This transcript appears in the June 15, 2018 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
Completely New Strategic Alignment in Asia Is Shaping the Future: Will the Foolish Europeans Be Left Behind?
This is the edited transcript of the June 7, 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.
As every week now, there are quite extraordinary developments, many of which have been shaped by what we’ve been talking about on this program, and what our Schiller Institute organization and allied forces in the LaRouche PAC have been doing internationally. One of those things was the publication of an important article by a leading Russian think tank, and Helga, why don’t we start with that?
Helga Zepp-LaRouche: Yes. I would like to encourage you, our viewers, to read this article that was written by Harley Schlanger, who you see here with me on the program. It is was posted June 3 in the Experts Column on the front page of the website of the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC), Russia’s premiere academic and diplomatic think tank that has on its board of trustees a number of very important Russian personalities, including Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Harley’s article is titled, “No More Doubt: It’s the U.K., not the Russians, that Meddled in the U.S. Elections.”
The article presents the important news that it is now proven that it was the British secret services—GCHQ, MI6—and various other British institutions that meddled in the United States, as far back as 2015, and conducted a massive intervention into the Presidential campaign in 2016, and further, following the election victory of President Trump, to create Russiagate.
It is quite important that the British role—which President Trump said could become the biggest scandal in the history of the United States—is being noted in such an authoritative publication in Russia. Russiagate has now interestingly turned into “Spygate.”
I want to congratulate you, Harley. You did a good job. So, please do read Harley’s article.
On April 19 of this year, Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, briefed the international media on the history of various political crimes and intelligence operations by the British.
Schlanger: Thank you for that, Helga. A lot more will be coming out in the next days, when the Justice Department’s Inspector General issues his report. Indications are that former FBI Director James Comey is going to be on the firing line; ditto for Andrew McCabe, Comey’s deputy; more on FBI agent Peter Strzok. McCabe is actually asking for immunity to testify before the Senate.
As part of a Congressional investigation into the FBI’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email affair, Strzok’s boss, Bill Priestap, had an eight-hour, closed-door interview with members of the joint investigation group of the House Judiciary and Oversight Committee and Government Reform Committee. So I think there’s going to be a lot more coming out on this, and I’m expecting more evidence to show that it was the British that meddled, and that they did so through individuals such as John Brennan and James Clapper. They’re the ones on the firing line.
Last week, we were talking about the still unresolved situation in Italy. It seems to be somewhat resolved. A new government has been brought in, which has given the bureaucrats in Brussels quite a shock. So why don’t you update us on what’s happening in Italy?
Zepp-LaRouche: Very important changes are occurring. Yesterday, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte’s government was approved by the Italian Senate and the Chamber of Deputies. In his first speech, Conte announced that he is planning to cause a shift in the sanctions policy towards Russia; he also announced that the new government would go for banking separation. There has not been a lot of comment yet on the Glass-Steagall banking separation issue, but all kinds of people felt compelled to come out against getting rid of the sanctions. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said, “Sanctions are important, until Russia changes its behavior,” which is really incredible: What he means of course, is Crimea and similar things, but we have gone through that story: it was the West which caused the events in Ukraine to explode, and Crimea was only the 10th or 12th event in a long series of provocations coming from the West.
Kurt Volker, the former U.S. Ambassador to NATO and now U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations, said Italy does not have the right to change the sanctions because the sanctions are EU law. That’s really ludicrous, because this government was voted in, because they disagree with all of these policies, including the sanctions against Russia.
So it remains to be seen what will happen next.
Italy’s new Minister of Economy and Finances, Giovanni Tria, has an excellent relationship with China and speaks fluent Chinese. His university had a model relationship with a Chinese university. Tria issued a paper, which we will have to analyze more closely, calling for more public investment, claiming that this can be done within the EU guidelines of rigorous budget rules and progressive government debt reduction. But, he says, the only way this can be done is by increasing public investment, and there is talk about possible use of some Italian banking institutions to do that.
