This transcript appears in the May 4, 2018 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
London-Based Empire Exposed: Door Open for Trans-Atlantic Economic Change
This is the edited transcript of the April 26, 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 with the Schiller Institute. Welcome to this week’s international webcast featuring our founder and chairman Helga Zepp-LaRouche.
We’re entering a very intense period of diplomatic activity, much of it related to the advances of the New Silk Road, although regrettably some of it is related to efforts to enforce the old rules of the old paradigm. I think we should start with a report from Germany this week by a parliamentary organization, on the illegality of the April 9 missile attack on Syria by the United States, the United Kingdom, and France. Helga, what is the committee that put out this report, and what did it say?
Helga Zepp-LaRouche: It is the Scientific Research Service (Wissenschaftlichen Dienste), staffed by experts who advise Bundestag members on various issues. The Scientific Research Service was asked to issue an opinion on the legality of these military strikes against Syria. The opinion concluded that the missile attacks constitute a violation of international law. I think it’s very important to discuss that, because Chancellor Merkel said that these strikes were “necessary and appropriate,” and Germany’s Defense Minister, Ursula von der Leyen, said it’s a shame that Germany was not part of it, and added, we weren’t asked this time, but that in the future, Germany would like to play a role on a global scale in similar functions.
The Scientific Research Service reported that that military action, which was not sanctioned by the UN Security Council, is an example of a practice that replaces the principle of legality with the principle of subjective moral legitimacy; that this is actually in the tradition of the gunboat diplomacy before World War I, and also between the World Wars. It was the horrors of World War II which then caused the international community to establish the presently existing international law, as reflected in the UN Charter and similar documents.
Left: DOD/Staff Sgt. Jette Carr; right: Xinhua/Ye Pingfan
To abandon that body of law and go back to a pre-World War I mode of arbitrary military strikes by nations creates a very, very dangerous precedent. Other jurists who commented on it, said that by the same token, any state can attack, copying that model and proclaiming that it has some beef with its neighbors, and conduct similar military strikes, in which case you end up in a completely uncontrollable situation that could quickly lead to a new world war.
I would really like you, our audience, to focus on this point. International law, as discussed in this report, is something extremely precious, and we must not abandon it. This military strike would have been completely illegal for Germany to participate in, because Article 26 of the Grundgesetz, the Basic Law of Germany, prohibits the preparation of a war of aggression. Whoever violates that law could be subject to a life sentence in prison.
These strikes also violate a UN General Assembly Resolution, dating back to 1974, that defines a war of aggression as a “crime against international peace.” It is very important that we not allow the world to drift into a might-makes-right lawless situation in which we live by the law of the jungle, the brutal concept of the survival of the fittest. This is a very dangerous path to follow. We must remind ourselves what wars of aggression lead to.
The Scientific Research Service also noted that this military strike was done even before the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) had made known their findings, aggravating this case as a violation of international law.
Let me emphasize this point. It is very unfortunate that President Trump got pulled into this military strike. There is the danger that if this is allowed to pass without the proper international review, a repetition of such a military act outside the bounds of international law, could get much worse and go out of control. Such a danger absolutely exists. I would like you to help us to sharpen the awareness of such a danger. It should be taken up by the United Nations, based on that Resolution from 1974, which defines a war of aggression as a crime against international peace. I would like you to really give some thought to it. Don’t just say, “OK, we’ll just do these things,” because there are consequences which could mean, in the final analysis, the end of civilization.
Schlanger: There was a report on German television that raised questions about the so-called chemical attack in Syria. Is this going to have any effect in the Bundestag? Is there much discussion of this now, as a result of this report?
Zepp-LaRouche: Well, it’s another classical example of what happens. One courageous, or just objective journalist, Uli Gack, the head of Germany’s national public television channel (ZDF) office in Cairo, reported from Syria that he had spoken to many witnesses in and around Douma and they all told him that there was no chemical weapons use by the government, that it was rather a typical provocation from the jihadists. In this same program, broadcast during the prime time news slot, Gack quoted British journalist Robert Fisk from the Independent, who had already made a similar observation which was published in that newspaper.
