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This transcript appears in the March 15, 2024 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

[Print version of this transcript]

Live Dialogue with Helga Zepp-LaRouche

Despite Injustice, Build Humanity an Oasis of Hope!

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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UNRWA/Motaz Azaiza
Above, a former school run by UNRWA in northern Gaza, Feb. 27, 2024, and below, a woman with her child in the remains of their home in Gaza.

Harley Schlanger: Hello and welcome to our weekly dialogue with Helga Zepp-LaRouche, founder and chairwoman of the Schiller Institute. Today is Wednesday, March 6, 2024. I’m Harley Schlanger and I’ll be your host today. You can send any questions or comments you have to questions@schillerinstitute.org.

Helga, it’s clear that the rebellion of nations against the unipolar order, and its so-called liberal democratic empire is deepening as was evident in the March 4, UN General Assembly meeting, which took up the question of the veto by the United States to stop the UN Security Council from demanding a ceasefire for Gaza. I’d like to begin by asking for your analysis of this revolt, as part of the global revolt of the Global South, and if you foresee the possibility that this could force a shift in the U.S./UK position of continuing its complicity with Netanyahu’s murderous policy in Gaza.

Helga Zepp-LaRouche: The reality on the ground is so overwhelmingly known to the whole world community that it is absolutely astounding how the Western establishments are trying to pretend all of that is not taking place. But it reminds me, really, of Schopenhauer’s, The World as Will and Idea: As if a pure demonstration of willpower would make reality change. But that is not going to happen.

I think the hesitation of the United States and European nations to finally come around and help—to make sure the killing stops; make sure the weapons supplies stop; making sure the humanitarian aid can happen; and that a solution be found—Any day this is being blocked further, it does more damage to the reputation and image of the so-called “values-based” order. I think we’re reaching a point, and may have reached that point already, that this cannot be undone. And the consequences of this are of the utmost severity because the whole world really depends on finding a solution based on diplomacy; based on negotiations. The more the hardening of these positions occurs, the more difficult it becomes, because we are not only looking at one crisis, we are looking at two regional crises, which have the potential of leading to a world war.

So, I can only hope that the message which comes from almost every nation on the planet, to the so-called Global North, or Collective West—however you want to call it—that it does penetrate some minds and some ears, because unless the West is shifting and really moves in to settle these conflicts, they will get out of control. But I find that the mental condition of the establishment in the leading nations of the West really poses a big question: Are these people still in the real world, or are they not? And I can only say, the more that message is gotten across, the better.

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Officers of the German armed forces discussed how to deliver to Ukraine the targeting data for German-built Taurus cruise missiles, especially to destroy Russia’s 19 km bridge across the Kerch Strait, shown here, the longest bridge in Europe. Their concern: How to conceal Germany’s complicity in this act of aggression: “Can we get away with it?”

Schlanger: There are several questions that have come in regarding both Gaza and Ukraine. Let me start with one on Ukraine, which is probably of particular interest to you, about the so-called leak of the discussion among German Air Force officials about the use of the Taurus missile against Russia, striking the Kerch Strait Bridge and so on: “German Chancellor Scholz again publicly said he’s opposed to providing Taurus missiles to Ukraine, but this leaked conversation raises the question of who is actually in charge of Germany’s policy? And also, who may have been responsible for the leak? What are your thoughts on this?”

Zepp-LaRouche: The interesting thing about this debate in the media is that they’re all trying to cover up the reality of that conversation; that what these four officers of the German Air Force were discussing, were scenarios of how to cover up German complicity in the delivery of these Taurus cruise missiles.

Now, obviously Scholz, as far as I know at this point, is holding out, and says no. And he probably listened to President Putin’s recent speech, that if Germany sends missiles to Ukraine, that is definitely the red line which makes it a party to the war. The result could be sites inside Germany being targeted by Russian counter-reactions, possibly leading to a general war. So, I think Scholz is sort of holding out.

But you have an absolutely unbelievable effort by the media to deflect the fact that these talks actually occurred with the involvement of part of the German military—namely the Air Force—and trying to shift it to a discussion of how outrageous it was, who leaked it, was it the Russians. And it is so unbelievable!

