This transcript appears in the July 2, 2021 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
Schiller Institute Conference, June 26, 2021
Panel 1: “Whom the Gods Would Destroy:
War with Russia and China Is Worse than MAD!”
This is an edited transcript of the discussion period following Panel 1: “Whom the Gods Would Destroy: War with Russia and China Is Worse than MAD!” of the Schiller Institute’s June 26-27 conference, “For the Common Good of All People, Not Rules Benefiting the Few.” Participating were panel moderator Dennis Speed, and conference speakers, Helga Zepp-LaRouche, Andrey Kortunov, Atul Aneja, Harley Schlanger, and Ray McGovern. Subheads have been added.
Helga Zepp-LaRouche: Let me first express my happiness with the discussion. Naturally, I’m very happy to see my old friend Atul Aneja, who I thought was contributing a very important angle, namely India, which after all is one of the two largest civilizational countries—also 1.3 billion people. And I think his speaking about cultural tradition brings in a dimension which I think is very important in this dialogue, of how to get the world out of the present mess. I was very happy also about Ray McGovern reciting poetry, which is always very good and uplifting. And I’m very interested also in the insightful remarks of Dr. Kortunov.
However, I would like to reiterate what I said at the end of my remarks, because I do believe that we need to put some new elements on the agenda: The pandemic is the obvious one, because I think it’s a test of morality, if we cannot—if we don’t do anything significant in response—vaccines are very important, but I think we need to take this crisis as the beginning to seriously overcome the underdevelopment of the developing countries. And it has been the policy of my late husband and Schiller Institute for decades, that “the new name for peace is development.” So I just would like to bring that back into the memory of the discussion.
Dr. Andrey Kortunov: Let me echo what Madame LaRouche has just said: I think the time has come for all of us to think creatively about a new cycle of globalization which lies in front of us. And hopefully it will be different from what we experienced in the beginning of this century, and I think that, definitely some of the notions that were used 20 years ago, and are still used by many people, tend to be antiquated and archaic. I think that there is no longer the global sense and the global degree; I think that we will have to live in a world without a benign hegemonic power. We will have to live in a world where social justice might turn out to be more important than individual freedoms, and so on and so forth.
I don’t want to start another presentation, but I think that we should all keep in mind that the current cycle in the global politics, the cycle of deglobalization, protectionism, nationalism, arms race, and multiple regional conflicts is not something that will last forever. So we have to leave from this dead zone, but we should think creatively about how to manage the new cycle of interconnectiveness and interdependence.
Atul Aneja: When you talk about the concept of multipolarity, of a multipolar world, it is visualized as an anti-Western world, and I think that’s a wrong conception. The point really is that how do you interconnect the various civilizational states in a harmonious manner, and which comes in the domain of culture, which includes economic integration, new transport routes?
I think there’s another problem here, which is that what is really the ideology of the multipolar world? What are the principles which bind us all together? That needs to be a work in progress, and I think intellectuals across the world need to look at this dimension as well, the ideological dimension. But there’s no one hegemonic power, which is sort of pulling the others. It is truly multipolar, and how do we connect, beyond the economic and cultural frame, and what should be the new ideology for a multipolar world? And which is a harmonious world, which is not to be seen as opposed to any other civilization.
There was this concept of the World Land-Bridge, which was done by the LaRouche institute, which is essentially connecting the Americas with Siberia, with an undersea route, tunnel, beneath the Bering Strait, if I remember right, which would physically integrate the Americas with Eurasia. So that’s the physical part which we need to undertake. But, then, there are other dimensions which we need to have ideas about. Thank you.
Ray McGovern: I’m more “current intelligence” oriented. I worry greatly about missteps with respect to Taiwan. And again, I refer back to the advisors that Biden has, who are wet behind the ears. That means, they’re sophomores, at best—rising juniors, as we say about high schoolers.
After the summit, the Chinese, in their Global Times newspaper, which most people believe is controlled by the government, they warned that if there were trouble in the Taiwan Straits, Russia and China would act together militarily. Wow! Now, the conventional wisdom, of course, is—well, they don’t have a military alliance.
Well, they don’t need one. [laughs] Putin and Xi have made that quite clear! They’re so close now, they don’t need an alliance.
Now, I’ve looked at the Russian press very closely, in hopes of finding whether or not the Russians have repeated that Global Times assertion: namely, the assumption that the Russians would be in this war against the U.S. They have not mentioned it. That’s one reason there is no formal military alliance. But once they do mention it, then that would signify to me that they approve this kind of thought, that were there trouble in the Taiwan Straits, or in the South China Sea, that they would have to contend with Russia in the West as well as Chinese in the East. I’ve been saying that for a year now, mostly laughed at, but this is the new, old Soviet term “correlation of forces.”
Now, the other thing is that Biden actually told Putin—I know this from Biden’s words in the press conference, the solo press conference after the summit—he said, “Mr. Putin, don’t you realize you have a multi-thousand-mile border with China? And they’re out to be not only the supreme economic power, but the supreme military power! We know about that!” Planeside, he said, and I’ll repeat myself: “You know, Russia’s in a real tight bind, because China’s squeezing them, squeezing ’em!” Now, maybe he believes that. Maybe he’s been briefed on that.
What’s Mr. Putin going to do in such circumstances? He’s going to say, “Wow! This guy [Biden] doesn’t get it! He might try something, thinking that China and Russia are very much apart.”
And the worst thing—and I’ll end with this—is that Mr. Biden, Mr. Sullivan, Mr. Blinken, and the others, all except our Defense Secretary, have zero—zero experience with war. They don’t know what war is. I gave you the figures: 26 million in World War II dead for the Soviet Union; 400,000 soldiers lost, a little bit more, in the U.S. These people are so hubris-filled, and so unknowledgeable about war. How many draft deferments did Dick Cheney have? Everyone knows that, right? How many? Five, count ’em—one, two, three, four, five. How many draft deferments did President Biden have? Would you believe, one, two, three, four, five? Also, five. Sullivan, Blinken? They never put a uniform on! So they don’t know. They don’t know about the ужасам войны [horrors of war]! This is worrying, because Putin does know: He lost his big brother in the Siege of Leningrad. He learned from his mother and father what that was like. Nine hundred days people died of hunger. Go to Leningrad—go to St. Petersburg and see that monstrous cemetery.
So, there’s a whole different—what’s the word?—Weltanschauung, a whole different approach to war. That would worry me if I were Putin, and it would also worry me if I were Xi. And that has to be taken into account, because things are very volatile now, the more so since exercises in Europe, “Defender” on our side, and “Zapad,” meaning “West,” on the Russian side, are just about to break out, in full, this spring.
