This presentation appears in the April 4, 2003 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
The Eurasian Land-Bridge Concept:
The Answer to the Strategic Crisis
by Helga Zepp-LaRouche
Mrs. LaRouche, founder and chairman of the International Schiller Institutes, delivered this address on March 22, 2003, at a Schiller Institute conference in Bad Schwalbach, Germany.
You all know that the war has escalated in a major way, last night, with probably 1,000 bombs and 1,000 cruise missiles. And, I must tell you, I feel sick: Because, what is happening, is mass murder, and the whole world is watching it.
So, if Friedrich Schiller would be alive today, and he would look at this strategic situation, and the historical moment, what would he say? I'm sure he would say something like, "You foolish people! Don't you see that Nemesis is about to strike? That there is a higher lawfulness, which will come back and haunt you for what you are doing!"
The crime being committed is enormous. The presumptuous arrogance of the present war-party is paired with an enormous guilt, which nobody will take away from them. The defiance of truth and justice is so gigantic, that Nemesis will strike. The higher lawfulness of the laws of the universe will assert themselves, given the fact that there is no case against Iraq, that there is no threat against any other country—not its neighbors and, for sure, not the United States. There is no proven link to al-Qaeda, and there was compliance, in the destruction of the weapons Iraq possessed. There is no UN mandate to use force. And therefore, given that all of these things are the case, this represents a war of aggression, which, as Lyn was pointing out, may trigger a global war.
The doctrine of pre-emptive war, the incredible idea to use, in a first strike, nuclear weapons against countries that do not have nuclear weapons, if not stopped, means the end of international law and the return to barbarism. It could plunge the world into a Dark Age and international anarchy, which is why we have to work to reverse this, as quickly as possible.
The crime of aggression is an international crime, even if the United States does not agree to the Den Haag court; and therefore, it is subjugated to universal jurisdiction in the statutes of the International Criminal Court, and it should serve as a warning to all political leaders, not to violate the UN Charter stand on the use of force against another state, except in self-defense.
After the Azores summit, it was very clear: Whom the gods want to destroy, they first drive mad. Because, what you saw there, was three madmen, one more crazy than the other. But, one can also be confident about one thing: That Thursday, March 20, 2003, the day the war started, will be historically known as the day the American Empire started to decay. Because, what we are seeing, is with all empires, that when they engage in such immoral acts, they are suffering from a moral and logistical overstretching, which eventually will lead to their demise. And the only question is: How much damage will this empire inflict on the world, before it collapses?
There are many historical comparisons, where empires behaved like that. One was Napoleon's campaign into Russia, which ended with the known debacle, where hundreds of thousands of soldiers were killed and only a few thousand came back. There's another comparison, which is the fall of Classical Greece, which was described by Thucydides in The Peloponnesian Wars, the first major historical work, in which he described why, without any necessity—when Greece had conquered the Persian Empire, and it could have been totally happy, living peacefully thereafter—it had to decide to become an imperial power, subjugating its previous allies, and making them slaves and subjects; and then continuing the war against Sparta, and eventually the campaign against Sicily; and that was the point where the overstretching had reached its limit. And, that was the end of Classical Greece.
We have right now, a moment where the world financial system, and more than only the financial system, is coming to an end. And, this blowout of the system would also occur if there would be no war. So, this is the end of the system.
The only good news, in all of this, is that the alternative to the collapsing, old system is already coming together. The new alliance between France, Germany, Russia, China, India, Iran, and many other countries, who are uniting for the Eurasian Land-Bridge, is coming together. And, we are seeing now, a very advanced stage of something which Lyn predicted in his famous press conference on Oct. 12, 1988 in Berlin: Where he proposed that kind of cooperation, at that time, in its germ form; that the soon-to-be-unified Germany should use Poland as a model case to be developed with Western technologies, as a model for all the countries of the East.
Then, his proposal of the Productive Triangle in 1989, from Paris-Berlin-Vienna; our continuation of that proposal, in '91, when Lyn proposed the Eurasian Land-Bridge; and, naturally, then, the entire '90s, our fight to make this Land-Bridge a reality.
Now, this all is, indeed, a very historical perspective, because it has been on the table for a very long time. This idea of uniting Eurasia through infrastructure cooperation was already the vision of Gottfried Leibniz. And, it was, for sure, the content of the political cooperation between Count Witte of Russia and Gabriel Hanotaux of France, by the end of the 19th Century.
Now, the fact that the British imperialists, especially through the evil manipulations of Edward VII, and the stupidity of the last two Tsars, and of Kaiser Wilhelm II, meant that this Eurasian collaboration was sabotaged. And that sabotage led to two world wars, and this is why the entire 20th Century was a century, essentially, full of tragedies.
Errors, Stupidities, and Miscalculations
Now, I think it is extremely urgent that today, we look back at this period, essentially the last 150 years, and learn from history, to not repeat the mistakes which were made them, and tour the lessons—what must be done today to prevent the new world war from occurring. I will, therefore, briefly look at the pre-history of World War I. And, you will see that while, naturally, many things were completely different, there are also many incredible similarities. And, it is essential that we study the errors, the stupidities, and the miscalculations because, again, many of these miscalculations you can see unfolding today, in the actions of the war party and others.