So then, all hell broke loose. ZDF, the official TV channel, distanced itself from this report. Bildzeitung and Focus magazine attacked the broadcast by Gack, calling it conspiracy theory. ZDF clamped down on Gack and forced him to not pursue this story any further. These other media accused a prominent mainstream journalist—actually one of the more honest journalists—of being a conspiracy theorist. It’s a complete, classical example of the kind of Gleichschaltung [enforced conformity] in the Western mainstream media these days.
This is not the end of the story. The OPCW fact-finding mission has returned to Syria, and I think tomorrow there will be a meeting of the OPCW in The Hague, where the Russians will bring several new Syrian witnesses to testify on what they saw. We know what earlier witnesses had said: There was shouting by the jihadists about chemical weapons. Then they did the filming and nothing was happening, except this staged scenario.
This is not the end of the story. Unless the truth of this fraudulent report of a chemical attack is uncovered, the danger of a repetition is absolutely there.
Schlanger: Let’s stick with Syria for a moment because it’s such a crucial issue. French President Emmanuel Macron is on a state visit to the United States. He is continuing to pull out all the stops, to try to manipulate President Trump into committing the United States to keep troops in Syria. What is it that Macron is doing? Why is he taking the point on this, Helga?
Zepp-LaRouche: The policy is actually the British policy. Macron is not doing himself any favors by being the spearhead of that British policy. I think he has an idea of positioning himself as the leader of the European Union. He gave a speech to a Joint Session of Congress, which was absolutely terrible and not toned down at all, given that he got a standing ovation from members of the U.S. Congress. That speech was in sharp contrast to the discussion he had before the speech with Trump, which you referenced. Macron attacked unilateralism and nationalism, all of which was aimed at Trump’s policies, getting the support of the Democrats and the neo-cons and so forth.
I don’t think this will necessarily stick. The problem is that Trump does change his views, sometimes rather quickly. However, I was told that Trump reiterated that the aim of U.S. policy is to get out of Syria as quickly as possible after ISIS is defeated—this reiteration being after Macron left. So I don’t necessarily think that Macron succeeded. Even so, it was very clear that Macron was fully on the geopolitical old paradigm line, and was also trying to bypass and outflank German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is arriving today for a visit of several hours with Trump at the White House tomorrow.
Macron’s intervention was terrible. One can only hope that Trump won’t be influenced by it, but is looking forward to his upcoming summit with President Putin, which is much, much more important than the policy of the European Union. Macron in Washington, D.C. also spoke about the initiation of a new grouping that is supposed to create a bridge between the Geneva process and the Astana process of peace negotiations in Syria. What we have seen in some of the conferences on the reconstruction of Syria is that neither the United States nor the EU is giving any money for the reconstruction of Syria as such, but only for those areas which are not under the control of the Assad government. So that tells you a lot about the European attitude towards Syria. Regime change against the Assad government is still the policy, and that is very terrible, very bad.
India and China
Schlanger: U.S. Ambassador to Moscow Jon Huntsman issued a statement reiterating that President Trump is seeking a détente policy with Russia, and is very much looking forward to the meeting with Putin.
On the other hand, we’re seeing a whole series of initiatives around the New Silk Road perspective, starting with the April 24 Council of Foreign Ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) meeting in Beijing. The SCO Heads of State Council Meeting is coming up on June 9-10 in China.
I’d like to get to get your thoughts on other activity, between India and China—Indian Prime Minister Modi is going to China next week—and between Japan and China. There’s a lot going on. What do you make of all this, Helga?
Zepp-LaRouche: These are very important developments. I spoke to some of my friends in India earlier today for their assessment. There is clearly a recognition that after the border crisis in Doklam, between China and India, last year, there is a recognition that it is much more in the interests of the two countries to work together. Now, I think this is very good, because there was a danger that Modi would make his next election campaign on an anti-China profile. But there will be a summit in Wuhan between Xi Jinping and Narendra Modi, starting April 27.
