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This transcript appears in the September 21, 2018 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

[Print version of this transcript]


It’s Time for Us All To Escape from the ‘Trans-Atlanticism’ Straitjacket

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James George Jatras

This is an edited transcript of remarks by James George Jatras, former U.S. diplomat and former advisor to the Republican Senate leadership. He spoke to the Sept. 13, 2018 Schiller Institute Conference in New York via pre-recorded video.

Ladies and Gentlemen, this is Jim Jatras. I’m a former U.S. diplomat and longtime foreign policy advisor to the Senate Republican leadership. I’m honored to be invited to address this distinguished conference today. I thank Helga Zepp-
LaRouche and the Schiller Institute, and all of the people who’ve made this event possible. I apologize, I’m not able to be there with you today in person, but I’m pleased to be able to talk to you remotely from this recorded statement.

I think it’s fair to say, we live in one of those terrible historical junctures, where there really are two paths set out in front of us. One is the path of peace, prosperity, development, construction, the release of human potential; and the other one, is something comparable, I would say, not even to 1939, but rather comparable to 1914, with the world standing on the edge of an abyss, of a great global conflict with potential consequences that are unforeseen and foreseeable, but would be of a nature so destructive that we can’t even imagine, as indeed, people in 1914 could not have imagined what was facing them.

Why Isn’t U.S. Foreign Policy Based on Development?

As I understand, the main focus of this conference today is not the bad side, the bad things that could happen, but rather the constructive side of things, a New Bretton Woods, but one that is not based on a kind of an exploitive capital model, but rather, one that provides the kind of credit, the kind of development that we see, for example, in the Chinese involvement in Africa, and the One Belt, One Road Initiative of China.

It raises the question: Why has this not been the model going forward for the United States? I hope, with the recent announcement that the United States and Mexico are embarking on a new trade deal to replace the failed NAFTA agreement, that we will begin to see this kind of positive development here in the Western Hemisphere. One wonders why, instead of inveighing against the Russians and the Chinese or whoever it is, we’re not thinking about here—we are here in the United States, in a wonderful position, in a wonderful hemisphere, which is brimming with possibilities for development. Our neighbors to the south—as well as Canada—but primarily our neighbors to the south could benefit from the same kind of initiative that we see the Chinese and the Russians and the Indians taking in Eurasia.

I do hope that this is at the core of President Donald Trump’s vision for moving forward, that we can find some way to reach an accommodation with Moscow and China—and I would say, with India as well—on a stable, global order.

I am hoping for a global order that is not based on the vain and futile and destructive pursuit of a continued hegemony over the globe, that has been exercised in concert—and let’s be honest about this—in concert with not only elements of the U.S. deep state, that have been trying for well over a year now to remove Donald Trump from office, but with their British counterparts, who I would say are at the very root of what is not merely foreign meddling—not Russian—British foreign meddling in our domestic affairs, in an attempt to corrupt our politics and to overthrow our constitutionally elected President. Instead of that, we can embark on more cooperative endeavors.

The Dangers of a Trump Impeachment

I think we need to be very realistic about the danger that confronts us, of the other path, the path to destruction. As I mentioned in regard to the British, ever since that Steele dossier, which has nothing to do with Russia as far as anybody can tell, you hear people on the American media, both pro- and anti-Trump, talking about Russian dirt, Russian lies in that dossier. As far as I know, there’s nothing Russian about it: It’s purely a part of the efforts by Christopher Steele, MI6 and British intelligence to try to queer the American election; to put GCHQ surveillance over the Trump campaign, and then to keep the pot boiling in some way that will result in Trump’s impeachment.

And by the way, I don’t take that as an idle possibility. I think there’s a real danger that if the House goes Democrat in this election, Mr. Trump will be impeached. And if he is, despite the likelihood that Republicans will retain control of the Senate, I think there’s a very good chance that he will be removed. There’s a difference in mentality. Look, I worked in the Senate for over 17 years, I know how these people think. Unlike the Democrats who rallied around their President, Bill Clinton, and made sure that he was not removed, let’s remember how Republican Senators were the ones that gave Nixon the heave-ho, and told him, if he did not resign, they would vote to have him removed.

I’m pretty sure, in my own mind, that if Trump were impeached by the House, on whatever the flimsy grounds might be, that a significant number of Republican Senators would jump at the chance to put Vice President Mike Pence in the Oval Office and Nikki Haley in as Vice President. And they would vote to remove Trump, although, unlike Nixon, I don’t think he would resign.

I think we are really balancing on a knife’s edge here, with regard to the political future of our country, and whether a positive vision of development, peace, and prosperity can be put in place, in lieu of what we’ve been dealing with for the last half-century or so, of trying to maintain this hegemonic global order.

War with Russia over Fake Chemical Attack?

