This transcript appears in the May 13, 2022 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
International Youth Dialogue with Helga Zepp-LaRouche
A Global Youth Partnership
for a New Paradigm
This is an edited transcript of Helga Zepp-LaRouche’s keynote presentation in a dialogue among youth from 28 countries, convening by teleconference May 7 on the urgent need to create a youth movement committed to ending the tragedy of geopolitics, replacing it with a New Paradigm. This meeting is a continuation of the process initiated by the Schiller Institute with its April 9 conference, “To Establish a New Security and Development Architecture for all Nations.”
The video of Zepp-LaRouche’s May 7 keynote presentation is available here.
Videos of the April 9 Schiller Institute Conference panels are available here.
Well, hello! I want to greet you, wherever you may be. It’s a real joy to have young people coming together, because the situation in the world is absolutely horrible, and many people are worried, where should this all go? Is there a way out? Is there hope for the future?
An Incredibly Dangerous Moment
I want to say that, indeed, we are in an incredibly dangerous moment. But there’s also hope. But it will not be “historical materialism,” or “dialectical materialism,” or some “objective laws of history” which will make the decision. I think 90% or so of what will happen, will depend on if there are enough courageous people, who put in their individual weight to make a difference. So the purpose of this call is to initiate an international network, a partnership, especially among young people, to fight for peace, to fight against the war, but this can only be done if we establish a better world and a peace order, which makes it possible for every single nation on this planet to not only survive, but to blossom. That is only possible if we overcome the idea of geopolitics.
Now, geopolitics is the idea that you always will have a bloc of nations, or a nation which will define or has to define its interest against another bloc of nations, and that there will always be a deadly controversy, where either one wins, or the other, and the whole thing will be a zero-sum game. And that is exactly what needs to be overcome, and which can be overcome.
What we have to do, we have to establish an international order, where basically the principle on which this order is based, is the idea that every nation has the right and the means to develop all potentials of all of its citizens. We are in a situation where we need a systemic change: A complete change of the system.
The reason why I’m saying this is because the situation is very urgent. More and more analysts and experts agree that the danger of World War III is acute, that the situation is more dangerous than at the height of the Cold War, and for those of you have studied history a little bit, that was the Cuban Missile Crisis, where the Soviets had put nuclear missiles on the island of Cuba. And then, it was really a question of minutes and hours how this would be settled, and we were very close to World War III. But this time, it’s much more dangerous than that: That is the expert opinion of many people.
So we are a hair-trigger away from the annihilation of human civilization. Contrary to other periods when we were in such a danger, like at the beginning of the 1980s, when there was the so-called mid-range missile crisis in Europe, between the SS-20s and the Pershing 20s, and there were hundreds of thousands of people in the streets warning of World War III, today, the so-called peace movement, if it exists, is very small, and for the most part is misled, because they all say it’s the evil deeds of Putin, which are responsible for the situation. I will come to that in a second.
I assume most of you on this call are youth; that means you are probably somewhere between 20 and 35 years old, and under normal conditions, you would have about 50-75 years ahead of you. In any case, with the war danger or without, it’s very urgent that you develop a perspective of what kind of world you want to live in: You should think about that, because otherwise, somebody else will decide that for you.
Or, in this case, more precisely, you have to be sure that there is a world, in which you will be able to live. Because if the present policies are continued, the world could end very abruptly, in a few minutes from now, in a few days, weeks or months, and obviously, the war in Ukraine is the flashpoint. But this whole crisis is not about Ukraine. It’s about what kind of a world order should exist: Should it be a unipolar world, dominated by one or two nations? Should it be a “rules-based order,” where a small club of nations makes the rules? Or should it be multipolar, and should it be based on international law as expressed in the UN Charter?
Well, there are people, like the present Foreign Minister of Germany, Annalena Baerbock, who says we must send more heavy weapons to Ukraine, even if the risk of nuclear war exists. Baerbock says we can’t exclude anything.
The Logic of Nuclear War
Now, let’s look at what the risk actually means. In January of this year, there was a military exercise called “Global Lightning,” based on the idea of a protracted, hybrid war between conventional forces and nuclear forces. Now that’s ridiculous! The idea of having days, and maybe even weeks of war, throwing a couple of nuclear bombs, then going to space war, cyber war, then coming back to conventional war—I mean, this is just completely crazy, and it will not exist.
There is now more and more talk, where people say, lightly, “Oh, the utility of small nuclear weapons is very good, because if one side or the other loses in a conventional war, they will answer with tactical nuclear weapons.”
