Go to home page

This transcript appears in the May 17, 2024 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

[Print version of this transcript]

Helga Zepp-LaRouche Keynote to Oasis Plan Seminar in Denmark

Stop the Killing and Start Rebuilding Gaza and the Region with the Oasis Plan—
The LaRouche Solution for Peace through Development

The following is an edited transcript of Schiller Institute founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche’s keynote speech to the seminar held in Copenhagen, Denmark, May 8, 2024, for the diplomatic community and invited guests. Subheads and links have been added. The video of her full presentation is available here.

This Oasis Plan seminar comes at a dramatic moment in history. Hamas announced in a statement yesterday that they had accepted the agreement for a truce with Israel, including the exchange of hostages and prisoners, as was put forward by the Egyptian and Qatari mediators. But within hours of Hamas announcing the success of the hostage truce negotiations, Israeli war planes pounded targets in the Palestinian city of Rafah. Israel also sent in ground forces to capture the Palestinian side of the crucial border crossing with Egypt, Axios reporter Barak Ravid is reporting, citing sources with solid knowledge of the developments. Last night around 8 p.m. local time (UTC+3), [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu’s office announced that the War Cabinet had unanimously decided that Israel will continue its operation in Rafah in order to exert military pressure on Hamas, in order to promote the release of the hostages and other goals of the war. Around 10 p.m. local time, Netanyahu’s office stated that the ceasefire proposal is far from Israel’s necessary requirements, yet they will send a delegation of working-level mediators to exhaust the possibility of reaching an agreement under conditions acceptable to Israel.

As the bombs were falling on Rafah, U.S. State Department spokesman Matthew Miller explained that the U.S. cannot support a full-scale attack on Rafah, as it would lead to additional loss of life and disrupt the humanitarian aid deliveries. “We do not support Israel launching a full-scale military operation in Rafah, as the incursion would make it incredibly difficult to sustain the increase in humanitarian assistance that we have been delivering so far.”

What is happening in Rafah is the beginning of the offensive which threatens to bring a catastrophe for at least one million people. They were warned by leaflets and phone calls to go to Khan Younis, a city which is already completely devastated, without any services at all! “Friends are paralyzed with fear, not knowing if they should stay in other areas of Rafah until the last minute or leave now. This barbaric psychological warfare on top of the ongoing massacres is absolutely intolerable.” This was a message sent by independent journalist Vanessa Beeley yesterday.

Netanyahu had said earlier that he would go through with the offensive, whether or not Hamas agreed to the deal, and obviously, the only power which could stop this is the United States. But President Biden left it with rather inefficient appeals.

Now, this is connected to the internal situation inside the United States. The very ferocious crackdown on U.S. students who have been protesting in more than 100 universities, with more than 2,000 arrested, with many being kicked out of the universities, reflects the panic of the establishment over losing control over the whole Israeli narrative. According to recent polls, 50% of the young people between 18 and 29 years old believe that Israel is committing genocide. Since this is an election year, members of the Western establishment, and in the U.S. in particular, fear for their personal political future.

Why the Oasis Plan Now

It is totally clear that the people in Gaza who are suffering through this incredible situation, and even many Jewish people all over the world, and many others, are absolutely horrified by what’s going on. They are saying, you can’t discuss right now an Oasis Plan because we have to first stop the fighting, we have to have a ceasefire, we have to have humanitarian aid to save lives. And other people are saying: No, we must first have a political solution; only then can we think about economic development.

Let me give you the reasons why we think that the Oasis Plan must be put on the agenda, in spite of all the arguments being made, or even because of them: Because the situation in Gaza is part of a strategic situation which is, right now, as we are sitting here speaking, the war is on the verge of escalating into a potentially global nuclear war. President Putin, a few days ago, ordered military exercises which will include “the use of non-strategic nuclear weapons” in the Southern Military District. The aim, obviously, is to guarantee the territorial integrity of Russia, in reaction to a whole series of very provocative statements and threats coming from Western officials against the Russian Federation. This rehearsal of the deployment of tactical nuclear weapons is in reaction to the following recent developments: First, French President Emmanuel Macron, repeated on May 2 in The Economist that France would send French troops to Ukraine. He also said that he wants to keep the policy of France and NATO towards Russia ambiguous about the French intention, to leave Russia guessing. Then, the British Foreign Minister David Cameron said that Ukraine has the right to use the British weapons, including missiles which have long-range capabilities, to strike targets on Russian territory. Then, from the United States, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D) said, “We can’t allow Ukraine to lose. If it looks like they are losing, then we not only have to send money, but also send servicewomen and servicemen into Ukraine.”

Now, the Russian Foreign Ministry just informed all NATO countries that the Russian Army will identify any F-16 fighter jet sent to Ukraine, whatever the modification, as a nuclear weapons carrier. If an F-16 aircraft is deployed in Ukraine, Russia assumes that NATO is planning a provocation against Russia, because Russia classifies the aircraft as dual-use: non-nuclear and nuclear. These aircraft have long been the main armament for NATO’s joint nuclear mission.

Russia’s foreign ministry stated yesterday that UK Ambassador Nigel Casey had been summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry to receive a strong protest over the recent statements by UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron. He was told that Moscow considers Cameron’s words strong evidence of the serious escalation of the UK’s deepening involvement in military action against Russia. Casey was warned that Russia could respond to the use of UK weaponry to attack Russia by targeting any UK military facilities and equipment on the territory of Ukraine and beyond.

