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This article appears in the July 5, 2019 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

[Print version of this article]

Lyndon LaRouche at Work: Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative And the Moon-Mars Mission

Paul Gallagher

The current superpower tensions and confrontations threatening war, highlight Lyndon LaRouche’s work for peace in the last such nuclear war threat—the “Euromissiles Crisis” at the start of the 1980s—to bring about President Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI).

This June 25, 2019 presentation by Paul Gallagher and Benjamin Deniston was the fifth in a series of classes given in New York City on LaRouche’s life and work. The transcription has been edited and does not include the discussion period that followed the presentations.

Jason Ross, Moderator: First, Paul Gallagher, who is the economics lead for Executive Intelligence Review and was the Executive Director of the Fusion Energy Foundation at the time that Ronald Reagan promoted and sought to implement LaRouche’s Strategic Defense Initiative.


Paul Gallagher: Thank you. Lyndon LaRouche, as he himself said, worked long and hard to create the Strategic Defense Initiative. He rejoiced when it happened, and he repeatedly changed the course of events over the course of a decade, over two Presidencies, between 1977 and 1987 as a result of the impact of what he had done to bring about that new doctrine of Ronald Reagan’s. The effectiveness of it was perhaps the primary reason that he was prosecuted and vilified by agents of the empire of London and Wall Street from that point on, intensely. He had three broad aims from the beginning of that campaign in 1977, and to the end of it in 1987, they remained the same.

The first was to create and bring into effective use a new strategic doctrine based on the impotence of nuclear ballistic missiles in the face of a new generation of technologies. As he said, “laser and laser-like devices”—lasers and relativistic beams of other types. This was necessary not only because it was right, but also because the deterrence balance of Mutually Assured Destruction at that time in the late 1970s was becoming unbalanced, sufficiently to trigger nuclear war. That was the situation when he began on this campaign.

Second, he wanted to launch a technological industrial revolution; he talked about this many times, including very forcefully in one video that you’ll see. Again, the impact of lasers and laser-like devices on technology used in industry internationally and on the kinds of projects which could be developed with a new credit system in developing sectors. He put the two together—the industrial technological revolution and the need for a new international credit system.

Third, he wanted to enable the great powers to get rid of intermediate range nuclear weapons, as they are sometimes called, which are the quintessential destabilizing element in the nuclear balance of terror. Repeatedly in the post-World War II period, these have caused crises of imminent nuclear war because of the extremely short time between the point at which those missiles can be launched, the point at which—if at all—they can be defended against, and the point at which they will strike and destroy millions of human lives and vast areas of economy. There is almost no time, effectively, between the launch and the destruction in the case of IRBMs (intermediate-range ballistic missiles). He wanted the U.S. and the Soviet Union to be able to get rid of those.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin (center right) meeting with John Bolton, U.S. National Security Advisor, at the Kremlin on October 22, 2019.

A fourth effect of the SDI was the collapse of the Soviet Union. There was a conference in Princeton in December of 1992. Senior former officials of the Soviet Union, led by the former Foreign Minister Aleksandr Bessmertnykh, said at that conference that it was the Strategic Defense Initiative which destroyed the Soviet Union. Former senior officials of the Reagan administration, including his Secretary of State, George Shultz, said at that same conference that they were absolutely “thrown for a loop”—that was his phrase—when Reagan actually made the announcement of the Strategic Defense Initiative. As recently as 2007, the notorious National Security Advisor to President Trump, John Bolton, publicly stated that he was told by a very high-ranking Russian (no longer Soviet) military official that he—Bolton—needed to know that it was Lyndon LaRouche who had been the author of the Strategic Defense Initiative.

Obviously it changed history; but the collapse of the Soviet Union was not one of the objectives of Lyndon LaRouche in pursuing the SDI. It was not among the objectives that I just went through that he consistently pursued from 1977 to 1987. Nonetheless, once that process was underway, he was able to forecast it extremely accurately, including telling his Soviet interlocutors, the Soviet diplomat with whom he was directly speaking, that the Soviet Union effectively had five years left if it did not accept the offer of joint anti-missile beam defense development from Reagan.

Penn. State Univ./Philip Nash
A U.S. Jupiter intermediate range ballistic missile, shown with removable skirting, deployed at Cigli Air Base, Turkey during early 1962 or 1963.

The IRBM Crisis of 1962

Since now we are in the middle of fighting a three-year-long attempt to force President Trump into confrontation with nuclear-armed Russia and China, and also to resume regime-change wars, and since Lyndon LaRouche is no longer alive to intervene with his great personal force and credibility in this situation, I just want to note first the most serious crisis of the postwar period, which was one in which, while he was extremely active in 1962 as a successful economic forecaster and business consultant, he did not have a political organization through which to make this kind of intervention.

That was the only time since the Second World War when not just certain experts, but tens of millions of people in the United States and Europe and elsewhere in the world, thought that they had reached the end of their lives. They thought that nuclear war was about to break out within days, and they were in terror as a result of that, not for 24 hours, but for two solid weeks between October 14 and October 28, 1962. That crisis was caused by the combination of intermediate range nuclear ballistic missiles and regime-change war.

The United States’ armed forces began the development of Intermediate Range Ballistic Missiles (IRBMs) and the deployment of IRBM nuclear missiles at the end of 1957. These missiles were developed for the United Kingdom, which very desperately wanted them, as well as for the United States Army and Navy. These were the Jupiter missiles. They were deployed in 1961 in Italy and in Turkey; Turkey, in that case, literally on the border of the Soviet Union.

The Jupiter missile had an error radius—that means the circle of radius within which it could be more or less guaranteed to land around its target—of one-half mile, which was less than one-quarter of the error of any previously developed missile. It was mobile; it could be readied for launch in 15 minutes, and it was deployed on the borders of the Soviet Union with a range of 1,500 miles and had a warhead of 1.5 megatons.

