November 16 Webcast
Dialogue With LaRouche
This is a transcript of the dialog which followed Lyndon LaRouche's main presentation at his Nov. 16, 2006 webcast.Debra Freeman: ...To start, I will try to wherever possible, group the questions by subject, just because it lends some order to the discussion. The first question is one of strategic concern that was submitted by a group of senior, retired military officers, who we have been in discussion with, particularly over the course of the last week or so. And what they say is: "Mr. LaRouche, the Baker-Hamilton Commission report is expected to be released sometime soon. Some of us here in the United States have expressed concern that domestic political considerations could override the best overall strategic approach to the Iraq crisis, which is rapidly devolving into a sectarian civil war and worse. How would you respond to these concerns, and how would you update or modify your own 2004 doctrine for Southwest Asia?"
LaRouche: Well, what I've not mentioned so far is, who is the enemy? Now, around the world, people think the United States is the enemy. The United States is not the enemy; the United States has become a puppet of the enemy. And there are people in the United States who represent the enemy—like George P. Schulz, Henry Kissinger, and so forth. They represent the enemy, but they're not really Americans. They represent another interest: a foreign interest, which is the Anglo-Dutch Liberal system. It's centered in the imperial system that wants globalization. If you wish to destroy a great nation like ours, you destroy it by first inducing it to discredit itself. And then you look at the way in which we are induced to discredit ourselves as a nation of the world. And the degree of discredit which we have suffered since the year 2000, is the greatest in our history. This Presidency, this Bush-Cheney Presidency, has been the instrument of our destruction, of our self-destruction, which now opens the door to the destruction by other forces besides our own.
Who did it? Who was our enemy in 1776? Who was our enemy in 1812, 1815? Who was our enemy in 1861? Who has been our enemy? Who organized wars on the continent of Europe, in order to build up an imperial power, or a maritime power? Who did it? The Anglo-Dutch Liberal forces, which have always been committed, since 1763, since the Peace of Paris of 1763, have been committed to destroying what became the United States. These are the people who have moved in and taken our Presidency a number of times. These are the people who created the Confederacy. These are the people who were behind Woodrow Wilson, Teddy Roosevelt, who owned Coolidge, who owned Hoover. These are the people who owned Truman. These are the people who have owned Nixon. These are the people who owned the Trilateral Commission. These are the people who owned the right wing inside the Reagan Administration—my enemies. These are the people who were behind George H.W. Bush. These were the people behind the Bush-Cheney government, created by George P. Shulz, an accredited fascist.
Who was it? The international financial oligarchy. Who is it? It's a sort of a slime mold, composed of financier interests in the Venetian tradition of Paolo Sarpi, who emerged by Venetians changing their names to Dutch names and English names, and so forth. Instead of Venetian, they became known as Anglo-Dutch Liberals. These are the people who created the British Empire, who are determined to have a world empire modelled upon the medieval model of the time: that Venice, as a financier oligarchy, controlled a bunch of scumbags—to use a technical term—called the Crusaders, the Anglo-Dutch Liberal, or the Norman liberals, or the Norman chivalry, who raised hell in Europe, and almost destroyed civilization in the medieval period. They were reincarnated, in a sense, as the Anglo-Dutch Liberals, and became a power, an imperial power, in 1763, with the Peace of Paris.
Since that time, they ran wars repeatedly in order to induce continental Europe to destroy itself. They worked to destroy us in various ways. And all of our patriots from earlier times, knew that. Only the poor fools of today don't know that; don't know who the enemy is. Who did we fight in wars? Who is the enemy? It was always the same one. Sometimes we were the suckers; we joined the enemy.
But it's the same thing today. People wish to destroy us, and we are destroying ourselves. And when the professional military, who are men of conscience and patriotism, react to the mess in the Middle East, so-called, they are reacting—they may not understand exactly what they're reacting to historically, because they're younger than I am, and therefore, they weren't around soon enough to find out what this thing is all about. But we patriots—look, I came back as a simple soldier from Burma, into India and back here at the end of the war. And I saw us betrayed! When I hit the shore here, I knew we had been betrayed—betrayed by what Truman represented.
In 1947, for example, I wrote a letter to Eisenhower, who was then the president of Columbia University. In a couple of paragraphs, which is what you write to a former commander of forces, I laid out the case of why he must run for President, for the Presidential nomination on the Democratic ticket. And he wrote back and said he agreed with me, but the time was not right for him to do it. Because patriots who went to the war understood what we were, in saving the planet. We saved this planet from Nazism. And when Truman came in, we began—by 1948 we brought the Nazis back into their positions in France and elsewhere. We put them in the jug; we tortured them for a while, and we brought them out and gave them back their old positions, and they are the force in the world today. What do you think this thing is we're dealing with in the United States—this right wing? It's the same thing.
The British Method
But it's British method. Remember what the British did. Here's France, the Treaty of Westphalia: The Treaty of Westphalia was organized by Cardinal Mazarin of France, who succeeded this idiot by the name of Richelieu (a clever idiot, but an idiot nonetheless), who had as his key man, Jean-Baptiste Colbert, who organized France as the leading nation of the world. What happened to France? Why was France the leading nation of the world, the greatest power in the world at that time. What happened to it? Well, an inside job—Louis XIV.
And so what, they did, the Anglo-Dutch Liberals, our familiar friends, our ever-loving English-speaking brothers and sisters (or English-squeaking brothers and sisters, as the case may be). They induced this idiot, who allied himself with a bunch of gangsters called the Frond, with imperial delusions, and he fell into a war trap with the Anglo-Dutch Liberals, and there wasn't much left of the French monarchy, except one little infant, at the time that Louis XIV died. At that point then, through various operations, the Anglo-Dutch Liberals took over the throne of England and established it as Great Britain, the British government, 1712. Leibniz dies in 1714; there's a phase change in history. More wars! Always on the continent! The Anglo-Dutch Liberal system wins. Why?
Take the Seven Years' War; that's how the British got to be an empire. It was the British East India Company, not the British monarchy. You had the greatest military commander of that period—Friedrich der Grosse [Frederick the Great]—who was very good at winning battles, but he lost the war! Because he was a puppet of the British in getting the forces of Russia, of Austria, Austro-Hungary, France, and so forth, all involved in this war. What comes out of it? France, which was a great power, is stripped of much of its power, and now the English have established an empire—the Anglo-Dutch Liberals of the East India Company. The same thing all over again.
