This transcript appears in the January 10, 2020 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
SCHILLER INSTITUTE WEBCAST
2020: Will We Head Toward War,
Or Put the World in Order?
This is the edited transcript of the Schiller Institute’s December 31, 2019 interview with Helga Zepp-LaRouche, by Harley Schlanger. A video of the webcast is available.
Harley Schlanger: Hello, I’m Harley Schlanger from the Schiller Institute. Welcome to our webcast with our founder and President, Helga Zepp-LaRouche. Today is Dec. 31, 2019, the last day of the decade, and what would hopefully be the beginning of a new year with a bright future for mankind. But that’s still questionable. As we’ll be discussing today, there’s a great opportunity, but the dangers will continue with the geopolitical doctrines out there.
Let’s start with the situation with Russia, Helga, because there were what you described as “baby steps” taken with the most recent Trump-Putin discussion. Where do you see this going?
Helga Zepp-LaRouche: I think that people at the beginning of the year, always engage in deeper thoughts than usual: Where should this year go? What should be accomplished? What are the dangers? President Xi Jinping, in his New Year’s speech said that the coming year will be a milestone year.
I would even take it a step further: I say that everything will depend on what happens with the Presidential impeachment process in the United States, which concerns relations between the United States and Russia and China. Will a financial crash happen? Can we make a reform in time? By the end of this year, a lot of strategic decisions will have been made that will determine if the world is on the way to a big confrontation and possible war, or if we can use this coming year to put the world into order and establish a completely new set of international relations.
It is very clear that the three presidents, Trump, Putin and Xi, are working in their own way to establish good relations among their respective countries, and I think this is actually the most important strategic question, because once you have an accord among these three countries, I think every other problem in the world can be tackled—not solved immediately, and not overcoming all difficulties, but at least the preconditions to solve the strategic questions.
Since you mentioned the first “baby step,” or one of the baby steps, I think it’s quite important that Trump and Putin had another very useful telephone call. Putin thanked Trump for having provided information that helped to prevent a terrorist attack over the New Year period in St. Petersburg; two Russian nationals were arrested as a result of that intelligence, and the head of the FSB, the Russian secret service, reported that there has been in the recent period an intensification of collaboration among these security forces. So this is very, very positive.
Also, reflecting a direct intervention by Putin with tacit approval of Trump, the situation in Ukraine is easing up a little bit: There was a prisoner exchange between the Kiev government and the Donbas region. Russia and Ukraine signed a five-year transit agreement guaranteeing the delivery of Russian natural gas through Ukraine to Europe. These are all baby steps, but all heading in the right direction.
But I think the really big event, which is coming up in April and May, will be the 75th anniversary of the defeat of Nazism, consisting of a May 9 celebration in Moscow, to which Putin has on more than one occasion invited President Trump, and Trump has, more than once, expressed great interest in participating, even if details have not been decided.
There is also on April 25, the 75th Anniversary of the meeting up of U.S. and Soviet soldiers at the Elbe River, which has a very big emotional importance for the Russians, because this was the first time at the end of World War II, when the U.S. and the Soviet soldiers met. It was a very difficult moment, but a moment that has come to be known as the Meeting on the Elbe, that turned into great joy, and it had an enormous significance: Simple soldiers embraced each other and made a solemn commitment that they would put all their efforts into ensuring that something so horrible as Nazism and the Second World War would never, ever happen again.
And they invoked the “Spirit of the Elbe,” to say that this is something where all nations of the world—not just the United States and Russia—but all nations of the world, should really think that from now on, all conflicts must be solved peacefully.
There will be a big celebration April 24-25 in the German town of Torgau on the Elbe River. Putin has invited Trump to attend. Given the fact that this is really a way of improving the relationship between Russia and the United States, on the highest level, namely, with a solemn commitment to never have war again, we really want to support the idea for Trump to attend both of these events—and all other leaders and people of good will. Because 75 years after World War II, it is time to return to this idea of “Never Again!” to never again have Nazism, to never again have conflict resolution through war.
