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International Peace Coalition No. 55 Endorses OKV Appeal Backing Putin Call for Peace

International Peace Coalition Meeting, No. 55, June 21, 2024

ANASTASIA BATTLE: Welcome everyone! This is the International Peace Coalition. This is our 55th meeting, so over a year of meetings throughout the world, bringing people together of many different ideologies and cultures and nations to come together for true peace. Thank you all for joining us. We very much appreciate especially new people who are joining us today. During the discussion period if you are new, please introduce yourself; let us know where you’re from, what organization you’re with, and what kind of organizing you’re doing. We want to encourage as much collaboration and coordination around the world as possible.

My name is Anastasia Battle, I’ll be your moderator today, as well as my co-moderator Dennis Speed. We have a number of very important discussions today around the peace proposal that was put forward by Putin. If you saw in the email that was sent out, we’ll have more dialogue around that. We have a direct response to that from leading German political figures on what this means and what we can do with this. I definitely want to encourage more discussion around that. But to start us off, I’d like Helga Zepp-LaRouche, who is the founder of the Schiller Institute and the initiator of the International Peace Coalition, to get us started.

HELGA ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Hello to all of you. I think there is a terrible feeling many people have that the war machine is coming closer and closer, and the situation is escalating by the day. And more important, people are also warning that it will take 3-5 months before we will have a big war in Europe. This is the statement by Serbian President Vučić, who says he is preparing his population for such a war to come. Now that puts us shortly before the U.S. election, and I would concur that given the strategic dynamic, this is the most dangerous period of all. In this situation, the proposal made by President Putin on the 14th of June, when he spoke for one hour before leading members of the Foreign Ministry of Russia, where he laid out in great detail a proposal for a Eurasian security architecture—a new one—which should be integrative and it should be based on the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, the respect for sovereignty. It is open, according to Putin, for NATO members to join.

Now the Permanent Representative of Russia to the UN Office in Geneva Gennady Gatilov just made an elaboration of that, where he says that it is very clear that the Euro-Atlantic security system has completely failed, and Putin’s proposal is supposed to be the foundation for a new global security architecture in the era of multipolarity. Those among you who have been following us since the beginning of the special military operation in Ukraine, will remember that immediately afterwards, I made a proposal for a global security and development architecture, which is supposed to take into account the interests of every single country on the planet. And that in the meantime, I have proposed Ten Principles which should be and must be considered for such a new architecture to actually really function. If you compare what we have been saying in the IPC for the last year or so, and longer in the Schiller Institute, you will find that there is a very great affinity between what Putin has laid out, and what we have been fighting for.

It is obvious that the mainstream media did not report this Putin proposal in full length. They choose to only pick the very last paragraphs, which were a peace proposal to settle the Ukraine crisis, and they immediately rejected it. Scholz rejected it, and others. But that was only one element of this much larger conception to have an all-Eurasian security architecture. This is, I think, extremely important to be discussed, and this is why we invited one of the inspirations of an appeal coming from the umbrella organization of all East German Associations, Mr. Bonatz, who is one of the initiators of this international appeal, to speak to us. But before we get to that, let me just say a couple of more things.

Putin made an official visit in the last several days to North Korea, where he got an incredibly friendly reception with all fanfare. And he concluded there a new strategic military alliance with North Korea, and he also indicated that Russia will supply North Korea with high-precision, long-range weapons. They made a security pact, whereby if one of the two countries were attacked, it will immediately be answered with a military response from both. The American expert, Gilbert Doctorow, wrote a very interesting comment on this new Russia-North Korea strategic alliance. He put forward the hypothesis that this is a Russian asymmetric response to the provocations coming from NATO. And that Putin has proven with that asymmetric response that he is able to respond to these provocations without resorting to the use of nuclear weapons, which obviously would be the trigger point for a much larger, if not a global conflict. And that Russia has also indicated that it will supply all adversaries of the United States with similar weapons like the Houthis in Yemen, and in that way have this kind of asymmetric escalation.

