To Stop War, We Need a Mass
Movement for Development
Helga Zepp-LaRouche is the founder of the Schiller Institute and is its president in Germany. She gave this keynote speech to the Presidents' Day conference of the Institute in New York City on Feb. 14, 2015. Subheads and footnotes have been added.
It is a particular pleasure to be in New York, because in my last speech here I concluded by saying I was talking to you as a New Yorker. I used to live here for several years, and naturally, this was a reference to the famous speech by Kennedy in Berlin.
I think we are right now confronted with an unbelievable situation. We are still extremely close to World War III. This danger was alleviated a tiny little bit, three days ago, when you had the intervention by Chancellor Merkel, President Hollande, President Putin, and President Poroshenko, at their meeting in Minsk, and an agreement was reached, the so-called Minsk II agreement.
But I hate to tell you, this is a very, very short and potentially very, very fragile breathing space of maybe hours, maybe days, maybe weeks; the reality is, we are still absolutely on the eve, two minutes, or two seconds, before World War III. That has been generally understood now in Europe, I think, much, much more than in the United States. And we are still also on the verge of a potential complete blowout of the financial system. And that is the reason why we are in this war danger.
Because the war danger is not just Ukraine, and the danger that that war could go out of control. The war danger comes from the fact that the Empire—that which has developed since the end of the Soviet Union as a system of globalization—is about to blow out in a much, much bigger way than we had it with Lehman Brothers and AIG in 2008.
Let me quickly go into where we stand strategically.
The Minsk II Agreement
This agreement, the so-called Minsk II agreement, is a 10-point agreement. It includes a ceasefire, which is supposed to start tonight at midnight. Then, it's supposed to pull back the artillery and other heavy weapons systems from a minimum 10-kilometer safe zone. It's supposed to re-establish the demarcation line that was established already in the Minsk I agreement in September, and does not include the territorial gains by the rebels in the fighting since. It is supposed to be supervised by an OSCE team. It is supposed to include an amnesty for many—not all, but many—of the prisoners of war, and also a prisoner of war exchange. Kiev, the government, is supposed to restore the wages, pensions, and the banking system in eastern Ukraine, and it will give a special status of autonomy to Donetsk and Luhansk, and basically all foreign fighters are supposed to be pulled out.
It is also expressed by the four leaders—Merkel, Hollande, Putin, and Poroshenko—that the chance that this agreement would last would be greatly enhanced if there were better cooperation among the EU, Ukraine, and Russia.
It is extremely fragile. Why am I saying this? Because it is now that what I used to call the "Ibykus principle," the nemesis of the evil deed, could haunt the people who tried for this agreement. Because it was the despicable refusal of Merkel, in particular—being the head of the German government, 70 years after the end of World War II, and the end of the 12-year Nazi regime in Germany—to admit that the crisis in Ukraine had been caused by a Nazi coup which brought into the government not just neo-Nazis, but real Nazis, going way back all the way to Stepan Bandera and that organization that had helped the Nazi occupation of Ukraine in the '40s.
These were networks which were kept all the way into the post-war period, by the CIA, by British MI6, and the German Gehlen organization of the BND. They were kept sort of like the Gladio operation of NATO, as a stay-behind group, in case of confrontation with the Soviet Union, during the Cold War.
Now, these were considered "good Nazis" because they were owned by the West; but then, in the evolution of the Maidan in 2014, they made a coup on the 21st of February, and that was recognized by Germany, France, the United States, the British, the EU—they all went along with it, and they all pretended that this Ukrainian government was a legitimate government and that it was okay to work with them.
It happens to be the fact that immediately after the Minsk II agreement was announced, Dmytro Yarosh, the head of the Right Sector, and other members of these Nazi groupings (which are in the National Guard, and several independent battalions in the Ukraine militia), announced that they will not endorse the Minsk II agreement, but will keep fighting.
These people have the ability to wreck that fragile Minsk II agreement, because they are Nazis, and they are well-equipped, and they are being better equipped by the United States, right now. Because as the Minsk agreement was being negotiated, Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, who's the head of the U.S. Army Europe, announced that he will continue arming these people, training them, obviously for the war against the "rebels" in the East, and potentially beyond that.
This is a situation which must stop. Because if this is not ended, if these Nazis are not disarmed, and if those people who are backing them are not blamed and made to take responsibility, this has the potential of blowing up into World War III.
Victoria Nuland, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, has been all along the backer not only of these Nazi networks, but also of the man she calls "Yats," the so-called Prime Minister of Ukraine. You all remember this famous discussion she had on the phone, which was then taped, with the U.S. Ambassador in Kiev, Geoffrey Pyatt, in which she said these famous words, "F*** the EU," meaning that they wanted to go ahead and put in their property, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, to the disadvantage of the German project, Vladimir Klitschko. Everybody was shocked and made a spectacle that Nuland had used such vulgar language, while the real scandal was that she was caught red-handed interfering into the internal affairs of a sovereign country by imposing this "Yats," who is backing all these people from the Right Sector, and other Bandera networks.
So, you have something which potentially can become the tragedy of extinction of mankind, if this is not cleaned up.
