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This transcript appears in the February 16, 2024 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

[Print version of this transcript]

Live Dialogue with Helga Zepp-LaRouche

Urgent Mobilization Against the Unipolar War Machine

The full video of this webcast is available here. The following is an edited transcript of the live dialogue. Subheads and hyperlinks have been added.

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X/UNRWA Partners
UNRWA, the sole aid organization responsible for supporting Palestinian refugees, is here shown distributing emergency sacks of wheat flour in Gaza, Jan. 26, 2024.

Harley Schlanger: Welcome to our weekly dialogue with Schiller Institute founder and Chairwoman Helga Zepp-LaRouche. Today is Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2024. I’m Harley Schlanger and I’ll be your host. If you have comments or questions you can send them to questions@schillerinstitute.org.

Helga, it seems as though each week when we get together, the tensions between the dying unipolar order and the emerging new paradigm deepen, and the need for a mobilization of citizens in the Global North becomes more urgent, as the Establishment keeps escalating wars and provocations. To address this, The LaRouche Organization has released a statement, that I urge people to download and circulate:‘Knew or Should Have Known’: Governments Complicit in Genocide Will Not Be Able to Plead Ignorance at the Coming Nuremberg Tribunal.” Now, since so many of our questions, such as that of our friend Munashe, address the matter of what can be done to replace the dying system, let’s start there: What can people do to make a difference?

Helga Zepp-LaRouche: The first thing is that everything must be done to save the Palestinians, who are in an hour-by-hour fight for their lives. On the same day [Jan. 26] that the International Court of Justice made a ruling that there was plausible genocide going on, making a verdict that the Israeli government must do everything to prevent the genocide, and that they must report [back to the Court] on their progress in this endeavor four weeks later, that very same day, the Israeli government claimed that it had discovered a so-called collaboration [with Hamas] of 12 people out of 13,000 UNRWA workers [in Gaza]. UNRWA [the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East] is the one aid organization which is entirely responsible for maintaining of Palestinian refugees, not only in Palestine, in Gaza and the West Bank, but also in Jordan, where there are millions of Palestinians depending on UNRWA.

So when they discovered that, [they promoted] the idea that this is a terrorist collaboration, and therefore all funds must be cut. And given the fact that that’s the only organization which provides food and medicine and other important things for the people imprisoned in Gaza, it basically comes down like a death sentence.

Altogether 18 governments immediately said they would cut all funding for UNRWA. Several days later, the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] announced [Jan. 30] that they would flood the tunnels of Hamas. Now you have almost 2 million Palestinians, who are in a very tiny area near or in the city of Rafah, at the Egyptian border. Egypt is making it very clear that they will not allow the dislocation of the Palestinians into the Sinai. The IDF has said they will bring the military campaign into this small territory. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has also refused to stop the fighting.

Never Again

Given the fact that this is genocide happening before our very eyes, I think any person who is not a complete barbarian and complete moron (and not actually a Nuremberg criminal), must help to stop this dying. And there must be an absolute escalation of international pressure to resume the funding for UNRWA. Even if these 12 individuals would have collaborated with Hamas, that [offence] is not in any proportion to the effect it has to cut off the entire funding from the organization, because it’s a death sentence for the entire Palestinian population.

One important thing I’m asking you to do is to download our statement, “ ‘Knew or Should Have Known’: Governments Complicit in Genocide Will Not Be Able To Plead Ignorance at the Coming Nuremberg Tribunal.” If you can, take this statement and distribute copies of it in front of the embassies or consulates of these 18 countries, hold a demonstration with signs demanding that they resume funding for UNRWA. There must be an immediate ceasefire, and a two-state solution. That is actually overwhelmingly the position of the Arab League, of all the neighbors in the region, and is even part of a plan that is being negotiated right now between Egypt, Hamas, and some others.

So, join this mobilization because that is the first order. And secondly, I think you have to join the forces that are mobilizing. There are many, many international peace organizations. We from the Schiller Institute have every Friday, a Zoom conference of the International Peace Coalition. You should contact us if you want to join that, where we discuss marching orders every week.