So, I think this creates definitely a new situation, and I think it’s quite noteworthy that Sergey Glazyev, a Russian economist, has put out a lengthy statement in which he says the cause of this military escalation is the bankruptcy of the Western financial system, which is sooner or later going to erupt in a full-scale social and economic catastrophe if the United States insists to keep this system going at all costs. This is very interesting, because that is exactly what my late husband Lyndon LaRouche has been saying actually since 1971, when Nixon abandoned the fixed-exchange rate system, where Lyndon LaRouche said this will lead to a new depression, a new danger of war, and a new fascism. I think that is actually where we are right now.

Maria Zakharova, the spokeswoman of the Russian Foreign Ministry, also repeated the call of Russia that the United States must withdraw all nuclear weapons from Europe, because they have no point being there, thousands of miles away from the United States. And at our recent conference of the Schiller Institute this past weekend, Rainer Rupp, a known analyst of Russian affairs, noted the fact that when he watched some of the NATO maneuvers, it was actually mind-boggling with what ease the dropping of nuclear weapons on Germany was part of the exercises. He said, “why would Europe keep nuclear weapons which do nothing for their security, but which make them really juicy targets?” I think that that call—I would like to propose to the IPC that we should support the call to get all nuclear weapons in Europe, that is, actually, all American weapons; but then move on to have more ways to eliminate all weapons of mass destruction.

In the meantime, we have also gotten reports from concerned citizens, because people are increasingly watching what we are saying, and we got reports that what German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius has been preaching, namely to make Germany war-ready, and other European countries war-ready, which is an outrage that this should even be proposed in Germany, after 80 years and a total loss of memory of our horrible history of the 20th century! But obviously, Pistorius has no such knowledge about history. But people are concerned about that. We got one report that in one European NATO country, there is a club where they teach shooting, and they report that there have been thousands of Ukrainians being trained to learn shooting, and that the whole neighborhood is all the time sleepless, because this shooting is going on all day long. From another concerned citizen we got the report that a large vehicle fleet, or somebody who owns a large vehicle fleet of several hundred trucks was approached by the government, de facto, and he was told that if it comes to a pre-war situation, then his entire vehicle fleet may be requisitioned for the transport of troops and weapons. Now, that is going on! And that means that the signs that we are in a preparation for war, these signs are filtering down even to the level of the population. That means we should really get the population to stand up against this because if it comes to a war, Europe has no chance to survive. I think we should absolutely mobilize the population to stand up against this.

We have prepared the English translation of the appeal of the OKV, which I would like Anastasia to read now, before Mr. Bonatz makes some comments about it. And then I would urge the participants of the IPC dialogue today that we should discuss the Putin proposal and if there is a general agreement in one way or another, that we be able to formulate it as an outcome of this meeting, because I think the urgency of the situation could not be exaggerated at all.

Those are my initial remarks.

Text of OKV Declaration on Putin’s Peace Initiative

Declaration of the Presidium of the East German Board of Trustees of Associations on President Putin’s peace initiative

Our contribution is to support the peace initiative of the Russian President in such a way that it gains a broad echo and helps to help reason prevail in the interests of humanity.

15.06.2024 From the Presidium of the OKV e.V., June 17, 2024

We welcome the renewed peace initiative of the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, currently presented in his speech at the Russian Foreign Ministry on June 14, 2024. His peace proposals are based on the vote of the population of the four new regions, as well as the multiple votes of the people of Crimea. They are also based on the facts on the battlefield. They show the genesis of the Ukraine conflict.

This peace initiative is based on the continuity of Russia’s desire for peace, which was openly documented to the world in the conclusion and attempted implementation of Minsk-2 as well as in the willingness to negotiate and the treaty that was, therefore, about to be concluded in spring 2022. Responses from the various sides reveal to the world who the aggressor is, who is constantly escalating, who is indifferent to countless human lives, and also what intentions lie behind it.

In view of the suffering caused by war and aggression and the danger of this conflict escalating into a Third World War, broad support for this initiative is an expression of the will of all rational people to survive.

