This article appears in the October 27, 2023 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
May 4, 2009
FOR A JUST PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST
The End of Sykes-Picot:
Moving Beyond Colonialism
Editor’s Note: This presentation by Mr. LaRouche appeared first in EIR Vol. 36, No. 19, May 15, 2009, pp. 4–16.
The following presentation was given by Mr. LaRouche on May 4, 2009, at the invitation of the Distinguished Professor of History Norton Mezvinsky, as part of his Middle East Lecture Series at Central Connecticut State University.
Prof. Mezvinsky told his audience, in part, “My standard, my requirement, for a lecturer in this series, is that she, or he, is knowledgeable factually, about one or more important issues within the context of the Middle East, and that she or he has presented orally, and/or in writing, useful ideas, and/or has engaged in useful activity in regard to the serious issues. Lyndon LaRouche measures up to the standard. He is a controversial individual, a leading political economist, and prolific author and was a precandidate for the Democratic Party presidential nomination. LaRouche has produced a series of economic forecasts, dating back to 1956. He forecast, for example, the present global economic collapse, in an international webcast, delivered from Washington, D.C., on July 25, 2007. He has authored more than a dozen books, and hundreds of articles, many published in Executive Intelligence Review, a weekly magazine he founded in the mid-1970s, which is, I have personally discovered, must reading for numerous members of the United States Congress, United States State Department officials, other politicos in Washington and around the world, and many academics.
“LaRouche has been dedicated to a just peace in the Middle East for decades, working tirelessly for economic policies that can provide an underpinning to a lasting solution to a crisis that, in some ways, is rooted in the topic of his discussion today, the Sykes-Picot Agreement. LaRouche has travelled in the region, visiting Iraq in the mid-1970s, and delivering a lecture in the early 2000s at the Zayed Center in the United Arab Emirates. He collaborated with members of the Israeli Labor Party in developing what became known as the Oasis Plan, for high-technology regional development, centered upon nuclear power-driven desalination, and high-speed mass transportation throughout the region.”
I suggest it is an error to talk [about] a Middle East policy. That is, I think, one of the reasons we have a problem with the Middle East is, we keep talking about a Middle East policy. Instead of talking about a conflict in the so-called Middle East, we should talk about the Middle East in a conflict, and a conflict that is largely global, especially within the context of nearby European and related civilization.
This is demonstrated, especially, since the British took over the Middle East, in a process which began with the development of petroleum in what is now called Kuwait, by the British monarchy. And the petroleum development, of this monopoly, was to change the British naval fleet from a coal-burning fleet, at least in principal capital ships, to an oil-burning fleet. The advantage of the use of petroleum, as a fuel, rather than coal, was a decisive margin of significance for the British in World War I.
Out of that, the breakup of the Turkish, the Ottoman, Empire, came a new situation, in which the British, with their puppets in France, formed what was called the Sykes-Picot coalition, under which the entire area was intended to be carved up between France and Britain, as a joint colony, as such.
It didn’t work out that way, because you had an able Turkish commander [Mustafa Kemal Atatürk], who embarrassed the British very much, during the First World War. Who defeated the British, and the French, and set up an independent Turkey, which he consolidated by proceeding to make agreements immediately with Syria, in order to keep Turkey out of the Arab world, to save it from being embroiled in the Arab world. And who also made an agreement with the Soviet Union, in respect to that border, and, in that way, created a nation-state of Turkey, which, in a sense, has been a success. Not that everything has been successful, but that the existence of the state of Turkey has been a success, with all its peculiarities, which have been shaped in its history.
Now, if you look back on this thing, and look at what the conflict in this region is, since the developments of the late 19th Century, this has always been an area of conflict. But people look at this, and say, “This is a conflict among this person or that person.” And, more recently, since the end of World War II, it’s considered a conflict between Israelis, or Jews, and Arabs—which is also, not quite true.
What we have to do, is think of this area, as I said, as being an area within the world—the Middle East is a part of the world!—the conflict in the Middle East is a part of the world conflict, not the other way around.