We have published a big dossier on this, which I want you to read, and really help us to get the Congress to investigate this, because this is right now the Achilles' heel of the further existence of civilization.
I just now returned from a two-week trip to Germany, and also Denmark, where I had a series of events, to do essentially what we are doing here: to try to mobilize more people to the reality of the strategic situation. And I can tell you that what I'm saying now is not from some reading of reports or something, but I can tell you firsthand, from many discussions I had with people in Germany, but also other people, Eastern and Western people, and also in Copenhagen, about what caused Merkel and Hollande to all of a sudden develop this hectic diplomacy.
This came practically out of the blue. All of a sudden, Merkel and Hollande went to Kiev, they met with Poroshenko, they met with Yats. Then they went to Moscow. They met for several long hours with Putin. Then Mrs. Merkel came back. She rushed to Washington, talking with Obama. Running back to Germany, attending some European Union functions, and then attending on Wednesday [Feb. 11] this Minsk meeting in Belarus.
Now I can assure you that what caused this sudden eruption of diplomacy—also from the best I can tell you, not coordinated with Washington—was the clear perception that the world was about to blow up.
Because at that time, the news came that the Americans were about to send "lethal defensive weapons," whatever that is supposed to mean, into Ukraine, and there was a perception that that would lead to an immediate provocation of Russia. Because by arming these unholy elements in Ukraine, with heavy American weapons, meant de facto a NATO-U.S. intervention into Ukraine, and given the extreme tenseness of the situation, the heavy, brutal war-fighting going on in eastern Ukraine, meant that the Europeans thought, if this happens, then the Russians will react, and then you go into a big war over Ukraine, and there will be a big war, not only in Ukraine, but in all of Europe. And by the very nature of it, it will a global thermonuclear war.
And that's why they developed this extremely hectic activity.
'The Nuclear Specter Returns'
Some of you know, because you have been following what we have been saying and doing—we have been warning that the policies of NATO expansion to the East, the policy of Global Prompt Strike, the first strike doctrine, the global U.S. missile defense system, all of that meant that we were extremely close to World War III. But nobody would talk about it. This is one of the absolute scandals: that you are about to go extinct, and the politicians, because they are too cowardly, are not talking about it.
But suddenly, you had a whole eruption of articles. Spiegel Online had an article in the same days that Merkel was running around, saying that the "nuclear specter is back." It showed a picture of two warheads which were directed at whoever looked at the picture, so the idea that this is about to happen was clearly communicated. They quoted the American analyst Theodore Postol, who had warned that the present first-strike doctrine of the United States is a miscalculation, because it assumes that you can win a pre-emptive first nuclear strike. And it referenced many other such things.
Now, the politicians up to that point were, as we say in German, "playing the ball very flat," which means being low key, not exposing yourself too much, just trying to get ahead. But this is now changing.
Just today, there was another Spiegel Online article, and this is a complete change in profile, under the headline "The War Next Door: Can Merkel's Diplomacy Save Europe, or Will It Lead to an Out-of-Control War, and Even a Nuclear War?" I can assure you, this is unheard of, but still, as compared to the immediacy of that danger, that we are on the verge, maybe minutes, maybe hours, maybe days away, from the extinction of civilization.
We're not talking about "some war." We're talking about, if it comes to a nuclear war, using the entire arsenal of all the nuclear powers in the world, because it's the logic of nuclear war that that will happen. Then nobody will be left. Mankind will be extinct. And the fact that that is not being discussed is something we have to absolutely change.
Behind closed doors, a lot of people admit that the situation right now is much more dangerous than during the height of the Cold War, and that includes the Cuban Missile Crisis. Because even when the Cuban Missile Crisis was at its height, you had a private, secret communication between Khrushchov and Kennedy. This has now been recently published, that they communicated, and it has been acknowledged in the recent period by several analysts and experts, that that kind of code of behavior does not exist between Obama and Putin. They do not communicate. There are some telephones between the military, the Russian and the American military, but, as some of these people who are very much involved in this told me personally, they do not know that what the military are talking about is backed up by the political leadership.
And that creates extreme worry.
But in France, in Germany, in Italy, and other countries, there is right now a behind-the-scenes discussion which only comes out a little bit: Should Europe assert its own interests, or go up in a nuclear war? And that is a new phenomenon. It's like the entire foundation of the post-war, trans-Atlantic alliance is crumbling. And when Vice President Biden, on a recent occasion—I think it was the Munich Security Conference—almost magically repeated that there is no split in the Alliance, Merkel and I are on the same line, that was a very meager attempt to cover up this situation.
The former Chief of General Staff of the Bundeswehr, the Germany Army, Gen. Harald Kujat, just two days ago, appeared on a very prominent talk show, the first channel German TV, and said that the Ukraine breathing space which has been gained since Wednesday, can only be successful if the United States changes its profile. That only if Obama would sit at the same table with Putin and they would agree on both the Ukraine solution and the general change in the strategy, could there be a calming down of the situation. Ukraine has to agree because of the strong dependence of Ukraine on the United States, because this Kiev government is a U.S.-sponsored government, and Russia, because only Russia, and Putin in particular, has the feeling that they are not being recognized as a co-equal world power with the United States, but are, in a disrespectful way, called a "regional power," like Obama recently did; which Kujat said is ridiculous. Any country that has nuclear warheads on ICBMs is not a "regional power."
