|This article appears in the December 21, 2007 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
Eurasian Land-Bridge Conference
Achieves Breakthrough in Canada
by Rob Ainsworth, LaRouche Youth Movement
[PDF version of this article]
Some 90 people gathered in Ottawa, Canada's capital, on Dec. 11, to deliberate upon the future of the nation and the world. The conference, sponsored by EIR, and titled "The Strategic Importance of the Eurasian Land-Bridge: Canada and the Coming Eurasian World," focussed primarily on concepts of, and initiatives for, continental development, with North America serving as a model for other parts of the world. As American stateman Lyndon LaRouche asserted in his keynote address, delivered by telephone from Europe:
"It's extremely important for us in the Americas, especially in North America, to set a precedent, for the world, in a sense, to admire.... We [North Americans] think of ourselves as citizens, we think of ourselves as equal, at least in rights. And we prize ourselves on our cooperation, we pride ourselves on being beneficial to our neighborsat least, most of the people I respect do that. And therefore, it's extremely important, that if [we] cannot get this kind of cooperation in North America, I don't think we can get it on the planet anywhere, at this point."
The conference was organized by the Canadian LaRouche Youth Movement (LYM) as a continuation of what was begun in Kiedrich, Germany, in September, at the Schiller Institute conference on "The Eurasian Land-Bridge Becomes Reality: A New World Order for Peace Through Development Corridors." Among the participants in Ottawa were representatives of 13 nations, including nine members of the diplomatic corps, several from the Canadian government, and the embassies of foreign governments; a four-person delegation from Mexico, including Antonio Valdes Villanueva, the Secretary General of the CTM trade union confederation of Ciudad Obregon, Sonora, representing 5 million members; and EIR founder Lyndon LaRouche, who gave the keynote address.
Other speakers included Dr. Hal Cooper, renowned for his work on great North American rail and energy projects, and in particular, for his work on the Bering Strait Tunnel project and the connecting railroads that would need to be constructed. Rachel Douglas, head of EIR's Russia desk, gave a powerful presentation on Russia's strategic perspective and its current initiatives for Eurasian development; she also delivered a passionate defense of President Vladimir Putin and other national leaders who have been smeared and besmirched by the Western press, simply because they do not follow the neo-liberal dictates of the IMF, World Bank, and other related institutions. The evening included a videotaped address on nuclear power development by nuclear engineer James Muckerheide, and a LaRouche Youth Movement panel on "Continuing the American Revolution," presented by Limari Navarrete and Valerie Trudel. An additional highlight of the conference was a musical offering in three parts by members of the Boston and Canadian LYM.
The Individual Makes History
"Men are sometimes masters of their fate," was the opening line of this author's welcoming remarks to the conference, posing the subjective issue of this crisis: that choices will be made by individuals, to either break with the current failed system, or to capitulate to itand so doom the future of mankind to misery and darkness. Following upon this lead, and the lovely presentation of three portions of J.S. Bach's Jesu, meine Freude, LaRouche emphasized the importance of the Treaty of Westphalia as the precedent for solving today's global problems. These can often seem overwhelming and impossible to fix, to those outside the political process, he said, just as the bloodletting of the Thirty Years War would have seemed interminable to its participants. LaRouche emphasized that the progress of the nations of North America through great infrastructure projects would be an exemplar for other nations.
Continuing this theme of outreach and expansive thinking in times of crisis, Rachel Douglas outlined Russia's current strategic orientation toward President Franklin D. Roosevelt, as the model of leadership and action for Russia in this period. Douglas reviewed the history of LaRouche and Russia, harking back to the years of the Strategic Defense Initiative, to understand why Russia is in tune with some of LaRouche's strategic and development policies today.
Douglas also presented the core of the report sent for presentation at the Kiedrich conference by Victor Razbegin, deputy chairman of Russia's Council for the Study of Productive Forces (SOPS), who is one of the leading promoters of the Bering Strait Tunnel project in Russia. She combined this report with portions of the material presented at Kiedrich by Dr. Sergei Cherkasov, of the Vernadsky State Geological Museum of the Russian Academy of Sciences, on the development and vast potential of Russia's mineral resources.
