This transcript appears in the March 22, 2019 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
Neo-Cons Move To Box Trump In, Italy Points Toward New Paradigm
This is an abbreviated transcript of the March 15, 2019 Schiller Institute New Paradigm webcast, an interview with the founder of the Schiller Institutes, Helga Zepp-LaRouche. Her full speech at the March 13 Milan conference is available in this, the March 22 issue of EIR.
She was interviewed by Harley Schlanger. A video of the full webcast is available.
Harley Schlanger: Hello! I’m Harley Schlanger from the Schiller Institute. Welcome to our weekly webcast with Helga Zepp-LaRouche, the founder and President of the Schiller Institute. Today is March 15, the Ides of March. Speaking of the Ides of March and Julius Caesar, there’s a lot happening in Italy. The Italians have staked out a very strong position for working with China. Helga, you were in Italy this week for a very significant conference with representation from Italy’s corporate sector, but also the government. I think we should start there, because this has caused a continuing panic among the unilateralist, geopolitical forces of the European Union that are trying to keep China out of Europe. What are the Italians doing? What is going on there?
Italian Conference on Belt & Road
Helga Zepp-LaRouche: The state visit of President Xi Jinping to Italy will occur next week, on March 22nd and 23rd. It had been leaked ahead of time that on the occasion of this state visit, the Italians will sign a Memorandum of Understanding [MOU] with China to cooperate with the Belt and Road Initiative. That caused a complete uproar, including a huge freak-out by the Financial Times, and an intervention by a person called Garrett Marquis, who is close to [U.S. National Security Advisor John] Bolton. Marquis basically said the Italians will receive absolutely no benefit from such an MOU and asserted that it would ruin their image in the world for a very long time to come.
So, it was quite timely that we had an event in Milan, co-sponsored by the Movimento Solidarietà (Movisol)—the Italian sister organization of the LaRouche movement, headed by Liliana Gorini—and the region of Lombardy. The subject was the collaboration of Italy with the Belt and Road Initiative. The event was planned long ahead of time, so it’s pure coincidence that it occurred just before the state visit of Xi Jinping.
The first speaker was Michele Geraci, who is the Undersecretary of State at the Italian Ministry of Economic Development, a person very knowledgeable about China, because he resided in China for ten years, working as a professor, teaching for ten years. He is now the head of the China Taskforce of the Italian government.
His presentation played down the uproar around this Memorandum of Understanding by saying it will not change anything; it will not change Italy’s alliance with NATO, nor with the European Union. It just means that Italy will have more export opportunities in the fastest-growing economic market in the world, China. Italy is just trying to catch up with other European countries like Germany and France, who already have much more trade with China.
He gave a very calm and optimistic picture of how this will benefit the development of the ports—Trieste, Genoa, Palermo—and also infrastructure developments. He said this will not mean giving anything away, like giving infrastructure away, because these are all new investments. The Chinese will build new docks at some of these ports, so they are “greenfield investments” which will increase the productivity of the Italian economy; and there is actually no reason to be worried about it. So, I think Geraci’s presentation was very informative.
I spoke next, saying that this MOU is taking place in a larger context of the Chinese government trying to establish a New Paradigm, which Xi Jinping always calls the “shared community of a joint future of humanity,” or the “community of destiny of one mankind.”
[Editorial note: Helga Zepp LaRouche’s full presentation is in this, the March 22 issue of EIR.]
[The concert of negative responses to the BRI] is a geopolitical reflex reacting to the fact that the world is clearly very quickly changing and that the power center has already shifted to Asia, with China taking a leading role in this development.
China has many times made the argument—and I fully agree with it—that the Belt and Road Initiative and cooperation with it is actually the way to unite Europe; provided that France and Germany recognize that it also means tremendous business opportunities for them to join. If all the big European countries act on a common realization that it is in their best interest to cooperate not only in multi-lateral trade and investment agreements on the Eurasian continent, but especially to develop Africa together as the only human way to deal with the refugee crisis, very good developments will follow.