I don’t think this will hold, because there are intelligent people. For example, Focus, which is mainstream media, had an article by Ralph Thiele, who basically says on the question of who leaked it, most likely it would have been the British. And I think this is a breath of fresh air, in terms of rational thinking. He makes the point that not only are the British very experienced in hybrid warfare, but that they have been visible for anybody who wants to see, as being the force that pushed the most for foreign escalation of the war. So, I think that is definitely something to be considered: that they would have an interest in discrediting Scholz, whom they probably regard as an obstacle to the escalation with Ukraine.

The situation in Ukraine is de facto what former General Harald Kujat already said last August, that given the fact that the Ukrainians are clearly losing the war—and he saw this coming already half a year ago—that NATO would be facing the question of either going for a diplomatic solution, or going for an escalation. And obviously what we saw was one escalation after another.

So, we are sitting right on the verge of this going completely all the way. And I think Putin’s message was also very clear—he delivered it very calmly—but he said very clearly that if the West is putting troops into Ukraine, or any other escalation, that Russia is prepared to use its doctrine: And the doctrine says, if the territory of Russia is threatened, they will use nuclear weapons.

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RLC/Tom Evans
NATO is preparing for war against Russia. Here, French paratroopers work with British Chinook helicopters during a joint training exercise for large-scale assaults. Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire, England, Nov 12, 2020.

The Western media are naturally trying to change that, that Putin is threatening the West with war, but if you look at the actual situation, there’s nothing to support that whatsoever. I can also advise people to listen to an extremely interesting interview, which was given by the Swiss intelligence expert Jacques Baud with the German-language Overton Magazin, in which he gives, in my view, a very sober assessment, including expressing the utmost frustration at the German government. And I don’t even want to repeat what he said: You should listen to it yourself.

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DoD/Lisa Ferdinando
Benjamin “Benny” Gantz, member of the Israeli war cabinet. In his Washington meetings with top Biden administration officials March 5, did he secure a “green light” for the Israel Defense Forces to invade Rafah?

Schlanger: Well, we have also a comment sent in by Francis Boyle, the well-known human rights attorney, and he’s writing about Benny Gantz, the Israeli war cabinet minister, who came to the United States earlier this week, met with Kamala Harris, met with Lloyd Austin. And you have mixed messages: You had Harris calling for an immediate ceasefire, but then, after the meeting with Gantz, clearly the green light was given to Israel to go ahead and invade Rafah.

Boyle writes that, “What Austin said, is that there must be a credible and implementable plan for protecting civilians and addressing the humanitarian situation, prior to any ground operations in Rafah. But that seems highly unlikely. What do you make of this back and forth with the Gantz visit, what Harris had to say, and the fact that Biden is continuing to announce his full support for Israel?”

Zepp-LaRouche: I think the blame will come back to the Biden administration for everything which is happening right now. Because not only does the Gantz visit reflect the fact that the political future of Netanyahu—everybody knows that the moment this war would stop, Netanyahu would no longer be in office, and he would probably face criminal charges. And Netanyahu obviously wants to prolong the situation, in order to avoid that which everybody is expecting to happen once the fighting stops.

Now, I think the blame, or the guilt for the incredible tragedy which is happening before the eyes of the world, will entirely go back to the United States, and the more quickly people in the United States are demanding that this horror show should stop, the better. But I’m very afraid that it does require a completely different approach, which is what we are pushing: We say, that obviously you need the immediate stop to weapons sales; you need humanitarian aid; you need the ability for UNRWA to function again, because they are the only organization on the ground which could quickly go back into action, because they’re used to it, and they have all the knowledge on the ground and so forth.

All of these things have to be done very quickly. But you need something even bigger than that, and that is why we proposed the Oasis Plan, the idea of comprehensive economic development, not only for Gaza and Israel and the immediate neighboring countries, but the entire region of Southwest Asia, as part of a huge development and reconstruction program, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and naturally Israel and Palestine; and a two-state solution.

Oasis Plan
Humanity demands peace from Israel and Palestine, and development is the name of peace. The International Peace Coalition proposes this LaRouche “Oasis Plan” in which new nuclear and gas-fired plants line new canals from the Mediterranean and the Red Sea to the low-lying Dead Sea, providing fresh water for all, electric power, and new infrastructure.

