This transcript appears in the May 7, 2021 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
Egypt Is Building a New Capital City
This is an edited transcript of the second part of remarks delivered by Mr. Askary to The LaRouche Organization webcast on April 17, 2021. The first part of his remarks addressed the starvation of Syria under the murderous U.S. “Caesar sanctions.” The full video of that meeting is available here.
The Syrian people and their leadership had demonstrated their ability to rebuild big parts of Aleppo, rebuild industry, to bring life back, which had angered and frustrated the enemies of Syria. Therefore, there was a new round of sanctions under the Trump administration pushed by Secretary of State Pompeo to strangle the Syrian people and by stopping them, trying to force them to submit to the will of the United States and its allies.
It is ironic that the capability to build the potential for life, the potential for the future, requires much less effort than the massive deployment of military force to destroy a nation. So, with much less than that, the people could actually rebuild their country, and make life flourish again.
This ability frustrates people like Pompeo and others, and it frustrates the British ideology behind them, which says that population growth, and ecological advancements are a source of danger. It’s much the same as the way they treat China today, that China’s economic growth and modernization is a threat to the United States: I don’t understand how that could be a threat to the United States, when a people improve their living conditions. But, it is against the ideology that has become ingrained in the British Empire kind of thinking. It takes different forms. One of the forms it has taken in recent decades, which is now targetting even industrial nations like the United States, is this green ideology.
And this green ideology has its background in the British Empire and what we call the Malthusian thinking.
According to Thomas Malthus [1766-1834], an ideologue of the British East India Company, human population can grow much, much faster than agricultural production or natural resources development—so therefore, population has to be reduced. And now, when somebody comes to today’s Malthusians and says, humans can solve that problem by technological advancement, you can grow more food from the same plot of land, using more modern technologies, their answer is, well, then we should forbid technological advancement. And this is what is in the Green Reset. Because, in their view, unless you stop technological development and industrialization, of course, you will not be able to advance. And therefore, even the Green Reset is in fact a pathway of population reduction and mass genocide.
I want to take an example from the same region to show how you can reverse these processes. I’m going to talk about Egypt, which gives us some hope that things don’t necessarily have to go wrong the whole time. But what is needed is a shift in thinking.
Egypt was one of the countries that was targetted by the Arab Spring. It was destined to become controlled after the previous government of the Hosni Mubarak presidency was overthrown by the Muslim Brotherhood—the friends of President Obama and the British. The plan was that these British allies would take over Egypt and turn it into a bastion for the Islamist ideology. This happened in 2012 and the Muslim Brotherhood won the elections. And then the Muslim Brotherhood suddenly started going from being democratic to being more and more extreme, and even called on people to join the fight, the jihad in Syria, and support the Syrian terrorist groups.
At that moment, the Egyptian people and an important institution, which is the military, said, “enough is enough; we cannot accept this. We have to save our country, our Constitution, and our society.” And therefore, there was a new revolt in Egypt in 2013, in which the military supported the population and then the former head of the army, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, became provisional President. But then he was elected by the people as President, and a new process took hold in Egypt.
Egypt is also one of the nations that were destined for population reduction in accordance with a U.S. National Security Study Memorandum, commissioned by Henry Kissinger in 1974, as National Security Adviser. It’s called National Security Study Memorandum 200, which considered population growth in developing nations as a national security threat to the United States and its allies. The theory is that population growth in many countries, and it names 15 countries including Egypt, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, and others, that what will happen with the population growth, is that the governments of these countries will be forced to go to advanced technologies to be able to fulfill the needs of these people and that consequently will lead to these nations using the natural resources they have in their regions for their own development, and that will deprive the U.S. and its allies of these natural resources, which they need. And therefore, it was necessary to “help” those nations stop the population growth.
This is also one of the themes of the Malthusians in the British Empire, like Julian Huxley, who was an advocate of eugenics, Nazi eugenics, in Britain. After World War II, they had to come up with a new name for the same ideology of population reduction, and they came up with the idea that there was a population explosion after World War II, also because of the advancement of vaccines and better health care, that the world population would explode and that would be the biggest threat to nature and humanity.
