by Harley Schlanger, LaRouche Organization:

On May 21, Tass news service confirmed that Russian forces will begin military exercises near its border with Ukraine, to simulate loading tactical nuclear warheads onto delivery vehicles. These will include Iskander tactical missiles and hypersonic Kinzhal missiles. There has been no confirmation as to whether the exercises will include test-firing of the missiles.

The Tass dispatch explained that these exercises are a response to “the provocative statements made by western officials”, specifically citing the green-light given to Ukraine by British Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron to use long-range missiles provided by the U.K. to hit targets in Russia. Following a previously-unannounced meeting with President Zelensky on May 21, U.S. Secretary of State Blinken indicated that the U.S. may follow suit, and lift its ban on using U.S.-supplied weapons to hit Russia.


Such threats from the West are increasing in frequency as Ukraine’s military is retreating under pressure from a Russian offensive, and shortages of both weapons and manpower.

A lead article in the {New York Times} on May 22 covered this shift in U.S. policy, reporting there is a “vigorous debate inside the administration over relaxing the ban to allow Ukraine to hit” target sites inside Russia. The article states the debate has been “propelled by the State Department.” The most recent $61 billion package of arms deliveries approved by the U.S. Congress includes delivery of HIMARS and ATACMS missiles, with a range to reach Russian territory (NYT, “Inside the White House, a Debate Over Letting Ukraine Shoot U.S. Weapons Into Russia”).


This escalation of tensions over a potential nuclear war either has been downplayed in western media, or used to push the narrative that it is the “madman” Putin who is threatening to launch a nuclear war. Such articles argue that lifting the ban on attacks on Russia by the UK and the US is necessary to protect Ukraine. Some, such as Chatham House’s mad Russophobe Keir Giles, advocate adopting more provocative measures against Russia, asserting that Putin will not back up his threats, and his bluffs should be called.

In a piece posted on May 10, Giles argued that ruling out sending NATO troops to Ukraine only “reassures Putin he can continue the war with much less concern for the possible consequences.” The possibility of NATO escalation he writes, “is one of the Kremlin’s greatest fears,” urging the adoption instead of “strategic ambiguity”, which he describes as “not telling your adversary what you’re not going to do.”

Another call for escalation came from former top State Department official Victoria Nuland, one of the overseers of the U.S. regime change Maidan coup in February 2014. Nuland said on ABC television’s “This Week” program on May 19, that if bases inside Russia are used to launch attacks on Ukraine, “those bases ought to be fair game.” This was echoed in a May 20 letter signed by a group of thirteen Congressmen in both parties, endorsing attacks on targets inside Russia. House Speaker Mike Johnson added his voice, saying that if Putin succeeds in Ukraine, he will not stop there, which is the argument of virtually everyone calling for an escalation.

The TransAtlantic think tank, Atlantic Council, which is funded by the U.S. and U.K. governments, in addition to firms of the Military-Industrial-Financial Complex, reiterated this in an hysterical piece by Peter Dickinson, the editor of their UkraineAlert service. In a May 21 article advocating “ending absurd restrictions” on targets in Russia, Dickinson repeated the mantra, “If he [Putin] achieves victory in Ukraine, it is ludicrous to suggest he will simply stop.”

There are some voices warning of the lunacy of this approach. Journalist Caitlin Johnstone wrote in a May 24 column, “It would feel so unbelievably idiotic if we woke up to learn that nuclear war has begun after a series of reckless escalations and unpredictable developments led to a rapid sequence of events from which there could be no return. But that’s not an unreasonable fear at this point in history, and we are moving much, much too close to that ledge.”

Respected analyst Gilbert Doctorow shared this concern in a column posted May 22. He wrote, “The United States, Britain and France have been throwing caution to the wind and are escalating madly to prevent disaster on the field of battle and Ukrainian capitulation. Moscow’s tactical nuclear weapons exercises represent an attempt to bring the West to its senses. Whether they will succeed in doing so is an open question.”

Hungary’s Foreign Minister, Peter Szijjarto issued a similar warning. “Some European politicians want to send soldiers to Ukraine while other European politicians are fantasizing about using nuclear weapons. In any event, this will mean a world war and those who are in close proximity to the armed conflict will have to pay for this.”

The Schiller Institute’s chairwoman, Helga Zepp-LaRouche stated on May 22, “We are on the edge of a catastrophe. Any thinking person is flabbergasted, absolutely shocked by the fact that the Western Establishments are completely unable to recognize the outcome of their policies….

“You see that the entire NATO policy towards Russia has not functioned; it backfired… but you do not see any sign of recognition or reflection ….And if people are so detached from reality as we see right now, you really start to worry about their mental health.”


Zepp-LaRouche’s expression of concern over the mental health of those pushing the envelope toward a wider war with Russia is corroborated by examining the vain attempt, conducted over five decades, to discredit her late husband, the American statesman Lyndon LaRouche. His adversaries, including Henry Kissinger and his allies in the intelligence community and media in the U.S. and the U.K., accused LaRouche of being obsessed with the British empire and British geopolitics, for stating that the British establishment was responsible for the wars of the twentieth century and for the Cold War. He was subjected to further slanders for asserting that, in the aftermath of the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963, the U.S. establishment took on the role of co-partner with the British, and then anointed itself as the “Sole Superpower” after the fall of the Soviet Union.

But a review of recent developments which threaten the outbreak of a new world war shows that not only was LaRouche prescient, but his detractor’s defense of the manipulation of U.S. policy by the City of London oligarchs and corporate/financial cartels is preventing governments from seeking negotiated settlements for a pathway to peace.

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