The Time For Discussion Is Now: Is The United States Preparing To Go To War Over Taiwan Or Ukraine Or Syria?

By: Harley Schlanger
May 14 -- With most policy makers, pundits and media maintaining silence, or denying the prospect that a war between the United States and Russia or China is likely, and could escalate to nuclear weapons, ninety year-old whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg spoke bluntly about the danger of such a possibility. He took the occasion of an event commemorating the 50th anniversary of his release of the Pentagon Papers to sound a warning about what he described as an "asinine" and "criminally insane" discussion about the likelihood of the use of nuclear weapons by the U.S., mentioning in particular comments by StratCom chief Admiral Charles Richard. “That discussion is going on, I have no doubt whatever, in the Pentagon right now...."

He said that a war with Russia or China, puts us "at a high risk of escalation to nuclear war. And if it goes to nuclear war ... we are talking about the near extinction of humanity. No, there should not be the slightest option, threat or thought whatever of armed conflict with Russia and China now or ever again,” he insisted.

He disclosed that the U.S. came close to using nuclear weapons against China in 1958, when Secretary of State John Foster Dulles asked the Joint Chiefs of Staff to recommend to the President that they be used during the crisis in the Taiwan Strait. In reporting this, he was citing still-classified documents from the RAND Corporation. Acknowledging that releasing these documents could lead to his imprisonment, he called on future whistleblowers to come forward, saying that a war of annihilation is likely "unless people in the government show the moral courage of Ed Snowden and Chelsea Manning ... and let us know what these inside plans are....Without that, I think civilization will not survive the era of nuclear weapons.”

Daniel Ellsberg June 2011 speaking on the 40th anniversary of the leaking of the Pentagon Papers.

When Ellsberg released the Pentagon Papers in 1971, which exposed the web of lies and deceit spun by military officials and intelligence operatives to justify continuing the war in Vietnam, he was threatened with a lengthy prison term. The presiding judge ultimately dismissed the charges against him, due to prosecutorial misconduct -- but his act of courage served as an inspiration to handfuls of whistleblowers who followed in his footsteps. In calling for others to come forward now, to expose those planning wars today, he said, "I do believe this is the month we have to be addressing the issue in public of whether we should go to nuclear war over Taiwan or Ukraine or Syria.”

Ellsberg's comments echo the urgent pleas of Schiller Institute President Helga Zepp LaRouche, which she reiterated at an online conference on May 8. She has been insisting that the public must be appraised of the threat of war, and mobilized to join the fight to stop those behind it.

"Brinkmanship" In London

There is no shortage of flash-points which could trigger a larger war. While the two most dangerous are Ukraine and Taiwan, crises with the potential to explode into a wider war include the renewed battle between Israel and Palestinians  in Jerusalem and Gaza; the continuing illegal U.S. military presence in Syria, and imposition of the "Caesar sanctions" which are strangling the Syrian economy, to induce such deprivation and suffering as to provoke a regime change against Assad; and the threat of western-provoked regime change in Belarus, which President Putin cited as a "Red Line" for Russia. Confrontation with Russia and China was on the agenda when the G7 Foreign Ministers met on May 3-5 in London, which included diatribes especially from the U.S., the U.K. and France, against violations of the "Rules-Based Order" (RBO), which has emerged as the primary talking point in threats against Russia and China. In reality, the concept of an RBO is a fraud, a thinly-disguised justification for pursuing regime change in defense of a unilateral order enforced by the military might of the U.S. and NATO, on behalf of the increasingly-fragile financial domination of the City of London and Wall Street banks and shadow-banking entities.

Prior to his arrival in London, U.S. Secretary of State Blinken repeatedly raised the issue of the RBO in issuing threats to Russia and China. Appearing on CBS-tv news magazine program "Sixty Minutes", Blinken repeated the standard lies about alleged concentration camps in China's Xinjiang province, and its "malign" and "aggressive" approach against its neighbors. He insisted the U.S. will enforce the RBO, saying that we will "stand up and defend it" against China.

As for Russia, while acknowledging that discussion is underway to confirm a Biden-Putin summit, Blinken's State Department issued a memo fully endorsing the charges from the MI6 leak sheet, Bellingcat, that Russian GRU operatives were responsible for the explosion at a Czech ammunition depot in 2014! The memo described the explosions as "subversive and deadly actions on Czech soil", and announced that the U.S. is planning to impose new sanctions in response. British Foreign Secretary Raab said the incident exposes the lengths Russia will go "to conduct dangerous and malign operations in Europe." As is so often the case in attacks against Russia, no evidence has been presented to back up these charges.