Thanks for letting me go on this long, but those are extra thoughts that really worry me. And if the balloon goes against Taiwan, it’s going to be very, very difficult to avoid nuclear war, as Daniel Ellsberg has so eloquently proved: If you go back to ’58, it was planned, a nuclear war. What now? Well, we have admirals saying, “Well, you know, it’s possible.”
Now, Biden said now is not a good idea. Let’s see if he can rein in the rest of the MICIMATT (Military-Industrial-Congressional-Intelligence-Media-Academia-Think-Tank). Thanks.
A Unipolar or Multipolar World?
Schlanger: This question of the multilateralism and the multipolar world is on a lot of people’s minds now, following the summit. From a blogger: “In your speech, Dr. Kortunov, you mentioned we need a new creative approach to address some of the outstanding differences. What do you suggest be done to convince those who are committed to a unipolar world order, in which the U.S. and NATO make the rules, to instead accept that world peace requires multilateral cooperation based on mutual regard for the other, which seems to be lacking, especially from the side of the U.S. and NATO?”
Dr. Kortunov: It’s a big question, of course. I think there is a certain learning curve that we observe in the United States. There are attempts to adjust the country and the people of this great nation, to a new environment. It is slow. And I think sometimes Americans have to learn the hard way. One of the lessons that I hope the United States public will learn, is the bitter experience of Afghanistan, a clear defeat of a military operation that lasted for 20 years. I think it’s not accidental that the U.S. public is very reluctant to support any idea of any significant U.S. military engagement. I think it’s good news to all of us, and I hope that this trend will continue.
I think it was Socrates, who once said that in order to do something, you should focus not on fighting against the old, but you should focus on creating something new. I guess that this is a task of intellectuals, think tanks, opinion makers, because the political establishments are likely to be conservative and resistant to new ideas, so it really depends on civil societies, capable of generating new ideas and presenting these new ideas in a compelling form, that would allow them to gain more audiences and more receptive listeners in various parts of the world. I don’t see that there is any other way.
Zepp-LaRouche: I think when you are in a seeming contradiction, at this point, let’s say, between the United States on the one side or the West on the one side, and Russia and China on the other side; if you look at it in the Aristotelian way, that A is not B, you can never bridge this conflict. You have to approach it epistemologically, from the standpoint of the controversy between Plato and Aristotle, and especially the new kind of thinking which Nikolaus of Cusa, (or Cusansky), has introduced, which is this coincidence of opposites, namely, that you have to develop a higher level of reason, where you can find solutions, where the conflict which arose on the lower level does not exist.
Maybe the hardest believers in the unipolar world cannot see it yet. But the rest of the world does not want to be torn into either side of the U.S. or China. If even Mrs. Merkel, Chancellor Angela Merkel, is now in favor of a multilateral world, for example, there is a clear change. Voices from the developing countries, from other civilizational states are bringing in 5,000 years of history. If the majority of those voices are brought in much more consciously, I think this higher level of reason can be brought to bear on the pandemic, which has shown us that we need a world health system.
It’s so obvious, it’s almost amazing you have to discuss it. Because if every country would had the same methods and means of Wuhan in China, Covid-19 would never have become a pandemic. I really think that, from everything I can see—and I’ve thought about it quite a bit—I think a national health system, a modern health system in every single country, would begin the overcoming of underdevelopment, for good. I think that is the one flank where you can rally the majority of the world population around, and maybe that will also be the beginning of people in the United States seeing that the reconstruction of the United States would be so much more in the U.S. interest than to engage in another war to lose, like Vietnam or like Afghanistan or all these endless wars.
So I think if we join forces to say, this is the moment for a really new beginning with a world health system, and really overcoming the poverty of the developing countries, and if that becomes a chorus of voices, and this is being discussed in many conferences, in many meetings, it can become a steamroller: That is my hope.
Militarization of Space
Speed: Another question for Dr. Kortunov, and maybe for comment by others:
“Mr. Lyndon LaRouche said that the current human species, if it is to develop, must no longer be ‘Earthlings,’ but take its proper role as a universal species, devoting itself to research and development in what we call ‘space,’ aiming to develop human civilization into and for the universe.
“Now, however if it is true that nuclear war cannot be won and must not be fought, it is even more importantly true, and far more frightening to me, regarding space war. Yet the U.S. military-industrial complex especially is devoted to militarizing space, all the more so with the formation of the U.S. Space Force.
“I cannot see that a humanity in the universe can exist, as long as there is any kind of militarization of space. Can you comment?”
The worst-case scenario is a space race. That cooperation in space would gradually come to an end. But I think that is not yet our fate. I think it’s not something we are doomed to witness. Space might turn out to be one of the ways to overcome the disunity that we now see in many other areas.
Kortunov: Well, let me say, I fully agree with this comment. Indeed, militarization of space represents one of the most destabilizing and one of the most expensive avenues of arms race in the 21st century. Let me tell you, just in practical terms, that about a year ago, Russia and the United States had the first consultations in Vienna, on how we can avoid militarization of outer space. These were the first consultations after a very, very long pause. Although the sides did not agree on too many issues, it was important that the United States partly decided to go into these consultations with the Russians.
Definitely we need other space powers to be engaged in this conversation. Outer space represents a challenge, but also an opportunity, because it is really the last frontier, and indeed, if we are thinking about the human species becoming universal, going beyond our home planet, that can be accomplished only together, because it’s a formidable task, and of course, it cannot be a task of any single nation, no matter how powerful and capable this nation might turn out to be.
The worst case scenario is that we will have a space race, and cooperation in space will gradually come to an end. But I think that is not yet our fate. I think it’s not something we are doomed to witness. Space might turn out to be one of the ways to overcome the disunity that we now see in many other areas.
Schlanger: To Dr. Kortunov, but also to anyone else on the panel, “Given the anti-Russian sentiments of Russiagate, as well as the censorship that’s going on in social media, the control of the media narrative by corporate cartels of the media, and also the spying of the secret state, do you—do people in Russia or anywhere else in the world—see the danger of the United States becoming a totalitarian state?”
Dr. Kortunov: Unfortunately, the experience of history suggests that people, or rather, peoples, hardly learn from history, so from time to time history repeats itself. And I think there is no single society, there is no single political system, there is no single country in this world which can say “it will never happen with us.” I think we all have to fight, on the day-to-day basis, like, I think it was Goethe who said about liberty and freedom, that you do not really deserve your liberty and your freedoms unless you are ready to fight for them every day, and every hour of your life.
I would say that I do believe in the flexibility and adaptivity of the U.S. political system. I tend to be probably more optimistic about the United States than some of my American colleagues are. I think that definitely, there are very powerful groups of the political spectrum in the United States, and the power of ordinary people should not be underestimated.
