On Feb. 5, Executive Intelligence Review magazine released the English-language version of a groundbreaking new report headlined "The Eurasian Land-Bridge: The New Silk Road--Locomotive for Worldwide Economic Development." The report was presented at a Washington, D.C. forum one of whose sponsors was FDR-PAC, a political action committee founded by associates of Lyndon LaRouche, the American statesman and economist who founded, and plays a major role in shaping, EIR magazine.
FDR-PAC is urging that the Eurasian Land-Bridge proposal be adopted as a basis for U.S. foreign policy.
The 298-page report drew on the expertise of EIR news bureaus from around the world, to present a sweeping and comprehensive plan for the rapid industrialization of the globe, led by Great Projects of transportation, communications, energy, and water resources infrastructure, aimed at raising the standard of living of all nations toward and above that enjoyed today in the so-called industrialized sector. In particular, the report details the Chinese governments role in development of the "New Silk Road" Eurasian Land-Bridge, which Beijing has treated as the leading edge of a national program of 10,000 major infrastructure and economic development projects.
Speakers at the Feb. 5 Washington forum were Lyndon LaRouche and Helga Zepp LaRouche. In this special issue of American Almanac, we print both the LaRouches presentations, beginning here with Lyndon LaRouches opening remarks.
Let me say, first of all, that the policy which is contained in the outline presented in the book, is one of three elements of policy, upon which the future existence of civilization depends, including the continuation of civilization, even as far distant as the end of this century. It is a policy which, in part--the Land-ridge element--has been adopted by China, which is now receiving cooperation from Iran, significant cooperation from Iran, for reasons which Helga will indicate, has recently received endorsement and offers of cooperation from the President of India in meetings, public meetings with Jiang Zemin of China. It has the express interest of Turkey by the present Prime Minister Erbakan, in terms of cooperation with Iran. Recently, the government of Armenia has emphasized the importance of its collaboration with Iran, because of this kind of policy. It has the support, in significant degree, of the Foreign Minister of Russia, Yevgeni Primakov.
And, in the most recent period, since the French government has broken with the British government in a dramatic move over the issue of British Commonwealth genocide in Africa, the French government has entered into new degrees of cooperation with Germany, both against British Commonwealth genocide in Africa, and, also, in support of GermanyGermany'ss, Frances, Russia's, and other countries interest in cooperation with Iran, with India, with Asia and Russia, in developing this type of orientation of economic cooperation across Eurasia, across continental Eurasia, and into Africa.
Background: The SDI
Now, the background to this, on how we got into this business. It started formally in 1982-83, when I was invited by representatives of the U.S. Executive Branch, to set up a back-channel discussion with the Soviet government. And, it was agreed that the subject of my discussion would include, among other things, a presentation of my design for a strategic ballistic missile defense, to be mutually supported, hopefully, by both governments, the development of which would be utilized to provide new technologies for a recovery of the world in general from the economic disaster which was already then in progress.
During 1982, to February of 1983, I conducted negotiations through this back-channel with the Soviet government. In February, the Soviet government turned down the policy recommendation I made, though they were still interested in economic discussions. But, in March of the same year, March 23, the President of the United States, Reagan, adopted and presented the policy which Id been discussing with the Soviets, and which became known as the Strategic Defense Initiative.
Now, in the process of those discussions, in February, my last meeting then with the Soviet representative (I met the same gentleman recently in Russia. We had some reminiscence on these things); but, in my last meeting, I warned him, that if the President of the United States were to offer the kind of cooperation which I had outlined to him and his government, and that if the Soviet government refused that offer of Reagan's, then, within about five years, the Soviet economy would collapse.
Now, 1988 came, five years later. In Berlin, on Oct. 12 of 1988, as a part of my Democratic Presidential nomination campaign at the time, I gave a Columbus Day press conference in Berlin, in which I announced the imminent disintegration of the Comecon and Warsaw Pact in their present form, and indicated both that Poland would probably be the first nation to break out of the ComeconWarsaw Pact alliance, and, secondly, that Berlin would likely become, soon, the designated new capital of a unified Germany.
I indicated that, from the standpoint of the United States, that for the period of the coming administration, the primary policy question on the table of the United States, would be the breakup of the Warsaw PactComecon alliance, and that the United States would have to base its global policy on that fact as a central feature of the strategic landscape, for the coming period. I also broadcast this on a national television broadcast here in the United States, a televised copy of that address which I gave in Berlin, at the Berlin press conference.
