Three World Leaders Intervene Against War and Economic Disintegration

Two leading German figures and a Maryland Democrat, considering a presidential run, have stepped into the dangerous trans-Atlantic political vacuum to bring about a fundamental shift in the direction of policy, to avert a potential world war and an otherwise imminent collapse of the trans-Atlantic financial system.

Given the magnitude of the current global crisis, and the prominence of their interventions, American statesman Lyndon LaRouche has given his full, unequivocal endorsement to their actions, and has called for a full mobilization of support behind their efforts to avert a global calamity.

On Thursday, March 12, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier delivered a powerful war-avoidance message to a Washington, D.C. audience at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Steinmeier’s blunt language and his diplomatic, but harsh criticism of the Obama Administration’s plans to provide lethal aid to the Ukraine government, was unprecedented. No recent German Foreign Minister has dared to make such strong and public criticisms of US foreign and national security policy, particularly in such a prominent venue as the CSIS headquarters. Steinmeier had met the previous day with Secretary of State John Kerry and with National Security Advisor Dr. Susan Rice, and no doubt delivered an even more blunt message in those private talks.

Steinmeier began his CSIS talk with a frank assessment of the global crisis, warning: “We are facing a multitude of crises around the globe which, to somebody from my generation, seems unprecedented in their density and in their shocking violence.”

Turning to the Ukraine crisis, Steinmeier declared: “We must look beyond this conflict to our future relationship with Moscow. That means we must not cease to engage Russia, using the last existing channels of communication, to explore a potential off-ramp and—for the future—to explore paths to a more cooperative relationship.”

Steinmeier explicitly rejected the idea of arming Ukraine, warning that this would only escalate the crisis beyond control:

I understand that many of you, many experts, are calling for a more rapid—and therefore… military-based solution… But, knowing the genesis and the structure of the conflict, the status of the conflict parties and their capacities, it is obvious from my point of view that the discussed alternatives to our approach have the potential of increasing the number of victims, of extending the conflict zone and of transporting the conflict to a next phase of escalation. Perhaps to a point of no return. There is no guarantee that our approach, the Normandy approach, will lead to success. But I am sure that there is no guarantee for success in the alternatives that are being discussed. I am afraid: The contrary is the case.”

He later reiterated: “It might take only days to spark a crisis but it could well take years to resolve it. In diplomacy, even more than in real life, tenacity is a virtue!…To us in Europe, Russia will always be our biggest neighbor… It is no secret that, as regards to Russia, trust is at its lowest point. But we need to find a new basis for an engagement, even if it takes years or decades.”

Steinmeier’s sharp intervention against the Obama Administration arming Ukraine was buttressed by one of Germany’s leading elder statesmen, former Chancellor Helmut Schmidt. In an interview with the mass German tabloid Bildzeitung on March 12, Schmidt warned that any further escalation in Ukraine could escalate “even into a real hot war.” Schmidt then touched on one of the most sensitive issues with Russia: The eastward expansion of the EU and NATO, which he traced all the way back to the original Maastricht Treaty of the early 1990s, which was the basis for the expansion into the territory of the former Warsaw Pact and Soviet Union. “We are not obliged to like Putin’s policy,” he told the paper. “But we have to understand it against the background of history and take it seriously.”

Lyndon LaRouche emphasized the significance of the intervention of these two prominent German political figures directly into the growing danger of war in the center of Eurasia. “Their actions can actually change the direction of history at a moment when the immediate issue on the table is war or peace, chaos or recovery.”

The same quality of intervention has been launched by former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, who has called for the immediate reinstatement of the 1933 Glass Steagall Act, which would break up the too-big-to-fail banks into separate commercial and investment banks. O’Malley, who is considering a run for the Democratic Party presidential nomination, has been touring the country and giving interviews, all on the theme of Glass Steagall.

Typical of his powerful intervention was his March 12 interview on MSNBC, in which he told host Joe Scarborough:

“We make the rules. And we can make better rules in order to restore that link between hard work and the opportunity to get ahead… Reinstate Glass Steagall. For 70 years, we prevented banks from gambling with our money, and wrecking our economy and running roughshod over the common good that we share as a people; and having a stable and good economy. Everybody—I mean on both sides of the aisle—I mean, so many people say we should do that, and yet it remains undone. And some people in my own party are holding themselves out as promoting some sort of a Dodd-Frank Lite–`We don’t want to offend anyone on Wall Street, so let us not talk honestly about how we can rein in this excessive behavior.'”Because one of the things we haven’t talked about too much, is that for all of the pain from the home foreclosures and the job losses, the concentration of wealth after each of these last two busts on the stock market actually increased! In other words, while other people lost homes, the people at the top came out even further ahead.”

Lyndon LaRouche has called for a full mobilization in support of O’Malley’s demand that the Glass Steagall fight be the defining issue in the upcoming elections. LaRouche said: “We are not talking about 2016, we need Glass Steagall now, before the entire trans-Atlantic financial system comes crashing down and we are faced with the immediate threat of global war or a descent into absolute chaos and hell.”

