swedish Government Drive to Join NATO Cracking
By the time this issue of EIR is published, the Swedish government may have formally requested that Sweden join NATO. That decision will be contested, however; opposition to the Swedish government’s drive to fast-track NATO membership is shaping up fast.
The NATO ratification procedure is like a coup d’état, overriding the democratic processes for both the nation and within the governing Social Democratic Workers’ Party itself. The party leadership has measures in play to fast-track approving NATO membership. They sent out a questionnaire to its organization, preparatory to a party board meeting as early as May 15 to decide the party position, for or against joining NATO, with the aim of overriding the current party policy of nonalignment, reaffirmed by their congress last year. This decision would then override any debate in the upcoming national elections Sept. 11. The one-party minority government also planned to override the Parliament by making the decision an exclusively government matter. The need for at least some parliamentary control, however, was raised by even the pro-NATO nonsocialist opposition, which now has ensured a NATO debate in the parliament.
Against this hurried process, Left party leader Nooshi Dadgostar made a clarion call for a mobilization against any Swedish NATO membership April 28 in a National Public Radio interview, and demanded a national referendum. This turned the traditional May 1 demonstrations for the Left party into a huge rallying point against NATO, with a record turnout of 25,000 participants in Stockholm, and huge turnouts in other cities.
Sporadic opposition was even visible in the May 1 demonstrations of the Social Democrats, with some demonstrators holding handmade posters against joining NATO. The same morning the leading Social Democrat and former minister of the Palme era, Pierre Schori, wrote an op-ed in the Stockholm daily, Aftonbladet, calling for the party members to “Say No to NATO.” He pointed out that the issue of nuclear weapons was not even mentioned in the discussion papers sent out to party members.
The following week, the internal control by the party leadership began to crack. The Social Democrat women’s organization, the Association of Social Democratic Woman, with its leader, Minister for Climate and the Environment, Annika Strandhäll, came out against NATO, as did also the youth organization, the Swedish Social Democratic Youth League (SSU), and the local party organization of the city of Trollhättan, based in the auto industrial cluster in western Sweden. The two national party organizations are absolutely crucial elements for the party to conduct any election campaign.
If the party leadership sticks to any pro-NATO line they will face a huge challenge from the Left party. New demonstrations against NATO took place May 7-8 weekend by many parts of the Left, and also some networks close to the right-wing populist Sweden Democrats.
Already, the rise of pro-NATO opinion in the polls since the February 24 Russian entrance into Ukraine, has been broken. In the wake of the expanded Ukraine war, the pro-NATO opinion from the normal 35%, shot up to 51%, but is now dropping, and pegged at 47%. Some 25% are against NATO, down from normally 40%. The undecided increased 5 percentage points.
On May 13, the Finnish President and Prime Minister announced that their country will apply to join NATO. Approval is being rushed through Parliament, and Finnish President Sauli Niinistö intends to visit Sweden May 17-18, hoping for a common decision of the two nations to apply for NATO membership.
But in the current Swedish debate, some leftist politicians have pointed out that this is not the first time the two nations have a different military policy. In 1940, Finland, during World War II, made an alliance with Nazi Germany and joined the Operation Barbarossa attack on the Soviet Union taking part in the long siege of Leningrad. This was disastrous for Finland, which had to make a separate, costly peace treaty, when the war shifted.
If Finland and/or Sweden join NATO, a much worse catastrophe is looming in a huge strategic crisis, like a Cuban Missile Crisis in reverse.
Former NATO Leader Gen. Mini:
Italian Gen. Fabio Mini (ret.), former commander of the NATO-led KFOR mission in Kosovo (2002-2003), called for NATO to be dissolved because it has become a threat to world security, warning that we are already on the brink of the third world war. He made his dramatic call in a May 7 interview with AmbienteWeb, writing:
From an operational point of view, and considering the nature and multiplicity of the actions taken against our adversaries, we are in the middle of a global conflict. The alignments between the West and the East speak clearly, and just because we are only given the “military” picture of this conflict, does not mean that the war is merely military. The various wars overlap and include operations in Ukraine such as economic, financial, cyber, demographic, information, and propaganda wars—these are not metaphors. They are real wars that produce greater damage than conventional warfare. And they are global.…
[NATO] Articles 5 and 6 on so-called mutual defense refer to the territories of individual member states threatened by armed attack. Ukraine is not a member state, but we are sending weapons and whatnot.
