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LaRouche on Wisconsin Public Radio:
Will Katrina Bring a 'Cultural Paradigm-Shift' in its Wake?
Lyndon LaRouche gave this interview to the Duke Skorich Show on Wisconsin Public Radio, KUWS, in Superior and Ashland Park, on Sept. 7, 2005. The interview was also streamed on the web at www.kuws.fm. The show, part of the Air America network, was co-hosted by Patty McNulty.
DUKE SKORICH: You're listening to the Duke Skorich radio show with Patty McNulty on KUWS.... Ladies and gentlemen, it's our pleasure to welcome to the program, an internationally known economist, author, and statesman. He has run for the Presidency of the United States on six different occasions [sic]. It's my great pleasure to welcome to the microphones, Lyndon LaRouche.
Mr. LaRouche, how are you, sir?
LYNDON LAROUCHE: Oh, pretty good this afternoon.
SKORICH: You know, Mr. LaRouche, we were talking at the beginning of the program, some wonderful editorials that have been written across this great country of ours: The New York Times talking about "waiting for a leader." The New Orleans Times Picayune really asking the President of the United States really to apologize, and to step up to the plate, and to take responsibility for what the Federal government has done, or not done, in this case, saying, "Mr. President, we need a President, not a lot of mayors."
Now, I have to assume, sir, that you also found that this government responded in such an incredibly woeful manner, as to, we should be ashamed of this government.
LAROUCHE: Wellthat's true, that's fair. But that doesn't butter the beans. The question is, now, how do we deal with the problem? I'm not surprised at the failure performance of the Bush Administration, nor the President himself.
This was not so much an accident: This was a product of an ideological turn, which we've seen going for some time, but especially under this President. In other words, it was his ideology, it was his philosophy, the philosophy of his administration, which led him down the pathway, to saying "brush this aside," and ignore all the things that are needed in terms of public interest.
The way the scandal comes up, is that, remember, this was the thing that killed off, essentially the re-election essentially, of George H.W. Bush, when the hurricane again was thereAndrewwas the issue. When President Clinton came in, Clinton did an excellent job, in actually rebuilding the FEMA availability, and the whole program. From the time that George came in, this time, in 2001, he began to tear it down, with his changes in policy. And then, with 9/11, he really made a big mistake in the way he went at Homeland Defense, which was cooked up ideological job, rather than strengthening the institutions which should have been strengthened from that experience. We tore down the capability of dealing with a crisis of this type. And George kept clinging to it, because that was his ideology. That was his administration's philosophy.
What has happened here is not an accident, it's not just negligence, though it's all of that. But what's happened is, the philosophy of the Bush Administration ran slam dunk into reality. And it came up looking bad. If this goes on for another week or so, you're going to have what's called a "cultural paradigm-shift": that the United States will go away from this kind of philosophy that the Bush Administration represented, that a lot of people represented inside the Reagan Administration. That turn in philosophy has come to an end.
We're now going back to the Franklin Roosevelt orientation, where we care about our people, where national health, national security, General Welfare, becomes the leading issue. This is perceived not only in the United States, it's perceived in Europe. And there is a movement in the Senate and elsewhere to push in this direction.
So, right now, it is not a scandal, even though there's plenty of scandal if you want to find it. What there is now, is the challenge of changing from the philosophy which the George H.W. Bush Administration represented, and the George W. Bush, more. That philosophy has now come to the end of the being tolerated. We're now going to have to go back in the direction of Franklin Roosevelt, or else, we're finished.
SKORICH: Mr. LaRouche, you know, George H.W. Bush spent a majority of his life trying to build alliances, and in his heart of hearts, what do you think he thinks about the policies of the neo-cons, the Paul Wolfowitzes, who are really in control of his son, the President?
LAROUCHE: Well, I don't think he's too happy with that. He's got conflict. He's got ambition. He's not the brightest star in the firmament, George H.W. But he doesn't have the problems his son has. He does have some sense of reality, and the people around him in the Carlyle Group and so forth, they do have some sense of realitythey may be a little bit swinish, and so forth, things like that. But, they did not want, for example, to plunge into the war in Iraq. The people behind George W. Bush intended to plunge in. The George H.W. crowd said, "Well, let's not." But then it happened, and then they backed down on that one.