The European Union (EU) will have a summit on this subject on March 21. It has already put out a 10-point action plan; it’s clearly an effort to counter China’s influence. Next will be an EU-China summit at the beginning of April. It’s very clear that the EU Commission is very much on a different course than Italy.
But let’s see. I think Xi Jinping’s visit will be successful and will open new doors to demonstrate how it is in everyone’s interest to work together on this massive coordinated set of development projects, the BRI.
The Failure of the Western Liberal Model
Schlanger: Before we move on from this, I have a question that is brought up all the time, to which you were just alluding. Given the obvious benefits of trading with China, and the fact that there are German cities, localities—Hamburg, Duisburg—that are engaging with China; that there are already various French agreements; that there is motion in Scandinavia and Greece and now Italy; and given that the European economies have otherwise stalled and are a downward track, why is the EU so set on not having such agreements?
Zepp-LaRouche: Well, it’s funny. It’s the same neo-liberal ideology, the same circles that were pushing very hard in 2001 for China to join the World Trade Organization (WTO). Then, there was obviously the hope and the conviction that if China were to join the WTO, then, sooner or later, China would adopt the so-called “western” model of liberal democracy. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Francis Fukuyama wrote that the western model of democracy would take over everywhere in the world and that’s what he called the end of history.
China did not follow that path, did not go with Fukuyama’s western liberal model. China instead adopted economic policies very much on the basis of what I would describe as the American System of economy of Alexander Hamilton, and of Friedrich List—who is actually the most famous foreign economist in China. With Deng Xiaoping, China totally changed direction, reversing the policies of its era known as the Cultural Revolution.
Success of China’s Economic Model
In the forty years of “opening up” since then, China went in the direction of a very strong model of economic growth and industrial development, alleviating abject poverty almost entirely; it will have completed that task by next year. It has lifted 800 million people out of poverty and has made the biggest economic miracle one can imagine. If you go to China these days, it is absolutely breathtaking. China today has the most modern railway systems; it is leading in fusion research; it is probably the leading space power now.
China has an extremely successful economic model, but it did not go for western liberal democracy. China stuck to its Confucian tradition. To a large extent, China has a planned economy, with an increasing percentage of free market components. But China did not go for the liberal democracy model because of the belief that the system of meritocracy is far superior. I must say, if you look at the results, there is no question that it has been successful.
The western liberal model, especially as it developed after the Maastricht Agreement in 1992, developed as a policy in favor of banks and speculation. The gap between rich and poor widened, with complete disregard for the common good. In the cultural field, China is trying to put emphasis on the aesthetical education of its population. That intention has been urged by Xi Jinping many times, because the products of aesthetical education are beautiful minds and beautiful souls. I wish that we had western leaders who would say things like that.
The West, on the other side, has had the policy of “everything is allowed; everything goes.” We have drug epidemics, the demoralization of the youth, and a horrible degenerate and degenerating youth culture. The Federation of German Industries (BDI) says there is a systemic competition between the two systems. In a certain sense, that’s true. But the West will lose that competition if we don’t change the cultural direction in which we are going.
To Reform Means to Admit Failure
So, I think that the opposition of policy circles, like those leading the European Union, is because they don’t want to reflect on the fact that it is their own policies that have caused the Brexit, the election loss of Hillary Clinton, the emergence of the new Italian government, and the rise of so-called “populism” in many parts of Europe and the western world. They are not willing to reflect on the fact that it was their own neo-liberal policy that has caused the discontent of the governed. And that is why they feel threatened.
It’s not that China is threatening them. Chinese policy has never been one of proselytizing. If you look at the entirety of Chinese history, they have never proselytized their system; unlike the Christians or unlike those people who are preaching that western democracy must take over the planet.
China has always said that it is perfectly happy to see other cultures blossom and bloom. The real competition, or better said, the real fear comes from the fact that that the modern western model does not want to reform itself; it does not want to look at its own faults. Therefore, you have this really unprecedented hysteria.
Schlanger: What you just said Helga, is fascinating when you look at the other side of this. On the other side of the Atlantic, President Trump is engaging in trade talks with China; progress is being made. Trump said again he thinks it’s slow progress, but it’s important. They’re now hinting at a Trump-Xi summit possibly in April.