On the larger picture, we need a new paradigm of cooperation, because only if we stop this geopolitical confrontation between the so-called West and the so-called Global South—because that’s really what it’s all about—can we end the danger of an escalation to war. I invite you whole-heartedly to join our efforts. Once you are part of this larger mobilization, your personal efforts can be extremely important. It is in a moment of history like this, when the courage and determination of only a few individuals—there must be many thousands, actually—can make the difference.

Schlanger: Now we have some questions on the International Court of Justice provisional rulings, and the ignoring of these rulings by Israel. Two questions:

The first one is: “What will the International Court of Justice do after 30 days have passed? Because they gave Israel 30 days to answer.”

The second one is from Angelis from Italy who points out that the Court said the accusations of genocide are “plausible.” Therefore, countries helping Israel by sending weapons and money could be accused of complicity. She brings up the cutting of funds to UNRWA as an example of that. “Given the number of countries involved, Prof. Francis Boyle says Israel has succeeded in making the enforcement of the accusation nearly impossible. Is this really so?”

The Thirty Days

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The International Court of Justice gave Israel 30 days to report back on its implementation of six “provisional measures” mandated by the Court, to avoid a “plausible genocide” of Palestinians in Gaza. Jan. 26, 2024.

Zepp-LaRouche: Well, I’m not in the shoes of the judges. Israel, and the other countries that are enabling Israel by sending weapons and finances, to my knowledge, have done absolutely nothing to stop the genocide. And that is a fact; and in a certain sense, the opposite has occurred. They have doubled down by launching this story about UNRWA’s collaboration with Hamas, which, as I said, I cannot judge, but there is the question of proportionality. The 13,000 UNRWA employees are responsible to maintain the livelihood of these people. If the funding is ended, and it has already been said that funds will run out by the end of February, that means nothing will function anymore! Not just in Gaza: Over the years, millions of Palestinians have settled in Jordan, and an enormous number of them are entirely maintained by UNRWA.

Once the funding is ended, what happens to these almost 6 million Palestinian refugees now being supported by UNWRA? Then the Geneva Refugee Convention would also apply to them, in which there is a clause which exempts these refugees because of the UNRWA agreement. If the UNRWA agreement were to come to a halt, [because of a lack of funding] then all these people would be covered by the Geneva Refugee Convention, which means they would have the right to asylum in Europe.

You could imagine that if a very large number of them would try to escape certain death from hunger and other perils, you would have a refugee crisis, flooding Europe in ways that these people who absolutely are not thinking about these millions of people, and who obviously have no empathy whatsoever, will be faced with. That is something which must be also made known. We have to assert maximum pressure on these 18 governments that their decision to withhold funds is reversed.

Now I cannot imagine that with all the horrible news which [is being pumped] into our living rooms every day—It’s not like everything is happening behind walls, where people cannot see it—this is coming into our living rooms every day! I cannot imagine that when this day comes for the provisional review by the International Court of Justice that they will not come to the conclusion that this is an ongoing genocide.

Schlanger: We have a question from Fort Worth, Texas: “I remember how contemptuous your husband was toward Henry Kissinger and his ‘shuttle diplomacy’ in the Middle East, which seemed to make war more likely. Now clearly [Secretary of State Antony] Blinken is no Kissinger, but what the hell is he trying to do with his shuttle diplomacy in the Middle East?”

The U.S. Role and Responsibility

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Widening the war in Gaza, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command is deploying warships into the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea.

Zepp-LaRouche: That is a $64 million question! If the United States wanted to make a difference, all it would have to do is to cut the [shipment of] weapons and money to Israel, and tell them that they have to stop. My husband was very emphatic on that point. When people started to talk about “the Zionist Lobby is controlling the United States,” he would always say, “No, you’ve got it completely upside down.” It is the United States and the British, it is the Anglosphere, which is controlling Israel—and whenever they have geopolitical intentions, they’re using Israel every time as a hand grenade, they can throw into the situation.

