Fear of Nuclear War Drives More into Action against Global NATO

by Gretchen Small

[Print version of this article]

April 30—On April 26, the Committee for the Republic, a group formed by American policymakers and “strategic realists,” convoked a “salon” in Washington, D.C. and online, to clarify the U.S. Congress’s war power responsibilities with regard to the conflict in Ukraine. Speakers included the Committee chairman, Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky, John Henry, and Vice Chairman Bruce Fein. Their conclusion: The United States has become a “co-belligerent” in a war with Russia, by providing arms, intelligence, and personnel to Ukraine since Feb. 24. By so doing, it has made itself a legitimate target for Russian attacks under international law—and this has been done without a Congressional declaration of war, and thus is unconstitutional.

The Committee was founded in 2003, after President George W. Bush launched an unprovoked war upon Iraq, also without a congressional declaration of war, its chairman, Henry, reminded. Since then,

imperial presidents under the leadership of the Republican and Democratic parties have waged unconstitutional wars with abandon across the Middle East…. Article I, section 8, clause 11 establishes neutrality as the default policy of the United States until such time as Congress formally takes the country from a state of peace to a state of war,

which clearly has not occurred in this latest war.

Rep. Massie denounced current U.S. policy of arming “‘peaceful, moderate’ Nazis” in Ukraine, as the United States had armed “‘peaceful, moderate’ terrorists” in Syria. He called NATO a Cold War relic, whose expansion to Russia’s borders created the conditions for this conflict. Most importantly, he raised the reality that the policy of backing Russia into a corner, with NATO, sanctions, charges of war crimes, etc., risks nuclear war.

Massie explained: When I am asked back home for a quick answer as to why I have voted against various resolutions and sanctions against Russia, I tell people: “If there’s a 5% chance of going into nuclear war, and I can reduce it to 2% by my vote, then that vote I will take.”

That such a discussion takes place in Washington, D.C. is a start. Many, many more such discussions are urgent in the countries of “the collective West,” in order to break the iron-grip of censorship, lies, and persecution thrown against those who do dare speak up.

This week, we focus our reporting of global opposition against “Global NATO” on voices being raised from behind the Iron Curtain imposed upon the United States and Europe. The common denominator of most of the opposition statements below, is the urgency of turning back to a policy of reaching a negotiated conclusion to this war, out of the realistic fear that the current, now-openly-stated policy of not permitting any settlement until Russia is crushed as a nation, has brought the world to the brink of global, possibly nuclear war.

United States

U.S. a ‘Co-Belligerent’ in Ukraine War, Legal Expert Says

CC/Gage Skidmore
Bruce Fein

Constitutional lawyer Bruce Fein, who served as Associate Attorney General in the Reagan administration, is warning all who will listen, that U.S. and several NATO members

have become co-belligerents with Ukraine against Russia by systematic and massive assistance to its military forces to defeat Russia, [and are thus vulnerable to attack by] an enemy belligerent [that is, Russia, because of their] systematic or substantial violations of a neutral’s duties of impartiality and non-participation in the conflict.

Fein’s warning was reported by James Carden, himself a former State Department advisor, journalist and senior consultant to the American Committee for U.S.-Russia Accord, in his April 19 Asia Times article with the above title.

U.S. involvement goes deeper than arms sales and intelligence sharing, Carden reported:

A Pentagon official who requested anonymity told me it is “likely we have a limited footprint on the ground in Ukraine, but under Title 50, not Title 10,” meaning U.S. intelligence operatives and paramilitaries—but not regular military.

Such violations of neutrality are unconstitutional, Fein emphasized:

Under the Declare War Clause of the Constitution, co-belligerency, which displaces the status of the United States as neutral, requires a declaration of war by Congress.

A Voice of Sanity: Prof. Michael Brenner

Senior American foreign policy expert Michael Brenner ripped into the “cartoon caricatures” used today to portray the rationale behind Russia’s military operation in Ukraine and what motivates Putin, in a spirited interview with Robert Scheer of Scheer Intelligence April 15. Brenner was a prestigious senior professor at the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Texas, and a fellow at Johns Hopkins SAIS, working also at the State Department’s Foreign Service Institute and the Department of Defense, during his decades-long career, but he has been subjected to vitriolic attack unlike anything he had ever experienced, he reported. Brenner nonetheless continues to insist that the United States must adopt a “dialogue of civilizations” approach to both Russia and China.