This all looks very promising. It is also clear that the Italian people fully support this government. There were rallies over the weekend, where Conte, Salvini and Di Maio addressed large crowds of people. There was also some very useful advice from Professor Michele Geraci, a government advisor, that China can greatly help Italy with problems in Africa. Geraci underscored that China is investing in Africa, and that’s what Italy should do along with China. That is the only way the refugee crisis can be solved in a human way.
These are very important changes. A very interesting situation is shaping up. There is now a new wind blowing in Europe, and the blatant intervention by the European Central Bank (ECB) is not helping the EU bureaucrats.
Two days ago the Financial Times had a very interesting article, showing with charts how the ECB, in the final phase of the attempt by Conte to form the first government with Paolo Savona as the economy and finance minister, had actually helped to increase the Italy-Germany 10-Year bond spread, by reducing the amount of Italian state bonds they were buying, and in this way signaled the speculators to speculate against the Italian bonds. The ECB presented a technical pretext for their actions, claiming that this occurred at the same time the German bonds reached maturity, therefore its financial means were exhausted. But this is completely bogus. The European Central Bank has always had flexibility in deciding when they do what.
This diversion from the truth is seen as another blatant example of intervention. And it gives new meaning to what EU Commissioner Oettinger had said, namely, that the “markets will teach the Italians how to vote.” If the ECB is doing the job of the supposed market, it is quite outrageous. As for Oettinger, it shows you the arrogance of such people: He said the Italians should work more and be less “corrupt.” Maybe we should be talking about corruption in the EU, in Luxembourg and other places.
So, it really shows, people in the rest of Europe, and maybe in the United States as well are really anti-Italian, and that has nothing to do with the Italian people, but it has everything to do with the amount of propaganda which is being blasted against Italy. The same thing happened not so long ago against Greece. Remember, the Italian people have a long history: Europe’s Golden Renaissance was centered in Italy. Italian culture is one of the absolutely important cultural influences in Europe. There is no Europe without Italy.
Everyone should really stop and think this through: Is it not better for the Italians to try to change something when they have not experienced any growth from several of their governments in row; or should Italians behave like sheep—like the Germans, who for the most part are doing well but are still behaving like lambs going to the slaughterhouse, and are not doing anything to oppose the austerity policies coming from the Merkel government, policies which are clearly not in their interest?
So, I urge you to counter these prejudices: Look at how the Italian government is unfolding. There are clearly some problems; you can see that there are non-productive green policies there. However, these first steps, moving against the sanctions, for banking separation, and the different approach to the development of Africa—all of these things are very, very promising.
Schlanger: On that point, earlier today I spoke with Marco Zanni, an independent Member of the European Parliament from Italy, who is very close to the leadership of the Lega, one of the two parties in the government coalition. He pointed out to me that three policies of the new Italian government are precisely the first three of Lyndon LaRouche’s Four Laws: Glass-Steagall, a national bank to fund investments, and an emphasis on infrastructure.
He said something else very significant: He said he thinks that Salvini, the new deputy prime minister and the head of the Lega, will be going to China within a month or so; and a major focus for the Italians is to collaborate with China in Africa. He said that people often say that the Italian vote for the so-called “populists” was an anti-immigrant vote. Zanni said, “No, we’re trying to find a solution to that problem by developing these nations.” That’s pretty much what has been proposed in the report by the Schiller Institute on the Near East and Africa policy, Extending the New Silk Road to West Asia and Africa: A Vision of an Economic Renaissance. Maybe you want to say something more on that.
Zepp-LaRouche: Yes, for sure. How can this problem be solved? By the year 2040, it’s expected that there will be two billion Africans. If anyone thinks two billion people can be put in camps in Libya or in some other North African or other country, as it is being proposed by the EU right now, or that two billion Africans fleeing from hunger and epidemics can be kept out of Europe by increasing the coast guard and other such efforts to prevent people from crossing the Mediterranean, they are obviously delusional!
