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This transcript appears in the April 6, 2018 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.


How To Outflank Mad Theresa May’s March to World War III

[Print version of this transcript]

This is the edited transcript of the March 29, 2018 Schiller Institute New Paradigm webcast, an interview with the founder of the Schiller Institutes, Helga Zepp-LaRouche. She was interviewed by Harley Schlanger. A video of the webcast is available.

Harley Schlanger: Hello. I’m Harley Schlanger of the Schiller Institute. Welcome to our weekly international strategic webcast, featuring our founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche.

There’s been an extraordinary escalation on the part of the British over the last few weeks, to move toward a pre-war situation with Russia. Prime Minister Theresa May has been mobilizing the European governments, putting pressure on the United States, the Commonwealth nations, and others, to get what she’s calling a “unified force,” to adopt “European values.” Now, since when did World War III become a “European value”?

We certainly have to evaluate the situation from the top, with all the danger involved. Helga, I’d like to start with your assessment of what’s happened in the last week.

Xinhua/Li Muzi
United Nations Security Council’s meeting on the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal, March 14, 2018.

Helga Zepp-LaRouche: It is extremely interesting. You can see who’s who, and who is on what side, by the reactions to the British insistence that the only plausible explanation for the Skripal assassination attempt is that Russia is responsible. Let me go through some of the international reactions, which will provide a quite good picture of this.

The Russian Foreign Ministry issued an official statement, stating that unless the British provide concrete proof, Russia would have to conclude that UK intelligence services were involved in the operation, as part of a broad, international provocation against Russia. That is what we put out as a hypothesis, immediately, that this whole operation was a new phase of Trumpgate, or Russiagate, or Muellergate, whatever name one might give to the collusion between the Obama administration intelligence heads with British intelligence, to oust President Trump.

At a certain point that operation was falling apart and the investigation in the U.S. Congress was pointing to the role of the British—the collusion with a foreign government was not with Russia, but with the British government. At that point, there were expectations that Theresa May would be out of office any day. Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the Labour Party, was the rising star in British policy. That’s when she pulled this operation, which was nothing but an attempt to reset the agenda in the direction of the geopolitical aims of British confrontation against Russia and China.

The fact that the Russian Foreign Ministry is also mooting the possibility of UK intelligence involvement is very interesting. That certainly sheds a bad light on all of those who, without asking any questions and with no proof being presented, immediately fell into line behind Theresa May. Fortunately, this was not so many people. Even though there was the mass expulsion of Russian diplomats from 10 European countries and the United States, the picture as a whole is more differentiated. The Chinese Foreign Ministry denounced the “Cold War mentality” of countries seeking confrontation with Russia. The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said this was a tool used by the Europeans and the United States to attempt to achieve unity when they were completely disunited. This is the old geopolitical game: to create unity you create war, and then everyone must fall into line.

Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl.

The reactions were, however, quite differentiated: Japan refused to expel diplomats, as did New Zealand, which is part of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance of the United States, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Greece, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Malta, Slovakia, Slovenia, Luxembourg, and Portugal—I may have forgotten a few nations—all refused to expel any diplomats. The EU unity did not hold. Even in Germany, many voices—representatives of almost all of the parties in the German parliament (the Bundestag)—were against this, including Günter Verheugen, the former SPD EU commissioner; Ralf Stegner, SPD deputy chairman; outgoing foreign minister and former SPD chairman Sigmar Gabriel; Matthias Platzeck, former SPD chairman; Sarah Wagenknecht, co-chairperson of Die Linke; and from the FDP, Bundestag vice president Wolfgang Kubicki. There is very broad rejection of the endorsements of this provocation.

The Austrian government was perhaps the strongest. Austria refused to expel any diplomats, insisting that Austria is a neutral country and regards itself as a bridge between East and West. The Austrian Foreign Minister, Karin Kneissl, said that even if it were proven that Russia had been the perpetrator of this attack, this would not change Austria’s position.

If you look at this very broad spectrum of reactions, you can see, actually, that the British provocation and those who are backing it are exposed. We have seen reactions, in our own organizing in the United States and in Europe, that clearly indicate that the people, in general, are not falling for this at all. Most everyone thinks that this is a complete provocation, that there is no proof. It is not going well for the British. This provocation, however, continues to be very dangerous and should continue to be denounced. If the UK doesn’t produce any proof, it should be accused of leading an effort to manipulate world public opinion in an outrageous and extremely dangerous way.

So this is a very interesting picture after two weeks.

