The World Order Urgently Needs New Principles To Ensure World Peace
The following article by Helga Zepp-LaRouche was translated from the German original:
During the hours following the Jan. 3 murder of Qasem Soleimani, Iran’s most important general and practically number two in the Iranian government, by a U.S. drone attack near the airport in Baghdad, the world held its breath. Most thinking people were aware that we were on the brink of a potentially uncontrollable escalation. Then came the “moderate” response from the Iranian government—a missile attack on a U.S. military base in Iraq, which failed to kill U.S. troops thanks to Iran’s warning to the Iraqi government—and for many people, the crisis was over with it. My crisis appeal of January 3rd, that only a summit among the heads of state of the three main nuclear powers—Presidents Putin, Xi Jinping and Trump—can create the basis for overcoming the acute danger and creating a lasting solution for peace in Southwest Asia, was circulated by friends of the Schiller Institute to many hundreds of institutions on January 15 in an international day of action in rallies, press conferences and interventions in dozens of cities in the Americas, Europe and Australia, with the intention of creating a worldwide chorus of people who call for such a crisis summit.
But during this mobilization for the emergency summit of the three Presidents, another phenomenon came to light: The vast majority of the population in the different countries have absolutely no idea that there is an acute danger that the strategic situation could continue to escalate into a Third World War. Warnings in this regard are only “scaremongering,” Trump already has “everything under control” or “everything is already too late, the Third World War is already taking place”: the vox populi covered the whole spectrum from refusal to accept reality to pessimistic resignation, based less on a well-thought-out analysis than on various, mostly ideologically motivated assumptions. Or, on a more contemplative than an active political stance.
The maintenance of world peace in the age of thermonuclear weapons is the existential issue for humanity in general. So it is not about scaremongering, but about understanding the dangers without illusions, in order to then look for ways to ensure lasting peace in the world. Let us remember that during the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962, after U.S. medium-range missiles were stationed at a NATO base in Turkey and then Soviet medium-range missiles were transported to Cuba, they were on the verge of nuclear war for 13 days—and the world public was aware of this—but the communication between Presidents Kennedy and Premier Khrushchev and military experts on both sides, and thus crisis management, existed at a completely different level than today, where between June 2019 and January 15, 2020 there was extensive radio silence between the U.S.A. and Russia.
During the 1983 mid-range missile crisis, when the Pershing II and SS20 missiles in Europe were constantly in a “launch on warning” position with a flight time reduced to three minutes, politicians like Helmut Schmidt repeatedly spoke of the danger of World War III, and there were hundreds of thousands of people in the streets protesting this danger.
Today the strategic situation is much more complex and dangerous, but public awareness or even a debate about it is virtually nonexistent.
It borders on a mockery and a dumbing-down of the population when Western think tanks, politicians and the media speak of the need to defend the “rules-based order” of democratic states against dictatorships and autocratic regimes in the world. The most important step in the direction of today’s strategic chaos was Tony Blair’s Chicago speech in 1999, in which he replaced the international law laid down in the UN Charter with the Blair doctrine, i.e. the right to so-called “humanitarian interventions,” which led to the “Right to Protect” doctrine in the United States. As Russia and China have insisted, however, and as Trump himself stated in his UN speech in 2019, respect for absolute sovereignty alone guarantees a peaceful coexistence among states.
The Blair doctrine formed the background for the subsequent wars of intervention, which were all based on lies and led to regime changes, color revolutions, and the chaos and loss of millions of lives that we are experiencing today in Southwest Asia. On the pretext of defending democracy and human rights, representatives of this “rules-based order” continue to support a regime change policy against governments that do not want to submit to the dictates of a unipolar world, whether it be the British ambassador to Iran, who was brazen enough to lead the student demonstrations against the Rouhani government(!), or the think tank of the German government, the German Council on Foreign Relations (Deutschen Gesellschaft für Auswärtige Politik, DGAP), which writes: “First Hong Kong, then Taiwan—democracy is invading China.” It has long been obvious that regime change operations against proxy states are ultimately aimed at regime change in Russia and China.
