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This transcript appears in the November 9, 2018 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

[Print version of this transcript]


The Issue of the U.S. Midterm Elections is War and Peace

This is the edited transcript of the Schiller Institute’s November 1, 2018 New Paradigm interview with the founder and President of the Schiller Institutes, Helga Zepp-LaRouche, by Harley Schlanger, A video of this webcast is available.

Harley Schlanger: Hello, I’m Harley Schlanger with the Schiller Institute, and I’d like to welcome you to our webcast for this week: It’s Nov. 1, 2018.

Welcome, Helga! We’re just days away from the strategically important midterm elections in the United States, and I think we should start there. It is clear there’s been a chaos operation, that’s building on top of the previous chaos, the chaos that was unleashed when Trump won the 2016 election, the Russiagate. But in the last weeks we’ve seen a massive escalation, with fake pipe bombs and a deadly attack on a synagogue, both of which were blamed on Trump. The caravan in Central America, which is being played up as a huge issue in the media. And there’s a big effort to succeed, with a significant Democratic vote, in knocking Trump out by creating the basis for his impeachment.

So, Helga, why don’t we start there? What’s your sense of this chaos operation? What is Trump doing with his campaign rallies, and what are we doing?

Ongoing anti-Trump Antics

Helga Zepp-LaRouche: At this point it really is impossible to make a prognosis, at least I don’t want to do it. Because, as you have said, you have a real orchestration of a chaos scenario. I think it’s very noteworthy that “Publius Tacitus”—a regular contributor to the Sic Semper Tyrannis blog of the very well-known military and security analyst, Pat Lang—posted a denunciation of these letter bombs to the Democratic Party so-called opponents of Trump, as “costumed theater.” In other words, there were no real devices that could actually detonate, and it’s all orchestrated. Now, I think this is very likely, because it raises eyebrows, it would just be so easy to blame this on Trump.

The New York Times today, of all places, felt compelled to publish a huge defense of George Soros, who has been accused of financing this march of refugees coming from Central American countries, and the Times couldn’t help but include an attack on my husband. For a very long time the New York Times had a policy to never mention the “L”-word, because he’s their nemesis. But they obviously are so freaked out that they mentioned my husband in this context.

Now I think this shows just how desperate they are, because, the potential of these midterm elections is really big. It’s going to be a game-changer either way. I’m not saying all Democrats are bad; I think there are exceptional people, like Tulsi Gabbard, for example, but mostly the Democrats have really portrayed themselves as the war party. If the Democrats, who are completely hyped up on the women’s vote and all kinds of hysterical orchestrations, if they win, they obviously will want to go for impeachment of Trump. They will try to win over some corrupt neo-cons from the Republican Party to do so, and they will likely shut down the investigations in the Congress that are turning Russiagate into Britishgate and Muellergate.

This is a historic question, because of the collusion of the heads of intelligence of the Obama Administration with a foreign government—not with Russia but the British, the GCHQ and MI6, and the British government which intervened openly, including the Foreign Office, which intervened openly. This is potentially the biggest scandal in the history of the United States, bigger than Watergate. If Trump wins or has enough backing in the Congress and the Senate, you can be absolutely sure that these investigations will go on, the truth will come out, and eventually the culprits will all be the target of probably criminal prosecutions and just sentences.

Eventually, the real reason for the launching of Russiagate will also come out. I want to repeat that, because many people are falling for the press lies. The real issue is not domestic. In spite of all the little issues the media try to make you believe in, it is the large issue of war and peace that is at stake here, and whoever does not understand that, they’re just completely off target: It is the issue of World War III, and we should talk about that in a little while. This is a very acute issue; that is the issue of the Trump election.

President Donald Trump has clearly said he wants to improve relations with Russia, and he has proven at the Helsinki summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin that he wants to go in this direction. Just before we started this program, I was happy to learn that Trump had a long telephone conversation with President Xi Jinping of China, and they basically expressed hope that the trade conflict can be settled; and even [Director of the National Economic Council, Larry] Kudlow said that there are absolute possibilities to take back the tariffs, or most of the tariffs, if there is an agreement with China.

