This transcript appears in the May 25, 2018 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
British Push Mideast Wars To Derail Emerging Four-Power Cooperation
This is the edited transcript of the May 17, 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 from the Schiller Institute. Welcome to this week’s international webcast, featuring our founder and President, Helga Zepp-LaRouche.
Over the last weeks Helga has been emphasizing the deployment by British imperial geopolitical interests out to wreck the promising potential that’s emerged in
Eurasia, and especially the potential of a peace agreement with North Korea. Helga has repeatedly emphasized that these wrecking operations look a lot like sleepwalking into World War I. The events that just took place in Gaza in the last couple of days, the massacre there by Israeli soldiers, the threat for the situation to break out of control, all look potentially like a pre-war kind of deployment to disrupt the emergence of a four-power agreement among the nations of China, India, Russia, and the United States.
Helga Zepp-LaRouche: Yes, I think what has happened in Gaza in the last days is really a tragedy. It coincided with the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem that I think was an unnecessary and provocative thing to do. But the situation in the Gaza is an open-air jail. It’s a new Warsaw Ghetto. I’m not excluding that there are some violent Hamas elements in the midst of many Palestinians, who are rightly upset about the conditions there. This is a very tiny area. It’s the size of the small city-state of Bremen in Germany. Two million people have been crowded together in this very small area. They have no money for food; they have only a few hours of electricity a day; they have no clean water and no medical supplies. After 61 people were shot and killed, and 2,700 wounded, the already bad conditions have turned into a real nightmare, because of the inability to treat all the wounded.
People have been holding protest demonstrations. The Israeli IDF and special snipers shot into the mostly Palestinian crowd. That was completely unnecessary. If you want to dissipate a crowd, you can use water cannons or other means—you don’t have to shoot and kill people. So, this brutality has inflamed the situation. Now, after a day of mourning and funerals, the confrontations are not stopping. The Israelis are making air strikes on Hamas installations in Gaza.
This could easily lead to an escalation, even to war between Israel, and Hamas and Hezbollah, and potentially Iran. From there it could become a large-scale war. This is a terrible situation. I should remind people of the larger scope of what is happening in this area. Under the 1993 Oslo Agreement, the Palestinians were supposed to get 25% of the territory of Palestine, and the Israelis 75%. But in the meantime, 60% of the West Bank of Jordan has been occupied by Israeli settlers, so there’s only 40% left. This is really becoming a very dire situation, and obviously the aim—and several people have said this—is to demoralize the Palestinians in such a way that they give up and just quit, which won’t happen.
The Jewish population is rapidly becoming a minority in Israel and you cannot maintain minority rule over a hostile population that outnumbers you. We have seen that problem in other locations, such as in South Africa. It didn’t function there, and it will not function here.
So even if you don’t have an escalation to a big war, you have Hell! I have been saying this, and my husband has been saying it for decades: You need economic development. There are a lot of young people in Gaza and elsewhere, who are growing up, and who, by the age of 14, 15, and 16 feel they have no future. A chain of violence is being virtually pre-programmed.
We have been making the point for some time. While there are Christian fundamentalists in the United States who think that an early Middle East war is a good thing—I have heard such talk from those kinds of people—the reality is that the Middle East, and all of Southwest Asia, has long been the playground of British Imperialism (and at a certain point also French Imperialism). This region has been used for proxy wars by those geopolitical interests. This was demonstrated in the Sykes-Picot Treaty of 1916, which carved up this region, purposely creating the seed of future conflicts. It is now very clear that the aim is to get a confrontation with Russia—yes, with Iran—but the real target is Russia and China, to prevent the possibility of worldwide cooperation in a New Paradigm.
My husband has emphatically said many times (in speeches at many international forums) that the only way to break this terrible nightmare of violence and horror is by having a Four-Power agreement among the United States, Russia, China, and India. That way, and only that way, will you have enough people and enough military, political, and economic power to end the British Empire and therefore its ability to manipulate these situations.
A Four-Power Agreement has to be put on the agenda, because if it’s not, the danger is, that this thing spirals out of control. It is already a terrible nightmare and a tragedy for the people who are suffering.
Schlanger: You mentioned the Sykes-Picot Agreement that is a perfect example of the British geopolitical deployment that led first to World War I and then in the immediate period afterwards, the British moved to try to replace the collapsing Ottoman Empire and establish what the British call the “Middle East” today, a bridge that they could control between Asia, Africa, and Europe.