So, Egypt was targetted by U.S. policies to reduce its population, and organizations like USAID poured hundreds of millions of dollars into Egypt for “family planning,” programs for birth control, and so on. But that didn’t really help.
What happened in the same period was that the economy of Egypt was taken over by the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, and Egypt, a country which in the 1960s and ’70s had been self-sufficient in food, became gradually an importer of food. There was no more industrial development as in the ’60s and early ’70s, and Egypt became a poorer and poorer country. And at the same time, also, Egypt experienced a massive population growth.
Increasing Potential Relative Population-Density
There are many ironies in Egypt, but also the proof of what Mr. LaRouche calls—which is the opposite of the Malthusian idea—what LaRouche defines as potential relative population-density, a concept which is based on not simply counting the population and the land, but that you need scientific criteria for defining the relationship of the population to the land, relative to the quality of the land, but also to the technology that exists in that society and the possibility of developing that technology to make sure that potentially you can sustain more people on that land with a higher living standard, and sustain that process. That’s what LaRouche calls “potential relative population-density,” which is a key criterion for judging economic policies.
I want to share with you what has been going on in Egypt. Figure 1 is a demographic map of Egypt. In 2019, the Egyptian population reached 100 million individuals. At the time, you had articles in the New York Times and other newspapers, even in Egyptian newspapers, saying “This is a disaster, the country cannot have so many people, the country is poor, it has no resources,” and so on.
Now, the irony is that when people count population-density, they divide the population by the land-area of the country. So they say 100 million people divided by 1 million square kilometers, the area of Egypt, gives us a population-density of 100 people per sq. km. But the 100 million Egyptians live on just 7% of the land-area of the country! So, in reality, the Egyptian people live on only 70,000 sq. km., 7% of the whole land area; everybody is jammed around the Nile River and the Delta, the historically productive part of the country. So, the real population-density in this case is not 100 people per sq. km.: It should be 1,428 people per sq. km.
Everybody says, well this is the proof of overpopulation, because you have too many people living in a small area. The problem is that people neglect the rest of the country, which can be utilized for improving living standards. And there’s another ironical thing, which Mr. LaRouche used to say, is that if we apply modern technology, advancements in technology, we could have many times more of the world population living less crowded, and with a better living standard, which is a big paradox for a lot of people. But Egypt could be the proof. We can prove it already now, because this is what’s going on in Egypt: Egypt will have more people, but will live less crowded and have a better living standard.
Industrial and Agricultural Plans
The new President of Egypt commissioned the building of a second Suez Canal in 2014. It was financed domestically, which was a breakthrough, in the sense that you can create national credit; you don’t need the IMF or World Bank, or foreign creditors to develop your country. The money was raised by the Egyptian people and Egyptian institutions to build the canal, which is a very important international freight route. And we all saw the huge crisis when the container ship was stuck in the Suez Canal, but the Egyptians managed to salvage it very quickly.
Around the Suez Canal, Egypt is building on both sides—on the African side and on the Asian side in Sinai—new industrial zones and new cities. At the same time, Egypt is connecting its infrastructure with highways, with the high-speed railway, the construction of which is under way; and is also building a new Nile Valley, an idea of the Egyptian-American scientist Farouk el Baz. He wants to build new cities, new urban centers along the Nile, but also in the Western Desert. At the same time, there will be development of the oases as new agricultural land.
Under this whole desert area, there are massive groundwater aquifers that could be utilized, of course with modern technology, to grow more food than Egypt needs to consume. They could even export part of it. So, there is now a plan by the Egyptian government to expand and build new towns and cities in these series of oases, for both agriculture and also industrial centers.
Young people are taking loans to build farms in these areas, and the government is building housing, hospitals, healthcare centers, and schools for the children. So, the population is continuing to expand, both east and west.
The Egyptian government first signed an agreement with a Chinese company to build a high-speed railway from the Gulf of Suez all the way, 350 km, to a new city in el-Alamein being built there, to connect the east and west of the country. Until now, Egypt has only been connected north and south with railways, but this will be a high-speed rail to connect the new industrial zones on the Suez to the new cities in the west.
President el-Sisi met with the head of Siemens [CEO Joe Kaeser] who came to compete with the Chinese, and actually offered a much lower price, and export loans from Germany for building this high-speed electric railway. The Egyptian government of course accepted the offer. So this is some sort of a “sputnik” moment, where competition between China and Europe is actually benefitting those countries.