Among the most passionately delivered presentations of the day, were those of Alberto Vizcarra and Manuel Frías. Vizcarra is a long-standing leader of the LaRouche movement in Mexico, and currently the coordinator of the Pro-PLHINO Committee, which brings together dozens of groups and associations in the state of Sonora, Mexico, including peasant groups, trade unions, producers, and others. Frías is a distinguished civil engineer and expert in hydraulics, who has played an important role in designing water projects for every region of Mexico as well as in the Middle East.
Vizcarra, who spoke first (his speech can be read at www.larouchepac.com), located the development of water projects such as NAWAPA and PLHINO (For project details, see article in EIR, Dec. 7, 2007) in the following light, which characterized the entire conference:
"We are meeting today in Ottawa, determined to provide an appropriate response to what the world expects from the Americas. The best way to do this, is to document the great development potential which our nations have, if we agree upon a solid basis for cooperating on infrastructure projects which increase the availability of our water, energy, and food. If we hear Eurasia knocking at our door at the Bering Strait, we in Canada, the United States, and Mexico can decide upon a new agreement among ourselves, based on fair trade, and not on the disastrous, predatory axioms of free trade."
Vizcarra then elaborated the extent of NAWAPA, the most ambitious water-management project ever conceived, and its role in ensuring the future prosperity of North America, by bringing many cubic kilometers of desperately needed freshwater to the parched regions of the continent. This project would also include the widespread and necessary adoption of nuclear power for additional seawater desalination and energy production.
Vizcarra emphasized the magnitude of the project, but also the facility with which we could finance it:
"NAWAPA is, without a doubt, a great infrastructure projecta project that would change the very face of the Earth in the region of the Great American Desert, producing geological and climatic changes that will raise the biosphere's potential. Ten thousand kilometers of canals and 2,900 kilometers of tunnels would be built, at an estimated cost $800 billion. That may sound like a lot of money, but it is about the same amount as what the international drug trade generates each year, or nearly half of the trillion and a half dollars in speculative financial flows that are carried out worldwide every day."
Alluding to the disastrous conditions in which the majority of Mexicans find themselves, as well as the ongoing collapse of the international financial system, Vizcarra stressed: "Only a new agreement among our three countries, an agreement which breaks with the failed axioms of NAFTA, and takes up great tri-national infrastructure projects such as the NAWAPA-PLHINO-PLHIGON, can bring us out of the Hell in which we find ourselves."
Frías took the audience through the more technical details of the water projects for the North, South, East, and West of Mexico, indicating, in particular, how these projects, had they been implemented earlier, could have prevented the horrifying floods which recently swept through Tabasco to such devastating effect. The programs outlined could be utilized as a model for any nation confronted by challenging terrain and the problem not of a want of water, but rather of its unpropitious allocation, Frías said.
Spanning the Continents With Railways
After a recorded greeting from former state representative and former House Majority LeaderJeanette James, the "Railroad Lady" of Alaska, giving her warmest regards to the participants, Hal Cooper took up the exciting prospects of a continent-spanning railway project. Cooper described how the proposed Bering Strait Tunnel would be tied into the development of energy and mineral resources in the North, resources which will play a critical role in the next several centuries of development in both Eurasia and the Americas. He stressed that this project is an absolute necessity, not just from the standpoint of transportation, but on a higher strategic level, as a means of breaking the grip of the raw materials and energy cartels over the world economy.
Development will be impossible in the future, Cooper said, if we continue to depend upon oil as a primary energy source. Instead, the world must shift to nuclear power, and electrified high-speed and magnetic-levitation rail systems. In the past, Cooper has also pointed out that the total cost to complete and upgrade the entire global Eurasian Land-Bridge rail system, as presented in EIR's 1997 Special Report, would be approximately $1-1.5 trillion. Of that, the Bering Strait Tunnel connection would require $125 to $150 billion. But, Cooper asked, is this not at minimum what the United States will squander in Iraq, with no measurable benefit to anyone?
Mozart, Nuclear Energy, and Revolution
After a dinner filled with happy discourse, the conference resumed with a musical presentation of Mozart's motet Ave Maria, to the delight of the audience.