This all needs to be part of a package, in a comprehensive Middle East conference: Because you need to give people hope. And I can only advise people to please watch our video, if you have not done so already—and help us to distribute it—because it shows how to put on the agenda, for immediate implementation, an economic development perspective. It starts with the production of lots of fresh water, gained from desalination and other means, by building corridors and canals from the Mediterranean to the Dead Sea, and the Red Sea. That way, fresh water is available for agriculture, for reforestation, for building new cities, for infrastructure, for a development perspective for the entire large region of Southwest Asia.

You have to have hope! You have to give young people some perspective of having a decent future, where they can raise families, where they can have a normal life of studying; of doing useful things with their lives. Because if you don’t put this on the agenda, what will happen is that even if you get some kind of a partial solution or a ceasefire, but you don’t have a perspective of hope, you will have new waves of conflict, of terrorism, of even war. So, are we the intelligent species, or not? And that is the real question.

So, I’m quite hopeful, because since we have been circulating this video, we have gotten a lot of responses. It has not yet broken out big into the public, except, I gave an interview to Global Times, which they published in full. That interview does report that the Schiller Institute is promoting this Oasis Plan. So, all the readers of Global Times are now aware of this, and hopefully the interest in this perspective will grow. And if you have any heart for what is happening to the people in Gaza right now, help us to put the Oasis Plan perspective on the table, because I think that is the one factor which can, in my view, really shift the situation.

Schlanger: There are a number of questions coming in about the developments recently in Europe. One asks, “Do the statements from Scholz and Borrell recently represent a difference between them and some of the more hawkish neocons?”

And then RJ sends in a question: “Is there anything to make of the widening rift between Macron and Scholz, over the former’s desire for an independent European army defense system, and Scholz’s seeming desire to stay reliant on U.S. weapons?”

Zepp-LaRouche: I can only say that from many discussions we had with military people in France, in Germany, in Switzerland, in Italy, and other European countries, there is right now an absolute super-fight behind closed doors. In France, people are almost in a state of war with Germany, because they regard Germany as a complete traitor. That doesn’t mean that the French position is any better, because even this idea of Macron to send troops to Ukraine is correctly rejected by most sane forces in Germany. But in general, the problem is that rather than having a position, like de Gaulle would say, for Europe to have a joint mission for a positive role in the world, they stay within geopolitics, which legitimizes a campaign of racist hatred against Russia.

That is an argument which Jacques Baud, in the interview—which is really very interesting—he makes the argument that the present demonization against Russia is based on racism; that the Europeans have no clear aim, nor does the United States; they don’t have an aim for what they want to accomplish in the Ukrainian situation. When Austin is being asked, what is his idea, he says, “To weaken Russia.” Baerbock says the same thing. They don’t have an idea—they just want to weaken an opponent and have soldiers fight for the sake of fighting. The latest reports are that there are already 500,000 people dead in Ukraine, according to Jacques Baud and other sources; a 10:1 ratio of dead Ukrainians to dead Russians.

There should be no dead people at all. But nevertheless, what should be the perspective for young soldiers? To enter a war; to be in a meat grinder until you’re dead? I think this idea of just “weakening Russia”—I think the argument of Baud that it’s based on a deep racist conception is absolutely truthful. And that has to be stopped! If we do not get off this geopolitical idea that there is any legitimate reason for this confrontation, we will end up in World War III, in the shortest possible time. I think the more people wake up to this fact, the better.

Schlanger: I think it’s worth noting, when you talk about what Jacques Baud said about this racism against Russia, that Keir Giles of Chatham House has written at least three books, which are just filled with these slanders that you can’t trust the Russians, because they’re almost genetically committed to lying and being dishonest.

Now, Helga, we have some other questions: There’s a question that came in from a supporter in Washington State, who is referring to the Super Tuesday primary results yesterday, in which Trump won all but one of the Republican primaries, and Biden won all of the Democratic primaries, basically wrapping up the nominations. So, it looks as though it will be a Trump vs. Biden election. So, from Washington State, someone wrote: “I am not a Trump supporter but appreciate his opposition to Biden’s proxy war against Russia in Ukraine. But in an interview with Fox News yesterday, he said he supports Israel, saying, ‘You’ve got to finish the problem,’ referring to Hamas. Doesn’t this undermine his claim to be an opponent to the neocons and their wars?”