But then, look at it from the standpoint of economics: What is important about this area, which is called today the Middle East? Why is it such a cockpit of conflict? Why has it been such a cockpit of conflict since way before anybody knew of a Jew in the Middle East? In the ancient wars, among Egypt, among the Hittites, among the people of Mesopotamia, and similar kinds of wars. The wars of the 7th Century B.C., which involved essentially, the Greeks, allied with the Egyptians, against Phoenicia, and the extension of Phoenicia in the Western Mediterranean, being combatted and controlled by another civilization, there.
So, the conflict is ancient.
The Difference Between Man and Ape: Fire
Now, why this conflict?
Well, we have to go back a little more to ancient history, to understand these things. Because men are not animals. Human beings are not animals. Animals have no history; they have a biological history, but they have no cultural history. Mankind’s conflicts of today are the product of cultural conflicts, in cultural history. And we must look back, perhaps a million years, to get some glimpse of this.
For example: In our archeology, with the frail evidence we have of mankind’s probable, or actual existence then, say up to a million years ago: How do we distinguish between ape and man? There’s one simple explanation. If you can find evidence of a fire site, together with fossils which look like they might be either anthropoid or human, if you find a fire site, that’s human.
The primary difference of man from ape, is fire. But fire is only a symptom. Fire is an expression of the nature of the human intellect, of the creative powers of man that do not exist in the ape.
In lower forms of life than man, in the so-called biosphere, development is built into the physiology, the physical circumstances. In the case of man, as the case of ancient fire sites, which distinguish man from ape, in anthropology, we have the secret of man, which is ideas. Fire is the illustration of the concept of discovery of ideas, of the concept of culture, of the concept of development of the human race, development of civilization.
And therefore, to understand human behavior, we must look back as well as we can, to ancient times, to see, as much as we can, this pattern of distinction, between the ape, and man. Between the biosphere, and what is called the noösphere—the sphere of the human mind, and its creative potential—and the ape, lacking that kind of creative potential; and all beasts, lacking that kind of creative potential.
So, then we have to look at this question from the standpoint of humanism. And what do we mean by “humanism”? We also mean language. We mean cultures which are transmitted by or with the assistance of language. So we study man in terms of language, not merely because of the use of language, but because of the invention of ideas, which do not start and end with the life of an individual, but are the transmission of ideas from one generation to the next. And so it is the development of ideas, the development of mankind, over thousands of years, over even a million or 2 million, perhaps, where we find the secret of human behavior at any point or location within history.
And this is no exception, this so-called Middle East conflict.
This conflict arose long after the period of about 17,000 B.C., when the last great glaciation, of about 100,000 years ago—these glaciations are never quite simple, but they do have demarcations—and we’re coming to the end of a warming period. As a matter of fact, we’re already, contrary to some rumors, we’re in a cooling period. And the lowering of sunspot activity [from one 10- to 11-year sunspot cycle to the next], is one indication of a cooling period now in process. It’s global.
There are other factors involved, but, as far as the Sun is concerned, sunspot activity and changes recently, indicate that we’re in [a period] typical of the past, of sunspot decline, and therefore a cooling period.
We’re also in a long-term cooling period, because we have another 100,000-, approximately, year cycle, to deal with, which determines long-term glaciation, and deglaciation.
So, in this process, there’s a lot we don’t know, because a good deal of this planet was buried under many layers of ice, especially the Northern Hemisphere, for a long period of time.
The Shift from Maritime to Inland Culture
And during this long period of time, culture was primarily located in transoceanic, or at least other maritime cultures, not land cultures. As far as we know, culture, human culture’s progress, is determined by maritime culture, which in its navigation, discovered the significance of astronomy, discovered its importance for man, and for navigation itself. And these were the leading cultures in the Great Ice Age period, in particular, when many of our calendars, as we know them today, the ancient calendars, and the markings of these ancient calendars, became apparent.
And then, the ice began to recede, about 20,000 years ago. The rate of melting increased. Gradually, the oceans rose by about 400 feet, changing the definition of coastline, making India much smaller than it had been, in an earlier period. The Mediterranean was opened up into a longer and lake-like formation that became a sea, a salty sea. And then, about 10,000 years ago, as the Mediterranean rose, it broke through the so-called Dardanelles Strait, and transformed what we call the Black Sea, changing it from a freshwater lake into a saltwater lake, with a freshwater under base.
