Confront an Evil March Toward WWIII With Relentless OptimismBy David Shavin
Jan. 26—Yesterday’s “Tanks to Ukraine” parade, a silly and dangerous piece of theater, meant primarily to busy Europe into a perpetual state of conflict, provoked more than a few forces around the world today to dig deeper into their own principles. In Gottfried Leibniz’s “best of all possible worlds,” evil is certainly possible, but the better angel of mankind’s nature always has the capacity to rise to the occasion, forging a greater good than otherwise would have been possible. Today provided more than a few examples.
The President of Switzerland, Alain Berset, not only ruled out any involvement in sending weapons to Ukraine, but explained on television that Switzerland had a unique quality of “neutrality.” Their role, as reflected in the Geneva Conventions, is so much more important than joining a parade of weapon providers. “Today, it is not time to change the rules” against exporting weapons. “Neither is it time to change the rules of neutrality. On the contrary, it is time to recall our basic principles, to stay committed to them and find a right path for the country in this situation.” Switzerland has “a different role from other states.”
It was their duty to uphold a decent part of Western civilization. At a time when Japan is getting enmired in offensive warfare capabilities, and Germany has broken its ‘never again’ commitment, never to send weaponry into an openly hostile area—when decades-long sacred commitments born out of a burning desire to not repeat the tragedies of the past, Switzerland’s re-assertion of an actual principle should not go unnoticed.
In Germany’s Bundestag, Chancellor Olaf Scholz was openly confronted by AfD parliamentarian Petr Bystron for abandoning Germany’s “never again” tenet, declaring that Scholz stood in stark contrast to the legacy of SPD predecessors such as Willy Brandt and Helmut Schmidt, who had “done a lot for peace and reconciliation.” (Scholz admitted he had abandoned those SPD principles, but Russia made him do it.) Another parliamentarian, Sevim Dagdelen of the Linke party, blamed the US, but more importantly, Germany’s “neo-cons,” the Greens and the Liberals, for muscling Germany down this ominous path. He then usefully recalled “the books of Brzezinski… of many think tankers in the United States,” where “it was always an aim” by such “elites to destroy the relationship between Germany and Russia,” which could only cast current developments in the light of the geopolitics of the 1930’s. Germany should benefit from more such deliberations.
A chorus of voices sang out in Russia, honing in on a completely overlooked reaction awaiting the West, when the image of German tanks rolling across Ukraine is rebroadcast. Russia’s Minister of Internal Affairs said it called up the “historical memory” amongst Russians “of the crimes of Hitler’s forces and their henchmen—the Banderites—in Ukraine.” Nikolay Mezhevich, of the Institute of Europe of the Russian Academy of Sciences offered: “Our opponents do not really understand that the emergence of German tanks in the post-Soviet space will mean a turning point in the Russian public mind. The Germans will be forced to feel the consequences of their decision.” And Andrey Kortunov, general director of the Russian International Affairs Council explained that it also had consequences for Germans, as the West “does not let Germans hear their inner voice.” There is “a heavy load of political symbolism for the people of Germany, who will again see German tanks in Donbass…this brings to mind various unpleasant associations for the Germans as well.”
In the United States, Congressman Paul Gosar, in his “Biden’s Reckless Decision to Escalate War and Send Tanks to Ukraine,” called out Biden’s “dangerous and reckless escalation matched by a historic escalation by Germany, which has now violated its post-World War II policy of non-intervention…This war needs to be resolved and America should be a peace maker, not a war monger.” Former President Donald Trump was succinct, on target, and free of any sloppy populism: “FIRST COME THE TANKS, THEN COME THE NUKES. Get this crazy war ended now. So easy to do!”
CodePink’s Medea Benjamin’s “What Can the United States Bring to the Peace Table for Ukraine?,” reminded readers of a time when even President Zelensky stopped playing a comic book hero, and on March 27, 2022, addressed his country about Ukraine agreeing to a neutrality status, and settling with Russia. She suggested that the US now can simply bring something to the peace table by endorsing “Ukrainian neutrality” and agree “to participate in the kind of security guarantees Ukraine and Russia agreed to in March , but which the US and U.K. rejected.”
Finally, the Veterans of Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) presented an “Emergency Memorandum” to President Biden, which eviscerates the reckless incompetence behind what Biden is receiving as intelligence, bluntly telling him that he has lost his war in Ukraine, and in the process has driven Russia and China so close together, that the US now faces two conjoined nuclear powers in any showdown. Further, “Putin has heard from the lips of US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin ‘One of the US’s goals in Ukraine is to see a weakened Russia. … The US is ready to move heaven and earth to help Ukraine win the war against Russia’.” And Putin and Russia view that as an existential threat. “Can the US achieve Austin’s goal? Not without using nuclear weapons.”
The VIPS conclude: Hence, an off-ramp is needed for the sake of the US and of Ukraine. Take up Putin’s hint that Moscow “might agree to halt before taking Odessa, in return for concessions from US/NATO/Ukraine… Some kind of demilitarized zone from Odessa northward roughly along the Dniepr. This would leave Ukraine with access to the sea… It is very easy for them to solve this problem: to send the appropriate signal to Kiev that they should change their position and seek a peaceful solution to these problems. And that will do it.”
No one wishes more evil in the world. But when it appears, we must rise to the occasion.
And do recall, that on January 27, we celebrate the freedom of that embattled political prisoner Lyndon H. LaRouche and the birthday of that genius, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, both forces of relentless optimism.