The only way to solve this absolutely terrible catastrophe of the refugee crisis, is with large-scale development of Africa. China has done a brilliant job. They have completely changed the outlook of the Africans, who have hope for the first time that they can overcome poverty and underdevelopment, now, with the help of China. One such program that we talked about some time earlier, is the Transaqua Project, an agreement to replenish Lake Chad, among the countries of the Lake Chad Basin region, plus China and Italy, as a model of how European countries can work together with China and African nations for large-scale infrastructure. Such programs are the necessary precondition for, and an essential part of, industrialization, and for development of agriculture, and productive jobs for all the young people who are already alive and those soon to be born in Africa.
It’s a very good thing that Italy now has a changed policy outlook toward Africa. One of the reasons why the coalition of these two parties won the election, is that Italy was completely left to fend for itself by the EU Commission on the refugee crisis. Italy is now changing and seriously trying to work with China, but also Japan, and India. This is part of the growing phenomenon of many countries now being interested in investing in real industrialization in Africa. The best thing that could happen would be for more European nations, and the United States, to join hands in the New Silk Road approach towards Africa. That is what we are fighting for.
Schlanger: Another thing sending shock ways through Europe, is the visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin to Vienna, Austria this week, where he had very successful meetings with Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and President Alexander Van der Bellen. What’s the significance of this Austrian trip by President Putin, Helga?
Zepp-LaRouche: It’s very important, because all the efforts by the neo-liberal/neo-con mass media to demonize Putin and paint a picture as if he were completely isolated, has been proven completely wrong. He got an excellent reception in Vienna. Chancellor Kurz said he will also work towards overcoming the sanctions. Austria will be assuming the Presidency of the Council of the European Union for the second half of 2018 on July 1, so Kurz will have quite some means to initiate steps, especially since there is such a mood for change, in all the Visegrad countries [Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland], the East and Central European countries, the Balkan countries, and the Southern European countries, almost all of which are against the sanctions against Russia. So I can very easily see some room for change.
Putin was received with military honors and he gave a lengthy interview to the official Austrian TV channel, in which he commented on many issues. I think it was very important.
We were told by a very high-level contact that the EU had tried to do the same thing it had done in Italy—to not accept the new Austrian government, as they did with Italian President Mattarella this past May. But President Van der Bellen, according to this report, refused to bow to the pressure. In a certain sense, it’s very ironic that Chancellor Kurz said, given that the EU is preaching so much about savings and austerity, that he—in his capacity as the new leader of the European Union—will dramatically work to cut costs in the EU bureaucracy—reducing the number of commissioners from 28 to 18, and closing down either Strasbourg or Brussels, because the EU spends EU200 million per year on deputies travelling between these two places, which he says is a complete waste that he wants to end.
So between Savona being the new European Affairs Minister in the Italian government, and the new Austrian approach, I think that there will be some important changes in the EU, and they may not be so pleasant for those who are trying to preserve the status quo.
Schlanger: We’re seeing a shift underway toward Russia and also explicitly toward China from some of these countries. At the same time, at the EU summit, they’re going to be talking about more militarization, more money, more forces for NATO. Do you think this is going to fly?
Zepp-LaRouche: Well, there is a major effort for increased militarization, both in NATO and in the EU. The Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, recently announced that they want to have a new NATO command in Ulm in Germany, and in Norfolk, Virginia, and a rapid deployment force for NATO, and a rapid deployment force for the EU. The Polish government wants to have a permanent base for one division of American troops. All of these proposals are clear-cut provocations, but against whom? Russia is not threatening anyone. The talk about Crimea is a pretext.
German Chancellor Merkel’s suggestions that Europe has to become more independent from the United States because you can’t rely on the United States any more, is part of the larger orchestration of a ridiculous narrative. Trump has demanded that all the Europeans should use 2% of their GDP on an increase in the cost of NATO, and that’s what they’re now doing. If Merkel wants to be serious, and wants more independence for Europe, the only way to do that in any meaningful way would be to do it together with Russia, and with China.
But the European NATO nations are not doing that. As a matter of fact, when Merkel was recently asked if it would be useful for Russia to return to the G8, she repeated the negative mantra, saying: “The annexation of Crimea was a flagrant violation of international law, and therefore Russia’s exclusion from the G8 format was the right decision.” If the European nations want to be serious, then they should admit Western complicity in the fascist coup in Ukraine, which was the trigger for all of these developments, including Crimea.