At the same time as the Jupiter missiles were deployed in Turkey, Eisenhower very famously warned against the “military-industrial complex” in his farewell address. He did not control the military-industrial complex very effectively while he was President. Most particularly, there was a plan called either the Cuban Project or Operation Mongoose, which was to eliminate the Cuban government. It was launched in 1960 under Eisenhower’s administration with Secretary of State John Foster Dulles; it was headed by the Army Chiefs of Staff member General Edward Lansdale. It was escalated by John F. Kennedy’s Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, who was from Wall Street and the Ford Motor Company, and also, General Lansdale, and Joint Chiefs Chairman General Lyman Lemnitzer. It began with a secret Joint Chiefs document called “Justification for U.S. Military Intervention in Cuba—Top Secret.”

Mongoose had one part, the Bay of Pigs invasion, which became very widely known; it failed. Kennedy scaled it down at the last moment, when it was sprung on him as he came into office, and it failed. But the core plan, Operation Mongoose, had a $50 million a year budget. It involved the CIA, FBI, State Department, Commerce Department, Defense Intelligence Agency, and National Security Council. It continued right up to and through the nuclear war warning situation of October 14-28, 1962. In fact, the target of Operation Mongoose, the target date for the removal of the Castro government, was October 1962.

So, what are you looking at?

Operation Mongoose, rather than resulting in the removal of the Castro government, resulted in the near elimination of large parts of the human race. The Soviet leadership saw an opportunity in this, that they could offset the Jupiter missiles in Turkey, which bothered them extremely. In August 1962, they began a plan to place short-range nuclear ballistic missiles and Backfire bombers in Cuba; at the same time, cleverly leaking out selected news.

National Archives
U.S. aerial reconnaissance photo of a medium range ballistic missile launch site at San Cristobal, Cuba on November 1, 1962.

There were rumors throughout September 1962 that what they really wanted was to trade these missiles for the Jupiter missiles, and get rid of both. But by October 14, the U.S. Air Force and the CIA had hard photographic evidence that these missiles had been put in place in Cuba; that the Backfire bombers were there; that they were nuclear-armed. Now the United States, like the Soviet Union, could be hit with nuclear weapons before it could respond.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff demanded an immediate invasion to take these missiles out. President Kennedy instead began a series of exchanges, some of which were outright demands, with Nikita Khrushchov, the Chairman of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Cuba was quarantined by U.S. naval ships to keep any more of these missiles or missile parts from being delivered. They called it a “quarantine” and not a blockade in order not to declare war on Cuba, which would have had the implication of the beginning of a declaration of war against the Soviet Union, which was providing the armaments that were in Cuba in the first place.

The Strategic Air Command (SAC) on October 14 went to what’s called “Defcon 2”—Defense Readiness Condition 2. It stayed at that level for three weeks. That level of alert means “strategic armed forces ready to deploy and engage in less than 6 hours”; “strategic armed forces” meaning the nuclear force. It otherwise means the next step is nuclear war. Soviet nuclear forces were equally ready to launch, and even though not too many people knew the details of these strategic orders, as I mentioned, tens of millions of people knew that it was very likely their lives were about to come to an end.

They lived in terror for two weeks while the preparations for an invasion of Cuba by the U.S. military, and the preparations for running the quarantine or blockade of Soviet ships were made. Kennedy was holding out against the military and against McNamara for more diplomatic attempts before invading Cuba, but he too thought that an invasion was likely to happen.

U.S. Navy
U.S. Navy Lockheed P-3A-LO Orion flies over the Soviet cargo ship SS Metallurg Anosov and the U.S. destroyer, USS Barry on November 10, 1962.

Then on October 26, 1962, there was an NBC News public report of this Soviet formula: Jupiter missiles out of Turkey, Soviet missiles out of Cuba. Then on October 27, a message from Khrushchov, which of course was not public, but later became public: “If there is no intention to drive the world to the catastrophe of nuclear war,” Khrushchov said, “then let us not only relax the forces pulling the ends of the rope. Let us take measures to untie the knot. We are ready for this.”

President John Kennedy meeting with Soviet Chairman Nikita Krushchev at the U.S. Embassy residence in Vienna, Austria on June 3, 1961.

Later the same day, Khrushchov send a second message which made explicitly the demand that the missiles in Turkey come out, that there be a trade of these missiles. Kennedy made the decision which is of course famous, that he would ignore the second message and answer the first. But while he was doing that, Robert Kennedy, the Attorney General, his brother, who had a back channel going on, promised the exchange which was in the message JFK ignored, provided that the exchange could be kept quiet and would not be part of any announcements of the missiles being withdrawn. The next day, Khrushchov announced that the missiles would be withdrawn. In April of 1963, five months later, the Jupiter missiles were removed from Turkey.

The Euromissiles Crisis

Twenty years later, the same thing was happening again, in what was called the “Euromissiles Crisis.” This is when Lyndon LaRouche intervened, and did have a movement which he had recruited very rapidly in the decade or so before that, and intervened very effectively beginning in 1977 in order to change what happened in this second crisis, which otherwise would have come out the same way, or worse.

The result of LaRouche’s intervention was, first of all, Reagan’s adoption of a great-power cooperative defense policy based on relativistic beam defense. Second, the disintegration of the Soviet Union on a timetable LaRouche had not sought, but which he was able to forecast quite accurately. And third, as a secondary consequence, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty of 1987, from which the United States has recently withdrawn.

An additional effect of this, obviously, was a great deal of research on relativistic beams, including tunable laser and other particle beams, research in optics, in optical biophysics, in medical laser technologies, in industrial laser technologies. Most of it which stayed at the level of research only, unfortunately; but nonetheless, was extremely important from a scientific standpoint. And from the standpoint that Ben will discuss further, of the second flank of this SDI campaign, LaRouche’s campaign for a Moon-Mars mission, beginning particularly in 1985.

EIRNS/Chris Strunk
LaRouche organizers intervene at a rally for Jimmy Carter in New York City on October 27, 1976.

On this Euromissiles crisis, the SALT treaties, the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaties in the 1970s, came directly from the fears in the Cuban Missile Crisis and from JFK’s call in 1962 at American University, for the beginning of nuclear weapons arms control discussions between the superpowers. But in early 1977, Jimmy Carter came in as President, and his administration headed immediately for a nuclear confrontation with the Soviet Union. LaRouche spoke to the nation with a 30-minute national network broadcast on the eve of Election Day 1976, and told Americans a vote for Jimmy Carter is a vote for nuclear war.

