The follow-on continues along important lines of action furthered in China last weekend, when national delegations from many continents met on development initiatives, at the time that Russia and China announced their strategic document, “Joint Statement of the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China on the International Relations Entering a New Era and the Global Sustainable Development.” In this spirit, yesterday’s international webinar co-hosted by the Schiller Institute and Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) on the subject, “The Humanitarian Crisis in Afghanistan—Toward a Long-Term Solution”— took the dialogue on strategy to the highest level of the question of mission for humanity.
The war bloc faction is beating the drums at a roar. U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan today gave a White House harum-scarum briefing that Russia may invade Ukraine “in a very swift time frame,” and Americans should depart Ukraine within 24 to 48 hours. President Biden had a secure-video meeting with trans-Atlantic leaders today, including heads of state and agency directors of Canada, France, Britain, Germany, Italy, Poland, Romania, NATO, the EU and others. He will speak by phone to President Vladimir Putin tomorrow morning. The Kremlin reports that this call was set at Biden’s request. Sullivan’s remarks were replete with “possibles” and “maybes,” but no evidence that a Russian attack is set. “It may well happen soon.” Reports are that Britain and Denmark have likewise called for their nationals to exit Ukraine.
This is the situation—both acutely promising and acutely dangerous—at the time of the third anniversary of the passing of Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr., February 12, 2019, whose historic contribution of brilliant creativity and profound love for humanity are a living legacy of inspiration for our work today. The LaRouche Organization Manhattan Project is broadcasting a special, commemorative program on Saturday, at 2 pm (EST), titled, “On the Third Anniversary of Lyndon LaRouche’s Passing: Why the World Needs the LaRouche Method of Discovery.”
Among the initiatives regarding the Afghanistan crisis, there are multiple meetings now set for March, including the March 22 ministerial meeting in Islamabad, Pakistan of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation, and a mid-month UN-hosted event on humanitarian aid. Near the end of March the six neighboring nations to Afghanistan will meet in China, including the Afghan’s acting foreign minister. During the month, Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev will visit Islamabad to meet with Prime Minister Imran Khan. On Feb. 6, ministers from Uzbekistan and Pakistan conferred in person in Beijing, including meeting with Chinese counterparts, on major Afghanistan projects to benefit all Eurasia. They conferred on the Trans-Afghan Railroad, and the Uzbek-Pakistan Transit and Trade Agreement (UPTTA), which would connect to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, and generally interconnect with the continental Belt and Road Initiative and Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). They also conferred on immediate humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, some of which arrives by Uzbek rail.
Meantime, the need is desperate for multi-nation, full-scale emergency aid—medical, food, fuel, water, and shelter from the winter cold, plus agriculture inputs for spring planting. This week in Switzerland, a delegation of the Taliban government met with relief agencies, such as Doctors Without Borders, under the rubric of the Geneva Call group. In the U.S., testimony on the emergency was given Feb. 9 at a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Afghanistan, by the head of the International Relief Committee, calling for stepped-up action.
This morning, the U.S. made extensive reference to this humanitarian crisis, announcing its disposition of the $7 billion (of the total of nearly $10 billion) of Afghanistan national assets frozen in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York since last August. (The remainder is frozen in Germany, Switzerland, and the U.A.E.). By Presidential Executive Order signed today, $3.5 billion are to be lined up to go as donated aid for the Afghan public, but outside any Taliban government channels; leaving $3.5 billion to be lined up for eventual settlement of multiple lawsuits by victims of 9/11.
Notwithstanding the benefit of aid, this is a glaring act of override of the principle of national sovereignty, in which, in particular, Afghanistan needs its rightful assets to shore up its banking functions, currency and to resume economic functioning. No nation is sovereign without this, and now the U.S. has decreed against it. Former Afghanistan Finance Minister Kaylid Payenda denounced it this morning, as “morally and ethically wrong” and one which will have “long-term consequences, not just in the region, but globally.” This action will show “what sort of ally the U.S. is perceived to be in the future” and Ukraine should be watching.
This U.S. imperialistic “administrative” act is in line with the war policy now pushed to the extreme in Europe against Russia, and in the Indo-Pacific against China as well. U.S. Secretary of State Tony Blinken is in Australia, where a statement was issued today by the QUAD—U.S., Australia, Japan, India—with chest-beating rhetoric about joint commitment to vanquish any nation (not named) in the Indo-Pacific, that offends the “rules-based order.” Translated: Obey whatever the U.S./U.K./Global NATO bloc demands.
This must stop. Helga Zepp-LaRouche, Schiller Institute President, underscored the significance of the role of every citizen, everywhere, and of the institution of the Schiller Institute, in her weekly strategic webcast today, to organize for the dialogue and mobilization for the right policies “to guarantee the long-term survival of our humankind.” As she said about the historic Russia-China Feb. 4 summit statement, “I think it is shaking things up for good.”
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