We have not forgotten Victoria Nuland’s bragging that the U.S. State Department under President Obama spent $5 billion on NGOs in Ukraine alone, for a color revolution and regime change. And many of the recipients of those funds belong to the Bandera pro-Nazi tradition. So, if you want to talk about “changing behavior,” then the West should also change its behavior.
There is a complete double standard: Was the Iraq war based on justice and righteousness? Or was it based on lies? Did the Iraq war extinguish hundreds of thousands or more lives? What about the Libya war? If there is to be the same standard for everyone, then these wars should be put on the same level, but that is obviously not done.
I can only say it’s a terrible thing that we have these war hawks in the West, while the rest of the world is moving in a completely different direction. The dynamic and spirit of the New Silk Road has already captured many countries in Europe. Hopefully those still on the warpath will soon recognize that their true self-interest is in cooperation, not confrontation.
Schlanger: One of those big changes coming up, apparently, will be from the summit next week between President Trump and Kim Jong-un of North Korea. This is part of this new dynamic in Asia. It does appear that this is going to take place; there’s a lot of opposition coming from the United States, including from Democrats in the U.S. Senate, and Republicans, who are saying that Trump should not give anything to Kim Jong-un. Trump himself is saying he’s going to go in with a somewhat flexible standard. I assume they will meet. What do you think is going to happen, Helga?
Zepp-LaRouche: We should remain alert until it really happens, because so often there are sabotage attempts in the last minute. I certainly see very good intentions coming from all of the participating nations, except from many Democrats in the United States, who are again proving themselves to be like they were with Obama, the war party. Concerning Trump, North Korea, China, South Korea, and Russia, all the signs indicate they really want to make this work.
There have been many delegations from the White House, from North Korea, in Singapore preparing for the summit; there was a statement by the South Korean President, Moon Jae-in, who said that he hopes a non-aggression pact can be included in the peace treaty between the North and the South. President Putin complimented Trump for his “courageous” idea of having this personal meeting, and promised that Russia would play an important role in the economic development of the North. Putin also said that there must be a 100% security guarantee for the North, so that the tragedy of Iraq and Libya is not repeated.
I think there are many reasons to be hopeful that this, indeed, will succeed. It will not be a one-time event. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said that it has to be a very skillfully orchestrated series of events, in which mutual steps are being taken towards denuclearization, but also towards reducing and eventually eliminating the sanctions; and that the North Korean people need security guarantees and need to see the development of economic prosperity.
If these steps move forward with good intentions, there is great hope for success. One of the interesting indications of this process being on a pathway toward success is that the people of both South Korea and of North Korea are enthusiastic. Some observers think it will be almost impossible to reverse it, given the fact that the people of Korea are now very enthusiastic about this process succeeding.
If you look at the New Silk Road dynamic as the framework for this process, the reasons to believe that this can be a real success story are actually much better than in the case of the German reunification which took place under much worse geostrategic conditions, with Bush, Thatcher, and Mitterrand all determined to reduce the Soviet Union to an isolated Russia that would no longer be a superpower, but instead a raw-materials producing Third World country. The East of Germany was also the recipient of the full effect of this geopolitical insanity.
So I think the North Korea circumstances are actually much more favorable.
Schlanger: The picture you have just painted is part of this new strategic alignment that will be coming together next week in China, at a conference of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. This also has the potential to not only push the Korean situation ahead, but the whole Silk Road process.
Zepp-LaRouche: Yes. I think we see clear signs that the efforts by the British, by the EU—which unfortunately was absolutely involved in this, and also previous U.S. administrations—to orchestrate India against China in the recent period, with Obama’s so-called Asia pivot, which was the idea of the Indo-Pacific—meaning an alliance among Australia, Japan, India, and New Zealand, against China—does not function. There’s a certain geopolitical faction in India, and they were playing on this very heavily, saying India is the largest democracy in the world, and therefore should be on the side of the Western democracies, and not on the side of dirigistic China.