Carter very quickly suspended the United States’ ratification of SALT I, the first Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty; suspended negotiations on SALT II, the second treaty; and stopped the secret exchanges regarding the situation in Europe which had been going on with the Soviet Ambassador, Anatoly Dobrynin. While he was doing this, the Soviet Union deployed ground-based, intermediate-range nuclear missiles in European Russia. These were the SS-20 missiles. The Soviet Union explained these as offsetting the missiles of the United Kingdom and France.

The United Kingdom in particular had emphatically demanded that it be provided with Polaris nuclear missiles so that it could put them on its missile-launching submarines which it was developing, the so-called Resolution class submarines. Neither this British nuclear force, nor the French force de frappe, the French nuclear missiles, were counted in the SALT treaty negotiations. The Soviet Union said, we are matching these missiles which are aimed at us on a short range, with SS-20 missiles in the European parts of the Soviet Union.

In 1979, the Carter administration adopted an idea of Henry Kissinger’s called “double track,” by which they insisted that negotiations about missiles in Europe would be combined simultaneously with the United States throwing more than 400 Pershing II IRBMs and ground-launched cruise missiles into Europe. The British Margaret Thatcher government and the French Mitterrand government clamored for these Pershing II missile deployments, and this was going to return the world, obviously, to the hair-trigger nuclear stand-off on both sides as if we were back in the middle of the Cuban Missile Crisis, but this time, on the scale of the entirety of Eurasia.

CC/Rob Bogaerts
A demonstration against the deployment of nuclear weapons in Bonn, Germany on October 10, 1981.

When the deployment actually began in Germany, at the end of 1981, huge demonstrations broke out in numerous countries in Europe—the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, the U.K., and in Germany itself. Once again, there was massive fear that nuclear war was imminent, and various arms control experts and scientists claimed leadership of these large demonstrations for what they called a “nuclear freeze”—which amounted to stopping the Pershing II missile deployments.

I should mention, LaRouche had just had his International Development Bank outline, How the International Development Bank Will Work, adopted at that time by the Non-Aligned Nations Movement, which numbered more than 100 nations at that time. It proposed an international development bank, and for credit and technology transfer to developing countries. Question: What technologies?

In the May 2, 1977 issue of Aviation Week and Space Technology, at that time a very widely read aerospace, defense and aviation industries magazine, published warnings by General George J. Keegan, the head of Air Force Intelligence at that time, about Soviet experiments on laser and particle beams for defense at a closed research facility that was near the Russian city of Semipalatinsk. In its editorial, Aviation Week said, “The Soviet Union has achieved a technical breakthrough in high-energy physics applications that may soon provide it with a directed-energy beam weapon capable of neutralizing the entire U.S. ballistic missile force and checkmating the country’s strategic doctrine.”

A great deal of exaggeration was involved in this report, but nonetheless a kernel of truth: “The race to perfect directed-energy weapons is now a reality.” President Carter denied this publicly himself, in person; but LaRouche had become aware that conceptual work on directed-energy defense of this kind in Russia went back to the late 1950s. He foresaw these three objectives immediately that I mentioned at the beginning: a new strategic doctrine; a technological industrial revolution; and enabling the superpowers to eliminate these hair-trigger intermediate-range missiles.

Cover of a 44-page pamphlet issued by LaRouche’s U.S. Labor Party in May, 1977.

The Carter administration’s nuclear confrontation policy also had to be defeated. The way to defeat it was with the relativistic beam revolution in military strategy, the new physical principles, which were not governed by the Anti-Ballistic Missile Defense Treaty of 1971, but rather required under that treaty that the whole treaty be renegotiated. So, that was the subject of LaRouche’s first publication of this ten-year campaign, which I think is widely known, was called “Sputnik of the ’70s.” That pamphlet, which was a mass distribution pamphlet, emphasized that the technologies on the horizon were really not military technologies; they were not new weapons as such, but new physical principles which would revolutionize both technology and weaponry and would also enable credit to provide development of a new type to the developing world.

LaRouche Meets with Reagan Officials

In August of 1979, already LaRouche representatives were holding discussions with representatives of the Reagan campaign—this is in late 1979—on energy beam defense. Then of course, there was the very famous discussion, captured in a photograph, between LaRouche and Reagan directly on the podium in New Hampshire, waiting for a Presidential debate to begin.

EIRNS/Stuart Lewis
Lyndon LaRouche and Ronald Reagan share thoughts at a candidates’ debate in Concord, New Hampshire during the 1980 Presidential campaign.

In early 1981, during the transition period when the Reagan administration was coming in, LaRouche and his representatives had meetings on the strategic doctrine and related scientific energy policies with quite a number of the Secretaries of departments in the Reagan Administration—the Science Advisor; the Security Director of the National Security Council (NSC), Richard Morris, who would play a role later; and also the Deputy Director of the CIA, all on this subject within a relatively short period of time.

At this point, I should just interject, huge so-called nuclear freeze demonstrations were reaching their peak. In the United States they were largely composed of scared-to-death college students. At the same time, we were campaigning very actively for beam defense: “Beam the Bomb” was our slogan. This was, for those students, a higher peace movement than the one that most students had been stampeded into. Our campaign really made a great deal of headway.

Then in the fall of 1981, LaRouche and his representatives began to meet regularly with representatives of the United States CIA and other intelligence agency representatives to discuss the beam weapons strategy. Court testimony later by that same Security Director of the NSC, Richard Morris, who testified in LaRouche’s own trial, and again in the trial of his associates in Virginia several years later, that when he was at the NSC, there were six major areas of ongoing discussion between the NSC and Lyndon LaRouche and his immediate representatives. Those included economic development of Mexico and the Caribbean area, but the primary discussion, he said, was of beam-weapon nuclear missile defense. Let’s hear directly from Lyndon LaRouche’s video broadcast.

Lyndon LaRouche: Then [in 1980 in New Hampshire] I had this conversation with Reagan, and as a follow-up after he was President, we had a follow-up with various people in the Reagan circle, including his National Security Council. I was working with the head of the National Security Council on this operation, and with people from the CIA on this and that; I was sworn to this, and sworn to that. So, I was doing the whole thing, and the SDI was my work, which they liked.