These geopoliticians are on the march, they’re threatening,— in Israel, you have threats against Lebanon, and Israeli strikes on Iranian positions in Syria. Helga, I think the important thing for people to understand, is your emphasis and your husband’s emphasis on a bigger-picture agreement, which would be that of the great powers. None of these small states can maneuver effectively in this situation. How could such an agreement come about? Isn’t this a perfect opportunity for Trump and Putin to get together, sit down, and work something out?
Zepp-LaRouche: Yes. They have already verbally agreed on having an early summit. President Trump even invited Putin to come to the White House despite the extremely difficult factional situation in the United States created by the anti-Trump, Russiagate coup attempt. That coup attempt is largely falling apart, but it’s still not yet shut down. It needs to be settled by putting the perpetrators of this coup on trial instead.
Given these difficult and complex situations, if a summit between Putin and Trump were to take place as quickly as possible, and the two leaders took all the time needed to discuss and develop flanks to the situation, I think that is the one thing that could cut through all of this and create new options. I think we should all speak out and do whatever we can to ensure that such an early summit does occur.
The Underlying Threat of Financial Blowout
Schlanger: We also see the great potential on the Korean Peninsula, though somewhat set back by these unfortunate comments from National Security Advisor John Bolton, who compared North Korea to Libya. For any North Korean, this is a reminder of the fact that Muammar Qaddafi agreed to get rid of Libya’s nuclear weapons and then less than a decade later, Obama, Cameron, Sarkozy and Hillary Clinton went in and destroyed Libya.
What’s your sense of where things stand now, following the statement from North Korea of the cancellation of the North Korea/South Korea summit that was supposed to take place May 16? What’s your sense of where this is heading?
Zepp-LaRouche: I think it is in an unstable phase, fraught with danger. It’s not yet hopeless, because after this North Korea/South Korea meeting was cancelled, the U.S. State Department said the United States still assumes that the summit between Trump and Kim Jong-un will take place on June 12 in Singapore. And there were rumors in the Japanese papers that maybe even Xi Jinping would participate in such a summit. So this summit is not yet off the table. The First Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of North Korea, Kim Kye-gwan, drew a very clear distinction between the statements of Bolton, and those of U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and President Trump. When Pompeo returned from North Korea, he reported very respectfully and very positively about Kim Jong-un, and Trump clearly has taken up a very respectful tone towards Kim Jong-un as well. Kim Kye-gwan made this distinction very clearly. I don’t know if Bolton was just being not very sharp or if he made the Libya comparison deliberately. I have no way of knowing. But for Bolton to tell the North Koreans that Kim Jong-un should follow the Libya model of denuclearization! That is the worst possible example to hold up. Soon after Qaddafi had turned over all of Libya’s nuclear weapons, he was overthrown and killed. The country has been in complete chaos ever since that murder of Qaddafi, and is basically ungovernable to the present day.
The North Korean deputy foreign minister, Kim Kye-gwan, said North Korea will never accept such a model. He stressed that North Korea is talking about entering agreements not as a sign of weakness, but in an effort by Kim Jong-un to solve a very untenable, terrible situation, but not from a position of weakness. A solution cannot be accomplished by unilateral commands from the United States, but it has to unfold in a trustful atmosphere of dialogue and cooperation. I think that President Trump is intending to do that. I don’t think the Kim Jong-un and Trump summit is completely at risk, but there are clearly clouds on the horizon.
The events in the Middle East are also having a peripheral impact. Think about the problem raised by many people: If the United States can rip apart its nuclear agreement with Iran, which was a negotiated agreement that took 12 years, with many nations involved, and the United Nations approved it, then such behavior casts doubt on the reliability of the United States, in general, to hold to its agreements.
All of this means we are in a very dangerous situation. There was just a new poll taken in Russia, showing that 57% of those polled were convinced that the crisis in Syria could lead to global war. I hope that war will not happen, but we are most certainly living in an atmosphere full of worry about war. People who are concerned about this should help us mobilize to bring together the concrete, viable alternative. That alternative is win-win cooperation among nations that can outflank and defeat the geopolitical agenda of war. The potential clearly is there. A lot of good things have happened: The rapprochement between China and Japan; careful steps in a similar direction between China and India; and an improvement in relations between Japan and Russia. Trump has stated his intention to keep, despite all trade issues, a good relationship with “his friend Xi Jinping,” as he always calls him. And then there is the pending summit between Trump and Putin.