Trump is committed to ending the endless wars, and, obviously, not having a big war with Russia. He has said that the disarmament discussion around nuclear weapons is the most important strategic priority. For their part, Russia recently has proposed to even include in new START discussions its new, hypersonic missile, the Avangard, which it has now made operational. The development of these hypersonic missiles has really upset efforts to establish a global missile defense system which includes the illusion of fighting and winning a limited nuclear war. The Avangard missile, because it does not follow a ballistic trajectory, does not tip off a missile defense system. The fact that the Russians are now offering to include Avangard in the New START Treaty negotiations, I think is an absolutely important signal and a signal for hope.
The U.S.-Russia relationship is coming to center stage this April-May. I appeal to all people of good will to agree and stop this Russophobia, stop this demonization of Russia, and understand that the improvement in the relationship between these two largest nuclear powers is the absolute first precondition to maintaining world peace.
Trump and Xi Take Steps to Improve
Schlanger: The other key relationship you talked about is that between President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping of China. It appears as though there will be a meeting in January to finalize Phase One of the trade deal. There are a lot of important things coming out of China—I know that one of the things President Xi spoke about in his New Year’s address was the importance of having lifted 10 million more people out of poverty during 2019. Helga, how important is it that this trade deal go ahead? It’s clear that this is really a sticking point with the geopoliticians that are doing everything they can to stop the Trump-Xi relationship, just as they have tried to stop the Trump-Putin relationship.
Zepp-LaRouche: That is the big problem for the geopoliticians, because the rise of China is regarded by them as a threat to their geopolitical control of the world, while in his New Year address, Xi Jinping again offered that the Belt and Road Initiative is open to all countries—including the United States.
I really urge people to read Xi Jinping’s address, because it’s a very impressive review of the accomplishments of China in the year 2019. I cannot even go through all the aspects: the beefing up of the various economic development zones, including the Beijing-Hebei-Tianjin triangle, which is a complete overhauling and modernization of the Beijing area; and the area of Guangdong-Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Zuhai-Macao-Hong Kong—the region that, despite the troubles in Hong Kong, is actually the motor of the world economy. Within this area the most advanced technologies anywhere in the world are being developed; it is the powerhouse of the Belt and Road Initiative. And various other development zones.
Xi pledged that in 2020, China will fulfill its promise to alleviate extreme poverty in all rural areas and thus eliminate the last pockets of extreme poverty in China. Given that there are, I think, only seven million very poor people left in China, this is an incredible prospect, and there’s no reason not to believe it will happen, because China has already lifted 850 million people out of abject poverty in recent decades.
This was a very important speech, and people who have been bombarded by all of the anti-China propaganda, as well as the anti-Russia propaganda, should read that speech of Xi Jinping, and just think about it. Think what it means not only for China, but for the world as a whole, that China is undertaking such a constructive role.
Now, obviously, this is a thorn in the side of the British Empire, which has shown its face in Hong Kong in a most clear way. British colonial powers still think that Hong Kong should belong to them. There was an article, “Donald Trump, Accidental China Hawk,” dated December 26, 2019, in the London Economist, which I encourage people to read, because sometimes you have to read crucial pieces to understand. The article is sort of a war game-plan for what the British want to do in respect to Trump and China in the coming year.
They write: Well, on the one side, nobody can really say that Trump is not a hawk, because, after all, in the 2016 campaign, he was very anti-China, he imposed tariffs, he imposed sanctions in the context of Huawei. But, really, he does not blame China for the trade deficit; he actually says that the Chinese leaders were smart to use loopholes, and so forth, and this creates a gap between him and his own officials, who obviously do have a much more hawkish attitude against China than Trump.
