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This article appears in the November 3, 2023 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

[Print version of this article]

Live Dialogue with Helga Zepp-LaRouche

On the Edge of the Abyss:
We Must Unleash a Force of Humanity

Subheads and embedded links have been added. The video of this dialogue is available here.

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UNICEF/Mohammad Ajjour
A seven-year-old Palestinian girl contemplates the remains of her neighborhood in the Gaza Strip after it was completely destroyed by Israeli bombing.

Anastasia Battle: Welcome to the Schiller Institute’s dialogue with Helga Zepp-LaRouche. My name is Anastasia Battle. I’m filling in for Harley Schlanger. Today is Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2023.

There’s a lot going on in the world right now. We definitely want to give you a good overview of such things and what you can do to intervene in this process. The Schiller Institute and the LaRouche movement have been doing a number of important interventions which we can come back to, including circulating a very important petition that was just issued by the Humanity for Peace coalition.

With that, I’ll open it up to Helga Zepp-LaRouche. Please, go ahead, Helga.

At the Brink of Catastrophe

Helga Zepp-LaRouche: Good day. The world is at the brink of a catastrophe, and it does require the mobilization of many, many people around the world, to get the world in a different direction. I would like to discuss this on two levels: One, is the sort of human factor, when things happen and are tolerated which should not be tolerated, and what that does in terms of the character, the mind, and the soul of people around the world; and the other, is naturally the immediate military danger.

Let me start with the latter. The long-expected, at least under the circumstances, ground offensive by Israel into Gaza has not yet fully started, supposedly because U.S. President Biden is trying to tell Netanyahu that there should first be time to negotiate to free the hostages. Now that may be. Meanwhile, there are incursions into Gaza. Altogether more than 5,000 Palestinians have been killed, and what is most disturbing about it is, this is mainly killing civilians: 70% of all the people who have been killed so far are women, the elderly, and children; and 40% are children. Then there may be also some men who are civilians among those killed. So the actual damage or killing of Hamas fighters is relatively small, and the killing of people is high. And the situation in Gaza is absolutely unbelievable! Because they have ordered Palestinians to leave northern Gaza to resettle to the south, which is practically impossible, given the fact that you cannot move 1 million people who don’t have fuel, who have no water, no food, and no medicine. And then, when some of them did arrive in the south, they’re being bombed there anyway!

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UNICEF/Mohammad Ajjour
Palestinian women in the Nasr neighborhood of Gaza City, after an Israeli airstrike destroyed their homes, Oct. 8, 2023.

Now, this is a human catastrophe, which even UN Secretary-General Guterres, who is a very mild-mannered person, had to condemn. Guterres attacked the Hamas atrocities against Israel, but he also said that what is happening in Gaza is absolutely intolerable, it’s a complete violation of humanitarian law, and for that he was then immediately attacked by the Israeli Ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, who called for the resignation of Guterres. And all Guterres said is the truth about what is happening!

So this is an unbelievable situation. There should and must be an immediate mobilization of many people for a ceasefire. The weapons must be made quiet, there must be a negotiated solution, despite all the failures to put this on the agenda so far. Brazil, for example, put forth a motion for a ceasefire in the UN Security Council, and everybody voted for it, except the United States, so it did not pass.

Where should this go now? Until all the people in Gaza are either killed or displaced, kicked out—ethnic cleansing? Where is the limit to what is happening there?

So therefore, there must be an immediate mobilization to stop the killing, to have a ceasefire, and to move in the direction of the proposal by China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi for an immediate peace conference for the Middle East, and then put on the agenda the question of a two-state solution—UN Resolution 242—which is international law, because it was adopted by the UN Security Council.

And then there must be what my late husband, Lyndon LaRouche, proposed already in 1975, namely a comprehensive economic development plan for the entire region, what he called the Oasis Plan, which would give the chance for economic development to all sides, and in that way establish a foundation for peace.

Now, if that is not done, people must be aware that we are in an acute danger of an escalation of not only the Southwest Asia war, but in combination with the crisis of Ukraine. Now, in Ukraine, the United States has secretly deployed ATACMS missiles into Ukraine, not making it public, but just doing it. Antonov, Russia’s Ambassador to Washington vehemently attacked this, saying that the United States is directly moving for a confrontation with Russia.

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Senator Lindsey Graham, now in Israel with nine other senators, has called for the bombing of Iran “to stabilize the region.” Here he gives a press conference in Tel Aviv, Oct. 22, 2023.

And so, in combination with the situation in the Middle East, where the United States has moved a significant military force to the shores of Israel, namely, two aircraft carrier strike groups, USS Gerald R. Ford and USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, and in addition the command ship for the 6th Fleet, USS Mount Whitney, which are now all under the command of Vice Adm. Thomas Ishee, the commander of the 6th Fleet. There are other deployments, maybe into the Persian Gulf as well. And 12,000 soldiers are on ready-to-deploy status.

