This transcript appears in the November 25, 2022 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
NEAR-CATASTROPHIC MISSILE HIT IN POLAND
Helga Zepp LaRouche:
World War III Danger Confirms the Need for New Strategic Architecture
This is an edited transcript of Harley Schlanger’s weekly webcast dialogue with Helga Zepp-LaRouche. The video is available here.
Missile Strike and Fatalities in Poland
Harley Schlanger: Hello! Welcome to the weekly dialogue with Schiller Institute founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche. I’m Harley Schlanger, and it’s Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022.
Helga, in this last couple of days, we seem to have dodged a potential nuclear bullet with this missile incident in Poland. I’m not sure yet whether most people realize how serious this is, but I think it would be very important for you to give people your sense of what happened with this.
Helga Zepp-LaRouche: I think we should really all study this incident, because it shows how rapidly, because of stupidity, provocations, overreactions, a combination of all of these, we can go into a situation where you have a full-fledged NATO-Russia confrontation, because that’s what was on the verge of happening.
There was the news on Tuesday, that a missile had hit a location in Poland, and immediately, a whole array of media and some politicians were saying this was a Russian attack on Poland, a NATO member. People even started to talk about NATO Article 5, meaning the defense condition where all of NATO would have come to the defense of Poland. Some of the media, especially the British media, the Daily Telegraph, the Daily Mail, were going haywire, talking about a Russian attack against Poland; Bildzeitung and several other German media were going crazy, with headlines on Wednesday like “Putin Is Playing with World War III,” and also, an editorial. And that was despite the fact that already on Tuesday evening, with the time difference, naturally, President Joe Biden had said very clearly that there was no evidence that this was a Russian missile, but that the suspicion was that it was a Ukrainian air defense missile which one way or another had ended up in Poland.
Despite the fact that the President of the United States, and subsequently the Pentagon, denied that it was a Russian missile, the media still put out headlines, even on the morning of Wednesday, reporting this. Naturally, Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelensky, and [Minister of Foreign Affairs and Member of the Defense Council of Ukraine, Dmytro] Kuleba were insisting all day long that it was absolutely a Russian missile, and when it was said very clearly that it was not a Russian missile, Kuleba said it was a “conspiracy theory” to say that.
This is incredible, but then, that is all in one sense understandable—Ukraine is one thing. But then Western politicians, like from the German liberal party, the FDP, [Marie Agnes] Strack-Zimmermann, the chairwoman of the Bundestag’s Defense Committee, and Bundestag Member Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, were saying there is no question this was a Russian missile. What these people were talking up is the potential of a NATO-Russia military confrontation, in this extremely tense situation. They were not asking, “Do we have the evidence, has it been verified? Do we know?” They didn’t ask for an investigation, but were just jumping to the conclusion and blaming Russia.
This has to be analyzed. It demonstrates that under times such as we are now living in, accidental events can go very wrong, very quickly. This is sure to happen if we do not move in a different direction and develop a security architecture, where such potential annihilation of mankind can be prevented. I think this should really be the warning shot for anybody who is not a complete moron, that we definitely need to go in the direction of what the Schiller Institute has been saying since April of this year, that we do need a new international security and development architecture, which takes into account the interests of every single country on the planet, based on the principles of the Peace of Westphalia.
In the aftermath, there are calls for a thorough investigation. There are some voices now even talking that it may have been a provocation. There are politicians inside Poland, even, who are saying that Warsaw has to completely rethink its strategy in respect to Ukraine. I’m not in a position now to answer these questions, because obviously this is of the highest importance, and one has to be extremely thorough in finding out exactly what happened.
Now, it probably was, as all signs are indicating, a Soviet-produced Russian missile which is used by Ukraine, but who shot this missile, and was it an accident or was it a provocation, that remains to be seen. But I think the behavior of the politicians is absolutely scandalous, and those media who were lying despite the fact that from the President of the United States it had already been debunked, I think people should really throw these newspapers away, and really recognize how dangerous they are as a tool of geopolitical warfare.
Schlanger: Once it became clear that it wasn’t a Russian-fired missile, it’s interesting how the discussion continued: You had [NATO Secretary General Jens] Stoltenberg saying, well, it’s still Russia’s fault. You had this crazy Anne Applebaum from the Atlantic Council, who said it makes no difference what happened: It’s Russia’s fault. And then you had a further shift into this argument that we now need to spend more money for Ukraine, they need a better air defense system.
Helga, you have a Schiller Institute conference coming up Nov. 22, which really takes on greater importance now, as a result of this incident, doesn’t it?