All the potentials are there, but it is also clear that as the Western financial system is in absolute mortal danger of a new blowout, the inherent risks facing the world cannot be overstated. Fostering every possible intervention in the direction of solving these problems with the Four Laws proposed by my husband, Lyndon LaRouche, becomes extremely urgent. So, I call on all of you to get in touch with us, become a member of the Schiller Institute, and work with us to put the Four Laws of Lyndon LaRouche before the public and on every agenda, because these measures are not only needed in the United States, they’re equally needed in Europe and all other nations affected by the rotting trans-Atlantic financial system.
Between Two Paradigms:
From Iran to Ukraine
Schlanger: This highlights the difficulty of existing in between two paradigms: On the one hand you have the old geopolitical, unilateralist, imperial paradigm of war, of proxy wars, of false flag attacks, of terrorism, of bail-outs, of austerity. That old paradigm is being rejected by most of the world’s people and nations. But we haven’t yet seen the full consolidation of the New Paradigm, and that’s what the work of the Schiller Institute has been from the beginning, to bring this New Paradigm into existence.
The Iran situation seems to be hanging between these two paradigms; it’s not clear where that’s going. Helga, there has been some discussion among Europeans as to whether or not the Iran nuclear agreement can be salvaged. What do you know about that?
Zepp-LaRouche: Iran’s Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, recently traveled to China and Russia, and then to Brussels, because all of these countries—that is, Russia, China, Germany, France, and Great Britain, and the EU, have stated that they want to use all possible means to maintain the Iran nuclear agreement, even though the United States has pulled out unilaterally. It is not yet clear whether that will function. The fact that Russia and China want to continue the agreement with Iran is very important.
However, should the United States insist on imposing secondary sanctions on European firms that do business with Iran, I don’t know what will happen. The European Union representative, Federica Mogherini, said that, in order to protect such firms from sanctions, the EU would like to revert to certain regulations that were in place in the 1990s, but were never used. I have a hard time imagining how that would work, given that the major banks all operate internationally. Should the United States impose secondary sanctions, that act could cause absolute havoc everywhere.
The Europeans are now demanding additional negotiations with Iran; this time, however, not concerning merely Iran’s nuclear program, but also the Iranian missile program, something President Trump had mentioned, in the context of saying that he would come up with a better deal. Well, I hope his better deal is a comprehensive solution for the whole region.
We have discussed this many times, but I want to reiterate it: If you want to solve the problems in the Middle East or Southwest Asia, you have to take into account the security interests of every single country and every single party, and that emphatically includes not only Israel, but it includes Iran, it includes the Palestinians; it includes every country. Equally important, you need to have economic development. Right now several situations are turning into nightmares. One of them is in Yemen, where the largest humanitarian catastrophe of the planet is now taking place. Then there is the Gaza Strip, and all the other areas that have been destroyed by these never-ending wars. Afghanistan remains quite out of control, despite some hopeful signs that this could be turned around.
In all of these quite complex situations that have been subject to terrorism, to many wars, there is widespread, deep emotional pain and scars—including an incredible accumulated rage. You need a very large-scale set of solutions. The only way to achieve that is for all of the neighboring nations—Russia, China, India, Iran, and Egypt, along with the United States, and hopefully European nations—to agree to extend the New Silk Road into the region and develop every country under a single, integrated, industrial infrastructure development program.
There are already the beginnings of that. Three years ago, when President Xi Jinping was in Iran, he agreed with President Hassan Rouhani that the New Silk Road would be extended into Iran. Afghanistan’s President has demanded that the New Silk Road be applied in Afghanistan. At their recent two-day “informal summit” in Wuhan, China, President Xi Jinping and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi agreed that China and India would cooperate in bringing the Silk Road into Afghanistan by building, as a first step, an extensive rail connection between China and Iran through Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Afghanistan, thereby connecting Afghanistan into the Silk Road.
That same approach must be taken for Iraq, for Syria, and for Yemen. Egypt will have to play a very important role as a bridge between Asia and Africa. I think Egypt is thinking in this direction already. These are all gigantic projects that cannot be built by any one country alone. China has a special envoy for Syria: the Chinese government has said it wants to play a leading role in the reconstruction of Syria. You have the earlier commitment of Russia to supply energy, and of Iran to help in the industrial development. But all this needs to be presented as a comprehensive proposal.
I’m sure that there are people in Israel, as well, who do not agree with the present course of Netanyahu—who is facing his own problems and whose career may not have a bright future. There are people in Israel who do agree on the need to come out of this terrible paradigm of the present configuration. Were Trump, Xi Jinping, Putin and Modi to come to an agreement for such a big, coordinated development package, other leaders would join them, to go in this direction. Even this very difficult situation of Southwest Asia could be approached and a solution found. But it requires an extraordinary intervention.