And now, he finds himself, where he probably can barely speak to his sonand there is a difference in philosophy, but not that much. The overall drift in the direction that we've been going in, the right-wing tendency in the United States, that continues, and George H.W. Bush is part of it. His son has gotten himself really into the wild-eyed version of this thing. And there is a difference between the father and the sonthere's no question of that.
SKORICH: Is it possible that this government can change, with people seemingly not paying attention, and the neo-con agenda is still so much a part of Washington politics, how can we begin to remove those people who have been placed in power, if America won't pay attention?
LAROUCHE: Well, it will pay attention. You have, for example, you have in the Senate, or out of the Senatesince, oh, even Nov. 7 of last year, there was a turn in the Democratic Party, which decided to get up off the floor and realize that a lame-duck had just been reputedly re-elected. So, they began to fight. And out of this process, up through May 23, when you had a coalition of Republicans and Democrats against this "nuclear option," you've had a solidpretty solidbloc among the Democrats in the Senate, and also some collaboration between a lot of Republicans in the Senate and the Democrats.
So, now we have a new tendency. When this crisis hit, what we've had, is now is that you have a bipartisan approach in the Senate, spilling over into parts of the House of Representatives, pushing in a direction of a paradigm-shift. It's not yet a philosophical commitment on the part of Republicans, but there's a sense of reality, especially out there in the field. People are running for election, you know, next yearthey're saying, they can't win this way!
So, there's a general push right from reality, and in the people and so forth, to go in the direction of concern for the General Welfare. So therefore, we're in a situation where we do have new leadership emerging. It's sluggish, it's slow, it's hard to deal with this, because of it's institutional: You've got a President who doesn't function!
SKORICH: We have had so many people who have called this radio program, and have writtennationally, nowGary Hart, in the Washington Post, "who will lead?" "who will say no?" Frank Rich, Maureen Dowd, any numbers of "liberal" perceived columnists, who have taken head on the Democratic Party, and say, "When will somebody stand up?!"
LAROUCHE: It is standing up. But, where I see it, it's largely in the leadership of the Senate, which, from the standpoint of institutionsfor example, Harry Reid, the ranking leader of the Senate, initiated this $10.5 billion emergency fund to get some action on doing something about Louisiana situation, and related situations. That's happened. He clearly has a view that we need $100 to $150 billion simply to deal with the problem this represents. And they're pushing for that, from the Senate.
So, there is leadership. There is action.
You've got a jam-up, because you've got a conflict between a Presidency, particularly a White House, that does not function: I mean, this is the worst administration I've ever seen, in modern times. In over 100 years, the absolutely worst administration I have seen. Totally incompetent: For example, the leadership of the Homeland Defenseabsolutely incompetent! Terribly incompetent. But, it's an ideologically-ridden incompetence.
Cheney's dangerous and incompetent, in everything he touchesdangerous, incompetent.
So, you have a problem of institutions: You have a Presidency that does not function. We have a Senate that tends to function fairly well. We have a House of Representatives which is not quite up to speed with the Senate. So, we're having a certain sluggishness, in the kind of action we should take, because the action should be coming from the President. This is an emergency! The action must come from the Executive. It's not.. The action is coming from the Senate, which means a much more sluggish process.
SKORICH: Our guest on the program at 5:45, is Lyndon LaRouche, internationally known economist, author, statesman; the architect of an emerging new economic order on the planetwe'll get to that in a moment. Also has run for President on six different occasions, and is the Founding Editor of the Executive Intelligence Review.
Mr. LaRouche, let me introduce you to co-host of the program, Patty McNulty.
LAROUCHE: Hello Patty.
PATTY MCNULTY: Good afternoon, sir. Thank you for joining us.