Zepp-LaRouche: Yeah, I think it would tend to do that, because the problem is that if you do not stop the present geopolitical game, we will end up in World War III. Just take the combination of the Taurus cruise missile being able to reach Moscow [from Ukraine]—that’s what these people are pushing—and the possibility of the Middle East crisis getting out of control: We are much, much closer to the danger of nuclear war than most people consider. And the problem with Trump’s position on the Middle East is, basically, that I have not seen any sign that he is really thinking about a new paradigm. And I can only say that that depends to a large extent on other candidates, like the independent candidates, and hopefully reasonable people within the Trump campaign, who respond to—I mean, the message Biden got, for example, not only in Michigan, but also I think it was Minnesota (correct me if I’m mistaken), but there were a lot of abstentions expressing total disagreement with Biden’s policy on the Middle East.

So, I can only hope that the people, the analysts, advising Trump—or that he gets the idea on his own—realize that an absolute change is necessary and the only way for the world to survive is to stop this geopolitical thinking! The world is not a zero-sum game; it is not a game where one wins, and the others lose. The entire Global South is moving in the direction of cooperation, of a win-win strategy, of an idea of building a completely new system where everybody can prosper and become richer. And if the Collective North is not waking up to the idea that they have to join this new way of thinking, then I think the best case would be that the West would collapse—which they will because we are moving very fast on that train already—and in the worst case we would end up in the annihilation of the entire civilization.

Schlanger: You’re right, it was Minnesota, and it was a larger uncommitted vote in the Democratic primary against Biden, reflecting opposition to his war policy, than even the week before in Michigan. We’ll see whether he’s getting the message or not.

Now, I have a question that came in about the UN General Assembly session yesterday, where Philippe Lazzarini, the Commissioner General of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), which is doing most of the humanitarian aid in Gaza, he said that the withholding of funds for UNRWA has brought it to the brink of imminent collapse: Meaning, the one agency that’s providing aid is collapsing, and it’s being deliberately collapsed by Netanyahu’s policy, and then Biden and a number of other countries withholding funds. But the person who wrote the question said, “As a self-described UN skeptic, can the UN Relief and Works Agency be trusted, given the charges that many of its members were involved in the attack from Gaza on Israel on Oct. 7?”

Zepp-LaRouche: I think what we see right now is about 1.5 million people around Rafah, and a few people left in North Gaza, and they’re all acutely about to die of acute hunger. If the world is watching that and not doing everything possible to provide these people with the means of survival, I don’t think that this stain on the human conscience will ever go away!—no matter what. So, the only human thing would be to immediately reinstall the UNRWA capability—I don’t know—the world is not reacting! It’s already a big discussion: Why are the neighbors of Gaza not acting; why are the other Arab countries not acting? And that is definitely a criticism which will become louder as this thing drags out.

But I think the key question is really—it comes back to the United States, and it comes back to Great Britain, and unfortunately to Germany, which has a position which is unbelievably inhuman, to say the least. In Germany, you’re not even allowed to mention what the International Court of Justice in The Hague is saying. If you repeat just what the Court is saying, you can be punished! It’s unbelievable what’s going on in Germany!

You have 1.5 million people who are starving, and the German media, for example, are not reporting that. They’re saying, “Oh, there is the threat of a hunger starvation crisis.” But they are in the middle of it! People are dying already! If there’s any sense of proportionality, I think we have to get a real escalation of the mobilization, and as I said already, you have to do everything possible to save the people who are now in acute danger of dying. And as we are talking here, they die like flies, as the minutes run out: So immediate help has to occur. But then we need a shift in the direction of putting yourself on a higher level, and saying, “Are we human beings, or are we not?”

Schlanger: Now, there’s an interesting development yesterday: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken sent out a message that Victoria Nuland is resigning—or retiring. Obviously, this is too late, given the damage she’s done. But there is a question sent in: “Do you think she left to avoid the blame when it comes to the question of ‘who lost Ukraine?’”

Zepp-LaRouche: There are people who have actually done some more research, and they claim that the money which she raised, and her apparatus raised was not $5 billion for NGOs to make a color revolution in Ukraine, but more like $12 billion. And obviously the Ukraine situation is an utter failure. And there will come the question of “who lost Ukraine?” Because, when the United States and NATO left Afghanistan in a complete haste in 2021—and we all remember the rather shameful departure from Kabul airport which was completely uncoordinated and almost like a flight—there was discussion already then, where people said, “Well, what is the United States and what is NATO doing for the people who were working for them?”—I don’t know the word in English, the Ortskräfte; the people from Afghanistan who collaborated with NATO over 20 years, they were pretty much left behind.

