DIALOGUE WITH IBERO-AMERICA
Helga Zepp-LaRouche: `Do You Want To Eat?'
Helga Zepp-LaRouche gave a two-hour webcast live by videoconference from Germany, with audiences in Argentina, Mexico, and Colombia, Aug. 19, 2008.
The Argentine gathering was co-sponsored by the LaRouche Youth Movement (LYM) and "Compromiso K," a pro-Kirchner youth group in that country. 20,000 copies of a joint leaflet invitation were distributed, under the headline: "Mental Health Communique: The World Financial System Is Already a Corpse and It's in the Morgue; It's Best to Let it Go."
Mrs. LaRouche was introduced by the videoconference moderator in Mexico, Ingrid Torres. Here is an edited transcript. The Question and Answer period is available here. Video and audio archives of the webcast are available here.
Ingrid Torres: Good evening to everybody. I would like to welcome all of you on behalf of the LaRouche Youth Movement in Argentina, in Colombia, and in Mexico, with live audiences, and also on behalf of the magazine Resumen Ejecutivo de EIR and the group "Commitment K" in Argentina. I would also like to welcome those who are listening live over the Internet, and let you know that we have three meetings linked up live: in Argentina in the auditorium of Commitment K; in Colombia, in the auditorium of ANEBR, the Association of Trade Union Employees of the Bank of the Republic; and in Mexico, we are transmitting live from the Congress in Mexico.
I would also like to say that we have distinguished guests from various institutions, and above all, Federal Congressman Salvador Ruiz Sánchez, here in Mexico. And of course, we would like to welcome our very special invited guest for this conference, Helga Zepp-LaRouche, who is speaking to us live from Germany.
And by way of brief introduction, I would like to just say a few things about Helga: She is the president of the BüSo party in Germany, the Civil Rights Solidarity Movement; she is the president of the Schiller Institute; and she has also visited Mexico on various occasions to meet with one of the best Presidents that this country ever had, who is José López Portillo, both when he was President, and subsequently.
One of the most recent proposals which Helga Zepp-LaRouche has made was the idea of doubling food production, worldwide. She has also fought for more than 30 years alongside her husband Lyndon LaRouche, the U.S. statesman, for the idea of reestablishing and raising the dignity of all human beings, with the battle for a new world economic order, a New Bretton Woods type of system.
So, I would urge of the people who are involved in this, in Mexico, Argentina, and Colombia, and those who are listening over the Internet, that we should not listen to Helga and look at this conference merely as spectators, which often happens (or is happening now with Olympics in China); but rather, viewing ourselves as historical citizens, who are willing to fight for those who are most in need, now, and for future generations as well.
Without further ado, I would like to ask Helga Zepp-LaRouche to address us, and we eagerly await her words.
We Have To Change the Agenda of World Politics
Helga Zepp-LaRouche: Yes, I guess it's not yet evening where you are. It's midnight where I am, but I want to say hello to all of you in Mexico, in Colombia, and in Argentina.
And I'm very happy that I can address you, because we have, indeed, a very dangerous moment in human history right now. That, even if you consider the other crises in human history: the collapse of civilization in the 14th Century into a Dark Age, or if you consider the catastrophes of the 20th Century, which included two terrible world wars, I would say that the crisis which we are facing today is unprecedented, and could be the worst in human history. Because we have not only a general breakdown crisis of the global financial system, but we have, related to that, a very dangerous military escalation. When recently, Georgia, in a totally sneaky way, attacked South Ossetia, and then, Russia, very determinedly, answered to that, we could actually get a glimpse, of how close the world is to the possibility of World War III. Especially in light of the fact, that up to the present moment, the United States, especially Great Britain, and unfortunately, also NATO, are continuing the encirclement policy against Russia.
Now, this could all lead to a complete disaster, and therefore, the main point I want to make in this presentation to you, is that we have to change the political agenda of world politics, and I want to present to you a concrete proposal of how this could be done. But before I come to this proposal, I want to review the situation more in detail.
A Global Meltdown
As I said, we are in a very advanced situation of a global meltdown of the system. Just today, for example, the former chief economist of the IMF, Prof. Kenneth Rogoff, who is now a Harvard professor, said that not only middle-level and small banks in the United States are expected to go under, but probably one or more of the really big ones will collapse. Now, Wilbur Ross, who is a expert in hostile takeovers, hedge fund activities, and so forth, even he, a couple of days ago, said that he expects 1,000 American banks to collapse. And in the United States, in the financial community, right now, the rumor is: Will it be 3,000 banks, will it be 5,000 banks?