And there was a faction including the President, who liked it. He liked it because he was against, he always hated Henry Kissinger. He hated Henry Kissinger particularly because of the “revenge weapons.” The idea that you build super weapons, and if somebody throws a bomb at you, you obliterate the planet. That is not considered a good defense. He was against that, and what he saw from experts was that what I was saying was accepted by experts—military and others. This was French intelligence, the leadership of the Gaullist faction in France, this was the leadership of the German military, this was the leadership of the Italian military, and all over the world.

LaRouche Back-Channel with USSR

Gallagher: Now in December of 1981—and this is really a crucial shift in the situation—the Reagan administration, through intelligence agencies, directly requested that LaRouche start a back-channel, or a series of back-channel discussions, with Soviet representatives about this new scientific and strategic doctrine. In February, after that request was made, EIR had a conference in Washington, D.C. on anti-missile defense. It was attended by more than 300 people, including people from the U.S. government, the Soviet government, and representatives of the East bloc nations’ governments. LaRouche gave the keynote on relativistic beam defense. That same month, he was able to actually begin the back channel in discussions at the Soviet Embassy in Washington with a Soviet diplomat named Yevgeni Shershnev. . . . LaRouche would give a full report to the National Security Council, through Morris, of everything that happened in the back-channel.

Then in October and November 1982, another kind of back channel began. Henry Kissinger personally, along with others on the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (PFIAB)—a board that I think no longer exists in this same form—over his own signature, contacted then FBI Director William Webster, asking that LaRouche be targetted. This letter later became public through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

The Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board also developed its own new strategic policy, in a National Intelligence Estimate document called, “Soviet Capabilities for Strategic Nuclear Conflict, 1982-1992,” Issued by the Director of Central Intelligence. This is the document that provided the first 25 minutes of Reagan’s famous speech on March 23, 1983. The last five minutes were derived from a National Security document that directly reflected LaRouche’s policy. But there was that alternative policy which had been developed, which was essentially a policy for full nuclear confrontation. This dates the point of the really insane idea that if we drive the Soviet Union to a confrontation, it will back down. If we get into a real nuclear stand-off, they will give up, and we will then be able to rule, and place or remove any government in the world that we want to, without Soviet interference.

You see Reagan, in a way, addressing this in the last portion of his speech:

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President Ronald Reagan addressing the nation from the White House on national security, during which he made the surprise announcement of the Strategic Defense Initiative,. March 23, 1983.

LaRouche and the Strategic Defense Initiative

President Ronald Reagan: I clearly recognize that defensive systems have limitations and raise certain problems and ambiguities. If paired with offensive systems, they can be viewed as fostering an aggressive policy, and no one wants that. But with these considerations firmly in mind, I call upon the scientific community in our country, those who gave us nuclear weapons, to turn their great talents, now, to the cause of mankind and world peace, to give us the means of rendering these nuclear weapons impotent and obsolete. . . .

Gallagher: At just that time, the Soviet diplomat Shershnev, in one of the back-channel talks, detailed to LaRouche why the Soviet leadership would reject his doctrine, if Reagan were to put it forward. They said it would work militarily, but its development would be much to the advantage of the United States and Western countries, because of their superior ability to propagate scientific breakthroughs into the civilian economy.

In February, just before Reagan’s speech, LaRouche had been in Europe, holding seminars for European military officials, effectively securing backing for his idea by the French and German commands. He met with European military officials all over the continent and briefed them on everything that he was doing. In February just before the President’s speech, Shershnev informed LaRouche that the Soviet leadership was confident that any intention by Reagan to do anything like this would be blocked.

In March of 1983, ten days before this speech, Uwe Parpart—then a scientific representative of LaRouche—met with National Security Council scientists and consultants on this possible forthcoming Reagan announcement. And then, on March 16—that is, one week prior to the speech—LaRouche representatives Jeff Steinberg and I met with nine representatives of the Air Force and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and briefed them; they told us the Pentagon was unaware of any prospect of any new strategic policy coming out! Again, this was one week prior to Reagan’s speech. You know from that, therefore, that the policy did not originate or come immediately from the Defense Department. Not even from DARPA, which was charged later with carrying it out.

Then you had Reagan’s speech which you’ve all no doubt heard.

EIRNS/Stuart Lewis
Paul Gallagher, then Executive Director of the Fusion Energy Foundation, is interviewed by CBS-TV about beam weapons on March 24, 1983, the day after President Reagan’s SDI announcement.

On March 24, the day after the speech, I appeared, representing the Fusion Energy Foundation, on the CBS Evening News as the first nongovernmental spokesman to explain and defend the SDI. And the next day, a similar appearance by Uwe Parpart, who was on another of the networks.

In April, the month after, Shershnev informed LaRouche that he had been ordered to stop the back-channel. He was recalled to Moscow, and it ended. I think it’s unnecessary to mention, that meant that the situation had now become extremely dangerous from the standpoint of the ongoing Euro missiles crisis, since by this time, the deployment of the Pershing 2 missiles and the ground-launched cruise missiles was well under way. The full battalion would not be there and ready to launch until the beginning of 1985, but it was well under way at this point. So the situation with the Russian rejection was obviously quite serious.

Attacks on LaRouche

Soviet attacks in the press against the SDI, and on LaRouche personally as the author of the SDI, began to multiply. Then there was the first NBC TV prime time, half-hour program, called “First Camera,” in March 1984, attacking “The LaRouche Factor in the Reagan Administration.” And the New Republic magazine came out in its November 19 issue with a cover story, “The LaRouche Connection”—here’s the rest of the title, get this—”Since 1981 the leaders of a lunatic movement have conferred repeatedly with top administration officials. Their aim? To win respect and to influence Reagan’s Stars War plan. They succeeded.”

It reached the point where there were simultaneous, major attacks on LaRouche in Izvestia in Moscow, and a press conference held in Chicago held by Charles Manatt, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee and Walter Mondale, by then, the actual Democratic candidate for President, for the purpose of demanding that Ronald Reagan break all his connection, and all connections within his administration, to Lyndon LaRouche or any of his representatives.