Now, if there is an escalation, let’s say the Israeli ground forces move into Gaza, Hezbollah would attack Israel as a result, then obviously, you have everything geared toward engagement with Iran. Sen. Lindsey Graham, who has an unbelievable record as a war hawk, is right now in Israel with nine other senators, and he has called for the bombing of Iran to stabilize the region! How far off from reality can you get, than saying something like what Lindsey Graham is saying there?

I know that everybody who is concerned about the Middle East and Southwest Asia is aware that for decades Israel has possessed probably 200 nuclear weapons, and is therefore aware of the danger of those weapons coming into play, if Iran attacks Israel. All calculations are off.

That danger has been true for decades in Southwest Asia, and especially now, with the combination of the situation in Ukraine. It’s important that Putin, on the occasion of being the guest at the Oct. 17–18 Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing, was giving a press conference from the guest house where he said, almost like an aside

Based on my instructions, the Russian Aerospace forces will begin patrols on a permanent basis in the neutral zone of the airspace over the Black Sea, and the MiG-31 aircraft will be armed with Kinzhal systems.

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Vladimir Putin: “On my instructions, our Aerospace forces will begin patrols over the Black Sea; the MiG-31 aircraft will be armed with Kinzhal systems.” Shown: MiG-31 interceptor carrying a Kinzhal hypersonic missile.

The Kinzhals are hypersonic missiles that can reach Mach 9, which do not follow ballistic trajectories, but which are maneuverable, that can reach both Ukraine and the Mediterranean, and potentially sink any U.S. warship there.

So if you then look at how the entire Islamic world is clearly preparing for an escalation; you have demonstrations in many countries: in Indonesia, in Malaysia, even in Europe you had demonstrations; in Spain, a few very significant ones; even in London more than 100,000 people; in Barcelona, 70,000 people.

We are sitting on a complete powder keg and therefore an intervention is absolutely necessary, to say we need to go to diplomacy and we need to put the proposals on the table for an immediate peace conference. I know this is very difficult, because if the U.S. vetoes it, what can you do? But I think it does require the mobilization of well-meaning people all over the world, to shift the balance, because the alternative is straight into Hell.

The Moral Fitness to Survive

Battle: Agreed Helga, thank you. I have a question from a professor in Pakistan, who asks:

“I believe that peace can be achieved when all the countries of the world have peace as their national interests. I think that’s the only way it’ll happen. What are your thoughts? And how do we do this?”

Zepp-LaRouche: De facto, that is already the case, because to go for military solutions of conflict is never in the self-interest of the nation. It is the self-interest of, in that case, very clearly, the military industrial complex. If you look at the stock value of the major American military firms, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, all these big firms, their stock went up in one day by 9%, and others less, but still going up. So they’re the big profiteers.

For example, Germany, in the Grundgesetz [Basic Law], which is the equivalent of a constitution, there is clearly the demand that the government must pursue peace! Now, is the German government pursuing peace? No, they are not! Foreign Minister Baerbock, who, when she changes direction, she likes to make a 360 degree turn—you can tell me how that math works, but that’s what she says—but she is clearly not working for peace, because she is continuously moving in the same direction as the U.S. government, and therefore, not.

That is the biggest problem, that these governments of the West are not working for peace! They are taking one side in the Ukraine crisis, 100% Ukraine; they’re taking one side in the Israel-Palestine conflict, 100% Israel. And if there is any lesson from peace negotiations, it is that you always have to consider all sides; you have to take into account the interest of all others. That’s the lesson of the Peace of Westphalia.

What is therefore required is that the population—civil groups, ordinary citizens—organize themselves and work for peace. If the governments are not capable of working for peace, then the population must take a stronger role. I think that is really the test. In a sense, we are being tested as a human species: Do we have the moral fitness to survive, or not? I think that’s the most serious question we have ever faced.

Recommended Activities

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LaRouche movement activist Robert Castle (above), interrupting former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (below), demanding she make a statement about President Biden’s warmongering national TV address of Oct. 19. Columbia University, Oct. 23, 2023.

Battle: Thank you. Speaking of the moral question, we’re getting a lot of questions around what to do. A lot of people are thinking about activities they can do. I’ll report on one—an intervention on Hillary Clinton by Schiller Institute members, LaRouche youth members, Robert Castle, José Vega, and Simon Miller, demanding she comment on the world war drive by Biden in his Oct. 19 National TV address. Their intervention was very well done, and it was picked up all over the world now, and I think is in the millions of views and growing. But that’s one idea of what people can do, is these interventions. I definitely want to encourage that.