On Putin, Brenner told Scheer:

What we’re getting is not only a cartoon caricature, but a portrait of the country and its leadership—and by the way Putin is not a dictator. He is not all-powerful. The Soviet (sic) [Russian] government is far more complex in its processes of decision-making.…

And he is, Putin himself, an extraordinarily sophisticated thinker. But people don’t bother to read what he writes, or to listen to what he says.

I know, in fact, of no national leader that has laid out in the detail and the precision and the sophistication his view of the world, Russia’s place in it, the character of interstate relations, with the candor and acuity that he has. It’s not a question of whether you believe that that depiction he offers is entirely correct.… But you are dealing with a person and a regime which in vital respects is the antithesis of the one that is caricatured and almost universally accepted, not only in the Biden administration but in the foreign policy community and the political class, and in general.

It’s been the objective of American foreign policy for at least a decade to render Russia weak and unable to assert itself in any manner of speaking in European affairs. We want it marginalized, we want to neuter it, as a power in Europe. And the ability of Putin to reconstitute a Russia that was stable, that also had its own sense of national interest, and a vision of the world different from ours, has been deeply frustrating to the political elites and the foreign policy elites of Washington….

There is growing and now totally persuasive evidence that when the Biden people came to office, they made a decision to create a crisis over Donbas to provoke a Russian military reaction and to use that as a basis for consolidating the West, unifying the West, in a program whose centerpiece was massive economic sanctions, with the aim of tanking the Russian economy and possibly and hopefully leading to a rebellion by the oligarchs that would topple Putin….

Why do Americans feel so threatened, so anxious?

… We have to look in the mirror and say, well, we’ve seen … the source of our disquiet, and it’s within us; it’s not out there, and it is leading to gross distortions of the way in which we see, we depict, and we interpret the world all across the board….

I truly believe that we are talking about collective psychopathology. And of course, collective psychopathology is what you get in a nihilistic society in which all sort of standard conventional sort of reference points cease to serve as markers and guideposts on how individuals behave.

And one expression of that is the erasure of history. We live in the existential … moment, or week, or month, or year or whatever. So, we totally, almost totally forget about the reality of nuclear weapons….

Germany

Open Letter: Replace Logic of War with Logic of Peace!

Days before the German government announced its decision to deliver heavy weapons to Ukraine on April 26, German academicians, artists, churchmen, and journalists had appealed to the German Chancellor not to deliver weapons to Ukraine and thereby prolong the war, but instead take the lead for an initiative to have a ceasefire and begin serious talks on a peace agreement. The letter warns that a bigger war, potentially a nuclear one, could grow out of a prolonged war in Ukraine.

Here are excerpts from that letter, published April 22 in the Berliner Zeitung. Signers include Hans-Christof Graf von Sponeck, former Assistant Secretary General of the UN, and Dr. Antje Vollmer, former Vice President of the German Bundestag:

Dear Chancellor Scholz,

We are people of different backgrounds, political attitudes and positions toward the policies of NATO, Russia and the German government. We all deeply condemn this war of Russia in Ukraine, which cannot be justified by anything. We are united in warning against an uncontrollable expansion of the war with unforeseeable consequences for the entire world and in opposing a prolongation of the war and bloodshed with arms deliveries.

By supplying weapons, Germany and other NATO countries have de facto made themselves a party to the war. And thus, Ukraine has also become the battleground for the conflict between NATO and Russia over the security order in Europe, which has been escalating for years.

This brutal war in the middle of Europe is being fought on the backs of the Ukrainian population. The economic war now unleashed is at the same time endangering supplies for the people of Russia and many poor countries around the world. Reports of war crimes are mounting. Even if they are difficult to verify under the prevailing conditions, it can be assumed that in this war, as in others before, atrocities are being committed and the brutality increases with its duration. All the more reason to end it quickly.

The war carries the real danger of an expansion and uncontrollable military escalation—similar to that in the First World War. Red lines are drawn, which are then crossed by actors and hazards on both sides, and the spiral is once again one step further. If responsible people like you, dear Chancellor, do not stop this development, we will end up with another big war. Only this time with nuclear weapons, widespread devastation, and the end of human civilization. Avoiding more and more casualties, destruction and further dangerous escalation must therefore have absolute priority….