Now, there was, in the period before World War I, a lot of talk about, that this war—which, nobody knew it would be a world war—but that some war would be inevitable. And this talk about the inevitability of the war makes very clear, if you look at it from an historical perspective, that this talk came essentially from those who had ulterior motives, and it was not true that the war was inevitable. But the people who were using the word that this war would be inevitable, had their own designs, and they wanted the war, and this is exactly the same thing we have seen in the last 12 months, where a lot of people have talked about the inevitability of that war, and that it couldn't be stopped.
The second thing one realizes, when one looks at this prehistory of World War I, is that the lack of a clearly defined war aim, or illusions what these war aims would be, means guaranteed disaster for those who conduct the war; and, nobody should ever start a war, without having a clear idea what the peace plan is going to be afterwards.
Thirdly, one can see the incalculability of war, as such: That the actual circumstances of the outbreak and the further consequence of the war, are always quite different than whatever plans are made. And just today, the news comes, that not planned by the Anglo-American war-party, Turkish soldiers were invading the north of Iraq, which is already one of the things which you can not plan.
Fourthly, one can see the unbelievable lack of expertise and lack of judgment on the side of all the participants in this world war: Russia, France, Germany, Austria-Hungary, and England.
Now, it is a debatable question, where the prehistory of World War I actually starts. And, where is a meaningful point of departure, to understand how this tragedy could occur. Now, I think one point, which is relevant in this, is the unfortunate element, that the German unification came too late, namely under Bismarck. Because, if the German unification would have occurred under the policies of the Prussian reformers—under vom Stein, von Humboldt—who, after all, after the success in the Liberation Wars, went as the German negotiators to the Congress of Vienna, and they had every reason to believe, that their hope to have a unified Germany would be the outcome of these negotiations. And only due to the incredible machinations of all the oligarchs at the time—of Metternich, Castlereagh, and Talleyrand, the Prussian court, the Russian Tsar—who imposed the Holy Alliance instead, leaving Germany split into 300 little baronies and counties and fiefdoms, led to a situation where then, instead of having the German unification on the basis of the ideas of Schiller—because Wilhelm von Humboldt was totally influenced by Friedrich Schiller; vom Stein was the greatest statesman in German history so far. And if these people would have been the ones to unify Germany, and Humboldt would have been able to implement the Humboldt education reforms, we would have had a very, very different Germany!
Now, this didn't happen: Instead, you had the Restoration, which was a terrible period! I can only assure you, if you study this period, with the political Romantics, with the destruction of natural law, with Savigny, Niebuhr—I mean, it was a period of darkness, where cultural pessimism started to take over, where the beautiful ideas of the German Classical period were outlawed! Schiller was forbidden! The Carlsbad Decrees: It was not permitted to read Schiller. So, the students of that time had to secretly exchange the works of Schiller and read them.
So therefore, when German unification finally occurred under Bismarck, in the context of the war against France, this had already the seeds of disaster in it; despite the fact that Bismarck is, by far, not the worst, and he did a lot of decent things, like industrial laws and social reforms. But, the German unification under his auspices, was, unfortunately, not a very good thing. One has to clearly note that.
Now therefore, because German unification was combined with the war against France, since the Peace of Frankfurt, in 1871, there was a national anger in France, because of the loss of Alsace-Lorraine. And therefore, in French circles, the dream of the French-Russian alliance was always a big point, in part legitimate, in part revanchiste, but it was there. And, especially on the side of the military, there had been big dreams about the large number of Russia divisions which would help them to free Alsace-Lorraine.
On the side of Russia, there was the misfortune that after Tsar Alexander II—who was a very progressive Tsar, in an alliance with Lincoln, which was extremely important for the development inside America during the Civil War—that unfortunately his son, Alexander III, and also his successor, Nicholas II, were bad news: Because what Alexander III tried to do, was to undo the reforms of his father. And, his relationship to Kaiser Wilhelm II became very bad. It was basically personal antipathy—they really didn't like each other, at all. And therefore, there was no excitement on the side of Alexander III to continue the so-called "Three Emperor Alliance" between Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Russia. And, this was, basically, an agreement of neutrality: That, if one of the three would be in a war with a fourth power, the other two would have benign neutrality with the warring party.
This treaty was concluded on June 18, 1881, and it clearly eliminated the idea of a French-Russian alliance. This Three Emperor Alliance was prolonged in '84—it was top secret. But, in '87, the Tsar was not inclined to renew it for a third time, because there were certain setbacks in his Bulgaria policies, and blamed Austria and Germany for that.
Bismarck's 'Reinsurance Treaty'
Now, in '87, there was a very important bilateral agreement between Russia and Germany, known as the Rückversicherungsvertrag, the "Reinsurance Treaty," obliging Russia to neutrality in the case of a new German-French war: If Germany would attack France, not; but, if France would attack Germany, Russia would be forced to have neutrality. Now, this Rückversicherungsvertrag also was valid for three years, and in the Spring of 1890, when it came up for renewal—just as Bismarck left office—it was not renewed; and Bismarck, who for sure would have renewed it, was out. Also, the Russian Foreign Minister Giers was strongly for its renewal. But the new Reichschancellor in Germany, Gen. Leo von Caprivi, under the influence of the Anglophile Friedrich von Holstein—who flirted with Edward VII and the British machinations—convinced the Kaiser not to renew it.