And as to the Ukraine situation, there is a big debate in the United States, talking about no more money to Ukraine. And the great danger obviously is—and as the escalation is threatening with the Taurus missile as an immediate step—if Ukraine is lost, it will for sure continuously damage the reputation of the West, of the United States. And the myth of the invincibility of the unipolar world, or the rules-based order, will go down the drain.

Now, that is better than if you have an escalation leading to World War III. So, the only elegant way out of this situation is to really say, “OK, this was a mistake. We should go back to, at least, where we were in March 2022.” It now becomes clearer that Zelenskyy was completely ready to make a compromise in Istanbul; that even the German and French governments agreed to the denazification, which even Zelenskyy would have agreed with. So that was an immediate option to stop the war.

And the role of then-British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who went in from London to Kiev and said, “No, you have to keep fighting,” that should also be investigated. Because it’s not only against the UN Charter and against most constitutions to make a war of aggression, but one should also consider whether the effort to stop the possibility of ending a war should not fall under the same kind of scrutiny.

So, I think the only elegant way would be to immediately stop, and say, “Let’s have a negotiation.” The Chinese envoy to Ukraine is apparently traveling to several countries throughout Europe right now, including Kiev and Moscow. The Chinese 12-point program is still a very reasonable approach to start a diplomatic solution, and that should be put on the agenda with the utmost urgency.

Schlanger: I have one final question, which I think you’ve actually answered this so far several times today, but the fact that it keeps coming up, and with a certain amount of urgency—this is from Angela in Italy: “I appreciate your efforts avoid a new world war, but one question comes to my mind again and again: How is it possible that the world can tolerate what’s going on in Gaza? Why is it not possible to stop Netanyahu? I’m asking because, despite the fact that I’ve tried my best to stop these horrendous crimes from being committed, after all these months, nothing has changed. I feel hopeless and helpless. Can you think of a collective action that can be done internationally?”

Zepp-LaRouche: Well, I have to say the same thing I said already: If there would be, let’s say, a group of countries that would put the Oasis Plan, in earnest, on the agenda, making speeches about it, making TV programs about it; or have a group of, let’s say, Nobel Prize winners, who would say, there is actually a plan for how the interests of every country in the region can be addressed. Or any kind of prominent people, let’s say, of former presidents, former heads of state, all religious leaders, the Pope, the various religious leaders of Judaism, of Islam; if they would get together and say: “Let’s put the Oasis Plan of development on the agenda”—that could change it!

We need something drastic! And if you don’t give up, don’t become despaired—and I know that that is very difficult. Sometimes you tend to say—also absolutely horrible—that I better go back to my private life and not listen to the news anymore. There are many people who say this or express this, but that doesn’t help. It just helps the warmongers to get ahead.

But I think if we all mobilize, and the Schiller Institute and the International Peace Coalition, that’s what we are really trying to accomplish—if we would get some countries, some heads of state, some former heads of state, some Nobel Prize winners, or any combination of really top religious leaders, to come out and say: “The only way is peace through development, the new name for peace is development, and here is the Oasis Plan which can do it,” that would inspire everybody! It would inspire the people in the region; it would inspire the neighboring countries.

I have thought about it a lot and the proposal made by my late husband Lyndon LaRouche—already in 1975—it’s still the only way to get peace in the Middle East! So, join our efforts, come to our weekly International Peace Coalition discussion every Friday, including March 8, and mobilize all your friends to join the effort.

Schlanger: People can watch the 14-minute video on the Oasis Plan. And one suggestion: Look, we’re now in the beginnings of the hot phase of the 2024 election in the United States. Candidates are going to be campaigning all over the country. And take the lead from Diane Sare, José Vega, and other LaRouche organization members who are going to these town meetings and presenting the Oasis Plan, and putting the candidates on the spot on this. That is something people can do, as a way of bringing this to the public’s attention.

Helga, thanks for joining us today. Any final words?

Zepp-LaRouche: Get active: You know, this is not a period to be a couch potato or be a bystander, watching from the fence. Because it is you who can make the difference, because if good people unite for a plan, they can bend the arm of the worst tyrant. These are the words of Friedrich Schiller, but I think he was on the mark.

Schlanger: OK, thank you and see you next week.

Zepp-LaRouche: Till next week.

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