At the same time, you have the same kind of line that you get from the European Union also coming out from some officials in the Trump administration. When Secretary of State Mike Pompeo released the State Department’s annual “Country Report on Human Rights in China,” he made a big point of saying that the western system is superior, that the western free trade model allows freedom, whereas China is authoritarian. These same policy lines are being spouted by Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe who said that “if [Germany uses Huawei’s 5G communications equipment] inside of their defense communications, then [NATO] will not communicate with them.” This is really a fight between the EU and some of the governments in Europe; but it’s also a battle within the American government.
Neo-Cons Attempt to Rope Trump In
Zepp-LaRouche: I think that there are many signs right now. With 2020 coming closer, there is a clear effort by the neo-con elements in the Trump administration to rope Trump into their policies. I think that Trump right now, deep in his heart, still wants to do what he promised, to improve relations with Russia, and to resolve the trade war with China. And I think in the Chinese case, it hopefully will work.
Even so, I think many things in his environment are tugging at him. Look at what happened at the Hanoi summit between Trump and Kim Jong-un. The North Korean government just issued a statement that it may discontinue the process of denuclearization talks with the United States, because at that summit Pompeo and Bolton created an atmosphere of such mistrust that it was impossible to continue, also noting that Kim Jong-un would soon come out with a statement.
I don’t know if that will impact the trade negotiations with China, but I think there are clearly some among the neo-cons who would rather not have the North Korea process succeed.
In December, Trump promised to decrease the military budget; but the military budget increased. It’s now $720 billion; it includes $500 million to counter the alleged malicious intentions of Russia in Europe; it includes $33 million to counter the supposed military expansion of Russia and China, to which charge both the Russian and Chinese governments have reacted very critically, saying this is all in the direction of confrontation.
Then you have the continuous efforts by such people as Bolton, [Vice President Mike] Pence, going for regime change in Venezuela. Trump had said he wanted to end the policy of previous administrations—the policy of permanent warfare. But here, the neo-cons have created a situation in which the United States clearly is involved in what certainly looks like regime change in Venezuela. This may not function, because the effort to give legitimacy to Juan Guaidó by trotting him around in different Latin American countries did not work. The Venezuelan government is now asking the United Nations to investigate if the collapse of the electricity grid was sabotage, and China has offered to help rebuild the grid.
Venezuela’s situation could be stabilized if China were to do so. This must be addressed, and urgently, because the lack of electricity has caused a severe humanitarian crisis. Three million Venezuelans have fled to neighboring countries. In the city of Lima, Peru, alone, there are one million refugees in the streets.
So, I think there is an effort by the neo-cons to rein Trump in. I think the same effort can be seen in the aggressive judicial moves against Paul Manafort and Roger Stone. I think there is a big upheaval in the legal community about this. Manafort now faces double jeopardy in the combination of federal and state charges being thrown against him.
This is all designed to create an atmosphere of terror; to rein Trump in. I don’t know if it will succeed; I don’t think so. He has successfully broken out in the past several times, but he does need an intervention by the population, especially from Trump supporters, who now, more than ever, have to understand the larger strategic picture. The stakes are very high for the human race.
Presidential Committee on Climate Security
Schlanger: One other area where Trump is not giving in, is on so-called man-made climate change. It has been reported that he will have a Presidential Committee on Climate Security, headed up by Dr. William Happer, a professor of physics at Princeton University. The existence of this committee, even before officially announced, is causing a total uproar among the people who are pushing the fraudulent Green New Deal. Your thoughts, Helga?
Zepp-LaRouche: Well, I think this is very important, because President Trump wants an objective re-evaluation of the scientific basis of climate change; that the alleged anthropomorphic basis of changes in climate be reviewed in the context of the cyclical developments in the Milky Way galaxy and developments on the Sun.
Climate Activists’ Child Abuse
An actually scientific evaluation of climate is obviously extremely important, because President Trump’s proposed committee is being planned at the very moment that there is an unprecedented international campaign driving children into a frenzied fear. Greta Thunberg, the sixteen-year-old Swedish “climate activist” is being proposed for a Nobel Prize. She is being trotted around from UN conferences in Poland, to Davos, to rallies.