Schiller Conferences with Elected Leaders
Zepp-LaRouche: Yes. At the Nov. 5 EIR , “A Nuclear War Cannot Be Won and Must Never Be Fought,” an extremely important short video was shown on what actually would happen under conditions of a nuclear war: That once this thing is triggered, you have maximum 10 minutes, or absolute maximum 10-15 minutes to detect and confirm, and obtain (within 30 seconds) the President’s decision as to what to do—a few minutes, if we get into this kind of dynamic. I think people really should have sleepless nights until we have resolved this.
Next Tuesday, on Nov. 22, we have the third Schiller , “The Danger of Nuclear War Now,” coming from an initiative of Latin American congress members. This started with a on Oct. 7; then we had very quickly another on Oct. 27, and now we will have the third on Nov. 22.
In the meantime, congress members, especially two from Mexico, have issued an international , “Urgent: Stop the Danger of Nuclear War!” to all elected officials, internationally and their constituents, to become a new peace movement of world citizens. If we have a nuclear war, it is a matter of mankind as a whole, because it could lead to the complete destruction of all of civilization, and that automatically makes every citizen a world citizen who has the right to stand up and say, “This has to stop, and we need a different policy.”
On Nov. 22, we will have several parliamentarians from Mexico, Peru, Argentina, Brazil, some people from Europe; also, some of the people who are demonstrating right now for an end to this war and for peace negotiations. So we will have a very important meeting with two panels, because it’s growing very rapidly. I really urge all of you who are concerned about the danger of nuclear war to participate in this conference, because we have to put very powerfully an alternative on the table, which is exactly what I already mentioned: We have to force the governments of this world to have a new international security architecture which does not leave out any country. Because if you leave out, even if it’s a so-called autocratic state (which one could say a lot about that, also), everybody has to be taken care of, or it does not function!
That’s the big lesson of the 1648 Peace of Westphalia. People recognized there that they had to take into account the interests of every country for a peace to last. When you don’t do that, as it happened with the Versailles Treaty, concluding World War I, that failure leads to the next war: That was the big difference between the Peace of Westphalia and the Versailles Treaty, that the one established international law as a functioning body of lawfulness, and the Versailles Treaty was just the seeding for World War II to occur.
We will discuss that, and we will also present workable steps to be taken to have such a treaty conference. So, you should really participate.
G20 Summit in Bali
Now, you were mentioning the importance of the motion from Ibero-America, from especially the Global South. It’s interesting that this incident in Poland occurred during the G20 conference, where there were clearly tensions between the Global South and the so-called G7 nations. What’s your sense of what came from there, because there were a number of meetings between leaders—Xi Jinping was very active. How do you think that conference went, overall?
Zepp-LaRouche: I think it showed several things. First of all, the developing countries, but especially the host country, Indonesia, were very concerned that the so-called Western countries would not just come and complain, and harass, and attack. They wanted to have a constructive approach, focussing on the real challenges which threaten humanity. Among them, naturally, the world food crisis. David Beasley, from the World Food Program, said this is the worst humanitarian crisis since World War II, what we’re experiencing right now. So, they succeeded to a very large extent.
There was still an effort to condemn Russia, and so forth, but it did not really function, because it has dawned on at least the more intelligent people, that there is no way how you can go back to the unipolar world. Multipolarity has become a reality; the Global South is playing a much bigger role; they want to overcome colonialism in its new form. That is a completely new dynamic. That does not mean that everybody in the Western establishment immediately will adapt to that, because they’re arrogant, and if you listen to [EU foreign policy chief] Josep Borrell, who thinks only Europe is a “garden” and the rest is a “jungle,” naturally your ears are so full of flowers and whatever your garden is growing, that you can’t hear what people are saying!
The reality is that there is a new reality, a new realignment, where 130, 140 countries have allied with the Belt and Road Initiative. They’re forming new systems with the BRICS countries. Many more countries are applying to become members of the BRICS—Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey—so there is a lot of motion to actually build a completely new system based on sovereignty, the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, the tradition of the Non-Aligned Movement. That is really the new dynamic.
Other than that, I think quite important was the first physical meeting between President Joe Biden and President Xi Jinping, at least since Biden has been President, and according to China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi, this meeting was a breakthrough. We have to see; I’m always of the opinion, let the deeds follow the words. But I think the fact that these two people met for more than three hours is very important, and one can only hope that this will constitute a lasting shift toward cooperation and an ending to this extreme confrontation which was going on.