And the situation in Europe actually is not much better: As a matter of fact, the number of people who now are echoing what my husband Lyndon LaRouche said recently—that the collapse in Europe is even faster than that in the United States—these voices are becoming more and more frequent. You have a complete collapse of the real estate market in Spain, in Great Britain, in Denmark. And following that, there are banking crises in all of these countries. The German economy, the so-called champion of exports worldwide, is shrinking for the first time, this year, by half a percent. The European Union, that great bastion of economic prosperity, has, for the first time, a trade deficit!
News comes from China, that, especially in the South, the effect of the global crisis on the Chinese economy is being felt in the form that you have around 50,000 middle-level firms that went under in the last month. And small and middle-level means a hundred to a couple of thousand employees.
India is under enormous attack by the hedge funds right now.
This crash was predicted by my husband on July 25 last year, when he, in a webcast, explained that the financial system had already collapsed, and that what the world would see, is just how the different aspects of it would come to the surface. Three days later, the subprime crisis in the United States exploded. And then, from August on, we had a tremendous credit crunch, where the banks basically stopped all interbank activity, because each bank knew that the other one was sitting on billions and billions of dollars of so-called "toxic waste," unsaleable paper, and all interbank activity came to a halt, because nobody trusted each other.
Then, the central banks knew nothing better than to pump liquidity. And from September on, you had the hyperinflation, with added liquidity, showing up in the form of food price inflation. And the price of cereals, milk products, meats, increased by 30%, 40%. This led, in October last year, to hunger riots, which were kept secret, until April of this year. By secret, I mean that the Western media did not report it at all, but in 40 countries, hunger riots had taken place. The government of Haiti was even wiped out by these riots.
How To Double World Food Production
Now, at that point, I made the call to double the food production: Because, if you have already 1 billion people at the point of starvation, and 2 billion altogether badly nourished, and you have the expectation that, by the year 2050, you will have another 3 billion people added to the world population, therefore, it is, obviously, the most normal thing to think that if you want to feed these people, you need to double food production.
Now, the most immediate thing which could be done, is to stop using food for biofuels, because I think this is a crime against humanity: to use precious food, when people are starving, in the form of fuel. Now, that would be the first step: This could immediately feed something like 500,000 people. But then, naturally, you need a crash program to increase agricultural production, especially in the developing countries; and this can only happen, if you go for large-scale infrastructure—roads, railways, waterways, ports—and then have, especially, industrialization, food processing, food irradiation—but you also need large quantities of safe nuclear energy. And when I say, "safe nuclear energy," I mean, especially the high-temperature reactor technology which is being built right now in South Africa and in China, because this is an inherently safe form of nuclear energy. And if you have that, then you could have large quantities of ocean water which could be desalinated, and you could use it for irrigation.
Now, that is just a question of political will. It is not something that cannot be done, or many countries would not like to have done, but it is the political will to make these kind of changes. So, I made this call, with the idea that it should be taken up at the beginning of June, at the FAO conference, because that conference was devoted to the issue of the food crisis and biofuels and so forth.
We made a worldwide mobilization, and many people agreed with this idea: that in light of this hunger, it's the only way. But then, came the FAO conference, and it turned out that it was a total failure. There was no discussion of a crash program; but what did appear, is that two completely opposite camps emerged: On the one side, you had, unfortunately, the G7 countries, who were pushing the WTO, the Doha Round, the complete escalation of free trade, to remove all remaining tariffs and protective barriers; and the only thing that would do, is to make the way free for the speculators completely.
On the other side, you had nations which were threatened in their existence, and they were discussing that there was the need to have food security, self-reliance, protectionist measures. And on that side, there were countries like Russia, China, and India, but also, many countries from Africa and Latin America.
Now, it turned out that the FAO, despite the fact that that would be their job, is clearly not the institution to solve the problem. Then, at the beginning of July, when the so-called Doha Round of the WTO failed, it was clear that the whole world was actually in a real limbo situation. So, the most obvious next place where something could have been done, was the G8 conference which took place July 7-9 in Japan. And you would expect that the leading Western nations, in light of the financial meltdown, would put this on the agenda, and discuss emergency measures for what to do! But it turned out that, despite the fact that they also had discussions with some other countries, like China, India, and Brazil, they did not really engage them in any serious discussion.
Three Steps for Survival
So, that is why my husband, Lyndon LaRouche, made another webcast, actually one year after the first prophetic one [July 22, 2008], where he very emphatically said: The world will only get out of this crisis, if three measures are taken. One is the Homeowners and Bank Protection Act (HBPA) for the United States. That is, in light of the eviction of millions of Americans from their homes and apartments, that the state must basically take over the situation, and make sure these people can stay in their homes and apartments, and that the chartered banks are safe. Because if these banks go under, the economy collapses. We have organized for that initiative since last August, and many American cities and states have endorsed this proposal, but obviously it has not been implemented yet on a national scale, and that is what would be required.
