A Tentative Step Back From The Abyss Reflects Sober Assessment Of The Danger Of Nuclear War

by: Harley Schlanger
June 18 -- Given the harsh words and shrill tone from the Biden team preceding his meeting with Russian President Putin on June 16, it seemed realistic that both sides were lowering expectations in pre-summit pronouncements.  In the days before the summit, Biden met with G7 leaders and NATO officials to create an impression of a united front against the "threats" posed by Russia and China.  His spokesmen repeatedly painted a picture of an "Alliance of Democratic States" prepared to confront "autocratic regimes", in defense of an arbitrary "Rules-Based Order" (RBO) unified by adherence to "western values" -- values which are under attack due to the "malign intent" allegedly demonstrated by Russia and China.  

Following the NATO summit in Brussels, Biden said, "Russia and China are both seeking to drive a wedge in our transatlantic solidarity...but NATO is rock solid and unshakeable." In the final communique, Russia is repeatedly identified as an "aggressor" and China as presenting a "systemic challenge", both posing a threat to the RBO. In the face of this threat, it states that NATO "stands by its international commitments", especially regarding Russia, which was accused of continuing "to breach the values, principles, trust and commitment outlined" in the documents defining the Russian-NATO relationship.

“The U.S. is back,” Biden enthused time and again, and the others agreed, referring to the fact that the G7, in the past, had been able to shape the global agenda, based on U.S.military and economic power. The apparent unity achieved in these two summits would allow him to confidently "draw red lines" in his meeting with Putin.

Yet, cutting through all the platitudes in the flood of words served up by participants at the G7 and NATO summits was a simple statement issued by the Chinese Embassy in London: “The days when global decisions were dictated by a small group of countries are long gone.” This comment in particular shreds one of the conceits bandied about by members of the G7 “Club”, that this summit marked a return to “multilateralism,” highlighted by the presence of the U.S. after the Trump interregnum. To put things in perspective, when the G7 was founded, in 1975, the member countries represented 80% of the world’s GDP; but today, it is just over 30%, according to Statista.com. In terms of population, the seven countries account for less than 10% of the world's total. Thus, while the “seven dwarfs” (as Lyndon LaRouche called them) made a show of unity in Cornwall, there were legitimate concerns over their ability to impose their will on the world, and underneath the surface, disagreements emerged, especially on how “tough” to be against China, exemplified by a push-back from Germany, France and Italy.

The demand that nations nonetheless submit to this new order discredits their claim of commitment to “multilateralism.” The proceedings of the G7 summit were shaped not in accordance with principles of international law, but by the arbitrary design of the financial, intelligence, security and diplomatic communities of London and Washington, in tandem with the think tanks and Non-Governmental Organizations financed by the same Military Industrial Complex making strategic decisions. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced months ago that the G7 would be the coming out party for “Global Britain”, a thinly-disguised new imperial order at the center of the RBO. The Biden team was not only fully in step, but has been claiming ownership of this concept.

Resounding "No" To Nuclear War

Given this background, it was perhaps a shock to the Russophobes that a "Presidential Joint Statement on Strategic Stability" issued after the summit included the exact language of a previous U.S.-Russian summit, between Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev in November 1985, which is credited by many as providing the basis for the peaceful resolution of the collapse of the Soviet Union. The Putin-Biden statement states, "Today, we reaffirm the principle that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought." Included in the statement is an agreement to establish a bilateral "Strategic Stability Dialogue" to address security issues facing both nations.

Other positive developments from the summit include the return of Ambassadors to each nation, after they had been recalled at the height of the recent crisis over Ukraine; Biden's reference to the Minsk protocol, indicating the prospect of a revival of diplomacy to resolve tensions regarding Ukraine, based on an agreement which continues to be sabotaged by Ukraine; and an agreement to begin "consultations on cybersecurity". The latter is a concession by Biden following Putin's denial that Russia is responsible for repeated cyber attacks on U.S. infrastructure, in response to repetition of "talking points" accusing Russia of sponsoring and protecting "cyber-terrorists" engaged in such attacks, from election "interference" in 2016 and 2020, to ransomware attacks on U.S. and allied corporations -- all made without a shred of evidence.