But yes, I think the challenge is there: We see this challenge all over the place. We see it in the United States. We definitely see it in China, we see it in Russia, even in Europe. So, nobody is vaccinated against a future totalitarianism, especially as totalitarianism comes in a kind of technocratic disguise, which it is likely to get.
The Role of History and Culture
Speed: This next question is from José Vega. Some of you know him. And this is for Dr. Kortunov, Ray McGovern, and for Helga, and for Mr. Aneja. Here’s what he says:
“Thank you, Dr. Kortunov, for your presentation. To what extent do you think that the history and culture of Russia played in Russia’s ability to keep a cool head, despite the provocations from NATO? Can Mr. McGovern answer that as well? And, what role does a Classical culture play in the deeper history of countries, that allows them to rise from tragedy?” And José is insisting I try to say “spasiba,” which is [Russian for] “thank you.”
Kortunov: [laughter] I don’t think that Russia is immune to mistakes and to emotions, and sometimes Russians are probably more emotional, and more sensitive than they should be, especially as far as the United States is concerned. However, I also believe, that to some extent, the Russian leadership—and to some extent the Russian people, as well—are already used to the unpredictability of the U.S. approach. You can expect almost anything coming from Washington, D.C. and you should be ready to deal with the change in environment.
Emotions are not necessarily a bad thing, but of course, in international relations, in my opinion, you have to have a cool head in the first place.
McGovern: Well, I would thank my colleagues, especially Kortunov. I agree with him completely: You have to stay cool. I just have tell you that Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin is a very cool customer. Why is he less given to passion, or emotion? Very simple: The word is “China.” [laughs] I mean, he has China at his back, now! This is the reverse of 50 years ago, when the U.S., under Nixon and Kissinger were able to play off the Soviet Union against China, to very good effect. Not only the SALT I agreement, where we agreed to ban antiballistic missiles to one side, eventually, but also the agreement on Berlin, for Pete’s sake, that came before! The intractable agreement, where we could never get the Russians to take over their proper role, and prevent the East Germans from doing what they were doing.
That happened even before the Nixon-Brezhnev summit in May of 1972. I was there in Moscow, being conversant in how these things went down, and being in some wonderment, with respect to how clever Kissinger and Nixon were.
Now, that’s no longer the case. If the U.S. statesmen—if I can use that word—are unaware of that, if, as reflected in Biden’s own remarks, of what he told Putin and how Putin is in such tough position because of being “squeezed” by China—if he really believes that, we’re in real trouble, here! Because that’s not the correlation of forces, now.
So: Passion—and I agree with Dr. Kortunov, that there’s a place for emotion. But, you know, Putin has been there, done that. He knows what war is, he grew up in Leningrad after all, right after the war. He knows what happened in that city, and he has people around him who are still almost as old as me, who remember those kinds of things. I was born just a week before World War II, and that was the formative experience of my whole life, even though I was only six when the war ended. I travelled quickly to Europe, and I learned a little bit about the world.
So, I think we have a cool customer in Putin. What really astounds me is how the National Endowment for Democracy, and Bellingcat, and the Atlantic Council want to get rid of Putin! I mean, gawd, they’re going to get rid of Putin? Well, hello? What happens after Putin? I don’t think we’d have as cool a customer. It’s just like what happens after Bashar al-Assad—“he’s gotta go! We gotta get rid of him!” Well, what happens after Bashar al-Assad?
So, the outlook of the U.S. has to undergo a profound change. But meanwhile, Putin is not going to be goaded into reacting in a precipitous way—unless—unless toadies like the British try to goad him into reacting in an overweening way, as they tried just a couple days ago, sending that British frigate into the waters of Crimea.
So, nothing certain. But I think the main thing to worry about here is Western provocations, and whether the Russian reaction and the Chinese reaction can be kept such that the Navy doesn’t decide that, oh, they try these really small nukes: “Yeah, we’ll try the small nukes.” That is crazy, and I’m glad to see that Putin and Biden agreed that “nuclear war cannot be fought because it cannot be won.”
Aneja: The India-Russia connection has been very strong, I think what Mr. McGovern has said, that the Russian anti-war tradition is very deeply entrenched, and goes beyond personalities like Vladimir Putin. Having experienced the horrors of the Second World War, the combined losses of the rest of Allies were less than what the Soviet citizens suffered, so I think the anti-war tradition in Russia is strong, coupled with the capacity of deterrence. When you combine the two, when you have the balance of terror in your favor, along with that anti-war tradition, the chances are the Russians are going to remain cool when it comes to a provocation coming from the West and from the United States. So I’m not very worried about that.
I have a brief comment about the assumption that the Chinese and the Russians are going to go together in the form of a de facto military alliance, in the face of something happening in Taiwan or elsewhere. I foresee that the Chinese are far more pragmatic here, than the Russians are, and I don’t think they want to risk into a war which can turn nuclear. And that’s my own personal experience, having lived in China for about five years, before coming to India last year.
Right now, India and China have a border standoff. But while the standoff continues, it’s the Russians who are giving us the most advanced weaponry during this very phase itself. India’s soon going to receive S-400 missiles.
So, while I think the bigger picture is right, that the Russians and Chinese are working together, there are differences here. I think it would be simplistic to say, to presume that the Russians and Chinese are just going to come together if there’s a provocation in Taiwan, or elsewhere. Thank you.
Zepp-LaRouche: In all of this, one always has to look for the British manipulation, because if one makes a count of all the major sudden turns for the worse—be it be the accusation against the Syrian government about its supposed use of chemical weapons, which it turns out came from the White Helmets; or be it how Trump was induced to make an airstrike in the middle of his summit with Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago; or I could probably make a very long list. You always find the hand of the British, either setting up somebody against another one, or otherwise manipulating the situation. Most recently was the effort to ruin the potential positive beginning of the Geneva summit between Biden and Putin, by this provocation in the Black Sea. So I think the more people would be educated, and [the more] publication of these manipulations, people will actually start to look for that. I think that would be a very contributing factor to prevent the situation from getting out of control.
Schlanger: Andrey may have to leave soon. Do you have any final remarks that you’d like make before you go?
Kortunov: Since this issue was raised, let me just say a few words about the Russia-India-China triangle. It is a very sensitive issue, and definitely, Russia would not like to lose India in its attempts to consolidate its strategic partnership with China. I have to tell you that I met [Foreign] Minister Lavrov just a couple of days ago, and he said it would be particularly important to reach out to India, and to bring this relationship to a new level.