Well, there are a few real experts on nuclear weapons, like Ted Postol, a former MIT professor, who has the view which is now also expressed in an interesting video, a few days ago, by the former cabinet chief of staff of Colin Powell, Col. Lawrence Wilkerson (ret.), and all of these people express the idea that such a thing as a “limited nuclear war” does not exist, but that once you use one single nuclear weapon, all will go: The entire arsenal of the world will be launched. And you should know, and probably do know, that it’s a lot. The U.S. has 5,428 nuclear missiles; Russia has 5,977; China much less, at 350; France, 290; U.K., 225; Pakistan, 165; India, 160; Israel, 90; North Korea, 20.
If you launch all of that, the following will happen. According to Ted Postol, a wall of fire will be created around every single one of these missile detonations, which will have the temperature of the center of the Sun, which will turn everything into less than ash. It will be five times hotter than the center of the Sun: 100 million degrees Kelvin. The effect of detonation in an explosion in cities, he says, surpasses the power of imagination, anything even he can imagine.
And he elects the words to describe it, to warn of the consequences: One single such nuclear weapon would put into motion an automatic reaction. For example, if one single nuclear weapon hits a city, for example, it will destroy an area of a radius 5-8 km, which is about 200 sq km. Let’s say, if only 20% of the U.S. ICBMs are used to destroy the Russian land-based ICBMs, and then you still have 80% for other targets in Russia, China, Europe—and vice versa, naturally, Russian ICBMs against U.S. and other targets.
People in Africa and Latin America should not think that it will not affect them, because even though the immediate targets may not be in their areas, they would suffer nuclear fallout. According to Postol, because the Russian air defense system is less sophisticated than that of the U.S. and NATO, the Russia military leadership has put in an automated reaction, so that in case the Russian leadership is killed in a surprise first-strike nuclear attack by the West, they put into place something called a “Doomsday Machine,” which is an automatic launching of practically the entire arsenal they have. And that has made the situation even more dangerous.
Even a misreading of the situation or an accident can trigger nuclear war. There are many people, like in the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, who have come out warning against that. If this event would happen, you would have a Nuclear Winter, and the chance that all life on Earth would die, is very likely.
So, we are sitting on a powder keg. One year ago, February 20, 2021, the commander of the U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM), Adm. Charles Richard, instructed the Pentagon to change the likelihood of nuclear war from “not likely” to “very likely.” Daniel Ellsberg, the famous whistleblower, who made the Pentagon Papers public, says it’s not just Ukraine, but this could also be triggered if it comes to a conventional war over Taiwan, in case Taiwan is pushed into thinking that they can declare independence and it would come to a war between the United States and China, which the U.S. would lose (for a variety of reasons), in which case it would then come to the use of nuclear weapons. Ellsberg has asked whistleblowers to step forward and say what is actually the internal debate in the military about the use of nuclear weapons.
Now, please believe me, I do not want to scare you. Some people may argue that younger people are not interested in strategic matters. It’s not exactly how you get people mobilized if you want to give young people a perspective. I would not be honest [if I didn’t tell you], because the scary thing is not only that we are probably at the most dangerous point, which ever existed in human history. The thing which scares me even more is that the vast majority of the world population does either not know about it, or, they don’t care. I think if they really did know, they would care, but the media are not telling them the truth.
I think that that is the starting point: Only if you make it clear to yourself, that nuclear war between the two largest nuclear powers, the United States and Russia, means the annihilation of the human species, and then mobilize that the war must stop, and fight for an alternative which has to start with the idea that the war has to stop; diplomacy and negotiations have to immediately start to find a settlement agreeable to all sides.
The Western Narrative vs. the Truth
The Western narrative right now, is that Putin is the aggressor. They are using words which are unbelievable. They say, “Putin is a war criminal,” etc. In times of war, people say the truth dies first, but the narrative is such that if you even mention, at least in Germany or the United States, that the war did not start on Feb. 24th (which is when Russia moved into Ukraine), you are already called a “Putin agent,” “an instrument of Russian propaganda,” and so forth and so on. But, naturally, there is a pre-history, and I don’t want to go into it at length, but I want to reference it for those of you who want to actually understand what happened.
Just to mention it very briefly: The whole thing started at the time of the German reunification. When the Berlin Wall came down [in 1989], U.S. Secretary of State James Baker III promised General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev that NATO will not move “one inch” to the East. Now, it is being denied that he said this; nowadays they say it was never promised. But there are historical documents, actual documents, and eyewitnesses which absolutely affirm that the situation was such that it was made clear that NATO would not move East.