He said also, in order to set the record straight, that Russia never wanted to directly intervene in Ukraine militarily; if they would have chosen to do so, the conflict would have been over in 48 hours. If they had wanted to, they could have occupied Kiev in a matter of days. And he also pointed to the fact that despite the strong elements of Nazi components in the militias and the National Guard in Ukraine, that the Ukrainian Army is in a completely desolate state and it would take years to get them to be an effective fighting force.
As I said, right now, despite the Minsk agreement, Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges said he will not slow down the proactive deployment of the U.S. military in Ukraine, and the NATO forward basing of headquarters in Poland, in Szczecin, and that the transfer of a battalion of 600 paratroopers from Vicenza in Italy, from the 173rd Airborne Brigade, to train the Ukrainians there, is also going forward. To repeat, they intend to train the National Guard, the Right Sector, these Nazi groupings, groupings which openly display swastikas and other Nazi symbols.
So that is what we are dealing with. And I think we have to cause in the United States a real discussion that this is what the war danger constitutes, and if it's supposed to be stopped, then that has to be stopped. And these Nazis have to be disarmed—I don't care how—they have to be disarmed by the U.S. troops, by the OSCE, by the UN, I don't care how, but they have to be neutralized! And there will be no solution to the Ukrainian potential trigger of World War III until that is done.
War and Globalization
As I said, the real reason for the war danger, is on the one side, the fact that trans-Atlantic financial system, or what you call "globalization"—the combination of Wall Street, the City of London, and associated institutions—are about to blow in a complete way; when one too-big-to-fail bank goes, the whole system will come down. And that is why it is absolutely true that when Putin said, that if [the West] had not found Ukraine as a point of conflict, they would have found some other pretext for the confrontation. Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov said the same thing: Ukraine is merely a pretext for a larger geopolitical goal. And that has also been just stated by nobody else but the former ambassador of the Reagan Administration in the Soviet Union, Jack Matlock [see Feature—ed.], who just gave a very, very important press conference in Washington, where he said that he shares the assessment of Lavrov.
Now, you have a situation where we are hovering on the point of a collapse: Wall Street, because of the oil shale and gas investments, because of the collapse of the oil price, because of a complete bankruptcy of that system where all these banks are 40% larger than in 2008, and are up to 85% more exposed to derivatives than at that time. So this is about to blow. And you heard from Professor Katsanevas [see accompanying article] that the European banking situation is not one iota better, and there we are now in an equally dramatic situation.
There is a huge change in Europe. Europe is no longer the same as it was a couple of weeks ago, exactly because of the election victory of Syriza and the Independent Greeks, because of what these two parties made their election campaign with: They promised they would end the brutal austerity policy of the Troika, a policy which in the last several years had cut Greek industry by one-third, increased the death rate, the suicide rate, and collapsed the birth rate, and led to youth unemployment rate of 65%! So you can imagine the mood in a country where two-thirds of the young people are unemployed. So on that program, that he would end the policy of the Troika and cancel the Troika's Memorandum, Alexis Tsipras won an overwhelming victory, not a total majority but almost, but together with the Independent Greeks, they now have a government which, according to the latest polls, enjoys 70% support of the people.
So, the unheard thing happened: They got elected, and after the election, they said, "We're sticking to our election promise!" That has never happened in recent history in any country of the West! For example, there was the famous instance of the Social Democratic politician in Germany, Walter Müntefering, who said on some occasion, "It is so unfair to be reminded of the election promises you made a couple of months ago"! But these people said, we stick to it, we'll cancel the Memorandum, and not only that, we are not only talking for Greece, but we are planning to use that situation to change the entire failed policy of the euro for all of Europe.
That is why they are so completely freaked out, and that is why right now, [German Finance Minister Wolfgang] Schäuble, Merkel, even Hollande on that point, despite other lip service, [Prime Minister Matteo] Renzi from Italy, the ECB, they are all on a hard line, and they say, "We insist that the pound of flesh has to be paid, the Greeks must stick to the Memorandum; there is no softening of the situation."
This is headed for a clash also. Today, there was a meeting of the so-called "technical" people who are supposed to work out some discussion of how to do this, but Tsipras just said, let these technical people talk, that doesn't mean that Greece will be blackmailed; we are not blackmailing anybody, but we do not allow ourselves to be blackmailed either. And we will stick to our guns, we will not capitulate.