Israel is just a small country, and the United States is still the major economic and also military power. One can debate if Russia is first, or the United States; I think the recent weapons breakthroughs in Russia actually make Russia number one, but nevertheless, if you look at all these aircraft carriers and other warships deployed in the Mediterranean and in the [Persian] Gulf, the military power of the United States is sizable. Therefore, the responsibility is really, primarily, in Washington and London to stop this.

Schlanger: On the matter of accountability, one thing that’s clear is that the International Court of Justice’s provisional measures establish a principle of accountability. We have two questions on accountability, one from Philip B., who asks: “Can you explain why the U.S. taxpayers pay to weaponize the government against its own citizens and its allies?” He refers to the Rand Institute study commissioned before the Ukraine war, which justified U.S. destruction of the Nord Stream pipelines to cut off Russian gas markets, destroy the German economy, and escalate a Ukrainian civil war from 2014, which the U.S. was involved in. “Where’s the accountability for [Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria] Nuland, [Secretary of State Antony] Blinken, [National Security Advisor Jake] Sullivan, [Ambassador Geoffrey] Pyatt, [Vice President Kamala] Harris and [President Joe] Biden?”

And then, from Michelle from Belfast: “Given the gangsters—which is exactly what they are, that they ignore the will of the people—who’s going to take the action necessary to make sure they are arrested immediately and tried for their crimes?”

The Worldwide Strategic Picture

Zepp-LaRouche: This will all come to a head. In the U.S., the Republicans have made very clear that they will block any funding for Ukraine. Biden accused [his immediate predecessor Donald] Trump of doing the work for [Russian President Vladimir] Putin.

Given the fact that the military situation in Ukraine looks very desperate for the Ukrainians, and if there’s no more funding coming from the United States, the pressure will be enormous on the Europeans, on Germany in particular.But that also is running into major problems, because the German economy is collapsing in a free fall right now, in ways which have not even sunk into the consciousness of the world public so far. And that [collapse] is in large part due to the U.S. sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines—for which, ominously, the Swedish government has just decided that they will close the investigation, saying they have found nothing.

So this is running up to a crisis point. The only reasonable action would be to have a mobilization of the population demanding a diplomatic solution: Because if you don’t go for that, one Russian General, whose name I have forgotten, said [that] in the context of the extremely big NATO exercise, Steadfast Defender 2024, where 90,000 forces are being deployed until May 31, for the first time Russia is named as the possible attacker of a NATO country. But with 90,000 troops involved in the exercise, there is always an extreme danger zone, that if things go really wrong, they could move from an exercise into a real fight in no time, because they are already in motion. So this is always a time of extreme tension and danger, and especially now, with the situation on the ground in Ukraine.

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Ground troops in Norway, participating in NATO’s Steadfast Defender 2024 exercise, which involves a total of 90,000 persons.

This Russian General warned that if NATO, under these conditions would send any kind of deployment into Ukraine, that the situation could escalate to the nuclear level immediately. So we are sitting on a complete powder keg: The situation in Southwest Asia, if the war there expands to Lebanon and other so-called “Iranian proxies,” and eventually would involve Iran, we could go into a nuclear escalation there. And if something like what I just mentioned before would happen in Ukraine, this would be the same thing.

So, I think we are in an extremely dangerous moment of history, all fueled by the fact that the U.S. is having an election campaign. Trump, apparently—I didn’t see it myself—but apparently, according to Fox News, said in a speech in Laconia, New Hampshire that he thinks that nuclear war could happen even before the U.S. election takes place. I don’t know what Trump is basing this on, if he did, indeed, say it, but I can only agree with the general situation, that we are in an absolute—I think it has never been so dangerous as right now, and therefore, anybody who is in their right mind must mobilize and exert pressure on politicians to go for diplomatic solutions, both in Ukraine and also Southwest Asia.