When the Warsaw Pact dissolved, when the Soviet Union disintegrated, in reality, NATO lost its raison d’être, because Russia was not a threat; already in the time of Gorbachev, in the last years, nobody thought that the Soviet Union would be a threat. But at that time, certain forces, the neocons and the British, decided to use the collapse of the Soviet Union to create a unipolar world, and the entire 1990s was characterized by the idea to reduce Russia into a raw materials producing, third world country: for this, they used the neoliberal policy of “shock therapy” economics which reduced the Russian economy between 1991 and 1994 by 30%. The Russian economist Sergey Glazyev wrote a book about it, which you can read, if you want to study it. It’s called Genocide: Russia and the New World Order. [Glazyev’s book, published by EIR News Service, is available from the EIR publications store ].
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton recently defended that he initiated, or he agreed to, NATO expansion to the East in the 1990s. And then what followed was a whole series of regime changes, color revolutions; Tony Blair, the former Prime Minister of the UK, in 1999 declared the end of the Westphalian order—from the 1648 Peace of Westphalia—the idea that sovereignty is a prime value, and this was replaced by the so-called “right to protect” and humanitarian wars. That led to the war in Afghanistan in 2001 after 9/11; war based on lies in 2003 in Iraq; supposedly Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, which was a blatant lie by Tony Blair; the murder of Libya’s leader Muammar Qaddafi in 2011; the effort to topple President Bashar al-Assad in Syria.
And then, after the color revolution in 2004 in Ukraine, the Maidan coup in Ukraine in 2014, which, without question, was done with the help of Nazi networks, but steered by the West. Victoria Nuland, then Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, was bragging that the State Department spent $5 billion on that effort!
Then you had eight years of fighting by the Ukrainian army against the Russian population in the Donbas, which never made it into the headlines of the West. In any case, the end result was that “not one inch to the East” of NATO became 1,000 km to the East in fact, and Russia felt more and more encircled. Contrary to what is being said now, there were many incursions, where NATO planes were flying to within 15 miles of the Russian border, even rehearsing nuclear war.
Then, on December 15 of last year, Russian President Vladimir Putin asked for security guarantees from NATO and the United States, that Ukraine would not become a NATO member, because if Ukraine is part of NATO, then the warning time from the Ukrainian-Russian border to Moscow is just 3-5 minutes, which makes it practically indefensible. NATO and the United States never gave Putin an answer. Swiss military analyst Jacques Baud, among many others, has pointed out that the war did not start on Feb. 24, but on Feb. 17, because the Ukrainian army had lined up at the borderline with the Donbas, and there was a 30 times increase in the military attacks from the Ukrainians on the Donbas region. That is when Putin decided to launch the war, the so-called “limited military operation.”
Now we should be clear—and this is the position of everybody working with the Schiller Institute—that war cannot be a method of conflict resolution in times of nuclear weapons, so I’m not saying this war should have happened, but you have to understand the reasons why it did happen.
‘The Center of Gravity’ Is To Crush Russia, and then China
A retired German General, named Harald Kujat, who had been the Chairman of the NATO Military Committee in 2002-2005, just gave an interview to a German magazine, in which he said that—
the center of gravity is no longer to protect and assist Ukraine in its defensive struggle against a Russian attack—which is contrary to international law—but to weaken Russia as a strategic rival in the long term.
He said that General Lloyd Austin, the U.S. Secretary of Defense, who was just in Kyiv, said explicitly, that the United States “wants to see Russia weakened to the point it can no longer do the things it did when it invaded Ukraine.” And Kujat says, “This strategic rethinking—if it is such at all—makes a negotiated settlement even more urgent.” And I find this extremely interesting that he says, “if it is such at all,” namely a change in strategy.
Well, it was not. Because in 2019, the U.S. Army sponsored a RAND Corp. study of 345 pages, which has been classified for the whole time, but a résumé was made public in April of this year, which described the project: how to defeat Russia by getting it to overextend itself—the exact script of what happened in the last three years and especially the last three years—how to get Russia to overextend militarily and economically, causing the regime to lose international prestige, to put so much stress on the economic system through sanctions and the scrapping of oil and gas pipelines, to ruin Nord Stream 2—the famous battle around the pipeline going under the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany—to limit the oil and gas revenue coming into Russia by now pushing the Europeans to declare an embargo against Russia; and at that time saying the Ukrainian military is already bleeding Russia in the Donbas region, therefore we must provide more U.S. equipment; we must sever all ties of Russia with Europe.
The famous American strategist George Friedman [founder of Geopolitical Futures and Stratfor] had said in a speech in 2015 in Chicago, that the main strategic aim of the United States is to sever the relationship between Russia and Germany, because Russian raw materials and labor power, and German capital and scientific know-how together is the only thing that can threaten the United States. So to sever that relationship is the strategic aim. And that is what has happened right now.