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EIRNS/Philip Ulanowsky
A Schiller Institute march and rally in Washington, DC, addressed by Helga Zepp-LaRouche (below) on January 15, 1985.
EIRNS/Stuart Lewis

It was then that the Department of Justice first began its attempt to prosecute LaRouche and his associates, which went on through a period in which LaRouche and movement organized a higher peace movement, literally: On January 15, 1985, as the deployment of the Euro missiles was being completed, we organized a demonstration of 10,000 people in Washington, addressed by Helga Zepp-LaRouche, right at the south side of the Capitol: These 10,000 people came to Washington and demonstrated in 8° weather on Martin Luther King’s birthday.

That same day, the Washington Post published the first of three days’ consecutive articles, each one about 5,000 words long, starting on the front page and jumping to inside pages—that day, the next day, the next day, attempting to chronicle every single contact between LaRouche representatives and Reagan and his representatives, since 1980, and to print the names of the officials who were doing these meetings, and demanding—essentially threatening—this end, or the Post will begin a serious, all-out campaign against these officials, if they don’t end their contacts with Lyndon LaRouche.

EIRNS/Stuart Lewis
Lyndon LaRouche addressing a “Beam the Bomb” Conference in Washington, DC on April 13, 1983.

So this was now the demand of the nation’s major liberal press, of the Democratic Party candidate for President, of the chairman of the Democratic Party, of Izvestia and Pravda and a number of other major Soviet publications, all simultaneously: Break the connection between LaRouche and Ronald Reagan.

Let’s listen to the three objectives that I said Lyndon LaRouche was pursuing throughout this campaign. It’s very clear from his speech, delivered in April of 1983, to a conference in Washington, called “Beam the Bomb”—that was the name of the conference; it’s very clear that Lyndon LaRouche still had those three intentions very clearly in mind and was pursuing them all simultaneously as one. In fact, he started out the speech, by saying “Let me outline the rules which must govern the upcoming negotiations between the Soviet Union and the United States.” Those negotiations were the beginning, the ones which led eventually to the INF Treaty of 1987, but not until many things had happened!

New Physical Principles

Lyndon LaRouche [video]: Five days after the President announced the adoption of our new strategic doctrine, the Soviet weekly whose name translates as Economic Gazette came off the press. This issue—it’s number 14 for 1983—contains on page 2 a feature article written by the head of the Soviet laser program, Academician [Evgeny] Velikhov. It’s entitled, in the translation done by my staff, “The Laser Beam Is Working.” A few quotations from the article give you the flavor of the matter. It begins as such.

“The development of laser technology is convincing confirmation of the determining influence of fundamental scientific discoveries on the economy. The laser effect, predicted, discovered and researched with the decisive participation of Soviet scientists, has, in a comparatively short period—a little more than two decades—gone through all the stages of development, and emerged into the open range of multi-purpose utilization in the national economy.”

He summarizes the present picture of applications of lasers to the Soviet economy:

“Lasers can be applied effectively in mass production in the chemicals industry. They are very promising also for such areas as biology, environmental protection, construction and irrigation, communications, computer technology, printing, recording, and graphics processing. The potentialities of lasers serve as one of the paths toward solution of the problem of the controlled thermonuclear reaction.”

To provide you a general sense of the matter, from the Soviet side, which is also true on our side,— to provide you a sense of how important these economic spin-offs of military laser technology are, and to demonstrate why these economic spin-offs will be a critical part of Soviet thinking about the coming missile-crisis negotiations, you must have the following parts of the overall picture.

If we of the United States are not morally a collection of crazy lemmings jumping over a cliff of “post-industrial” collapse, we shall probably spend, in terms of today’s purchasing-power, about $1 trillion, more or less, on combined strategic and tactical applications of lasers and laser-like devices during the remaining years of this century. For the edification of spies from the New York Times, let it be clearly understood that I am not leaking some highly secret fact of our government’s secret policy-planning. Anyone who understands the logic of the U.S.-Soviet laser arms race and also knows a few facts about the situation, will recognize that my estimation of about $1 trillion is a safely conservative figure. . . .

Now, on the U.S. side, I am certain that the program I am projecting will cause the greatest economic boom in world-history in the United States. What Academician Velikhov wrote in the indicated issue of the Economic Gazette is only a hint of the sweeping revolution in modern science, as well as in agricultural and other fields, which will be hitting our economy in the civilian sector by 1985, or even perhaps as early as 1984. By ’84, I mean that there are existing laser technologies, technologies which we are not using, and we should be using in the U.S. economy, but because of our habits of thinking, we’ve been throwing them off.

During the last part of this decade, we’ll begin to get significant spinoffs, if we’re determined to do so, in the civilian sector of the economy from new developments coming out of the military sector. And if I have any influence on it, that will happen very rapidly.

As I said, I predicted this spending of $1 trillion won’t cost the U.S. economy a single penny. The increase in average level of income per person will be of a much greater amount, as a result of the technological spin-offs, than we spend per person than we spend for the program.

Now, it’s true that military spending as such is economic waste. You can’t eat it. I hope you don’t try to wear it. [laughter] And so, it’s waste! But let’s look at waste in terms of laboratory terms. Let’s imagine that military spending is nothing but a gigantic laboratory, and what comes out of the back end of that laboratory, as far as material, is scrap! Which is what military goods are, as far as an economy is concerned. But if you use them too freely, they turn the economy into scrap.

But think of that as a laboratory, and think of the technologies coming out of the laboratory, coming into the economy. So, think of the $1 trillion as being spent as a laboratory expense—albeit not in the most efficient way—but as a laboratory expense, and then, think of its effect on the economy. It’s not unrealistic to expect, that as a result of this program, the growth output, tangible output per capita in the U.S. economy will increase between two and three times within the next 15 years. It’s very simple: All we have to do, first of all, to get a very substantial increase in the economy, is to reverse the post-’65 trends.

We had,— 55% of the labor force, in 1929, as we entered the Great Depression, was employed either in production of tangible goods, or in transportation of goods. In 1946, at the beginning of the postwar civilian economy, we employed 62% of the labor force either in producing tangible goods or in transporting them. Today, we’re employing a shrinking 28% or less.