I'm fascinated with your concept that the country will now make this turn toward a more Roosevelt approach to government. And I'm wondering how you actually think that will happen? Because, don't those sorts of things, especially now, have to be driven by public opinion, by voters? And when I look at the makeup, for instance, of the mainstream media, and the strength and power of Fox News, and Rush Limbaugh, andthe list is endless. Who will tell the American people the truth? And how will they find it, when the average person, a year ago, still believed Iraqis drove planes into the Twin Towers?
We've got a media machine, here, that Karl Rove seems to drive. That, as of yesterday, they were still blaming the Governor of Louisiana and the Mayor of New Orleans! "Nothing that George Bush is doing is wrong." How will people find out about this? How will this whole change happen, if it's not driven by the people?
LAROUCHE: You find out, that in the streets, and among the people, that the media, the right-wing media turn, has just lost it. Now, that's not consolidated. But give me another week or two weeks, of the direction things have been going inand look at the same time at what's happening in Europe: For example, there's a German general election now in process for the next two weeks. There's been a shift in that, on the part of Schroeder. Schroeder's come out and said, openly, and repeatedly, in the past several days, that the failure of performance of the United States in the case of the General Welfare is an international issue! Because of a superpower.
You find that the media, generally, the right-wing media especially is way behind reality on this one! The White House is nowhere near reality. The President's popularity is collapsinghe's almost headed toward negative numbers! So, the so-called "media changes the public opinion, and public opinion follows the media": it has now broken down. The reality of Louisiana, the reality of southern Mississippi and Alabama, that has broken through. The spectacle of citizens dyingyou know, we may have 100,000 deaths coming at us on this one. We certainly have thousands of them, already. But, with the disease potential, in this pocket of disease which has been created by the negligence of the government, in dealing with this situation, we can have all kinds of water-borne and insect-borne diseases coming out as epidemics, out of there! My concern has been to get these people to safety, out of there; get them treated; move in, clean the thing up, and let people move back in and rebuild.
And that is what the people want. And any media that thinks they're going to push in a different direction, it hasn't wonthat is, the right-wing media haven't won, they haven't lostbut they certainly are taking a beating. And they're taking it internationally, as well as in the United States.
SKORICH: Let's turn our attention in the time we have to the economy: I contend, we have seen what conservatives always worried about, the redistribution of wealth from the top to the bottomI contend we have seen the greatest redistribution of wealth in this country, in I-don't-know how many years, hundreds of years, from the bottom to the top! And we hear so much about life in the bottom 80%, where wages have been stagnant for five years! Unemployment, the numbers of people who are homeless, the numbers of people in poverty, the numbers of people without insurance, and yet the media and much of America keeps hearing "economic growth, stimulus, things getting better"! How is this economy, that George Bush has given us?
LAROUCHE: We're about to collapse! Look: We have, actually the turnover in financial derivatives, is about hundreds of quadrillions of dollars turnover. Now this is largely in the financial derivatives area. But that's against a world economy, which in physical output, is measured in the order of magnitude of about $50 trillion.
So therefore, obviously, the entire system is bankrupt. If you look, as we do, at the map of what's happened to the United States, physically, county by county, in all the parameters of well-being: employment, quality of jobs, housing, public infrastructure, everything that counts, you find that the United States has been going down, since about 1971; and accelerated since about 1977. That's the pattern.
A small group of people, highly publicized, have a lot more money to call upon. But, they also are heavily indebted at the same time they have a lot more money on their plate. So, if a bubble, of the housing bubble type, collapses, you're going to see the biggest collapse in modern history. We're on a curve, which on a world scale, has similarities to what happened in Germany in 1923: a tremendous amount of debt. Every sign of increase in income, is actually matched by a much greater increase in debt. And we're on that kind of bubble: We're on a hyperinflationary bubble. In part, like for example, $20 to $30 out of every $60-odd of the price for a barrel of oil, is purely speculation. And there's now a tremendous impulse to say, "Let's put this under regulation. Let's put a cap on this inflation in petroleum, because it's killing the economy, and killing our people."
