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This transcript appears in the May 27, 2022 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

[Print version of this transcript]


This Is ‘The Most Dangerous Moment’ in Human History

This is the edited transcript of the Schiller Institute’s May 19, 2022 dialogue with Helga Zepp-LaRouche. A video of the webcast is available here.

Harley Schlanger: Hello I’m Harley Schlanger. Welcome to our weekly strategic dialogue with Helga Zepp-LaRouche, Founder of the Schiller Institute. Today is Thursday, May 19, 2022.

Helga, it seems as though each day, there’s another major provocation launched against Russia, as the Biden administration, members of both parties in Congress, the governments of the NATO countries in Europe, they’re all moving closer to crossing another red line, identified by President Putin and his security team. This week began with the governments of Finland and Sweden announcing their intention to join NATO. How is Russia responding to this? Are these governments not aware that they are moving directly against the red lines outlined by President Putin?

Helga Zepp-LaRouche: I think they don’t care. There is no threat to Sweden and Finland. Anybody who thinks that the Russians are about to tumble into these countries, is completely off the wall. And this is the sixth NATO expansion to the East. We should remember that on Dec. 15, Putin had demanded binding legal security guarantees, from the United States and NATO, that NATO would not continuously move eastward, that Ukraine would not become a NATO member, and that no offensive weapons systems would be put at the border of Russia. It was the former head of the Italian air force, Gen. Leonardo Tricarico (ret.), who just said that this thing, that the NATO application of Finland and Sweden is like again poking a finger in Putin’s eye.

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The governments of Finland and Sweden announced their intention to join NATO. How will Russia respond? Are these governments not aware that they are moving directly against the red lines outlined by President Putin?

The various Russian spokesmen have already said that they would take compensatory measures. They probably will put some weapons systems close to the Finnish and Swedish border, or the equivalent of that. It is one more escalation. And the reactions by the Russians are becoming more hardline, recognizing what the situation has become. For example, the head of the Russian Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev, said the reason why Russia had to do what they call a special military operation in Ukraine, is because these continuous moves by NATO toward the East, toward encirclement of Russia, were putting the existence of the Russian state at risk. And this is a formulation which should alarm anybody in the West, because, as Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said last month, that is the condition in which Russia’s security doctrine allows, according to its own rules, the use of nuclear weapons.

Now, I don’t think Russia is going to use nuclear weapons. But, there has been one provocation after another. We should not be surprised if this thing goes totally wrong at a moment very soon. This could certainly happen if we do not mobilize a resistance against it. The Russians have made very clear that they know that the aim is to eradicate the Russian system, to have regime change, to put in a regime which is basically controlled by the West; and that, naturally, is not acceptable to the Russian leadership. So, this is an absolutely terrible provocation, and people should really be alarmed, because this is the road to disaster.

Schlanger: You mentioned Patrushev; there were also statements by Ryabkov, and some very sharp responses from Putin on the fact that the Russians will survive economically and advance. But apparently, there’s no one listening in the Biden administration.

Zepp-LaRouche: No. I think they’re just moving ahead, and unfortunately; they have gotten the German government completely in their pocket. Chancellor Scholz repeats almost mindlessly this idea that Russia will not be allowed to win this war in Ukraine.

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CC/All-Ukrainian Union/Pryshutova Viktoria
We are experiencing the rapid transformation of the liberal system into a new liberal fascism. Here, a torchlight procession celebrating the birthday of World War II Nazi collaborator, Stepan Bandera, Kiev, January 1, 2015.