This was followed by a video presentation, prepared by nuclear engineer James Muckerheide, who is the state nuclear engineer for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the president of Radiation, Science, & Health. Muckerheide explained how nuclear technology works, and explained how it would be possible to construct the 6,000 nuclear plants that will be needed by 2050, to bring electricity to the nearly 2 billion people without it. The video was informative, and gave the participants additional reasons to ignore the lunatic ravings of the environmentalist lobby.
The evening concluded with a panel discussion by LYM members Valerie Trudel and Limari Navarrete on "Continuing the American Revolution," which counterpoised the American and British Systems of economics. Trudel provided a series of devastating quotes from the greatest proponents of both systems, proving decisively the crucial difference between the two: namely, one, the American, a truthful conception of human nature, and the other, the British, a false, bestial, and degraded conception.
Navarrete then reported to the audience on the double mobilization of the LYM, organizing for the Homeowners and Bank Protection Act, and at the same time, the LYM's latest salvo against the counterculture: the LaRouche PAC pamphlet "Is the Devil in Your Laptop?" Although we have lost a number of battles, she said, just like the Continental Army of George Washington, we are now poised to achieve a great victory for humankind.
The final act of the conference was the presentation of a choral piece composed by Bach. The chorus sang of maintaining hope when confronted with adversity, a theme which resonated with everyone in the room. After that, the atmosphere in the room became all smiles, and handshakes and hugs as people began to depart. There were many thanks given to the LYM organizers, the consensus being that the LaRouche movement in Canada had been given a new birth.
The Next Step for Canada
Now that the conference is concluded, the next step is clear. Canada is a nation which is increasingly open to the initiatives being proffered by LaRouche and the LYM. A recent headline-grabbing report, issued by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, shows that there is a great crisis in Canada's municipal infrastructure: 80% of it is in a state of failure, with hundreds of billions of dollars immediately required just to maintain what is currently falling apart (see report at www.fcm.ca/english/advocacy/mdeficit.pdf).
At the same time, the 2007 Economic Statement, issued in October by the Department of Finance Canada (see report), admits that every productive sector in Canada's economy, apart from construction, is already in recession, and the ongoing collapse of the financial system will now submerge the rest of the economy.
The Canadian LaRouche Youth Movement is poised to become an increasingly powerful force in the shaping of Canada's economic policy-making. The nation's current leadership does not know what to do; it lacks the scientific training which the LYM is currently undergoing. Most of the people in leadership can recognize the problem, but they cannot locate the actual cause of the crisis. The tendency is to think, as one Member of Parliament commented to the LYM, that some people "made some mistakes." The Parliamentarians fail to recognize the systemic nature of the crisis, which has produced almost 40 years of mistakes!
During the mobilization for the conference, individuals across the country, and across the entire spectrum of government and diplomatic institutions were contacted. Many of those who were not able to attend in person were very excited about the prospects for the conference, requesting a transcript of the event, and asked to be contacted for follow-up meetings and discussion.
There is a rising sentiment throughout the country that the time has come to make a decisive break from globalization and free trade. The Canadian LaRouche Youth Movement is tapping this sentiment in all of our activities. The population is ready for change, and the LYM's policies of continental development are finding a receptivity among the people far greater than ever before. Therefore, the Canadian organization plans to produce a special report on the conference, and other imperatives, such as the creation of a Canadian Infrastructure Development Bank, and use this report as a primary driver for its organizing in the months to come.
Back to Continental Cooperation and Agape
In closing, LaRouche offered this summation:
If we love mankind, and can love the benefit given to the other nation, what are we doing that's good for them? If we can think in those terms, then we will get away from the dog-eat-dog tendency which we've seen again, lately, and get back to the idea that we are not animals; we do not breed progeny. We develop human beings, and we hope that the next generation will have a better life than ours, because we've made that improvement possible. And we see progress of that type, induced by our love of mankind, as being the motive for the way we do things, as well as what we do.
If we can get back to that, that conception of agape, that principle of the Treaty of Westphalia, I think we can not only recover from this crisis which is coming down on us now, but we can assure ourselves, that our grandchildren and great-grandchildren will benefit from what we're doing. And perhaps in this way, we'll avoid more of the kinds of Hell we've had, particularly in the past hundred years.