So, in this process, these changes are going on, Man is reacting to these changes. Gradually, as the glaciation recedes, civilization moves inland. It moves along the coast first, as we see in the 4th and 3rd Millennia B.C., in the Mediterranean region. It goes through various crises, but there’s a gradual inland movement. The first movement is along the coast: maritime culture. Secondly, it begins to move upriver, along the major rivers, particularly the rivers that were being flooded by the melting ice, from the glaciation.
And, in this situation, something happens. You have a culture whose leading characteristic, in this known period, was that of a maritime culture, not an inland culture. There were inland cultures, but they were not progressive, in the sense that the maritime cultures were progressive, scientifically, or the equivalent of science, and culture.
So, what now is the meaning of this area we call the Middle East, at that point? It’s an area between the Mediterranean, which becomes a center of growing culture, and the Indian Ocean, and Asia in general.
For example, let’s take the case of Sumer, which is the first major civilization which emerged in the southern Middle East. This was an Indian Ocean culture, it was not a Semitic culture. It progressed. It was a very advanced culture in many respects; much of the idea of language, of written language, was developed there, and influenced the entire region for a long time after that, with the cuneiform writings.
But then, it degenerated. And the lower part of Mesopotamia became salinated, because of a physical economic degeneration in the area. Then you had the Akkads. Then you had the Semitic cultures, which were based upriver, on the structure which they had adapted to, in the earlier Indian Ocean cultures. And in this process, now, you have a development, a powerful development, between the Indian Ocean, and the Mediterranean, as an area. That remains to the present day.
A Fundamental Change in World History
Then there was a change, a change in the middle of the 19th Century, or slightly afterward. The victory of the United States, in defeating the British puppet, called the Confederacy, in the Civil War, resulted in a fundamental change in world history.
Up until that time, the superior cultures in power were cultures based on maritime culture, because the ability to move by seawater, and up rivers, became the places where civilization, where economic power developed. Inland movement was difficult, compared to movement across water. And so, until about the 1870s, the world was dominated, in terms of powers in the world, by maritime cultures. And the British Empire’s emergence was a product of that process.
But, in 1876, there was a change. The change was the Philadelphia Centennial celebration, in which all of the achievements of the United States, especially those of the recent period, were put on display in Philadelphia. People from all over the world, prominent figures from various countries, came to see this. Japan came to see it, and Japan was changed, and transformed from what it had been, into an emerging industrial power, through visits to the United States, in the context of the Philadelphia Centennial.
Russia, the great scientists from Russia, came there, and adopted a policy which results, among many other things, in the Trans-Siberian Railroad.
In Germany, Otto von Bismarck, the Chancellor, had direct representation, and negotiated directly with the circles of those who had been associated with Abraham Lincoln, and transformed Germany, with many reforms instituted in the late 1870s. Among these reforms were the imitation of the United States on one crucial point: We, as had been intended by John Quincy Adams, when he had been Secretary of State, had defined a policy for the United States, as one nation, from the Canadian to the Mexican borders, and from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. Not merely a territory, but a nation which was developing in an integrated way, through the development of the Transcontinental Railroad system.
Germany then adopted that policy, for Eurasia, a policy of developing Europe, continental Europe and continental Asia, on the basis of transcontinental railway systems, and the things which go with that.
Suddenly, there was a transformation in the character of economy, for as far back as we know, from national power based on maritime power, to national power, a superior national power, based on the development of inland transportation, rail transportation, and the industries that went with that.
This was recognized by the British as being a great threat to the existence of the British Empire—which is not really a British empire; it was a financial empire, with headquarters in the Netherlands, and in England. It was not the British people that were the empire; it was an international financial group, based on maritime power, which thought they could create a power dominating the world.
So, from that point on—from Lincoln’s defeat of the British puppet, the Confederacy, through the 1876 Centennial celebration in Philadelphia—there’s a great conflict between the British Empire, as a maritime power, and the United States, as a model of transcontinental internal development of national areas. And the pivot of this thing, which became known as World War II—what started the first war, was actually the assassination of the President of France, Sadi Carnot, on behalf of British interests. Which made a mess of things, and therefore, allowed the British to begin to Balkanize.