Likewise, the recent actions of German statesmen Steinmeir and Schmidt are the only route to “genuine war avoidance,” LaRouche emphasized. “A conflict with Russia, such as that being pushed from inside the Obama White House, is not a limited war. It is general war, leading to thermonuclear war of extinction. It must be stopped, and the Steinmeier and Schmidt interventions can prove to be vital.”

Image: Imperial War Museum, London

SUPPORTING MATERIAL

LaRouche: O’Malley is Right about Glass-Steagall

Since last Friday, March 6, in Concord, New Hampshire, former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley has been pressing his exploratory bid for the 2016 Democratic Presidential nomination around the central issue of the restoration of Franklin Roosevelt’s Glass-Steagall law of 1933, overturned in 1999.

“We should get this out everywhere,” Lyndon LaRouche said today.

“Both Glass-Steagall, and the fact that O’Malley’s running on it. O’Malley’s raised this question, and anyone who opposes that policy, has to be considered as a defective choice for a candidacy for President. O’Malley’s the only one right now, who has the qualifications for being a Presidential candidate. The others will now have to declare themselves on this. You cannot ‘go along to get along’ forever with Wall Street.”

What’s the problem in the U.S.? It’s that the financial side of things from Washington’s standpoint, does not accord with the interests of the United States. It’s the same problem in Europe: the point is that certain interests want to protect their financial interests, even though those financial interests are now becoming worthless.

Look at the whole European thing. Europe is actually raping Greece, and has been doing it for some time. And it hurts like Hell when you don’t go along with that deal. So, people don’t have a care for the world: they care for their own petty, cheap interests.

The time has come to break up the Eurozone. Just break it up. Tell them the time has come to break it up, on the very theme that that institution does not know how to behave itself. It’s time to get rid of it, because it’s becoming like an arrogant bastard. It has no rightful claims to authority over other nations.

What Europe is doing in their gambling system, means it’s impossible to get peace in the Middle East or anywhere else. It means that if Greece pulls out, on the one hand, then the Eurozone collapses. But the opposite also works the same way. If they stay in, it disintegrates by the weight of their presence.

SEE “Glass Steagall”

The whole thing is fraudulent. This stuff has no value: this banking system. And they ought to get back to the United States policy. Forget the fact that a couple of clowns voted down U.S. law in 1999: Glass-Steagall must be restored. We’ve got to get that Glass-Steagall restoration and throw it at the U.S. Congress, and say “This fraud is what caused our problems.”

“O’Malley’s right,” LaRouche said.

“It has to be done. It is the key step. That, of course, would sink Wall Street. That’s the whole point. Anyone who’s running on a Wall Street ticket doesn’t deserve election.”

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Steinmeier Warns Against Arming Ukraine

German Foreign Minister with Secretary of State, John Kerry.

Dr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the German Foreign Minister, didn’t mince his words when speaking Thursday morning at the CSIS in Washington, where he warned against arming Ukraine and called for continued motion along the “difficult path” of diplomacy in order to resolve the crisis there.

“It is obvious to me that this would expand the conflict, and would move the crisis to a new phase and beyond the point of no return,” he warned.

“What we need is strategic patience. If we insist on resolving the crisis immediately , we may set it back. As often in diplomacy, a crisis can start in days, but it may require decades to end,” he said.

“We must be aware that Russia raises in some countries of Europe some long historical memories which we have to understand. But Russia will always be our biggest neighbor and German foreign policy can only work in and through Europe.”

Later in the Q & A, the Swedish berserker economist, Anders Aslund, again asked why we shouldn’t provide Ukraine with weapons.

“We haven’t seen the success of military solutions anytime in recent history,” Steinmeier noted.

“We must take consideration rather to limiting casualties. Just because the way is long, doesn’t mean that some other way will be quicker,”

“If you increase the arms to Ukraine, Russia will simply provide the separatists with more weapons, and the balance of forces would remain the same, but at a much higher level. This would lead to a new phase that could get out of control. It could lead to a direct conflict between Russia and Ukraine, and no one, particularly Ukraine, would benefit from that,” he warned.

“There have been some violations along the way, but the parties have always come back to the basis of the Minsk agreement. As long as the parties remain within the parameters of that agreement, we should pursue the difficult path of negotiations. There is no alternative to this laborious process,” he said.

Former German Chancellor Schmidt: Ukraine Conflict Might Turn into Hot War

Interviewed by Bildzeitung, Helmut Schmidt warned that if the West failed to note Putin’s real concerns, the conflict in Ukraine might escalate “even into a real hot war.” Putin is less concerned about Ukraine, Poland, or Lithuania, he said, than about neighbors China, Pakistan, and the Central Asian states. The future of Ukraine is therefore “less important” for Putin.

Russia was surprised by and suffered from the EU eastward expansion in “a kind of Wild West period” under President Boris Yeltsin in the early 1990s, Schmidt said, adding that Russian conduct at present is still a response to that. Putin has restored the international reputation of Russia again. “We are not obliged to like Putin’s policy. But we have to understand it against the background of history and take it seriously,” said Schmidt.

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