The sessions in London included allegations based on the latest fabricated evidence against Russia on Navalny, state-sponsored cyber-warfare, and warnings against an escalation of warfare against Ukraine, as well as a review of NATO's ongoing maneuvers, Europe Defender-21, the largest exercises in many years. While warning Russia against its military exercises taking place inside Russia, along the border with Ukraine -- which ended shortly after the meeting concluded -- NATO's maneuvers include deployment of U.S. troops and equipment in the Baltic states, Hungary, Poland and Rumania, near the borders of Russia. There was also discussion of providing more weapons to Ukraine, to "defend" them from Russian "encroachment and bullying", and the possibility of bringing Ukraine into NATO -- crossing another one of Putin's defined Red Lines.

President Putin, Moscow May 9, speaking at the military parade marking the 76th
anniversary of victory in World War II. Photo:

While in London, Blinken met with his British counterpart, Dominic Raab, displaying the Anglophilia which has been typical of post-World War II State Department diplomacy. In a joint press conference, he praised Winston Churchill's speech in Fulton, Missouri given 75 years go, through which the hapless President Harry Truman was roped into the Cold War alliance with the U.K. Instead of denouncing this as blatant British interference in U.S. affairs, Blinken endorsed it as the "foundation" for the present-day "Special Relationship."

This relationship stands firm today, he proclaimed, in the face, of "threats to the international Rules-Based Order, and to democratic values and human rights." The Special Relationship "is enduring....It's effective. It's dynamic. And it is close to the hearts of the American people....The United States has no closer ally, no closer partner than the United Kingdom, and I am very glad for the chance to say that again here today."

In his response, Raab spoke of Boris Johnson's intent to bring others into collaboration with the G7, including South Korea, Australia, South Africa and Japan, all of which were present at the Foreign Ministers meeting. This is an "alliance of democracies", he stated, promoted by both Johnson and Biden, to "counterbalance the autocracies of China and Russia." He described the possible expansion of the G7 as creating an "agile cluster of like-minded countries," which "want to protect the multilateral system." This formulation is particularly false, as the RBO they claim to be protecting is in reality a unipolar world, certainly not a "multilateral system." In promoting the concept of the RBO as the fundamental goal of policy, they are undermining the principles of international law, which reject intervention in the internal affairs of nations, and which have been adopted by the United Nations and reaffirmed by numerous international agreements, treaties and conferences.

Left:Antony Blinken with his British counterpart Dominic Raab in London May 4. Right: Blinken with Victoria Nuland in Ukraine May 6.  Nuland was a key operative working directly with Joe Biden in organizing the 2014 regime change coup in Ukraine.

From London, Blinken went to Kiev, for meetings with Ukrainian officials. He denounced Russia's recent maneuvers, and reiterated pledges that the U.S. and NATO stand behind Ukraine's "territorial integrity", offering to provide more weapons to defend against "Russian aggression." Some sources report that Blinken privately told Zelensky to back away from a direct confrontation with Russia, and that whenever he was asked about bringing Ukraine into NATO, he changed the subject. However, it is notable that Blinken made no public reference to the highly visible march through the streets of Kiev of extremist militants, which occurred just days before his visit, to commemorate the World War II creation of a Ukrainian SS Galicia brigade. This brigade collaborated with the Nazis during the occupation in exterminating non-Ukrainians, including ethnic Russians, and its defenders today are well-positioned in the ranks of the defense and security forces, pressuring the government to carry out offensive maneuvers against the Russian ethnic populations in eastern Ukraine, and to take back Crimea. These neo-nazis were prominent in the Maidan uprising of February 2014, which toppled the Yanukovic government. Accompanying Blinken to Kiev was Victoria Nuland, newly-confirmed to the number three position in the State Department, and a key operative in organizing the 2014 regime change coup -- working directly with Biden, who was Obama's "point-man" on Ukraine.

Apparently, to Blinken, allowing pro-Nazi forces to operate within the government and engage in military action aimed at ethnic cleansing is not a violation of the RBO!

More Voices For War

The provocations coming from Trans-Atlantic war hawks are amplified by their participation in conferences and in the media, with the intent to create an "enemy image" which can win popular support, if not for war itself, at least for increased military expenditures. Typifying the drumbeat for geopolitical provocation is an interview published on May 11 in the Danish daily {BT}, with Anders Fogh Rasmussen, former NATO Secretary General from August 2009 to August 2014, and before that Danish Prime Minister. Under the headline, “We Can End Up in War with China,” Rasmussen states, “Within a time frame of five to ten years, I think a Chinese attack on Taiwan were likely.... The Americans have stated that if China makes good on its threats to attack Taiwan, it will have consequences. I have no doubt for a moment that the Americans will respond militarily.” He argues that Europe should join with the United States and Taiwan to back a U.S. response, even a military response. “It is in this light that one must see that NATO has begun to take a keen interest in China as a military threat, and if it comes to a military showdown, then I think Europe should help the Americans.” The idea of European involvement in an anti-China "Asian NATO" was a pet project of Trump's Secretary of State Pompeo, and has been embraced by Biden's team.