Now, Bismarck's resignation, and the non-renewal of the Rückversicherungsvertrag represented a dramatic impact on the relations among the different powers in Europe. Bismarck was on top of the whole set of mostly secret diplomatic and defense treaties, with Russia, Austria, Italy, Romania. And since he was the architect of all of these alliances, he was confident that in a time of crisis, he would be able to have them all work together, as a safety net, even if some of them were a little bit in contradiction to each other. But, his successors had no desire to continue this complicated diplomacy. And especially in Germany, they were afraid that if this treaty with Russia would be made public, it would be a big embarrassment for those who made it.
But for Bismarck, it was clear, that the alliance with Russia was necessary, if only to prevent that Russia would seek an alliance with France, as a counterweight to Germany's alliance with Austria and Italy. Bismarck was proven right by the historical developments: Because, the Russian-French negotiations started immediately after the non-renewal of this alliance, and the dependency on Austria, in the last days before the outbreak of World War I, became a big factor.
The problem was that France, throughout this period, was working on the revision of the shameful peace treaty of 1871, and that remained the dominant foreign policy aim. Influential circles in France, and other European countries, had the conviction that the new European war would be inevitable. Therefore, so went the logic, one had to prepare oneself for it. But in reality, it was this war preparation which made the war eventually inevitable—and the failure to go for the existing alternative in time. But, the military planning of the chiefs of staff, which assumed this inevitability, was contributing to creating it; and the stupidity of the leaders, not to go in the direction of cooperation.
In Russia, Tsar Alexander III saw no loss in the non-renewal of the treaty, and the two military leaders Vannovsky and Obruchev didn't really worry about an attack from Germany, because they were sure, that if Germany would join an attack by England against Russia, then France would immediately try to reconquer Alsace-Lorraine, and Germany would risk a war on two fronts. So, it was only Giers, the Foreign Minister, who was worried about the resignation of Bismarck and the non-renewal of the treaty; while the Tsar was quite indifferent. Giers did not like to talk about, that the non-renewal of this treaty would give Russia a free hand, because he had no sympathy for the imperial policies of Russia in the Balkans, or adventures in Central Asia. Giers was worried that the Russian-French alliance would divide Europe into two rival military camps, and lead to a danger of a big war.
Now, the German government could have known all of this, because the reports by the German Ambassador in Russia, von Schweinitz made clear, that he warned the German government that the non-renewal would trigger a process which would end up in a Russian-French alliance.
Now, if you look at this period, you see an amazing negligence concerning the decisive point, that Russia would immediately seek such an alliance with France (and vice versa); and a complete lack of reality of what was the interest of these powers, which can only be compared to the complete lack of reality of the war party today. Caprivi had the argument, which was completely ridiculous, that a French-Russian alliance would be useless for Russia, since the only interest of Russia would be in the ocean straits—[the Bosphorus and Dardanelles]. Von Schweinitz made the argument that the Rückversicherungsvertrag would guarantee neutrality in the first weeks after the outbreak of the war. Caprivi said, no, this is no advantage, since Germany would keep the majority of its troops at the Russian border anyway. And soon it became obvious, that the French-Russian negotiation, in which the immediate and simultaneous mobilization was the key question, was the only relevant point for the French. Also, the second argument, that Russia would only be interested in these straits, was a severe misjudgment, because this was not at all a relevant point in the French-Russian relations in 1890.
The slowness in Germany's comprehension, even after the French military leader Boisdeffre went for two weeks of talks, during the maneuvers in Narva, in the presence of the visiting Kaiser; so the first official negotiations about this military alliance took place, practically under the eyes of the German Emperor. In July '91, during the visit of French fleet in Kronstadt, and the gigantic festivities in Petersburg, which were unprecedented, the first draft of the French-Russian treaty was concluded. First, it had the idea to coordinate all questions concerning peace in Europe; and secondly, to have the extremely important clause, of an immediate and simultaneous mobilization, in case of an attack by one of the Triple Alliance Germany-Austria-Italy. And, that was, as you know, what made World War I later inevitable, because of this clause.
Now, the manipulations of such corrupt elements as the Russian Ambassador in France, Baron Mohrenheim, who was an overbearing, terrible person, who exaggerated everything; the danger from the Triple Alliance, the state of the negotiations between France and Russia; so, that did not help. And later, it came out that he was as corrupt as Cheney: He was involved in the so-called Panama Affair, and quite similar businesses.
The problem was that the Tsar, as I said, had developed this deep antipathy against the Kaiser. And this was mainly the result of gossip in the salons, in which people reported things the Kaiser supposedly would have said about the Tsar. So, eventually, the Kaiser was built up as a disgusting opponent in the mind of the Tsar.
Now, the new French Ambassador, Montebello, in March '92, brought a memorandum to Giers, which brought Giers to the conclusion that it would give France a carte blanche for all kinds of adventures, and that Russia would be forced to support them. Contrary to that, the Tsar, before reading the paper, said: "It must be signed right away. We must be prepared to attack Germany, so that they don't have time to first defeat France and then turn to us. We must learn from the mistakes of the past, and annihilate Germany at the first possible occasion."
Now, Giers was shocked, and he took all his courage, and said: What would be gained in helping France in the destruction of Germany? And the Tsar answered: "Yeah! So, what? What we would gain, would be that Germany, in its present form, would disappear. It would disintegrate into a number of small, weak states, as it was before." Giers talked to his confidant, Lamsdorff, and said: "Our monarch thinks that he will be the master of the world, when he has finished off Germany. He talks such nonsense, and demonstrated such wild instincts, that all I could do, was to listen patiently."