So, I think this is very good news. Don’t forget, the real issue about Trump and the election in the midterms is the relationship between the United States and Russia and China. Whoever does not understand that is an ignoramus in politics. I want to say this very clearly, because obviously, the issue of war and peace is the precondition for any other issue to be solved.

Schlanger: And Trump has been making this a campaign issue: He has 11 speaking engagements coming up in the next six days, leading up to Nov. 6, and he’s been saying explicitly, harking back to his campaign in 2016, that he wants to improve relations with Russia and China. This is a post-election strategy, with meetings coming up with Putin, with Xi Jinping, and with Kim Jong-un.

Meanwhile, as a result of Russiagate—the false but pervasive narrative of Russian interference in the election, the lies about Russia and China—we’re seeing a real shift toward war. And I think this is very important to reiterate, because the question is, why would we be heading toward a war with Russia?

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Russian President Vladimir Putin meeting with German business community representatives on Nov. 1, 2018.

Russia and Putin

Zepp-LaRouche: I just had the occasion to travel for a few days to Moscow, to attend a conference on Russia-China relations, and I had also many very important institutional discussions.

Now, it is very clear that the reason Russia is being targetted, and why Putin is being targetted, is that, if you remember, when the Soviet Union disintegrated in 1991, basically all the promises which were given to Mikhail Gorbachov were all broken. They had promised that there would never be the extending of NATO to the Russian borders, there would be no NATO beyond the East German states in the unified Germany. All of this has been broken!

And what happened instead was the Yeltsin period, which in the consciousness of the Russians was a decade of genocide. In those years of Boris Yeltsin’s presidency, 1991-99, the demographic curve of Russia collapsed by 1 million per year! It was a complete sellout: You had oligarchs taking over the property of the Russian people, becoming rich, and privatizing anything. You had [the American economist] Jeffrey Sachs imposing “shock therapy,” and the intention of the neo-cons and the British and some other forces in the West, was to reduce the Soviet Union from a superpower to a Russia which would just be a raw materials-producing and -exporting third world country.

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EIRNS/Rachel Douglas
Street vendors and desperate bargain hunters in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1999, as they deal with the immiseration imposed by economic shock therapy.

To a certain extent they succeeded in doing it. For example, the shock therapy reduced Russian industrial capacities by 70% between 1991 and 1994. You had absolute misery. People were poor, and it was real genocide, as Sergey Glazyev wrote in his book, Genocide: Russia and the New World Order.

In 1999 came Vladimir Putin, being appointed acting Prime Minister by Yeltsin. Putin started to undo all of these things. He managed to get back control over the oil and gas resources, that some in the West thought they had in their pockets and would eventually control all of the raw materials of the very large territory of Russia. Putin comes in and reverses all that. Obviously, he had to make certain deals with these oligarchs, and this is still hampering the situation up to the present day, to a certain extent. Later on, he proved President Obama wrong when he bragged that Russia was just a “regional power.” But when Putin intervened in Syria in 2015, and completely reversed the situation there, he proved he’s a global player and that nobody can bypass Russia.

The military moves Putin has taken in response to the changed NATO doctrine, going in the direction of new weapons systems based on new physical principles, outmaneuvering the military of the United States and NATO to a certain extent, has caused complete rage in those circles. That’s when the demonization campaign against Putin started.

If you don’t take into account the “shock therapy” in the 1990s, what the West did to Russia in the Yeltsin period, you cannot understand why the Russian population so absolutely backs Putin—I think more than 80%. I met several people whom I asked what they thought of Putin, and they said, “He’s the best President in the history of Russia, ever,” because the Russian people are completely grateful to him, for undoing what happened during the Yeltsin period, and for bringing Russia back. Despite the sanctions, which do hurt the Russian economy, in spite of that, he has brought Russia back and is bringing Russia back.

I think that that is something everyone should keep in mind. Because the media always like to cite a certain date, such as when Putin somehow fell from heaven and all of a sudden, he’s a demon, while leaving out what happened before. That fallacy of composition is then used to manipulate people into thinking that Putin is a devil. The Russian people think he’s the best President in their history, and I think people in the West should think about that. After all, what counts is the outcome of his governing. Is he doing something for the common good of the Russian people, or not?