We beat these guys; we were an inspiration in our Revolution. But then these guys organized the French Revolution, through the Martinist freemasonry. And the British freemasonry ran France; they ran the Revolution. They created Napoleon. "They created Napoleon? Weren't they enemies of Napoleon?" Yes—not really. Because Napoleon did more to destroy continental Europe than any other single force, and then he was gone. And the same Anglo-Dutch Liberals created Hitler, and they were about to make an empire and play with him the same way, by having him get stuck in the Soviet Union someplace, and then they were going to jump on his ass, which is what the British like to do.
And in the same way: We got stuck in this thing! We won World War II. We saved the planet! With all our faults, we saved the planet. Yes, other people fought the war, too, but without us, they'd have never won it. We saved the planet from Nazism.
I come back from the war; just a simple soldier, but I know what's going on, like anybody who's intelligent knows what's going on. I come back and I find out we've been betrayed. We went over to the same crowd we fought against. Yes, we joined the British against Hitler, in order to defeat Hitler. But Roosevelt knew what the British were; he told Churchill to his face what he was.
So our people forget who the enemy is. They think of the enemy in terms of some guy in a prize fight or something; you go out and kill somebody. The game is not to win wars like winning prize fights. The game is—and this sometimes requires military capability—is to orchestrate history! To bring forth on this planet the kind of system of government, the system of society which we need. We were the leader of that; we were created as the leader of that, because Europe was so polluted by oligarchy, that even the best ideas of Europe could never succeed, because of this damned oligarchy. We were independent; and after Lincoln's victory, after Roosevelt's victory, we were repeatedly betrayed.
Now, therefore, to talk about policy in a negative way, in respect to Southwest Asia, is idiocy! It's not a simple military question; it's a strategic question of the highest level. We've come to the point where it is not possible to fight general warfare. We are in the age of nuclear weapons, and traditional ideas of warfare are no longer workable, except for defense in special situations. But it's the idea of general warfare, declaring warfare—you don't go to war. You may defend, but you don't continue warfare; you defend, and you seek the end of war as soon as possible. Get out of there! And you're prepared for that.
But, on the other side, one of the reasons you can't fight war is because we have asymmetric warfare, irregular warfare on a mass scale. And no military force can stand up as a permanent occupying force against asymmetric warfare. The Israelis got their nuts kicked off them in Lebanon—because asymmetric warfare defeated them. Yes, they bombed like hell; they bombed with air power, but what can you do? You live on the ground, you don't live in an airplane forever.
What happened in the Soviet Union, in Afghanistan? Asymmetric warfare. What happened to the United States in Indochina? Asymmetric warfare. What's happened in Iraq? Aggravated asymmetric warfare, complicated by that idiot that was put in there [Paul Bremer], who, when the United States had control of the situation, disbanded the treaty agreement with the Iraqi military and the Ba'ath Party. Under normal military rules, you would do the right thing, but Bremer did everything wrong. Accept the surrender; adopt the forces of the country you just defeated; have them do the job of running the country, under an agreement which aims toward a peace treaty. Don't try to do regime change. It was regime change that made asymmetric warfare inevitable.
We're now at the fag end of asymmetric warfare. We're losing the situation in Palestine and Israel. The situation becomes more impossible. We're about to have a Sunni-Shi'a war in the region—maximum destabilization.
What we have to do, therefore, is go to a higher level than simply these simple military questions. Yes, we do have to have an exit policy. But we're going to get out of there. What that means is, we're going to have to engage the entire region of Southwest Asia in a comprehensive approach to getting out of there. Now, as long as this President is in power, as the President of the United States, you can't do it—you can't do it. The generals are right, in one sense, but you can't do it as long as you've got this President in there, for two reasons: not only because of him and Cheney and his apparatus, which is sunk too deeply already into the institutions of government of the United States. It's going to take a little work to get rid of those rats, which were brought in as part of the Bush Administration. They've been in there for six years now. They've planted their poison; they've destroyed institutions; they've destroyed ideas; they've planted their agents all over the place.
The point is, the United States is not respected as long as Bush is President, and as long as Cheney is influential. If the United States wants to do something in Southwest Asia, it's got to get this bum out of the White House, and it's got to have a spokesman for the United States, which people will believe.
Now, I'm involved in exploring what the diplomatic options might be, in part of that arrangement. I'm personally involved in that. I've got a sense of what the situation is; and unless we can inspire the people of the region to give up the things they're planning to do right now—for example, what do we have to do? We have to go directly to negotiate, not "conditions" with Iran; we have to negotiate a general diplomatic relationship with Iran, period. Because, once you do that, you change the dynamic. You've got to go to Turkey, and lay the thing out to them, because we are, in a sense, creating the Kurdistan problem. So, we're going to get Turkey involved in this mess. We've got to cut the Israelis off on this thing; they're going to have this agreement with the Palestinians now! Period.
You've got to be as tough diplomatically, in these respects, as you would be in warfare. If you're tough enough in the right way, for the right thing, you can win the war without having to fight it. The problem is, is that the kind of thing that's being proposed, about disengagement, the process of disengagement, is you have to have the right factors that will make it work. Right now, everything I'm reading is that the situation is so damned deteriorated, that merely a simple procedure like that, there is no one to do it. There is no way you can enlist forces from that region now, to an agreement by which we can disengage the U.S. forces from Iraq. We're going to have to "git."
Now, the alternative to just gitting, is to do what I said. If you want to get the job done, do it. You're dealing with a dynamic situation, not a Cartesian mechanistic situation. You've got to control the dynamics of the region.
I believe we can do it. I believe we can handle it with Russia, with Germany, with France; it's difficult with Turkey. [We can] negotiate a general open diplomatic agreement with Iraq. No conditions; we have regular diplomatic relations, period. Bring in India; bring in the Pakistan factor, which can be done. Don't make a mess of Darfur, the way some people want to do. Don't do any of these things. Don't let Egypt be destabilized. Force it by getting a nice little conspiracy among some powers. We're going to shove it down the present Israeli government: We're going to have a peace, a Palestinian-Arab-Israeli peace. We're going to have it! And we can do it, actually; we can do it. The danger is, those nuts may go off and start throwing bombs at themselves, almost as on a suicide mission, on Iran, and that can start the whole hell-mess going forward. That's the situation.