And then they say, gleefully, well, you know, events in the coming year will drive Trump into a cold war confrontation with China, because when the Hong Kong riots continue, eventually the mainland troops will have to “crack skulls” (and they use this martial language). Then the Republicans in the U.S. Congress will side with the Democrats to impose sanctions on Chinese officials and take away the special status of Hong Kong in terms of trade relations; then the human rights campaign against Xinjiang will escalate; then you will have a Tibet succession fight because the Dalai Lama is already 85 and his life is coming to a close; the crisis with Taiwan will escalate, and also the one in the South China Sea.
And they say, when the financial crisis gets worse, all of these conflicts will actually escalate, and that will force Trump to really go into a confrontation with China.
So that is their game plan. In 2007-2008, during the big financial crisis, there were several articles in the British press, and I’m planning to review them, in which they said, OK, it’s impossible to have regime change against the communist government in Beijing now, but, if there is a global financial crisis again, then all these separatist tendencies, in Xinjiang, Tibet, Hong Kong, Taiwan, all of that can be escalated, and then the mainland government will lose control and we can replace them.
So that is their intention. I think this is an evil, geopolitical design. I don’t think it will function, but one is better off to recognize what is the intention of these forces—and the Economist is a pretty authoritative publication for the City of London, with or without Boris Johnson. I don’t think the Brexit, which is now expected to happen at the end of January, will change that attitude much.
I don’t think it’s a realistic thing, because if you look at China, they’re doing an incredible job. China’s growth rate is, despite all the efforts thrown against them, is still in excellent shape, and one can only wish that the end result of this would be that Trump overcomes his opposition inside the United States and takes up Xi’s offer to cooperate with the Belt and Road Initiative, because that would be the one thing which really would solve most problems in the world.
Schlanger: Your review of the U.S.-Russia relationship and the U.S.-China relationship is a perfect backdrop to understand the impeachment fight in the United States, that this, as we’ve always said, has nothing to do with the so-called issues raised in the Mueller report, the Russiagate story, or the Ukrainegate story, but has to do with these broader geopolitical issues.
And now, we see the absurdity of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, arguing that they had to rush the impeachment through the House, because every day Trump stays in office is a grave threat to national security; and then, once the Democrats got the two Articles of Impeachment, Pelosi withholds them from the Senate for trial!
Helga, what’s your sense of where we’re headed with this impeachment fight as we go into January, with the possibility that there will be a trial in the Senate, sometime during this next month?
Zepp-LaRouche: I wish I could give a definite answer on that. Normally one would say that Nancy Pelosi has no case; she has no proof that Trump pressured the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. She knows that she has no proof, and that’s probably the reason she doesn’t bring the case immediately to the Senate.
However, knowing how these things work, one can only assume that they want to use this time to line up some dirty tricks. So far, two such operations have surfaced: One is an operation by William Kristol, who has formed a PAC to be used to put out advertisements in the so-called “weak” Republican districts, where it’s known that the Republican Senators there are not that pro-Trump. The idea is to use ads to persuade them to abandon their support for Trump. Then you have, naturally, the terrible William Weld, who is a counter-Presidential candidate in the Republican Party, who has also said he’s working on turning Republican senators.
But it’s not clear. I don’t think this will work, because these Republican senators are aware that if they turn out to be traitors against Trump, where the public sentiment is still very high in large support for Trump, that they could risk their own political careers if they’re not successful. So it’s an iffy game.
Pelosi is risking the ruin of the Democratic Party. It’s very clear that these people are absolutely no friends of the U.S. Constitution. This was pointed out by the constitutional lawyer Alan Dershowitz, who said that Pelosi’s maneuvering to only go to the Senate vote when she thinks she has a majority, is already unconstitutional.
But this is a coup, and the coup is ongoing, so I can only say, be on the alert. Our colleagues in the United States are trying very hard to get the various weak points in the faked-up narrative to pop. For example, by circulating the revelations by former NSA Technical Director Bill Binney, the truth that there was no Russian hack of the DNC computers, is still at the absolute core of the whole Russiagate story.