Schlanger: There were other events which forced their hand. You mentioned the Russiagate falling apart—we’ll get back to that in a moment. There are some new developments indicating that the people pushing the whole fraud, are the ones who are now becoming the defendants. There was Putin’s “Sputnik Shock” speech on March 1, the March 18 Putin election victory, and then the March 20 Putin discussion with Trump, all of which provide significant momentum for what President Trump said he wanted to do, when he ran for President, namely, to collaborate with Russia. It is in the midst of this that we had the Theresa May operation.

What about France and Germany going along, in lockstep, with Theresa May? What is of interest there? What does that say about the situation within the core EU?

Zepp-LaRouche: The case of France is a bit more complicated, because Macron has had a slightly different emphasis on cooperation with the New Silk Road and China, than Merkel. French Foreign Minister Yves Le Drian has just announced that Macron will go to Moscow in May. That is certainly a bit different than Mrs. Merkel’s attitude, which is a shame. This new “Grand Coalition” government is not very grand at all. They are all falling like stones in the polls. This is a reflection of the fact that, presently, there is no German elite worthy of the name.

People in Germany should not accept that, but should instead reflect on the history of the German-Russian relationship. There were two world wars, and the memory of the Second World War is indelibly etched into the memory of every Russian, yet Russia agreed to German re-unification in a peaceful way, without any shots being fired or tanks being deployed. Russia gave up East Germany and agreed to unification, and was given promises at that time that NATO would never be expanded to the borders of Russia. That promise was broken. Then you had all these escalations. So in a certain sense, I can imagine that Russians feel betrayed by this kind of behavior by Merkel.

Left: Xinhua; right: cc/Phillip
Left: British Prime Minister Theresa May; right: German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Merkel has a specific background. Many people keep asking themselves, what makes this woman tick? Nobody has been able to answer that question in any satisfying way. But, I think the Russians do feel betrayed. Germany should go back to the kind of Ostpolitik [policy toward the East], at minimum, which was characteristic of the German attitude over an extended period, a good-neighbor policy of peaceful dialogue and cooperation. It is really, really important that people in Germany not fall in line with this aggressive British policy that Merkel is following like a puppy dog. I must, however, say that puppies are cuter than Mrs. Merkel.

But this is a serious matter. People should not fall for this propaganda. This is the kind of thing which could go out of control and trigger a new world war. Who would want that?

Schlanger: The other underlying cause of hysteria from the City of London has been the unstoppable progress of the New Silk Road. There was a conference in Portugal this week, which I know you know something about. A new government in Italy appears to be coming together that will probably not go along with sanctions against Russia. What else can you add about the situation in Europe? Why don’t you start with the Portugal situation?

Zepp-LaRouche: This is positive and very good. It confirms what I have been saying for a long time: The New Silk Road initiative is unstoppable; the Spirit of the Silk Road has seized the imagination of a great many nations.

Xinhua/Zhang Liyun
Portuguese Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva speaks at a conference on Portugal’s participation in the Belt and Road Initiative in Lisbon, March 23, 2018. Right: the Port of Sines, already one of Europe’s busiest.

In Lisbon, the Friends of the New Silk Road Association organized a conference which was addressed by the Portuguese Foreign Minister, the Chinese Ambassador, and many other VIPs. There was discussion of making Portugal a hub, not only for the western end of the landline of the New Silk Road, but also to build up the Port of Sines, a deep water port about 200 km south of Lisbon, to extend the high-speed railway from Madrid, Spain to Sines, and turn it into a connection point between the land Silk Road and the Maritime Silk Road, making this deep water port also a connection to the Portuguese-speaking countries and areas in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

That is very good. Portugal is taking this approach, and Spain is in the same mode. Italy is working together with China on the Transaqua project in Africa. Greece, Switzerland, Austria, and the 16+1 countries in Central and Eastern Europe, are also joining.

The process is moving forward. The obstructionism which continues to come from the EU in Brussels, as well as from Berlin and London, will be swept aside at a certain point. I think this is very good.

Schlanger: There was another very interesting flank this week, which seems to have once again caught the U.S. intelligence community off guard, which was the trip by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to Beijing, where he met with Xi Jinping. The media are trying to say this is an outflanking of Trump, and it’s a way the Chinese are flexing their muscles, but in fact, Trump’s tweets seem to be very supportive of the visit. So what are your thoughts about this flanking action?

Xinhua/Ju Peng
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (left) meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, in China, March 2018.

Zepp-LaRouche: This is certainly the overarching event of this past week. The ridiculous nature of the Western mainstream media is quite out in the open with news reports characterizing this North Korean-Chinese heads-of-state meeting as “these two dictators meeting.” This meeting is, in fact very, very good. Both Xi Jinping and Kim Jong-un discussed the long friendship between the two countries, North Korea and China. Kim Jong-un, in particular, promised to carry on policy in the tradition of his father and his family in the past. He said that he wants to work towards the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula if the negotiations continue in an atmosphere of peace and with a constructive attitude. North Korea will, of course, need security guarantees; without that, he probably will not give up nuclear weapons.