The idea is to send more lethal aid to Ukraine, increase the sanctions, enhance Russian brain-drain, according to the RAND study, still have regime change in Belarus, a color revolution—you remember this was happening since the August 2020 election—exploit tensions in the South Caucasus and Central Asia—you remember the unrest in January in Kazakhstan, which was squashed because of resolute action by Russia; increase NATO exercises in Europe, all these huge maneuvers which took place these last several years; withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, which happened in 2019. And then, remember, how many politicians have said in the recent time, that the aim is to collapse the Russian economy, crush Putin, crush the Russian system—this was said by the French Finance Minister Le Maire and by White House officials. All that was in the RAND Corp. study, and that is what has been playing out in reality.
Do you think the Russians didn’t know about the RAND study? And that they have not followed all of these developments aimed at them?
Both Russia and China said publicly a long time ago, that they regard sanctions as a form of warfare, and color revolution as a form of war. That is why China, and many countries in the Global South, are not joining the West in the condemnation of Russia. China knows exactly that the main reason why the attack on Russia occurs, is to eliminate a flank before going after China.
An Unprecedented Strategic Realignment Is Underway
Russian economist Glazyev has made an analysis which is very clear. I quote:
To wear down the Russian Armed Forces in a war with the militants of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, well trained and controlled directly by the Pentagon, stitched by the Nazi vertical; officers appointed by the U.S. and British intelligence services; turn the population of Ukraine into zombies infected by Russophobia; in parallel, turn the world community against Russia, bringing accusations of war crimes and genocide against its leadership; on this basis, confiscate Russia’s foreign exchange as assets, and impose total sanctions against it, causing the maximum possible damage. This stage is actually completed.
Glazyev is also very clear that it will not function, because the difference between the two systems, is that the Russian-Chinese system is aimed to improve the common good, and the at present, the Western system is really to protect the privileges of a small elite.
Recently, as you know, approximately $300 billion of Russia’s foreign reserves have been confiscated by various countries, and the EU has now launched the sixth round of sanctions. All these anti-Russian sanctions have not strengthened [audio loss] but to the contrary have undermined the global dominance of the United States and the EU, because the rest of the world began to treat these two with mistrust and apprehension. In taking these measures, they actually accelerated the transition to a new world economic order, and the shift of the center of the world economy to Southeast Asia.
In a recent strategic paper published by the United States, National Defense Strategy 2022, China is named as the main opponent and threat to the United States. What is the situation? Most people know that China, in the last 40 years, has made the greatest economic miracle: They lifted 850 million of their own population out of at least abject poverty; they were able to end, by the end of 2021, extreme poverty completely in China. For the last 9 years, they have developed the New Silk Road—the Belt and Road Initiative—which started to transform many developing countries out of underdevelopment and poverty.
Therefore, in this present situation, you have right now an unprecedented strategic realignment: You have a strategic partnership between Russia and China, which is also now shared by India, which refuses to be pulled into an anti-Russia alliance, and an anti-China alliance called the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or Quad.
South Africa has clearly refused to condemn Russia, and Nigeria likewise. Indonesia is refusing to not invite Putin to the upcoming G20 summit in November in Bali. Brazil, even with its present government under President Jair Bolsonaro, is not attacking Russia, and if Lula da Silva wins the next election, which is very likely, the BRICS [Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa] will come back into function.
The ASEAN countries [Association of Southeast Asian Nations] are not agreeing with the condemnation against Russia. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization [SCO] obviously not; the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU); the RCEP (the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership) which is 2.2 billion people—they all are refusing to be pulled into geopolitical confrontation between the U.S. and NATO on the one side, and Russia and China on the other side.
And all of these countries are sticking to the idea of non-alignment, and that I think is the key to peace right now. The Non-Aligned Movement principles were the principles of the UN Charter, the Bandung Conference, the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, which is sovereignty, non-interference into the internal affairs of the other country; acceptance of the other’s social system. These principles were developed by Mahatma Gandhi, by Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, and by then President of Yugoslavia Josip Broz Tito. Tito and Nehru put out a joint statement on Dec. 22, 1954, saying:
The policy of non-alignment with blocs … does not represent “neutrality” or “neutralism”; neither does it represent passivity as is sometimes alleged. It represents the positive, active and constructive policy that, as its goal, has collective peace as the foundation of collective security.
Today, the divide is not between democracies and autocracies, which is what the Western media are saying, but it is very clearly between the former and present colonialist powers, and the formerly colonized countries, the Global South, which represents more than 80% of the world population, and these 80%-plus have been excluded, completely, from policy decisions. Gabriel Valdes, Chile’s Foreign Minister in the 1960s, said that [then National Security Advisor Henry] Kissinger said to him in June 1969:
Nothing important can come from the South. History has never been produced in the South. The axis of history starts in Moscow, goes to Bonn [the capital of Germany at that time], crosses over to Washington, and then goes to Tokyo. What happens in the South is of no importance.