Within about a year from there, as we all know, the Berlin Wall began to crumble. It had started, as I had indicated earlier, in Poland, which was the first nation to break the Comecon bonds. Then, in October-December of 1989, the Berlin Wall crumbled.
And, there were two policies on the table of the world. One was the policy which I had indicated, that we must reach out to the former Soviet Union and the states of Eastern Europe, to create a new form of economic cooperation, based in part on the fact that in the Soviet military-industrial sector, there was one of the most important concentrations of strategic machine tool capability in the world. And, the collaboration between the United States, and France, and Germany, especially Germany, with that sector, would be the potential sciencetechnology driver for a generalized world recovery. That was my policy.
It was also the policy of a leading German banker, Alfred Herrhausen of Deutsche Bank, who unfortunately was assassinated in British interest, in November of that year, on the basis of a similar policy which he had enunciated for Eastern Europe.
The other policy was a policy of Margaret Thatcher and the person she describes as her "little poodle dog," President George Bush, who she could make do anything she wanted to make him do. I'd ask Helga about that, how that works. Sometimes, the dogs make you do what they want you to do, but it usually works the other way.
So, Bush and Thatcher took the wrong policy. Were now in a global disaster. The likelihood of civilization surviving in its present form to the end of the century, is almost zero. We are presently in the worst financial crisis in the history of modern Europe. Within a matter of weeks or months--some say weeks, some say months. It doesn't make any difference; the Titanicis sinking anyway, and the day on which it sinks is not the issue. The question is: Do we have the sense to get off the ship before it sinks? Not can we, like the hogs on Wall Street, wait till the last moment, to get out of the market just before it collapses? People get slaughtered doing that.
So, the two issues are this. First of all, to deal with this crisis and the banking system collapse is inevitable. It is not because of Japans bad policy or somebody else's bad policy. Its because of everybody'sbad policy: the IMF's bad policy, London's bad policy, our bad policy. We've been destroying modern economy, we've lowered the productive powers of labor. Most parts of the Third World, especially Africa and, to some degree, Central and South America, are suffering far more than they ever did, 30 years ago. The condition of mankind in general on this planet is far worse than it was 30 years ago, in physical parameters.
Yes, there is a facade, one might say a Potemkin village facade, of prosperity still around the planet. Its like one of these houses you get in Northern Virginia. Its all facade, but the inside is not worth having. And they charged you $250,000 or more, for the experience of having the house collapse around you. And that's our economy.
The Bubble Is About To Pop
As a result of this kind of economy, we have built up the greatest financial bubble in history, a bubble which amounts to trading of about $3 trillion a day. With the support collapsing from underneath it, this bubble will collapse. Nothing can prevent this bubble from collapse, exceptputting it into bankruptcy.
Therefore, there are three elements which are required to get out of this mess. First of all, a number of governments, led by the United States Executive--that means President Clinton in this period; whatever you think of Clinton, he's got the ball--must initiate an emergency, new Bretton Woods conference, to reestablish immediately the best features of the Bretton Woods system prior to 1966. That is, a system of stable parities, a system whose trade and tariff agreements are essentially protectionist in nature, a system to foster cheap credit for long-term investment in international markets, and to foster scientific and technological progress. A new Bretton Woods, which must essentially meet over a weekend, declare the present international monetary and financial institutions to be bankrupt, to agree to put these institutions into government-supervised receivership for reorganization, to prevent social chaos, and to preserve essential structure of fiscal and financial administration; to cancel all existing trade and tariff agreements, to set up a new set of mutually advantageous protectionist arrangements, in order to foster investment and growth within national sectors.
Once that's done, the second thing is to find a major series of projects which can lead to an economic recovery, in the sense that Roosevelt during the late 1930s conceived an economic recovery of the United States. You must have large-scale infrastructure projects--otherwise, no economic recovery.
And, this world is a mess. Most of the world does notfunction, precisely because there's not the infrastructure present, in terms of transportation, power, and so forth, to enable the world to function. You cant have peace in the Middle East, because there's not enough water in the area of Palestine adjoining Jordan, to sustain the existing population. Without large-scale water development projects, which includes desalination on a mass scale, there is no possibility of peace in the Middle East. That's typical of the infrastructure projects.