Now, let me bring in another element, because there is something going on which does not meet the eye—or, if you close your eyes, you don’t see it at all! But there is something very smelly: Patrushev not only said what I just mentioned, but in his remarks, he also said, that we are experiencing in front of our eyes, the rapid transformation of the liberal system into a new liberal fascism. I know this is something people don’t want to look at, but there are very ominous signs, and one of them is that people are very upset, especially in the United States, about murders that just occurred on May 14 in Buffalo, where an 18-year-old killed 10 people, wounding several others, and he had put out a manifesto of some 180 pages, where he has, very prominently, on the cover, the so-called Sun wheel, or “black Sun,” which is an insignia which is used by Nazis. And he has a reference to that. That is also the same symbol which is used by the Azov Battalion in Ukraine; it was used by the assassin of the Christchurch terrorist attack in 2019, where 51 Muslims were killed in New Zealand, and in each case, you have the same racist theory behind it. In the case of the Azov, that the Russians are inferior and have to be fought, and in the Buffalo case, it was the so-called “replacement theory” of the white people being replaced by colored people—this is one of the hard cores of Nazism, which is this idea of racism, and the inferiority of the non-white races.

Now, the big question, every time you say this, the mainstream media say this is all “Russian propaganda.” But that’s absurd, because we followed all of this, way back in 2014, when the Maidan coup happened, and there were eyewitnesses, who reported that only 10% of the Maidan demonstrators were from the Azov Battalion or the Right Sector, but as some of their spokesmen said, it was their aggressiveness which made sure that the Maidan ended up in the coup, and didn’t end up as a “soccer picnic” or something like that.

And we have studied this: The whole Bandera network in Ukraine, they were kept by the Western intelligence services, by the MI6, by CIA, the BND, the Gehlen organization: They had put up headquarters in Munich. Bandera joined the MI6 in 1947. They were kept as the Anti-Bolshevik Bloc of Nations for the potential confrontation with the Soviet Union. And later, Mrs. Slava Stetsko moved into Ukraine, and she built up this new movement. This is not Russian propaganda: We followed that quite independently, throughout these years.

And the fact that—I mean, there is no way how Western governments, for example, one day before the Maidan coup happened in 2014, [Frank-Walter] Steinmeier, [Radoslaw] Sikorski, and [Laurent] Fabius, the German, Polish and French foreign ministers, were in Kyiv. There is no way they didn’t know that. And it is a big scandal that the West is not admitting that. The NATO nations are working with these elements in order to destroy Russia.

Schlanger: There are two aspects to that, just referring back to your comment about something “smelly” about this: One is, your husband identified the policies coming from the Western policymakers as being “Schachtian fascism,” and these are the economic policies, the austerity, the treating of people like slaves or chattel; and I think that’s one aspect of what we’re seeing. But the other one that’s really quite amazing, is what happened with this “Disinformation Governance Board,” which, while it appears it’s temporarily paused and the leading disinformation specialist is on a hiatus, Nina Jankowicz, what is now coming out is that she was working directly with British networks, the Integrity Initiative, and working with neo-Nazis in Ukraine, to deny that there were Nazis in Ukraine and to say this was “Russian propaganda.” And now we’re hearing that the U.S. may be bringing in ISIS fighters from Syria, to fight the Russians. We just had the Azovstal surrender. So, this story is going to come out, isn’t it, the role of the Nazis, isn’t it? They can’t cover it up.

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Ukrainian military drone photo
With the surrendering at the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol. The Russians will do a very careful counterintelligence job because many of them could be mercenaries, hired for sabotage and fighting reasons. The Azovstal Iron and Steel Works, Mariupol, Ukraine.

Zepp-LaRouche: A few years ago, there were 40 members of the U.S. Congress who made a motion, that these Nazis should not be armed. That’s a fact, and it was published in several newspapers at the time. And now, the Biden administration is trying to get $40 billion for new weapons to Ukraine. There are some, like Sen. Rand Paul—he wanted to have an Inspector General to observe where this money is going, because there were even articles in the mainstream media such as the Washington Post, quoting even the Pentagon, saying that they only deliver these weapons to the Ukrainian border, and what happens to these weapons afterwards, nobody knows. There is a suspicion that there is a gigantic, illegal weapons-trafficking market occurring. I think there is something brewing which could be a gigantic security risk for all of Europe, and other places, like the United States. The Russians are now looking at that: They charge that the United States is training ISIS terrorists, somewhere released from a Kurdish prison in Syria, to bring them in for sabotage operations inside Ukraine. Now, this is unbelievable.