Anyway, I just want to say that. It was very helpful for me to have these discussions. I hadn’t been in Russia for many years, and to refresh a direct impression was extremely helpful.

I was quite taken aback that several people, quite independently of their particular angle, said, there is a serious discussion in Russia that war is an absolute possibility.

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U.S. Marines near Keflavik, Iceland, as part of Exercise Trident Juncture, Oct. 17, 2018.

A U.S.-Russia-China War?

And just in the last couple of days, this was publicly confirmed by the representative for non-proliferation and arms control in the Foreign Ministry, Andrey Belousov, who spoke before the United Nations, saying: “Yes, I confirm, Russia is preparing for war, but we are only doing it in response to the fact that the United States is preparing a war.”

This is very serious. Gen. Ben Hodges, the former commander of the U.S. Army in Europe, in a packed meeting of the Warsaw Security Forum in Warsaw, Poland said: “I think in 15 years—it’s not inevitable—but it is a very strong likelihood that we will be at war with China.” Xi Jinping told his military commanders to “concentrate preparations for fighting a war.”

On top of this war talk is occurring the largest NATO maneuver since the Cold War, “Trident Juncture” in Norway, with 50,000 soldiers—10,000 soldiers from Germany alone—which is a very provocative maneuver, basically rehearsing how to deploy NATO troops in case of a war with Russia very quickly. Russia regards this maneuver as a complete provocation and is planning to conduct some missile tests Nov. 1-3 in the Norwegian Sea, close to this maneuver.

So that shows you that we are really in a very, very heightened danger, and I think people should really understand that we must have a better relationship between the United States and Russia, and the United States and China, because if ever these things get out of control, it could mean the end of civilization, and the complete annihilation of the human race.

This is what we’re talking about when we’re talking about the midterm elections, and people should take that to heart.

Schlanger: And just to take up China a little further, you mentioned Hodges’ statement about being at war with China within 15 years; there’s also Michael Auslin from the Hoover Institution, a known arch-neocon who’s hostile to China, writing in the Wall Street Journal, saying that China wants to displace the United States. But at the same time, you had the Trump-Xi Jinping discussion and a Congressional delegation heading to China. I’d like for you give us a report on this fairly significant conference going on in Shanghai, the China International Import Expo, which is bringing leaders from countries all over the world to China again to discuss implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative.

Positive Developments: China, Yemen

Zepp-LaRouche: Yes, the China International Import Expo is very important. China has said that it wants to have an annual such conference. It focusses mainly on importing; the Chinese authorities have said that the importing of goods, especially high-tech goods, will be beneficial to the Chinese economy. It will be a huge event: 160,000 buyers will be there. I think 5,000 firms; 12 heads of state who will have, at the same time, big state visits in this context. And it is just one more proof that China really wants to continue its opening-up and is inviting cooperation. And in that light, I think it is very, very good news that Xi Jinping and Trump had this phone conversation.

Schlanger: Back to the war front for a moment. I think it’s important to note, there was a very significant intervention by Defense Secretary Mattis and also Secretary of State Pompeo, both of whom issued statements calling for a speedy and peaceful end to the war in Yemen. Helga, this war has been part of an ongoing human rights catastrophe, and most of the world has been silent, but now there seems to be some motion in the U.S. Congress. What do you make of these Mattis and Pompeo statements?

Zepp-LaRouche: Obviously, it’s long overdue, because the humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen, which is really a genocide, has reached a point of danger that the whole Yemeni population is threatened with being wiped out. There are 14 million people in acute danger of starvation, and now the U.S. government has said that it wants all parties to have a ceasefire; it wants the Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia to stop. It is demanding that the Saudi-led coalition stop bombing populated areas, and that a peaceful solution must be accomplished within 30 days.

I think this is very, very good, and one can only hope that it is being carried through forcefully, because many, many people are in danger of dying of starvation, and a lack of medicine. This is the biggest scandal in the present time. It’s good that this peace initiative should finally, finally happen.

