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`We're On the Verge of War with Iran,
and Economic Collapse'

Lyndon LaRouche was interviewed by telephone on Aug. 8, 2005 by San Carlos University Radio in Guatemala.

Q: Mr. LaRouche, it's a pleasure to have you with us. You're on the air right now. Thank you for joining us.

LaRouche: Good to be with you.

Q: Thank you very much. This is Radio University, from the University of San Carlos in Guatemala, which has a very large listening audience among students, professors and the public in general. You are on the air, so we would like to hear what you have to say about the situation.

LaRouche: Well, we have a very interesting situation, in the sense that the world is now on the verge of plunging into a New Dark Age. For some people, that's horrifying, but for historians and people of my profession, it's like being a physician. It's the disease that you have to deal with. So therefore, my job is to try to save the patient, and I'm a specialist in very grave sicknesses.

The front end of the thing is that, at the present, we're on the verge of war with Iran, which will not stop there. And just like the rise of fascism in Europe in the 1920s and 30s, the danger of war now from Cheney and company is an expression of an international financial crisis.

In the short-term, the way to define the present crisis immediately is the following: the depression which occurred in October 1987 is comparable to what happened in 1928 and 1933. But, this time, under Greenspan, they came up with a way of postponing the effects of the depression. What they went to is what we call a "gamblers side-bet." This is financial derivatives. Now, what they did, is they went out to create debt against the account of financial derivatives, and by using the printing press, they converted the profits on these debts into profits on the financial side of the account. There were various financial bubbles in the 1990s which went on to 1999, more or less.

The most important part about this was the looting of the former Soviet Union. They turned the Soviet Union into a corpse, and ate the proceeds and lived on it. In 2000-2001, this changed. What happened is, the amount of debt which had to be generated in order to provide financial growth, was such that the debt was greater than the growth. In other words, when the bankrupt debtor goes into debt to pay his current bills, and the debt is greater than the bills he's paying, he is doomed. He's financially doomed.

The entire world system, including the United States, went through this state in 2000-2001. So, now, we don't know exactly what date the system will collapse, but the situation's like what happened to Germany in 1923. Germany was bankrupt in June-July of 1923, but they printed money. They flooded with inflationary money, and by October-November, it was impossible.

Take one example of the case of the United States, and also the United Kingdom. The most conspicuous, obvious bubble is the real estate bubble. The total world economy is less than about 70 trillion dollars a year, but the debt is hundreds of trillions, and going higher all the time. And the way it is driven is that, in the ratio of debt to income, the debt is always higher. It has now reached the point that the system is about to disintegrate. In other words, in the short term, we have transformed the depression of 1987 into a general monetary and financial disintegration.

Well now, such situations are not impossible to solve, but you have to give up money. You have to put the system into bankruptcy reorganization. Now, if the bankers conduct the bankruptcy, the people are cooked and eaten. This is the intention toward Argentina, for example. The alternative is to have the governments put the financial systems into bankruptcy. Now, if you go back to the philosophy of the Roosevelt-designed Bretton Woods, and say, we're going to put the international financial systems into receivership under government control, and if we launch a general growth program, in physical growth not just financial, then the problem can be solved. But it requires a world system which requires the majority of the world to agree. Obviously, the governments today would not agree, unless they were terrified into doing it. Therefore, the more terrified people are, in that sense, that's good, because they have to be convinced to do what is necessary which, unless they are frightened into doing it, they would never consider it.

The problem is that only the United States is capable of forcing this reorganization. Europe is sick. Europe can do nothing. Asia as a whole can do things, but they can't do anything on their own. But since the United States has denominated the world monetary system in U.S. dollars, and since the collapse of the dollar would bankrupt most of the world, the agreement of the United States to defend its dollar in the ways I've proposed, is now in position where the only chance the world has, is to accept my proposal. Like the physician going into surgery, I can save the patient, but the patient depends upon me.

Now this situation should actually amuse those people in Central and South America, who could say that LaRouche is taking revenge for Mexico's President Lopez Portillo. I would be happy to do that. He has died now, but I would like, in a sense, to avenge his honor, by saving the world from a New Dark Age, by doing what Lopez Portillo and I agreed to try to do in 1982. And that is the general situation, in short, as I see it.

Q: Is it possible that the military complex, such as those that are emerging now, those of general warfare—would such scenarios actually serve as a way of solving the economic crisis, as some propose?

LaRouche: No. The people who think this are, if you look at them closely—Look, you have a draft dodger, Dick Cheney, who is actually already the acting President of the United States, while the nominal president is on vacation, mentally and otherwise. Now, Cheney's a draft dodger. His wife became pregnant just in time to save him from having to go into military service in Vietnam. We call these people in the United States "chicken hawks." That is, the draft dodgers who want everybody else to go to war.