Xi Jinping also met with about a dozen or more leaders—with French President Emmanuel Macron, with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese from Australia, with Prime Minister Mark Rutte from Holland, and many others. Especially the meeting between Xi Jinping and Macron reestablished the intention that the two countries should work together. Then there was German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s visit to China earlier.
There are clear motions that there is a recognition that you don’t get around China, because China is the locomotive of the world economy. And all the other Asian countries, as well! The only place where there is growth is Asia—it’s not Europe, it’s not the United States.
It was quite interesting that Indonesian President Joko Widodo proudly announced the opening of the Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway at the occasion of Indonesia being the host country of the G20 Summit. I think this is important, because the developing countries look for cooperation with those countries that bring them real development. They don’t want to have just “democracy” and Sunday sermons, they want to have development, and they go to the countries that bring them that.
In that sense, it would be the best, and that is the whole aim of the Schiller Institute. We want the United States and European nations to cooperate with the Global South. There has to be an equal footing, and the demands from the developing sector that they want to overcome their poverty, that’s legitimate! Germany and France and Japan, and other so-called “industrial” countries, that are almost formerly industrialized countries by now, have to listen and they have to come down from their high horse, and they should not think they are so superior to everybody else—that, in any case, will not be accepted any longer.
So, I think with all caution—and the Polish missile event shows you that caution is necessary—nevertheless, I think this G20 Summit did reflect a change in the realities of the world, and that’s a little step in the right direction.
Schlanger: The final communiqué, which the G7 nations wanted to be a condemnation of Russia, was obviously a compromise. The final , the “G20 Bali Leaders’ Declaration,” said, “Most members strongly condemned the war in Ukraine....” not even condemning Russia. And it mentioned that “There were other views and different assessments of the situation and sanctions.” So, clearly if there was an attempt behind the scenes to bully, it didn’t work.
Helga, going into this conference, you had a role to play: You were able to bring to full consciousness the whole question of the Non-Aligned Movement, the anti-colonial movement. Why don’t you give us a little sense of what you did?
Zepp-LaRouche: I participated in a very interesting conference celebrating the 66-year commemoration of the Bandung-Belgrade-Havana conferences, celebrating a revival of the Spirit of Bandung. This was a very interesting, week-long conference. It started in Jakarta; it went to Bandung, it went to Surabaya, and then from there to Bali. I unfortunately only participated online, but nevertheless, it was really expressing the absolute desire of the developing countries to end colonialism, and that spirit was very, very strong.
Now, some people also expressed that they think the West is hopeless, that you have to have a unilateral agreement, just don’t bother about the West any more. Now, I have argued many times that I don’t think that is realistic, because if you do not integrate at least the United States and hopefully many European countries, at least the continental European countries, it will not work! First of all, I don’t think the West would collapse as peacefully as the Soviet Union disintegrated in 1991. And we can’t have bloc-building either: You can’t have a Global South plus Russia and China, and a West, which decouples—I don’t think that that will work.
I just read an interesting by Andrey Kortunov from the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC), who basically said the same thing. He thinks that to construct any kind of world order without the United States will not function, and unfortunately, that’s what it is—or not “unfortunately.”
We have to get the United States on board, despite what Ray McGovern calls the MICIMATT—Wall Street, the big banks, BlackRock, the whole conglomerate of economic-financial interests and the military-industrial complex conglomerate. That is one reality, but that is not the entire United States. We have farmers, we have people who are the real people and they have obviously had a voice in the recent period, in the campaign for U.S. Senate of Diane Sare in New York.
Just the last word on the G20, the Non-Aligned Movement. The momentum is in Asia. I was also able to give several interviews with Chinese TV, commenting on all these things. My overall impression of all of that is, the Westerners, so-called, would be advised to stop being so arrogant and just start to cooperate with the countries that clearly have the historic momentum. If they don’t, it will be at their own expense, and in the worst case, Europe will go to the sidelines of history and become a relic of one of these civilizations that didn’t make it.
That’s not what we should aim for. I’m more for a revival of the spirit of Leibniz, that Europe and China should work together, and develop all the countries in between: That’s my view.
The Coming Hard Fall and Winter in Europe
Schlanger: Things are not so good in Josep Borrell’s “garden.” The latest report from the European Central Bank shows that there is an extreme period of crisis coming in the economy. The idiocy of the Green partners in the German coalition government, [Foreign Minister Annalena] Baerbock and [Minister for Economic Affairs Robert] Habeck, is pointing toward accelerated deindustrialization. What does it look like in Europe right now?