So, they're right on their assessment of the situation; they're right on their assessment on the consequences of simple withdrawal. But when you start to define an alternative, then you find you've got a real mess on your hands. You say, well, with this President, with this Vice President, with the present policies, we can't make it. So therefore, you take, on the other hand, the Baker-Hamilton proposal. The Baker-Hamilton proposal does touch on things which are important factors to be considered, and in that sense, it is positive. But, are you willing to go far enough to win the war, as opposed to simply pretending to make a gesture to win the war? You've got to have the guts to think it through. And I believe it can be done. If I were President of the United States, I could do it, and I would do it. But, I'm not President of the United States; that's your problem.
The SDI Approach and Geopolitics
Freeman: Now, that's a problem we might be able to deal with. I'd like to call Jeff Steinberg up to the microphone to ask the next question, because I can't make it out.
Jeff Steinberg: Yes, thanks Lyn. This is a question that was sent in from Judge Carlo Palermo, who was one of the leading investigative magistrates in Italy, investigating many aspects of the whole terror campaign, Strategy of Tension, from the 1970s through the '80s. He's now retired from his position as a magistrate, and he's a criminal lawyer. He's involved in a case, and he's asked for your insight into some of the background on the case. Basically, in April of 1991, there was a collision of two ships in the harbor of Livorno, Italy. One hundred and forty people were killed, and he's now representing the families of some of the victims. And it turns out, that the reason for this collision, is that this was at the tail end of the Operation Desert Storm, and the United States was beginning Operation Provide Comfort. Large amounts of weapons were being covertly smuggled into northern Iraq, along with a number of U.S. Special Forces. This was also the period that there was a big upsurge in smuggling of weapons into the Balkans as well, for the Balkan War.
Judge Palermo's questions is: Number one, can you shed some further insight into what was going on during that period; and second, would you estimate that Dick Cheney played an important role in this whole episode?
LaRouche: Oh, Cheney is obviously key, but Cheney is not the architect of this. The policy is obvious; it's what we were concerned with, and I was concerned with back at the end of the 1970s, the beginning of the 1980s. It was what was involved in our consideration of what became known as the SDI. It was obvious that with the Soviet Union at that time, we were either headed toward an unthinkable—because of the crisis which was building up inside the Soviet Union already—or we were going to find some remedies.
Now, the danger was—and it was typical of Reagan: Reagan had two sides. Reagan's relationship to me, especially in terms of the SDI, was one thing. And, if by some chance, if Andropov had not become the General Secretary of the Soviet Union, then I think the deal could have been made, that Reagan offered, which is what I had negotiated with the Soviet government, as an offer, as a proposal. And the President presented exactly my proposal to the Soviet government, and the Soviet government turned it down without discussion. And Gorbachev later did the same damn thing.
Our concern was, that knowing the system was going to collapse, and knowing that you could not actually fight, successfully, the kind of thermonuclear war which was building up, that you had to negotiate anew and induce a change in the structure of world relations. The strongest support I had on this, was partly from Italy, from the military in Italy; from leading circles in France, and from much of the German military, who understood exactly what I was saying: That our objective was, by eliminating the kind of condition which this thermonuclear confrontation represented, we could bring the factor of national power back into play again.
Now, our opposition in this, was always moving in the direction of the idea of globalization. So, what did they do? To understand this, you've got to look at the British-French, Thatcher-Mitterrand agreements on Germany, which were imposed to destroy Germany. You look at the German economy today, and look at the elements of it, and you find it's been destroyed. You look at the European continent—largely destroyed. Every state in the former Comecon, is far worse, has far worse conditions of life than it had under the Soviet Union—except that they have political freedom: political freedom to starve and die, peacefully, maybe.
So, where we could have had a controlled situation—which is what the SDI represented, as a strategic move from a higher level—we lost it. But these idiots in the United States, the Democratic Party, who were a pack of idiots; the Republican Party generally were a pack of idiots, and worse. And Reagan was the only one in the leadership of the Republican Party who stuck with the SDI. Me, and Reagan: a funny kind of relationship on this thing. And I was sent to prison because of what I did in this thing, exactly—no other reason.
So therefore, once this started, once this collapse of the Soviet Union started, which none of these jerks understood was going to happen, and it did happen. Then you had the Iraq War. Now, the Iraq War was orchestrated by the British and the United States—especially the British, not the United States. Remember Thatcher saying, "Don't go wobbly on me, George." That's how the war got going. So, we got into that. The minute we cut that off—the continuation of the war with Iraq—we went into the Balkans. Now, if you know something about European history, let's say we're starting a Balkan war. What does that mean?
Now, it also is complicated, because you had people like Cheney and company and their friends, who are part-time murderers and part-time thieves. And once this crowd gets into an operation, you're going to get that kind of effect. The corruption, the degree of corruption, corruption per se, becomes the key decisive factor in these things. And what you're getting, is you get military operations; not military, they become criminal operations. And criminal operations and military operations become indistinguishable. That's what Cheney represents.
Remember, what are they going for? Don't just follow the reaction to this or that situation. Look at this thing from above. Look at the geometry of the situation, not the mechanistic, statistical patterns. Look at the geometry of the situation. What is the policy? The policy is called globalization. What is globalization? The elimination of the sovereign nation-state; that's globalization. Who wants to do that? The Anglo-Dutch Liberals. It's a continuation of the same thing that was called "geopolitics" before, ever since Lincoln won the Civil War, and the Crown Prince Edward Albert had to face the reality that the United States had won the war against Lord Palmerston's Confederacy.
So therefore, from that time on, the danger was, the spread of the influence of the United States' economic model in Germany—1867, 1877, 1879; 1877 and 1879 Japan; Russia, the same period—1877, 1879. You had a developing spectacle; "Uuh!"—said the British. "Uhh!"—Eurasia; Japan; movements in China, Russia, Germany. The new unified government in Italy. Rumblings in France, after the collapse of the crazy Napoleon III operation. Forces on the continent of Europe are following the American model. Throughout Central and South America, the American model, the U.S. model of economy, the American System political economy is spreading its influence.
So, suddenly, the British are faced with the fact that their empire, which is based on maritime power, a geopolitical conception, is now threatened, and Edward Albert and his crowd, the Prince of the Isles, decided to go to world war. Another war like the Seven Years' War, which brought the British into an imperial position back in the 18th Century—all over again. The goal of that crowd has been the destruction of the United States. Our loving ally: They embrace us, but they don't love us. They screw us, but they don't love us.