Then there were about 1,000 people surrendering at the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol. The Russians have already said that they will do a very careful counterintelligence job to find the association of these people, because many of them could be such mercenaries, hired for sabotage and fighting reasons. This is all extremely dirty.

The fact that the Western governments are right now following this, is so absolutely scandalous, that one can only say that parliamentarians in Europe, and also the United States, they must investigate this, because this is the pre-history of World War III. And since there is a good chance, that if it comes to World War III, there will be nobody left to investigate, it’s better to investigate it now.

Schlanger: Wow! This Rand Paul amendment, to set up an inspector general to track where the weapons are going, it only got 11 votes: Eleven Republican Senators supported him. The rest of them gave an open passage for these weapons to go to Ukraine, where some of them will end up in the hands of these Nazi brigades. At the same time, the Democrats are wringing their hands about guns getting to rightwing neo-Nazis in the United States, so the hypocrisy is there for anyone to see.

Now, also on hypocrisy, Helga, the people who are saying this war must end, especially in Europe, nevertheless are involved in the sabotage of the negotiations. What do you have on that?

Zepp-LaRouche: You know, this Swiss analyst Jacques Baud, in an interview, revealed and actually gave the chronology again, that at various points, already in March and again in April, when Zelenskyy was practically ready to start a serious negotiation process, one time in Turkey, another time, more in general—it was always two days later, that the EU gave $500 million for new weapons, and naturally, that sabotaged the negotiations. And obviously, there are people in the West who don’t want this war to end through peace negotiations, but they want to have it go on, with the explicit aim to destroy Russia, to deplete Russia, to have regime change in Russia. And I think that is really something which should be picked up by the peace movement, which is emerging.

There is the progeny there, more people writing open letters, warning of World War III: Marine Le Pen, for example, in France warned that we must stop this before World War III happens. But it is not yet at the level necessary.

Schlanger: On the acts to sabotage negotiations, there was a very fascinating dialogue conducted by podcaster Garland Nixon, with Ray McGovern and Scott Ritter, in which Ritter made the point that all these weapons which are being delivered, are changing the relations in the battle in Ukraine, that while the Russians are still moving somewhat effectively with their targetted special military operations in the east, the Ukrainian military was able to reconstitute itself and will be able to conduct counterinsurgency actions to bleed Russia dry. Now, also, I think it was interesting that Ritter made the comment that was exactly what you said in our earlier webcast on May 1, that there are people in the U.S. military and defense establishment who are preparing to fight a nuclear war, and believe we could win that, and that this came up in an article in Politico.

What do you have to comment about this Ritter/McGovern discussion and also the nuclear war question?

Zepp-LaRouche: I think the thing which should really get everybody alarmed, is that the West seems to be like lemmings heading for the cliff, running toward self-destruction. I mean, Putin in the meeting he had with his cabinet, said that the whole sanctions policy, leading toward fuel-price inflation, are like an auto-da-fé. This is practically the execution of a judgment which has been made, where the West is now burning itself on the stake, because it hurts the West, Europe in particular, more than Russia. So, there is a suicidal element in what the West is doing, which expresses itself, for example, in the fact that there are now more people saying, “Yeah, nuclear war, OK, we’ll risk it. So be it, but we can’t allow Russia to do what they’re doing.” Even if what we do has the risk of leading to nuclear war.

I mean, this is the end of mankind, you know! Then, on German TV the other day, they discussed, “are there enough bunkers?” What do you do when there is nuclear fallout? It is almost like all this talk is supposed to get people accustomed to the fact it’s an inevitable course of action. Politico, which you mentioned, just had an article in which they discussed the “three scenarios” of how the nuclear weapons could be used, all of it, naturally, not very realistically: One that the Russians would detonate a nuclear device far out in space; another one, to detonate it over Ukraine, which would be an even stronger signal; or even throw it on the territory of Ukraine. And then they say, Biden should not retaliate in kind.