The second measure which he said is absolutely crucial, would be to establish a two-tier credit system in the United States, because right now, the difference between the 2% interest rate of the Federal Reserve and the 5% interest rate of the Bank of England, and 4.25% of the European Central Bank, just means that this system is continuously collapsing.
And most important, is the third measure. He said, that given the financial power of the international financial institutions, the hedge funds, the private equity funds, that only if you get a combination of the most powerful four countries of the world—namely, the United States, Russia, China, and India—together to put the question of a new financial architecture on the agenda, can a solution be found.
What happened at this point, while we were organizing for this perspective—and I will tell you about the American aspect in a second; and I think there is a direct connection between the meltdown of the financial system, and the potential for an alternative—is that the British intelligence subject, George Soros, who owns the entire Georgian government, intervened. And you can look at the pedigree: There is not one member of the Georgian cabinet who does not owe his career to the financing of Soros, who financed the government after the so-called Rose Revolution, who is still financing the police in Georgia. So it's not an independent operation, but it is really an extension of the British Empire destabilization: They launched the attack on South Ossetia.
And this was very sneaky, because it was in the first hours of the Olympic Games. It was very brutal: 1,800 people were killed, and it is very clear that the main aim had nothing to do with South Ossetia, or Georgia, but the main aim of this operation was to drive a wedge between especially the United States, but in general the West, and Russia.
The Russian government, as you know, went for a decisive counterattack, and destroyed much of the American-built installations in Georgia. Mr. LaRouche, my husband, immediately put out a statement and said that what the Russian government did, was probably to stop World War III, because the continuous encirclement policy against Russia and China, is indeed bringing the world onto that road.
The Push for a New Global Empire
How could it come to this situation? Remember, that when the Soviet Union disintegrated, the British Empire around Margaret Thatcher, and the neocons in the Bush Sr. Administration decided to turn the American Republic into a new global empire, in the "special relationship" with Great Britain. After 1989, when the Berlin Wall had come down, and the German unification represented a tremendous chance to put the East-West relationship on a completely new basis, these same empire circles started the first Gulf War, to distract attention and take the momentum away from German unification. And then they followed up with the Balkan War. And at that time, they were already determined to cause a regime change in all countries that would oppose this installation of a global empire.
Now, in the period immediately afterwards, in the eight years of the Clinton Administration, this was a little bit slowed down, and somewhat interrupted. But the empire circles had basically aimed at Russia, with shock therapy: They wanted to turn Russia from a superpower into a raw materials-producing, Third World country, and they destroyed much of the Russian industrial base, and also in the Comecon countries.
During the Yeltsin era, they had not so many problems, because they looted Russia. But when Putin started to reassert the role of Russia as a world power, they started to organize these destabilizations. They built up so-called "street gangs," all financed by George Soros, which were first instrumental in getting rid of Milosevic in Serbia. Then in 2003, they went to Georgia, and there they created the so-called Rose Revolution. They went on, in 2004, to Ukraine, where they made the so-called Orange Revolution. And in this period, Cheney said many times, that the United States would never allow one country or a combination of countries ever to come into the vicinity of American power, either economically or politically.
Now, at the same time, they started then to prepare the anti-China campaign, with the Tibet campaign, and the Uighurs in Xinjiang; this is really aimed to destroy the territorial integrity of Russia and China.
Immediately after the Russian government made a very clear countermove, the Polish government made an agreement with the United States to put up the ABM system in Poland, giving the U.S. a base which will be used against short- and middle-range missiles. Everybody knows that you can change these defensive systems very quickly into offensive systems, and that would then mean that short-range and medium-range missiles would reach into Russia, and up to Moscow, in something like three minutes.
That move also made clear, with the short- and medium-range missiles, that the old pretext, that this was to defend against "rogue states" like Iran, was a complete lie.
Now, the next thing was that Ukraine is also offering a former Soviet base to the West. And they're making trouble for the Russian Fleet in the Black Sea port of Sevastopol.
On the Road to World War III
Now, if you look at this escalation, the meltdown of the system, and these moves by the British, by the United States, and by NATO, it is very clear, that we are on the road to World War III. This is not to say that these countries could win against Russia! Because, in war, and especially in a war of the kind we are talking about, logistics is everything. And how can you have logistics, when the economies of the United States, of Great Britain, of Europe are collapsing the way they are doing?