Professor Zhang Jiadong of Fudan University commented on this in a very interesting way. He said that India and China are the only two countries that belong to the club of nations that have more than 1 billion people; that together they represent 40 percent of the world’s population. They both have continuous, 5,000-year histories. They have produced many contributions to world civilization, and when they work together, being the two largest countries on the planet, this is of extreme importance.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi announced that Xi Jinping and Modi will discuss developments which occur only once in a century. And while I’m not sure what he means exactly by that, I think what he is referring to is the epochal changes of strategic alignment which are going on in Asia right now, and that is what President Xi Jinping is trying to accomplish also with the upcoming SCO Heads of State Council meeting on June 9-10—after the Belt and Road Initiative and the BRICS association, now the SCO—that all of this is supposed to lead to a completely new model of international relations, what Xi Jinping always calls the “shared community for the one future of mankind.”
Given the clear rapprochement between Japan and China, and between Japan and Russia, you can see that all of these Asian countries are seeking a better way. There are still some obstacles, such as the issue between India and Pakistan, which I don’t think has been resolved, and India’s opposition to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, also not yet resolved; but these countries are moving toward each other. A very interesting comment in a Chinese news article said that the relations between China and Japan could now be modeled,— or you could use the parallel of the European Coal and Steel Community in the beginning of the 1950s, when France gave the olive branch to Germany just five years after the end of the Second World War.
This is a reference to the past war experience between China and Japan: If Germany and France were able to settle their problems of world war in that way, so can China and Japan.
I think this is going in a very, very good direction. It shows you one thing very clearly: that the future of civilization is in Asia, and any country of the West that wants to be part of that future, should find a good relationship to this new dynamic, because this is the forward-looking one, and not the old paradigm as represented by some of these European powers that just think in terms of the past.
Schlanger: Your husband Lyndon LaRouche emphasized many, many years ago, that an India-China-Russia relationship, which could naturally include the United States, would be the basis for establishing something totally new in the world.
Helga, you’ve travelled to India and China a number of times; you’ve met with leaders in both countries. Is there anything that you can see that would get in the way of an improved relationship? Isn’t now, really, the time for this to happen?
Zepp-LaRouche: It’s a strategic necessity for the Asian countries to work together. Unfortunately, Adm. Philip Davidson, the replacement for Adm. Harry Harris as commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, has just delivered a blood-curdling attack on Russia and China, and accused China of all kinds of things at his confirmation hearings in the Senate Armed Services Committee. So the geopolitical thinking is not yet gone. One could say that this idea of a China-Russia-India alliance was actually furthered by the behavior of the neo-cons, the Iraq War, the Afghanistan intervention, and the Libya attack; so I think these countries have moved together much more quickly than they normally would have done, as a result of these policies of the Bush-Obama-Blair-Cameron-May kind of policies.
You can always have a terrible incident. Remember the Gulf of Tonkin incident which was spun into a war escalation. Some new pretext could be created to cause a new crisis. This is why the legality of these military strikes against Syria needs to be discussed internationally. The intention of the Chinese and Russian leadership—and now hopefully also that of India and Japan—is to move into a New Paradigm. The New Silk Road Spirit has caught on. The countries of Asia have understood that this is the moment in history in which we need a completely new set of relations if mankind is to get into safe waters and have a bright future.
Xinhua/Inter-Korean Summit Press Corps
I am optimistic, I’m very optimistic. Tomorrow’s summit between Kim Jong-un and President Moon Jae-in of South Korea also looks very good. If it’s any reflection, the President of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, said that in his talks with the South Korean and North Korean governments, they both expressed the intention to join the next Olympics and to again have a joint team. Based on his discussions, he’s extremely optimistic about the intention of these two governments.
So if you look at all of these developments, I think it is actually very good. Some of these geopoliticians probably will never change, because they cannot imagine that mankind can grow out of the old kind of pettiness and rivalry and competition, that a New Paradigm of win-win cooperation is actually possible. But if the majority of mankind is moving in this direction, I’m very confident and hopeful that this New Paradigm will prevail.
