Escalating Militarization—Speak Out To Stop It Even MoreBy Marcia Merry Baker
Jan. 7—As of the first week of the New Year, the escalation is dramatic for confrontation and militarization, not only in Ukraine, making general war all the more likely. It is no time to back down from sounding the alarm, and now time for organizing for the alternative: peace through development.
The next Ukraine Defense Contact Group meeting at Ramstein Air Base, Germany is set for January 20, the eighth such meeting. It is a target point in a countdown of pressure and public pledges for more arms to Ukraine. The U.S. Defense Department made a showy announcement yesterday of another $3 billion worth of U.S. hardware committed to Ukraine, and issued a Fact Sheet giving a long list, detailing weapons deliveries to date and to come. France has pledged armored personnel vehicles and more. On Jan. 6, U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan called Italian authorities to pressure them to cough up more arms for Ukraine. On Jan. 6, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin III spoke by phone with German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht, commending her for Germany’s decision “to provide additional military capabilities to Ukraine, including one Patriot air defense battery and Marder infantry fighting vehicles.”
That is not enough for Bundestag Defense Committee Chairwoman Marie- Agnes Strack-Zimmermann (FDP). She raved to the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung that supplying the Marders is not enough. “European partners are waiting for Germany to also be ready to move in some Leopard main battle tanks.”
Another in the camp of raving screamer war hawks is John Bolton, who today announced his candidacy for the U.S. presidency in the 2024 election, fittingly stating his intentions on British TV, on the “Good Morning, Britain” show. Bolton’s program is to demand NATO get much tougher on Russia and China.
In addition to arms pledges, the NATO military networks are publicly talking of training and support for a “new coordinated operations” capacity in the Ukraine military. Yesterday at the White House, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby, and at the Pentagon, Deputy Secretary for Eurasia Laura Cooper, gave separate briefings to reporters on the plans to upgrade the Ukraine military.
Kirby stated that sending Ukraine Bradley infantry fighting vehicles will further “combined arms maneuver warfare.” He elaborated, “You might remember the Pentagon just recently said they’re going to start training, at a battalion level, Ukrainian troops outside the country on combined arms maneuver….”
Cooper stated that the new package of arms to Ukraine, “will change the dynamic on the battlefield.” “These capabilities will complement and work with the expanded U.S. led training beginning this month that will build Ukraine’s capacity to conduct joint maneuver and combined operations.”
The premise of these plans is indefinite combat. How much of this is fiction, and how much reality is a pertinent question. But either way, the policy is madness. Moreover, the same madness is proceeding in building up and exercising military forces in Asia, focussed against both China and Russia, as targets.
The question was asked yesterday at the U.S. State Department Foreign Press Center briefing, is not the new Japanese security militarization policy a threat in the Pacific? Spokesman Ned Price fell over himself to deny this, repeatedly saying, “there is no threat.” Price said that Tokyo’s intention is to advance “a free and open Indo-Pacific,” a vision shared by the U.S., etc.
But this week, mutual military commitments will be discussed Jan. 11 in Washington, D.C., at the 2+2 meeting of Japanese and American defense and foreign policy ministers/secretaries. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will visit President Joe Biden at the White House Jan. 13.
We’re at the “moral limits” of how much militarization can continue to go on, is the expression used about German arms to Ukraine, expressed by the Russian Embassy in Berlin yesterday. But this concept of being at the limits is applicable now in many locations.
Therefore, the events, dialogue and statements organized by the Schiller Institute and networks, and collaborators everywhere, are playing a critical world-historical role to bring about a last-minute shift away from this doomsday scenario. Look at the three upcoming events, including Jan. 8 described below.
The impact of the Schiller Institute was acknowledged—negatively—by its being named, along with individuals and the “LaRouche Movement” in a hitlist in the Wall Street Journal editorial posted on Jan. 6 by an author, who is part of high networks that deploy the Kiev-based, U.S.-funded hitlist operation, the Committee To Counter Disinformation (CCD).
The guest commentary was headlined, “Putin’s American Cheerleaders,” by Adrian Karatnycky, of the Atlantic Council. He named and denounced individuals for “cooperation with official [Russian] propagandists who beat the drum for a state perpetrating massive war crimes and atrocities,” including Tulsi Gabbard, Tucker Carlson, Jeffrey Sachs, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, and others. He wrote, “Most U.S. guests on Russian media come from the fringe, including former Virginia State Sen. Richard Black, who associates with the Lyndon LaRouche movement’s Schiller Institute, and Scott Ritter, an embittered and disgraced former American intelligence officer turned critic of the war in Iraq.” Conspicuously, he did not name Schiller Institute founder and leader Helga Zepp-LaRouche, who is at the top of Ukraine’s CCD’s hitlist.
Zepp-LaRouche will give the keynote at an international internet conference Jan. 8 hosted by Diane Sare in New York, former LaRouche Independent candidate for U.S. Senate in 2022. Zepp-LaRouche made the point today that “we are in a very worrisome domain” given the determination of those continuing to deploy toward war. It is not just in Ukraine. It is urgent for people to wake up, and not just “follow” things, but mobilize. Make your voice heard.
• Jan. 8 at 2 p.m. EST: Participate in Diane Sare’s online policy discussion, “Can Nuclear War Be Avoided? Only If the U.S.A. Becomes Trustworthy,” with Scott Ritter, Col. Richard Black (ret.), Steve Starr, Helga Zepp-LaRouche, and others. RSVP for the Zoom link.
• Jan. 10 at 11 a.m. EST: Join an internet discussion “Do You Care about International Law, Mrs. Merkel?” with Ray McGovern, Scott Ritter, Helga Zepp-LaRouche, General Dominique Delawarde (ret.), Colonel Alain Corvez (ret.), and others.
• Jan. 14 at 10 a.m. EST: “To Stop NATO’s World War, Dismantle the ‘JFK International Assassination Bureau,’” Garland Nixon, Helga Zepp-LaRouche, Ray McGovern.
• Early February: Schiller Institute conference “Ten Principles for Organizing a New International Security and Development Architecture.”
• Sign the Open Letter to Pope Francis from Political and Social Leaders: Support Call for Immediate Peace Negotiations.