In 1895, the British organized the first Japan-China War, and continued that policy as an attack on China, up until 1945. Japan was also dedicated to a war with Russia. Then, [Edward VII] the Prince of Wales, who actually ran the place for his mother [Queen Victoria]—she was kind of dotty at that point—the Prince of Wales planned to have his two nephews go to war with each other. One of his nephews was [Kaiser] Wilhelm II of Germany, the other was the Czar of Russia [Nicholas II]. And they were determined to start a war.
Bismarck knew this, and made an agreement with the Czar of Russia, that if anyone tried to get Germany to support Austria in a Balkan war, that Bismarck would kill the operation. And on that basis, peace was preserved, for a while. But then, Bismarck was dumped in 1890, and the process of war began—first through the assassination of Sadi Carnot of France, who was close to the United States, and close to its policy, and then with the launching of the Japan-China warfare, which continued until August 1945.
So, we went into what was called a Great World War, but really a whole series of great world wars, which had been ongoing since 1890, to, in fact, the present times.
The conflicts of the world today, are proximately the echo of this long conflict, between the idea of the internal development of national territories, and across national territories, as typified by great transcontinental railway systems, and by technological progress; and the other side: the idea of maintaining a maritime supremacy, a maritime financial supremacy over the world at large. We’re still there.
There Was Nothing Accidental
About Franklin Roosevelt
Now, in this process, a time came, at which Franklin Roosevelt had intervened in this process, and had broken it up. Up until that time—frankly, from the assassination of McKinley, which was a key part of getting us into World War I, and then World War II—from that time on, the United States was going in a bad direction. We had bad Presidents. Theodore Roosevelt, who was the nephew of the organizer of the Confederate intelligence service [James Bulloch], became President. And he was a loyal British subject. He made a mess of things.
Then we had Woodrow Wilson, whose family was notorious for its leading role in the organization and tradition of the Ku Klux Klan. And it was Woodrow Wilson who, personally, from the White House, as President, launched the reorganization of the Ku Klux Klan in the United States, on a scale far beyond anything that was in existence ever before.
Then we had the case of Cal Coolidge. He kept his mouth shut, because he’d incriminate himself if he talked, in public.
Then we had the case of Hoover. Well, we say, Hoover sucked. He was a bright man, but he had bad politics, and worked for people who controlled him, and he was their puppet.
Then comes in, a man who’s a descendant of a friend of—guess who? Our great first Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton. And that friend was Isaac Roosevelt. Isaac Roosevelt had started the Bank of New York. Isaac was a close collaborator of Hamilton, and Franklin Roosevelt, who was a descendant of Isaac Roosevelt, wrote a paper, in his Harvard graduation period, honoring his ancestor Isaac Roosevelt and his policies.
There was nothing accidental about Franklin Roosevelt. Franklin Roosevelt, who had to struggle against the people in New York and elsewhere, who we would call fascist today—and they were fascists—they’re still fascists, some of them. He turned the tide against them. And while he was President, despite the difficulties under which he labored, he went into the Presidency with a very clear intention, and a very clear perspective. Roosevelt, in his Presidency, made and implemented policies faster than anybody else could think of them. You look at that from his first steps in office. He knew exactly what he was going to do. He had to improvise in some degree—and all leaders in societies do improvise. They know what their mission is: Now they have to find out how to bring the forces together to accomplish that mission in principle, even if it has repercussions. And that’s the way our system works.
We are a people with many different views, and the way you get the job done, is find a common interest in the nation, awaken the people to a common interest, and then figure out how to get the job done. And do a lot of bargaining and negotiating in the process, to get the thing through.
The thing you count on, first of all: Can you innovate? Can you innovate the way which is in the right direction? Are you laying the foundation for further steps which may correct what you have failed to do in the previous action? And you have to also educate the people. You have to educate them, not by preaching at them as such, but by organic methods, by influencing them to see things about themselves, and about the world, they have not seen before. And as people come slowly to a realization, sometimes with a jerk: “This is right!” Then they make another leap forward.
And had Roosevelt lived, the world today would be far better, and also far different than we’re seeing since Roosevelt died. The world as it existed, on April 12th of 1945, when Roosevelt died, and the day after, April 13th, when Truman became President, were two entirely different worlds.