If we simply reverse that trend, through reindustrialization, we will automatically, very easily, double the total output of the economy, in the next 15 years. Now, if we add,— we compare the case of NASA’s research and development effect on the economy back during the early 1960s; if we compare that, it is extremely modest to say, that the overall increase per year in productivity of the U.S. labor force over the next 15 years will be growing at about 5% per year. That’s an extremely modest estimate. It could grow up to as high as 10%, for reasons I’ll indicate.

Now, from Moscow, this may look a little different. I would estimate, on the basis of what I know of the scale of Soviet work and the capabilities of Soviet science, that over the next four to five years, the Soviet Union can probably approximately match anything we can do in this area, in the military sector. The question is, can they enjoy the same rate of economic growth in the economy that we can, as a result of a civilian economy spinoffs? Thus, can they continue to afford the expenditure, at the level we can, after 1986-87-88? . . .

By going back and forcing ourselves to do what we should have done anyway, to commit ourselves to technological progress, we’ll force back cultural optimism. And if the two superpowers have any brains, we’ll force ourselves to live together on the same planet.

How shall we do that? How shall the two superpowers negotiate? Just take this point. I would say that the counsellor for the two superpowers in the coming negotiations [on the banning of the intermediate-range missiles] should be Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Why? She probably is the best statesperson alive today. We’ve met once; I’ve had correspondence with her; I know people around her. But that’s not why—that’s a necessary included qualification.

But she happens to be the leader of 101 nations of the Non-Aligned Nations group, 101 nations who also live on this planet, and who would like to continue to live, and whose destiny is very much determined by the conduct of the two superpowers. The only way the two superpowers can live on this planet together, is by living together with these 101 nations, and others. And that’s the only way—by finding a common cause, by making the voice of the non-aligned peoples who aspire to technological progress, who wish the benefits of this new technology—that’s the only way we’re going to make it.

White House
President Ronald Reagan with Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev on the last day of their summit meeting in Reykjavik, Iceland on October 11, 1986.
EIRNS/Stuart Lewis
FBI raid of LaRouche offices in Leesburg, Virginia on October 6, 1986.

Gallagher: And then later, near the very end of this speech, he describes how this negotiation—if it is based on the new strategic doctrine which Reagan has introduced, and only if it’s based on that—will actually lead to the two superpowers being able to, as he said, “get rid of these missiles! Just get rid of these missiles.” And then, he ends by saying what I quoted at the beginning: “I’ve worked long and hard to bring this about. I was thrilled when it happened, and I’m going to make sure that it’s done in the right way.”

That was then followed—some of which I’ve already discussed—by the more and more intense, combined persecution, prosecution and vilification of LaRouche, in order to remove him from the stage, and above all, to break this link between him and the Reagan administration, this policy link.

And it culminated in the October 11-12, 1986 Reykjavik, Iceland summit between President Gorbachov, who was by then Chairman of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, and President Reagan, at which there were 1,000 reporters. Reagan and Gorbachov went into their personal meeting, and when they came out, then Secretary of State George Shultz—a dedicated enemy of the SDI—announced that there could have been an intermediate forces agreement reached at this summit, but it was not possible, because of the Soviet demand for the elimination of the SDI.

All these thousand reporters went into shock, that this subject, which was not on the agenda at all, had collapsed the summit before it could reach an agreement.

During that summit, as people may know, while the reporters were being entertained waiting around for the heads of state to emerge, they were being entertained by CNN reports of the October 6-7 raid of 400 armed federal and state agents on Leesburg, Virginia. The narrowly-averted killing of LaRouche, the arrest of many of his associates, and the seizure of our offices in Leesburg and so forth. The reporters were given that for their enjoyment, while they were waiting for this anti-climax, because Reagan had refused to give up the SDI. The Reagan-LaRouche connection hadn’t been broken yet. It wasn’t until after LaRouche was under indictment, that Gorbachov felt it safe to sign the Intermediate Nuclear Forces agreement with Reagan, which was signed near the end of 1987.

Ross: Thank you, Paul. . . . We’ll now hear from our second speaker, the leader of the LaRouche PAC science team, Benjamin Deniston.

Moon-Mars Mission

Benjamin Deniston

Benjamin Deniston: I hope most people watching, know we’re in a major mobilization to get Trump to exonerate Mr. LaRouche, to declare that the reasons for the legal attacks on him were unjust, because they were a political operation against him. . . .

From that perspective, I want to look at the evolution of his conception of the SDI, and into LaRouche’s idea of space colonization, but from the standpoint of what I think—and this is my perspective on it—was that, underlying his idea of the SDI, underlying his policies generally, Lyn was, and is, a real threat to the British Empire.

On March 30,1984, LaRouche issued a memo, “The LaRouche Doctrine: Draft Memorandum of Agreement between the United States and U.S.S.R.” This was right around the time Paul was discussing, pertaining to the SDI—what the SDI really meant. And the issue that he addresses, which carries into the space program, which carries into today, is this: What is the scientific basis of a sustainable peace among the leading powers of the planet? I’ll argue that it was Lyn’s insights into this, as the real threat to the existence of empire on the planet. Just to highlight a couple of quotes, in the paragraph preceding the quote I am giving you, he had asked what would it mean were the SDI to go through, that is, if we got the U.S. and the Soviet Union to agree to the SDI, what does that mean?

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April 1984: The LaRouche Doctrine.

For a significant period of time, the defense would enjoy approximately an order of magnitude of superiority, man for man, over the offense, relative to the previous state of affairs. This would permit negotiation of a temporary solution to the imminence of a “Launch on Warning” posture by both powers: a solution which might persist for 10, 15 years, or longer. The true solution must be found in the domain of politics and economics, and the further shaping of military relations between the powers must produce military policies by each coherent with the direction of development of the needed political and economic solutions.

So he says very clearly, the core idea of the SDI would be a step, something 10, 15 years or more, but a step in the direction of a sustainable, lasting peace, and as he elaborates in other locations, the ending of an imperial system on the planet.

LaRouche continues:

The political foundation for durable peace must be: (a) The unconditional sovereignty of each and all nation-states, and (b) cooperation among sovereign nation-states to the effect of promoting unlimited opportunities to participate in the benefits of technological progress, to the mutual benefit of each and all.