'The Nightmare Vision' of George W. Bush
Now, Mary Dejevsky, on March 19 , wrote in the British Independent, under the headline, "The Nightmare Vision of a Paranoid President": Mr. Bush, in his speech on Monday the 17th, "was a small man ordering a scared and insecure country into war.... From the notion that ridding the world of the Iraqi leader will reduce the universal terrorist threat, to the presumption of a direct link between Saddam and al-Qaeda, Mr. Bush came across as inhabiting the nightmare world of a paranoiac, who sees mortal danger around every corner....
"Having annihilated the tyrant (Biff! Bang!), erased the evil tentacles of his power (Crash! Wallop! Zap!), Mr. Bush held out for Iraq's hard-pressed and soon to be bombed people a paradisical future."
Now, I think the similarity is not missing. Lamsdorff, the Deputy Foreign Minister, wrote that evening in his diary: "Germany will hardly fall apart when its independence is in danger, namely, in the case of a world war. More likely it will be fused together through such a fight. But, in case of a defeat, one can anticipate the end of the Kaiserreich, and the triumph of republican and socialist principles. In any case, a return to the old order is unthinkable."
Lyn, just two days ago, in an interview with the British radio, made the point, that Bush's chances for re-election are less than zero. And I think that can be stated with firmness. Now, concerning U.S. imperialism today, the scenario for what should be done after the Iraq war—to return to the old order—is as unthinkable as it was impossible to return to the old, Tsarist Kaiserordnung after World War I. Now, compared to the military power of the United States, which is the largest ever in the history of mankind, Iraq is just a tiny dwarf, who, according to General Schwarzkopf, has been bombed by first Gulf War already, into a Stone Age. Now, if you go back to the pre-World War I situation, at the time of 1892, there was not one problem that could have required clarification for military power. There was no territorial claim, not any other goals between Germany and Russia. In the same way, there was no reason for the Gulf War today, because there is no reason for it!
Bismarck had emphasized, in his later years in office, that there was no reasonable aim for a war with Russia. Why then, this talk about the "inevitability of war," as being something self-evident? This thesis of the inevitability of a war between Russia and Germany on the one side—out of the fears resulting out of the buildup on both sides, and, the supposed constraints emanating from these, were blinding all participants from the fact that there was no rational or constructive reason for a war. History is full of examples, that whoever uses the argument of "inevitability" has their ulterior motives. Some in Europe say, "Maybe the United States has to crash against the wall first, and then we can do something about it."
But, once the Russian-French military alliance was agreed upon, essentially the fuse for the outbreak of World War I, was there. Obruchev wrote: "The mobilization can not any longer be regarded as a peaceful act" (the mobilization of the army according to this treaty), "but it represents a most decisive act of aggression. That means, that in the moment of the mobilization, no further diplomatic hesitation is legitimate. All diplomatic decisions have to be made before." Now, if you look at the efforts by Mr. Blix and Mr. El-Baradei, you find the same attitudes on the side of the Bush Administration, there.
Obruchev wrote in his paper, first, that there has to be an unconditional willingness to accept the inevitability of war; and then, you see the complete lack of any express wish to avoid it; and, what you also see in this paper, is the totally arrogant order that diplomats should no longer interfere, and do nothing to disturb the plans of the military. And, you can also see—not that with one word—the war aim was mentioned, in the same way "regime change" is a very dubious formulation of a war aim. Boisdeffre, in '91, told Obruchev, his Russian counterpart, that the war aim would be, "Let's first crush them, and then the rest will be easy and obvious."
Obruchev's paper basically represented a change in the notion of war, because previously, in dynastic wars, specific aims were always certain territories, or the protection of trade routes, or some limited purposes. But now, it was the smashing defeat of the enemy, to be crushed out of existence. It is amazing that the Tsar, having these wild fantasies, did not have any consideration for the effect this would have on the Kaisertum, on the Tsarist regime, and what it would do to encourage revolutionary movements, national movements, and so forth. There was a strange blindness for the real reasons of the inner decay—quite like today. So, when Nicholas II continued this policy 25 years later, the Russian Empire went under.
Why did this occur? Alexander III lived in relative isolation in his palace, but Obruchev was a military leader, who could have known better. Why did he act the way he did? Did he want the fall of the Romanovs? Today, the argument is, this war will lead to the downfall of the Bush. Well, one lesson is that the dangers of a war, which is planned without a clear definition of the war aims and a clear conception of the peace plan for after the war, leads to a complete disaster. And in the case of the First World War, the tragedy of 1914-1918 was really the downfall, not only of the Tsarist regime, but the tragedy for Europe as a whole. All players had lost judgment, what their real interest was. And, because the level of military technology was vastly higher than their ability to use it intelligently, they were unable to see the self-destructive implications for themselves. It led to the tragedy of the 20th Century, for several generations to come.
Witte and Hanotaux Build Alternatives to War
Now was this war inevitable? Or was there an alternative policy? And I want to say, absolutely yes, there was.
In the 1890s, there was the historic opportunity for the nations of continental Europe to unite and work together. In France, the Foreign Minister, Gabriel Hanotaux, from 1894 on; and in Russia, the Finance Minister, Sergei Witte, had the strategic vision for a community of principle. From 1892 on, the outstanding figure for this vision was Sergei Yulevich Witte, who until 1903, was the finance minister of Russia. During this period, Russia experienced a gigantic industrial revolution. Witte, born in Tbilisi, today's Georgia, was the first manager of the Odessa Railway; then he was the executive director of the Southwest Railway from the Baltic to the Black Sea, with connections to Germany and Austria. After he went to Kiev, in 1886, he became a member of the Baranov Commission, set up by the Tsar to formulate a railroad policy for the government. Witte wrote the railroad charter, which was the basis for the first regulation of railroads in all of Russia.