On May 4, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova had noted that NATO’s large-scale Steadfast Defender 2024 drills are a clear indication that the alliance is preparing for a potential conflict with Russia. “Right now, NATO’s largest exercise since the Cold War, Steadfast Defender, is taking place near Russia’s borders. According to their scenario, coalition actions against Russia are being practiced using all instruments, including hybrid and conventional weapons. We have to admit that NATO is seriously preparing for a ‘potential conflict’ with us, which, by the way, is openly spoken about by high-ranking NATO representatives,” she said.

Various military experts in Europe and elsewhere concur that the Ukrainian Army right now is disintegrating. They expect major gains by Russia in the next weeks, maybe even this month, and that the war will be over by the end of the summer. As a consequence, NATO is in a panic, because it would mean a complete loss of the military standing after Afghanistan—other wars ending likewise—and this is why they are engaged in these provocations. They all put out the line among themselves, “Oh, we do not have to worry, because Putin is just bluffing.” But NATO troops in Ukraine, British weapons [hitting] inside Russia, deployment of nuclear weapons in Ukraine—what the F-16 would be—represent an existential threat for Russia. Scott Ritter, the former UN weapons inspector in Iraq, said, if this happens, these troops—French troops and other troops—will be killed immediately, and tactical nuclear weapons will be launched against the decision-making centers, the U.S. bases in Romania, Poland, France, and Germany.

The U.S. establishment is at this point obviously convinced that they cannot back down, because then the entire NATO would not be viable any longer. But the Russian military doctrine is very clear: From their standpoint, when their red lines are crossed, nuclear global war will be the result.s

I must add to this escalation in Ukraine, the potential of the war in Gaza to escalate into a regional war involving Israel and Iran, which also could clearly escalate into a global nuclear war as well, since Russia and China could not tolerate a war against Iran involving U.S., British, and NATO member states.

Putting the Oasis Plan on the agenda now as a vision, is an absolutely crucial part of the effort to avoid World War III. The Oasis Plan conception is a way to understand why only the thinking in a completely New Paradigm can get humanity away from the abyss. We have to overcome geopolitics. The idea that the rise of the Global South, the BRICS-Plus, which is already the Global Majority representing 70% of the world GDP and 80% of the global population—these majorities of the world are not the enemy of the collective West! We must apply the lesson of the Peace of Westphalia, that if the war continues, nobody will be left alive to enjoy the victory. Therefore, we have to start thinking that we need to havea new global security and development architecture, which takes into account the security and development interests of every single country on the planet. I formulated my Ten Principles as a basis for the discussion of what such a new architecture would imply.

In that context, the Oasis Plan is the regional expression of such a new architecture. If you look at the map, you will see that much of the territory of Southwest Asia is desert, desert, desert. The key to peace, therefore, is the production of large quantities of new, fresh water. My late husband, Lyndon LaRouche, already in 1975 proposed the Oasis Plan, with the idea to build canals between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea and the Red Sea; then, with the aid of nuclear energy, to desalinate large amounts of ocean water, make it available for irrigation, make the deserts green, develop agriculture, forestation, basic infrastructure, new cities, and industries. We have to conceptualize the entire region between India and the Mediterranean, the Caucasus, and the Gulf as one integrated region, which then, if it is developed, will become the hub of development between Asia, Africa, and Europe as part of a World Land-Bridge program, which is a plan we already developed in 2014 in response to Xi Jinping announcing the New Silk Road, in which we developed an infrastructure development plan for the entire globe.

There have been in the last ten years since, many steps forward in the realization of parts of this plan. For example, China has greened large parts of its territory—actually of the size of the territory of Germany. They have almost greened one-third of the Hobq Desert in Inner Mongolia, which is basically now becoming an economic cluster of desert tourism, food, and photovoltaics. In Zhengxiangbai [Banner, a county-sized administrative district in Inner Mongolia], not far from Beijing, thousands of hectares of forest have been restored on the border between Shaanxi and Inner Mongolia in the Mu Us desert. Thirty percent of the desert is now covered with vegetation, soil erosion has ceased, and the newly created farmland has reached 1.6 million acres, generating tremendous economic benefit for the local farmers. The Hobq Desert model provides an excellent experience for other countries and regions that face desertification problems.

With the most advanced nuclear energy systems now under development in various countries, it will be possible to desalinate large amounts of water equivalent to creating entire new rivers. So, rather than thinking that one has to fight for narrow strips of land along the ocean, by re-conquering the deserts, one can create beautiful landscapes which can resolve the seemingly unsolvable conflicts for territories on a totally different plane. South Korean companies are now building what will become the first operational NuScale SMRs (small modular reactors), as part of South Korea’s bid to be the world’s foremost constructor of small modular nuclear reactors. South Korea is no newcomer to nuclear power, and builds its own reactors, like the APR-1400 model, which forms the backbone of its suite of 26 reactors which will soon increase to 30. It is in the process of fully completing the nuclear power plant in the United Arab Emirates, comprising four APR-1400 reactors, three of which are already commercially operating, while the last will be online by the end of this year.

There is also the concept of the European molten salt fast reactor, and various thorium-cycle reactor types which have significant safety features and are therefore not controversial.

We are launching this campaign for the Oasis Plan to get an international chorus of forces, of countries, of universities, of think tanks, of individuals demanding its realization. Humanity has come to the most important moment, what German poet Friedrich Schiller called the punctum saliens in a great Classical drama: That is the moment where a decision will decide the entire future of the existence of humanity. A continuation of the same paradigm that we have seen in the last period will lead to the certain annihilation of the entire human species. If we design, however, a completely new architecture, we will hopefully open a new era of mankind.

So, we ask all listeners and viewers to join in this battle for the survival of us all. Thank you.

Back to top    Go to home page