Now, I remember that in 1989, when shortly before the G.D.R. came down, everybody knew already that East Germany was completely bankrupt. They were really collapsing, they'd lost all authority, the people wanted to travel abroad, they had these large Monday demonstrations. And then, on Oct. 7, there was the 40th anniversary of the G.D.R. and they had this huge military parade with tanks, with rockets, and whatnot, and [party leader Erich Honecker said, "Socialism in its course, will not be interrupted by the ox or donkey" ["Den Sozialismus in seinem Lauf hält weder Ochs noch Esel auf"] It means socialism will be here for 1,000 years. Twelve days later, Honecker was out; three weeks later the Berlin Wall had come down, and at that point, the people who were sticking to the line until the last moment were called the "Concrete-heads," [blockheads, Betonköpfe]; while those people who quickly changed their views were called the Wendehälse, the turncoats, wrynecks, because they could turn their necks around so many times. Anyway, now we have these same concrete-heads, Merkel and Schäuble, and they will probably have a similar fate.
The Euro Is Finished
Why is the euro finished? Because if the ECB makes a compromise and softens the conditions for Greece, then that will be a signal for all the other countries which suffer from similar austerity policies: Italy, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, and even France, where people really hate the German austerity policy; it would be a signal for them that they will also not allow the austerity. If, on the other hand, they push Greece out of the euro, which could happen very quickly, then, naturally, and you heard Professor Katsanevas talking, then Greece may become by force the first country to join with the BRICS, to go for other sources of financing; they already have asked for that, with Russia; Russia already said they would help them. [Panos] Kammenos, the defense minister, is right now in Moscow. Foreign Minister [Nikos] Kotzias was a professor in Athens for the BRICS; the BRICS is his specialty, and he even taught courses in Chinese. The Chinese have also bought into the Port of Piraeus.
The reason they are so freaked out, is not only that they are sadists—even though in the case of some of these politicians I'm not sure if that's not an element—but because of the money Greece has to pay back in terms of debt, for only 10% of all the so-called bailout package was ever spent in Greece! Ninety percent went back to the banks! To the German banks, the French, the Italian, the Spanish banks, and that's why this new government says, why should we pay money which Greece never got and don't want to pay? The reason they're so freaked out is because of the derivatives bubble: because nobody knows exactly how big the derivatives exposure is of those banks, and if they would cancel this regime, it would not only touch the European banks, it would probably bring down the American banks as well, because in this bailout procedure, you had a swap agreement between the Federal Reserve and the European banks, and when all of this quantitative easing was going on and all this money printing, a very large percentage of that money, maybe half, went in reality to the European banks. These banks are completely entangled and that is why they are so freaked out.
And for the so-called Rettungspackete, the bailout packages, which, in the case of Greece, was in the last five years EU246 billion, only about EU24 billion of that stayed in Greece, and that's not so much at all.
The reality is that the trans-Atlantic banking system is completely bankrupt. They all have a derivatives exposure of somewhere in the range of $2 quadrillion, and that is money that cannot be paid. And these people are instead willing to go for war, and say, "We want to maintain our system and especially when we see that Asia is rising, China is rising, we'd rather bring down Russia as a part of the BRICS and destroy this Asian combination, than to admit that our policies have failed."
Well, go back to the period when the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact collapsed, to go into the question of how did we get to this point. Pope John Paul II at that point said that the world should not conclude from the fact that the Soviet Union had collapsed, that the free market was a superior system. He said, if anybody wants to know why I'm saying that, look at the condition of the Third World, and then you know why this present system is governed by the "structures of sin." And Pope Francis repeated the same idea in a different way, by saying that this is an economic system to which the Fifth Commandment must be applied, a system that kills, and therefore it is a highly problematic proposition.
In that period, from 1989 to 1990, we had this idea of an alternative, and I was making many, many speeches, saying that if one would now make the mistake of superimposing on the bankrupt communist economy, the equally bankrupt free-market economy, that it might be possible for a couple of years to extract huge amounts of profits and wealth by the method of "primitive accumulation," by just looting the economies of the former Comecon countries, but it would come then to an even bigger collapse, sometime soon in the future. And I think that point is here.
Unfortunately, people didn't listen to John Paul II, because at that point, you had in the United States the neo-cons, who were convinced that they had "won" the Cold War, that the Soviet Union had been defeated, that they did it, and that their system was the superior system. In their arrogance, they created something called the Project for a New American Century doctrine, which was invented in '97, and which was then the basis for the idea of spreading a world empire, spreading globalization up to the point where no country that would oppose this system was allowed to stay in place.
At that point, the historic chance which existed at the point of the collapse of the Soviet Union—to create a new peace order, because the enemy was no longer there, communism had vanished—that chance was missed, and it also failed to include Russia in any new agreement.
The contrary happened: All the promises which were given in the period of the collapse of the Soviet Union, in the negotiations between [George H.W.] Bush and Gorbachov, and were given to [the German government of Chancellor Helmut] Kohl and [Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich] Genscher, that if Russia would let Eastern Europe go free, not react with tanks or with violence, then there was the promise that NATO would not expand to the borders of Russia. That promise has obviously been broken many times, again and again.
And at that point in Russia, you had a turbulent situation, you had Yeltsin. But Russia was not hostile to the idea of an independent Ukraine, and still in 1994, the Budapest Memorandum was giving security assurances, and this so-called "Budapest Memorandum" was signed by the Presidents of Ukraine, the Russian Federation, the United States, and Great Britain, on Dec. 5, 1994. It included the idea that Ukraine, which, in the Warsaw Pact, had been heavily nuclear-armed [as part of the Soviet Union—ed.], would give up all ICBMs and totally dismantle its nuclear weapons, and receive guarantees in return for its political independence, and that none of these weapons would ever be used against Ukraine, except in the case of self-defense, and that the West would also refrain from economic coercion.