In 1892, Witte became the Minister of the Ways and Communication, and set up the Siberian Railway Committee, and the plan to build a railroad all the way to the Pacific. In October '92, he became Finance Minister, and reformed the state finances of Russia, among other things pegged the ruble to gold; and his aim was, to transform Russia from a backward rural country, into a modern industrial nation. His collaboration with Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleyev, the discoverer of the Periodic Table and the director of the Bureau of Weights and Standards, was crucial for the Russian development of their own iron industry, which obviously was crucial for the building of the railroad.
Both were followers of Friedrich List, and his system of national economy. Witte even wrote essays on List. And under his ministry, they opened up over 100 new schools, among them the very prestigious St. Petersburg Polytechnical Institute.
From '94 on, his collaboration with Hanotaux proceeded, and when Witte was finance minister, he built 14,815 miles of railroad, three times as much as in the decade before. The Trans-Siberian Railroad alone, was 5,800 miles, from Moscow to Vladivostok on the Pacific Coast. And with that, the gigantic spaces of Siberia were opened for settlement. By 1902, over 900,000 settlers had moved to Siberia, and there was a vast increase of transported goods. They gave free land to all who wished to settle, and it led to the gigantic infrastructure development in the Far East, especially changing the relations between Russia, China, and Japan, in light of this new early form of the Eurasian Land-Bridge.
Continental League 'Joining Europe and Asia'
Witte wrote in 1902, "The global significance of the Siberian Road can no longer be denied by anyone. It is likewise acknowledged, both at home and abroad. Joining Europe and Asia by a continuous rail connection, that road becomes a global means of transit, on which the exchange of goods between West and East will have to flow. China, Japan, and Korea, with a population of half a billion people." (Now it's three times as much.) "And already with a turnover of international trade of more than 600 billion rubles in value, with this great steam-propelled transit system producing more rapid and cheaper communication, and exchange of goods, enter into closer relations with Europe, a market, with a developed manufacturing culture, and thereby create a greater demand there for the raw materials of the East. Thanks to the Siberian Road, these countries will also increase their demand for European manufactures, and European know-how, and capital will find for itself an extensive new field of employment for the exploration and development of the natural riches of the Eastern nations." The Siberian Railroad "can be of great assistance to the Chinese tea industry, in removing China's most dangerous competitor, Britain, from the position of middle-man in the Chinese trade with European countries, and in securing for Chinese teas, much faster deliveries to Europe."
Now, here we have the essence of the geopolitical reasons why Britain hated this so much. Because obviously, infrastructural integration meant a threat to the dominance of the sea trade. And here, you have all the evil fantasies of the British geopoliticians—Mackinder, Milner, but also naturally Haushofer—and their idiotic doctrine, that whenever you have Eurasian development, the control of the Eurasian heartland is violating the dominance of the rim countries, meaning England and the United States.
Now, Witte proposed that the last part of the road should go straight through Manchuria, thus bringing China into this Eurasian development.
In 1895, Witte, together with Hanotaux, brought together a coalition of Russia, Germany, and France, which prevented the takeover of the Liaotung Peninsula by the Japanese. And Japan, confronted with this show of unity, agreed to negotiate a treaty with China, instead of annexing this Chinese territory. Through the collaboration of Witte and Hanotaux, and the help of French capital, China was provided with a major loan which it used to pay, among other things, the indemnities to Japan which had been caused by the Sino-Japanese War of 1895, which calmed Japan down.
Russia signed then a mutual defense treaty with China, which helped in turn the condition to build the Manchurian part of the Trans-Siberian Railroad.
So, this Continental League, as Witte called it, had prevented the annexation of a part of China, and Witte wanted to make it a permanent bloc against the manipulations of Great Britain. Altogether, he said, "our statesmen must realize the necessity of a Central European bloc, consisting of Russia, Germany, and France. That would be the bulwark of peace, because nobody would be able to violate it."
When Kaiser Wilhelm II and Empress Augusta Victoria came in '97 to a state visit to see Tsar Nicholas, Witte tried to convince the Emperor of such an alliance, predicting that Europe's greatness would soon be a matter of the past, like that of the Roman Empire, Greece, Carthage, or some states of Asia Minor, if it would continue on its present course. The astonished Emperor asked Witte, what should be done to prevent such a decline? Witte replied: "Imagine, Your Majesty, the European countries united in one entity, one that does not waste vast sums of money, resources, blood, and labor on rivalry among themselves. No longer compelled to maintain armies for war among themselves, no longer forming an armed camp, as it is the case now, with each fearing its neighbor. If that were done, Europe would be much richer, much stronger, more civilized, not going downhill under the weight of mutual hatred, rivalry, and war. The first step toward attaining this goal would be the formation of an alliance of Russia, Germany, and France. Once that was done, the other countries on the European continent would join the alliance. As a consequence, Europe would be free of the burdens created by the existing rivalries. Europe would be mighty, would be able to maintain a dominant position for a long time. But if the European countries continue on their present course, they will risking great misfortune."
"His Majesty told me," said Witte, "that he found my views interesting and original, and then graciously took his leave."
