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This article appears in the January 24, 2003 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

LaRouche Ally Cheminade
Stirs Up U.A.E., Qatar

by EIR Staff

Jacques Cheminade, President of Solidarité et Progrès—co-thinkers in France of Lyndon LaRouche—was in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar at the end of December, on a mission to stop the Iraq war and to advance LaRouche's Eurasian Land-Bridge strategy, already widely debated by the press and leaders in the Islamic nations.

Cheminade addressed the Arab League's Zayed Centre for Coordination and Follow-Up in Abu Dhabi on Dec. 30, on "War Avoidance Through Mutual Development of Sovereign States—The Mission of France" (see text of his presentation); and later met privately with Deputy Prime Minister Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed al Nahyan, chairman of the Zayed Centre. His audience—some 30 diplomats, journalists and experts from the Centre—expressed keen interest during a long discussion period and the subsequent lunch.

Participants at the Zayed Centre wanted to know what combination of forces can preserve peace; and why has Europe been so absent up to now in the Middle East? They asked Cheminade if French President Jacques Chirac would hold out against an Iraq war; but also, why anti-immigrant racist Jean-Marie Le Pen got so many votes in the French elections last year? They wanted his judgment of Colin Powell's initiative to promote democracy in the region; and how LaRouche linked his Eurasian Land-Bridge concept to Middle East development? There was also the question of the anti-Saudi "Pentagon briefer" Laurent Murawiec, and what the participants had heard about his presence in LaRouche's movement in the past.

Insisting that lasting peace is only attainable by a system of mutual development among nation-states, Cheminade explained that a New Bretton Woods and Eurasian Land-Bridge perspective, associated with a Middle East program for greening the desert, based on new power and water systems and high-speed transportation, represent the chance for peace. Seeking any other solution, he said, would be like trying to breathe something other than air: economic development requires a new agreement of nations, and putting the usurious financial institutions into bankruptcy reorganization. rather than bankrupting countries in order to pay illegitimate debts.

LaRouche's Crucial Role

The audience was most focussed on the role of LaRouche in organizing the institutions around the American Presidency to "jam up" the war drive against Iraq. Cheminade's counterposition of the "utopians," such as Paul Wolfowitz or Lewis Libby, as imperialists in the tradition of the Anglo-Dutch liberal financial oligarchy; against LaRouche's representation of the traditional "American System" of Roosevelt, Lincoln, or MacArthur, was a new concept for the Arab audience. He was peppered with questions on the issue.

The reality of the systemic crisis of the world monetary-financial system is difficult to understand for many, but the connection was made to the potential social and economic crisis in the Gulf region itself, they see more clearly what the utopians' war policy is made from. Cheminade's interventions were covered on national TV in the Emirates, as well as in the Gulf News and Al Bayan.

The next day, Jacques Cheminade and Odile Mojon also met a group of experts to discuss opportunities for exchanging ideas and cooperation. The need for a dialogue of civilizations, religions, and cultures was one of the main topics, including a better understanding of the common values of Islam, Christianism and Judaism.

New Bretton Woods in Qatar

From Abu Dhabi, Cheminade and Mojon visited Qatar's capital, Doha, where they were special guests of the International Centre for Strategic Analysis. Cheminade gave an unusually well-attended lecture on Jan. 3, at the to diplomats, deans from the University of Qatar, strategists, friends of the Emir, and even dissidents (see text of his presentation). The discussion focussed, again, on how to stop the war; but also, on the New Bretton Woods proposal; the participants asked why the first, post-war Bretton Woods collapsed. They also brought up the proposal of Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad, for a gold dinar for use in multilateral trade.

Cheminade was also invited to give a short class at the university in Doha, on physical economy and the systemic collapse, attended by many department heads. He was interviewed on Al-Jazeera TV, and on French-language radio for the Persian Gulf region. In addition, the English press headline, "Thwart War-Mongers of U.S., Says French Thinker" appeared in the Jan. 6 Gulf Times; and "U.S., U.K. Seeking To Impose Hegemony: French Leader," in the Jan. 6 The Peninsula. Dr. Ahmed Kedidi, a good friend of Cheminade's, penned an article in Arabic in the Jan. 8 Al-Sharq and other papers, and an interview was done by the Doha correspondent for Egypt's Al-Ahram.

Cheminade, interviewed by "The LaRouche Show" U.S. weekly webcast on Jan. 11, reported that many in the Mideast see LaRouche as a sort of undiscovered planet, and it is very revealing for them to locate the tradition he comes from. They were fascinated to locate the ongoing debate in the Arab world within the tradition of Jamal ad-Din al-Afghani, Muhammad 'Abduh, Ibn Badis, and others of the best Muslim 19th Century thinkers—the anti-British, anti-colonial, ijtihad investigative tradition. This represents, for the LaRouche movement, no academic discussion, but an active means of saving society. Cheminade found a growing call for dialogue, concrete cooperation, and improvement.