1 Mar.—Readers of the Australian Alert Service (AAS) are well positioned to understand what is happening with the entry of Russian Armed Forces into Ukraine, which is very different from what the major media in the Anglo-American sphere and Europe portray. Our publications have warned over the past two decades, that the obsession of both war-hawk “neoconservatives” and “liberal imperialists” in the trans-Atlantic establishment with cutting down or “containing” Russia and China, in order to run the world through a globalised bankers’ dictatorship, was increasingly likely to threaten life on this planet through a nuclear war.
Nearly 10 years ago, the New Citizen newspaper of 5 June 2012 was headlined “British Crown’s End-game: Financial Crash and Nuclear War” (available here in printable A4 format). It included a report on the graphic demonstration by Russian Gen. Valeri Gerasimov to a security conference that year, that anti-missile systems installed in countries bordering Russia can function as components of attack systems, making them an unacceptable threat to Moscow.
The Strategic Features page on the ACP website now features the “Sleepwalking into nuclear World War III?” strategic package from the AAS of 12 January 2022, plus links to AAS articles from 2018-22 on the intensifying global showdown, such as “Russia’s ‘red lines’: Don’t dismiss as bluff or bluster” (5 May 2021) and last week’s Australian Almanac, “Ukraine on the knife’s edge of world war”. In the latter, Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine leader Dr Natalia Vitrenko detailed the now influential radical nationalist ideology in Ukraine, which she—like Russian President Vladimir Putin—rightly terms “Nazi”. Its extreme advocates, who are embedded throughout the Ukrainian government apparatus and command its heavily armed “national battalions”, believe that Ukraine can never thrive unless Russia is destroyed.
What is not happening, is any drive by Russia to seize and occupy Ukrainian territory or reconstitute the Soviet Union. Rather, after years of warnings that Russia’s very existence was threatened by NATO expansion and the buildup of an enemy image of Russia, the Russian leadership took dire action for the “demilitarisation” and “de-Nazification” of Ukraine.
Lies and truth
On 28 February Helga Zepp-LaRouche, president of the international Schiller Institute issued a video statement called “Lies and Truth about Ukraine”, which is excerpted here.
“Since a few days, Russian troops are in Ukraine, in a military operation. As a reaction, the West has imposed very harsh sanctions on Russia, which are going to have incredible effects not only on Russia, but also on the whole world. President Putin has put the Russian nuclear weapons on alert. Any further escalation of this situation has the danger of things going completely out of control, and in the worst case leading to a nuclear exchange, and World War III, and if that happens the chances are that nobody will survive this….
“In 1989, when the Berlin Wall came down, this was a moment of incredible historical potential, because you could have built peace. The enemy was gone, or about to go; the Soviet Union did not represent a threat anymore. This was one of those rare moments when you can shape history for the better. The Soviet Union did not represent a threat then, and therefore it was quite normal that [US Secretary of State] James Baker III, on 9 February 1990, in a discussion with [Soviet leader] Gorbachov, promised, ‘NATO will not expand one inch to the East’. Now [NATO Secretary General] Stoltenberg nowadays says never was such a promise given, but that’s not true.” She cited the growing array of senior European and American officials, as well as documents from the British Archives, that have confirmed those promises were made.
“Therefore, when Putin says now that he feels betrayed, there is actual evidence. And when Putin came to Germany in 2001, he addressed the German Parliament with offers, full of hopes to build a common European house, to have cooperation. Unfortunately, certain circles in Great Britain and the United States decided to build a unipolar world. They said, now is the opportunity to build an empire based on the model of the British Empire and the special relationship between Great Britain and the United States.
“Step by step, they started to go for regime change of everybody who didn’t agree with that, for colour revolutions, eventually for ‘humanitarian’ interventionist wars, which gave us [the war in] Afghanistan; Iraq, which was based on lies; the incredible lying to the UN Security Council in the case of Libya; the attempt to topple Assad [in Syria]; wars which have caused millions of people to die, millions of people to become refugees and have a destroyed life.”
The hideous legacy of Zbigniew Brzezinski
The late Zbigniew Brzezinski had much to do with setting in motion the global showdown over Ukraine, just as he did in launching the radical Islamist global terrorism of the past 45 years by his strategy of backing extremist fighters in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union’s “soft underbelly” in Central Asia. The Polish-born Brzezinski was a devotee of British imperial geopolitics, who served as national security adviser to US President Jimmy Carter in 1977-81 and co-founded the Wall Street-centred international policy club called the Trilateral Commission.
In Brzezinski’s 1997 book The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and its Geopolitical Imperatives, his contribution to the “unipolar world” model after the break-up of the Soviet Union, he zeroed in on the priority of keeping Ukraine and Russia apart. He declared Ukraine a “geopolitical pivot” because “[w]ithout Ukraine, Russia ceases to be a Eurasian empire.” He made clear what that meant, by a map in the book that depicted Russia chopped into three pieces, with a “European” chunk west of the Ural Mountains, and two independent raw-materials providers in Siberia and the Far East.
In early 2014 Russia-hating Ukrainian nationalists, heirs of Stepan Bandera’s Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists who had been protected and nurtured throughout the post-World War II period by British and American intelligence, were driving towards the February 2014 violent “Maidan” coup against Ukraine’s elected president—under the deceptive banner of being “pro-Europe”. Brzezinski personally jumped in to help organise the regime change. In a 15 January 2014 statement broadcast by the US government-backed Radio Liberty in Ukraine, he said, “I salute the heroic people of Maidan. What you are doing is historic and vital.” This was heard in Ukraine as a powerful go-ahead from the United States, for the overthrow of the government.