This is all extremely irresponsible talk! If you study the question seriously, which I have, once you start to use one single nuclear weapon, the Russians have a doctrine, knowing what they’re up against, whereby there is an automatism, that if they perceive that there is a nuclear attack, their second strike will go into full effect, and that’s the end of mankind!

So, these people who are saying these things and mindlessly babbling this nonsense, they’re really risking the extinction of civilization.

Schlanger: Well, one of those people babbling is Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD), who has been saying in Congress—he’s someone very close to Biden—he’s saying, we’re already “at war.” Do you have any comments about that?

Zepp-LaRouche: Yeah, I mean, fortunately, there was another congressman, Thomas Massie (R-KY), who said, “what is this?” He did not vote for a declaration of war, which is the task of Congress to do. And then, when somebody asked the White House Press Secretary, Jen Psaki, about the Hoyer comment, she did not say, “No, we did not ask for a declaration of war,” she praised the heroic attitude of the American people, inadvertently admitting that there is something like war already going on. So, I think this is really—there are these people who are criminally saying things which contribute to the escalation, like this unspeakable so-called foreign minister of Germany, Annalena Baerbock, who is running around, now accusing Russia as responsible for the famine in the third world—when the famine is the result of IMF policies of not allowing development for a very long time. Then we had the pandemic; and then we had the sanctions against Russia. And it’s true that the Russians are blocking Ukrainian ports, but the majority of these policies are the result of sanctions everywhere!

So, I think it’s really high time that people wake up, and we have to have a change in course. I would like to say something to make people feel more at ease, but this is the most dangerous situation we have ever had in the history of mankind, and what is at stake is the possible annihilation of civilization.

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CC/Olaf Kisinsky
Annalena Baerbock, Germany’s Foreign Minister, claims Russia is responsible for the famine in the Third World, while her Green party cuts farm production in Germany and France.

Schlanger: Just one additional note on Baerbock: Her party, the Greens, are the ones deliberately cutting back farm production, supposedly to protect against carbon dioxide release, and are also demanding the cutback in fertilizer and modern farming methods which are necessary to produce food. They’re attacking the German and the French farmers.

Just one more question on the situation in Europe. You mentioned in France there’s been some comments. Henri Guaino, the former advisor to [former French president Nicolas] Sarkozy, has made some fairly interesting statements in the last few days.

Zepp-LaRouche: Yes. He basically is also warning—he said France should veto the entering of Finland and Sweden into NATO. He said it will cause a terrible reaction from Russia. He said, NATO was created to be an anti-Soviet Union, anti-Warsaw Pact military organization. And when the Soviet Union disintegrated, it should have been dissolved. But instead, it was turned into an anti-Russian organization, and that’s what it is right now. And the Russophobia which is created, I can only tell people that they should really think twice: To put every Russian composer, poet, author, on the list of people who cannot be mentioned any more, and to create such a hatred against the Russian people, it is only war propaganda, and has really nothing to do with the reality of the Russian people.

So, I can only say that the present attitude—NATO should be dissolved. It should be replaced with an international security and development architecture, which takes into account the interest of every single country on the planet. This is what we had as a subject in our Schiller Institute conference in April. We very soon will have another conference reinforcing this subject, because the only way we will get out of this is through negotiations, through diplomacy, and to create an order which brings order back into the world. The idea of a unipolar world, where the United States and the British are bullying the rest of the world— you know, fortunately former President George W. Bush made a slip of the tongue, where he said, “in Russia, the decision of one man to launch a wholly unjustified and brutal war in Iraq—I mean, of Ukraine.” So, he made a Freudian slip, where sometimes the truth comes out in unexpected ways.