Schlanger: To inform our new viewers, and to remind our regular viewers, we produced that very blueprint in our report, Extending the New Silk Road to West Asia and Africa: A Vision of an Economic Renaissance. It is available through the Schiller Institute and is a comprehensive picture of the Chinese proposals, and what they’re actually already doing in coordination with plans generated by host countries, breaking new ground, creating jobs, educating people, and doing the necessary job training.
There’s one other danger spot that won’t go away, and that’s the situation in Ukraine, where this week the Ukrainian government raided the offices of RIA Novosti, a Russian news agency; there are various kinds of threats coming from Poroshenko, and the neo-Nazis in the security agencies in Ukraine.
You also have a very interesting opening of a new bridge linking Russia with Crimea. This new bridge has caused some wild Ukrainian fascists to call for blowing it up, claiming it to be an attack on Ukrainian independence.
Helga, what’s the situation on the ground as far as you can see, in Ukraine right now?
Zepp-LaRouche: The raid on the offices of RIA Novosti is very serious. RIA Novosti Ukraine bureau chief Kirill Vyshinsky was arrested. The Ukrainian government is comparing RIA Novosti with Nazi Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels. In Ukraine right now, the situation is quite dire for the freedom of the press.
When German Chancellor Angela Merkel goes to Sochi, Russia to meet with Putin, this will be one of the subjects of discussion, as well as the other crisis spots. So, I think if we could somehow revive the Minsk Agreement, this would go a long way toward resolving the situation in Ukraine, because right now the Kiev government is absolutely not cooperating. Poroshenko has even signed into law a bill labeling Russia the aggressor regarding the eastern Ukraine separatist-held areas of Donetsk and Luhansk, in order to solve the situation in East Ukraine by military means. So this is definitely another extremely dangerous situation.
But, because it is so dangerous, I think more people are waking up to that, and that may be a first step to hopefully prevent something which could easily become World War III.
Russiagate Collapses, but Financial Collapse Looms
Schlanger: The Ukraine issue brings up another aspect of Russiagate. I was just doing a review of this in the last couple of days, and I noticed something that I had forgotten, which is that John Brennan, the former CIA director who is at the center of much of the operation of Russiagate against Trump, had made a secret trip to Kiev shortly after the overthrow of Ukraine’s legitimately elected President, Viktor Yanukovych, and put in motion U.S. support for the criminal regime that took over. Brennan’s involvement in the Robert Mueller coup attempt and what Sen. Rand Paul brought up about this becomes very important.
Helga, do you think this adds to the weight against Special Counsel Mueller? Several judges are turning against him. There are increasingly more exposés of the FBI and overall corruption. Where is all this heading? Why hasn’t it been shut down by now?
Zepp-LaRouche: I think it could be shut down quickly, because the latest twist is that Mueller himself is now suspected of having colluded with a Russian oligarch, which I’d find a little bit humorous, if the situation weren’t so serious.
But I think the letter by Sen. Rand Paul is really important. On May 15, he wrote a letter to Gina Haspel, then the Acting Director of the CIA and Trump’s nominee to become Director of the Agency, demanding that she answer four questions, “particularly in relation to surveillance during the 2016 presidential election.” Did the CIA bug any Presidential candidates in 2016, not just Trump, but any other candidate? Given the fact that the CIA is prohibited by law from surveilling Americans, has the CIA “ever cooperated with any foreign intelligence services to surveil, monitor, or collect any information on candidate Trump . . .” And, “Did the CIA or any other U.S. government agency conduct surveillance on, or engage in the collection of communications or information about then-candidate President Trump during his November 2016 visit to Great Britain?”
And then, in an interview with NBC News on the same day, he even went further, bringing up, in this context, the visit by Robert Hannigan, the former head of GCHQ, the British equivalent of the NSA, to the United States to brief then CIA Director John Brennan about all of this.
It is now coming out in the mainstream media that there was collusion with British intelligence. This is really a very good development. Such activity clearly is completely illegal and unconstitutional; it may be even criminal. The more quickly these things are followed up, the better.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman, Congressman Devin Nunes (R-Ca.), has said that it’s now 100% certain that there was absolutely no collusion of the Trump team with Russia. Nunes asks the question: Given that those who pretended that there was such collusion knew that it did not exist, why was this whole operation instigated in the first place?
I think this question must be answered. This is an ongoing coup attempt against a duly elected President of the United States. The exposure of these coup plotters has focused a bright light on the forces of the Empire—we call it the British Empire, because it is in the continuity of the British Empire. All those who have come out so quickly against Trump on the side of those who accused Trump, have also shown their true colors.