But the fact that he went to China, and will meet with South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the end of April, and then, in all likelihood, with President Trump in May, means that one of the most dangerous possible hotspots that could lead to World War III, could be peacefully resolved.

Many contacts we have in South Korea have been telling us that these negotiations have an economic dimension. China—according to these sources—is going to build ports in North Korea on the east coast and the west coast. The whole question of the extension of the Belt and Road Initiative, involving South Korea, North Korea, Russia, and China,— that is the framework for truly stable development of this region.

Trump immediately tweeted that he got a phone call from President Xi Jinping, who told him that the meeting went very well. President Trump reported that he is extremely optimistic and looking forward, but that unfortunately, the sanctions against North Korea will have to be maintained until the problem is resolved. He is, however, looking forward to this upcoming summit.

This is really good, and it shows that with the right back-channels and, in this case, with all nations affected involved—Trump, Xi Jinping, Putin, and also Abe from Japan—that with this kind of diplomacy and negotiation, there is no problem on this planet which cannot be solved by people of good will. Everybody should be very happy about this development.

Schlanger: Absolutely. In the same context, there have been discussions in the United States about tariffs against Chinese imports. This could become a significant problem. But at the same time, there’s a lot of discussion going on, including between Presidents Trump and Xi. What do you make of this discussion around the tariff fight?

Zepp-LaRouche: There is a very interesting response from China. Prime Minister Li Keqiang made a proposal: He said, rather than reducing the trade deficit by imposing tariffs, which could result in a trade war in which there would be no winner,— the other way to resolve the trade deficit would be to increase the volume of trade. That could include joint ventures between the United States and China with third countries. That is the approach that we have been proposing for a very long time.

There was also an extremely productive approach being discussed on CGTN, the China Global Television Network, which suggested a dialogue between the United States and China about infrastructure. Chinese investors could invest in the development of infrastructure in the United States through a fund. This is a proposal which we have promoted over an extended period: China has very large reserves of U.S. Treasury bonds, which don’t do anything good, just sitting there. If those U.S. Treasuries were to be invested in U.S. infrastructure, through an infrastructure bank or some other mechanism, it would help to solve the financing problem which President Trump clearly faces.

What is presently available in terms of funding, is very far from the $1 trillion he talked about during the election campaign. The American Society of Civil Engineers reports that the actual requirement is not $1 trillion but $4.5 trillion. Other experts have said, in order to get modern infrastructure in the United States, you need $8 trillion in investment.

The trade imbalance could be eliminated by using Chinese expertise in high-speed train systems and other infrastructure. We in the Schiller Institute have developed and promoted this idea, to do in the United States what China has been doing and will complete by 2025, or perhaps 2020, to connect all its major cities through high-speed train systems. The infrastructure in the United States is in terrible shape and needs urgent repair; most of it is about 100 years old or even older. This is an approach to resolve the problem on a higher level.

People need to discuss this higher approach. There are many figures in the United States who have opened channels with their Chinese counterparts—the governor of West Virginia, the mayor of Houston, Texas, the governor of Alaska. Many people in Iowa are very tuned in, because former Iowa governor Terry Branstad is currently U.S. Ambassador in Beijing. There are alternatives to trade war, from which no one benefits.

Schlanger: I’d like more of your thoughts on this particular question. There is an effort to portray the idea of Chinese involvement in the United States as something Americans should be afraid of, should be wary of. And yet, as you point out, Alaska is working with China, also West Virginia. I think the mayor of Miami was just in China. The mayor of Houston took a trade delegation there. This is part of a win-win policy. So, is there any reason Americans should be fearful that the Chinese have some devious, secret communist plot, to move in and take over the United States, by helping to rebuild the infrastructure there?

Zepp-LaRouche: People should ask themselves, where does this propaganda come from? It comes from neo-con think tanks, such as the CSIS and CFR in the United States, the European Council on Foreign Relations, and the Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS) in Germany. It comes from think tanks that are part of the British-dominated geopolitical faction, which is behind this confrontation against Russia and China, which we talked about earlier in this broadcast.

I strongly urge people to take a serious look at what China has been doing: Domestically, there is no country in the world which has so transformed itself as has China. I was in China for the first time in 1971, in the middle of the Cultural Revolution. At that time the country was completely distraught: people were unhappy and fearful. It was not a good period of Chinese history.