So, this is where the problem lies. Then, we have people in our own system, who have been traditional traitors, ever since Aaron Burr. There's a direct line, since Aaron Burr, of traitors to the United States. And you have people in Wall Street, who are chiefly traitors, major financial institutions owned by London; part of the Anglo-Dutch Liberal system. They don't believe in our people. They don't believe in the lower 80% of our population. They don't believe in us as a nation. They believe in us as a territory, which they want to control through their friends. It was called the "White Shoe" crowd at the end of the war. When the OSS [Office of Strategic Services] crowd came back, the people who I got to know later, who were one faction of OSS, along with [William] Casey, who was part of that; [William] Donovan was a key leader of it. And you had the other side; the White Shoe crowd, the Wall Street crowd, the pro-Hitler crowd behind Truman, behind the whole operation.
So therefore, what you saw was the process of inducing the United States to adopt policies by which we destroy our own vital interests, to induce us into that kind of thing. And we, like stupid jerks under the influence of White Shoe-type mentalities, we go along with it. We represent not a nation as a power—that's not the essential thing to think of. We represent a principle that the best people of Europe contributed to creating on this continent: A nation, a republic which would be a model for liberating humanity as a whole from the oligarchical system. That's what we were; we were weak, we were subject to things, but that's what we were. That is our national interest; that's where our patriotism is located, not in little greedy things, but in that. To save what this nation was created to be, and not to compromise that for the sake of an alliance with something.
And what we had, in the period of the collapse of the Soviet Union was—aw, we can play all the games we want to. And so they went through the Iraq operation first to bust that one up. Then they went into the Balkan wars, the same way the British organized the Balkan wars at the beginning of the last century, same purpose, same way.
That's the only answer to the judge's question. Yes, corruption; pure corruption. Was the United States involved? Probably. Were the British involved? Probably, in terms of that specific thing. In terms of the overall operation, they were involved. The United States was guilty. U.S. forces were involved in those operations; British forces were involved; French forces were involved. And they were corrupt; they were rotten. And my approach to this thing is: I don't know how we can win cases in isolation.
On the Italian case and Judge Palermo, we have some very interesting developments right now, which is a result of the work I did earlier on the idea of developing a New Bretton Woods policy. The New Bretton Woods policy comes up now as the present government of Italy is on the verge of toppling. And so, some of the forces of the other government have picked up again on the New Bretton Woods policy, which I laid out and they adopted in Italy. So, you may find that Italy becomes a factor. Under those conditions, then, what Judge Palermo is talking about, may become an active possibility from the standpoint of Italian jurisprudence and government.
But that's the way to look at it: Can we get a struggle for the nation-state, agreement on the defense of the nation-state against globalization, against the Anglo-Dutch Liberals in our own country as well as in Europe? Can we get that? If we can get that, we can clean the mess up. But I don't think we can clean the mess up unless we can do that; because up to now, the enemy has been winning.
'Go Back to the American System!'
Freeman: Interestingly, we have a lot of questions coming in from Italy, including from a group of young boys in Ascoli Piceno. But, we will get to those.
Lyn, I want to switch to some questions concerning the U.S. economy, that are coming in from members of the professional staff of various Congressional offices and committees, who after 12 years of having been the minority party, are now finding that they have to draft policies, and they are having some problems, and they want your help. And judging from these questions, they really need your help.
The first question, and I won't go through all of them, because they're all kind of similar so I'm synopsizing some of them. This is a question that came in from a staffer on a number of different committees, but most specifically, on the Senate Democratic Policy Committee. And she says: "Mr. LaRouche, you've often pointed to JFK's mobilization to put a man on the Moon, as an historic model or precedent for the kind of mobilization that we need today to rebuild our nation's decaying infrastructure. But, in Kennedy's day, we were in much better shape as a nation, and the mission itself was defined in terms that seem relatively narrow by comparison to what we face today.
As I understand it, the problem today is different. If former Treasury Secretary Rubin is correct, we don't even have enough cash to cover even the most basic commitment that the government has made to its citizens. So, how on Earth can we begin to adequately address the actual needs of an increasingly impoverished population, without massively increasing the Federal deficit, which we obviously don't want to do?"
LaRouche: Well, first of all, I've got some areas—reversing some tax cuts, particularly in the upper 3% of family-income brackets. I think we should melt down some of those golden parachutes! The point is, this is a totally immoral swindle, and we have to understand that that's the nature of the thing. Secondly, if you don't make a change—which is what I addressed today—if you don't make a change in the structure of the international monetary system, of the type I outlined today, there's not a damn thing you can do! So either do it my way, or be damned, because what I propose will work. It's based on principles which were tested, in a sense, under Roosevelt. They're traditional for us. They're based on concepts which are understood, and it's only that we are enslaved—we're like brainwashed zombies, as a nation. We believe in economic liberalism. Anybody who believes in economic liberalism has to be brainwashed! They should be put under protection. They should not be allowed to print or have money!
We have to go back to the principles of the American System. That means we have to reorganize the world monetary-financial system. How can we do it? Easy! Put me in the right position in the United States—I don't even have to be President. All you have to do is take my orders, Eh? And I can guarantee you I know exactly what to do, which will work, given support. And it will work. Why? Because the world is going to become suddenly panicked, and they're going to say, "Somebody, anybody, please do something." And that's the only way you can do this, is when they scream: "Somebody, anybody, help us! We'll accept anything! Help us!" Then, you can come in with a calm voice, make a proposal, and say well, you can do this. "But I don't want to do that!" Well, okay, then go to Hell.
Under those conditions, history has proven time and time again, that that's the way you act. Look, real leaders and architects in history have always functioned on this basis. You're working in terms of cycles which are like astronomical cycles. You don't know how long they are, but you know that's the nature of the situation. You know, sooner or later, the system that you have is not going to work. And it's not going to work means you're going to come to a point of crisis, where everybody's going to scream, "It doesn't work. What are you going to do? Save us! Save us!" Now, that's a dangerous point. You can either get a remedy, or you can get a dictatorship—or wars—at that point.
So, you have to have people who beforehand have understood what has to be done, and are ready to do it. The idiot says, "But we can't propose that because they're not ready to do it." Say, "You damned idiot! Don't you realize that's history?" You prepare to do something that has to be done, and you never say it can't be done because they're not ready to do it. You wait until they're damned good and ready, when history kicks them in the ass! And that's how you do it.