Even before the 2014 coup, NATO had moved not just “one inch to the East”, Zepp-LaRouche pointed out in her statement, “it moved 1,000 km to the east!” The Bucharest summit of NATO in 2008 promised Ukraine and Georgia membership in the future. The European Union moved in parallel: In December 2008 its “Eastern Partnership” targeted six countries, each formerly a republic within the Soviet Union, for European Union Association Agreements (EUAA). The core of Ukraine’s EUAA was a free-trade program under which the industrial economy would be dismantled and EUbased market players would grab Ukraine’s agricultural and raw materials exports. But the economic deal also mandated “convergence” on security issues, with integration into European defence systems!
This process went forward after the 2014 coup. Even without full NATO membership, Ukraine has been host to a large and growing NATO presence, with military manoeuvres throughout the year. Putin said in a comprehensive 21 February speech on Ukraine-related security concerns, that he saw full NATO membership of Ukraine as “merely a question of time”. As Zepp-LaRouche explains, Ukraine in NATO “would mean that offensive weapons systems could reach Moscow in less five minutes, and make Russia indefensible against a nuclear strike.
“That increasing encirclement”, she said, “was the reason Putin declared on December 15 of last year that he wanted written security guarantees for Russia, from the United States and NATO, which would include NATO not expanding any further to the East, Ukraine never becoming a member of NATO, and the pullback of offensive weapons [from other NATO countries] on the border of Russia. He got an answer from the United States and NATO, basically responding to secondary issues but he did not get an answer to the core demands….
“All of this escalated, and Russia said: We absolutely draw a red line,” and if it were crossed, “Putin said he would take ‘military-technical measures’. I don’t think Russia has the intention to occupy Ukraine; they want to have neutralisation, de-Nazification; Zelensky was democratically elected, but the [neo-Nazi] Azov Battalion is still part of the defence forces, and you still have a lot of right-wing elements in the Parliament. Zelensky has changed from a President promising peace, into a tool, not even daring to bring up the Minsk-2 accords [negotiated in 2015 by France, Germany and Russia for a peaceful settlement between Kiev and Ukraine’s Donbass], because he felt under a threat that if he went for Minsk-2, he would be toppled or worse. We have to accept the fact that ‘de-Nazification’ is not Russian propaganda, but it has a real element to it.”
Nuclear war, or a new security architecture?
On 24 February Putin announced the Russian “special military operation” to both defend the Donbass republics and begin physical “demilitarisation” of Ukraine. The first actions were long-distance strikes against Ukraine’s small air force and its military infrastructure. That address included Putin’s chilling warning to “those who might be seduced into interfering from the outside in the events that are going on.” Anyone who obstructs Russia’s actions or creates “threats for our country”, he said, “needs to know that Russia’s response will be immediate and will lead to such consequences for you, as you have never encountered in your history. We are prepared for any turn of events. All necessary decisions in this connection have been taken. I hope that I will be heard.”
As of this writing, Putin’s hope to “be heard” has had mixed results. Politico reports that the US administration is seeking to keep open a “back channel” between Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley and his Russian counterpart, Gen. Gerasimov. White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki on 28 February threw cold water on demands for imposing a “no-fly zone” over Ukraine. “What that would require is implementation by the US military. It would essentially mean the US military would be shooting down Russian planes”, she said. In addition, Washington announced it will not raise its nuclear weapons readiness status, after Putin on 27 February ordered “special alert status” for Russia’s, citing threats from top NATO-member officials. UK Foreign Minister Liz Truss had just opined publicly that she thought open conflict between NATO and Russia was coming fairly soon.
In Europe there is a frenzy to “support Ukraine”—with measures that themselves could trigger World War. Despite Putin’s words about the fate of anyone who tries to interfere with the “demilitarisation” of Ukraine, the EU is arranging an overland shipment route through Poland for US$500 million in weapons, and volunteer fighters, to enter Ukraine. Zelensky has begged for immediate admission to the EU.
NATO itself took measures that former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter, in a 27 February article for Consortium News, assessed as showing a “disconnect between the Western and Russian narratives” that “could prove fatal to the world”. Article 5 of the NATO Charter provides for member countries to come to the defence only of other member countries. “Under Article 4”, however, Ritter pointed out, “members can bring any issue of concern … to the table for discussion within the North Atlantic Council. NATO members Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland triggered [an] Article 4 consultation following the Russian incursion into Ukraine. In a statement issued on Friday [25 Feb.], NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg expanded on [an] initial NATO statement, declaring that NATO was committed to protecting and defending all its allies, including Ukraine.”
NATO interventions in Serbia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya were done under Article 4. “Stoltenberg’s anointing of Ukraine as a NATO ally came at the same time he announced the activation and deployment of NATO’s 40,000-strong Response Force, some of which would be deployed to NATO’s eastern flank, abutting Ukraine”, wrote Ritter. “The activation of the Response Force is unprecedented in the history of NATO”.
With Russian forces moving deep into Ukraine through the Donbass and southern cities, and Kiev surrounded, delegations from the two countries did hold five hours of talks 28 February in Belarus. No details were released, but each side spoke of identifying points on which agreement might be reached. They are to meet again within days.
Zepp-LaRouche concluded her message by urging that people around the world seek a new “international security architecture” that takes every country’s interests into account. What must be addressed above all, she said, is “the real cause of war, which is the pending collapse of the Western financial system” (p. 7). That means the solution must be a drastic change in economic policy: “an end to the casino economy, global Glass-Steagall banking separation, a national bank in every country in the tradition of Alexander Hamilton, and a New Bretton Woods system to give a credit system for long-term development to uplift the developing countries through industrial development.”
Australian Alert Service, 2 March 2022