If you take into account the changes in military doctrine initiated by the United States and supported by the allies, then everyone should be aware of how extremely volatile world peace is. For example, there is the “Prompt Global Strike” doctrine of the United States, which was introduced roughly in parallel with the Blair doctrine; the building of a global anti-missile defense system that Russia considers to be a clear encirclement policy; the unilateral termination of the INF treaty on intermediate-range missiles by the U.S.A.; the unilateral withdrawal from the JCPOA nuclear agreement with Iran by the U.S.A.; the expansion of NATO to the east along with the provocative orientation of the upcoming NATO maneuver “Defender Europe 20” (in which at the end of February up to 40,000 troops will mostly be transferred to Poland and the Baltic States); and conversely Russia will install new weapon systems that massively weaken the efficiency of the U.S. missile defense system.
When geopoliticians speak of systemic competition between the supposedly noble ideals of Western democracies and authoritative dictatorships, it is also driven by the panic that the trans-Atlantic financial system is facing a “terrible collapse,” as George Soros’s former colleague Jim Rogers puts it these days. China’s New Silk Road program, on the other hand, with which 157 nations are now cooperating, has been extremely successful despite all the prophecies of doom.
The accidental shooting down of the Ukrainian plane by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards following the murder of General Soleimani should make it clear to everyone how right, for example, the former Bundeswehr Inspector General, and former Chairman of the NATO Military Committee Gen. Harald Kujat (ret.), was, when he repeatedly warned of the danger of nuclear war by mistakes from cyber attacks, hacking, technical failure and misunderstandings. President Putin reflected this danger in his Jan. 15 speech to the Federal Assembly on the state of the nation and offered an extremely important proposal. Putin emphasized:
“We can see how unpredictably, uncontrollably events are developing in the world, what is happening in the Middle East and North Africa literally in recent weeks and recent days, how regional conflicts can rapidly grow into threats to the entire international community.
“I am convinced that it is high time for a serious and direct discussion about the basic principles of a stable world order and the most acute problems that humanity is facing....
“The founding countries of the United Nations should set an example. It is the five nuclear powers that bear a special responsibility for the conservation and sustainable development of humankind. These five nations should first of all start with measures to remove the prerequisites for a global war and develop updated approaches to ensuring stability on the planet that would fully take into account the political, economic and military aspects of modern international relations.”
This serious discussion of the principles on which a sustainable order for all of humanity must be based is urgently needed. Instead of sticking to the backward-looking and dangerous concepts of geopolitics and more recently “geo-economics,” the European states should participate in the potential of the New Silk Road.
It is therefore imperative that all forces in Europe that are interested in ensuring world peace support the summit between Putin, Xi Jinping and Trump. Just two examples of what this could imply: China has lifted 850 million of its own citizens out of poverty in the past 40 years, and has also brought a perspective of hope to overcoming underdevelopment to developing countries. China has implemented the largest reforestation program in human history over the same period. The National People’s Congress in 1981 required all Chinese over the age of 11 to plant three tree seedlings each year, which resulted in China raising more trees than the rest of the world combined; between 2000 and 2010 alone, the Chinese planted 56 billion trees.
The principles on which the world order urgently needs to be built are the common aims of mankind. The liberal establishment in Europe and the U.S.A. would do well to rethink the premises of its own profit-oriented system and to cooperate with the New Silk Road program in the economic development of Southwest Asia and Africa. The European Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Beijing fears that Europe will only become an insignificant caboose of a market at the end of Eurasia if it does not play a competitive role against the New Silk Road. The exact opposite is true: Europe can only have a perspective if it gives up geopolitics and actively cooperates with Russia, China and the U.S.A. on the basis of principles for a more human world order.