The problems in Africa, the key economic problem, is infrastructure: clean water to drink, efficient transportation, adequate power resources. Without these elements, there is no hope of economic development in Africa.
In Asia, we have the greatest concentration of the worlds population, with a totally inadequate inland infrastructure development. The greatest part of the human population, ready for growth, but unable to do so effectively, for reason of lack of adequate development of infrastructure.
So therefore, the Eurasian Land-Bridge conception, an idea which was initially presented in the 1860s by Henry C. Carey, the economist who was also a partner of President Abraham Lincoln. And, Carey proposed that the lessons of Europe and the United States in opening up the western lands from the Atlantic to the Pacific and then similarly in Europe, through railroad development corridors, be utilized throughout Eurasia from the Atlantic to the Pacific and to the Indian Ocean, to accomplish similar results in Eurasia.
This policy, presented by Carey, which was adopted by important circles in Germany, was spread into Russia, into China, and others, and resulted in a policy which caused Britain to organize World War I. That is, the so-called Land-Bridge program of certain French interests associated with Sadi Carnot, the President of France who was assassinated, with Gabriele Hanotaux, the Foreign Minister and historian, with Count Sergei Witte of Russia, with circles around the Chinese movement of Sun Yat-sen in China, with pre-1894 interests in Japan of the Meiji Restoration, were all agreed on the development of railway development corridors. Not just railroad tracks: railroad development corridors, such as we had used in the United States, in developing the western lands of the United States, through railway corridors; that that must be done throughout Asia.
And, people associated with the Bache tradition in the United States, with Emil Rathenau, and Siemens and others in Germany, the forces I indicated in France, the circles of Dmitri Mendeleyev and of Witte in Russia, were united in developing a series of railroad corridors which would extend from the Atlantic, from the coast of France to the Pacific across to the islands, and railroad connections down into Japan itself, with the same thing to be done toward the Indian Ocean.
Casus Belli for Britain
The British said plainly at that time, that this proposal was a threat to the British Empire. The development of a continental communications network of this type, would mean that the continental power of the Eurasian land mass would dominate over the maritime power of the British Empire. And that the British Empire would not tolerate. And thus the British succeeded, by a number of measures in organizing World War I, to prevent that from occurring.
Now, its back on the agenda. Again, the British are prepared to destabilize China, prepared to destabilize Iran, destroy it, and so forth and so on, to prevent this project from occurring.
The third element, in addition to the Land-Bridge program, which is our great recovery program for this planet for the 21st century, is the return to the Machine Tool Principle. The problem we have in Asia, is this. Japan has a very good machine tool sector, though its not being helped by the current financial situation, or trade situation. Korea has a decent machine tool sector. Taiwan has, relatively, a very good machine tool sector. The Philippines used to have a bit of a machine tool sector until they shut it down, and packed it up and shipped it out, back to the United States.
Indonesia has a very limited machine tool sector, chiefly under the top-down organization of Professor Habibie. Other states in Southeast Asia either have no machine tool sector, or virtually none.
In India, there is a machine tool sector which is very inadequate, relative to the population. China has a machine tool sector which is being fostered, but its inadequate relative to the population. The strategic machine tool sector in the United States has been virtually destroyed. We have depended upon Germany and Japan, for the key elements of our machine tool sector.
Without a strategic machine tool sector, you can not maintain the rate of progress in the productive powers of labor which are needed to sustain a global recovery program. Without the fostering of the machine tool sector, the strategic machine tool sector, of the type we used to associate with military technology; without that, you can not muster the intellectual force needed to increase the productive powers of labor sufficiently, to meet the moral requirement which we have to humanity in the coming period.
So, those three things are the foundations of a recovery policy, a survival policy for civilization, for the remainder of this century and the next century. And the Land-Bridge program is at the center of it. Helga, who worked with me closely, and with others in 1989 and 1990, in developing this program, around the so-called Productive Triangle program in Europe, has been through various phases of this. Shes been involved in discussions with China at a high level, discussions with other countries, or coordinating that. Michael Liebig and Anno Hellenbroich have been similarly involved with that, directly and indirectly.
So, Helga will present the vital elements of the Land-Bridge program as such, and then, in the question period, you can ask us--including Mr. Liebig and Mr. Hellenbroich, who are also available--to answer your questions.