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The Choice: Is the World as Close to Peace, as It Is to War?

June 29, 2023, 2022 (EIRNS)—On Friday, June 30, the Schiller Institute-founded International Peace Coalition will resume its deliberations. These weekly meetings are occurring at a time when consultations between the Western and Eastern Churches are ongoing, largely in the form of Vatican diplomacy; China continues its diplomatic offensive in Europe, particularly Italy; and Brazil and several nations of the African continent deepen their commitment to assisting in finding a way to end the world’s ongoing wars and planetary conflicts, beginning with Ukraine. Last night, a subsidiary grouping, some of whose members are associated with the IPC, played the entirety of the JFK American University speech for an audience of about 40, using it as a springboard for discussion of what actions, including encouraging mass viewership of the speech during the upcoming holiday weekend, should be taken by the International Peace Coalition over the next days and weeks to inspire the United States to reverse course, for the world’s sake, avoiding a humiliating defeat resulting not in a “victory,” but in the very dissolution of Ukraine, or the usage of thermonuclear weapons in the very near future—as a growing number of both Russia and Western commentators are now suggesting.

While the ancient author of the Old Testament’s Ecclesiastes may have been correct that “The perverse are hard to be corrected, and the number of fools is infinite,” he did not go on to answer, to any satisfaction, the question: “And therefore, what?” That author did not have to face the reality of global human extinction in a thermonuclear war. He might, in that case, have driven himself to conceive of a new infinity, rather than settle for “all is vanity” as a final worldview.

Sometimes, as is the case now, single, extraordinary individuals, or small groups of individuals, must change the foolish course of a foolish humanity, despite the ostensible impossibility of doing precisely that. It is to that task that Americans must devote themselves now—not in November of 2024—in order to ever reactivate the institution of the American Presidency to work for good, despite the present occupant of the White House.

The present war is not waiting for humanity to catch up. The human cost on the battlefields of Ukraine is horrific. For every Russian soldier killed, ten Ukrainians die. Feeding that war with more weapons now, after last weekend, is as senseless and barbaric as the ritualistic feeding of children to the Canaanite god Moloch. What does that tell you about those in the Congress calling for an increase in money for weapons, even if it blows up the recent federal budget negotiations?

The moral indifference of the trans-Atlantic world—its lack of any sense of shame—was on full, lurid display, in the disastrous circumstances that shaped the near-tragedy of the Prigozhin mutiny, a tawdry side-show that the Congressional “Gang of Eight” stupidly encouraged—at least by omission. Were they too silly to understand, that if they were being briefed about the “Prigozhin option” days before it was to occur, that that also meant that the Russian government was at least aware of that threat? Who advised to not contact the Putin regime about this, given the potential thermonuclear threat that a mutiny, coup or civil war in Russia would have posed to the world? Isn’t it clear that further deepening of distrust must lead, at some point down the line, to life-threatening strategic miscalculation? That was exactly what President Vladimir Putin went out of his way to defuse in the first hours of Tuesday, September 11, 2001.

Contrast the difference today, two decades later, with Vladimir Putin’s “first phone call” to President George W. Bush just after the 9/11 assault on the Presidency, and his message that he had instructed the Russian strategic nuclear rocket forces to not go to highest alert status. Remember that President George Bush said of Putin, “I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy, I was able to get a sense of his soul”? (Bush later repudiated the statement.)

Remember when Putin and Bush in November of 2001, just two months after 9/11, jointly visited a high school in Crawford, Texas? On that occasion, President Putin said: “Being here I can feel the will of these people, the will to cooperate with the Russian Federation, the will to cooperate with Russia, and I can assure you that the Russian people fully share this commitment and are also committed to fully cooperating with the American people.”

This is a time, as in October of 1962, for all independently-thinking people to dispel the tragic and fatalistic elements that may cripple their own thinking, in order to act to successfully reverse this nation’s self-doomed course. Reading and circulating JFK’s American University speech this July 4, and throughout July into August 6, is a form of psychological “declaration of independence” from our current delusional, “colonized” state of mind.

For example, take the delusion, largely emanating from British and American media, that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government, in fact strengthened by his successful rapid suppression of a June 24 mutiny involving Prigozhin and his “Private Military Company Wagner” group, is “about to fall.” Compare that to the reality that has begun to register about the doomed-to-fail Ukrainian “Spring/Summer counter-offensive.” As journalist Seymour Hersh wrote yesterday, “We now know that the chronically unstable Prigozhin’s revolt fizzled out within a day, as he fled to Belarus, with a no-prosecution guarantee, and his mercenary army was mingled into the Russian army. There was no march on Moscow, nor was there a significant threat to Putin’s rule.

“Pity the Washington columnists and national security correspondents who seem to rely heavily on official backgrounders with White House and State Department officials. Given the published results of such briefings, those officials seem unable to look at the reality of the past few weeks, or the total disaster that has befallen the Ukraine military’s counter-offensive....”

Apart from war, how do we get Americans to once again “choose this time and place to discuss a topic ... the most important topic on Earth: world peace” and then fight for that peace, now, 60 years after JFK spoke those words? We must take back our government. How do we do that? The United States Senate campaign of Diane Sare is showing how to answer that question, through its own interventions on several fronts, and its insistence that the name for peace is development, as that development process has now been embraced in particular and in approximation, by the nations of the Global Majority. We are standing up for principle, and against partisanship.

We must, in a real sense, do what was done when the country was founded: carry out the most profound, public discourse with all of the American people, and then strike out in a new direction. The JFK American University speech, and the various uses it is being put to, is providing an emotional connection to “pre-coup America.” Our campaign is to return to the commitment of the Declaration of Independence. “We hold these truths to be self evident—that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these rights are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness; that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their powers from the just consent of the governed, that whenever any government becomes destructive of those ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation upon such principles and organizing its Powers in such form as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

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