A New Capital City Rises from the Sand
What else is Egypt doing? It is moving the capital from Cairo, which is overcrowded, with very old infrastructure, to a new capital city, 40 km. outside of Cairo, on the way to the Suez region and the Ain El Sokhna port, a new industrial zone. The Egyptians are now building the new capital city—construction is under way. As I explained, there is a high-speed railway going through the new capital, all the way to the west of the country at Al-Alamein, where new urban centers are being built.
This new capital will house 7 million people, and it’s being completed right now. It is taking only four to five years to completely build—carved out of the desert—a state-of-the-art, modern city. There is no such project, I think not in Africa, but probably not in the whole world, where a modern city for 7 million inhabitants is being built, all at once. This area was all desert in 2013, and it is now emerging out of the desert; it was complete desert. In the center of the city (see Figure 2), is a commercial center, or business center, being built by Chinese companies. It will also have the highest towers in Africa.
This whole city, which is rising from the sands of the desert, is the largest workshop, maybe, on the planet. It has helped Egypt in the middle of the coronavirus crisis, because tens of thousands of people are working there—the work did not stop. This has been an important part of the economic survival of Egypt. The city center will have a large, central park. There will be a massive mosque and also a Christian cathedral, symbolizing the coexistence between the Christians and Muslims. There will be a modern opera and a modern museum.
This is driving some people crazy in Washington. I’ve seen seminars and articles saying that the Egyptian President has gone crazy, he’s squandering the nation’s resources to build a presidential palace—which is not true: They’re building a city for 7 million people, which is quite necessary and important for Egypt.
Educating Youth for a Future in Nuclear Technology
At the same time, Egypt is investing in high technology. In El Dabaa, 300 km west of Cairo on the Mediterranean coast, an area not really inhabited, they have established what may be the only one of its kind—a high school for teaching nuclear technology. It’s a high school: The kids go there at 16 years old, and it takes 80-90 students each year. They are the best students: They go through a series of tests before they’re admitted to the school, including importantly language-skills tests, English, for example. They will get modern, technical education.
In a few years, we will have hundreds and maybe thousands of these young people who are educated in nuclear technology and technical matters related to nuclear technology. Some of them will continue to higher education in university, but what these young people are being prepared for is to do the technical work at the Dabaa nuclear power complex, which Egypt and Russia have agreed to build—work commenced this year. It’s a massive nuclear complex, with four reactors at 1,250 MW each. These young people will be working in this place, and becoming experts in this field, which can also help other African nations, in cooperation with Russia, China, and Western countries, if they become more wise.
This is the kind of thing which is going on, which must be very, very frustrating for people like Kissinger and Prince Philip, who just passed away, who might walk to the grave with a very bitter taste in their mouths, that their schemes to prove the Malthusian idea, didn’t really work. Because with modern economic planning and development, and with a completely positive idea of the future and that human beings and children are not a burden on nature and society, but they are important resources that could develop and will contribute to the development of society and developing new resources which were earlier not known to society, and develop new land areas. So, we have more people who live less crowded and with a higher living standard.
And I think this is a fantastic proof of Lyndon LaRouche’s argument against these Malthusians, whose ideology we can call satanic, because it’s anti-human, in that sense.
So, I think this is an example of our ability to shift the situation in this region and in the world to a positive direction: If we look at these matters from a scientific and humanist viewpoint, we can solve problems. Nations can coexist, and everybody can win. And therefore, the idea of the New Silk Road or the Belt and Road Initiative, this idea of win-win, really can be proven economically, scientifically, and by seeing how it affects the living conditions of people and their capabilities.
I think this whole criminal policy against Syria and Yemen and other nations has to stop, and the provocations to start new wars, and probably a new world war, is the most stupid and insane thing you can do. Because you can do much, much, much better with economic cooperation, with scientific development rather than with all these wars.
But the important take away is to cancel the Malthusian British Empire ideology, and put humanity on a different path for economic development and peace. If my thoughts contribute to the discussion now, whereby we can stop the war, we can also chart the road to a new path for these nations and for humanity in general.