And I know it. I was in military service abroad during that transition period. I was in India and Burma. When I came back, in the late Spring of 1946, after a beautiful experience with the attempt of India to achieve its independence, my United States had changed. It was no more the United States of Franklin Roosevelt. The same fascist crowd that Roosevelt had kept under control while he was President, was back in power, under a puppet called Harry Truman. Harry S Truman—no point, no initial, no [middle] name. His mother had planned to have a name with S in it, at a point at some time, but she never got around to filling what the rest of the S was. I don’t think she cared, and I don’t think he cared.
A Great Cultural Degeneration
So, we had this process. Truman was a catastrophe. Eisenhower was a relief, but he came in weak. He didn’t have the strength to control the situation politically. He did many good things, but he was not in control of the forces. Kennedy got the idea that he was going to control the Presidency—then he got himself killed, by having that kind of commitment. When Kennedy was killed, Johnson—Johnson was not a bad person. He was a politician, with all that goes, good and bad, in that appellation. But, he was convinced that the three guys who killed Kennedy, who were of French provenance, who had attempted to kill [French President Charles] de Gaulle, would get him next. The three guns pointed at his neck was the thing he referred to before he left office, that had frightened him all along. So, he gave in on the Vietnam War.
Then we had the ’68 phenomenon, and what happened after that.
Then we had a fascist President, called Nixon. The guy was a fascist—don’t kid yourself. He was exactly that. Then we had Ford—he didn’t exactly know what was going on in there. He was a pleasant guy, but a lot of bad things happened under him. He didn’t notice what was going on. The guy’s sitting there, he’s happily sitting at the dinner table while rats are running all over it, and he doesn’t notice them.
Then you had Reagan, who was a complex creature, with some good instincts. He belonged to my generation, an older version of it, and was very strong under Roosevelt, but, as we saw immediately, he adapted to the Truman Administration very quickly, and that was his problem. I had some dealings with him which were very important, and could have changed history for the better—and they did change history—but we could have done much better, if he’d been able to stick to his guns. But otherwise, he was a mistake, he just went rolling on.
Then, 1987: We had a recession which was as bad, or worse, than the Depression of 1929. And then we had a terrible man, [Federal Reserve Chairman] Alan Greenspan, and what he came out of, that [Ayn Rand] cult, was not very good. The result was terrible.
So, we’ve gone through a process of degeneration of the United States, since the death of Roosevelt, with ups and downs in between, but the cultural degeneration is great.
Look, for example: You’re sitting here in a university. Think about what came out of universities about the time I was coming back from military service, to today. What’s a typical situation? What kind of professions do people undertake, leaving a university?
I’ll give you a case. We just had an affair, I participated indirectly, in Ukraine, a scientific case. We looked at the population composition of Ukraine, in terms of different age groups. We found that the scientists, those who could actually think in terms which were significant to Ukraine, were usually over 60 years of age, and the leaders were in their 80s, like me. In Russia you find a similar thing going on. In the post-Soviet period, there was disorientation, which had started in Russia earlier, under Andropov, and then Gorbachov: the destruction of the ability to produce. The destruction of the power of the creative process, and replaced by greed, to get money for money’s sake, and for the sake of the power of money. Not to build a nation, not to make conditions better.
And we had the same thing in the United States, in general.
We’re now at a point that our nation is disintegrating. It has actually been disintegrating in the direction it goes, since April 12, 1945, since Truman became President. And I could go through the details of that, but I won’t here, because that’s too far from the subject.
But we have been destroyed step by step, step by step by step. And because it came on slowly, like the boiled frog, we didn’t react. We just sat in the pool while the heat came to a boil, sitting there contentedly in the pool, while the water has reached the boiling point, and the frog died. We’re like the frog that died, in the pool. We’ve been going step by step, down the wrong way.
The British Empire
Come back then to the situation in the so-called Middle East. And see the Middle East, not as having its own history, but the Middle East as something within the process of history.
And the other part is, don’t look at the Israeli-Arab conflict. Don’t ignore it, but don’t look at it. Because the conflict is not determined by the Israelis or Arabs. It’s determined by international forces which look at this region. How? As a crossover point between the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean, the relationship of Europe to Asia, the relationship of Europe to East Africa, and so forth.
Therefore, what you’re seeing is that.
Now, go back and say, where did the British get this idea—as they did with Sykes-Picot—where did they get the bright idea of keeping the Arab population, and what became the Israeli population, at odds with each other permanently—killing each other over land that wasn’t worth fighting over, in terms of its quality.