In separate press conferences, both leaders offered cautious assessments of their engagement. Putin said, "Our meeting took place in a constructive spirit," adding that "...both sides expressed their intention to understand each other and to seek common ground." Biden said, "The tone of the entire meeting was good and positive," and that he recognizes that Putin does not want a "Cold War."

This outcome was shaped by a series of events which preceded the week of summits, which represented a flank against the standard line of imperial geopolitical attacks. These include a two-hour May 19 meeting in Reykjavik between Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State Blinken, described as "productive and cordial", in finalizing the plans for the June 16 summit; and the announcement that day, by Blinken, of the waiver of sanctions against the lead company involved in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, and its CEO. Much condemned by U.S. media and war hawks in both U.S. political parties, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Ryabkov described this decision as "a glimmer of normalcy in American politics", creating the prospect of a "normalization of our bilateral ties." On May 25, a meeting occurred between Nikolai Patrushev, the Secretary of Russia's Security Council, and U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, which was reported favorably by both parties.

In addition were interventions by associations representing leading officials from U.S., NATO and Russian diplomatic, political and military circles, which explicitly called attention to the danger of nuclear war. Most important was the June 6 statement from the Euro-Atlantic Security Leadership Group. It begins, "Today, there is a growing risk of -- and a potentially catastrophic inattention to -- a security crisis involving an escalation or miscalculation leading to nuclear use." This statement, and a similar one from the American Committee for U.S.-Russian Accord, both call for reasserting the pledge from the Reagan-Gorbachev summit that a nuclear war "must never be fought." This theme was also the focus of several major conferences sponsored by the Schiller Institute, which included participants from the U.S., Russia, China and Europe.

The Empire Strikes Back! 

The response of the unified war party represented by the U.S and British mainstream media to these developments demonstrates their intent to undermine the fragile progress achieved. They badgered Biden over what they considered to be his softness in response to Putin, reminiscent of the hammering they gave President Trump following his summit with Putin in Helsinki in July 2018. Typical is the coverage by {Washington Post} scribbler E.J. Dionne, who wrote that the summit enhanced "Putin's profile" and "threatened to overshadow Biden's participation in summits with allies", which he characterized as a "broadly successful effort to refurbish the United States' alliances with its longtime friends in Europe." In an editorial, the same newspaper concluded that "there's no reason to believe the outcome will vary from previous U.S. attempts at cooperation with Mr. Putin."

More chilling was the {Economist} summary, speaking on behalf of the City of London neoliberals. Putin needs a form of detente with America, they charge, “so he can focus on the more urgent business of repressing dissent and rebuilding his empire.” It describes Putin as the leader of a kleptocratic regime “dominated by violent security services,...[one] that cares more about wealth than ideology, and is preoccupied with its own survival rather than a global contest with America let alone the interests of the Russian people.” Putin’s regime "thrives on disorder,” accusing Russia of having invaded neighboring countries, “poisoned its opponents, and waged cyber - and information warfare against the West.” So, the Economist warns, “the danger is that Mr. Biden’s tough-sounding rhetoric will be a substitute for tough action rather than a precursor of it.”

Likely in response to this pushback, Biden presented a less optimistic assessment on the plane ride home, pivoting to the theme of some of the War Hawks of playing off Russia against China. He asserted that Russia is in a "very, very difficult spot right now. They are beeing squeezed by China. They want desperately to remain a great power....You're in a situation where your economy is struggling, you need to move it in a more aggressive way." Though acknowledging that Putin does not want a Cold War with the U.S., he demeans Russia in language echoing that of his former boss, Barack Obama, by saying "they desperately want to be relevant."

The "LaRouche Doctrine"

The "baby-step" achieved in the Geneva summit will go nowhere without a radical break from the paradigm shaped by the tradition of British geopolitics and the imposition of neoliberal economics. The pledge to reject nuclear war, useful though it is, is meaningless if those who shaped the G7 and NATO summits as a confrontation between "The Alliance of Democratic States" and "autocratic regimes" continue to control the agenda. Looking back at the 1985 summit between Reagan and Gorbachev which originated that pledge, one cannot help but reflect on the opportunity presented by the collapse of the Soviet Union to achieve a lasting peace, which was lost, as the geopolitical divisions which created the Cold War persisted, concretized by the assertions of the Bush, Sr. regime that a "new world order" was coming into being, premised on the unilateral agenda imposed by U.S. military power.