Hopefully India and China will reconcile relations with one another. I don’t think that Russia, or any other country can play a critical role assisting India and China in doing that. But whatever Moscow can do, within the so-called RIC structure—Russia-India-China, the triangular relationship—whatever it can do, it should do. And there are some opportunities to promote a multilateral approach in Asia, involving both India and China, for example, on issues around Afghanistan, on transportation corridors in Greater Eurasia, on working together on the continental and global contexts.
So, I do hope, at the end of the day, the China-India relations will turn out fine, and that remains the most important factor, not only for Eurasia, but arguably for the whole world. Thank you.
Speed: We also want to thank you, Dr. Kortunov, for being with us today. I’ll try it again: Spasiba.
Dr. Kortunov: That’s perfect! [laughter] Good luck!
Speed: We now have an offering from Dan Kovalik, by pre-taped video, pertaining to the trip he has just taken to Syria. Among other things, he is a journalist and is presently in Venezuela.
Dan Kovalik: Thank you for having me. My name is Dan Kovalik. I teach international human rights at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. I’m also an author. Probably the book that’s relevant to this discussion, is my book, No More War: How the West Violates International Law by Using ‘Humanitarian’ Intervention to Advance Economic and Strategic Interests.
I also just got back from Syria, and I’m coming to you from Caracas, Venezuela. Both countries can teach us a lot about the U.S. sanctions policy, in general. But I really want to emphasize what’s happening in Syria, and I’ll relate it back to Venezuela as well, since I’m here.
I was in Syria for a week during the Presidential elections there, in which, if people need to be reminded, 78% of the population voted, and voted for Bashar al-Assad by a huge margin. It was my impression that people were very excited about the elections. I was mostly in Damascus, but I went to Jobar, Douma, and Malulah; so I saw a good bit of Syria, I think. What I witnessed was that people were excited to have an election, after ten years of war; they felt that this was a sign of a return to normalcy, a return to peace. And I think that most people feel that [President] Assad represents peace and security—whatever you say about him in other respects, that, if it was a choice between him and the jihadists—which as Biden explained as Vice President in 2014, it in fact, was that choice—they were happy to go with Assad.
Because the support of numerous countries of these many and varied jihadist groups in Syria, for well over ten years, has brought nothing but destruction to that country. I went to towns like Jobar, which is 96% destroyed; Douma which is largely destroyed. By the way, Assad went to Douma to vote as a sign of solidarity with the people there. These cities are completely wrecked, to the ground.
Now, in addition to the war, you have these sanctions. The sanctions are making it virtually impossible to do reconstruction work! In fact, as part of the Caesar sanctions, companies that would aid Syria in reconstruction, are themselves sanctioned. In addition, it’s very hard to get the materials that they need to do the reconstruction. Most of the buildings that we’re talking about, that I saw in these cities, were concrete buildings—row after row of destroyed concrete buildings. They’re going to have to be leveled, but also, they’re going to need concrete, which is a very energy-intensive material to make. And again, right now, they don’t have the means for the most part to do that. And so, you don’t see a lot of reconstruction happening, because they simply don’t have the means.
Tell people to read Seymour Hersh’s , “The Redirection.” He wrote in 2007, saying that by 2005, the Bush administration was already laying the groundwork for what happened: Bush was already supporting al-Qaeda type groups in Syria, to undermine the government. And of course, this effort blossomed in 2011-2012, and went on for ten years! And brought this country, again, largely to ruin.
Countries like the U.S. that supported these groups, have a responsibility to help reconstruct. Instead, the U.S. is imposing sanctions that are preventing reconstruction. So this is really grotesque! [end video]
Sanctions must be absolutely lifted from Syria, Iran, Venezuela, and all other countries who are confronted with them. Under conditions of pandemic and world famine, this amounts to a murder!
Zepp-LaRouche: I think we should absolutely continue to make the point, what UN General Secretary Guterres said, that under conditions of a pandemic the sanctions must be absolutely lifted from Syria, Iran, Venezuela, and all other countries who are confronted with it. Under conditions of the pandemic and the world famine, this amounts to a murder! I think we really need to arouse the conscience of the people. It’s very difficult: Because people don’t know about it. And we try to make a campaign to lift the Caesar sanctions, and we found that most people have no idea, because the media did not report it. There is a big indifference. I want to reiterate the call to the viewers of this conference, that you should absolutely help us to end this, because this amounts to murder and genocide.
McGovern: I think we need to direct our attention to the motives behind the U.S. in Syria. When we invaded Iraq in a war of aggression in 2003, people kept asking me “Why’d we do that? Why’d we do that?” We knew there were no weapons of mass destruction, we knew there were no ties between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda, so why did we do it?! I used the acronym, “OIL”: O for oil, I for Israel, and L for logistics, the permanent military bases that we coveted, that we tried to get in Iraq. Now, people would say, “No, it was this, no, it was this. It was this one.” No, it was all three. And it’s foolish to try to figure out which was more than 33%.
How about Syria? The answer is really very simple: Oil? Nah! Permanent military bases? Naw! Israel? Yeah!
Now, you don’t have to believe me about this. The New York Times bureau chief in Jerusalem in September 2013, when things were really getting out of hand, went to prominent Israeli officials, and said, “I need to understand, what’s your main objective? How would you like to see Syria turn out?” And she was told by Alon Pinkas, former Consul General [of Israel] in New York, and other high officials: “Well, Jodi, this doesn’t sound really good, but our preferred outcome is no outcome.” And Rudoren said: “Traduisez s’il vous plaȋt?” “Could you translate that? You could explain that?”
And he says: “Well, we look at it as a playoff game where you don’t really want either side to win or either side to lose. We prefer to see the blood hemorrhaging, so that neither side, Sunni nor Shi’a wins, and it’s impossible to get Hezbollah in Lebanon resupplied. So, it doesn’t sound really good, we realize, but our preferred outcome is no outcome.”
That was 2013: Mirabile dictu: Wonder of wonders, Jodi Rudoren’s report was the feature article in the New York Times, page 1, on September 6, 2013. She laid it all out! It’s really pretty simple!
So, what’s the U.S. role here? The U.S. role is doing the bidding of Israel, pure and simple. If people don’t get that, then they don’t get it! It’s really hard to understand, unless you realize that Israel wants no outcome to Syria, and that the U.S. has been doing their bidding for 10 years now, ever since we started saying, “Bashar al-Assad has to go! Bashar al-Assad has to go! Bashar al-Assad has to go! Bashar al-Assad has to go! Bashar al-Assad has done chemical attacks.”
Those were lies! And when I saw that come up at the summit, when I heard President Biden say, “Well, I told Putin that the reason we’re interested in Syria, is because they violated chemical weapons understandings and treaties, that’s why!” Well, the Israelis and the Israeli surrogates in Washington probably told President Biden that. It ain’t so. Those were false-flag attacks, and the UN inspectors—there’s a whole story behind that—but you have to face these things face-on.