Ask yourself, what is the development of this territory? What is the development of the conditions of life of the people? The development of the conditions of life of the typical Israeli? Look at the Israeli of the 1950s and ’60s, and even the ’70s, the early ’70s, where there was progress. What do you see today? You see decadence. Accelerating decadence, and an increase in warfare.
What do you see in the Arab condition? Decadence. And you sit there with despair, and you say, are these people just going to kill themselves into extinction? Kill each other into extinction? What’s wrong here?
Well, somebody’s playing them. Somebody’s playing and orchestrating the situation. Who? How do the British come in on this?
Well, go back, for example, to the time that Lord Shelburne, who was the boss of the British Empire—which at that time was not the empire of the British monarchy; it was the empire of the British East India Company, which had private armies, and private navies, and private funds, and a lot of drugs. What do we learn from that?
Well, how did Shelburne come into power? How did he become the leader, in February of 1763, of what became the British Empire? Which was really the empire of the British East India Company, not the empire of the British monarchy. That came later, under [Queen] Victoria. It came because of the Seven Years War.
What was the Seven Years War? The Anglo-Dutch interests, which were largely banking-financial interests, orchestrated a period of warfare among the nations of continental Europe, back and forth, playing the very skilled military commander of Prussia, Frederick the Great, in perpetual warfare, which resulted in the ruin of the nations of continental Europe, through mutual warfare and its effects, such that, in February 1763, the British walked in and dictated a treaty called the Peace of Paris, which established the British East India Company as a private empire. Which led, later, to the formation, under Victoria, of the so-called British Empire.
Since that time, this group, which is not a group of people, as such—I don’t think of British bankers as people, because they don’t act like people. They act like clever apes, with the instincts of apes. What was done in this whole period—especially in dealing with the Lincoln process, and the 1876 effect—was not to engage in direct war against the United States, which they intended to destroy, but to subvert it. To neutralize the United States in its own development, by various kinds of crises.
But mainly, it was to destroy Continental Europe, and to destroy it by warfare, like the Seven Years War in Europe. For example, shortly after 1890, when Bismarck was commenting on what had happened to him, he said, the purpose of this thing was to ruin continental Europe through a new Seven Years’ War, like that which had led to that.
We also had another example of this, the case of Napoleon Bonaparte. Napoleon Bonaparte was not an enemy of Britain; he was a tool of Britain. He ran a Seven Years’ War on the continent of Europe, as a dictator, to the point that he ruined Europe, so that Britain emerged as triumphant in 1815. And it was only the emergence of the United States as a power, essentially after 1876, that checked [the British Empire], and therefore, the British were determined to destroy us then. But they weren’t quite ready.
When we had the assassination of McKinley, and the introduction of British puppets, such as Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Coolidge, and so forth, as Presidents, and what that signified, and we became a tool of the British imperial policy, rather than representing our own interests, or representing what we should represent, in our dedication to the establishment of a system of republics throughout the planet.
So what happened was the British created, beginning in the late part of the 19th Century, what became the Sykes-Picot Treaty.
Fighting for the Common Aims of Mankind
Now, one thing is crucial about this, in all of this, which angers me greatly. Because I’m angered, not at them—I despise them—but I’m angered at my own people, who, like fools, will kill each other over things that are not really worth fighting about, when there are all these other solutions to the problem. And thus, making themselves the common prey, in their own fighting of each other, of an empire.
It’s like the principle of the Seven Years War: Get the other guys to kill each other; then you come in and take over the mess. That’s the way the British Empire has always operated.
This was conscious too, because, remember what Shelburne’s advice and counsel was: the model of the Emperor Julian the Apostate. What did Julian do, which caused Shelburne to admire him so much? What he did was, he abandoned Christianity. He cancelled it—but not really. What he did, is, he put it into a kind of temple, of various religions, and began to play these against each other.
Now, Shelburne’s conviction was, on the basis of the study of the rise and fall of the Roman Empire, that the way the British Empire should operate, was the way he had operated in the Seven Years War, and the way it was to operate in the Napoleonic Wars, and so forth. It was to get the fools to kill each other, to play one against the other.
