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

[Print version of this transcript]


Upcoming Trump-Putin Summit Can Shift the World Toward New Paradigm

This is the edited transcript of the June 27, 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 our weekly international webcast with our founder and President Helga Zepp-LaRouche.

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Vladimir Putin receiving John Bolton at the Kremlin, June 27, 2018.

Trump-Putin Summit Is On

Well, it appears that the long-awaited summit between President Donald Trump and President Vladimir Putin is about to take place. The arrangements were announced today—not the specific details that everyone’s so focussed on, but the fact that they will be meeting. Nearly two years after the FBI launched the “Get Trump Task Force” under James Comey, with Peter Strzok and others, Presidents Trump and Putin reached an agreement to have that summit meeting.

This is obviously an extremely significant event, Helga, and we’d like your thoughts.

Helga Zepp-LaRouche: I think it’s very important. There are still speculations where the meeting will take place. It’s said that Austria is offering Vienna; the Finns are offering Helsinki, but it may also take place at the FIFA World Cup in Moscow. Whatever the venue, I think it’s of strategic importance. Trump now feels somewhat freed, with Russiagate turning into Muellergate, and with the very successful Singapore summit. I think this is a very, very important development.

Clinically speaking, I want to mention that the German conservative daily, Die Welt, says this summit could create a catastrophe: The danger exists that Trump and Putin might make an agreement, whereby NATO maneuvers in Eastern Europe are reduced and then Trump would portray himself as the big peace-maker. [laughs] That shows you how absolutely crazy these neo-liberal/neo-conservatives are, on both sides of the Atlantic. What could anyone who wants to see peace, not war, better wish for than that Russia and the United States—which after all are the two most powerful nuclear forces on the planet—come to a strategic agreement?

So, this is a very important, good development. This summit will now occur after the NATO summit and after Trump’s short trip to Great Britain. My hunch is that the two presidents will hit it off very well, because they both have a better understanding of the strategic situation, than their critics. So that is good news.

Schlanger: The other important point is that as they were moving toward this meeting, the Russiagate scandal continued to be the focus of the media, in spite of there being nothing to it. The whole point of Russiagate was to prevent Trump from meeting with Putin. You had said some time ago, that if President Trump were to follow through with his intention and meet with Putin, this would constitute a major defeat for the enforcers of global geopolitics. They are certainly reacting with squawks and screaming. But, Helga, I’m sure that’s not going to stop the two Presidents from getting together.

Zepp-LaRouche: No. I think there is absolutely no reason to think that the progress will be stopped. National Security Advisor John Bolton is currently in Moscow. I think he may have met with Putin himself, but for sure with Foreign Minister Lavrov. This summit is on a very good track.

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DoD/Army Sgt. Amber I. Smith
James Mattis and Wei Fenghe review Chinese troops, Beijing, June 27, 2018.

Mattis in China

Schlanger: Bolton’s Moscow meetings are occurring simultaneously with the continuing offensive of, what you might call, the Eurasian perspective: Today, Secretary of Defense General James Mattis was in China. I think he met with President Xi. Is that right?

Zepp-LaRouche: Yes, he met with Xi Jinping. They said that the purpose of their meeting was strategic trust-building and the expansion of military-to-military contact. Mattis also met with China’s Minister of Defense, Wei Fenghe, and invited him to the Pentagon. This is exactly what should happen, having increasing cooperation among the largest powers in the world: the United States, China, and Russia—and as we discussed earlier, there is also some slightly slower motion from India, to come to such an agreement. India has a good relationship with the United States, and with Russia—now they are working more closely with China.

I can only repeat: Those people who are used to thinking in terms of geopolitical blueprints, or paradigms, should understand that in this world with so many problems and so many urgent tasks to solve, the best thing is for the large powers to do is to find a strategic understanding between them, and then, hopefully, work together to begin to solve the problems of the past. Those among us who are still caught up in the old, geopolitical, zero-sum game—one wins, the other one must lose—harbor a completely ridiculous, old-fashioned, outdated idea. At the beginning of the year, I called for this year to become the year when geopolitics is overcome. With China’s New Silk Road, you already have a win-win model of relations, in which everybody wins. So I urge people to rethink the way they look at the world.

Pompeo to North Korea

Schlanger: There seems to be some very significant motion with North Korea. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will be going there; I think there’s a summit coming up in July. So it does appear that in the aftermath of Singapore, things are moving in the right direction.