Lyndon LaRouche (left) speaking to Ronald Reagan in 1980, in Concord, New Hampshire

In a prescient effort to counter the efforts of the geopoliticians to sustain their failed paradigm, Lyndon LaRouche drafted "The LaRouche Doctrine: Draft Memorandum of Agreement Between the U.S. and the USSR." Written in March 1984, one year after Reagan's adoption of LaRouche's formulation for the joint deployment by the U.S. and USSR of an anti-missile defense system, and a year before the Reagan-Gorbachev pledge to reject nuclear war, his proposals for building on a fragile basis is highly relevant for today, following the Putin-Biden summit.

He wrote, "The political foundation for durable peace must be: a) the unconditional sovereignty of each and all nation-states, and b) Cooperation among sovereign nation-states to the effect of promoting unlimited opportunities to participate in the benefits of technological progress, to the mutual benefit of each and all."


Green Swindle Pushed At Summits To Counter China

The two major points served up in the final communique of the G7 relate to economic/environmental policy and strategic issues. The first is the promotion of a “Clean Green Initiative” to counter China’s Belt-and-Road Initiative (BRI); the second, a strategic alliance to counter the “malign intent” of China and Russia, accused of using cyber-warfare and military threats, among other weapons, to disrupt the democracies. The former is premised on a financial swindle including carbon bonds and offsets, that is intended to generate a new bubble to support collapsing western banks, financial institutions and corporations. The Americans call it the “Build Back Better” initiative. However, it is not acceptable to nations which include the majority of the world’s population. The pledge of funds from member nations, and from “private” funds, will primarily go into the “Great Reset” promoted by the Davos billionaires, ostensibly to fight climate change. But it will do nothing to promote development in poorer nations, unlike what the BRI is doing.

As to their strategic alliance, which was also taken up in Brussels on June 14, it is largely based on expanding NATO into a global “political military” alliance, to deter the Chinese and Russian from attempting to establish competing empires to theirs. It intends to expand its ability, by 2030 (NATO's Agenda 2030), to intervene everywhere in the world, not only with military means, but also to counter perceived cyber-threats and even the effects of “climate change”. (Recall in that light that the head of Britain’s MI6 recently announced that His Majesty’s secret service was prepared to act as a global climate police force.) Just as with the “clean green initiative”, NATO’s plan for global domination will not work, but it could definitely escalate existing tensions and lead to a devastating world war.

In commenting on the posturing done in Cornwall and Brussels, China’s Global Times wrote that the G7 is not in a confrontation with China, but with reality, and with their own populations. Rather than defending “western values”, the G7 leaders gathered to protect rule by the few, and the fortunes made by those benefiting from their schemes -- and reports leaking out indicate there was some unease with this approach even within the Club, from Germany, France, Italy and Japan. This is especially evident relating to the attacks on China, which were somewhat toned down from what Joe Biden had insisted, given the concern that a more forceful condemnation might affect trade relations with one of the few economies in the world which has continued to grow.


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  • Joseph D'Urso
    commented 2021-06-17 10:42:32 -0400
    I don’t believe the Anglo-American war party was happy with these meetings. They were seeking a NATO commitment to extend itself into the Pacific region, but the long communique issued by NATO, while devoting paragraph after paragraph to the “Russian threat,” barely mentioned China. It was reported that both Macron and Merkel objected to inserting language which identified China as a threat to Europe, showing the NATO is severely divided on the China question. Meanwhile, China’s appreciative response to the comments made by President Putin to provocative questions from NBC’s Keir Simmons, made clear that the strategy of trying to divide Russia from China is a complete dead end.
  • Stephen P Kaylor
    commented 2021-06-16 15:14:15 -0400
    Now that the G-7 leaders share an oligarchical consensus – Blinken and Biden are attempting to establish a Unipolar imperium, enforced via the Rules Based Order. While this is their approach, the biggest thing is to provoke perpetual conflict with Russia, China etc. – that way the $2 thousand trillion bubble could not be replaced by a New Bretton Woods credit architecture !
  • Malene Robinson
    published this page in Harley Updates 2021-06-16 13:15:52 -0400