Another question that’s come in, is from a member of the International Peace Coalition (IPC). She asks if she should organize a protest in Costa Rica. Other people from the IPC as well are asking if they should be organizing protests. Maybe something around what we’ve done with the peace proposal in the petition.

Zepp-LaRouche: Yes. I think if you have any way of reaching out to members of your organization, other organizations, it should be done as quickly as possible. But, apart from doing that, I think the most urgent question is to unify the peace movement. Because, even in a single city, you may have many little rallies, demos, here 50 people, there 200 people, but they are not strong enough alone to be heard.

That’s why I would really urge you to join the International Peace Coalition, which is an effort to unite all peace-loving people all over the world, because it is so clear that first of all, what is in the way of becoming the majority, which we are—the vast majority of people, if you would ask them, “Do you want World War III, or peace?” they would say, “peace,” naturally. But since they are not united, their voice is not being heard. There was a poll actually made where 10% of the people are for a conflict, military solution of the conflict, and they think they are the vast majority, while the 90% of the people who want a peaceful solution think they are in the minority. That has to do with the fact that the mainstream media are overwhelmingly pushing the war narrative, at least in some countries—in Germany, for example, it’s incredibly controlled.

So I think it’s for both ideological reasons—that some people think that they have other issues which are more important; and the divide and conquer technique, that there are agents of influence trying to prevent unification of the peace movement, the old game of empires.

So the idea is that we really have to put all differences aside. We can discuss nuclear energy, climate, green issues, car questions—everything can be discussed out, but only if we have peace. Because if the world blows up, it’s all in vain, and there’s no point any more of discussing anything, because we will all be dead, and that I mean really very, very seriously.

Please join the IPC process: Contact us, and we will put you on the weekly conference, to participate, and help us to build a worldwide movement focusing on the one humanity. And the only reason why I’m not giving up and becoming pessimistic, is because I think the growth of the International Peace Coalition, which is less than three months old, is very quickly spreading into five continents. And these are all people who are motivated by the idea of the one humanity, which has never been more precious than right now: So join that process.

Battle: Exactly. I’ll include a link in the YouTube chat, so people can contact us. We’d love to get more feedback from people and get you involved in volunteering.

I think it’s starting to hit people, and I’ve come across this a number of times with different people I’m talking to, and with some of the questions we’re getting—that they actually are going for World War III; they actually are going for nuclear war. Earlier, with the Ukraine war, it was a lot of very specific talks about Russia and Ukraine, and all the parts that were moving there, but now, it’s very clear that this is global.

We’re getting some questions in from people who are realizing this, asking, what will they do when all of the world is destroyed—move to another planet? Why are they moving to World War III? This is coming from S., a new person joining us in the chat today.

Humanity Would Not Survive a Nuclear World War

Zepp-LaRouche: Obviously, there is the danger of a miscalculation. The new U.S. National Security Strategy says the United States will be able fight two global wars with major adversaries, meaning obviously, Russia and China. Now, that is a clear break, because up to now, in all the previous National Security Strategies, it was stated that the United States can fight one big war with a major adversary and, in addition, a regional war. But it is the first time that they say that the United States could fight two major wars.

Now, I think that’s just totally crazy, because if only a small portion of all nuclear weapons were detonated in such a war, it would be enough to cause a nuclear winter, where all life on the planet in the years to follow would die: Because it would be freezing cold, no harvest, no plants, no food—nothing would be there anymore, and people would die a little later, if they were not killed in the first blasts.

To play with these ideas, in my view, is a sign of clinical insanity. I wouldn’t put it past some of these military planners that they are affected by insanity, because if you’re playing around with the possible extinction of the human species, you can’t be normal, you can’t be a sane person. Obviously, some of these people think that you can “win” such a war! That you can knock out the defense of the other one, that you can with the combination of cyber war, space war, conventional war, nuclear war—I mean, there are these maneuvers, like Global Lightning, which takes horrendous scenarios, which are relatively secret, but something is known about them: They maintain the idea that you can fight these mixed modes of warfare for weeks!

I think this is completely wrong. Nuclear experts such as Ted Postol have written long articles explaining that once a single nuclear weapon is used, the likelihood that the entire arsenal of all nuclear weapons powers will be detonated, is extremely high.

So there is the factor of miscalculation. There is also the factor of après nous le déluge [After us, the flood], that rather than giving up power and allowing a different world system to emerge, one takes it all down. There is a factor of insanity in this whole thing, and that’s why I think the worst problem is apathy of so many people.

I’m also confident that we can get out of this, simply by the fact that the vast majority of humanity is on a completely different trajectory: The world has changed. The unipolar world has for long not existed any more, and you have the emergence of a not only multipolar world, but I would say, as a tendency, even the idea of a new paradigm: Meaning that the one humanity has to be put first, and national interest has to be in coincidence with the one humanity, not the other way around. And the Global South is the vast majority of countries; the BRICS countries are growing.