We therefore call on the German government, EU, and NATO countries to stop supplying arms to Ukrainian troops and to encourage the government in Kyiv to end military resistance—in exchange for assurances of negotiations on a ceasefire and a political solution.

Negotiations on the rapid withdrawal of Russian troops and the restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity should be supported by NATO countries’ own proposals regarding legitimate security interests of Russia and its neighbors….

The prevailing logic of war must be replaced by a bold logic of peace, and a new European and global architecture of peace must be created, including Russia and China. Our country must not stand on the sidelines here, but take an active role.

General Slams Green Politicians, Insists on Ceasefire

Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Erich Vad

Erich Vad, a retired Bundeswehr brigadier general and security advisor to former Chancellor Angela Merkel, repeatedly warned against capitulating to the demands that Germany send heavy weapons to Ukraine, before Chancellor Scholz did so this week. On the primetime TV show Maybrit Illner April 21, Vad had caused another stir, with his insistence that:

We have to put the political emphasis on the time after, on a possible ceasefire…. Delivering battle tanks now would make no sense militarily because we would have to send technicians along and have no time to train them. Moreover, these tanks would never reach eastern Ukraine. Russia would never allow that.

Vad attacked the Green Party, in particular, for their campaign for heavy weapons:

It bothers me when German politicians from the Greens present military solutions as the ultimate goal. That’s crazy. These are politicians who have nothing to do with the military, who have refused military service. We have to come to some kind of cease-fire in the end…. We have to be careful with our military rhetoric and with arms deliveries. To assume that only one side can win in the end is a mistake.

Former German National Security Advisor Argues for Diplomacy to Prevent Nuclear War

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Horst Teltschik

In an April 28 interview with web.de magazine yesterday, Horst Teltschik, the national security advisor of former Chancellor Helmut Kohl who was personally involved in the negotiations with Russia on German reunification, was asked how great the danger of nuclear war is. No one knows the answer to that, Teltschik answered. He put the onus on Russia possibly using nuclear weapons, because he, and others, think Vladimir Putin “believes he needs a victory—whatever it may look like. Russia cannot afford to lose. That’s what key Kremlin advisers say, too, for example, Sergei Karaganov, whom I’ve known since the 1980’s.”

But while Teltschik has questions about what Putin’s real motives are, he acknowledged Western errors:

For sure, Russia has an interest that Ukraine cannot become a member of NATO, that it is neutral and does not pose a military threat to Russia, that the already-occupied territories of Crimea and Donbas get a pro-Russian status. That was also part of the Minsk Agreement. And, of course, you also have to ask Ukraine why it was so inflexible about the Minsk Agreement.

Teltschik thinks NATO should not have expanded first, but rather the European Union—which also has security guarantees for its members:

At the same time, the establishment of a European free-trade zone involving Russia should have been pursued.

But none of these designs was ever seriously pursued by the West, and the NATO-Russia Council was never ever seriously made use of.

I have never understood why the NATO Secretary General did not convene this Council, especially in crisis situations. If he did, it was only at the ambassadorial level, which can’t make decisions anyway. So, we have had a number of instruments that have not been used specifically by the West….

You have to talk to the heads of state or government, whether you want to or not, and whoever they are. But I’ve always said: it’s better to talk than to bang your heads…. It is always crucial to create some kind of atmosphere of trust….

Teltschik worries that whereas there was trust among Helmut Kohl, Michael Gorbachev, and George Bush 40 years ago, today “relations of trust between Putin and the West are more or less dead.”

Scandinavia

Senior Finnish Parliamentarian Slams ‘War Psychosis’

CC/Paasikivi
Erkki Tuomioj

Finnish MP Erkki Tuomioja, Vice Chairman of the Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, told American National Public Radio April 22, that he views the growing support for Finland joining NATO as the result of fear and emotion. Tuomioja, a veteran politician and member of the governing Social Democratic Party who has served as foreign minister in several governments over the past two decades, told NPR:

Public opinion plays a big role in this, but there is also this ingrained fear, which is actually fueled also by our media, which is in a state of, I would say, war psychosis, in a sense—

… That Finland could any day expect to be attacked—I don’t think this is realistic….

[Joining NATO] would create tensions with Russia, obviously. And we have had a very pragmatic relationship with Russia in terms of logistics, environment and regional cooperation….

I’m also concerned about the level of the public debate. Anybody who questions membership is being vilified as a Putin agent.