The reason I never get on U.S. TV is because I say these things. But if you have to look at U.S. policy toward Syria, Israel is 95% of the rationale.
Aneja: I was the Middle East correspondent for about twelve years before I moved to China, and have made frequent visits to Syria, and I covered this 2006 Hezbollah versus Israeli war. When I landed in Damascus, I wanted a story, so I first went to the Red Crescent Society to find out where were the refugees, who were streaming in from Lebanon, from the Bekaa Valley, and then farther down into Damascus. One could see refugees on the streets. The Red Crescent officer told me, “Sorry, we haven’t established any camps.” I said, “Well, then, how are you going to deal with this flood of refugees?” He said, “We don’t have to, because the Syrian people have just opened their homes for them. And we don’t need a refugee camp here.”
What struck me, was the warmth and hospitality and also the deep political consciousness of the Syrian people. Which is just very, very remarkable. Having covered other conflict zones, this was something quite unique.
From Damascus I moved by road to Beirut. The war had started bigtime by this time, and there was an unwritten rule: the Hezbollah in Beirut were sending missiles to Haifa in Israel. From the Israeli side, the fire was coming basically into southern Beirut, which was the Hezbollah stronghold. But the Christian Maronite area, which was the center of Beirut, was being spared this cross-fire which was going on between these two.
But the rules changed, I think, when Hezbollah fired into Tel Aviv, and I knew that central Beirut was no longer safe. So, I called the driver who brought me from Damascus. I said, I need to go; and he took me at five in the morning, but the bombing had already started. So he said, “I want to get back,” but I said, “You can’t leave me in the middle of nowhere, and get back. So please take me up to Tripoli,” which is the border between Lebanon and Syria. And he left me there. I said, “Look, I got my visa stamped, how do I go further from here to Damascus?” He spoke about me to a Syrian family which was going in a taxi. He said, “This is a journalist from India who wants to go back to Damascus.” And this family took me in! They said, “Just come along with me.” We drove from Tripoli down to Homs and right across Syria, and they dropped me at my hotel.
So, at a personal level, I can see that Syrian people don’t deserve this, what’s happening to them, the destruction of their country. And I think this demagoguery which is going on against Bashar al-Assad, absolutely, it’s just pure, crass geopolitics, and nothing else. Thank you.
British Geopolitics, COVID-19, and China
Schlanger: Just one thing to what Ray said. I want to go back to what Helga said earlier about the British. Before there was Israel, the British had a policy in the Mideast that no nation-state should be allowed to develop as a sovereign entity. And as Atul was just saying, this is British geopolitics. The Israelis play a role in this, as do the Saudis. But the real issue here is, the U.S. has to stop following British geopolitical doctrines, or we will be in World War III and a nuclear war.
On China, two questions: “Do Biden and his top advisors believe the lies and disinformation on Xinjiang, and how can we expose that these are lies?” And secondly: “Is it possible that China released the COVID-19 as a bio-weapon against the United States?” This is being continually discussed in the U.S. “What would be the intent of China, in doing that?”
Zepp-LaRouche: Well, I don’t know. First of all, there are new stories about this every day. Now, the latest story is that the virus was discovered in China months before. But there are other reports that the virus was discovered in Italy, in France, even earlier. From the standpoint of intention, if you look at the Chinese policy overall, what they have done in terms of their own population, in terms of poverty alleviation, is a civilizational contribution unmatched by any other country. The Belt and Road Initiative has provided for the first time, for the developing countries, a perspective to overcome their own poverty.
My whole estimation is, there is nothing in the Chinese policy design, which would give a reason to do that. I think it’s a malicious effort. It’s part of the geopolitical “othering,” smearing of a country, and it’s being done against Russia and against China.
And then you have very important virologists like Christian Drosten of Germany, who said that he is one of the people who discovered SARS-1. He was immediately involved with COVID-19, and the coronavirus. He said that he knows this virus so much, that he excludes it for biological reasons. He says, it’s like when you change the radio in the car, you don’t change the whole car, to get a new radio. He had a long technical explanation, which I’m not now in a position to repeat.
I don’t think this is a settled case. If there is an investigation, then it should be everywhere. I frankly think this is a part of this false flag and denunciation, but, if there are investigations, then all the labs should be investigated. I don’t think that is the origin of this particular pandemic, but I think it should stop poisoning the atmosphere of international relations.
McGovern: I’ll just add a little codicil here: What’s the worst thing you could accuse a nation of, at this period of time? Being responsible for COVID-19, trying to cover it up; being responsible for millions and millions of deaths around the world.
It’s similar to blaming Russia for giving us Donald Trump. There are various views on this, but in my view, that’s about the worst thing we could have accused the Russians of in 2016—and we did.
So: the media. The media is the thing, here. And that’s why, when I say MICIMATT, the military-industrial-congressional-intelligence-MEDIA-academia-think-tank complex, I say MEDIA in all caps, because it’s the cornerstone.
Now, the last thing I’ll say on this: about six, eight weeks ago, the media said, “Ohhh! It’s probably the Chinese in that laboratory! The Chinese are responsible! They’re covering it up!” Now, to me, I can’t say that that’s true or false, but put yourself in the position of Xi, of the Chinese leadership: Why does this come at this particular time? Why is the United States accusing us of doing the most heinous thing that’s been done to anyone in decades?
I would be suspicious. I would say, “They’re taking the gloves off, here. They are really out to blacken us, just as they blackened Putin, and we have to take remedial action; we have to be ready; we have to be ready to retaliate in ways that they might not even expect.” And that’s why I’m really, really nervous, about what happens near and around Taiwan.
Message from Ambassador Leonidas Chrysanthopoulos
Speed: From the former Ambassador Leonidas Chrysanthopoulos from Greece, we have these remarks:
“Congratulations to Helga Zepp-LaRouche for her analytical and detailed presentation, of how the West fooled Gorbachev to accept the reunification of Germany under the condition that NATO would not be expanded.
“I have been raising this issue at international conferences that I have been attending for the last ten years. The reply that I used to get was that it was a gentlemen’s agreement, and not in written form, and consequently not binding. I did not know that this agreement was included in minutes, as Helga Zepp-LaRouche pointed out. I believe and I propose that these documents and the statements of Mrs. LaRouche be given the largest possible publicity.
“Just to add: In 1992, the leaders of the East Turkestan Liberation Movement were being hosted in Turkey. They made an official visit to the then-President [Turgut] Özal. I was posted in Beijing then, and there was a crisis between Turkey and China, that ended in having the Chinese ambassador to Ankara recalled, because he did not inform his government of the meeting. Just said that the role of Turkey in the Xinjiang province should be condemned.”
