Behind the Crisis in
Russia and the Balkans
In two recent campaign webcasts, Democratic Presidential pre-candidate Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr. was asked to comment on the explosive situation in Russia following the Duma elections, and in the Balkans with the failure to rebuild the region after the Yugoslav war.
The following is from his address to California campaign activists gathered in 52 caucuses around the state on Jan. 23:
Q: This is Ralph Squire in District 4. My question is regarding Russia. Americans today view Russia as being very unstable. I noticed in the last recent elections for the Duma, that a large percentage of the votes went to the candidates of the Communist Party. For years, we Americans have viewed the Communist Party as our vital enemy.... I wonder if you could comment briefly on what has gone on in the Communist Party and in this country.
LaRouche: Okay. Forget communism as such. That's a dead issue. There is something called the Communist Party, but communism in the sense that it existed under the Bolsheviks, does not exist in that sense today.
You have something else, which is of a different, problematic nature. That when this operation occurred in Yugoslavia, with some other operations, a situation developed in which the launching of terrorists deployed by London, associated with Osama bin Laden and other people like that, these terrorists deployed into Chechnya and elsewhere, became a general threat to the entire region of the Transcaucasus and Central Asia, and became considered a threat to Russia.
Now, in the middle of this, someone set off some terrorist bombs, and destroyed hundreds of people in buildings in Moscow. And this unleashed a great--we don't know who did it, but presumably, it was supposed to be terrorists of some kind or other.
But the terrorists deployed into Chechnya and Dagestan and elsewhere, the destabilization of the Nagorno-Karabakh situation with respect to Azerbaijan, and so forth--these issues created a hotspot. And when the President of the United States backed down, in dealing with some of these problems, especially in Yugoslavia, when he capitulated totally to the British at the end of the so-called Kosovo war, the world strategic situation went out of control.
We have now headed in the direction of more and more wars, which even could become nuclear wars around the world, unless the President's capitulation to Gore and to the British, and so forth, stops.
In this situation, there developed in Russia, a fear that Russia was about to be destroyed if this weren't stopped. So the reaction came in a Russian fashion. First of all, the leading Russian circles were convinced that the United States had cut them off, that they were isolated. They became desperate, desperate because of the economic policies imposed upon them, which again, Clinton didn't have the guts to change that. He should have.
So the Russians drew a line in the sand. Now, many different kinds of Russians did it. There's no one faction did it. A lot of different factions were involved in various ways.
For example, I was in touch, directly or indirectly, with a lot of Russian circles, who were trying to prevent this reaction in Chechnya from occurring. But unfortunately, we could not succeed, because the United States government, including Clinton, under the influence of the British, refused to do the things which would have stopped this process right then and there. So the President made a big mistake.
This mistake started when Primakov was dumped. It was the President who made the mistake, under the influence of Al Gore, back when the war in Yugoslavia was starting. And Primakov was out.
From that point on, the United States began to lose control of the situation, because of Al Gore and because of the President's capitulation to Al Gore.
So it came to the point, that you have now in Russia, a combination of no kind of consolidated political view, but a Russian reaction, based on a Russian mind-set, which is sometimes called a Third Rome type of mind-set. That is, a reversion to old tsarist Russian thinking. And one of the key names in Russian history, which will come up more and more in discussing Russia today, is the case of the famous Boris Godunov, from this period between the death of Ivan the Terrible and the rise of the Romanovs. There was this terrible period, and there was this one figure, Boris Godunov, who is very famous. Pushkin wrote a story, a history about this thing.
So, this kind of "Time of Troubles" mentality, of a Russian tsarist tradition, has now come to the fore. You see, for example, the Russian troops deployed into Chechnya, now have Russian Orthodox priests as chaplains accompanying them. So, that's not the old Communist Party.
So, what you have, is a confused Russian patriot reflex-reaction, which is extremely brutal, which is using the drawing of a line in the sand in Chechnya, as a point of confrontation where they say, "We will not take another step backward."
The issue for U.S. policy
Well, the obvious solution to this problem, is the United States has got to change. It's got to change its policy. Clinton's got to stop capitulating to these clowns around him. It's not going to do him any good, it's not going to do us any good.
If I were President, I could solve that problem today, partly because I have enough respect internationally, where people trust me, whether they like me or not. They know that when I say I'm for something, I'm for it, unlike some other people.
So, on the basis of that kind of trust and confidence, I could influence the situation, if I were put in the position to influence it. And if people were willing, behind me, to do the right thing, I could solve this problem now.
But Clinton so far, has given no indication that he's willing to try to solve the problem. He's still sticking to the same agenda, which will not work. So we have a potentially dangerous situation, not because there's some enemy lurking to attack us from Russia, communist or otherwise; but because the very nature of the situation, globally, is the world situation is now going out of control.
For example, the United States has the military capability of bombing almost any part of the world it chooses to, with a certain relative degree of impunity, if it doesn't run out of bombs, which we may not be able to make any more, once the present supply runs out.
But we do not have the ability to win a war, in a conventional sense or a traditional sense of winning a war, anywhere. We don't have that ability.