Article 7 states that the treaty does not and shall not be considered in any way detrimental to the rights and obligations under the charter to the parties that are members of the United Nations or the primary responsibility of the Security Council for the maintenance of international peace and security. Russia, like Serbia, is a part of the United Nations, and NATO’s policy has harmed its rights, compromising peace and security throughout the world.
Finally, I believe that the European NATO countries have renounced that all states are to be treated on an equal footing, not because of the United States, but because of their own choice and convenience. The United States is doing its job and protecting its own interests. These interests never coincided with those of Europe, not even during the Cold War, when a hot war was being prepared that would have taken place in Europe and not in the U.S., where it was clear that the U.S. would not have lifted a finger to save Europe except if the continental United States had been directly attacked.
No European state objected to NATO’s call to arms in areas outside its responsibility and for reasons not pertaining to Europe. Nor did anyone object to certain countries being invited to join NATO, that did not meet requirements, but brought with them a heavy burden of insecurity. We were disloyal to the United States by not pulling them up short when they wished to do things that made no sense.
You can show your loyalty to friends by moderating them, not by egging them on or passively supporting them. I believe that at the end of the day, a restructured and revised NATO would also benefit the Americans, with or without their participation….
NATO in the current configuration should be dissolved to create a new regional security structure more closely linked to the United Nations rather than to a single member state, and more representative of Europe in the field of international security management.
In fact, NATO prevents Europe from having its own defense and security capacity; for over 20 years it has no longer been a defensive alliance; it has become a security threat in Europe; before the interests of its allies, it puts those of the United States and even those of states that incite war at the expense of European security.
Each of these reasons is justified by a blatant violation of the [April 4, 1949 North] Atlantic Treaty, [establishing NATO]. So if you want to continue ignoring these reasons, it would be at least honest to completely review the terms of the treaty. In fact, Article 1 commits the parties to respect the charter of the United Nations and to settle any international dispute that jeopardizes peace and security by peaceful means. Enlargement was immediately an international controversy that jeopardized security and peace.”
Italian General: Sweden and Finland in NATO Is Destabilizing
Gen. (ret.) Leonardo Tricarico, former head of the Italian Air Force and head of the Intelligence Culture and Strategic Analysis (ICSA) strategic think-tank, told Italian national TV La7 that membership of Sweden and Finland in NATO is a destabilizing proposition. On May 8, before Finland’s official announcement, Tricarico chastised NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg for his statement that the move would stabilize the North Sea theater. Gen. Tricarico responded:
The NATO Secretary General has led to a misunderstanding on this, because he still speaks about Sweden and Finland, making an evaluation that is absolutely contrary to common sense. When he says that membership of Sweden and Finland contributes to security of the North Atlantic as per Art. 10, I ask you: does membership of Sweden and Finland contribute to security of the North Atlantic region or does it do exactly the opposite, i.e., help destabilize an already explosive situation? Therefore, I believe that we should go back to respecting rules, because if you break them every day, in an international context already without rules, already compromised, I let you imagine what the consequences would be.
Gen. Bertolini Insists Stoltenberg Should Finally Shut Up
Gen. Marco Bertolini (ret.), former Commander of the Italian Army’s Joint Operations Command for Special Forces Operations (2004-2008), not for the first time, slammed NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg for his recent statements, such as, “NATO members will never accept the annexation of Crimea.” In an interview with Il Fatto Quotidiano, Bertolini demanded that Stoltenberg shut up on things about which he has no competence. Bertolini explained:
We must presume that Crimea is an indispensable resource for Putin, because it is mainly inhabited by Russians, and above all because it guarantees access to the Black Sea. Stoltenberg’s statement demonstrates that Crimea is the most sensitive point in the question. There is a problem: Stoltenberg cannot speak for Zelenskyy. He is the Secretary General of NATO, which is a supranational organization and for a starter, he cannot even speak for single countries. Then, we have the small detail that Ukraine is not part of NATO. Certainly, it is not Stoltenberg who is the one who can impose conditions.
Bertolini is skeptical about the possibility that European leaders will be able to achieve anything with the U.S., including in that group, Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi in his May 10 visit to Washington. They behave like “small scholars in front of the Professor,” he says. “Since Americans don’t speak about peace, our leaders do not take initiatives either.” The General commented that the only one who sticks his neck out is the Pope.