Then you have the investigations being conducted by Attorney General William Barr and U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut, John Durham, on top of the Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s Report, which established the crimes of the FBI. Now, the Durham investigation, which is a criminal investigation, is much more broad-ranging. It goes through the origins of Russiagate, who started it. It goes into the cooperation of the U.S. intelligence heads with British intelligence. However, this is going to take some time to run its course.
So we are really in a race against time, and it’s very difficult to say how this will end up. If Trump beats the impeachment rap, and if the Durham investigations all proceed, a lot of people could go to jail. But on the other hand, I warn you not to be complacent. Some Trump supporters are too complacent, thinking that Trump has so much support that everything is OK. But this is an ongoing coup! So, we need to get out these revelations of Binney, of people like former CIA analyst Larry C. Johnson, who pointed very much to the origin of the affair beginning with a set-up involving a certain Professor Joseph Mifsud who was working for British intelligence. All the leads have to be followed up. I appeal to you: Be not complacent, become active with us.
Three Options in the Financial Crisis
Schlanger: This brings us to the other leading issue that will have to be resolved in the coming months, what you have referred to as the Sword of Damocles hanging over all of us, which is the financial crisis, the continuing repo operations, the flooding of money, the helicopter money, and the fact that there’s no solution within the existing establishment position. Where do we stand now with the financial crisis?
Zepp-LaRouche: The Fed put into the system over the Christmas/New Year period more than $500 billion, announcing that it will inject as much money “as needed.” Obviously, Trump has an interest that nothing should happen during the election campaign. Meanwhile, European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde has announced that she will continue what her predecessor Mario Draghi had done, that is, to do whatever it takes to save the euro, which means, more quantitative easing, more buying of state bonds, more injection of liquidity.
Such actions mean that the world system is already at the absolute end, because if zero interest rates are continued, even negative interest rates, this occurs at the absolute expense of investment into the real economy; it eats up the savings of ordinary people because the inflation rate is higher than the negative or zero interest rates.
And, it basically brings the options for 2020 concerning the financial system, down to three:
One, a crash. That can happen because the whole financial system is a minefield, and while the central banks are intending to flood as much money as needed, it could actually happen that somewhere there’s a mistake, and a chain reaction indeed could happen, given the fact that the complexities of the system are such that no central banker, much less any other banker, has an overview any more. The trading in currencies, done in nanoseconds, and all of these things, means the whole system is a huge casino, run through supercomputers—it’s a completely out of control system.
Option Two: If the central banks continue this absolutely massive liquidity pumping in order to avoid a crash, sooner or later, inflation will come to the fore. They always say, this is not the case, because the money creation is just within the financial system and does not enter the realm of real physical goods, but that is not true, because we already have bubbles: the real estate bubble; the stock market bubble—don’t think that the value of the stocks reflects the actual worth of the firms involved. And eventually, if they keep pumping in money like that, it will end up in hyperinflation, and as we know from the German experience in 1923, that would bring about the complete destruction of the life savings of normal depositors, normal people.
On top of run-away inflation, is the insanity of universal fascist Mark Carney, the outgoing Bank of England Governor and now UN special envoy for climate action and finance, who wants to have a regime change: Take away any power of the sovereign governments and replace it with the central banks running the whole affair directly, and mandating all investments to flow away from carbon-based industries and into so-called green scams.
He just gave a horrible interview on December 30 to BBC Radio, which was guest edited by Greta Thunberg, in which he said that he wants to have pension funds and others divest from coal- and gas-related industries, going instead into Green finance, going into a “circular economy,” and all of that means the social explosion which you already see around the globe, will increase. Because if you will force people, through increase of prices, to change their behavior towards “Green” behavior, you help fuel the already-existing mass-strike process going on around the globe.
The only third option for 2020, is a global Glass-Steagall separation of the banks and ending the casino economy. I call on you, our viewers internationally, to contact us, because we plan to mobilize for this global Glass-Steagall, together with the other Four Laws of Lyndon LaRouche: National banking, a New Bretton Woods system, and crash programs for advanced technologies, like fusion power and cooperation in space exploration. Only if we change the economy, according to the principles of physical economy, in time, can the first two options I mentioned—either a crash with chaos, or hyperinflation—be avoided. So Glass-Steagall must be brought back onto the agenda.