Victoria Nuland, who presently is one of the people who should be removed from power in the United States, if World War III is to be avoided, bragged publicly that the State Department spent $5 billion on NGOs in Ukraine, leading up the color revolution. And that led, as we know, not only to the Orange Revolution in 2004, but also to the recent developments.
It was part of this idea to expand NATO to the borders of Russia, to change regimes in Eastern Europe that would not be willing to submit; but also, one had to change the "narrative." This is a very important concept, and I already see people a little bit worried about what I'm saying, and I know this is not what you read in the Washington Post and in the New York Times. But the brainwashing which has been done to the American people and to the European people is unbelievable! Putin was demonized and all of a sudden we had the "narrative," that Putin is a dictator, Putin wants to re-create the Soviet Union, Putin is this and that—now just think: 85% of the Russian people support Putin—for a dictator, that's a pretty broad consensus. Since the rule by consensus is sort of the opposite of dictatorship, it should pose in your mind the first question.
If you look at the historical record, then-NATO Secretary General [Manfred] Wörner, on 17th of May 1990 in Brussels at a NATO meeting, said that the fact that we are ready to not station NATO forces beyond the borders of the unified Federal Republic of Germany, is providing security guarantees to the Soviet Union. He was as much the NATO Secretary General then as was [Anders Fogh] Rasmussen, until recently, and as is [Jens] Stoltenberg now. He was no less a NATO General Secretary than these people. But now, either NATO Secretary Generals lie all the time, or only half of the time, I don't know which.
The same thing was also admitted by Horst Teltschik who was, together with Kohl, in these negotiations around German reunification, and he was the former head of the Munich Security Conference. The same thing was just, again, reiterated by former U.S. Ambassador Jack Matlock, who spoke for an organization called the Committee for the Republic, which is an American patriotic organization, fighting to defend and protect the American Constitution. He gave a press conference just three days ago, on Feb. 11 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. He was instrumental in ending the Cold War at the time, and he blasted the present administration and the Congress, saying that they have an "autistic" foreign policy, that in the negotiations, he was involved in with [President George H.W.] Bush and Gorbachov in '89 and '90, definite promises were made to Gorbachov. There was no written treaty, because it was assumed that what the word was, was valid, so nobody thought it was even necessary to write a formal treaty about it. And that was broken.
Russian Offers of Cooperation
Now, the narrative is, that Russia, since that time, has refused all offers for cooperation. The truth is 100% the other way around. Russia has made, again and again, proposals for cooperation: For example, as Matlock was saying, Putin, immediately after the attack on Sept. 11, offered help to the United States and eliminated so-called listening posts in Cuba, to cool down the situation; he removed vessels from Cam Ranh Bay [Vietnam], and tried to cooperate. That same year, 2001, Putin made the first speech by a Russian President in front of the German parliament, in German! And he said that he took the courage to speak in the language of Goethe, Schiller, and Kant, and he emphasized role of the Russian people in making it possible for the Soviet leadership to decide on a policy which made the peaceful reunification of Germany possible after the fall of the Berlin Wall, without bloodshed and quite easily.
And one has to note, I want it to be remembered, that it was Russia which fought the Great Patriotic War against the Nazi regime, and they suffered tremendously. And for them to be so generous as to say, we allow German reunification because the Russian people have a deep feeling of friendship with the German people, meant that they had the very laudable ability to distinguish between Germans and Nazis. And that is not self-evident for everybody, and especially not for Hollywood. Because the first culture shock I experienced when I came for the first time to the United States, in 1973, was when I watched some of the movies about World War II, where I thought, "What country are they talking about?"
Anyway, so he pointed to this fact, and therefore, one has to understand that not only Putin, but all the Russians are extremely disappointed about all of these broken promises. You know, the Soviet Union could have disintegrated violently! It could have led to a total catastrophe; they could have not allowed German unification. So, then came a couple of years later, the famous [[speech by Putin]] [[http://archive.kremlin.ru/eng/speeches/2007/ 02/10/0138_type82912type82914type82917type 84779_118123.shtml]] at the Munich Security Conference, which used to be a prestigious conference to discuss security matters; now it's not prestigious anymore, because at the recent conference they invited George Soros and the head of Greenpeace for a panel discussion!
But Putin made a speech at this conference [in 2007], and that should have been a wake-up call for people in the West, because Putin expressed a very deep disappointment, about the United States in particular, and its effort to create a unipolar world. And he pointed to the fact that this was another word for going for an empire, and to the fact that the numbers of wars and local conflicts has increased as a result of that effort. He didn't go into it, but he could have said: Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Syria, and so forth and so on.