The chance was missed. Tsar Nicholas and his lackeys had other ideas; for example, the desire to annex Manchuria and Korea, and to have no agreement with Japan. In 1902 Japan fell into the trap set up for them by the British King, and signed a mutual defense treaty with Great Britain. Kaiser Wilhelm, already in 1897, flirted himself with the idea of an Anglo-German rapprochement, which Prime Minister Chamberlain was suggesting. Step by step, the ground for the tragedy of World War I was prepared. The partition of China by Western powers led to the Boxer Rebellion. Russia occupied Manchuria, and Russian-Chinese relations deteriorated severely, and Japan, encouraged by their new ally Great Britain, launched a surprise attack at the Russian base of Port Arthur on Feb. 8, 1904.
The Russo-Japanese war, which lasted for 11 months and was extremely bloody, ended with a massive defeat for Russia.
Shortly after that, Kaiser Wilhelm II and Tsar Nicholas II met at Björkö, a Baltic port in Finland, which resulted in the famous Björkö agreement between Russia and Germany. Nicholas was very angry that, despite the alliance with France, France did nothing to help Russia against Japan. And also, Wilhelm was very unhappy with British policy. He wrote to his Chancellor von Bülow: "Our talks then turned on England, and very soon it appeared that the Tsar felt a deep personal anger at England, and the King. He called Edward II the greatest mischief maker, and the most dangerous and deceptive intriguer in the world. I could only agree with him, adding that I, especially, had had to suffer from his intrigues in the recent years. He has a passion for plotting against every power, making a little agreement with everybody. Whereupon the Tsar interrupted me, striking the table with a fist, and said, 'Well, I can only say: He shall not get one from me, and never in my life will I turn against Germany or you. My word of honor upon it.' "
Well, so much for the honor of the Tsar.
When Witte, who had been called from retirement—he had been dismissed before because of his objection to the Russia occupation of Manchuria—to negotiate the truce with Japan, he was told by the Kaiser about the Björkö Treaty; and he believed the Kaiser that this would be a first step towards the Continental League he so deeply desired. The Kaiser reports Witte's reaction after he had told him about the treaty: "The effect was like a thunderbolt. His eyes filled with tears and enthusiasm, and emotion so overwhelmed him that he couldn't speak. Finally, he cried, 'God be praised! Thank God! At last this infamous nightmare, which weighs upon us, disappears.' "
But when Witte saw the actual text of the treaty, and realized that it was not at all an entente but a regular defense pact, which totally contradicted the Russian-French peace treaty of 12 years ago, he rejected it. In any case, two years later, Russia became the ally of Great Britain.
Now, again the question: Could World War I have been avoided? Was this war inevitable? No, it was not. There was the chance to go the way of Eurasian cooperation, and it was not used. The price for this was enormous: Two world wars, and a 20th Century which destroyed the lives of many millions of people—not only the people who died, but also psychological damage, which was inflicted upon Europe.
Today, we are in a situation where the issues are essentially the same ones as at the end of the 19th Century: Eurasian development, but fortunately with a much more promising chance that it will become the beginning of a new era.
The 'Missed Chance of 1989'
Now, let's go back to 1989, what we called the "missed historical chance of '89." With the fall of the Iron Curtain, there was the chance for the first time in the 20th Century, to put the East-West relationship on a completely new basis. The division of Eurasia, which had been imposed since the Versailles Treaty—which essentially meant to keep Germany economically down, so that it would never again have any role in the development of the East, by Anglo-American geopolitics—was essentially over. We know that the Versailles conditions led to the Depression and World War II. And then Yalta, again, was meant to prevent Eurasian integration.
In '89, Lyn predicted that the collapse of the Soviet Union would only be the beginning of a global collapse of the entire free market system. And if people would make the mistake of superimposing the bankrupt system of free market economy, on the already bankrupt communist system, it would result in a even larger collapse of the global system, which is exactly where we are today.
Lyn proposed instead the Productive Triangle Paris-Berlin-Vienna, to be based on physical economy, and the development of so-called corridors into Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Hungary, and the Balkans. But the old Bush, at that time, said "No, the development of Russia is not in the interest of the United States. If we would allow the development of Russia, they would become a competitor on the world market. What we should have instead is a New World Order, because now the United States is the only superpower left."
And then—and here you can see the unfolding of the tragedy—in 1989, there was no enemy for the United States, of any size, left. And the United States made the mistake the Classical Greeks made after the defeat of the Persian Empire, which turned the Attic Sea alliance into an imperial structure at that time. Now, this is exactly what the United States did with the collapse of the Soviet Union. There was no adversary left, and they could have supported Eurasian development, based on the policies of John Quincy Adams, namely, to have a community of principle of sovereign nation-states. But, no. Bush had to go for the first Gulf war, which was geopolitical; the main aim of which was to take the historical momentum away from Europe, away from German unification, and prevent Eurasian development. And with the enemy Soviet Union gone, to establish a new enemy; namely, Islam.
Why? Bush said it: We have to preserve the American life-style.
Now, the old Bush, however, was not as unrestrained as the new Bush, because he still had certain considerations for the international community, which is essentially why he did not go into Baghdad to get rid of Saddam Hussein; because he knew the war coalition would not survive that. But, as we know now, the war-party—Cheney, Wolfowitz, Perle, and Co.—made plans for the conquering of Iraq and the Clash of Civilizations, already in '91. They developed, already in '90-'91, the pre-emptive doctrine, the doctrine of first use of nuclear weapons, and the idea to impose an American Empire. But, the old Bush had moderating influences, like Scowcroft and others, so, Perle and Co. could not prevail at that time; and then, the economy was the reason why Bush got defeated in '92.