We have talked to some of the school children, and they don’t know the science of climate change; they are being inundated with horror scenarios. Many of them ask us, “Why should I go to school and learn anything if the world is going to end in twelve years anyway?” One child even said that she wanted to commit suicide in a certain number of years because in twelve years the world will end.
This is malicious abuse of children! Many of these children do not have the cognitive ability of children in previous generations.
A study was just published in Germany, which we can discuss in one of our next programs, on the impact of continuous, many-hours-per-day use of digital devices—smart phones, laptops, iPads—on the neurological functions of the brain. It deeply hampers people’s ability to make judgements; they don’t have any historical sense, they don’t have any sense of orientation.
Inducing the fear that the world will soon come to an end, I think, is one of the bigger crimes of the present time. I can only hope that there will be such a Presidential committee to look at climate change in an objective way. I know there are many scientists around the world who do not agree with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). I can only hope that this will lead to a scientific approach to the real causes of climate change, putting this issue on a sound scientific basis.
The Importance of LaRouche’s Exoneration
Schlanger: To conclude today’s program, we should take up freeing the people of the United States, and other countries, from the fear of discussing these kinds of issues.
Last week we talked about the importance of the fight for the exoneration of Lyndon LaRouche as a way of bringing into the open the kinds of devious tactics and malicious intentions of the people who ran the campaign against him, who are the very same networks running the campaign against Trump.
Given the continuing atmosphere of rumors in the wake of the expected release of the Mueller report, the continuing attacks on President Trump from the House committees, the debate on whether he should or should not be impeached, the one thing that effectively cuts through this morass, or better said, can actually raise people above it, is to look at the campaign that was run against your husband. People can go to our website and look at this; sign the petition to exonerate Lyndon LaRouche. We need to get momentum behind this. Helga, I thought you might want to say something on this at the end of this program today.
Zepp-LaRouche: It looks different depending on whether you look at it from inside the United States or from abroad. In the United States, there is a complete division between the Trump haters and the Trump supporters. I think Americans should understand the apparatus going after Trump.
It’s telling that Bush’s Vice President, Dick Cheney, just met with a bunch of Republicans, including Pence, behind closed doors in Georgia. What leaked out from that meeting was that Cheney went after Trump for his policy of withdrawing troops from Syria, supposedly because of Trump’s criticism of NATO, and that Trump won’t listen to the intelligence community.
Actually, you could say that this meeting was part of an effort by the war party to figure out what to do to “correct” the policies of Trump.
If you look at the forces involved here, it’s very clear that they are the same forces that went after my husband and his colleagues in the 1980s: this apparatus of William Weld—who wants to run against Trump—of Robert Mueller, and this entire so-called Deep State, which is actually much more interwoven with the British Empire. This apparatus right now is the war party. These are the circles that are driving the confrontation with Russia and China. Should they succeed, I think you can kiss world peace good-bye, because we are still in an incredibly dangerous period of confrontation.
An Injustice Against the American People
So, the effort to destroy Lyndon LaRouche and his movement was the biggest injustice in the history of the United States. Look at the beautiful ideas generated by my husband and go on our website. You will see some of the obituaries and commemorations from people around the world who appreciate the true worth of his ideas and his life’s work, and you can contrast that with the outbursts of hatred against these ideas—it shows you how absolutely important it is to exonerate my husband.
I think the best thing you can do to move the United States away from confrontation with Russia and China, to indeed make America great again—which would allow Trump to follow his best impulses to fix the American economy, but especially to adopt the kinds of policies that would really remedy the international financial crisis and go in the direction of a New Paradigm,— Perhaps the only way to move the United States, is to contribute to the campaign to exonerate my husband. I’m appealing to you to do exactly that.
Schlanger: You can get a copy of the exoneration petition on the Schiller Institute website. Read it; think about it and talk to others. This is the fight to save the nation.
Helga, thanks for joining us, and welcome back from your trip to Italy. We’ll see what happens; it’s going to be another interesting week ahead of us.
Zepp-LaRouche: For sure. Till next week.