Since the reforms of Deng Xiaoping, and especially in the last five years of the Presidency of Xi Jinping,— China, in the last 40 years, has undergone a transformation which is without parallel. Seven-hundred million people have been lifted out of poverty. People are optimistic. The real root of Chinese culture is, for the last 2,500 years, Confucianism, which underlies the attitude today that there is no need to export the Chinese model. Unlike Christianity, which demands that all Christians should proselytize, should persuade other people to also become Christians, the Chinese have no such inclination. Confucianism is a philosophy which, to the contrary, is based on the idea of harmonious development.

Xi Jinping has emphasized, in every writing, in every speech, that this new “shared community for a common future of mankind” is based on total respect for the sovereignty of other countries, total respect for other countries’ social systems, and that there is no intention to impose the Chinese model on any other country. China has offered to help developing countries overcome underdevelopment. This is win-win cooperation: That’s the reason why 140 countries are now part of the New Silk Road. Win-win cooperation is in the interest of China, a very big country with a large population and 5,000 years of very rich cultural traditions. China is one of the major countries in the world, perhaps even the most important one, given the size of its population.

But China has no interest in imposing “Chinese characteristics” on anybody else. This is quite different from the neo-cons and neo-liberals, who have a policy of regime change, color revolution, export of democracy, and what they call “human rights.” People should not be prejudiced. Take a fresh look, read the speeches of Xi Jinping, yourself. There is now a second volume out of The Governance of China by Xi Jinping, which is quite instructive. Look at other things, form your own opinion. I think you will see that the world has reached a point at which we have to overcome geopolitics.

If, at this point, the United States, or the West in general falls into the Thucydides Trap, taking the rise of China as a reason to move towards war and confrontation, it could very easily be the end of all humanity. We have to find a different way. China has said many times, it does not want to surpass the United States and replace it with a new unipolar world order, but that it wants a new alliance of sovereign countries with the idea of the oneness of humanity as a first principle.

This is a new concept of foreign policy; people should study it and relate to it, rather than blindly accepting the rather uninformed opinions of people like U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, who is on a rampage against anything Chinese. That rampage is not going to work. The rest of the world is very happy with what China is doing, which can work to the benefit of humanity if the United States and China find a way to cooperate in their mutual interest.

Schlanger: It’s also significant that the people who are pushing this anti-China and anti-Russia line, and going toward a geopolitical conflict, are the same ones who are now the target of some of the new investigations, as the Mueller investigation continues to fall apart. The connection of MI6 agent Christopher Steele with the Skripal affair and the role of the Obama intelligence chiefs—Comey, Clapper, and Brennan—are coming up in the Congress. The Justice Department’s Inspector General has just opened a new investigation.

Do you think, Helga, that it is possible that this will turn on them? Could this bring not only an end to the attacks on the President, but also an end to the reign of the geopoliticians over U.S. policy?

Zepp-LaRouche: The possibility is clearly there. The battle is not yet decided. The British empire—what we call the British empire—is not identical with the British government or the British people. When we say “British empire,” we mean this system of leading financial institutions, investment banks, hedge funds, insurance companies, and multinational corporations, which are all interconnected with the private security apparatus. This is the neo-liberal model, which has ruled the world for the last several decades. These are the institutions that want to keep that system going. Many people are warning, correctly, that there is about to be another financial crash; remember, nothing has been done to eliminate the root causes of the 2008 crisis. This war provocation by Theresa May has everything to do with the fact that the transatlantic financial system is about to blow out.

Our listeners should not be complacent. This is not simply a legislative question, this is a political question and it’s a systemic question. Fortunately, human nature is such that great evil can evoke an even greater good. My inclination is to be optimistic about the outcome of this battle. Given the role of the British in this provocation, and the role of the British empire in the coup against Trump, it is a very serious matter that requires a resolution.

One can only hope that the people of United States will mobilize themselves sufficiently to make sure that this investigation in Congress goes in the right direction. One can hope that Trump gets sufficient backup from his base of support, so that the efforts to derail his policies—whenever he has the impulse to have a good relationship with Russia, or with China for that matter—are not successful, and that his efforts are successful.

I call on all of you to become active. Don’t sit on the sidelines as bystanders. Become active with the Schiller Institute. Help us spread the idea of this new alternative, the New Silk Road. We have to move humanity into a completely new era, where we, the many different peoples in this world, find a better way to work together. That is the real task. I invite you: Join the Schiller Institute, get in contact with us, help us to spread this message, and that way, you can do something to move humanity forward.

Schlanger: Well, Helga, there’s so much happening; I want to make sure that we’re not missing something. Is there anything else you want to bring up today?

Zepp-LaRouche: No. I think that is really what I wanted to say.

Schlanger: OK, well, very good! So, Happy Easter to you and to the viewers, and we’ll be back next week.