Schlanger: Helga we’re getting a number of questions that are parallel, and that’s why I’m giving two at a time. I think it’s interesting that people are tending to think in ways that are moving toward a solution. We have this from a viewer in Serbia: “Why are Western neocons so hostile to Iran? Iran actually played a major role against ISIS and the so-called ‘Islamic terrorists.’ Is it because they believe in the ‘Clash of Civilizations’ theory, or is there another reason?”

And from Anthony, “If more people knew about NATO’s alliance with international terrorist mastermind Abdul Rab Rasul Sayyaf, who is Khalid Sheikh Muhammad’s boss, do you think that knowledge would change anything?”

We Are People, Not Geopolitical Pawns

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Republican presidential pre-candidate Donald Trump.

Zepp-LaRouche: It has to do with the fact that the geopolitical idea is still what dominates the thinking of people. If you think that the world is a zero-sum game, that when one wins, the other loses, and that you have the idea that control of raw materials is what creates your power, and all of these things, then you end up in a situation like in the 20th century, when geopolitics was the basic reason for two world wars.

Right now, underlying all of these conflicts in the last, I would say, 30 years, 20 years, especially the last 10 years, is the rise of Asia—not just China. China had the most spectacular economic miracle in history, ever, lifting 850 million of its own people out of poverty. And in the last 10 years [China] has offered to other nations of the Global South to take part in such an economic development, which gave these countries, for the first time the chance to not be raw materials exporters, but to start to add to the value chain in their own countries, with the perspective of becoming middle-income countries in the near future. This has caused a tremendous optimism in the Global South, because China now is a very strong economic partner, and therefore, these countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia see the chance to rise.

But also other countries in Asia had an economic prosperity and upturn, while the so-called countries of the West, in general, went down. Europe did not progress. The United States, not really: I’m not talking about paper value, I’m talking about real economic growth. And there, it was entirely Asia, which grew. And therefore, I think Iran, for example, is just one piece in the larger puzzle; it has large oil and gas reserves, it’s a large and powerful country, with a lot of control in Southwest Asia, but it’s also allied with China, with Russia.

It is that kind of geopolitical thinking. I can only say, if you continue on this road, it will lead to thermonuclear war! That’s so obvious for anybody who watches the dynamic, not just from one day to the next, but if you look at how this machine is growing and growing. The only solution is what I have said since the Ukraine war started: we have to get out of this geopolitical geometry, by establishing a new paradigm. And the lesson, obviously, is the Peace of Westphalia.

The [1648] Peace of Westphalia ended 150 years of religious warfare in Europe, in which the war went back and forth, back and forth. In the Thirty Years’ War, the culmination of this period, one-third of everything was destroyed! One-third of cattle, of villages, of housing, of people! And it’s only because there were some intelligent people who said, “If we continue this game, we all will be dead, and there will be absolutely nobody to enjoy the victory,” [that an agreement on Peace was reached].

The End of Fukuyama, Not the End of History

Is that not the situation we are facing today? If this escalates into a war, anywhere, let’s say in Europe, where some people think a tactical nuclear war would be possible, without its expanding to a global war—which I think is completely foolish—then we are looking at the end of history, but in a very different way than [Francis] Fukuyama was talking about 30 years ago.

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EIRNS Gerard ter Borch
The world needs a new security and development architecture for the mutual benefit of all nations. The name for peace is development. Shown: Delegates ratifying the 1648 Peace of Westphalia, ending 150 years of religious warfare in Europe.

So therefore, we need to draw the lessons from the Peace of Westphalia: We have to create a new security and development architecture, which takes into account the interests of every single country on the planet. That’s not so impossible, because, if you think about it, at the time of the German reunification in 1989, and the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991, there was discussion to create a European house, and to have a peace order from Vladivostok to Lisbon. And June 3–5, 2000, when President Bill Clinton visited Moscow, Putin even thought that Russia could join NATO! This was in 2000: So that’s not so long ago. Maybe NATO is not now the appropriate vehicle—but I think if one really does want to solve this, one would say, “How can we create a security order which takes into account the need and security desires of every country?” This is what Putin had asked from the U.S. and NATO Dec. 17, 2021, two months before the Ukraine war broke out. The U.S. and NATO did not respond, and that’s why this last chance to prevent the war was avoided.