So then, why are we starting wars, when we don't have the capability of fighting them in a conventional sense, in a justified way?
Growing threat of war
We have on this planet, a spread of chaos. The entire Balkan region, is an area of total chaos as a result of Blair, and the result of foolishness of President Clinton in capitulating to that, to Blair's and Gore's policy.
The entire Middle East is in jeopardy, even though the President is trying to do the right thing in the Middle East with Barak and the Arab neighbors.
The situation in Russia is terrible.
The China situation is becoming more and more terrible by the day, because of the Republicans, and because of what Clinton refuses to do on this issue.
We have a threat of a general nuclear war threat, involving Pakistan and India.
Africa is chaos; the rate of AIDS and similar problems in Africa, is beyond belief.
Indonesia, one of the largest nations in the world, is disintegrating. Ecuador is disintegrating. Venezuela is disintegrating. Colombia is disintegrating. Brazil is ready to explode. Argentina is disintegrating.
The world is in a terrible mess. And it's not the Russians as such. It's a terrible mess, which we have allowed to develop, as the leading nation in the world, because we, under successive Presidents, especially since Kennedy's death, have failed to take the kind of steps which would provide for our security. And that's the problem.
Don't blame somebody else. Blame ourselves. Yes, the British are to blame. But we have enough power to buck them. We have enough power to make world policy with friends abroad, without them. And we could.
But the cowardice and lack of firmness on the part of the President, Bill Clinton, who I otherwise try to help; but, I must admit, that his failure to act in an intelligent and responsible way, his negligence, is allowing this stuff to spread. And it's not the Russians. It's the whole blasted world blowing up, step by step.
And now we've got the next step, the other shoe will drop, when the whole financial system blows apart, which can come almost any time. I can't say when, but almost any time is the time to figure on.
This is the problem. It is not that we have this enemy, if we go out and beat this guy, it's going to solve the problem. It's not that at all. The enemy we have to beat today, is largely ourselves, because we don't have the government, we don't have the kind of toughness in the President required to solve these problems.
Therefore, the problem, because of the power and the influence we have, the problem lies within ourselves. And the problem within ourselves, lies in the fact that we tolerate calling George W. Bush a "potential President." We tolerate, in the Democratic Party, considering Gore as an actual candidate for the President of the United States.
The fact that we would do either of these things as an American people, means that we really don't care whether we survive or not. We just want to sit around and speculate on who the front-runner's going to be. We don't care about the country or the world.
And that's where the enemy is: It's in ourselves, in the American people themselves, who have lost sight of reality.
Yes, the world's a dangerous mess. But it's a mess because we, the most influential single nation on this planet, are failing to do the simple things we could do, to ensure our own future and security.
Deterioration in the Balkans
From a webcast press conference with international journalists, Jan. 27:
Moderator Debra Freeman: I have a question that was submitted to you from Mr. Ramadan Reshitaj. He is the editor of the weekly newspaper Besa, which is the newspaper for Albanians living in Kosovo. His question is: Mr. LaRouche, if you are going to win the Presidential elections, what will your policy toward the Balkans and, in particular, toward the Albanians be?
LaRouche: All right. Right now we have a terrible situation in the Balkans as a result of what the British and others did, with the consent of the United States. The condition is, that right at this moment, as we speak, the ice floes on the Danube are piling up, around where the bridges were bombed. As a result of that and related conditions, the entire Balkans is now becoming an economic and human hellhole.
Now, during the time prior to the conclusion of the bombing in the Balkans, in the Yugoslav war, the President of the United States, beginning in an address he gave in San Francisco, Bill Clinton, announced a policy which I thought was good. But then at the end of the bombing, he reversed himself. And as a result of that reversal, instead of what he proposed, which was to take a Marshall Plan approach to reconstruction of all the Balkans, he took a position which has helped, together with the British, to turn that place into hell. And it's becoming worse, worse than it was before the war, and during the war, now.
So, under those conditions, the obvious thing to do is go back to the Treaty of Westphalia as a precedent, a model precedent, and to say that we must develop the entirety of the Balkan area economically, without prejudice. Now, the first thing that should have been done, is that the Danube should have been cleared to open for traffic. The failure to open the Danube again for traffic was a crazy decision, coming out of London, but supported by the United States; it has created a hellhole in the Balkans, and affects all the underbelly of Europe as a whole.
It also is a threat to stability in the relation between Europe and Turkey, and so forth and so on. So, what must be done, is, we have to say, what we wish to do, what is our interest, is to bring justice, not vengeance, but justice, to all the area--economic justice, Marshall Plan-style. We set a group of rules for economic development, we work with our European partners and others to implement that development. People are dying as a result of the conditions created by the war and the conclusion of the war itself. People are dying! We cannot tolerate that condition. Therefore, we must take emergency action, immediate emergency action, to foresee a Marshall Plan-type of development of each and all parts of that region, in cooperation with the neighbors of that region, especially.
That must be done, without fear, without sense of retribution, or anything else. Just do it.