Now, this is easy to do, if you have people who don’t understand the principle of Westphalia, the 1648 Peace of Westphalia, who don’t understand this. Our interest as human beings, is not to kill each other, or not to engage in killing each other for the purpose of trying to get power over other people. Our purpose should be to set up a system of sovereign nation-states, under which each group of people, using their own language, and their own culture, is self-represented. But these nations, as such, so formed, must have also a common interest, in the betterment of the general condition of mankind.
The only thing that’s worth fighting for, is to prevent evil from happening to this effort, and to promote this effort, for the common aims of mankind. Because the human mind is based on creativity. And because creativity is associated with Classical poetry, the best expression of Classical poetry, of a language culture. In order to evoke creativity in our people, so that our people may prosper, and humanity may prosper, we have to promote the welfare of the other nation as much, or more, than our own.
Because it’s by promoting in them that which is good, which is creativity, which is the development of culture, the development of a physical contribution to the human effort: That’s what our purpose should be. Our purpose is not to compete with each other, as such. Yes, compete in another sense. But not to compete as hostile forces, but to compete in doing good, in sharing the good, and realizing that you must develop our people’s creative powers to the stage of enriching their use of language, especially as typified by poetry and music, to think. And that should be our purpose.
The Solution: End the Imperialist System!
When you look at this thing in the Middle East, you say: This is a disaster. What are these two groups of people going to do with this damn warfare? They’re going to destroy each other. They’re going to destroy civilization by spreading this disease. What are they fighting for? To kill somebody else? To eliminate somebody else?
Or are they fighting to make their own people more successful, as human beings, by finding ways of cooperation with people of a different religion or culture? Go to the principle of the Peace of Westphalia. We get so involved with the issues of the Middle East that we find we can never solve them! The way we’re playing it, we’ll never solve them.
We will make efforts: Maybe the United States, if it had the right President, could force a peace, with the support of other nations. But without some force, there’s no tendency for agreement in this region. There’s a tendency for perpetual killing. And what many of you can do is, to try to ameliorate that thing, and slow down the killing rate, try to keep it from spreading; to get them not to do it for another day. There are no guarantees.
There is a solution, a solution in principle. And the solution is: End this blasted imperialist system! And understand that we, as a people, must develop our spiritual culture; that is, the creative powers of mankind, to carry further the development of mankind, from some brutish character by a campfire a million years ago or so, into mankind as we desire that mankind should develop today. That’s the issue.
In the meantime, we will fight. We will do everything possible to try to get peace in this area, because we want to stop the killing. But we’re not going to tell somebody: “We’ve got a solution that’s going to be accepted, that’s going to work.” We’re going to say: “We’ve got a hopeless cause, and we’re going to continue to fight for it.”
But you have to understand, the problem comes not from these people, except that they’re playing themselves for fools, by fighting each other. They’re both extremely poor. Do you know what the condition of the average Arab is, in that region? Do you know what the condition of life is, the deteriorating condition of life, of the Israeli? What the hell are they fighting about? Where’s the benefit in the fighting?
But the passions are deeply imbedded. The habits are deeply imbedded. We can try to impose the influence of restraints. Try to prevent these crazy Israelis from thinking about an attack on Iran, because that would be really a hellhole operation. In other words, we try to intervene through diplomacy, through other influences, to moderate the tendency for self-destruction of the peoples.
But don’t believe that there’s some solution for the Israeli-Arab conflict. There is no solution in that, per se. That’s why I said at the beginning here: Don’t look at the history of the Middle East; look at the Middle East in history. And there you find the solution.
Because it’s being played! The whole region. It’s being played like a puppet.
I’ve got a similar situation in India. I’ve got a worse situation in Pakistan: Pakistan is about to die, it’s about to be killed, by U.S. advice, and British management. The dumping of [Pakistan’s President Pervez] Musharraf was insane. He’s not a good person, but he kept the country together. The disintegration of Pakistan would uncork all kinds of hell in the entire region.
So, that’s the point. We must grow up, and those of you who are in the university, presumably approaching now the point of graduating, either from that term at the university, or going on to some other education, should think of yourselves not just as being university graduates, or prospective graduates. But think of yourselves as respecting the need for young Americans, in particular, to get out of the habits of thinking which have dominated our press, and our conversations, in recent times. To realize we’re on the edge of a disaster beyond belief. And to realize that what’s needed is an understanding of history, not an understanding of something that’s happening in some section of history.