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Kremlin pool/Alexander Kazakov
On Dec. 17, 2021, Russian President Vladimir Putin offered treaties to NATO and the U.S. to avoid war by taking into account their mutual security needs. Neither NATO nor the U.S. responded, and two months later, Russia invaded Ukraine to protect the large Russian population under assault there.

A security interest for every single country can only occur if we have economic development for everybody. That is why we are not talking about a security architecture alone.That’s why we’re saying that the new name for peace is development—which means we have to reorganize the financial architecture of the present situation in such a way that it allows for that. If it requires four years of negotiations, as it did with the Peace of Westphalia, so be it. I think it can be done much faster. But I think from the standpoint of most of the players in the present strategic situation, this is possible. China has made all these proposals for a “shared future of humanity”: the Global Security Initiative, Global Development Initiative, and a Global Civilization Initiative, which go in the same direction. It comes from the fact that China has the idea of a harmonious development of all nations. I think the Global South would whole-heartedly welcome this if the Global North should agree to it.

A North-South Win-Win for Humanity

The only force which would not agree with it, or not think they would profit from it, is the military-industrial complex—because continuous war creates a lot of profit—but is that worth the end of mankind? Is it not more reasonable to retool these industries, and make them produce infrastructure, fast train systems, space technology, cooperate in crash programs for thermonuclear fusion power, fourth generation of inherently safe nuclear energy plants? All of these things could be done. If we want to get out of this situation, it has to be done.

So, if you agree with us, then you should definitely get active with us, because we need a lot of forces to change this agenda.

Schlanger: I have two more questions for you. One is from a viewer in Nigeria: “Thank you for your expertise and your tireless work. My question is: What is wrong with Ursula von der Leyen and the European Union? Now I hear she’s blaming climate-change and Putin for the reasons the farmers are marching in Germany? How can she remain so influential and be so wrong on everything?”

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United Nations
Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, blames climate-change and Putin for the farmers demonstrating throughout Europe.

Zepp-LaRouche: That is a good question. To be so wrong for one single person, you would need an army to be that wrong!

But this woman, I think her self-understanding is—the reality is, and many, many people know this in Europe—that the EU has really degenerated into a colonial governor for the Anglosphere Empire. Europe has become degraded to allow itself to become a colony of the Anglosphere, and I think she feels quite comfortable in having that post. The idea that it was climate-change and Putin that were responsible for the plight of German farmers is just ridiculous.

Look at the uproar going on right now. Farmers in Greece, Italy, Spain, France, Holland, Germany are all having demonstrations with hundreds of thousands of tractors. In Rome right now 2,000 tractors are blockading the major highways. All these people are in an absolute fight for their survival. And they know the reason why they have this problem. It is because, it’s not just the high energy prices, the cuts in subsidies, the insane policies of the EU which are part of the Green Reset, which demands that they’re supposed to set aside 30% of agricultural land; or 4% in the case of France; that they cannot use pesticides and fertilizer any more. All of these regulations are the result of an ideology. And then, you have, in addition, the high energy prices: Well, the high prices come, not from Putin; they come from the sanctions against Russia; they come from the cutoff of Russian oil, which was not the decision of Russia. It was the result of the developments that followed the destruction of the Nord Stream pipelines.