McGovern: I was in Moscow about six years ago, and was talking with one of Gorbachev’s aides, who was with him in Malta, in a summit with our President there. And then with them in Moscow, when James Baker came in, and sold this bill of goods: “Reunify Germany, and in return, we will promise not to move NATO one inch farther to the East.”
I said to Mr. Kubaldin, I said, “Why didn’t you write that down? Gorbachev is being pilloried and defamed here in Russia, because he didn’t write it—why wasn’t it written down?” And he looked me straight in the eye, and he said, “Two reasons: We’re talking February 1991. The Warsaw Pact still existed, there was no real stability in the world, and it could not be written down, because the Germans were sort of involved in this, right? We hadn’t gotten a sign-off from Kohl or Genscher. That’s reason number one, Mr. McGovern. But reason two is the more important one, and that is: We trusted you. We trusted you.”
That was the way it was sold. When I heard that Baker was asking for the reunification of Germany—and I’ll say this trite expression, “some of my best friends are Germans”—I shuddered in fear! I didn’t want the reunification of Germany! Nobody wanted it! That’s why NATO was set up: To keep the U.S. in Europe, the Russians out of Europe, and to keep Germany divided! All right? So, if I didn’t want the reunification of Germany, and I come from a country that lost 400,000 troops killed in World War II, how much more can you think that Gorbachev and Shevardnadze would have shuddered in disbelief, that anyone would ask them for that? And the return was what? It was a promise. It should have been written down. It was not. But there were good reasons why it wasn’t written down: the main reason, and this has to do with what’s really necessary now, and what’s missing, and that is—very simple word—trust.
Zepp-LaRouche: Just one more comment, since we were really in the middle of this development. We were the only ones who had a plan what to do. Lyn, my late husband, had proposed, had analyzed in 1984, that if the Soviet Union would stick with their Ogarkov military plans, they would collapse in five years. And, in 1988, we had a press conference at the Bristol Kempinski Hotel in Berlin, where he reiterated that and said, Germany will soon be unified, with Berlin as the capital. Again, nobody believed that, but he designed this plan, that a unified Germany should develop Poland with Western technology as a model, how to transform the Comecon countries, which had severe economic problems at that time.
Consequently, we had a plan ready when the Berlin Wall came down, for which I wrote the first leaflet published on November 15th, 1989, with that idea, that the unified Germany should develop Poland, and then the other Comecon countries.
The German government published the papers of this period in 1997, that is, much earlier than they would have normally been released. And they admitted that they did not have a plan what to do in the case of a German unification, despite the fact that that was number-one policy issue of the postwar Federal Republic of Germany. But, when it came to this point, Herrhausen was assassinated on November 30th—that was a message to Kohl, to not make any unilateral steps. I’m convinced that the assassination of Herrhausen was not done by the Baader-Meinhof group, because that third generation never was proven to even exist.
This was a message to Germany not to take more steps, like the ten-point program Kohl had issued just two days earlier. And when the first EU summit occurred in Strasbourg, I think it was on December 8, Kohl afterwards said this was the blackest hour of his life, because everybody came down on him like a ton of bricks, accusing him of everything, basically for the same reason Ray McGovern just mentioned, that people absolutely did not want to have a German unification.
And the reason why our plan, the Productive Triangle, and later the Eurasian Land-Bridge, was not implemented, is for geopolitical reasons: There was absolutely no intention to have any possibility of Germany eventually working together with Russia, because the plan was that the former Soviet Union was supposed to be turned into a third world, raw material producing and exporting country. Jeffrey Sachs went there with the shock therapy instead of our program, and the industrial potential of Russia was reduced, between ’91 and ’94 to only 30%.
So, it was all geopolitics. And I can only say, this is another incredible moment where betrayal occurred, and the destruction of trust—and there, I agree with Ray—is enormous. Just put yourself in the shoes of the Russians. They agreed, after all, without the use of tanks, without military interventions to the unification of Germany, and look what they got from the West. So the destruction of trust is enormous, and needs to be reconstructed, and made good for.
The Role of the BRICS in Global Development
Schlanger: A question from Argentina: “Regarding the Russia-India-China relationship, how do you see the role of the BRICS for global development, and especially Ibero-America’s inclusion in these plans? I see this as a good opportunity to strengthen this group, and also build up the countries in South and Central America.”
Aneja: I completely agree with that view, that BRICS is really the future, the coming together of the emerging economies, and I would say China is an emerged economy.
Already they have made significant progress. The BRICS already has a multilateral bank, called the New Development Bank, and lending has started, first among the five members, but also beyond that. And there’s also a sister bank, the AIIB, or the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. So that financial architecture has already been created for the BRICS.
I believe the time has now come to move into other domains, and of that, I think healthcare should take a priority, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Having said that, there will be issues which are coming up among the member-states. And I really worry about the India-China relationship, which are the key members of the BRICS bank, and of the AIIB, and the BRICS as a whole. It requires intervention, and bigtime diplomatic intervention, because enormous pressure is coming on India, because we have Chinese troops on the border. The Chinese economy is three times that of India; we have $5 trillion and they are $15 trillion and growing. So there’s a mismatch here.
The U.S. lobby is so strong, there is a push to equalize the Chinese economy asymmetry through what has been called the “Quad,” which is India, Japan, the U.S. and Australia. And I think the sooner this crisis between China and India is resolved, the better it is for India, because frankly, due to its civilizational tradition, I don’t see India becoming a member of any particular alliance.
I remember, after we had the nuclear test in 1998, we declared the doctrine of a strategic autonomy. I think it would be very unfortunate if this crisis on the borders with China continues for a longer time, that there may be some structural changes, which are being made, which will militate against what we are talking about, the rise of the BRICS and the further evolution of the BRICS into areas beyond where they are currently operating.
But as a concept, as a long-term historical process, I think this is the way forward, and in the long run BRICS has a lot of promise and mileage. Thank you.
HMS Defender Incident
Speed: This is a question from Spain: “The incident with the British destroyer the HMS Defender demonstrates that the Empire is losing its mind, as Ray McGovern has emphasized. Do you think that as a consequence, they felt they had to intervene in a desperate attempt to recover their control; and may this at the same time signify that Great Britain will keep intervening in more provocations with the hope of justifying a forced integration of Ukraine into NATO?”