NATO Is Part of the Problem, Not the Solution

Alexis Kouros

The editor-in-chief of Helsinki Times, Alexis Kouros, cited Tuomioja’s warning, in his April 25 column headlined, “NATO Is Not the Solution to Finland’s Security Concerns, but Part of the Problem.” Kouros argues that popular support for NATO membership is the product of a momentary panic resulting from the shock of the Russian invasion, and Finland’s own history with Russia:

Historically, the majority of Finns have never supported joining NATO. Pro-NATO parties want to use this “shell shocked” status of the nation to expedite the submission of Finland’s NATO application, before blood returns to people’s heads….

This false perception, that the Ukraine war is a good opportunity to join NATO, is shared by many Finnish politicians across party lines. A momentum which could have been used for novel progress, is being used to trap Finland in the past, this time as a participant in the new cold war…. There is no reason for Russia to show aggression against Finland, unless Finland provokes Russia with bad decisions….

Some NATO supporters … have claimed that NATO is a defensive alliance and for that reason, Russia should not be concerned. This claim is utterly false. NATO has not had a single defensive war since its establishment. On the contrary, the alliance, or collection of its members have attacked several countries with tragic consequences….

A fundamental characteristic of strong and wise leaders is that they don’t make decisions out of emotions or fear and in haste. Unfortunately for Finland, we lack those leaders now when we need them badly. What we need now for our fragile post-pandemic world is de-escalation and de-militarization, not more arms, new arms races, and a new cold war.

Swedish Left Party Leader Says ‘No’ to NATO, Demands Referendum

CC/Vansterpartiet bildbank/Jessica Segerberg
Nooshi Dadgostar

In a dramatic turn, Swedish Left Party leader Nooshi Dadgostar on Swedish Public Radio news April 28 said “no” to NATO membership for Sweden and demanded a referendum. She raised the issue of keeping nuclear weapons out of Sweden, which strategically is the big issue, as NATO membership for Sweden and Finland could lead to a Cuban missile crisis in reverse in Northern Europe.

Not only would Russian cities be threatened with mere minutes of warning, but also the Kola Peninsula, where the major part of Russia’s nuclear submarine fleet is based, which provides Russia’s second-strike capabilities. From the Finnish border, it is just 180 km to Murmansk, Kola’s largest city, and 450 km to Sweden.

Dadgostar’s statement will significantly influence the decision-making process in the Social Democratic Party, which began April 22 and will continue until a final decision is taken by the party on May 24th. Already the sudden spurt of support for joining NATO has fallen from 49% to 47% since just last week. More voices are being raised daily in Sweden against NATO.

Italy

Italian President Calls for New Helsinki Conference

Presidenza della Repubblica
President Sergio Mattarella

Speaking April 27 before the Council of Europe, Italian President Sergio Mattarella harshly condemned Russia and supported sanctions, as he has before, but then called upon the international community “to obtain a ceasefire and restart with the construction of a respectful and shared international framework that leads to peace.” To accomplish this, he proposed that a peace and security conference like the 1975 Helsinki conference be convened:

For a moment, let’s practice—borrowing them from the language of the so-called “cold war”—spelling out words we thought had fallen into disuse, to see if they can help us get back on track, however difficult it may be. Détente: to interrupt hostilities. Repudiation of war: to return to the status quo ante. Peaceful coexistence among peoples and states. Democracy—as the precious work of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe teaches us—as a condition for the respect of the dignity of each one. Finally, Helsinki and not Yalta: dialogue, not tests of strength between great powers that must understand that they are less and less so.

To envisage an international forum that renews the roots of peace, that restores dignity to a framework of security and cooperation, following the example of the Helsinki Conference that led, in 1975… of which the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe was the offspring.

It is a matter of strongly affirming the rejection of a policy based on spheres of influence, on weakened rights for some peoples and countries and, instead, of proclaiming, in the spirit of Helsinki, equal rights and equality for peoples and people.

According to a new architecture of international relations, in Europe and in the world, shared, involving, without prejudicial privileged positions.