But, it is very clear: We have now reached a moment in history, where mankind is challenged as never before. Can we change the agenda in time?
Globalization today, the system associated with the present financial system, is more bankrupt than the Communist system was in 1989 to '91. And we should seriously ask ourselves, and ask our governments, our parliaments: Why should billions of human beings, who have been the victims of this globalization, continue to suffer for the privilege of a few billionaires and a couple of more millionaires? We need a new just world economic order, now!
I wrote a resolution recently, which was the result of a seminar which we had in Germany, where important people from many countries participated—from France, Italy, Germany, Austria, Sweden, Denmark, and the Middle East. And we decided that we would make a worldwide mobilization to get the United Nations General Assembly, which starts on the 26th of September, to officially adopt a new world economic order, and to put the question of a New Bretton Woods and the Eurasian Land-Bridge as the concrete program for the reconstruction of the world economy, on the agenda.
A New Deal for the World
Since the question of war or peace, and question of the danger of a collapse of the economy, is something which concerns the entirety of humanity, I think that it is a matter which really must be discussed at this forum. This may sound new for some of you, but actually we have been involved in this fight for a very long time.
The first time Mr. LaRouche came up with a proposal to replace the IMF system with a new system was in 1975, when, after a visit to Iraq, where he met many Third World leaders, he made the proposal to create something which he called the International Development Bank. This was supposed to replace the IMF, and to transform the debt of the developing countries, from short-term debt with high interest rates, into long-term credit lines with low interest rates, in order to finance very well-defined infrastructure and other development projects. And this institution was supposed to have $400 billion per year in terms of technology transfer for the Southern Hemisphere.
We organized for this for one full year, and in 1976, and at the Colombo, Sri Lanka conference of the Non-Aligned Movement, this proposal for a new world economic order was adopted by 85 nations. Obviously, this was then not immediately realized; but in the United Nations General Assembly, that same year, a month later, the Foreign Minister of Guyana, Fred Wills, made a powerful speech, demanding exactly that: a new financial and economic order, which would make the survival of everybody possible.
This was answered by the financial oligarchy with destabilizations against Zulfikar Ali Bhutto of Pakistan, against Indira Gandhi, and against Sirimavo Bandaranaike of Sri Lanka. And, it would then take another six years, until José López Portillo made another very beautiful speech in the United Nations, in 1982, demanding the same thing.
This was 32 or 26 years ago; and just think how different the world would look, if these ideas would have been implemented at that time. The failure to do that, has brought the world to the verge of the abyss. And, what I'm suggesting to you, is that you join in, with a worldwide mobilization to make the issue of the new world economic order, the issue at the UN General Assembly. All we have to do, is get the idea circulated, and find a dozen leaders worldwide, from Latin America, from Africa, from Asia, to bring this onto the table, and to decide that there must be an emergency conference on the level of heads of state, to declare the present world system bankrupt, and then, to reorganize the debt—cancel most of the debt of the developing countries which cannot pay these debts anyway—but much of the debt of the so-called advanced sector is equally unpayable; and then establish fixed exchange rates and national banks for very well-organized, new credit lines.
In other words: Let's have a New Deal in the tradition of Franklin D. Roosevelt, a New Deal for the United States, a New Deal for South America, for Asia, for Africa. And then, let's decide to make the Eurasian Land-Bridge the idea to transform the world, through so-called "development corridors," and bring development into the land-locked areas of Africa, of Eurasia, and of Latin America; to extend the Eurasian Land-Bridge through the Bering Strait, to the Americas, all the way to the south to Chile, and to extend it through Egypt, through Sicily to Tunisia, a tunnel across Gibraltar, and develop Africa. Let's make the Eurasian Land-Bridge, as a World Land-Bridge, the basis for a new peace order of the 21st Century.
Without the U.S.A., a Solution Is Not Possible
Now, in one week, there will be the Democratic Convention in Denver; and as you probably have heard, Hillary Clinton's name will be placed in nomination. And if the Americans are really sane, they are going to nominate her, and elect her President. That is the only thing which really would save the situation, because without the United States, a solution is not possible. I know that not everybody in South America agrees with that, but if you think through the implications of what the world will look like if the United States is on an antagonistic course, I think, under those circumstances, no solution has really a chance to succeed. Because even if the strategic partnership between Russia, China, and India is very important, the solution depends on a change of policy in the United States, away from the seven or eight years of disaster, which the Bush Administration has represented in the last period.