But this present course needs to be changed, and we are appealing to anybody who sees this danger to join our effort to create a completely different approach, which has to be addressing the actual causes of the war, which is the fact that the neoliberal trans-Atlantic system is blowing out, the hyperinflation is galloping away, we are heading toward a total catastrophe, because more and more people cannot afford fuel, food, and more and more people are getting really mad about why should we arm the Ukrainian Nazis, when there is no money for the pensioners, no money in the United States for baby formula, no money to address the real crisis in Yemen, in Afghanistan, in Haiti; for all of this, there is no money, but billions are there to stir the pot for World War III with the Russians. And I think this will lead to a social explosion, because people will recognize that their fundamental interest is not taken care of anymore by the governments. And that’s a very dangerous situation.

The only solution is to put an agenda on the table, as I said: we need a conference in a spirit of the Peace of Westphalia, to negotiate a peace which is satisfactory for all parties.

Schlanger: Just one final note on Europe, there was a report today that they’re considering in Switzerland, joining Europe, which would end, what? Is it an 800-year tradition of neutrality? Helga, the question which comes up, which you’ve been addressing in the last minutes, is, what can people do about it? Besides the larger Schiller Institute conference which will be sometime later in June, there are events coming up, including May 25 in Stockholm, and May 26 an online conference which will include among others, Colonel Richard H. Black, Ray McGovern, and you. What can people do to become a part of building this movement, which, instead of letting it just become a social explosion which goes into anarchy and chaos, can actually organize to achieve the goal of a new security and development architecture?

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Italian Ministry of Defense
Italian Air Force Gen. Leonardo Tricarico (ret.): “The application of Finland and Sweden for NATO membership is like poking a finger in Putin’s eye.”

Zepp-LaRouche: Well, first of all, people should have the demand on themselves to really study the causes of this. Because the problem is that the mainstream media are on a complete black propaganda, and anything they report has a twist. You can’t watch TV anymore, or listen to the radio, or read the newspaper, because it’s all—this is typical in times of war—it’s all black propaganda to serve the aims of the war.

So, when we have these coming events: Next week, there is an event centered in Copenhagen and Stockholm on May 25, where we will have analysts and experts to discuss why the entering of Sweden and Finland into NATO is a very bad idea and should not happen. Everybody who is concerned about that should tune in, because this is a very important event; and the next day, May 26, we will have a Zoom conference with Sen. Richard Black, who gave the interview to Schiller Institute on April 26, and it has now half a million viewers and it is going up by the day. Because people appreciate the fact that you have a patriotic American, a Republican, somebody who’s not a lefty, who’s not a peacenik, but somebody who’s proud to have had a long military career, but is completely disgusted at the cold-bloodedness with which the recent interventionist wars have been conducted, and he’s warning of World War III.

So, Senator Black will be there. Ray McGovern is known to a lot of people internationally as being one of the founders of VIPS, the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity. These are people who have been part of the security establishment in the United States, but have turned away from the shifts which have occurred there. Then we have Gen. Leonardo Tricarico (ret.), former head of the Italian Air Force, who has been warning again and again, almost daily now on Italian TV, about the consequences of what is happening, and we probably will have a very important French analyst, from a leading think tank in France. So, listen to the opinions and insights of these experts, and then help to spread it. Because there is such an enormous amount of disinformation and lack of real intelligence, that to inform yourself is the very first step, and then to join with the Schiller Institute to fight for the solution which can only be to address the collapsing financial system, and to help to put a different system on the agenda.

But become active: Don’t sit on the fence, because it is our future which is at stake.

Schlanger: And the first step in becoming active is to go to the Schiller Institute website and register for the May 26 online conference. And then, send that link to everyone you know who can’t understand why we have $40 billion to arm Ukrainian Nazis but can’t figure out how to deliver baby formula to new mothers and their children.

So, Helga, thank you very much: This has been a very compelling half-hour, and I hope people will also share this interview, so that your words can go out to more and more people.

Zepp-LaRouche: Yes. Till soon, and get active!

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