The war-mongering, profit- and revenge-driven calls for Russia to be defeated are based on the mistaken assumption that the theater of war can be limited. This was not the case in the First and Second World Wars. With today’s means, which can reach any target in the world in the shortest possible time, such an assumption is also evidence of a huge misjudgment and negligence of reality. Those calling for war and against negotiations believe that they themselves may have a safe chance of survival.

Our contribution is to support the Russian President’s peace initiative in such a way that it gains a broad echo and helps reason to prevail in the interests of humanity. We call on everyone we can reach to do so.

This idea was the basis of our conference “Dialogue Instead of Weapons” in March 2023. This idea was also the basis of the international conference of the German Peace Council e.V. and the OKV e.V. with the participation of representatives of European members of the World Peace Council in September 2023, which we actively supported.

Regardless of party affiliation, faith or nationality, we call on everyone to join us in supporting V. Putin’s peace initiative.

Dr. Matthias Werner, President of the OKV e.V.

During the Discussion:

RAY MCGOVERN: First, vielen dank, Herr Bonatz. That was a very good briefing, very instructive and very important. I would like to pick up on a few things just to bring people up to date, as I normally do, as a former current intelligence officer.

First and foremost, Putin in his speech last Friday, exactly a week ago, took off the rhetorical gloves. Now he has pretty much taken off the concrete, tangible gloves. The rhetorical gloves, I just repeat what he said here: [reading from the Sputnik translation] “We have come dangerously close to the point of no return. Calls to inflict a strategic defeat on Russia,” which continue particularly in the U.S. administration and in the U.S. Congress, calls to defeat Russia in this way, despite the fact that Russia possesses the largest arsenal of nuclear weapons, “they demonstrate the extreme recklessness of Western politicians.” Whoa! Recklessness. Recklessness is the coin of realm during Presidential campaigns such as we are in the midst of. People make decisions based on their fortunes in becoming President, staying President, or whatever, and this is the overriding reality against which Putin and his associates … [loss of audio]

Let me continue here. What I notice is that the Western press, as Helga has already noticed, has been very measly, very meager in its coverage of what Putin has said, and what he has described, for the most part, with extreme accuracy. Small wonder that the Western press would avoid this, because it happens to be true, and it happens to be demonstrably true.

Now, one of the things that Putin mentioned was that there was a deal back in March-April of 2022, a deal which ensured that Ukraine would not be part of NATO, there would be a ceasefire, they would work out other things. And that deal was just about to be signed—it had already been initialed—when Boris Johnson came in at the behest of the U.S. and U.K. and put the kibosh on, as we say. He said to Zelenskyy, “Don’t do that! We’ll give you all the weapons you need for as long as it takes. Don’t do that.” So, that was thrown in the garbage. The date of Boris Johnson’s visit was the 9th of April, 2022. It was no secret. If you read the Ukrainian press at the time, the whole story was told! Now we have the chief Ukrainian negotiator, Davyd Arakhamia, admitting to the Kyiv Post and others, that, “yeah, this is exactly what happened.” He said this with a sort of naïveté, expressing extreme disappointment that Boris Johnson would behave in this way. After all, Arakhamia had been working on an agreement since February 28th—namely four days after the Russian troops went into Ukraine! So all that good work, both in Belarus and in Türkiye, had gone in vain.

Why do I mention that? I mention that because since what is called the Istanbul Agreements were mentioned by Mr. Putin, the New York Times drew out of its files, the texts of some of the drafts of that agreement, but they forgot to mention that it was the West, the U.S. and the U.K. in the person of Boris Johnson who nullified them, and said they can’t go forward. Why do I say that? I just say that because the West, and particularly the United States, is totally impoverished about the truth of all this. There was a deal: the Russians stopped. They withdrew troops from around Kyiv as a goodwill gesture. That is all reality. That is all fact! And then what happened? The West came in and said, “Zelenskyy, don’t do that.”