The Core of U.S.-Russian Relations

Paul highlighted LaRouche’s focus on the spinoffs, and he had the wonderful clips from LaRouche discussing the economic spinoffs of the SDI, that being but one expression of the type of technological driver needed.

In this core document for U.S.-USSR relations in the context of the SDI program, he says:

The powers jointly agree upon the adoption of two tasks as the common interest of mankind, as well as the specific interest of each of the two powers: (1) The establishment of full economic equity respecting the conditions of individual life in all nations of this planet during a period of not more than fifty years; (2) Man’s exploration and colonization of nearby space as the continuing common objective and interest of mankind during and beyond the completion of the first task. The adoption of these two working-goals as the common task and respective interest in common of the two powers and other cooperating nations, constitutes the central point of reference for erosion of the potential political and economic causes of warfare between the powers.

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June 1985: LaRouche keynotes Krafft Ehricke memorial.
August 1985: LaRouche on a Moon-Mars mission.
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December 1986: LaRouche on the science of Mars colonization.

So even in this 1984 document, Lyndon LaRouche looked at the space program, the exploration and colonization of nearby space, as the continuation of the core principles of sustainable peace, which would be initiated by the SDI.

If we jump to one year later, on June 15-16, the Fusion Energy Foundation and the Schiller Institute co-hosted an international memorial conference celebrating the life and work of space pioneer Krafft Ehricke, the proceedings of which were released in this book, Colonize Space! Open the Age of Reason. LaRouche’s keynote was “Ehricke’s Contribution to Global and Interplanetary Civilization.” Again, LaRouche continues the development of the continuity of the underlying key issues of the SDI in terms of a sustainable, lasting peace, into the Moon-Mars program. He says:

In other words, if we wish to develop the SDI and its offshoots in the best way, the way to organize the program is as a by-product of a mission assignment for colonizing first the Moon and then Mars. It would be an error, if the task-orientation of the SDI were limited to a list of projected military requirements. The proper mission orientation adopted as the mandate of the program should be the Moon-Mars colonization task. Each weapon system developed, should be developed by accelerating the by-products of the primary mission assignment, [the Moon-Mars program].

The SDI and a Moon-Mars Mission

Shortly after the Krafft Ehricke Memorial Conference—and I believe he mentioned this in his address—he drafted a document titled, “How Private Initiative Can Help To Colonize the Moon and Mars.” Once again, he takes the idea further:

[T]he adoption of a Moon-Mars mission assignment subsumes implicitly every technology required by the SDI, and more. It provides each participating nation the “spill-over” benefits otherwise peculiar to SDI development. It bypasses the political obstacles to participation in SDI development. It puts the research and development in the task-oriented form which coincides with the fundamental interests of each and every nation.

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UCLA/Andrea Ghez et al.
Imaging the stars orbiting Sagittarius A* at the center of the Milky Way galaxy, using the W.M. Keck Telescopes.
Mars, as imaged by the Hubble Space Telescope in 2003.
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Fusion Energy Foundation
1983: Mutually Assured Survival.

So, over a several-year span, LaRouche saw the SDI as a critical intervention in a certain period of time. But the fundamental rooted issue is always technological progress, unleashed for all nations on the planet. The only sustainable peace is progress, is growth, is scientific revolution, is technological revolution. That was a central component to the SDI, as Paul identified it clearly. It’s that principle that must continue out of the SDI, into future policies, and LaRouche saw colonization of space as an imperative from that standpoint, a necessary action for all mankind to partake in, a view shared by Krafft Ehricke.

The following year, in 1986, he published a paper called, “The Science and Technology Needed To Colonize Mars.” It appeared initially in the November-December 1986 issue of Fusion magazine, and was republished in EIR, in two parts, the first in the April 26, 2019 issue, and the second in the May 3, 2019 issue. I think this paper lays out a rather unique perspective that LaRouche has on this process of fundamental human progress and development. At a certain point, in a discussion of how to colonize the Moon, how to colonize Mars, the issues and technologies involved, he has a very interesting interlude on fundamental science:

As physical science progresses, what was accepted as the best physics yesterday seems to break down around the edges. Usually, when this first occurs, the physicists mumble the ugliest curse word in their scientific vocabularies: “anomalous.” At first, they look at the embarrassing experimental results suspiciously, thinking someone must have played a mean prank upon them. Sooner or later, some physicists warn: ” It’s no good calling these embarrassing experimental results ‘anomalies.’ We have to face scientific facts; there is something wrong with our existing scientific textbooks.” The history of “anomalies” is the history of fundamental progress in science.

Major European rivers (l.), and cargo being transported on a canal (r.).
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A Phoenician-Punic ship, from a relief carving on a 2nd century sarcophagus.
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A spiral galaxy like our Milky Way Galaxy.

Remote Observational Platforms

After this interlude, LaRouche introduces a conception of reworking the entire Moon-Mars colonization program, from the standpoint of providing future generations the scientific instrumentation that will make evident the new anomalies, which will then require creative hypotheses for new, fundamental revolutions in science. And he worked the whole program backwards from there. He develops the conception of an entire orbital array of satellite observation systems, telescopes that can look across vast parts of the electromagnetic spectrum.

He says that we will want to position these instruments far away from Earth, far away from the Sun, to minimize noise and interference. We will want to array them over a large area, but integrate them to act as if they were part of a single system. And he throws out the idea of actually distributing them along Mars’ orbit around the Sun, at different locations along that orbit with the different observation systems, and integrate them to operate as if you had one satellite system the size of Mars’ orbit.

That’s the kind of revolutionary, groundbreaking observational system that will then allow us to see completely new areas of the universe, study other stellar systems, our galaxy, other galaxies, all kinds of anomalous phenomena which will be the critical basis for completely new revolutions in science. And those scientific revolutions then will provide potentials for new technologies and economic growth.

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1932 Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States
The rail network in the United States as of 1870.
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Schiller Institute
The proposed World Land-Bridge.
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Human civilization leaps to the Moon and Mars.

He says, that should really be our goal. What do we need for that? Well, we need scientists to operate these things and repair and manage them: So they need to be able to be in space. They need support systems, so we need to be able to have supporting infrastructure, supporting people to help the scientists with their objectives. That means, we need bases on other planetary bodies, which means we need to be able to colonize the Moon and be able to produce materials from the Moon, to get out into farther parts of the Solar System. . . .