I know that the image of the United States is presently very bad around the world: what the United States has done in Iraq, what they're now doing in Eastern Europe—and I could make a very long list. But it is important for the people in Central and South America to understand, that it is not the United States which is the problem: It is the real conflict, which has been raging for over 200 years, between the British and American System of economics, between the faction of free trade, imperialism, and colonialism on the one side, and the faction which is for sovereign republics devoted to the common good of the people, on the other. And this fight goes back all the way to the American War of Independence against the British Empire. And you should understand that the people whom you in South America regard as enemies, have been the enemies of the American Revolution, and they were mostly linked to the European oligarchy.
Now, the Ibero-Americans, as well as all the humanists in Europe, admired the American Revolution of the '70s and '80s of the 18th Century. But later, when, in 1826, Simón Bolívar called the Congress of the Americas in Panama, initially it was without the United States. But Colombia and Mexico invited the United States to participate; and this then led to a fight in the U.S. Congress. And despite the fact that President John Quincy Adams and his Secretary of State Henry Clay authorized that American representatives should attend this conference, it did not happen. Now, why did it not happen?
It was the policy of Alexander Hamilton and John Quincy Adams, who were for nationalist economic policies—protectionism, tariffs, national banking, government-funded infrastructure; and John Quincy Adams also called for the end of the British Empire, and insisted that the American Republic must never practice colonialism. In this period, the Monroe Doctrine was declared, to stop the European oligarchies from reaching into the Americas: the oligarchies of Metternich, the Habsburg Empire, the British Empire of Castlereagh, and so forth.
But then, through the Anglophile traitors' revolt in the American South, who were pro-slavery, who created a secessionist movement centered in South Carolina—from these came the protest against the participation of the United States in the Panama [Pan-American] conference, in 1826. And they made the argument that the U.S. delegates would join with black non-slaves, representatives from Haiti, and this would have a very dangerous effect on the slaves in the U.S. South.
Similarly, it was in respect to the war of the 1840s, the U.S. war against Mexico, where the same treasonous, Southern slaveowners' faction was behind the war, even if this was denounced by the older generation, John Quincy Adams and Henry Clay. Sen. Henry Clay led the fight against the Mexican War, and he was a very solid representative of the American System; he was fighting for protectionist policies in the United States. It was the same traitors, who 13 years later, made the Southern War of Rebellion against Lincoln, who fortunately won this war. And proudly, I can say that German financing and German issuing of bonds for Lincoln had a big part in this success.
Lincoln launched the greatest industrialization in history, ever, up to that point. And he opened very friendly relations with Ibero-America, and a big plan for North and South American infrastructure began. Later, the same policy was pursued by James G. Blaine, the U.S. Secretary of State in 1881, and from 1889-92; who, by the way, was an ally of the Irish Revolution against England; he was fighting for the rights for black Americans, and he revived this idea of economic cooperation between North and South America. A railway commission was established which mapped out the idea of 500 miles of railway, for the complete integration of the Western Hemisphere. This was also pushed by President William McKinley, who was a protégé of Blaine, and he also developed the idea of the Isthmian Canal.
All these plans were halted when McKinley was murdered, and the Anglophile Teddy Roosevelt took over. I'm saying all of this, because I know, that many of you have a justified anger against the United States. But it is important to understand that the British-inspired empire faction inside the United States, is the problem. And we have to fight very hard, so that the United States can find its soul again, and go back to the tradition of the American Revolution, the Declaration of Independence, of Lincoln, of FDR: Because only then, can the situation in the world be remedied.
Let Us Work for the Common Aims of Mankind
Therefore, I'm asking you to help to organize, to make the UN General Assembly the turning point. And I want you to use the resolution which we adopted at this seminar in Germany. This is not an arbitrary moment to focus on the UN General Assembly, at this point: It may very well be the last chance in history before a great catastrophe. We need a just new world economic order, where every nation on this planet can survive in decency. We have to eliminate poverty and hunger, which would be so easy to do! It could be done: And maybe eliminate hunger in half a year; we could eliminate poverty in two or three years. So therefore, let's try to double food production. Eliminate the use of food for biofuels, and eliminate drug production and grow food instead!
We have to end oligarchism: oligarchism, which means the privilege of a relative few, and happiness and even the lives of billions of people are sacrificed—for what? For just a few speculative oligarchs. We have to end the British System of free trade. It is a hoax anyway, because, you can see it in the food production, which is controlled by five gigantic food cartels. One of them is Monsanto, which controls 80% of the world's seeds!
Let's work to establish a world of sovereign republics, all devoted to the common good of their people, guaranteeing the inalienable rights of all people, and the right for life, freedom, and the pursuit of happiness. Let's adopt the principles of the American Declaration of Independence for all nations of this world, and let's work together for the common aims of mankind. The time to move is now.