The increase in the use of violence in international affairs, ever more conflicts, the lack of power to settle even one of them, the international law which has been violated again and again, and that more and more countries feel insecure and as a result acquire weapons of mass destruction, which has created extreme dangers to the world. So Putin, at that point in 2007, said: Let's rethink together a global security architecture. And he already then pointed to the fact that China, India, Brazil, Russia, South Africa, are all countries growing in importance, and therefore a multipolar world would be much more reasonable. And he made several proposals, for example, to create multinational cooperation for uranium enrichment which would be under strict international control, thereby eliminating the danger that countries would try to acquire peaceful nuclear energy, and then, on the side, also have weapons-grade enriched uranium, and that way you would solve the problem of nonproliferation. He also demanded a more just system of international cooperation, which would give a chance for the development of all countries, something which in the meantime has evolved to become the BRICS.
In Germany, today, if you challenge somebody who has the narrative that Putin is a demon, he is denounced immediately as a Putin-versteher, a "Putin understander," somebody who understands Putin, and that is supposed to be the killer argument, that if you are accused of being a "Putin understander," you're out, you're not talked about any more, because the official narrative is that Putin is the demon. And the person has to be silenced instantly.
And in Russia, on the other side, in the spirit of patriotic support for Putin, they have now opened a souvenir shop which says "Putin Versteher" and they're selling T-shirts which have beautiful different pictures of Putin—Putin with a dog, Putin in some other gear—and then they have quotes. They also sell rings with a picture of Putin and these are selling tremendously. So I already thought, maybe, as a polemic against these "narratives," we should open up an international chain of such souvenir shops, just to—I hate it when people act stupid, so this should help.
Sophistry of the 'Narrative'
But we have to look at this notion of the "narrative," and we should throw it into the garbage can, because it is sophistry of the worst kind. A "narrative," or the notion of "narrative," has been developed by such people as Cass Sunstein, one of the advisors of Obama, and the author of the book Nudge. And to nudge means the method by which you convince, let's say, a group of people to believe the opposite of what they believed before, by "nudging" them, by manipulating them until you have them where you want them to be. And that is also not just in terms of manipulation of words, it's also policy. For example, have you heard that the sanctions against Russia are there so that Russia will change its policy? Sanctions in that theory are a policy of nudging.
But in reality, sanctions are a policy of war; that has not only been stated by Lavrov and Putin, but just now, by former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir, that sanctions which have the aim to change the regime of another country are a form of war. So basically, it's the policy toward Russia, until they capitulate to the unipolar world.
So this is where we are. I think it is very clear that if we don't go away from that kind of axiomatic behavior and thinking, we will have World War III. And we have to urgently put an alternative to the war on the agenda, because war would be the end of mankind in any worthwhile form, and maybe altogether.
There is no legitimate reason why we should put civilization at such a risk, because where this danger comes from is Wall Street, the City of London, and similar institutions, and the people who are playing with that danger. I know that in America, the military-industrial complex, the violence, everything which goes along with this mindset, has become all-dominant. But if they risk the existence of civilization, how should you call that? Insane? Criminal? I don't think these words are enough. I think we have to invent a new category for the types of people who are putting at risk civilization's existence.
Lyn was referring to it earlier, that after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Gen. Douglas MacArthur said that from here on, every war will lead to extinction. And now, 70 years later, we are exactly at that point.
Where Is the Solution?
Where is the solution to this? The answer lies in the fact that mankind is the only creative species, at least known so far. I know there are some scientists right now sending signals out to find some message; others are opposing it, because they don't know whom we would encounter. But so far we are the only creative species, unlike the animal kingdom, and we can see the future. At least, we can have an idea what the future will be like, if you continue in a certain direction or in another one.
Now, most people think in terms of deduction—that is, they cannot think of the future, because they extrapolate from their experience of the past, and remain practically within the system of the present, established parameters. The problem we have now, is that these parameters are all breaking apart, because we are at a point of the international crisis where either we all end up dead in a thermonuclear war or, as a minimum, die in an uncontrolled collapse into a Dark Age, which will then lead to an uncontrolled use of nuclear weapons, in a lawless state. That world is controlled by the financial oligarchy, and everything is focussed on the dance around the Golden Calf. The Golden Calf is the monster which must be kept happy, even if it means the sacrifice of millions and billions of human beings.
Dealing with the Debt
The immediate and only solution to that is to draw the conclusion that the trans-Atlantic system is finished, and that a new system is already in the making. It could be resolved fairly easily. The new Greek government is pushing the idea of a European debt conference in the tradition of the London Debt Conference of 1953, where the German debt from the time between the two World Wars and also the credits of the Marshall Plan were cut by about 60%; the total debt was cut from $38.8 billion to $14.5 billion, and the cutting of that debt was what made the German economic miracle possible.
When Alexis Tsipras says he does not only want that just for Greece, but for all Europe, it makes total sense. Because Portugal, Spain, Italy, France, Ireland—they're all in essentially a similar situation. And, such an idea, to have a European debt conference, is being supported by a growing number of economists, who say that the German insistence and the ECB insistence—on behalf of the British, naturally, and the City of London—to have this absolutely brutal austerity, does not make any sense, and that therefore what needs to be done is the opposite. The aim must be to increase the living standards—unlike the Troika which just almost cut them in half—to link the debt payment to 5% of export surplus; if there is a deficit, then the debt payment must be interrupted until the growth comes back; there must be encouragement to replace imports through domestic production, which is forbidden right now with the global free-trade system; and there should be no conditionalities attached, like budget cuts and similar things.