McGovern: I guess today, there is some disagreement on the British role. Make no mistake, I’m of Irish heritage, so I am completely fluent with British imperialism. To the degree there’s any difference, it’s my view that [Prime Minister] Boris Johnson asks the White House for permission before he goes to the bathroom. So I don’t see this HMS Defender incident as a British provocation. I see this as a British client, a British vassal acting on behalf of that part of the MICIMATT, that Biden does not necessarily control.
This is a central lesson that I’ve taken away from the last decade or so and not only I, but Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, as well. The [U.S.] President is not fully in charge! He can make agreements, and they can be violated by the military, as happened in Syria and elsewhere, and he can allow the British to do this little probing here, to see what happens if they go into Crimean waters. The British will salute and just do it.
So this suggests to me that the logic, the explanation is correct, that after the summit, which was reasonably respectful, there are forces that still want to get Russia to be the enemy, because how can you build F-35s and all these submarines, and aircraft carriers, if there’s no credible enemy. Russia fulfills that role just perfectly for those that wish to profiteer on war.
I don’t always agree with Pope Francis, but he had it exactly right when he appeared before the U.S. Congress about four years ago, and he said: The main problem in this world, is the blood-soaked arms trade. Now, what happened? The senators and all the representatives got up and, “Oh, yeah! Great!” [applauding]—and then they looked in their pocket to see if the last envelope from Lockheed was there, or this one from Raytheon. I mean, it was giving hypocrisy a bad name! But the Pope was right. It’s greed.
I love Helga’s hope. Hope is indispensable, and things can turn around. Look what happened in the ’80s with Gorbachev coming on: perestroika. Now, perestroika, rebuilding or reimagining things. What must precede that? Glasnost. That’s the media! That’s people who have to realize this is really crazy stuff—our bridges are falling apart, there are opportunity costs to building the F-35 [Joint Strike Fighter], that doesn’t even work very well; so that perestroika, that metanoia [occurs]. Since we’re talking about hubris and other Greek words, metanoia means to turn the mind upside down and be amenable to other solutions.
So hope is necessary: Thank you, Helga, for always expressing our way out of this kind of stuff. But the MICIMATT is the one that sent that HMS Defender into Crimean waters, and we can expect more of that, because resistance is very strong to making Putin anything other than the devil they have made him out to be.
Zepp-LaRouche: Concerning Boris Johnson, I would agree with you, because he doesn’t strike me as a big genius and designer of policies. But I think it would be a very fruitful competition to argue this question out in terms of colonial policies of the British. The reason why—the American Revolution was fought against the British Empire. The effort by the British to reconquer the United States, first militarily—and when they realized that that was not possible, started to recruit the political establishment, to convince Americans that they should adopt the British Empire as a model of government. It’s not so simplistic. Is the button pulled here, or there? It’s a method of corruption.
You know, when we say “British,” it may be very well that somebody goes around as an American, but if his head is controlled by British philosophy, or ideology, I should say, it still fits the profile of the British Empire.
But that is a useful discussion, and I would like to invite you that we fight this out in each case, and then make the fruits available to the world public, which can only profit from such a debate.
Aneja: I find the timing of this [HMS Defender] incident very curious, that so soon after you have this summit between Biden and Putin, that you have this incident coming in. Is this a first attempt to sabotage and prevent that moment from building? Just a question. If Helga can just respond, I’m just curious.
Zepp-LaRouche: I think that is 99.9% probable. I mean, the baby step of having this summit in Geneva, which was really a break. Just think about how much effort was going in to prevent any normal relation between Putin and Trump—the whole Russiagate. When they finally met in Helsinki, which was regarded as a big success by both sides, all hell broke loose afterwards when Trump returned to the United States. So, I think this was an attempt to squash a nascent relationship before it could develop into any kind of strategic stability.
Knowing the field of geopolitical confrontation, I stick to 99.9%, yes.
Oligarchism and the British Empire
Schlanger: A question for Helga, “How would you evaluate that the European Union leaders turned down the proposal of Merkel and Macron to invite Putin for talks in Brussels?”
Zepp-LaRouche: I think you have a lot of people—some of these political leaders are not exactly genuine. There’s now too short a time to go into it, but for example, I have made acquaintances with some of these people, and their allegiance, for example, the Baltic states, Poland; I mean, when Poland had an exile government in London, they have built up structures in these countries which go very, very deep, and they play on historical animosities, in this case against Germany, against Russia. So I think this is much more complicated.
And for example, the problem is this question of the British Empire, is a question of method. After the Congress of Vienna, when Metternich worked to reestablish the Holy Alliance with the other monarchs and top level aristocrats of Europe, they tried to suppress any nationalist impulse. They tried to undo what the German Classics had done, what the Prussian reformers had done, against von Humboldt and vom Stein; and when they tried to put together this Holy Alliance, it was an oligarchical order. These people, Metternich, Castlereagh—none of them, had national allegiances; they belonged to this European oligarchical structure.
And I think that that is something to understand about this question of the empire, because the empire is not the British Empire, in terms of the British people. The empire is a system of running the world according to a certain model of oligarchical control, whereby a small elite is having all the privileges, and the aim is to keep the populations as backward as possible, because then they can control them better. And that is what we are seeing here.
Unfortunately, Europe is still in very large part run by people who belong to this oligarchical mindset, and nothing is more easy than to pull the strings, like in the case of Italy, you have Draghi; you have other people who can be quite easily reined into this mindset. So I think that the problem is really the oligarchical structure of Europe.
I would dearly hope that people wake up, because if they would understand how close we are to the extinction of civilization, and if it ever came to this Taiwan scenario, you know, this is the end of civilization. I’m convinced that if people understood that, there would be a world revolution: Maybe that is exactly what is necessary, not in the terms of the French Revolution, but in terms of the American Revolution, where people established self-government and Constitutionality over politics.
McGovern: [laughs] I second what Helga just said. She knows chapter and verse about what happens in Europe. Just like the Animal Farm, the nations in the EU are not all equal—well, they’re all equal, but some are more equal than others. And Germany and France are more equal than others because they’re much stronger. And now, worse still, they’re getting uppity! Oh! The Germans are going to complete the Nord Stream 2, my God! Against all warnings from Washington. And the French come up with these great ideas. And to think that France and Germany could decide to have their own summit with Putin, well, that’s unthinkable, because the other countries are much more vassal-like to the United States. And all Washington has to do is cough, and all these other oligarchic countries will take their handkerchief, and say, “No, no, no! France and Germany, you can’t do this, because we’re a community now. And we will prevent it.” That’s how I read this. I’d be interested in whether Helga thinks I’m right.
Zepp-LaRouche: Yes. You are saying it with other words, but essentially the same point.