A Credit System, Not a Money System
For example, the power of the United States, just to conclude here: The United States has great power it doesn’t know it has. I’m greatly worried about this President [Barack Obama], because I think he’s cuckoo at this point. He’s being managed by a bunch of people who are evil.
But we have a mission. For example: We have now a disintegrating world financial and monetary system. We have gone through a depression phase, since July of 2007. We’re now entering a hyperinflationary phase. It’s a process which has a striking resemblance to what happened in Germany, in the early days of the Weimar Republic. The Weimar conditionalities imposed by [the Treaty of] Versailles, put Germany, at that time, first through a great depression. We in the United States have, since the Summer of 2007, the United States has gone through a great depression. The collapse of the economy, the collapse in the conditions of life, the accelerating rate of collapse in the conditions of life now, have been those of a depression, deep depression, like that which Germany experienced in the early 1920s.
But then, in the Spring of 1923, there was a change. And between the Spring of ’23, and November of 1923, the German mark disintegrated. The economy disintegrated. And was bailed out by outside forces. It wasn’t really bailed out, because the people who had left came back and took over. And this led to Hitler.
That was the year that Hitler came to power, in fact, became a phenomenon—1923. It was that, that made Hitler possible. Allowed that to happen. Which was done by the Versailles Treaty—which you don’t do.
We’re now in a situation in which we have to change our monetary system. We can reorganize our monetary system and the world monetary system. We can cooperate with Russia, with China, India, and other countries.
So, how do you do this? Well, we have a system; we call it the American System, defined by Hamilton. We can shift the world economy from being a monetary economy, to being a credit system, as specified by Alexander Hamilton. That is, we do not try to run a money system. The money system is finished! This monetary system, as it exists, can not be saved. It’s doomed. But some people are greatly attached to it. It’s like being attached to a certain lead weight, which may drown you, by trying to carry it.
Therefore, we can go back to a Hamiltonian approach, the same approach that Hamilton used, which led to the formation of our Federal Constitution. That is, Hamilton was in a situation, where he was a key figure in Washington’s administration, and he had a situation in which the banks of the United States, which were state banks, state-chartered banks, were essentially bankrupted by the costs of fighting the War for Independence. Therefore, he had to create a national government, a Federal government, which, by being able to reorganize bankrupt banks, to prevent a chain reaction collapse, would save the United States from disintegration.
It was this consideration, of the bankruptcy of the state banks of the former colonies, at that time, which prompted, and motivated, the formation of the Federal Constitution.
Our system, from the beginning, was therefore a credit system, as our Constitution provides. You can not print money, as such. You can utter money, you can utter credit, by a vote of the Congress, and the President. But what you can do, and how far you can go, is limited by this vote, by this action. So, we create a debt, a debt commitment of the Federal government. This is our system. It’s a credit system, not a monetary system.
European systems are monetary systems; they don’t work. We have experimented with monetary systems, and we have now destroyed ourselves by doing so, during this period, because we did not think about physical values. We thought about money values, and said, “The money values will save us. The money values will help us.”
Like this printing of fake money now, which will never be paid. Debt will never be paid under these conditions. Not the existing debt. Then we have to go back to the same thing, again. Go back to a credit system, as Roosevelt had intended on April 12, 1945, as opposed to what Truman did, on April 13. And that difference, between April 12 and April 13, is the key to understanding U.S. history since that point.
We go to a credit system: We can organize credit agreements, like treaty agreements, with Russia, China, India, and other countries. Europe can’t do it. Europe is in a hopeless situation—Central and Western Europe right now. But if we do this, they will come in on it. We can rescue the system.
We have to move, therefore, from thinking about conflict among nations and regions, to the alternative to conflict, by finding that which unites us through our common purpose, as independent sovereign nations, rather than seeking resolution of a conflict we are now enjoying among ourselves. That’s the only chance we have. And when you look at the possibilities for this region, like Southwest Asia, the only chance will come, not from inside Southwest Asia. We will do, and must do, what we can, for that area, to try to stop the bloodshed, the agony, to prevent the war. But we will not succeed, until we change the history, change the world in which this region is contained.
And that’s my mission. Thank you.