We, in the meantime, proceeded—Lyn being a political prisoner of Bush at that time—proposed in '91, when the Soviet Union started to disintegrate, the expansion of the Productive Triangle to the Eurasian Land-Bridge, eventually having three corridors: The Trans-Siberian Railway, the Old Silk Road, and then from there, branching out into other corridors.
Then, in '96, the Eurasian Land-Bridge conference in Beijing, defined the Eurasian Land-Bridge as the strategic long-term policy for the Chinese government, until the year 2010. In '97, when the Asia crisis started to take away the illusions about the present world system, the idea came back on the table, but it was always a point where people like Sir Leon Brittan, and others, worked very hard not to have this perspective.
In '98, Primakov proposed the Strategic Triangle of China, Russia, and India, and we worked very hard to help bring this into being.
Then, when Sept. 11, 2001 occurred, and the Clash of Civilizations policy was on, this was the pretext for the war party not only to go into Afghanistan, but now, to take out the plans which were in their desks for a long time.
In 2002, when it was clear that the war against Iraq was on the table, Lyn was the first one to organize a worldwide opposition. The BüSo, in Germany, made this the key focus of our campaign for the entire year. And, in August, Schröder made a complete switch, and decided on an absolute "no!" to this Iraq war. Schröder's position, in turn, strengthened the French view and Chirac's position, and this had a very important effect on Russia and on China. People, all of a sudden, started to realize that what was going on was not just a war against Iraq, but that the American war aims were against Iran, North Korea, China, Russia, and that the real issue was an American Empire. Now, the German-French-Russian-Chinese alliance, with other countries coming towards it, reacted to the unilateralism of the Bush Administration and the open threat of an American Empire. They reacted to the insanity of a first use of nuclear weapons, pre-emptive doctrine; and all of this catalyzed a Eurasian alliance in months, something which would normally take years and decades, to come into being.
So therefore, Germany and France used the occasion of the 40-year anniversary of the Elysée Treaty, which was established by Adenauer and de Gaulle—being an historical breakthrough which only if you look at 500 years of war between Germany and France, you understand how important that act of peace was, which de Gaulle and Adenauer established. And now, this gave the beautiful occasion to reaffirm that treaty, in light of the dangers of today.
The Duma Deputy Dmitri Rogozin said in an interview on the 16th of this month, "Germany, France, and Russia, have now a joint industry policy, joint space research, and a joint security policy. The resources of Russia will guarantee independence of its allies, even if the United States would dominate the entire Gulf; and Germany and France are in no danger if they are with Russia. Russia has decided for the alliance with Germany and France. On the basis of this common interest, the Eurasian Union emerges as the new superpower, which has to be taken into account by the other superpower. This Eurasian Union is going to be permanent, and it has a much greater future, with its gigantic export markets, than the European Union."
The Eurasian Union exists: It is actually emerging very rapidly.
Now, Putin went to China in December, and to India. And the Strategic Triangle Russia-China-India was reconfirmed. Then, you have the ASEAN Plus Four meeting in Phnom Penh, which decided, among other things, on the Mekong River project. Then, you have other projects, like the Ganges-Brahmaputra project, between India and China. The South Korean President who just came into office, Roh Moo-hyun, in his inauguration speech on the Feb. 25, said, "An age of Northeast Asia begins. A new takeoff towards an age of peace and prosperity. Peace on the Korean Peninsula can only occur in the context of economic development of the entirety of Eurasia. And we will build a super-speed railway, the Iron Silk Road. We have to soon bring the day, when passengers will be able to buy a train ticket in Pusan and travel all the way to Paris, in the heart of Europe, via Pyongyang, Shinuiju, and many cities in China, Mongolia, and Russia."
A similar view was expressed about the "Asiatic Grand Central," starting "from Orenburg on the River Ural, which railroad would have gone as far as Peshawar, on the Indian frontier, bringing the Russian system to the Anglo-Indian system of railways across Central Asia.... It would have been a communication between the Trans-Siberian on the one hand, and the Baghdad railway on the other. The object was to join European railways with the Anglo-Indian railway, and beyond that, with future Chinese railways."
Now, who said that? Well, it was not "Commander Wu," when he finished the railway stretch from Pudong Airport to Shanghai. No. It was Gabriel Hanotaux, writing on the Eurasian railway project of the French engineer Ferdinand de Lesseps, who had built the Suez Canal, when he had presented to the French Academy of Science his railway project for Eurasia.
This was 130 years ago. And, one can only say, "Is it not about time to integrate Eurasia?"
Now we have a phase-change: The old institutions are defunct. The IMF, the United Nations, NATO, the European Union—they are all a matter of the past. We need new institutional agreements between nations, for long-term joint development projects, technology transfer, and the expansion of trade. And we have to envisage that for 25 to 50 years. The new Eurasian Union perspective will go far beyond the Marshall Plan or the New Deal.