The immediate danger I see, however, that faces us now, is in Syria. I was one of those who signed a recent statement that’s found on Consortium News that’s been distributed through other outlets, and I want to, again, thank the LaRouche organizations for helping get this statement of the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) around. This was a statement of a number of people who have an intelligence background primarily, or others like myself, with a military or diplomatic background, to warn against what we see being prepared, in broad daylight, now, of this provocation of a false chemical attack in Syria by the jihadists—by the terrorists, by the al-Qaeda groups that control Idlib province—to create a pretext for the United States and Britain and France to attack Syria.

And again, not to harp on this theme, but I think there’s some real British fingerprints here. Karen Pierce, the British Representative to the United Nations, drew a connection the other day in her comments, between the Skripal poisonings—falsely blamed on Russia—in the United Kingdom, and also, the use of chemical weapons in Syria: It’s the Russians using chemical weapons everywhere! Well, that’s one way to look at it.

The other way to look at it, is we have a staged British provocation with the Skripals inside the United Kingdom, and we also have the British secret services supporting the so-called White Helmets, who are simply the PR arm of al-Qaeda inside Syria, and they’re taking a leading role in this provocation—while the Russians have exposed what the leading role of Britain will be in this provocation. Everybody hears it, everybody sees it coming, and you can bet your bottom dollar that when it is unleashed—and unfortunately, I expect it to be unleashed—that the American, and British, and other world media will pick it up, without any examination, without any question, to say, “The Syrians have used chemical weapons in Syria again!”

What Does Trump Know?

The question is, what does Donald Trump know about this? On the two previous occasions when he’s struck Syria with cruise missiles, many people took some comfort in the fact that he deliberately inflicted what were pinprick strikes, that essentially struck empty buildings, nothing of significance, as though he knew that these were fake chemical attacks, or were done as a provocation by the terrorists themselves, but felt somehow so pressured, so constrained, so besieged by this deep state network that, as I say, is at least bi-national—between Britain and the United States—that he felt he had no other choice but to launch these strikes.

That worries me, now, when we hear people around him—Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, National Security Advisor John Bolton, and others including Nikki Haley, of course—saying that if there is “another” use of chemical weapons, which, of course will also be false, that the response from the United States, Britain and France will be more “robust.” There’s even talk about striking Damascus, government targets, Russian and Iranian targets, even talk of a “decapitation strike” to kill Assad personally!

There seems to be a kind of, almost a giddy, recklessness among American policymakers with regard to the Russians. Let’s remember when a number of Russian contractors—excuse me, “mercenaries”—contractors were killed near Deir ez-Zor several months ago, that you heard people on the news talking about, with a kind of a sanguinary glee, “Oh, we killed 200 Russians; that’ll teach them!” All we have to do, is roll up that newspaper and hit that Russian dog on the snout, and he’ll learn his lesson.

The Russians have massed their forces in the Eastern Mediterranean, too, and there’s reason to suppose that having informed us, in good faith, that this was being planned, that if their forces are targetted, if Russians are killed, they will not take this lying down. One has to wonder, how many times are we going to come back to the verge of World War III, because we have this deep state, this—in my mind, unconstitutional, criminal conspiracy—surrounding the President, that is bound and determined, one way or the other, by hook or by crook, to maintain this aggressive global posture, to push on the Russians, push in the Black Sea, push in the Baltic, push in Syria, push in Ukraine, that can only lead to one outcome?

What Do You Know and What Will You Do?

I have to ask myself sometimes, in the years immediately leading up to 1914, those last peacetime years, say, from 1910 to 1913, how many people had any inkling that their lives were about to be forever changed, and for many of them, prematurely ended? I don’t think they could have had that sense. There’s a former German official, Willy Wimmer, who recently said that 2018 may go down in history as the last peacetime year—if there’s anyone around to remember that. And I think the stakes are really that high.

I commend those gathered here today. I’m sorry I can’t be with you in person. I think it is absolutely imperative to come to some agreement, some partnership, of the United States, Russia, China, India, and other countries, especially those involved in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

There’s a real opportunity here, for people in Europe to escape from this so-called “trans-Atlanticism” straitjacket—which really just means a satellite status, from Washington—to recognize that their own national interests are all bound up in Eurasian integration, and the path of peace and prosperity that is being offered from the other side of the world. It is the one that I think our President really would like to follow, if he is able. But to what extent he is constrained, to what extent he is surrounded by people who only tell him things that are not true, I really don’t know. And this is what worries me.

I thank all of you for listening to my brief remarks today. I hope all of us will raise our voices in any way we can, in support of a policy of peace, progress, development, and the release of human potential; and against the forces of destruction. Let’s keep in mind the every-increasing muzzling of independent voices online, which are the real alternative to the government-controlled, corporate media.

So again, thank you so much, and best wishes to all.