What else does that indicate? Well, for those who say the Russians will never, never stop—they did stop! They stopped in early April, actually on the 29th of March, when they withdrew their troops from around Kyiv. So, for those who say the Russians won’t stop with Ukraine—they’ll go to Poland, and the Baltic—that’s hogwash. That’s what the British call “bollocks.”

Now, what else? North Korea was mentioned. This is very big. But before that, just a little codicil. It’s not only the U.S. press, it’s the German press, it’s the whole European press that are keeping this from their citizens. After the war, you could understand why the Germans and others would feel sort of like they had to act like children. Now, they need to grow up and act like adults. I was in the office of the Bundestag chair of the Defense Committee, about seven years ago, when Exercise Anaconda was launched. I said, “What is this all about?” He said, “Well, Germany has not approved this.” I said, “Herr Helmich, Germany is participating in this.” He just threw up his hands. He knew, that whatever he said as a prominent SPD member, that it wouldn’t matter, because his bosses were taking their orders from the United States. That has to stop! And the Germans, all the Europeans need to spring up, and say, “Look, your major media are obfuscating this whole thing. Let’s get on with it.”

Lastly, North Korea. Wow! This came as a surprise to everyone. There is a mutual defense treaty now between Russia and North Korea. How many mutual defense treaties does Russia have? One: Between Russia and North Korea. Mutual obligation to come to the aid of the other side, if the other side is attacked. That is big. Lots of speculation about what kinds of help might be introduced to help the other side. For the nonce, they’re talking about at least on TV talk shows in Russia, they’re talking about “Well, if the French put in 20,000 troops, how about 50,000 troops from the North Korean Army?” I don’t think it’s going to go that way right away, at least. I think rather, very sophisticated rocketry and all kinds of missilery will be given.

Now, the last thing I’ll say is, we know, and Jake Sullivan, the National Security Advisor to the President, knows, that Putin gave the North Koreans a very, very sophisticated ICBM—intercontinental ballistic missile—a couple of years ago. It’s not Russia’s most sophisticated one, but it’s the next one down. It can reach every inch of the United States: It has decoys, it has chaff galore. It can be guided into place. And, most important, it’s mobile! To be mobile, you have to be solid fuel. It’s solid fuel. Has it been tested? Yes, it’s been tested twice. Now: What does that mean? That means that all this pulling of hair by the New York Times, Financial Times, and everybody—"Oh, would Russia give sophisticated weaponry to North Korea, in a strategic sense?” Well, be the first to know, folks—they already have!

So, what is Putin trying to do? Is he trying to steal the march strategically? He’s trying to deter, for God’s sake. Deterrence is the name of the game. It’s not a threat, it’s simply to say, “Look, we have the situation in Europe, well, we’re winning. If you, President Biden, and your advisors think it’s so important not to lose, not to lose in Ukraine before the election, and thereby lose the election— if you think that’s so important that you would threaten to use—what’s next, low-yield nuclear weapons? Forget about it! Because we not only can make trouble for you in the West. In the East we have a defense ally now. Not only a very good friend—China—but a literal defense cooperation ally. The name is North Korea. They’re delighted to be with us. There’s a new element of deterrence now, Mr. President. Please! Please realize that, and take the consequences for what they are.”

What we need to do is realize that the problem is with us. We’ve identified the enemy: The enemy is us. The deal is out there. The deterrence is there. The only big fly in the ointment is the Presidential election here, other elections elsewhere, in Europe and elsewhere. And, we, the people, need to stand up, get the truth out, and make sure our politicians don’t bring us to the brink of nonexistence.

Sorry to be so down on this, but those are the facts as I see them. Thanks for listening.

Closing Remarks:

ZEPP-LAROUCHE: I just want to thank all of you. I think whatever you do in the next weeks and months is, possibly, decisive in making the resolution if mankind exists or not: Because while there are periods in history when the individual can do very little, I think we are right now at one of these branching points, where the subjective factor is playing a very, very important role. So, the more mobilization and moral courage you can mobilize, that is really what you should concentrate on. Make it a desire of as many people as you know in your environment to do likewise.