Look, those of us who have fought, as I have fought: We don't give up! We're right. We know we're right. We keep at it, and we wait for the time that comes when what we're proposing will be accepted. And if it takes time, that's all right. Because what can we do about? There's nothing we can do about it. You can't artificially change history. You provide ideas. Some ideas will creep ahead, independently of you, and go forward. But at the same time, you know that you're coming to a point where decisions are going to have to be made. You base yourself on preparing yourself and others for that decision, which is the only solution. The problem is the Nervous Nellie—the coward in warfare—says, "We're losing the war. We've got to make a deal with the enemy now!" The coward. And therefore, if you're not a coward, and you have the right policy, stick to it. If you don't win right away, stick to it, because it's the right policy. That's the only way to look at it.
So, we can do it. I've prescribed what has to be done, today, again. It's brief, but it contains the core of the argument. The theory of money is crazy. Our policies are crazy. We are already bankrupt. The system's coming down. There's no way within this system in its current bankrupt state that you can—within the system, as presently prescribed—save this nation. Are you prepared to save the nation? Are you prepared to give up your illusions to save this nation, or are you going to choose to go to Hell, for the sake of ideas that don't work? That's leadership.
'Change the Architecture of the Monetary System'
Freeman: Okay, this is another question like that. This is from a group of fellows at the Hamilton Project, with one speaking on behalf of the other four. He says, "Mr. LaRouche, I've studied your work for quite some time, and I've never had any argument with your critiques of both the U.S. and the global financial systems. The problem I have now though, is that I just cannot seem to wrap my brain around what you're saying has to be done, or rather, how it can be done. The fact is that, as a nation, we are bankrupt, plain and simple. You say that the government can create long-term credit earmarked to rebuild the nation's infrastructure. I do understand that once something like that is under way, that a mobilization like that would boost employment and therefore increase the tax base, yada, yada, yada.
"What I don't understand is the first step. If a bankrupt government can create credit out of nothing, then why can't any Third World nation do essentially do the same thing, to rebuild or to initiate building of their own national infrastructure?"
LaRouche: Well, the fact is, they can't. The United States can, because the system is denominated in dollars. This is a dollar system. The world system is a dollar monetary system. The world monetary system is about to collapse. The Chinese are not stupid. The Chinese know that if the dollar collapses, the Chinese economy goes into a crisis. Other countries are intelligent enough to know that, maybe not the British or maybe not some other people like that—but that's a fact!
And in this situation, you've got to give up all mechanistic, statistical ideas, statistical chain reactions. Forget them! What you have to do is change the architecture of the system. The problem of your objection is, you're trying to find the way in which what I propose can be introduced into the system. It can't be introduced into the system, because it challenges the essential assumptions, the axiomatic assumptions, upon which the system is based. I'm saying, change the system. The first step is not to start coming up with some program for investment. First of all, you've got to have a system under which you can do that. How do you do it? The Federal government announces—Ahh! It's astonished!—"We have just discovered that the entire banking system is bankrupt!" Which it already is. All they have to do is announce they have discovered that fact! Once you've announced you've discovered that fact, then you say, "Ah, what do we do?"
Well, the first thing you have to do, before discussing my proposals, is, you have to follow my proposals in the right order! First of all, number one, the entire U.S. banking system is hopelessly bankrupt! Number one! Get the point? Them is bankrupt!
Number two: The Federal government must acknowledge this fact. Now, acknowledging this fact under the Constitution, under the Preamble of the Constitution, which is the fundamental law of the Constitution: [you have] the General Welfare. Then, in the defense of the General Welfare, which can be defended officially, and no other way, because a chaotic disintegration of the banking system is not acceptable; therefore, we must act to defeat the disintegration of the banking system. Well, how do you defend the banking system when it's bankrupt? Well, elementary, Watson. You put the bankrupt system into bankruptcy protection! How do you do that? The Federal government, in one statement by the President of the United States, declares the Federal Reserve System bankrupt and takes it into receivership, for protection and management. Right?
Then, we decide under bankruptcy arrangements, how we deal with this bankrupt mess. We've taken it over. Some accounts have to be postponed. Some have to be cancelled! Ah! Some golden parachutes just got holes in them! They're cancelled, because the golden parachutes involve assets larger than banks. The discretion of the bankrupting agency is to find that protection comes into play. It may make a big argument, make a big fight about it, but that's where you are.
So, now what do you do? What do you do in a bankruptcy? You convert short-term obligations into long-term obligations. That's what you do in a bankruptcy. You write off part of the claims. It's what you do in a bankruptcy. And they don't have much choice but to consent to something like that. They can argue about the equity of this against that, but we're in the situation. "Look buddy, you ran the system. You, the Federal Reserve System and the member banks, you ran the system. You created the bankruptcy. Yes, the Federal government was complicit, but we got rid of them. We got rid of the ones who did it, like Alan Greenspan. We got rid of 'em. Now, we're cleaning up the mess this bunch of crooks created. We're now going to defend the United States, and defending the United States means defending its people. Defending its people from starvation, from a breakdown of the health-care system, things like that. We're going to do it. The whole world has to do the same thing. Europe has to do exactly the same thing."
Well, then, do it.
Political Will and a New Bretton Woods
Now, what have we got? We've got one thing. We've got a tradition, and we've got certain skills still left, as Western Europe does. We're going to use those skills. We're going to rebuild ourselves for the biggest world market there is, and the biggest world market there is, is poor countries, in poor regions of the world, where the populations are desperately poor, who need the benefits of modern technology, including basic economic infrastructure. So we're now going to hock ourselves, to agree to supply to those countries the assistance they need, in capital formation, to build up their economies. We're going to extend credit; that is our promissory note—our promise to produce for the next period of 25 to 50 years. Now, we're going to say, under this agreement with other nations, let's do the same thing among ourselves, as nations. Let's get ourselves a few big ones to join with us. And we say, let's recreate the Bretton Woods System, in principle, but in a new form, under terms defined by present conditions.
See, it's a matter of political will. It's a matter of understanding what conditions exist that have to be changed. It's seeing the situation in a different way. Not trying to sneak in with a little proposal, shoving a piece of paper under a door, a suggestion, and hoping that somehow it'll fly in the morning. If you're going to do this kind of thing, you come in from the top. The top is the United States, still, because it's our dollar. Not really ours anymore, but it's denominated in U.S. dollars. The ability, the promise of the United States government to pay against the dollar, that's our power. Therefore, we exert that power, to force a reorganization of the international financial monetary system. What we do essentially, is we put the Anglo-Dutch Liberal bankers out of political power. And we do that by making agreements with nations on a nation-to-nation basis, or group-of-nations basis, that we have to reorganize this world, because the way it's been run by these international financier interests has ruined the world! This is the syphilis of the world—Liberalism! And syphilis has been liberally distributed.