Zepp-LaRouche: Absolutely. This meeting in mid-July is very exciting. The two Koreas will discuss the western rail line from South Korea, through North Korea, all the way to the Chinese connection. Shortly after that meeting, there will be another meeting to discuss the eastern track that will connect the South Korean port city of Busan all the way north to the Trans-Siberian Railroad.

As we have always said, if the North Korean and South Korean engineers are building railroads together, then we will have a concrete way to overcome the war danger. So I think this is playing out very well. It certainly is thanks to Trump, and to China and Russia—this is one good example of how the world can be improved, if people work together for the common good.

A European ‘Defense Force’?

Schlanger: On the other hand, the geopoliticians are still at it: The European Union has just adopted a proposal for a European defense force. Do they think this will replace NATO, because the U.S. is going to leave? Or, what? What can they possibly be thinking? Americans don’t understand it.

Zepp-LaRouche: It’s not the entire EU. Since every EU member nation couldn’t be won over to the scheme, nine EU nations decided to create a European defense mechanism, outside of the EU. Germany and France are pushing this; Macron was the main instigator, but it is now backed by Merkel. If they start doing that, with so much disunity on so many issues—if they start building mechanisms outside of the EU—in my view, they are taking one big step toward the final dissolution of the EU. They are undermining the authority of the EU that is already near zero. So, I think this is a very dubious development.

This defense mechanism is supposed to come into being in 2021, but a lot can happen in the meantime. Maybe some completely different conceptions can be put on the table such as the earlier idea of the integration of Eurasia from Vladivostok to Lisbon. That would be a much better conception, which should also eventually be broadened to include the United States.

This maneuver shows the evil intention of the authors of this idea, but I don’t think it’s necessarily going to happen.

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Jean-Claude Juncker (right) and Donald Tusk (center) at a European Council meeting in Brussels, June 29, 2018.

Whither the Upcoming EU Summit?

Schlanger: And there will be an EU summit coming up later this week. What are they going to be talking about there? Obviously, there’s the refugee crisis, which as I understand it, is completely unresolved. What’s your sense of what’s going to come out of this summit?

Zepp-LaRouche: It could lead to a real clash, in which case, the fate of Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany, could take a sudden turn—in other words, she could lose power, or quickly thereafter in any case. The proposals on the table are disgusting. The only idea coming from there is a plan to militarize the refugee crisis by increasing the Frontex (EU border guard) deployment, up to 10,000. European Parliament President Antonio Tajani has proposed spending EU6 billion to lock down the Mediterranean route. Various people, including Austria’s Chancellor Kurz, Italy’s Interior Minister Salvini, and others are calling for so-called “disembarkment centers,” identification centers to be set up outside of the territory of the European Union. Others are calling for camps inside the European Union.

The Prime Minister of Albania told the German tabloid Bild, “We will never accept those camps for European refugees.” It would mean, he said, “unloading desperate people who no one wants, anywhere like toxic waste.” So they will absolutely not do that. Even Libya has said they don’t want any camps in Libya, but they want such camps south of the Libyan border, in Chad, in Niger, other countries—an obvious nightmare.

I think many people saw the horrifying pictures—I don’t know if they’re true, because the Algerian government claims they are not true—but supposedly there are many eyewitnesses and videos of people who say that over the past fourteen months, the Algerian government dumped more than 13,000 refugees into the Sahara, without food or water, without cell phones, without money, and many of them died.

Now, I cannot say if this is fake news or true, but even if it’s not true, it reflects the truth of the dire situation. Many, many people have died in the Sahara of thirst; many have drowned in the Mediterranean,—really an unknown figure because probably many of the boats have simply disappeared. This is absolutely terrible.

The East European countries didn’t even go to the June 24 mini-summit called for by Merkel last Sunday. I don’t think the so-called European solution is possible, which is what Merkel is insisting on. Horst Seehofer, the head of the CSU and the Interior Minister, has given her until July 1—that’s Sunday—to come up with a European solution. If that does not happen, he has said that he will unilaterally start to close the border between Austria and Germany. in which case, Merkel has the choice: either to capitulate, in which case the SPD may lead the coalition government; or, to kick out Seehofer as Interior Minister, in which case, the CSU would leave the coalition. Either way, there certainly will be a government crisis.

This demonstrates that any approach to solving the refugee crisis that tolerates power-seeking, or power-grabbing motives—in which political figures attempt to keep their positions and their power, and rather than addressing the problem of the refugees with the intent to develop Africa, to develop the Middle East, and to do that in concert with the offer of China to cooperate in the extension of the New Silk Road into Africa—that all such bad approaches will fail.