Bertolini was referring to Pope Francis’ May 3 interview with Italian daily Corriere Della Sera, where the pontiff speculated that maybe it was “NATO barking at Russia’s gate” that led Putin to launch the current military operation in Ukraine. “I have no way of telling whether his rage has been provoked,” he reasons, “but I suspect it was maybe facilitated by the West’s attitude.”
Other European Resistance
President Vučić Asserts: Serbia
Will Not Join NATO
In a special address to the nation May 6, Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vučić said his country will not join NATO: “Serbia is a neutral country and it will remain militarily neutral, if there is no majority in favor of a different decision. I will support military neutrality,” Vučić said, despite the fact that nearly all of Serbia’s neighbors are NATO members. “It is our wish to stay out of NATO and we will retain this status.”
Seventy-five Percent of Austrians Oppose Joining NATO
When Austrians were asked in a recent survey if their country should join NATO, 75% of respondents replied in the negative, with another 14% in favor of such a scenario—according to a poll conducted earlier this month by Vienna’s Institute for Opinion Polls and Data Analysis, which was commissioned by the Austrian Press Agency.
Austria has maintained a neutral status since the pullout of Allied forces in 1955, abstaining from joining NATO in the ensuing Cold War, up to the present time. Austria is a member of NATO’s “Partnerships for Peace” program, which ironically includes Russia, as well as Belarus, Ukraine, and many of the Central Asian nations, formerly in the Soviet Union. NATO’s Partnerships for Peace also includes Finland and Sweden, which are now considering abandoning their neutral status in favor of NATO membership, as immediate neighbors, further aggravating Russia’s security concerns.
Austria’s neutral status was argued by commentators as a model for Ukraine in the period leading up to Russia’s special military operation. In a question related to the issue of neutrality in general, the poll in Austria also asked respondents whether Ukraine should be let into the European Union—46% of Austrians said they opposed Kyiv’s accession, with another 38% indicating that they would support it.”
Lula Da Silva: Stop Putin-Hating Campaign, Start Negotiations
Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, now leading the polls for the October 2022 presidential election, insisted in a wide-ranging interview published May 4 in Time magazine, that world leaders, President Biden, President Zelenskyy, and the EU cut out the games, and get serious about negotiations.
He said that Putin should not have invaded Ukraine, but, he said:
It is not just Putin who is guilty. The U.S. and the EU are also guilty. What was the reason for the Ukraine invasion? NATO? Then the U.S. and Europe should have said: “Ukraine won’t join NATO.” That would have solved the problem…[On Biden] I don’t think he made the right decision on the war between Russia and Ukraine. The U.S. has a lot of political clout, and Biden could have avoided the war, not incited it. He could have talked more, participated more. Biden could have taken a plane to Moscow to talk to Putin. This is the kind of attitude you expect from a leader. To intervene so things don’t go off the rails. I don’t think he did that.
Asked whether Biden should have made concessions to Putin, Lula responded,
No, [but recalling how the Americans resolved the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1961:] Biden could have said, “We’re going to speak a bit more. We don’t want Ukraine in NATO, full stop.” That’s not a concession…. [the Europeans] could have said: “No, now is not the moment for Ukraine to join the EU, we’ll wait.” They didn’t have to encourage the confrontation.
Lula also rejected the idea that the EU/NATO tried to speak to Russia, saying:
No, they didn’t. The conversations were very few. If you want peace, you have to have patience. They could have sat at a negotiating table for 10, 15, 20 days, a whole month to find a solution. I think dialogue only works when it is taken seriously.
Lula ridiculed Ukrainian President Zelenskyy, saying he could have put off the NATO and EU discussion and sat down to talk. Instead, he gave constant TV addresses and spoke before many foreign parliaments, “as if he were waging a political campaign. He should be at the negotiating table…. He did want war.” If he hadn’t, he would have negotiated more. The former President of Brazil added:
I don’t think anyone is trying to help create peace. People are stimulating hate against Putin. That won’t solve things! We need to reach an agreement. But people are encouraging the war. You are encouraging this guy [Zelenskyy] and then he thinks he is the cherry on your cake. We should be having a serious conversation. “OK, you were a nice comedian. But let us not make war for you to show up on TV.”