The time has come: We have to make a general reform in policy, under which we declare that liberalism is now outlawed. It's a disease. We have to create an equitable system, which is equitable to governments, equitable among people as human beings, and we have to subordinate any other claims on government to that principle. We go to the same principle which is stated in the Preamble of the U.S. Federal Constitution: the principle of the General Welfare, essentially. We say on the basis of that constitutional principle, which is ours, and on the basis of the power we represent, even for purposes of default, that that should be the ruling principle among nations. That we agree to that, and that we make agreements covering 25 to 50 years in the future based on that agreement. We reconstruct and rebuild a brand new international monetary-financial system, and put the other, old system into bankruptcy reorganization. We then treat the process of treating this in bankruptcy equitably. The first thing we care about is people.
The next thing we care about is the kind of institutions, the productive institutions, which are necessary to meet the obligation to people. We operate on the basis of justice for people. To take people in poor parts of the world who are suffering, and say, they have a claim against us, for us to assist them. We think about our nation from the standpoint of what people three generations from now, or two generations from now, will think about the United States because of what we have done today. And that is our security, not our muscle power. The great power, the greatest political power, the greatest power on this planet, is the power to do good.
'Defend Our Borders From What's Infested the White House'
Freeman: ...We're going to move away from Washington for a moment, because a Congressman from Mexico has submitted a question. Lyn, this is from Congressman Roberto Mendoza. He is a Deputy from the PRD for the state of Tabasco, where things are hot. He says, "Mr. LaRouche, how do you think the Congress of Mexico could participate in the economic change which you are proposing nationally and internationally?"
LaRouche: Well, I think the first thing to ask is what should we do? Not how could Mexico participate, but what should we do? The first thing we always think about is how we in the United States present ourselves to other countries, especially our neighboring countries. For example, the crucial issue right now, is the piece of idiocy which is this border legislation, U.S.-Mexico.
People from Mexico and other points south who come up through Mexico into the United States involve a number of generations in different categories. People who have been here for several generations, but still identify themselves with the Spanish language and with relatives left back, for example, in Mexico. Those who have come more recently, are more inclined to have more important ties to relatives in Mexico. For example, there are whole states of Mexico in which the population depends upon remittances from relatives in the United States. The whole state depends upon remittances from the United States, from their relatives!
Then you have people who have come in as "illegals," and this is encouraged by certain forces in the United States which want the cheap labor. This is a big problem in California; it runs from Texas through Chicago, for example. They, of course, have many relatives. We know of cases where people run drugs, so the drug-runners will sneak them across the border. They're not drug runners themselves, but they will carry drugs, in hope that their carrying that one piece of loot will get them across the border. You have sections of Mexico which are run by private armies, whole sections of territories of Mexican states are not in the control of the state or the Federal government of Mexico. They're private armies, sometimes recruited from the Mexican Army or from security forces, are working with others and running things, like the Colombian gangs in Mexico. And near the border they are key in the smuggling across the border. If you wanted to eliminate the smuggling, you would go down and do two things: One is you'd go down to get those guys out by cooperating with the Mexican government to shut them down. And our muscle would back up the Mexican government in that, by methods which are appropriate, without breaching their sovereignty.
The point is, you've got this situation: The largest single designated cultural minority in the United States is Hispanic; most of it associated with Mexico. This is a big part of our citizenry! It's larger than the African-American minority. So therefore, you're dealing essentially with the General Welfare question, and what the Bush Administration has done with this problem—which is a problem—what it's done is the worst possible thing in the world. So stop it!
Bush's friends wanted cheap Mexican labor from across the border into Texas. They wanted it! Other people, governors, political organizations, wanted it! Now you want to pick on these poor people who came over out of desperation, because what we did to Mexico, since 1982? We destroyed Mexico's ability to develop. We looted it. We shut it down! Now, these people are desperate for jobs, they're desperate for incomes; they're coming across the U.S. border because they can't get jobs in Mexico! Whole communities depend upon this system. This is rank injustice, a criminal kind of injustice, a lack of care for a nation which is our nearest neighbor, in this respect. And this holier than thou, "We're going to defend our borders!" We've got to defend our borders from what's infested the White House!
Vote Fraud: Clean the Mess Up!
Freeman: The next question comes from a senior Senate staffer, but we have just an incredible number of questions on this topic, so I thought I should ask you to address it. He says, "Mr. LaRouche, because the Democrats won a majority, this has gotten very little public attention, but the fact is that this election was rife with voter suppression, outright vote fraud, and a whole host of other dirty tricks, all perpetrated by the GOP."
One of the things that this person brought up, in particular, were these robo-calls that went on. But the question is: "How do you think this should be addressed? Do you think that Congress should hold hearings on these actions, and should these crimes be prosecuted, or should we just brush them away because we managed to win a majority?"
LaRouche: Ah. Well, isn't robo-calling spam? Don't we have legislation on that? Why don't we apply it? A crime has been committed. Why not enforce it?
You have to have a multifarious approach to this thing, to realize that there's a systemic problem, which takes many forms. You look at what you have in terms of legislation, which is on the books, institutional practices, on the books, and you use the normal institutional practices on the books, if you think they're just, to deal with the problem. You undercut it. If you undercut it, you'll find some people who will be encouraged: "Oh, oh, oh," panting at your door, ready to confess. "I'll confess if you'll get me out of this." So, just go at it with a straight law-enforcement attitude, that kind of attitude. It's obvious criminality, it has to be known as criminality, it's subversion of justice, it's subversion of our government, it's the destruction of our sovereignty. And, the integrity of the ballot is extremely important. The right to vote and the integrity of the ballot, and the integrity against pollution of the ballot by fake votes, or by fraudulent methods of inducing people to vote, which is not of their own free will. So, therefore, every measure which is possible on the books, and such additional measures of legislation as might be needed, should be simply put to work as a package, and get this thing cleaned up.
Now, usually what happens is that this goes over a couple of electoral periods. They go through these electoral cycles, so it's tough to clean these out under present procedures. So what we need is clarification on general legislation which realizes this is a national emergency, and expedites the procedures which are needed to clean the mess up. So, put 'em in the jug. Little brown jug.