So, there has been no prosperity, that's all propaganda. The condition of our people, especially the lower 80% of family-income brackets, the condition of communitiesthe state of Michigan, look at it! It's a catastrophe. Ohio, a catastrophe; Indiana, a catastrophe; Illinois, a catastrophe; you're feeling it in Wisconsin. The economy is going down! Industries are disappearing. Whole categories of industry are going out of business! And people are suffering.
No, there is no prosperity. That is a myth, and the ability to sustain the myth, and cause people to believe in the myth, that's about running out of steam.
SKORICH: Are the people in this administration incapable of handing this economic crisis?
LAROUCHE: Absolutely. Totally incapable.
Our capability lies in some of our institutions; it lies in the Senate. There are a lot of people in government who are professionals, that is, the staffs in governmentthere're a lot of professional people there. We have a lot of good people in our active and retired military, apart from the screwballs. These people are not only fighters, they're capable of organizing for emergencies, for rebuilding, like the Corps of Engineers. We have a lot of people in government.
But, in the elected part of government, the George W. Bush part of government, it's impossible: They are a failure!
SKORICH: You know, I'm hesitant to ask this, butyou know: Is this deliberate destruction, on their part, of this country's economy?
LAROUCHE: Well, the destruction is a result of their intentions. Their intelligence and their ability to judge their own behavior and its consequences, is questionable. I mean, the head of Homeland Defense, he's a screwballtotally incompetent. He's the one who did the most in making a mess of this situation, in Louisiana and so forth. Right throughKarl Rove is insane! He's an ideologue. He's a this and thatbut he doesn't know what he's doing. In reality, he doesn't exist.
The President is withdrawn. He's a dirt-biker, he's not a President. Dick Cheney has been more the re-acting president, while the existing President is absent-minded on a dirt bike.
No, this administration is hopelessly insane. Hopeless incompetent. But: We can change it, rapidly.
SKORICH: Now, the President has often said, that, of course at some point, somebody will write some historyhe doesn't know what history will say about him. What will history, and I don't know if it's 10 years or 20 years, but at some point, I have to believe that somebody's going to write a retrospective of this administration [LaRouche laughs]what the hell could it possibly say?
LAROUCHE: Well, the problem is, if you write a true history of the George W. Bush Administration, it's something you will not show to children. [McNulty cracks up]
MCNULTY: You were saying, this is something we can change. How canor, shouldthis be changed? How can we turn around the economy? How can we turn around the challenges facing us?
SKORICH: Do we need a WPA, or a CCC out of this?
LAROUCHE: Oh, we're going to need more than that! But, what essentially, remember that Hoover was hit by a crash of the markets in '29. And the key thing about him was not the crash, that was not what did him in. What did him in was the way he responded to it.
LAROUCHE: And he responded to itfortunatelywe got Franklin Roosevelt. That was not an accident, because Roosevelt was prepared for the job, by history, by his family history, and so forth. But, if we had not gotten Roosevelt, if Hoover had been, by some miscalculation, elected, we'd have been part of the Nazi system by 1934.
Remember, the planned military coup against the U.S. government, including the head of the Democratic Party National Committee, were involved in a planned coup against the government. So, we would have been in there with Adolf Hitler, and the world would have been saying Heil Hitler!, but for Franklin Roosevelt.
It was in our institutions, however, that Franklin Roosevelt got over 100 military people, under Harry Hopkins, in the WPAincluding Lucius Clay, who was rather famous in World War II. And these people worked on a project, to rebuild the economy. Eisenhower was involved in it, in that period, in the 1930sthis rebuilding.
These guys were the guys who led us in war. They also were the people who played a key part in organizing the U.S. economy to build up the economy, so that when we went to war, we had the most powerful economic machine the world had ever seen, coming out of 10 years of Depression! And that kind of leadership, of course, in a sense was a miracle, but it wasn't: It was built into our tradition and our institutions. The key thing was that Franklin Roosevelt activated that tradition, activated those institutions.