Schlanger: President Trump had a little bit of fun with this, when he made fun of the media for saying that there would never be any progress with North Korea, telling them, “Look, you don’t know what’s going to happen—it may not work,” but he’s very happy with the response from Kim Jong-un. He has just sent a team including the top trade officials to China to discuss the trade agreement. And what he said, which I think shapes their outlook, is that he has great respect for Xi Jinping and a great friendship. Do you have any thoughts on what might happen with these discussions going on between the United States and China?
Zepp-LaRouche: That’s difficult, because on the Chinese side is Vice Premier Liu He, the most important economic advisor of Xi Jinping. Liu has just recently been elevated to the Politburo and the State Council; he will represent the potential of the Belt and Road Initiative. On the side of the American delegation, for sure will be Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. We have criticized him and also U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer for not being aligned with Trump’s election promises. However, Mnuchin had, at one point, made mention of the American System.
I don’t know. I imagine that China will propose the way to overcome the trade deficit, in the way Foreign Minister Wang Yi and also Prime Minister Li Keqiang have suggested—namely that, other than tariffs, you could also increase the trade between the two countries, and have joint ventures in third countries, and in that way, reduce the trade deficit by just increasing the trade. I imagine that the Chinese will reiterate this proposal. How these two, or four, delegates from the United States—it’s not so clear—will respond; we don’t know. One can only hope they recognize the potential that American industries would benefit greatly from participating in such joint ventures in third countries along the Belt and Road. U.S.-Chinese relations could also benefit a lot, if the United States were to allow Chinese investments in the buildup of U.S. infrastructure.
We will have to see how that develops. I’m optimistic that the Chinese will not miss the opportunity to make such proposals. That is why the Schiller Institute is so important. We are making these ideas more known inside the United States, so that more and more people will be able to recognize the potential that lies in U.S.-China cooperation in the Belt and Road Initiative. So, you should join the Schiller Institute and help us to make these ideas more known.
Warnings from the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank
Schlanger: We do know there’s support for expansion of U.S.-China trade in Alaska and West Virginia, as well other states, and from cities, notably Houston, Texas—delegations have travelled from the United States to China, and from China to the United States, to talk about specific investments.
We are talking about investments, but we should never lose sight of the financial crisis. Behind the strategic confrontation is the collapse of this financial system that is being held together by unbelievable amounts of new funny-money and fake credit that is continuing to build up an ever increasing, unpayable debt bubble.
Helga, there were more warnings recently coming out of the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank by a couple of officials. There’s talk about an interest rate problem, a shake-up at Deutsche Bank. What do you see in the financial picture? It’s really quite shaky. It seems like now is the time for a new concerted effort around your husband’s four basic laws.
Zepp-LaRouche: We are sitting on a strategic powder keg. One of the three governors of the Federal Reserve is already warning that the wave of corporate insolvencies, which have increased over last year by 60 percent, is so severe that it could cause a new banking crisis. The Fed is not known to make alarmist statements; they generally use a language to calm down the markets and respect the so-called “psychology of the markets.” So if such a warning is coming from the Federal Reserve, it should be taken quite seriously.
There are also news articles about Deutsche Bank. The IMF called Deutsche Bank the riskiest bank in the world. It has $42 trillion in derivatives contracts outstanding! Some of these contracts balance each other out, so it may not be $42 trillion, but this is 15 times Germany’s annual GDP, so this is not a small amount. One day we could all wake up—or in the middle of the day—and have a complete repetition of 2008, but on a much larger scale.
We need the Four Laws of my husband, Lyndon LaRouche, with the emphasis—not only on Glass-Steagall, and a National Bank and credit system—but an emphasis especially on the fourth law. Unless you have a complete push for innovation and qualitative breakthroughs in applying new universal principles in the economic platform, as my husband has discussed it in many of his writings, you will not pull out of the terrible shape the economies of the trans-Atlantic system are in, especially in the United States, Southern Europe—there are some real problem cases. An emphasis must be placed on such projects as thermonuclear fusion, space cooperation, and the application of the most advanced new physical principles in the economy, if you want to save the situation.