Germany Drifts Toward Ungovernability

Schlanger: I think people would very much like to hear from you about what’s happening in Germany after the elections last weekend in Hessen. There’s a scramble now for who’s going to replace Angela Merkel as the chairman of the Christian Democratic Union party, which suffered a significant loss again in Hessen; the Social Democrats are also collapsing. I don’t think you can look at this without connecting it to the effects of the economic crisis hitting Germany.

So, what can you tell us about Chancellor Merkel’s future and, more importantly, where Germany has to go from here?

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courtesy of James Rea
German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Zepp-LaRouche: Well, unfortunately, this is not good news. Many have uttered a big sigh of relief when Merkel announced her intention to resign as the party chief of the CDU at the CDU convention in December. She said she wants to stay on for the rest of her term as Chancellor. That is good, as I will explain in a moment. Many people have said that it is high time that this woman take her leave. Her term has been a complete standstill, and she has made many, many wrong decisions, like the energy exit and Germany’s really bad policy towards Africa.

But the not-so-great news is that, so far, none of the people who have announced themselves to replace her are any better, and some of them are even worse. There’s Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, the Minister-President of Saarland, who is basically said to be on the same line as Merkel. She was actually appointed more or less by Merkel as the General Secretary of the CDU. That would probably not be such a big change; she has a lot of support in the CDU, especially among the women and the apparatus. Then there is Jens Spahn who is a terrible neo-con; he is presently the Health Minister. He is really a neo-con. He met with Bolton when he was in Washington. He has a lot of support among the Anglo-Americans.

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Left: CC/Michael Lucan; right: CC/Sandro Halank
Friedrich Merz and Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, two candidates being considered to replace Angela Merkel as party chief of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU).

But then there is Friedrich Merz. He’s a very special case, because he is an arch-opponent of Merkel, having been kicked out by her, I think, in the early 2000s as a faction leader. He left politics and has been in many functions since: He is presently the head of the German branch of BlackRock. People say BlackRock is not a locust capitalist, but there are doubts about that. He’s Chairman of the Atlantic Bridge association, which is a fully trans-Atlantic, neo-con institution. He also sits on the board of the German branch of HSBC, a bank which interestingly enough is being investigated for its involvement in the very scandalous “cum-ex/cum-cum” tax scandal—we can mention what that is, if people don’t know; and he’s also a German member of the Trilateral Commission, and has many other such posts.

So now, if you look what Merz has advertised in the past, he said EU123 [$140] a month is enough for the Hartz IV welfare recipients. BlackRock has promoted privatization of pensions altogether. And naturally, Merz himself has supported French President Emmanuel Macron’s proposal for greater European integration, which would not function at all under these present centrifugal tendencies within the EU.

I cannot see anything positive coming from Merz, from Spahn, from Kramp-Karrenbauer, or Ritzenhoff, who is a fourth candidate being mentioned, who’s a complete anti-China hysteric. So, this means Germany is not in good shape, and naturally, if you had early elections, it could really lead to terrible developments. The Greens are gaining; then the AfD, the right-wing Alternative für Deutschland, could gain. Germany is in trouble. I want to say this very clearly. The present policy of the German government, just like that of the EU, is not to cooperate with China. Germany’s Africa policy is still the same old “sustainability,” more focus on small and palm-sized cooperatives, no infrastructure. The big Compact with Africa conference in Berlin was terrible.

I don’t think that the condition of Germany is something to be happy about at all, and it just will mean that we in the Schiller Institute will have to amplify our efforts to bring some reason into the German situation. I call on all of you to join me, join us in this effort, because if Germany goes the wrong way, it will not be good for the rest of Europe, nor the world.

Schlanger: And what Helga is talking about, is joining the Schiller Institute, becoming a member, and visiting our website, where you can sign up.

Helga, one other matter on Germany: It does appear that the people who are involved with Africa in Germany, in the Mittelstand and elsewhere, are beginning to get a sense of the importance of working with China now. We see this with the Afrika-Verein [Afrika-Verein der deutschen Wirtschaft/German Africa Business Association]. Do you think this might constitute a potential counterweight to what we otherwise see as the European Union’s opposition to China’s involvement in Africa?