European Farmers Fighting for Food Production

The farmers are now correctly saying that they are fighting for their very existence, and that they are producing the food we all depend on, so there is no way how they will stop. I don’t know where this will end, but it becomes more radical. The latest reports are that farmers in Holland have started to set fire to straw and wood; they put manure in front of city councilmen’s houses and mayors’ houses. I mean, that’s getting a little bit wild, but, I’m not there to judge what measures they are using. The point is we need a reform of this entire system, where the physical economy and the economy in the service of the people’s well-being is put back on the agenda, and not by cutting all the budget areas of common good for the advantage of the profit of a few! The billionaires are becoming more wealthy and the mass of the population are becoming poorer and poorer; the middle class is vanishing, and that is a system which obviously cannot continue. We are about to see that crash against the wall!

That’s why the proposals we have made in the Ten Principles for a New International Security and Development Architecture must absolutely be put on the agenda. I urge you to read these Ten Principles, because the world needs a comprehensive approach. We are long beyond the time when you can just fix a little problem on a local level: We need to really have a comprehensive approach to fix the whole system.

Schlanger: Helga, a final question here, taking advantage of your expertise on German politics. This is from a German supporter: “Do those marching, allegedly against fascism in Germany, recognize the irony that their government is supporting genocide in Southwest Asia?”


Zepp-LaRouche: Well, it is very funny because this CORRECTIV group of so-called investigative journalists get funding from very right-wing U.S. sources, [and] the North Rhine-Westphalia state government is the second-largest source of their funding. We are just now looking into this, because it’s a real orchestration: What they claim that these fascists ([meeting] in Potsdam) were discussing, was exactly the same as what the German government had demanded the day before—namely, to have an offensive to relocate a lot of the migrants. So there is no difference between what the German government is actually proposing, and in part doing, and what these so-called “Nazis” or fascists have proposed. The whole thing is a complete orchestration.

We were just discussing this with several people today. I think this is about to turn, because while people were initially very agitated about the AfD and so-called “right-wingers,” now it turns out that a lot of these actually millions of people in the streets are demonstrating against the government! So they’re using the fact that people are out in the streets. Germans are going out because they’re boiling over because they see that Germany is being destroyed; everything that was built in the generations after the Second World War is going out the window; people are losing their means to live, their existence.

So I think the truth about the orchestration of this whole demonstration is slowly but steadily—people are realizing that, if you have the mainstream media announcing in great detail the hour and location of these demonstrations, everybody starts to realize that these are government-orchestrated demonstrations which have only one aim, and that is, to change the agenda.

People should be out in the streets demonstrating against the danger of nuclear war, which is being drummed up. Every day, defense ministers and others are talking about the “coming war with Russia.” In Finland, in Sweden. Adm. Rob Bauer, the Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, and others are saying almost every day, “you have to prepare for war”; you have to have bottles of water for the first 36 hours to survive an attack from Russia. This is crazy! This tends to become a self-fulfilling prophecy if we don’t change course! That’s what people should be demonstrating against, and not some orchestrated reason, which is only an effort to deflect from the real problem.

Schlanger: Well, Helga, as usual, thank you for joining us, and giving us your much-appreciated expertise. I want to encourage people again: Go to The LaRouche Organization website, download the statement we issued: “‘Knew or Should Have Known’: Governments Complicit in Genocide Will Not Be Able To Plead Ignorance at the Coming Nuremberg Tribunal.” Get active with us. What you’ve just heard from Helga is a perfect example, on why it is you can’t rely on politicians and governments, but they must become responsive to the interests of the population—and that means you.

So, Helga, any final words for today?

Zepp-LaRouche: This is a moment when the morality of each of us is being tested, and I can only quote the Palestinian Protestant [pastor] Rev. Munther Isaac from Bethlehem, who in a recent webcast reminded people that in respect to the situation in Gaza, that in the [New Testament] of the Bible [Matthew 25:40] it says, “What you do unto the least of these, you do unto me.” So we should really become much more responsible for what is happening, because if this goes wrong, it will be the fault of all of us, even if there will be nobody left to cry about it.

Schlanger: All right: Well, I’ll see you next week. Hopefully, we’ll make it through the week, and have an opportunity again to take questions and give people direction for their activities.

Zepp-LaRouche: Yes, till next week.

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