That’s one of the reasons why this Middle East crisis is so devastating, because we were on a very good course, for example, of integration between the Shi’ite and the Sunnis, because of the restoration of diplomatic relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia, and that is now all a big question mark. That’s why an intervention is all the more urgent.

But there is hope, because we do have a number of countries that do not want to go in the direction of confrontation, that want to keep their status as Non-Aligned countries, and they’re the vast majority. So it’s not Russia or China that are isolated, it’s countries like the United States and Germany that are completely isolated, because even within the European Union, most countries are more reasonable than Germany right now.

Battle: That’s very true. This question is from Theo, who is also a member of the International Peace Coalition, and a friend from the People’s Party. I’ll read a few things. I think we need to look into some of the things you’re mentioning, Theo.

“1. Does the IPC endorse the Nov. 4 Answer March in D.C.? Have they been contacted?” Maybe you could help us contact them, and I’ll look into it. We should look into this march.

“2. Shall we do a public prayer, Camps for Peace, in the style of Occupy Wall Street, in public places?”

“3. Can we stop them by exposing the Oct. 7 stand-down in Israel, that was a false flag operation by the Deep State, according to some commentators?”

An Investigation of Oct. 7

Zepp-LaRouche: We will discuss all of these proposals on these different marches and activities in our next IPC discussion. So, let’s take it up there.

Concerning Oct. 7: Indeed, there are some questions that are not answered in a satisfactory way. It is now clear that the Egyptian government did warn Israel that Hamas was planning an operation. What is not totally known is exactly, was Egypt aware of the scope of the coming attack? Maybe they just thought it’s another Hamas attack like the many before. Maybe it was that Israel, indeed, did relocate some of its Israeli Defense Forces troops from Gaza to the West Bank, and they didn’t pay attention.

The one thing which is very ominous, is that supposedly the Israeli secret services are the best in the world, and if they were caught by surprise in such a way that this was unnoticed, what does that say about their expertise? What about the NSA? The NSA is supposed to know everything, record everything. Why were they not picking up these things?

I think all this requires a thorough investigation. If people have heard information, they should come forward with it. Otherwise, I think the most important thing is really to go for a mobilization for a ceasefire, and there must be a humanitarian corridor! Every hour, people are dying in Gaza, right now! So it’s not something for a month from now, or two months from now. I think a humanitarian corridor and a ceasefire must be put through, immediately, because if people are dehydrated, they can die very, very quickly, and that’s happening already. I can only urge people: Get on board with the IPC, because that’s right now the best option in town, to get the world public united around the need to go for a peace solution.

Battle: I totally agree. I’ll just reiterate to everybody joining us today, please sign the petition, “Implementing a Global Approach to End the Cycle of Violence in Southwest Asia,” posted on the Humanity for Peace website, to get an immediate ceasefire and enforcing UN Resolution 242. This was written by a number of people in IPC, across the political spectrum.

With that, I’d like to remind everyone to please join us in the IPC on Friday. Helga, do you have any closing remarks for us?

The Uplifting Power of Classical Culture

Zepp-LaRouche: Yes. What I touched upon in the beginning: that we are in extremely challenging times, and there are many people who want to retreat into private life, and say “Oh, I don’t want to go there, this is too terrible. It’s causing me sleepless nights, so I don’t want to know anything about it.” I think that’s the worst, because the problem is that if you are aware of a great evil, and you are not trying your very best to resolve it, it does something to you, to your soul, to your mind, the way how you are as a person. And I think we, in the West, at least, in any case, are faced with an unbelievable brutalization of society, a cultural decay. And if we tolerate what is going on right now, it will put us one step further into a catastrophe from which we may not recover.

What we need to do, instead, are things like Classical music; we want to have lots of Classical concerts. If you want to organize prayers, that’s also very good. Anything which uplifts the soul and makes people better people, because civilization has never been so faced with the question of where it will go—a question how moral are people, how much they care for humanity? Right now, the question of the aesthetic education, of trying to be a better person than you were yesterday, is really the question of unleashing a force of humanity which is really the only thing which can conquer the military-industrial complex. That may sound like a utopian idea, but I’m absolutely convinced that the beauty of the human soul is stronger than the evil of military profits and warmongering. But you have to act on the basis of that insight.

Battle: Thank you, Helga. I was very moved by what you said. I think that’s very true: So, everybody, please, join us in this organizing process, and let’s create what would seem like a utopia in the world. And thank you, Helga, for your thoughts.

And join us again next week, and also this Friday.

Zepp-LaRouche: See you Friday.

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