Zepp-LaRouche: We are going into a really hard Fall and Winter: The prices of food and energy are already skyrocketing. [Professor Clemens] Fuest, President of the Ifo economics institute in Munich, just said that in the medium term this is risking the survival of Germany as an industrial nation. It will be wiped out if the policies of these Green ideologues, these absolutely anti-human, anti-growth people, Baerbock and Habeck, are not quickly replaced. Without the Mittelstand, Germany will cease to be an industrial nation.
And the European Central Bank (ECB) just put out a report saying that they’re between a rock and a hard place—between quantitative tightening, threatening collapses and bankruptcies; and quantitative easing, which threatens hyperinflation. There is no solution within that system. This is why we are saying, we absolutely need to have a new credit system, Glass-Steagall, national banking, going back to the principles of the Bretton Woods system that was intended by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and which, unfortunately, were never implemented, because when FDR died, Harry Truman and Winston Churchill got the final say on the Bretton Woods system. This is why many developing countries don’t even like the term “Bretton Woods.”
But the Bretton Woods system, as Roosevelt intended it, to overcome poverty and increase the living standards of the entire world population—that has to be put on the agenda. I don’t think it will be possible with this present leadership of the EU, because [European Commission President Ursula] von der Leyen and ECB President Christine Lagarde—these people are really hard-core neoliberal. They’re like the Erich Honeckers [East Germany’s last Communist General Secretary], the last of the neoliberal system. With them it will not function. We need some other motion.
Schlanger: Especially given the context of the war danger, as well as the hunger crisis that David Beasley talked about, maybe you want to say something more about that. Clearly, the question of a failing architecture, which as you say, is not going to fail peacefully, but could drag the world into war, does raise the question of what your husband, Lyndon LaRouche, dedicated the last 50 years of his life to, which is the creation of a new paradigm. I think it’d be worthwhile just discussing how this would work to further the so-called “advanced sector”: the bankruptcy reorganization, the credit system—this is something that’s not even discussed. We just had an election in the United States, and none of this was discussed!
The U.S. Mid-Term Elections
Maybe you want to say something about the lack of a “red wave” in the United States, in this context?
Zepp-LaRouche: The expectation that the Republicans would take over with a sweeping victory did not come true. Trump’s candidates didn’t win in many places. Now the big talk is about Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis, who is really linked to the neoliberal Austrian school of economics.
Right now, I think the United States shows that what my late husband had said about the party system, that it does not function—he actually called it the “potty system.” George Washington, at the end of his term, warned against the parties, saying they tend not to be in the interest of the nation, but in the lobby interests, the specialist groups. There is really no fundamental difference. Look at what Steve Bannon is now doing in Mexico, lining up with the extreme right-wing forces of the Latin American continent.
I think we need really a revival of the American tradition, and the only thing one could see in this recent election campaign was the fantastic campaign of Diane Sare, who, however, was completely defrauded of her vote! That should also be noted. There’s this big story: you can’t say there was vote fraud in 2020. Well, there was vote fraud for sure against Diane Sare. We have screen shots where she had at a certain point over 50,000 votes, and then a few hours later, the screen shows she had only 29,000 votes. She had collected more than 66,000 signatures to even be on the ballot! So [in the end] they didn’t even give her a third of those in votes, which is completely hilarious! She had all these groups that were supporting her.
In any case, what that signifies is that there is a huge divide between the population and the governments, and that is becoming very clear in Europe as well, where you have more and more large demonstrations: People taking to the streets because they don’t feel represented by the government, or the parties like the Free Democratic Party, which really showed its colors in the missile crisis. Who wants to be in the hands of people like this German MP Strack-Zimmermann? This is a Halloween kind of an idea.
What is really required is a completely different system, whereby the common good is again on the agenda, and more and more so-called “normal people” have to take responsibility and qualify themselves to know what economic policy has to be, to know foreign policy, security policy, and the educational requirements for a sovereign nation state and a community of interest among sovereign states. And that requires exactly what we are doing in bringing together a movement of world citizens who say: We will not allow our fate to be ruined by those few billionaires who are controlling all the corporations; you know, BlackRock is just one example, or the Vanguard Group. These entities are like vultures sucking the juice out of the economy at the expense of the people. That has now come to a breaking point, and we need a mass movement of people who are both patriots of their own nations and world citizens. This will be discussed this coming week at the Nov. 22 Schiller conference. So again, I invite you to participate.
Schlanger: Those of you who want to know how there’s no contradiction between being a patriot of your nation and a world citizen should join us there. The full two-panel conference on Nov. 22 will be archived and at the Schiller Institute website.
Helga we’ve run out of time. Thank you very much for joining us today, and we’ll see you hopefully again next week.
Zepp-LaRouche: Yes, till next week.