If you look at the German unemployment situation: Germany officially has, today, 4.6 million unemployed; in reality, probably 8 million. And the only way Germany will get out of this crisis, is through the Eurasian Land-Bridge. The Asian continent has 3.5 billion people. India and China alone have 2.3 billion. China, in a world which was collapsing, had the impressive growth rate of 8% per year. Just to give you a couple of figures: France, which is the number-one trade partner of Germany, imports 12,000 euros per capita per year from Germany; the United States imports EU250 per year per capita; and China, only EU9.7. But, machine-tool exports from Germany in 2002 increased 50% to China alone. South Korea has ten times as much imports from Germany, as China: EU98 per capita. Now, if China and India were to develop at minimum, to the level of South Korea, the volume of German exports to a combined population of 2.3 billion people would increase by a factor of 10 or more, and it would be more than the entire German exports to the all of the European Union countries today.
There's another aspect. If the Eurasian Land-Bridge will be built as an integrated project, we will need to build thousands of new cities. Official Chinese estimates are, that the urban population of China will increase from presently 31% and 390 million today, to 70%, or 912 million people by the year 2020. Now, this will mean an unprecedented level of construction, not only of cities, but of transport, energy, water, and communications. There is no question that the Eurasian Land-Bridge will mean a new economic miracle, which will make the famous "German economic miracle" after '45, a very small event.
Clinton was in Berlin—I think in '95—and he was then saying, there is no limit in the creation of new jobs in the East. I think Clinton didn't stick with this, unfortunately, but he was right: There is no limit. Young people will be required to have careers as engineers, as developers, architects, and so forth.
The Land-Bridge to a Dialogue of Cultures
But, it is more than that: It will not only lead to an economic miracle, but it will transform humanity out of the present state of barbarism. Because we need a new paradigm. And, the Eurasian Land-Bridge must be combined with the Dialogue of Cultures along the Eurasian Land-Bridge. And, as you know, our Land-Bridge will go through the Bering Strait into Latin America, and through Egypt and Gibraltar into Africa.
We have to start, in this dialogue, with what is universal about all human beings: What distinguishes man from all other beings? It is his cognitive ability. Man is the only being capable of reason, and this reason is unlimited in being perfectible. (This was, by the way, the argument, already, Witte made, about the difference between man and beasts: That man is capable to improve the fate of mankind through his creativity.) Isn't this a wonderful thing? The cognitive powers of human beings enable man to produce ideas—immaterial things—and these immaterial things lead to scientific and technological progress, which in turn, increases the productivity of the production process, which increases the living standard of the population, and longevity, and so forth.
Lyn, in developing his notion of the relative potential population-density, for the first time established a yardstick, to measure scientifically what is good, and what leads to the increase of the chances of mankind to survive in the long term. Nicolaus of Cusa was the first one who talked about the law of evolution, the development from the inorganic, [to] the living, and reason, and then God; however, the development, not going from below to the top, but from above. Vernadsky picked up on the same idea, and made the point that with the evolution of man, the Noösphere is increasingly becoming dominant over the Biosphere. Sri Aurobindo Ghose, from the Indian point of view, had the same idea: That the spiritual man will eventually become the dominant form of human existence. Schiller had the notion of the "beautiful soul," where genius is the only one who fulfills that condition.
And the LaRouche Youth Movement has declared many times, they are determined to make Lyn's personal creativity the standard for all human beings to come.
Now, the crisis can only be overcome if we activate, in this moment of severe challenge, all of the universal ideas, all the best minds who lived in history so far.
As the institutions of the old order collapse, the present crisis has also created a tremendous chance. Because it is very clear that the international law, as it has developed since the Peace of Westphalia, and is written in the UN Charter, is not sufficient, because it did not succeed; it was not sufficient to solve this present crisis. What we saw is that international law was defeated, and that the "law of the stronger" dominated; which proves the fact, that international law, Bürgerrecht, the "law of the people," is still in a very rudimentary form. Now it must be developed.
What is lacking in international law? Well, natural law. And, it does exist, as the concept of Nemesis makes so totally clear. What we have to introduce into international law is the following: We know, from the evolution of mankind, that there is a provable coincidence and cohesion between the laws of the microcosm and macrocosm. The same idea which exists in Leibniz's notion of the monad: that each monad, in germ form, contains all the laws of the universe.
Now therefore, what we have to do, is to bring the cosmic order, the laws of the real universe, into the political realm, and we are only at the beginning to understand the implication of what that means. But cosmic laws, the laws of the microcosm, must be reflected in international law, if mankind is supposed to grow up. In The Federalist, Alexander Hamilton asked the question, the big question, which will decide on the future of the United States: Can man give himself laws to self-govern himself according to the common good of the people?
This is the big challenge in front of us today. So, for the first time this question must be answered, not for one country, but for all countries on the planet. Nicolaus of Cusa had the idea, that concordance in the macrocosm can only exist, if all microcosms have the maximum development, and each microcosm not only desires his own maximum development, but also that of the others. Applied to nations, this means that all nations must be relating to each other like members of a family, where the father wants the best development for the daughter, and vice versa.
This has been the dream of the Schiller Institute from the beginning. But now, at the moment of incredible crisis and incredible vacuum, we have to realize this.
Now, I propose that we, as an organization, take this challenge, and make this question of Lyn's policies—the New Bretton Woods, Eurasian Land-Bridge, and the need to develop international law, the cultural Renaissance on the basis of a Dialogue among Cultures—to turn this, in the next two days, into the Bad Schwalbach Declaration; and intervene, in the next days and weeks, so that these policies become realized, and that the Age of Folly of Mankind is ended forever.