I think it’s worth emphasizing LaRouche’s growing interest in the galaxy, our galaxy and galactic systems in general, as providing completely new frontiers for science, new anomalies, as he laid out at the time. If you look at even some of the key boundary conditions of our current scientific knowledge, repeatedly they break down at the level of galactic systems.

Gravitation on a galactic scale, for example: Because of the limits of current science, we can’t get it to work, so the scientists have invented dark matter. Recall the recent, fascinating image of the “black hole” in Galaxy M87 by the Event Horizon Telescope Consortium. This tells us something, but it tells us really that we still have no idea what’s going on. Then there is speculation of the existence of a so-called “super-massive black hole” at the center of our own galaxy.

In the equations of modern physical science, these phenomena show up as a singularity, it’s when the equations go off to infinity—meaning we just don’t know what’s going on there. All we know is that we have a new angle of definitive proof that phenomena in the physical universe seem to meet conditions at which our equations break down. But that doesn’t mean the universe breaks down there. It just means we have yet to understand what’s actually happening within these phenomena.

It’s just interesting to note that some phenomena are also associated with some of the most active and energetic activity we see, producing massive jet and lobe structures which can dwarf the size of an entire galaxy, coming from tiny phenomena at the very center. So there are all kinds of anomalies out there.

Ben Deniston
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First close-up views of Pluto, as imaged by the New Horizons spacecraft in 2015.

Imaging the Universe

The image of the “black hole” at the center of M87 didn’t require telescopes populating the entire orbit of the Sun at Mars’ distance. But they did require an array of telescopes covering the entire Earth. There were telescopes from Antarctica, Europe, Hawaii, Mexico, and the continental United States—all had to be integrated to operate as a single system, giving a telescope the size of the Earth, to get the resolution needed to see this. Anything less than that, wouldn’t have been able to detect it.

The next steps are already being discussed: putting similar telescope systems in orbit around the Earth, to get a farther distance. In Earth orbit, the degree of area covered will be larger than on Earth’s surface. Putting telescopes farther out, will get even better resolution on these kinds of phenomena.

We can go to the Moon. Many of you are probably familiar with an interesting lunar phenomenon—the same side of the Moon always faces us. Meaning the other side of the Moon is always shielded from the Earth. There’s an entire range of the electromagnetic spectrum that we’ve never been able to observe in the universe, because the Earth is way too noisy with manmade and also natural emissions.

So, for low-frequency radio emissions, the far side of the Moon is a unique place to begin to develop observation systems. Each one of these different images is a different part of the electro-magnetic spectrum [optical, X-ray, and radio frequencies]. It wasn’t until we looked at the universe in radio waves, that we even knew these phenomena existed around some galaxies. Imaging in the X-ray, has revealed huge additional structure dwarfing the scale visible to us in optical images of those galaxies. It’s like a completely new window, a completely new “sense.” And there are parts of the spectrum that we haven’t even looked in yet. We don’t even know what the universe looks like in some of these low-frequency ranges. So the far side of the Moon will provide us an excellent place to go to next, for these observations.

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NASA/GSFC Ariz. State Univ.
The two faces of the Moon: Near Side (l.) and Far Side (r.), as imaged by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.
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CC 3.0/Mark Wieczorek
Topography of the Moon, from data obtained during the Clementine mission in 1994.
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Left: Victor Blacus; CC 3.0. Right: NASA, ESA, S. Baum and C. O’Dea (RIT), R. Perley and W. Cotton (NRAO/AUI/NSF), and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA). Source: NRAO.
A composite image of galaxy Hercules A reveals a massive black hole (r.). The electro-magnetic spectrum chart (l.).

I could go on forever. But one other thing I’d like to tell you about involves a collaboration between some Russian and American scientists who have been pursuing a potentially new approach in recent years: the idea of using the Sun itself as a telescope. Some of you might be familiar with the first major positive test of relativity, in which the issue of the anomaly in Mercury’s orbit was addressed. But then there was a huge breakthrough when, I believe, Arthur Eddington observed stars during a solar eclipse and noticed stars were displaced from their apparent positions, when observed very close to the Sun. The gravitational effect of the Sun actually did slightly bend the starlight.

Well, if it’s bending the starlight that’s coming in, people reasoned, then if you could go out far enough away from the Sun, those bending light rays would come to a point where you could use the gravitational field of the Sun itself as a telescope. I apologize for forgetting the numbers, but it’s like a billion-fold greater resolution than anything we could possibly construct on Earth, or even in Earth orbit, or many other types of systems.

And you have to get out to a distance of, I believe it’s 500 Astronomical Units [1 AU is the Earth-Sun distance], so it’s pretty far out there. But if you have fusion propulsion, if you have the type of systems that LaRouche was outlining for his space colonization, this is the kind of stuff we could be doing.

That is the only way to conceivably get any kind of decent imaging of planets around other stars, to potentially see planets around other stars, at I think it was 100 light-years—and there are quite a few stars that, from recent missions, we know they have planets around them. So we could actually be getting images of this quality of other planets around other stars, which, if you know about the distances involved, you’re talking about an incredible feat.

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CC 3.0/B.P Abbott et al.
First measurement of a gravitational wave event, by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory in 2015, marking the very beginning of gravity-wave astronomy, an entirely new way of perceiving our universe.
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NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

A Sustained Peace for Humanity

But I think this is a perfect time to be supporting and pushing a campaign for space colonization, for a space development perspective, from Lyndon LaRouche’s standpoint. This is not just a science issue for people who like science; this is an issue for human progress, human development. And as LaRouche laid out very clearly in his work in the ’80s and up to the point he died, this is the only basis for mankind to have any kind of sustained peace. Peace is only going to come through shared commitment to continuous progress, continual development, scientific revolution upon scientific revolution, each step of the way providing new resources, new wealth available for mankind as a whole.

So if you ever take that out of the equation, you’re never going to be able to address a sustained peace on this planet, which is absolutely one of Lyndon LaRouche’s unique insights into the strategic situation.

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