Zepp-LaRouche: Well, I think it’s very good that the Afrika-Verein spoke out. It had a big article in Handelsblatt the day before this Compact with Africa conference took place, demanding the creation of an investment fund to help German industries to invest. Now the point made by their leaders was that Africa will have more than 2 billion people by the year 2050—many of them will be young people who need jobs. And therefore, it is an urgent necessity that Africa be integrated into the world economy, to avoid the catastrophe of great numbers of new refugees coming into Europe.

I think this really takes some more organizing. We talked to some other people in the know who told us that as of now, the German government is not really going in the right direction.

New Trump-Putin Summit Brings Hope

I would like to bring up one other point, however, which I think is extremely important. Before Xi Jinping and Trump meet on Nov. 30 on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Argentina, there will be an extremely important summit, on Nov. 11—just ten days from now—when Putin and Trump will meet in Paris on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.

Coming back to the war danger that we were talking about before: The First World War, which we have documented at great length, was really the result of a British geopolitical manipulation which lasted for over 20 years, where, after the 1890 ouster of Germany’s first Chancellor, Otto von Bismarck, all kinds of things were manipulated: The Triple Entente, the Entente Cordiale, the Russo-Japanese War in 1905, the Balkan Wars, all to prevent Germany from going into what was an early form of the Eurasian Land-Bridge, namely, the Trans-Siberian Railway and the Berlin to Baghdad Railway. His ouster was orchestrated by British intrigue working through Kaiser William II, to prevent such continental, Eurasian cooperation.

The World War was four years of horrifying slaughter. Soldiers were in the trenches for four years, slaughtering each other without meaning, without sense. The result of it was, that an entire generation of Germans were so traumatized by the war that they were completely uprooted. Under the terrible conditions of the Versailles Treaty, they became the recruits to the Nazi movement, which soon led Germany into World War II.

We had two World Wars. Anyone with even a bit of knowledge of history must make a noble commitment that this must never, ever happen again. I’m very sure that Trump and Putin will use that occasion to make that point emphatically, very strongly. And hopefully, they will introduce some other paradigms, because if we do not get out of this present geopolitical confrontation, humanity is absolutely at risk.

I know people in the United States have very little sense of war. I have been told many times, “Yes, the United States, we did not fight World War I and World War II on our soil as you did in Europe.” As a result of the Vietnam War, and especially the Iraq Wars, the Afghanistan rotations, many soldiers who have been deployed in these wars which were mostly based on lies, returned home totally traumatized after two or three tours of duty. You have 22 suicides a day in the United States; that means, 8,000 people a year committing suicide, and this affects about three million American families.

So, in a sort of terrible irony of history, it is these foreign wars which are resulting in a situation in which people know that Trump is right, when he says let’s not have these interventionist wars anymore.

I think this is a very important occasion, and I’m very hopeful, and almost certain that Trump and Putin will use the occasion of this First World War centennial commemoration to make a dramatic proposal to change policy. And I think this is what everyone should have in mind on November 6.

Join the Schiller Institute!

Schlanger: And just to add to that, Helga, I think the point you’ve made very beautifully, is that the issue is war and peace. And that issue is not going to be decided on Nov. 6, but will be decided by looking into the future, by activating people to fight for their future and the future of their posterity. Again, let me say, join the Schiller Institute, become a part of our fight, and let’s make this world a better place.

Helga, is there anything else you want to add?

Zepp-LaRouche: No. This is an extremely crucial moment in history, so don’t sit on the fence, don’t watch it passively. Become active with us. Become active with us as a Renaissance movement because the world urgently needs a new paradigm. Join our Schiller birthday celebrations wherever you are in the country where we’re having them. Contact us for that also, because the ideas of Friedrich Schiller are extremely important. They express the noblest image of man, and that’s why the Schiller Institute is called the “Schiller Institute,” because we want to have an impact—with the beautiful ideas of Friedrich Schiller—on the world and history.

Schlanger: OK, and we’ll see you next week, Helga.

Zepp-LaRouche: I hope so.