Schlanger: What is clear from your review, as well as the options for the months ahead, is the absolute prescience of your husband Lyndon LaRouche, who died this past February. I think it’s critical that 2020 be the year of LaRouche’s ideas if mankind is going to emerge from this crisis. As the person who was closest to Lyndon LaRouche, your thoughts on this would be most welcome right now, Helga.
There Are No Limits to Growth
Zepp-LaRouche: Well, you have right now an unbelievable assault on the population: This Green ideology, which is really a brown ideology in new clothes, tries to convince people that growth is evil and destroys nature and the climate, and whatnot. The way it is discussed is as old as Malthus. We’ve fought this from the very beginning, when the Club of Rome escalated the old British conservation movement, which was really a continuation of the Nazi idea of treating people like animals. So when the Club of Rome published its report in 1972, The Limits to Growth, my husband repudiated that immediately with a very powerful book, There Are No Limits to Growth.
I challenge everyone to read that book, because it took apart the fraudulent basis of the Club of Rome’s thesis, which was that the world was developing, but as of 1972 we have to somehow adjust, because we are in a closed system, and from now on we have to have austerity, zero growth, because the resources are limited.
In his book, my husband showed the absolute absurdity of the Club of Rome’s ideas, because “resources” are not a fixed thing: What defines something as a resource is always determined by the scientific and technological level with which man is able to use something. The same stone with which you might kill your neighbor in the Stone Age may be discovered to be a rare earth element in today’s world, needed to make mobile phones or other things. It all depends on the level of technology and the intentions humans bring to that something.
Space research and exploration makes especially clear that the Earth is not the sole and final source for mankind’s resources. We are in a process of being able to acquire resources from beyond Earth, from our Solar System, our galaxy, and who knows what beyond that in the future.
In There Are No Limits to Growth my husband put this matter on a scientific basis. One of the fallacies of composition which the anti-growth believers are committing is to equate mindless quantitative growth with the qualitative growth made possible as human creativity discovers deeper and more powerful principles of the physical universe, and applies them in the form of science and technology.
Climate Frenzy, or Climate Science?
Right now, I can only say there is an unbelievable brainwashing, where people are really driven into a frenzy about the climate. There is no question that the climate changes, but what is not discussed out and proven among scientists, are the causes for its changing. There are many factors: For example, the position of our Solar System in relation to the ecliptic of the galaxy, processes on the Sun, many factors. Anthropogenic causes of climate change are very, very small, and that needs to be publicly debated.
Changes in climate, and their causes and effects, will be a big issue in the coming year and years to come. Many people in the United States, in Europe, in Africa, in other parts of the developing world, remember and recognize that my husband was the intellectual counterpole to the City of London, to Wall Street pushing these oligarchical schemes; and they are coming forward. There is a renewed interest in the scientific work of my husband.
Make 2020 the Year of Lyndon LaRouche’s Ideas
We are in the process of preparing the publication of LaRouche’s works. I invite all of you to help to spread these ideas. You can watch the full proceedings of three very successful memorials for my husband: One on June 8, in New York City; one on November 16-17 in Frankfurt, Germany; and one (via video conference) on April 11, in Latin America. I urge everyone to look at these—they are on our websites—and get a sense of who Lyndon LaRouche really is and why the ideas he presented absolutely must be realized in the coming year.
Schlanger: Well, Helga, I think what’s clear is that we have to make sure that your optimism becomes the strategic outlook of all of our viewers and listeners. And on behalf of all of them, I want to wish you a Happy New Year, and let’s make sure that this coming year, 2020, is the Year of LaRouche!
So Helga, thank you, and I’ll see you next week.
Zepp-LaRouche: Yes, till next week!