Principles of Westphalia Are Being Revived

IASSP
Ivan Rizzi

Prof. Ivan Rizzi, the chairman of Italy’s Institute for High Strategic and Political Studies, who has warned of the “Algorithm of World War Three,” is working to wake the West up to its increasing isolation from its war and economic policies. In his March 19 article in IlSussidario.net, “If We Isolate Russia, the West Will Also Remain Alone,” Rizzi wrote that the resentment against the West’s failed model has gone so far as to revive the principles of the 1648 Peace of Westphalia:

The West’s presumption of good and right is not widely shared today. On the contrary, there is a growing global resentment that is increasingly isolating us….

Our presumption of good and right is not much shared on Earth; we have not even implemented it with the integrity due, through our example. The morality that should preside over those principles is always overridden by self-interest….

The humanitarian interventions and their evangelization by the United Nations and NATO in war-torn countries (Iraq, Lebanon, Kosovo, Afghanistan …) have not stabilized peace at all, so much so that some are proposing to revive the principles of the Peace of Westphalia (1648), which respected the different cultures, religions, lifestyles, that is, the differences between people who still insist on existing with feelings in the face of hyper-development and hyper-consumption….

But resentment is not only everywhere else than in the West, it is also within it: in the suburbs of French and English cities, in the Turkish enclaves in Germany, in every city of ours, often protected by a vindictive identity in Islamic regions, among African-Americans of the United States, punctuated by periodic riots as violent as the simmering of an unspeakable racial resentment….

Now, however, we must realize in time, that if we totally isolate Russia without thinking of a way out to allow it to retrace its steps and stop the massacre, then try at all costs to start negotiations to resolve the conflict, we are, in fact, isolating the West….

Most of the population is outside our limes and looking favorably on the successes of China, which has not yet either colonized or evangelized any place on earth, with the exception of the snows of Tibet.

It would be fatal for the West, and in particular for our country, if the irrationality of resentment, which is known to be the best glue of the masses, were to merge with the rationale of a response from the producing and exporting countries of “dirty” energy; that is, a dispute arose with the strategy of the Great Reset of the energy and technological transition.

Right now, that the others finally are able to produce and have raw materials under their feet, we are left with the “cleanest” energy of finance, which, however, happens to be the first thing that the winds of war will sweep away.

The orientation of inclusive and sustainable capitalism is the exact opposite of what the rest of the world wants: Russia, China, India, Arabia, and the countries of South America claim the priority of development at non-prohibitive costs, following the path of unrestricted prosperity already taken by the West. Privilege breeds resentment.

International

Appeal for Peace from UN-Linked Professionals

An appeal for peace issued April 15, by leaders of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, a worldwide network of universities, scholars, politicians, business leaders, and faith leaders operating under the auspices of UN Secretary General António Guterres, has been signed by over 200 of its members by the end of April. While focusing only on security, not development, and blaming the war fully on Russia, “A Message to all UN Member States and Leaders of the United Nations” does demand that the Permanent Five member nations of the UN Security Council sit down together and reach an agreement that assures security for all.

Some excerpts:

The war in Ukraine threatens not only sustainable development, but the survival of humanity. We call on all nations, operating in accordance with the UN Charter, to put diplomacy to the service of humanity by ending the war through negotiations before the war ends all of us.

The world must urgently return to the path of peace. Blessed are the peacemakers, teaches Jesus in the Gospels. The Qur’an invites the righteous to the Dar as-Salam, the abode of peace. Buddha teaches Ahimsa, nonviolence to all living beings. Isaiah prophesizes the day when nation will no longer fight against nation, nor train for war anymore.

International peace and security are the first purposes of the United Nations. The world’s nations dare not fail to bring peace to Ukraine in the momentous hours ahead….

Peace requires dialogue and diplomacy, not more heavy weaponry that will ultimately lay Ukraine to utter ruin. The path of military escalation in Ukraine is one of guaranteed suffering and despair. Still worse, military escalation risks a conflict that spirals to Armageddon….

Russia’s troops must leave Ukraine, but not to be replaced by NATO’s troops or heavy weaponry. We note that the UN Charter uses the words “peace” and “peaceful” 49 times, but never once uses the word “alliance” or the phrase “military alliance.”…

The UN Security Council can secure the peace precisely because Russia, China, the U.S., France, and the United Kingdom are all permanent members of the UNSC. These five permanent members, together with the other ten members of the UNSC, must negotiate with each other to find a way forward that preserves the territorial integrity of Ukraine while meeting the security needs of Ukraine, Russia, and indeed the other 191 UN member states….

6 May 2022

Source: larouchepub.com

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