If the United States is to return to its constitutional form, the entire FBI and Department of Justice must be cleaned out and reorganized afresh. I think all of this is necessary.
Trump must be freed from this British attack. This so-called Russiagate is the only reason the relationships with Russia, with China, have not gone forward. It is why, in an indirect form, the Middle East crises have become so dangerous. If world peace is to be saved, the British-directed coup must be fully brought to light. All the culprits must be held accountable. And then Trump can actually do what he promised he would do—and most of it actually is in the right direction. Even some of the critics have to see that.
The Damocles Sword hanging over all of us, however, is the danger of a financial blowout. We must, as an absolute priority, have a full discussion of the value of re-imposing not only Glass-Steagall, but changing over to Hamiltonian economics—applying the Four Laws, of my husband, Lyndon LaRouche.
China’s Offer to India Sheds Geopolitics
Schlanger: In conclusion, Helga, I’d like to pose something to you concerning Hamiltonian economics in the context of all of these war provocations and the British pulling every string that they have. The Chinese are continuing with very bold plans around the New Silk Road. The New Silk Road Spirit, as you call it, is catching on all around the world. Even with the efforts of some to sabotage the U.S.-China relationship around trade, around tariffs, and things of that sort, the U.S.-China relationship seem to be moving in a potentially good direction, with the visit of another team of Chinese officials to Washington.
How do you think this can affect the overall situation—the Trump-Xi relationship? Isn’t that really one of the keys to breaking through to the New Paradigm?
Zepp-LaRouche: Yes. Were the proposal by Li Keqiang, the Chinese Prime Minister, to be taken up, the way to balance the trade between the United States and China is not by imposing tariffs, but could be achieved in a much more elegant way, by increasing trade and investments in third countries. There are plenty of opportunities to do this: The United States could join with China in investments in Latin America, the Middle East, and other Asian countries. There is a new Chinese offer now to India, that they need not be rivals in African investment: Given that China has great expertise in building infrastructure, while India is really lagging behind in that capability, China proposes that they should join efforts, with India contributing in the areas they can do well, and China providing the large-scale infrastructure, without which none of these investments can function.
The United States could also be a part of this. To look at the world in a non-geopolitical way is, I know, almost impossible for some people to imagine, because they are so trained that the world is a zero-sum game; that there can be only a single hegemonic power; that if China rises, the United States must go under, or, in order for the United States to thrive, it must be at the expense of the rest of the world. None of that is true. China has many times made the point that it does not want to replace the United States as a unipolar, dominant force, but instead wishes to have a new type of relations among major powers. And that dramatically involves joint economic projects in third countries, joint ventures—redefining entirely how to go about it.
Look at history from a longer arc. It is not natural for people to solve conflicts with weapons or wars. This is what I have always called infantile diseases of mankind. Little boys kick each other in the shins when they are four or even seven years old. Eventually, you grow up and become an adult. You learn to cherish the creative mind of the other person and work together, like Max Planck and Einstein, like Schiller and Humboldt. You can establish relationships with people in other countries in which you address the creative potential of other people and enrich, in turn, your own potential.
Humanity is, after all, the only species capable of creative reason, of making fundamental discoveries of universal principles of the physical universe again and again, and in that way developing more knowledge about our planet, and the universe. We can continue to discover principles of science and technology that we can then apply to the production process, leading to increases in productivity, which then lead to increases in living standards and increases in longevity,—this is what we are! We are not animals. We are human beings, the only species, at least known so far to us in the universe, that can relate to our creative power as our unique identity.
If we take that approach, of having many nations, each based on the best of its several cultural traditions, all with perfect sovereignty, we can all work together toward a higher level of reason, and that is the only way mankind will survive! I think we are at a crossroads: If we decide to stay with geopolitics, this will lead to World War III, and, for all we know, the virtual extinction of our species. On the other hand, the New Paradigm beckons. Already, 140 countries are cooperating in improving the conditions of life for their citizens. I think we need a mass movement of people who have come to the realization that mankind has reached a new era and are willing to work together to consciously form our future, our “shared community for the future of mankind,” as Xi Jinping always calls it.
Let this be the discussion we have among ourselves and with everyone we meet.
Schlanger: I think you have just made a compelling case for people to give up sleepwalking, and instead catch the New Silk Road Spirit. So, Helga, until next week. Thank you, and thank you for joining us.
To those of you who are watching this program, take up this challenge: Take up the challenge to become active with the Schiller Institute. Thank you, and see you next week.