Calling a Skunk a Skunk
Freeman: The next question is from Jason Pintar from Democracy Now. "Mr. LaRouche, over the last ten days, we've spent a lot of time discussing what the new Democratic Congress should do, and that discussion will obviously continue. but the one thing that we've not discussed is what the other side will do. I'm actually somewhat optimistic about the Congress, because although the Democrats don't have a veto-proof majority, the general mood of the population has not gone unnoticed by a good number of Republican members, and the White House's ability to maintain strict party discipline as they have in the past, is likely to suffer greatly. I'm more concerned, however, about what the Administration will try to do, especially between now and the swearing-in of the new Congress, and I'm sure that you are too. I know that you do not have a crystal ball, but I was wondering if you could discuss specifically what you expect they may try to do, and how you think we can respond to it in advance."
LaRouche: Well, the first thing to do, is to do something which I referred to today, and put some emphasis on it here: Is that the problem of the United States is not that it's the number one evil in the world. That is the blackmail. That's the problem, the myth. The United States is the victim of the Anglo-Dutch Liberal system, whose goal is a form of imperialism called globalization. What has been done, largely through those Anglo-Dutch Liberal interests, inside and outside the United States, is to impose upon us a couple of fools, a Laurel-and-Hardy team called Bush and Cheney. One guy does the slugging, the other guy does the screaming. You have a congenital idiot and a thug, who are being deployed to discredit and destroy the United States from within.
Now, once it is made clear that that is the case, then you break the back of Republicans' commitment to be party-loyal in this matter. See, the one thing is, you've got some Republicans who are not human. You've got a couple of Democrats who are also not human—I know that very well. I know some of them personally, and I watch them on all six legs and I realize they are not human.
So, the key thing here is to start from the top. What's the problem? That the evil which our nation is credited with creating, is not our evil. It's something we took into the house, that we should have kept out of the door. A foreign influence induced us—look, how was this done? You can't blame the Republicans if you don't take into account that you had a Gore-Lieberman ticket in 2000. You had a President, Bill Clinton, who was the most popular President that ever walked since Roosevelt, or Kennedy at least. And he had a successor, and he drowned what should have been an easy victory over a congenital idiot—he drowned it in Gore, who is still doing idiotic things today!
I mean, Gore and his wife Tipper are not exactly the brightest bulbs in creation. And what Gore did: Gore has brought in imported policies which are absolutely insane and un-American. And if you think this nation has a responsibility and a mission, a duty of honor, to itself and to the world, to be what we're supposed to be, then you have to realize that there are certain influences in politics which should be recognized for what they are.
And the first thing you do is, you talk about it! The worst thing you can have is a sacred cow or a white elephant. In other words, in the old days in Asia, the way you could ruin the arrival of a new Raja is by giving it a white elephant, and it would have to feed this thing, and care for it, and so forth. Bankrupt the Raja by giving it this white elephant as a gift. We have white elephants. George Bush is a white elephant. He insists that he's white, eh? You have Al Gore, who's not quite sure what his species is, but it's really much the same thing.
So why can't we say, as I did, what a ridiculous menace this Gore was. And I was not too popular with a guy called Podesta and so forth, because I said so. I wrote a profile and published it, which was intended for the edification of the Clinton Administration, that this guy is a damned menace! And it was Al Gore who picked up this creature, this fascist running around as a Republican, a Buckley fascist, working with a Cuban gang—whom I knew from the time when I was down in Cuba where these gamblers, these gangsters, who were running the country under Batista, came to be called "freedom fighters" in the United States in Florida. And this was where Lieberman went for support, and he got the support from a certifiable fascist, Buckley, the Buckley family. How does somebody call this a Democrat? You'll be calling a six-legged monster a Democrat, the next thing you know.
The problem is public opinion: "You can't say that about him! He's a public figure! He's respectable!" Well, if you get rid of two of those legs, he might be less unrespectable! The problem starts right there: we've become total hypocrites. We've become Sophists, and we don't call things by the right name.... You don't go around having people deprived of rights because they're traitorous or stinking or stupid. What you do is, you simply identify them, truthfully, for what they are. You don't abuse them. You don't libel them because you don't like them, but you tell the truth about them. And when you're going to attack somebody, be very careful about telling the truth, so you don't have the guilt of perpetrating an injustice in the process of doing so. But when the guy is a skunk, you point to the white stripe.
Fighting the Nazi Forces in the U.S.
Freeman: The next question comes from Ira Hirschhorn, from the ACLU. He says: "Mr. LaRouche, during the electoral campaign, your organization exposed a widespread homogenization operation on U.S. campuses that would have made the Nazis proud. Not surprisingly, we learned that the wife of the Vice President in charge of torture was the wicked witch who presided over the effort. Can you say more about this? Will your organization continue its work to expose this operation? And do you think that there are potential constitutional violations involved?"
LaRouche: Well, there are simple human rights violations involved in the attempt of this bunch of thugs, using thuggish methods to enforce it. We've had some discussion about this matter, about how we approach it, particularly with the youth trying to deal with it. And therefore, we find that when we get smart, we find a better way of exposing it than simply the simplistic approach. But the point is, our intention is to destroy it.
Look, this is a Nazi force. It's the equivalent of it. Goebbels would love it. It's a Goebbels-type of Nazi thing. I mean, it is Nazi, actually, the people behind it, when you look at the Ayn Rand crowd. These are real Nazis. Same thing. But it's not that they're a Nazi essence. There are certain forms which may appear in different colors and different costumes. Nazi, Fascist, this or that, but which are essentially the same thing, and they represent an attempt to tyrannize a population. You have this, for example, in German universities. Most of the German universities have an SS-equivalent, or thug bunch on the university campus, which is an enforcement agency—the suppression of ideas in institutions which are supposed to deal with the ideas, eh? And this is used as a political weapon. This is organized thuggery on university campuses in Germany.