Rasmussen’s interview was promoting his “Alliance for Democracies”, which hosts an annual high-level, two-day Copenhagen Democracy Summit. This year’s event on May 10-11, boasted “The first day of the Summit, will cover authoritarianism, rule of law, tech and democracy, freedom of expression and U.S. leadership”; the second day includes “discussing election integrity, disinformation and social media regulation.” Among those addressing the summit were Venezuela’s self-proclaimed, “interim president” Juan Guaidó, anointed by the U.S. and NATO and NOT the voters of Venezuela, and Belarus “opposition leader” Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, a puppet for the NATO encirclement of Russia. Also speaking were Nathan Law, the National Endowment for Democracy darling, who played a leading role in the recent Hong Kong riots, and Taiwan's Tsai-Ing Wen.

An example of the promotion of nuclear war, of the sort which Ellsberg cited, was a podcast done by the Atlantic Council on January 19, as part of its series "NATO 20/2020." Headlined "Threaten Decisive Nuclear Retaliation", it featured two self-described “old Cold Warriors”: David Gompert, a visiting professor at the U.S. Naval Academy, whose career includes such posts as Acting Director of National Intelligence and vice president of the RAND Corporation; and Atlantic Council “distinguished fellow” Hans Binnendijk, with former postings as Senior Director for Defense Policy at the U.S. National Security Council, and a stint as a RAND Corporation fellow. Both are anti-China and anti-Russia; Gompert was lead co-author of the RAND Corporation 2016 paper advocating “War with China—Thinking Through the Unthinkable.”
As the discussion made clear, the two military-industrial complex creatures are determined to put nuclear war on the public agenda. “Nuclear weapons were a central focus of discussions on deterrence in NATO during the Cold War. Today, similar discussions are taboo…. Continued silence on this topic is no longer viable,” the two wrote in a paper published by the Atlantic Council in October 2020. NATO's promise, which they propose, to commit to "symmetrical retaliation for Russian first use", is not a first-strike policy, they insist. In their paper, they called for the U.S. to send sea-based low-yield nuclear-tipped cruise missiles to the European theater, as well as more air-based weapons. In declaring a "nuclear retaliation policy", they wrote, "NATO need not state categorically that it would refrain from using nuclear weapons for any other reason, thus finessing the contentious no-first-use issue."

The assumptions underlying their posture are: that 1) Russia was, is and always will be an enemy; (2) a “limited” nuclear war is possible and should be prepared for; (3) the current official formulation of NATO for nuclear weapon use, first set out in the 2010 Strategic Concept, is “wooly” because it “contemplates nuclear use only in ‘extremely remote’ circumstances;” and that (4) NATO must be prepared to “negate Russia’s strategy of making itself a sanctuary from which it could project force against NATO.” The latter point means that NATO commits to launching military strikes into Russian itself, should NATO deem—one example given—that Russia is attempting “to expand its control in the Arctic or Black Sea.”

One other example of such aggressive posturing, which does not pass unnoticed in Moscow and Beijing, is an op-ed in the {Asia Times} of May 6, by Stephen Bryen, a hard-core neocon closely associated since the 1970s with Iraq war proponent and unilateralist advocate Richard Perle. The article, with the not-subtle title "The Case for Restoring U.S. Nukes in East Asia", laments that the U.S. today possesses "hardly any tactical nuclear capability in North and East Asia and its regional bases in South Korea, Japan, Okinawa and Guam are vulnerable to Chinese missiles and nuclear-capable long-range bombers." In making the same argument as that of Admiral Richard and other U.S. military officials as part of the Indo-Pacific command, Bryen's assumption is that China is preparing to take advantage of the removal of land-based nuclear weapons in the region, as part of an aggressive strategy to replace the U.S. as the world's leading super-power.

Unless such dangerous axioms as these are countered, Mrs. LaRouche has stated, it is only a matter of time until some "accidental" confrontation leads to a war which is unlikely to stop before it goes nuclear. With a summit under preparation between Putin and Biden, and the Russian President reiterating his call for a summit of the Permanent 5 members of the U.N. Security Council, the potential exists to prevent such a war from igniting. But the time is short, and there must be a demand coming from the populations of the Trans-Atlantic nations for true statecraft, to replace the shrill and provocative language of those representing the Military Industrial Complex, in its drive for war.

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  • Malene Robinson
    published this page in Harley Updates 2021-05-15 17:37:17 -0400