We are looking at a tremendous moral crisis of the European establishment, and we are campaigning very actively to turn this around. The solution does exist.

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Interdicting refugees in Joint Operation Triton, 2017.

Schlanger: Your proposal, for the adoption of the Singapore model, which you just described—the collaboration of Europe with China in developing the nations of Africa—has been given fairly wide circulation. It’s getting out in Europe and the United States, in Latin America; and, as you keep reporting, a number of countries are moving toward full collaboration with the New Silk Road. Do you see this as a possibility to come up at the EU summit, or is this still being blocked by the people who are clinging to the old geopolitics?

Zepp-LaRouche: I think that this EU, in its present composition—the people in charge are so wedded to the neo-liberal model, to the idea that the world has to be organized in such a way that the markets determine everything, and that speculators become richer and the majority of people should take the burden of austerity—I don’t see any among these bureaucrats who would be capable of changing and recognizing that this Western model is about to collapse. But that doesn’t mean that the idea cannot be put on the agenda.

You could have a situation where any number of European countries could call such an emergency summit in July, or in August. One could take such a proposal to the UN General Assembly in New York to put this on the agenda. In the meantime, a “coalition of the willing” could be brought together—to give that horrible phrase a more positive meaning—and such a group could start moving in a positive direction.

Given that the Spirit of the New Silk Road is gaining so much support among industry, and among small and medium-size enterprises, and that so many people have already recognized that there is this fantastic new dynamic in the world, I’m optimistic that eventually we can turn things around.

I’m now having the pleasure of reading a very nice book published by the Schiller Institute. It’s called The New Silk Road Becomes the World Land-Bridge, Vol. II, just fresh off the press. It contains all the conceptions necessary to immediately start these large-scale development projects. I think there may be more people who would want to know what is in this book.

Schlanger: People can find out about it on the Schiller Institute website. I think it is important for people to be reading that report, to discuss the material and to pass it around.

U.S. Midterm Primary Elections

We have one final story, Helga, in which I’m sure you have some interest: the primaries for the November 2018 midterm elections in the United States. A couple months ago, the Democrats were forecasting a “blue wave,” that is, that the Democrats would have a big comeback, that Trump was finished. Two results stand out from yesterday’s voting. In the race for governor of South Carolina, at the last minute Trump endorsed the current Governor, McMaster. The media said Trump was making a mistake; that McMaster was going to lose. In fact, the voters turned out in support of the person Trump was supporting, McMaster, who did win. In New York State, the number-four Democrat in the U.S. House, 10-term Representative Joseph Crowley, who had been mooted as a possible replacement for Nancy Pelosi, was defeated by first-time candidate, the 28-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a virtual unknown, who had been a Bernie Sanders campaign worker! I guess this shows the insurgency against the establishment continues in both parties in the United States.

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Both photos: twitter
Left: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez; right: Joseph Crowley

Zepp-LaRouche: The tweets Trump put out were quite good. About Crowley’s defeat, he said, “Wow! Big Trump Hater Congressman Joe Crowley, who many expected was going to take Nancy Pelosi’s place, just LOST his primary election. In other words, he’s out! That is a big one that nobody saw happening. Perhaps he should have been nicer, and more respectful, to his President!” Whereas Crowley’s campaign spent $3 million, this 28-year-old woman who won the primary, beat him with only $300,000, campaigning on the fact that Crowley was a tool of Wall Street. This was the main reason she won the primary.

With these primary election results, it becomes more visible that not everything is controlled by the financial oligarchy. Money can no longer buy every seat, which had been the norm for a long time. There is an opportunity to really change the situation in the world for the better.

Join the Schiller Institute!

I want to conclude by again asking everyone listening to join the Schiller Institute. Join a Renaissance movement, and help us circulate these ideas, so that more people can share and join in the optimism that man is indeed greater than his destiny. If many people of good join forces together—as Schiller says in his writings about the revolt of the Netherlands against Spanish domination—you can bring down the arm of the strongest tyrant by uniting for the good.

So please, unite with us, and let’s really move civilization into a better domain.

Schlanger: Helga, thank you for continuing to be a beacon of optimism even as we’re surrounded by naysayers and pessimists, some of whom are beginning to get this message, and who should do their best to not just watch our webcasts, but become active with the Schiller Institute. So, till next week, Helga, we’ll see you then.

Zepp-LaRouche: Bye-bye.