There is no discussion about that idea of applying new universal physical principles going on in Europe or in the United States at all. Let us really emphasize this and escalate the mobilization for the implementation of these Four Laws, not only in the United States, but also in Europe. The country which is closest to it is China: Xi Jinping has just met with an economic group, and, again emphasized the need to warn and safeguard China against financial risk. China is de-emphasizing any kind of speculative activity. Wall Street and the City of London are very far from using such an application of reason in their practices.
Schlanger: I was just reviewing some reports over the last couple of days on this. One of the things that many economists do acknowledge, is that with all the pep talk about how great the economy is doing, there is wage stagnation and the lowest labor participation level in four decades. They also always come back to productivity: There are no productivity gains.
As you just said, the Chinese clearly have a sense of what happened with the United States with NASA under John Kennedy. The Chinese space program today is oriented toward the highest technology; their rail system, the same thing; and so on. It seems as though this should be a no-brainer for people in the United States, just to look at our own history and realize that this works.
To reiterate what Helga Zepp-LaRouche said: The Schiller Institute is mobilizing internationally for the Four Laws, and especially at this point in time, we need to get President Trump to go back to his thinking during his campaign, both about the alliance with Russia and China, and also about support for Glass-Steagall and a real infrastructure program.
We’ve seen the U.S. Congress completely botch any effort by the President to get an infrastructure plan going. Wouldn’t getting such an infrastructure plan underway be a winning strategy for anybody going into the 2018 election?
Zepp-LaRouche: I think that the dynamic taking place in Asia right now will shape history for the better. I’m absolutely convinced that what is happening between China and Africa, China and Latin America, China and Eurasia, is shaping history to the benefit of all of mankind. Many European nations are already completely onboard the New Silk Road development in terms of infrastructure. This includes the East European, Central European countries, Balkans, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Austria, Switzerland—all of these countries—even Belgium and Holland, the Scandinavian countries. They all have all recognized the great potential in the infrastructure cooperation of the New Silk Road.
Right now, the biggest problem in some countries, such as Germany and the United States, is that the mass media have not done justice to what is actually happening. This is the largest infrastructure program in history. Some people are debating whether it’s 12 times or 20 times the size of the Marshall Plan—remember it’s open ended! It will completely transform the planet. Our vision, as presented in the book, The New Silk Road Becomes the World Land-Bridge, is being realized by the majority of nations at a rapid pace.
Some people are trying to continue to play the old geopolitical games, saying the New Silk Road is just an effort by China to take over the world. First of all, it’s not true. All these countries are happy to overcome poverty, underdevelopment. Why not? That is why they are so engaged with China in developing the New Silk Road.
The biggest problem is that the average person in Europe and the United States does not know the scope of these positive changes taking place in the world right now. I can only say, help us to spread these ideas. We, all of humanity, are facing a test: If we allow NATO to continue to move right up to the Russian border, if we continue to escalate the arms race—which is still a danger given that the new commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, Philip Davidson, has just said that China is ahead in certain areas, and so now the United States must catch up, with hypersonic weapons, and cyber weapons, and whatnot—as a civilization, we might not survive. We have to get rid of that kind of thinking.
Think about it. The previous administrations of the United States wasted $7 trillion on wars in the Middle East and North Africa that have brought nothing but misery. These wars caused millions of deaths and created a refugee crisis. Why not think about investing that kind of money in infrastructure, in education, and all that benefits the common good? Give people a sense of the future and hope. Inspire young people such that they will not want to destroy their minds in this drug epidemic, not be driven to commit suicide or the other acts of violence we are experiencing at increasing rates. Don’t you think it’s time that mankind must really move into a new Renaissance and work together as a human species?
Let us reach out to more countries and more layers of people in the countries of the West, to understand what this New Silk Road Spirit is all about.
Again, join the Schiller Institute and help us to spread these ideas.
Schlanger: Helga, I think you just made it very clear. Thanks for joining us this week, and we’ll see you next week.
Zepp-LaRouche: Yes, till next week.