If there would be such a European debt conference, which may happen, either peacefully or in a turbulent way, then the first step must be a separation of the banks according to the Glass-Steagall law, and then commercial banks, savings up to a certain upper limit, state bonds, obligations stemming from the real economy, where if you did not respect them it would cause severe damage—all of that must be put under the protection of the state. But the investment banks have to sort out what is legitimate and what not in terms of their debt, and then, if they cannot solve the problem, because they no longer get bailout packages or have access to the accounts of the commercial banks, they have to declare insolvency.
The second, immediate problem which has to be solved then, is the problem of the state debt. Because these states have not incurred large debts because they paid for these bailout packages which went to the banks, and therefore that has to be sorted out and differentiated, what is legitimate and what not.
A Credit System
But much more important than that, is new credit for the modernization of infrastructure in Europe—and by the way, also in the United States, because when you run along these highways, I mean, it's almost a human rights violation, because you bump up and down like crazy!
But everywhere in the trans-Atlantic sector, there has been negative investment in infrastructure in the last decade, and roads and bridges are collapsing. Just two days ago, the major bridge between Wiesbaden and Mainz collapsed! It just collapsed! And there is for 50 km, no other bridge where you can cross the Rhine to the other side. And they say they need five years to rebuild it—I mean, we'll have to get the Chinese to help!
What needs to be done, then, is a credit system in the tradition of Alexander Hamilton. One can use some of the unpayable debt as capital for a European Infrastructure Investment Bank, which could be called the EIIB, and that EIIB could perfectly work together with the Chinese-initiated AIIB, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and then you could start producing again! There is no reason that that should lead to any kind of interruption of the economy. Because already in 2012, when it was clear that these Troika policies would ruin Southern Europe, we wrote a [[program]] [[http://www.larouchepub.com/special_report/2012/ 120607_emergency_program_toc.html]] which we called "The Program for the Economic Miracle of Southern Europe, the Mediterranean, and Africa," which was consciously an extension of the Eurasian Land-Bridge and which has heavily influenced the Greek election campaign, among other things, because people have spread this massively in many languages, including in Greece.
So, the big question now is, will the euro survive this? Probably not. But this euro is an artificial currency, where it would have been better if it had never been invented. Because it was the outgrowth of the same Project of the New American Century ideology which led to the NATO expansion and encirclement of Russia; and at that time, it was for Germany to give up the very stable deutschmark for the euro, as a price for unification, and to put Germany into the straitjacket of the EU's Maastricht Treaty, which was what imposed this austerity regime. And the Eurozone, as we said before the euro came into being and before there was any discussion of that, we said that Europe is not an optimal currency zone, because you cannot put countries which are completely agrarian, like Greece and Portugal and some others, into a currency union with highly industrialized countries like Germany, France, and some of the Nordic countries.
For a certain number of years, this led to a boom in Greece, in Spain, in Italy, but this boom was a bubble, and now we have around Madrid alone, 1 million empty condominiums and tourist places which are completely empty now. In Germany, it led to stagnation of the domestic market. The euro was not to the benefit of Germany, even if that is said ad nauseam: German wages were absolutely stagnant. So if these countries would regain control over their sovereign currencies, then there is no reason they cannot join the BRICS and the World Land-Bridge.
As you see, we have published this report, which goes even beyond the enormous number of projects which the BRICS countries have concluded since the summit of the BRICS countries in Fortaleza, Brazil, last year, which is enormous. We have talked about it in the past, but these countries—between the BRICS, Latin America, the ASEAN countries—are involved in an enormous amount of projects, which people here have no idea about, because the mass media are not reporting about it.
What we have done with this World Land-Bridge report, is sort of the extension of our 25-year-old work, because this is what we proposed when the Soviet Union collapsed. We proposed the connection of European and Asian industrial and population centers, through development corridors, and that is what the BRICS countries are now doing. And what we are proposing is to really develop a worldwide global infrastructure connection, so that in a few years, you can travel on a maglev train from the south of Chile, all the way up the Bering Strait, down to Mumbai, India; or if you like it better, to the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa, and that will be faster than if you were to go by ship.
That is on the horizon, and that will be not only an economic basis, it will be also the basis for a new peace order.
A New Paradigm
What we have to do is shift to a new paradigm. We have to leave the area of geopolitics, because it is geopolitics which has led the world two times to a world war in the last century, and we have to go to an idea of "win-win" cooperation among all nations, as President Xi Jinping has said it many times.
For the Americans, it's also an easy concept, because what China does today is what was the foreign policy concept of John Quincy Adams, who had the idea, not that the United States should be a superpower and a world-dominating imperium, but that it should be a republic in an alliance of perfectly sovereign and equal republics in the world.