All this is now changing. There was the extremely important summit between India’s Prime Minister Modi and Xi Jinping in Wuhan, where for two days the two leaders discussed all kinds of bilateral and multilateral issues. Modi’s very important speech at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, was an important follow up. He not only referred to the more than 5,000-year history of India, and India’s culture as being one of the greatest in human civilization, but he also spoke in terms of the one humanity of the future, much like the constant refrain of President Xi.
So there is a clear rapprochement between India and China. Both Modi and Xi stated that the two nations are the largest countries in the world, in terms of population, and if they work together, it will have a big, big impact on the entire world. And also, as we’ve discussed many times, India is moving toward cooperation with the New Silk Road.
I think there is a clear orientation toward an Asian Century, because the Asians are on a much better course right now. They are emphasizing innovation, science and technology, scientific progress as the source for the increase of production. They are doing a lot of things right, which any of the Europeans are doing wrong. Unfortunately, as Putin has said, many of the problems of the United States stem from opposition to Trump, not only to the U.S. relationship with Russia being improved, but to Trump being blocked from implementing his campaign promises to reverse the destruction of the U.S. economy.
The momentum right now is with Asia, and this is why the Schiller Institute is insisting that the United States and the European nations should ally with the Asian countries to overcome poverty, develop the globe, have win-win cooperation of all nations in this world, and build a new community for the shared future of humanity. I think this is so much within reach, that if people just knew about this New Paradigm that is emerging so very, very quickly, they would become optimistic right away! It is only the lack of knowledge of what is going on in these parts of the world that is the cause for pessimism, and why so many people see no way to change it.
I think Zanni is right—the European Parliamentarian you just quoted—change is possible. And that is really a very, very optimistic message. So join the Schiller Institute and be part of it!
Schlanger: To conclude, Helga, I want to bring up something I’m sure is very dear to your heart, which was the launching of a rocket from Russia to take three astronauts—a Russian, an American, and a German—to the International Space Station. U.S. Ambassador Huntsman was there for the launch. And let me underscore, one of the astronauts was from Germany! What are your thoughts on this?
Zepp-LaRouche: Yes, that is the best news I can report about Germany. Alexander Gerst will be the new commander of the ISS [International Space Station] for half a year, and it’s wonderful. It’s his second space mission, and he has given many interviews. He was on the Second Channel of German TV on Sunday. In a very cheerful and actually lovable way, he described the importance of space travel and how it benefits everyone on Earth, how it serves man’s curiosity to learn more about the laws of the universe. It is definitely one of the most optimistic activities we Germans can do, because this is one area where our identity as Germans, as poets, thinkers, and inventors, comes alive in stark contrast with the present political leadership or the anti-progress green outlook of all the parties in the parliament.
I think the role of space travel and exploration in uniting nations is really going to be absolutely crucial. If people can work together on the planet Earth, like the astronauts do in space—where they don’t have barriers, they don’t have quarrels, they work together in a task-oriented way; they explore new worlds—I think that is the future of humanity. Space science inspires many young people to know that we have not reached the end of history, that there are good reasons to develop themselves, to study, to become scientists, to start to think scientifically, or artistically as Classical artists, or poets or thinkers. This is the way for me to go. The future will belong to people who are either scientists, natural scientists, or who are artists in the tradition of the Classical cultures around the planet. It will be a more human world in which we can go forward. If you want to be part of it, to create it, to shape it, please contact us, and work with us.
Schlanger: And, if you haven’t done so already, I encourage everyone to read the book written by your husband, Lyndon LaRouche, Earth’s Next Fifty Years, where he laid out these challenges. And we’re now about twenty years into the period in which he talked about, and many of the things which he said would have to happen are now on the verge of occurring. So we can shape this next fifty years from here, but it’s going to continue to need the Schiller Institute providing a lot of the direction and the ideas for it.
Helga, thanks for joining us again, and we’ll be back next week with the international webcast from the Schiller Institute.
Zepp-LaRouche: Yes, till next week.