Now, what Cheney is proposing—and you have to understand his incompetence and insanity, he's only a thug, a Mafia boss for the financial establishment—he's gone into wars, for example, in Iraq and in Afghanistan. He cannot win these wars in these areas. These areas are disintegrating. No victory is possible. Ever! Now, what he's threatening to do now is to go to a nuclear war, a nuclear attack, on Iran. And he is committed to that, together with Tony Blair, the prime minister of England. The push to go to a preventive nuclear attack, and other attacks, on Iran, is now on the table. He's going for that kind of war, because we no longer have the ability to fight a ground war. The world has no ability to fight general warfare, as we understood it in the past.

Now, going to war will have two effects. First of all, it will set forth what we're already seeing in the region of Asia. There'll be a general spread of what we call irregular warfare or asymmetric warfare. What the Chinese once called "peoples war." It will lead toward, actually, the use of thermonuclear weapons, not merely nuclear ones. So, you're looking at a Dark Age, but you're looking at weak, and cowardly, and stupid people in government, who will actually sit back and let this happen. And I'm speaking of all the governments of Europe. They make me sick. They're pitiful. They're cowards. Unrealistic.

Therefore, I count on the United States to take the leadership to stop this nonsense.

Q: One moment. One way to pose this question is a way that's been presented to us frequently around this radio station, which is: is there a similarity between the situation of the depressions of the 1930s which led to World War II, and the situation today, where we'll have waves of unemployment, leading to militarism in the United States—$500 billion are spent on arms. Is history being repeated here? Are we facing this kind of drive toward war?

LaRouche: Not exactly. What you're facing is the impulse toward war, which is of that character, but it's like a mentally-disabled degenerate is conceiving of it. You're looking at the potentiality of a global New Dark Age, not just a depression. This has a long history in modern European history. The first war was the 7 years war in the early 18th century, which established the British East Indias Company as an empire. You had the Napoleonic Wars, which were actually organized by the British monarchy, again to destroy continental Europe. Then you had various wars, but especially World Wars I and II, which destroyed Europe. Britain's organizing, with Churchill, potentially World War II, was an attempt to destroy continental Eurasia.

What you have is a financial interest, which is the Anglo-Dutch liberal tendency, which has been organizing this kind of affair over these hundreds of years. We have now come to the end of the possibility of this kind of thing. We either stop this, prevent this, or the whole planet goes into a Dark Age, in which the world population will go below one billion people.

Q: Could you clarify an issue for the Guatemalan public, and that is the idea that the war in Iraq is in fact not a result of terrorism, as people are told, but rather over the question of oil. This goes back to the early 90s, with the first President Bush, and today, with the new President Bush, it's the same thing. Could you clarify this?

LaRouche: First of all, terrorism is not the cause of the war at all. The terrorism that actually occurred came from sources outside the Arab world. This had nothing to do with petroleum, as such. But if you look at the world's financial situation, you see that all raw materials, plus housing, the speculation is astronomical. The issue is that we're at the end of a world monetary financial system. The interests behind that system are desperate and they will do anything. They cannot win, but the human race can lose.

We have to get rid of this idea that greed is the main driver of history. The greed is for power, not for wealth.

Q: One final question, since I know your time is limited—and let me say that once you're done, we'll be receiving numerous phone calls, I'm sure, from people who are listening, with regard to what you've said. But my final question has to do with the United States' violations of human rights, which have become known internationally. Not just in Iraq, or Afghanistan, but what has happened at Guatanamo as well, and surely worse things than what we now know will undoubtedly come to light. These are the acts of a criminal government which has violated the Geneva Convention, among other things. How does the United States' population view this question, and what can be done about that?

LaRouche: The lower 80 percent of the US population, has been driven out of politics over the past 30 odd years. The generation which is in power in the United States, the so-called baby boomer generation, is from the standpoint of my generation, rather disgusting. There are some good people in it, but that generation is of a very poor quality. You have a similar situation in Europe. The generation in power is morally incompetent, and its moral incompetence comes out also in the form of intellectual incompetence.

What is controlling the situation is a financier group, typified in the Western Hemisphere by George Shultz, who is the guy who created the Bush administration. These guys are the direct descendants of the people behind the Nazis. What you are seeing in Guatanamo and similar places is a spectacle which is horrifying to our traditional military, and to some Republican senators, among others. It's a contemporary revival of Nazism. There's no difference between the people who are doing what they're doing in Guantanamo, and the Nazis at the concentration camps. If we in the United States do not bring this under control, there will not be a United States much longer.

Q: This is a question from Carlos Wer. He says that the Guatemalan population is not well-informed at all about the meaning of NAFTA and the free-trade agreements, and in particular CAFTA, even though it has just been approved by the United States Congress. What would be the meaning of CAFTA for the population of Central America, including Guatemala?

LaRouche: An increase in slavery, in a few words.

Q: Thank you very much for this interview, on behalf of the entire university community.

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