In order to get that, we need to have a mass movement for development, and that mass movement is spreading. On Feb. 11, you had in several dozen German and European cities, support demonstrations for Greece; they have called for new worldwide demonstrations for tomorrow, on the 15th, so I would ask all of you to join that and spread the word.
Let's just think, what do we have as a choice before us? The negative one, extinction, which I think nobody in their right mind wants. But just imagine where we could be in the world in a very short period from now, if we go in the direction of the World Land-Bridge. In a few months hunger could be eliminated; in a few further months, you could have safe drinking water for everybody on this planet. You could declare a war against the desert, because with the help of desalination of huge amounts of ocean water, you could turn all the deserts, from the Atlantic coasts of Africa, the Sahara, the Sahel zone, the Arabian Peninsula, the Middle East, Iran—all the way to China, where you have a gigantic strip of desert, that could become lush farmland, gardens, woods.
In a few years, poverty could be completely eliminated and every child could have access to universal education, and that would be not just "some education," but it would go back to the principle of [Germany's] Humboldt education system, which also determined the education system in the United States in the 19th Century, where the goal is not to make money when you are finished, but the goal is to have a beautiful character. And [Wilhelm von] Humboldt defined how to accomplish that: He said there are certain categories of knowledge which are better suited to achieve that goal than others. One is the command of your own language in the most beautiful expression, like the great poets have; then universal history, so that you locate your identity by being thankful for the contribution of the generations before, and enriched, to give it to the future generations. It means, naturally, music, science; it means geography. It just means the development of all of your talents in the most harmonious way.
The Aesthetical Education of Man
If the joy of discovery would be in this way encouraged in children, then you would not have people who stop thinking when they leave school, or even earlier, but you would have, soon, a common, accepted goal that the aim of education is the beautiful character, or, as Schiller calls it, the "beautiful soul."
The present popular culture of ugliness, the glorification of violence, would be replaced by a love for beauty, a love for Classical music. Every child around the globe would learn the bel canto method of singing, or Classical instruments; children would replicate all the great inventions and original discoveries of the past. They would not only know their own culture, in depth, but they would also start to know and love high points of other cultures, of the Chinese culture, the Indian, the Russian, the Arabic, the Persian, the Greek, the Egyptian. And out of the knowledge of these cultures would develop love for the other cultures and nations.
The silly lust for the pleasure in the here and now, would be replaced by a genuine desire for creativity, the joy of scientific breakthroughs, the discovery of new principles, of new, beautiful compositions in Classical music. People would love to write poems, write new, great dramas, and make also movies with intelligent plots! Something which has not happened for a long time!
They would produce documentaries which would make it possible for every child on the globe to have access to all universal knowledge, and that would change human relations. People would no longer relate to each other like in a soap opera, trying to cheat and stab each other in the back, but they would have human relations like those between Schiller, Goethe, Wilhelm von Humboldt, Körner, Einstein, Planck. And if you read the letters among these people, you see how richly people can relate to each other by discussing universal laws in science and in art.
But most importantly, this cultural Renaissance would go along with an aesthetical education of man, and that would accompany scientific and technological progress. There would be the recognition that only the morally educated man is entirely free, because only such a mind carries within itself an inner fullness of life that cannot be lost. The feeling for the Beautiful must be then combined with the feeling for the Sublime, because the Sublime is that which sets man truly free, because if you connect your identity to those values which transcend your own limited mortal life, then you become maybe not physically secure, but you become morally secure and nothing can defeat you.
This is what elevates us above the power of nature. Because the sensuous instincts have no influence on reason, and our mind is only governed by our own laws of creativity. This beautiful character will be as common for that future society as you have the petty selfish man, today. And he or she will find pleasure in justice, in beneficence, in the fulfillment of all duties which will become like playing, because people will do passionately what is necessary, and they will have a philanthropic heart, an empathy for all of mankind, in which all of the talents of all human beings are developed in a harmonious way.
"The ability to feel the Sublime is therefore one of the most glorious predispositions in the nature of man, which, both because of its origin from the independent capacity of thinking and of the will, deserves our attention, and also because of its influence upon moral man, deserves the most perfect development." That is from Schiller's On the Sublime.
The Sublime must be added to the beautiful in order to make the aesthetical education a complete whole, and only if the Sublime is wedded with the beautiful, and our receptivity for both has been cultivated in equal measure, are we perfectly citizens of nature without being its slaves and without frittering away our rights as citizens in the intelligible world.
I want you to think about that, because the present condition of mankind is not worthy of man. We have sunk into such a deep, dark age, and I think we have to go back to the high point of high points of Classical culture as it was expressed during the time of the American Revolution, by Benjamin Franklin, by Lincoln, and such people, but also high points of other cultures, to get back to who mankind is. If we want to conquer this, and find the identity of man in the future, in space development, in becoming the truly immortal species, it has to be accompanied with these ideas of beauty and the Sublime, because only with aesthetical education, can we make this necessary shift. And for that, we need a true mass movement for development, and also for the development of the soul.
 "EIR Fact Sheet: Who Is Behind the Drive To Dismember Russia?", EIR, Dec. 19, 2014.