You have Harry Reid, as a leader in the Senate, has been moving things, not as a Franklin Roosevelt, but in that direction. He's a very intelligent guy; he's a two-fisted guy, in more ways than one. And he has been acting as a very good leader. And we pulled together a lot of institutions, in government, and outside government, which are beginning to march together, in the direction of doing what has to be done.
MCNULTY: But, as we look down, now, in a another two years from now, we're going to be in another election cycle. What qualities should the American people be looking for? Who is Franklin Roosevelt?
LAROUCHE: Well, there may be one. I could do the job. I think my experience is such that
MCNULTY: Are you announcing?
LAROUCHE: No. I'm not. I'm 83 as of tomorrow, so I'm not really "zestful" about going into eight years of a new Presidency! I'm capable.
But, what my concern is, is to pull together crowd, or to catalyze pulling together a crowd of people, who do represent a collective group of people, of leadership, out of which a new President could come.
SKORICH: I want to go back to this Nazi Germany conversation. And the comparisons that many people have tried to make, between Nazi Germany Enabling Acts, the Patriot Act, and America as we stand today. Is it a fair or unfair comparison, about the events of Hitler's rise to power and what we have seen happen in this country, since 9/11?
LAROUCHE: Well, there is a similarity in philosophy, in direction of philosophy, in these kinds of changes, and the Hitler regime. This came from the economic situation, it came out of the philosophy which came out of World War I, out of the Versailles system. We're headed in the same direction, if it kept going this way.
The difference is now, that, in that time, if you look at the world economy, the world economy was in much better shape relatively speaking, after World War I, than it is today. And when Roosevelt led us in World War II, we were a much stronger economy than we are today. The world is in a bigger mess than it was when Hitler came to power. So, that's the comparison.
We're moving in the same direction as a Hitler direction, and that's what the Bush Administration now represents, is that direction. But, it's not just here: Sarkozy in France represents that same tendency in France. You have a similar tendency inside the United Kingdom. You have the MerkelMerkel is not a Hitler, but you have around her, policy-shapers who are moving in the same direction. You have some of the same things in Italy. You have , around the world, the tendency, right-wing tendencies, which by their logic, would tend to lead into something like a new Hitler.
But the opportunities are not the same. Hitler was able to take charge of a still-powerful economic machine, which he lifted up, by funding by the Bank for International Settlements. We don't have that todaywe have a rotten machine. It's going to a tougher building job. But there are parallels, except one should not make simplistic comparisons. But there are general parallels, in the sense, that there's a tendency now, to move toward global fascism, as there was then. The conditions today are different.
SKORICH: We have not talked today about Iraq. And I just want to ask you whether or not, you think anything that the President and Vice President did, in the run-up to the invasion and occupation, would constitute "high crimes and misdemeanors," that might justly serve as grounds for articles of impeachment?
LAROUCHE: There's everything possible. If you want impeachment, all you need is the initiative. The evidence is there. The problem is, people don't understand this Iraq War. They think, and believe that the President thinks, that this is a war to go in, to bring about a peace. That is, to go in and rebuild a country, take the country over and then rebuild it, and leave it. That is not the intention.
The intention behind Cheney and company (I don't think the President knew what he was doing), but behind Cheney and company, is not a tendency to winning wars. Their tendency is to start warsand keep them going! Globally. This is an imitation of the Roman Empire, this is the mentality. It's an imitation of what happened in the Medieval period, with the Norman Crusades, this kind of thing. This is the idea of running the world, by means of perpetual warfare. War here, today; war someplace else, tomorrow. But perpetual warfare, to break and prevent any opposition from building up to that kind of imperial government. That's the intention.
That's what we have to realize, the danger is of an actual imperial tendency, in London around Blair, and around Cheney, for example, here. That's the thing we have to get rid. If impeachment is the way to get rid of it, do it that way. But we've got to get rid of it!
SKORICH: Are we better off, at this point pulling everybody out immediately? Sending more troops into Iraq, if it was your call?
