Are We Really Prepared to Risk Nuclear War over Ukraine or Taiwan?

On numerous occasions in recent weeks, Schiller Institute Chairwoman Helga Zepp LaRouche has lamented the silence
from official circles regarding the danger of present flash
points blowing up into full scale war. In a dialogue on May 13, she described the situation as “so explosive” that if “we don’t change course,” we could end up “sleepwalking” into war, as in 1914. But unlike World War I, “this time it involves nuclear weapons, and there are some crazy people, including in some of these think tanks who say, ‘we have to prepare for a possible nuclear war’”. She referred, as an example of this, to a RAND Corporation study, War With China: Thinking the Unthinkable.

One prominent voice echoing her concern was that of a ninety year-old whistleblower, Daniel Ellsberg. At an event on May 1 commemorating the 50th anniversary of his release of the Pentagon Papers, he sounded a warning about what he described as “asinine” and “criminally insane” discussion on the likelihood of the use of nuclear weapons by the U.S. He mentioned in particular comments by StratCom chief Admiral Charles Richard, who said he believes we have gone from nuclear war being “unlikely”, to being “likely” to occur. “That discussion is going on, I have no doubt whatever, in the Pentagon right now”, Ellsberg said.

A war with Russia or China, he added, puts us “at a high risk of escalation to nuclear war. And if it goes to nuclear war … we are talking about the near extinction of humanity. No, there should not be the slightest option, threat or thought whatever of armed conflict with Russia and China now or ever again,” he insisted.

The two most dangerous flash points, as Ellsberg also pointed out, are Taiwan and Ukraine, especially following threats from Ukrainian President Zelensky to take back Crimea, and as shelling increased into the Russian majority region of eastern Ukraine. A mobilization of Russian troops on the Ukraine border led to the highest level alert status for U.S. troops in Europe. Adding to the tension has been loose talk of Ukraine’s entry into NATO – which President Putin warned would be crossing a “Red Line” – and the U.S. continues to add new sanctions to those already in place against Russia.

U.S. Secretary of State Blinken is scheduled to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov in Reykjavik on May 19, where the former is likely to raise the issue of the Nord Stream 2 which, in his view, “undermines European energy security”.

Zepp-LaRouche reiterated her support for President Putin’s call for an emergency summit of the Permanent 5 members of the U.N. Security Council, which could be discussed at an upcoming Putin-Biden summit, if it materializes. As both Zepp-LaRouche and Ellsberg stressed, it is time for the citizens of the leading powers to become part of the discussion process, if war is to be avoided.

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