I know that that is the attitude, and has been the attitude of the absolute majority of the establishment of the United States and Europe. I know that from my own experience of 50 years of political work.
In response to all of what I just touched upon, there is an absolutely massive response to the sanctions against Russia, sanctions which earlier had been put on Venezuela, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria. The response is that all of these countries are getting together to create a new financial system, together with Russia, China, and India at its core.
The American System Solution
My late husband, Lyndon LaRouche, already in July 2000, wrote an extremely important , “On a Basket of Hard Commodities: Trade without Currency,” which I can only advise all of you to read and study. If you study this paper, you will find that there are a lot of conceptual similarities with what is happening today between Russia and China, in particular, because I think his ideas have been spread by us for two decades, and I think that what is happening right now is showing all signs of his ideas.
Lyndon LaRouche warned in 2000 that we were already, then, on the verge of a demographic catastrophe, and that demographic catastrophe we have now! The UN has put out warnings that because of the sanctions, and the COVID-19 pandemic before that, 1.7 billion people are now in danger of starvation. That is why, what is most needed right now is the formation of a global partnership of the countries of the Global South, of Russia, of China, that there must be immediately, the equivalent of a Glass-Steagall banking separation, which in the developing countries takes the form of capital controls; the speculative part of the financial system has to be eliminated.
There has to be a new system, where each country has a national bank, in the tradition of Alexander Hamilton, who happened to be the first U.S. Treasury Secretary of the young American republic; which is absolutely what China is doing—China is much closer to the American System of economy, than people know. And as my late husband said, either this reorganization is done in an orderly, voluntary fashion, or shock waves of financial chaos will force such a reorganization.
Well, his warnings in 2000, obviously were ignored, so it didn’t happen in an orderly way, but now, the sanctions against Russia are catalyzing changes in this direction.
LaRouche, in his papers, refers to what is needed, which is a credit policy which was used in those periods when the economy of Europe and the United States did well, actual growth periods. This was in the period between 1945 and 1965; this was when John F. Kennedy decided the economic policy, or Charles de Gaulle in France, or Konrad Adenauer in Germany; and it is essentially what a famous German economist, Dr. Wilhelm Lautenbach proposed to the [Friedrich] List Society in 1931.
This was a proposal which was exactly along the lines of what Franklin D. Roosevelt did with the New Deal in the United States, namely, that every country has the right to issue credit for the purpose of getting the economy going, as long as these credits are issued according to very clear criteria of physical economy. They have to be aimed to increase the productivity of labor and the industrial capacities, and if this is done, then credit issues are not inflationary, because they create real wealth.
You absolutely have to put in fixed exchange rates, and then issue long-term credits, with maximum, 1-2% interest rates, and the measurement, if the investment is the right one or wrong, is determined by whether such an investment leads to an increase in the potential relative population-density. To use another term: will it lead to an increase of the number of people who can be supported by that economy, or does it lead to a reduction in the population-density?
We are right now in an epochal change, maybe greater than ever existed in history. President Xi Jinping says these are changes that occur only once in a hundred years. This is why we have to have a new international security and development architecture, which includes the interest of every single country on the planet. Not just the Eurasian architecture, because if you leave the United States outside, then the danger that war will be triggered by that is still very high. I know that there are many people who would like to say, “Let’s just do our own thing, and get rid of the United States, and then we’ll all be fine.”
Well, I don’t think that will work. I think we need, in the tradition of the Peace of Westphalia, which ended 150 years of war in Europe, a security architecture, which takes into account, the interest of the developing countries first; there must be an increase of the living standard of every single individual, of Europe, of the United States, of Russia and China. I think that is the make or break issue for humanity to survive. This means we need a new paradigm in thinking, namely the idea that each nation has the right to develop its fullest potential. Each child, each baby born, no matter in what nation in the world, has the right to develop its fullest potential, which means it has to have a universal education.
Now that is what this call is all about. We need youth of the world to take the initiative, to start a discussion about that, because we have never been at a more important moment in history, where the dangers have never been as great, but the potential that we can create a completely new world, has never been so close: To end colonialism; to have an economy based on thermonuclear fusion, which would mean we have energy security for all nations, raw materials security; that we can have international cooperation in space exploitation; that mankind will become adult, and that geopolitical wars will become a question of the past.
We are in that kind of a transition, and that is what we should discuss.