LAROUCHE: Oh, my call, is, I would go in there, and say, "OK boys, this doesn't work," as if I were President of the United States or something like that. I would say to the Iraqis, "This doesn't work. You know it doesn't work. We know it doesn't work. You're headed toward Hell. Make us a proposal. We want to get out, but we want to get out clean." And, I think, with the help of Europe and some others, it could be done.
The problem is, the commitment on the part of the present administration, is not to get out. And you just can't pull out, without creating a catastrophe. We might have to just pull out. But that wouldn't be good. We have to pull out with the consent of the people involved. We have to pull out, with a renegotiation of all of the concerned people in Iraqand in the region, too. "Look. We're negotiating. We want to get out. Make us an offer." I think it would work.
SKORICH: Mr. LaRouche, I'm going to ask you to look forward, to the next electionnot the off-year election, but I want you to look forward to 2008, or '07and tell me who's going to be the Republican nominee; who's going to be the Democratic nominee: any guesses?
LAROUCHE: No guess. Because, what's going to happen is, the events we're going through now, is a cultural paradigm-shift, internationally as well as in the United States. You can not judge by what people have represented up to now, what they will be one year from now, or two years from now, in terms of character. This is one of the kinds of period that changes people, and brings the best out of some people and the worst out of others.
What I'm concerned about, is focusing on a group of people who represent a kind of leadership, among political leaders. And out of this pack, hopefully, someone will come forward that we consider by say, late 2006-07, as a potential President. We don't have a clear view of anybody who is actually qualified for that, now. But, if we proceed with people who are moving in that direction of leadership, and we have some in the Senate, for example, then out of that pack, or somebody whom they work with, we will probably get a candidate.
SKORICH: Is Senator Biden one of those people who might come to the forefront? Or, is he just another name, on the list?
LAROUCHE: No, the guys who are key Senators, senior Senators, and who really mean something as committee leaders, they are all in the running. Whether for President or not. But, you don't run as a Presidency with a single man, usually. You don't have a Napoleon Bonaparte, you don't want that, either. What you have, is a collegium of people, among whom there's one person who either comes into, or is part of it, who steps forward as being qualified for President. The others stay in position, and become the resource which makes a Presidency work.
SKORICH: Is this the time when America might look to a woman, either in the form of Senator Clinton, or maybe Secretary Rice?
LAROUCHE: It's premature. It's premature to pose such questions. Wait. We haven't gone through the cultural paradigm-shift we have to go through, yet. As the cultural paradigm-shift emerges, then you'll find out, who's got the stamina. Because, the next President of the United States has to be a real tough bird, because he's got a tough problem to deal withhe or she! And I don't think that any of these prospective candidates have yet tasted the water of what they're getting into, with the next Presidency.
SKORICH: Are you comfortable with John Roberts as the next Supreme Court Chief Justice?
LAROUCHE: No. I'm not.
SKORICH: Tell me, why?
LAROUCHE: Well, first of all, he's not tested, and second, his profile is not what we need. You know, like putting in a Chief Justice for 30 years, and that's a big buythat's buying a lot. Coming out of a nomination by an administration which is no damned good. That's bad! Senator Collins from Maine, proposed with others, that Sandra Day O'Connor stay on, and stay on perhaps as Chief Justice for a period of time. That would make sense. I would prefer that. Then, we could go for another replacement there, for the [vacancy].
But, this Roberts thing bothers me. I don't think he's a bad personI don't see that he's a bad person. But I don't see that he's a competent person for that kind of job.
We're going through the kind of change that Roosevelt represented; you remember the question of Chief Justice Hughes under Roosevelt, was a real problem. And I don't think Roberts measures up, quite, intellectually to the level of Hughes. He may be a little bit softer than Hughes, but he doesn't measure up.
We need a Supreme Court that is able to go through an experience and handle very tough changes in institutions, which have to be made in the coming period.
SKORICH: Mr. LaRouche, we're out of time, and I just want to thank you, so much. And the staff at the Executive Intelligence Review. And people can find out, obviously, they know how to visit your website: http://www.larouchepac.com. And I thank you so much for spending this time with us, on Wisconsin Public Radio.
LAROUCHE: Good to be with you.