Just as diplomacy between the United States and North Korea was moving forward rapidly, President Trump announced the withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the P5+1 agreement with Iran. The US pullout has put pressure on both Iran and Europe to either renegotiate aspects of the original agreement or proceed without US involvement. The White House has given European and other international corporations between 90 and 180 days to divest of their economic programs in Iran, which is a substantial window of time in which to initiate new negotiations.
An exciting dynamic is sweeping Asia, with the breakthrough diplomacy on the Korean peninsula being but the most spectacular aspect of it. While just a few months ago, the idea of a summit between the President of the United States and the Chairman of North Korea was still dismissed by most as pie-in-the-sky, a definitive date for a meeting between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un has now been set for June 12 in Singapore. This will be the first summit ever between the leaders of those two countries.
On the occasion of the commemorations of the end of the Second World War, celebrated on May 8 and 9, Schiller Institute Chairwoman Helga Zepp-LaRouche wrote a short statement for the occasion. It was also distributed at Immortal Regiment commemorations in the United States in Washington DC, New York City, San Francisco and other cities.
A U.S. trade delegation led by Treasury Secretary Mnuchin arrived in Beijing in early May to negotiate with their Chinese counterparts on a number of controversial issues. While President Trump expressed great optimism about the development of relations between the two countries at the same time, the U.S. delegation presented very tough demands, including a drastic reduction of the trade imbalance by the end of 2020, the end of subsidies to certain advanced technologies planned, and opening up even more areas to foreign investment.
In an article written April 28 for Neue Solidarität, Schiller Institute Chairwoman Helga Zepp-LaRouche castigated German Chancellor Merkel and her government for supporting the April 14 missile strikes against Syria, which, was in fact just the most recent in a string of flagrant violations of the United Nations Charter and international law.
“Get ready,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told journalists at her weekly briefing on April 19, which turned out to be a bombshell. In response to the British accusations that Russia is responsible for state-sponsored assassinations, for the use of chemical weapons in Syria and in general for blatant disregard of international law, she recalled the “contributions” of the British elite and authorities to the history of the past centuries, going through the review the crimes one by one.
The feverish efforts of Theresa May’s government, backed by the British elite and the City of London, to feed the new Cold War drive against Russia are running into trouble. Take London’s role in organizing the “Russiagate” scandal in the United States, involving supposed collusion between the Trump team and Russian officials, in which “former” MI6 operative Christopher Steele was a leading player. Or the claim that Russia and Vladimir Putin himself were behind the attempt to kill Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury, using chemical weapons, which has collapsed under the weight of its own contradictions. Then, the British government’s eagerness to launch military strikes against Syria on April 14, once again in the absence of hard evidence, and on the sole basis of a Foreign Office-financed terrorist group in Syria, the White Helmets, led a number of leading diplomatic and military figures in the U.K. itself to question the blatant lies behind those attacks. For example:
Over the past year, London has worked very hard to portray itself as the leader of the “free world”, at the forefront of the battle against totalitarianism in all its forms. The British need to assume that role, their elite proclaims, because of Donald Trump’s “insane” intention to establish good relations with Russia and China, rather than upholding the traditional Anglo-American geopolitics. If one is to believe Prime Minister Theresa May, the United Kingdom is making a full comeback on the global scene to combat the country’s main enemy, which is Russia.
On April 16, the Russian envoy to the OPCW Alexander Shulgin stated before the executive committee of the organization that Russia has irrefutable proof that no chemical weapons attack took place in Douma on April 7, that “all this was a planned provocation by the British intelligence services, probably, with the participation of their senior allies from Washington with the aim of misleading the international community and justifying aggression against Syria.”
As of today, April 19, there are highly conflicting reports over what, if anything, happened on the ground in Douma, Syria, on April 7. The initial reports on a chemical attack by the Syrian government forces were exclusively provided by the White Helmets, a network inside Syria promoting various rebel groups and pushing the West to intervene to bring down the Assad government. On that unreliable basis, the U.S., the U.K. and France decided to launch missile attacks against Syria on April 14, just one day before the inspectors from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons were scheduled to arrive to carry out inspections.