We have a different form in the United States, and this form all goes back to Buckley. It goes to Lieberman. Remember, Lieberman was part of the operation. And he's actually a Republican. Count the votes that he got in Connecticut that got him re-elected as a Democrat. They were Republican votes! The Republican Party gave up its votes and dumped its own candidate, to elect Lieberman so that they could control the [Senate]—and the intent, of course, is to have Lieberman run as the Vice Presidential candidate for McCain. So this is sort of a new caricature version—you know, it's like a Hollywood remake of Laurel and Hardy, or something. Or of Bush and Cheney. Lieberman will be the Cheney of the next administration. McCain will be the ranting and raving guy, and Lieberman will be the thug, and organize the hitmen. He won't go out and make thuggish statements. He'll be Mr. Sweetie Pie, but he will organize and order the hits, while McCain's up there ranting and raving, "We're going to kill this guy, we're going to kill that guy." You can imagine, that's what they have in store for us.
So therefore, we do have to recognize, however, that this is a force. We know what it is. It's the same thing as the Nazis. It's in our country; it's in South America. It comes from the Nazis, directly. Buckley is that, exactly, the Buckley crowd. And they're in this area, around Washington. They do the same thing around here; we've run into them. We've run into them in New York. This is a proper thing for the ACLU to be concerned about, because the liberties of Americans are in jeopardy. And if you look at how Hitler came to power, how it was orchestrated, and you say, this is the [same] kind of thing, we've got to do a better job than the Germans did, or we'll find a Hitler here.
Youth Must 'Pick Up the Baton,' To Make a Revolution
Freeman: As is always the case at these events, we have far more questions than we will have time to ask. We're coming very close to the end of the time that we have, and it is also the case that many of the questions that have been submitted are questions that Lyn has already answered. I will pass on to him, as we always do, questions that we couldn't get to, but I'd like to end with a question which was submitted by a group of young boys from Ascoli Piceno in Italy. Their question has aspects which are specific to Italy, but I think that it's a fitting question to end with, because it does raise a kind of universal question that's reflected in many of the questions that have been submitted by young people who have been listening to this webcast, including some who are sitting here.
It says, "Dear Mr. LaRouche, we're a group of young boys from Ascoli Piceno, and we'd like to ask you: Why do you think that in Italy, as well as in other places, there is such a complete lack of search for truth. We see it here in the media, not only in the media controlled by Berlusconi, but really throughout the entire political class, not to mention among economists. The question that we have is, what could a common citizen do to actually help its nation regain a pivotal role in a new world renaissance? For instance, how could any individual citizen acquire a real and full knowledge of the political and economic facts? How could an individual search for truth, especially when they find themselves in a position, as we do, of living in a small provincial town?"
LaRouche: Yes, Ascoli Piceno. I'm quite familiar with the place. It has its own problems. But the key problem in Italy has been, that Italy, under exceptional circumstances, including the friends of [Enrico] Betti in science, went through a brilliant development in northern Italy around the circles of Betti, which were also the close friends of Riemann. This was the Italian aerospace program; many things in Italy were developed around this group of people. But then, at the same time, on the other side, all the great things Italy used to do have been shut down now. Instead of having factories in Milan, you have poor naked starved girls wearing stinking rags parading in the fashion industry of Italy. And the point is, they're so skinny, that the skin is inside the bones, and they rattle as they walk. I don't recommend that ladies be fat, but I think they should be sort of—normal!
So anyway, to have this, instead of the science-related things around Milan....
And then, when I visited several times in Florence, and I'm looking at these objects, the history of Florence, and I'm looking at the work of Brunelleschi, for example, who's the first to develop the application of the catenary as a physical design feature in building the cupola of the famous cathedral. I got involved with this, with scientists in that period, and I looked at this, and I said, "This is it! This is it! This is the catenary! This is one of those things!" And he said, "Yes, yes, yes." And all of this wonderful art work that comes out of there.
And then you look at the population of Florence. Disaster! Cultural disaster! And then you look at another thing that hit me hard, that I was very much concerned in the 1970s, especially in the early 70s, with what is called the Cassa per il Mezzogiorno, because Italy was divided into two parts, the North and the South. And Italy was never one nation, because the countries to the South—called the Mezzogiorno, the twilight area—never developed: desperation, mass insanity, in whole communities. In Calabria, for example, mass insanity in cities. Like an epidemic, a disease. Like a fatal epidemic disease. And, the whole idea of the Cassa per il Mezzogiorno, which was to integrate Italy so that the people from the southern part of Italy would be part of the same country as the people from the northern part of Italy. This was shut down.
Cultural warfare. Everything was done to destroy the potential of the Italian population, which included some very great intellectual talent, despite the decadence which went through, like many other parts of Europe. To me, I would think that the very crisis we have, in Europe, as well as in the rest of the world, the hopelessness of the situation under present policies, would inspire young people to think of themselves as a generation who will lead the older generation to make the necessary reforms. I do not think that the older generation—the Baby Boomer generation—people 50 and older and so forth—I don't think that they'll do it. I don't think it's in them anymore. I think they're broken, unless younger Italians in the 18-35 age group, pick up the baton, and start to do the kind of things that we're trying to do from the standpoint of the youth movement here in the United States, and to some degree in other parts of the world. That's the only solution.
You've got to mobilize a revolutionary force, which doesn't mean violence, but it means to make a fundamental change in policy, and you've got to bring forth in Italy a concerted group of people, young people, who will do in Italy what we're trying to do with the youth movement in the United States. And you've got to do what we do, what we're doing with the Kepler projects and similar projects: You've got to do that. Because you've got to build this around a competent scientific foundation and also a competent musical foundation. Because music is the only medium in which we have some degree of control, as you do not over acting. We're trying to do something with acting, including with some professional actors, but the music gives you a control in terms of meeting the standard of the composer's intention, which you do not get in any other form of art.
And therefore, by getting people to, at the same time master the conceptions of scientific principle, as by Bach and so forth, by actually learning what this means, you get the kind of personality which has the confidence of certainty of knowledge, which gives them the confidence to make revolutions, of one kind or another.
And we need to see that in Italy, as in other parts of the world. It's the only hope. The only hope lies with a new generation, who will lead and get the world out of a rut, and who will inspire people from older generations still living to join them in the cause. The older generation will not initiate the effort, but many of them will be inspired by the example of the younger generation, and that's the only solution.
Freeman: Well, I think so far we've done a good job, but we have a lot of work to do, and I think that today, without question, Lyn gave us the tools and the weapons that we need to get that job done. It would also help, for those of you who are listening on the Internet, if you took the opportunity, since it is becoming very close to the calendar year, to max out your contribution to LPAC, which will do a great deal to support the brilliant work that this youth movement is doing under Mr. LaRouche's direction. We can certainly talk about that later. Right now, I'd like all of you to join me in thanking Lyn for this historic event.