Beauty and the Coincidence of Opposites
Speed: A question for Helga, and a general question. The first is from a young person in Pennsylvania, “In addition to the Carnevale painting,” [The Ideal City]—which was shown during Helga’s keynote—“what else can influence us in designing cities, better suited toward greater rail infrastructure and a world health system. Are the Chinese megalopolises something we should be imitating in part, or in full? Congratulations to the Schiller Institute and to all the speakers.”
The larger question: “Let us speak about India’s rise from 1947 to now. We have a nation where great mass murder had occurred against the people by British colonialism; and we had great religious divisions which existed. But that nation now has a space program that is the pride of the world and of India.
“Gandhi used the method that no one believed in, but he changed the world and his nation, even as he said he was only doing his own experiments with truth, mostly on himself, and even often failed.
“This conference is about the coincidence of opposites, but also about the complex nature of culture and the problem that progress is not predetermined. Societies move backward as well as forward, and sometimes they can move forward into oblivion. How do we use this moment in time, to change how people think about what it is that they should do, to move society ahead?”
Zepp-LaRouche: On the first question, the reason why I chose this picture is because I wanted to give a sense of the beauty of Renaissance buildings, the Golden Mean as a basis of the architecture. If one looks around at the different cultures, one finds incredibly beautiful architectures, city building—for example— and Atul will probably have something to say about that. I was in Jaipur, and they have built—it was either the city council or the mayor’s residence or the governor’s residence—in the tradition of the Maharajas, and it’s a beautiful building, but built with modern techniques.
To have a new paradigm, a new Renaissance, look into the best productions of all cultures of the world. We could really make this world, much, much, more beautiful. Beauty in the environment makes people’s thinking more beautiful.
So I think if one wants to have a new paradigm, and a dialogue of cultures, and a new Renaissance, I think one would look into the best productions of all cultures of the world, and we could really make this world, much, much, much more beautiful. That was just a hint of how to go about it; go away from these ugly glass, concrete blocks, of which Houston is the worst example. Beauty in the environment also makes people’s thinking more beautiful.
So that was the first question. Maybe I’ll take the second after other people have spoken.
Aneja: India’s rise has been an unequal rise, to be very honest. We have an excellent space program, and we started working on atomic energy way back in 1949, so there are these centers of excellence which have been built; IT is another success story, and biotech. These are domains where India has really done well.
But, I think after we have been hit by the second COVID wave, what has come to light is that we need to spend more on a health infrastructure. The tragedy has been too deep, and I don’t want to elaborate here; but you make a call anywhere, to friends, and you see, you hear about somebody passing away, or somebody having complications after recovering from COVID.
So the healthcare system really needs to be done up. I think India has to consistently grow, and the potential is, of course, there. It has to spend on infrastructure. We need to go full throttle on developing our roads, railways, ports, because the manufacturing sector in India has to grow now. We have services which are excellent, and we have great stuff going on in pharmaceuticals and healthcare and vaccines. But the basic feedstock which will give our people mass employment is really the manufacturing sector, and I think that to flourish and be competitive in a global scenario, the foundations for that is world-class infrastructure.
So I think we need to look at India in a holistic way. And the other engines have to come into this bigger picture for India to realize its full potential. Thank you.
Speed: We’ll now take the opportunity to summarize.
McGovern: When we talked about India just now, and the need to develop more funding for infrastructure, there’s a paradigm here, there’s a comparison with the United States. Where does so much, where do so many millions of dollars go? To the MICIMATT, to weapons industries, to F-35s that don’t work.
There needs to be a metanoia, to use that Greek term again: It means to take your mind and turn it upside down, and realize that you have to be aware of what economists call “opportunity costs.” That’s a fancy two words simply for saying “what could we do in this school district? What could we do in this healthcare system, with the money that we waste on defense?” Now, I suggest, although I don’t know, that the situation is quite comparable in India, and I would suggest that if China and India could broker some kind of deal where they could be a little less hostile to one another, those opportunity costs could come in large, and could fund infrastructure projects.
The last thing I’ll say here, is that I think—I’ll sound like a broken record—but media is the key. When I watched the Soviet Union fall apart, it was because Western media was then penetrating, and Russian people could see that a different world was possible. That was one of the main reasons. That’s why glasnost was possible, and eventually, perestroika.
That’s what we need now, oddly, ironically, in the West. We need some way to get the Western media to recognize that they’re supposed to serve the truth. It’s a tall order, but I think it’s up to us to make sure we hold them accountable, and one best way is to make sure that this forum is available to as many people as we could possibly make it available to, because I find the discussion incredibly good. My hat’s off to Helga for arranging it, and I hope that other such discussions can penetrate to people who will realize that they’re being had by most of their tax dollars going to creating defense against a scare that doesn’t exist. Thank you very much.
Aneja: Well, it’s been an excellent discussion, and I really learned so much. I have one point probably to make, that we are looking at a post-COVID, post-geopolitical world, truly, because that seems to be the root cause, which is causing so much of the problems.
On the Xinjiang situation, I don’t know what the human rights situation is there, period; but one thing is very clear: there is enormous geopolitics going on there, because the entire Belt and Road connectivity projects, rails, etc., all pass through Xinjiang. And if there’s a cold war between the U.S. and China, that is the jugular which the Americans will go for. Because that really, in a way, sabotages the Belt and Road, if you make Xinjiang unstable.
Apart from connectivity, it’s central to China’s energy security. You have these west-east pipelines which are coming from Central Asia, getting these enormous reserves of gas from Kazakhstan and elsewhere, which go straight into the industrial heartland of China between Shanghai and Guangzhou. So, if you again, target Xinjiang, maybe a human rights campaign, etc., it again hits China in a very fundamental way.
So I think, just to illustrate, that geopolitics is such a bane, which is coming in a big way in one of our constructive ideas, or frameworks we have in mind. Thank you.
The thinking of the old paradigm, geopolitical domination, an oligarchical mindset—is like the Middle Ages, and has as much chance for long-term survival as the scholastic fight over how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.
Zepp-LaRouche: To the first question, what can be done in this moment to change the situation: I think that the question of the world health system is, in my view the make it or break it point, simply because it addresses the self-interest of the vast majority of the world population. And there is already a new thinking, for example, many of the developing countries no longer accept the old paradigm, but they are very optimistic of taking the future of mankind into their own hands.
I have said that many times in the past, but I have not changed my mind on it, that we are in an epochal change, not just a little change, but the change of an era, an epoch which will be as different as the one between the Middle Ages and the modern times, characterized by the Italian Renaissance. The old time was the superstition, the Peripatetics, the scholastics, idiotic fights, self-flagellation, and a whole set of axioms, of thinking which were doomed.
A lot of the thinking of the old paradigm, the geopolitical domination, the oligarchical mindset—that is like the Middle Ages, and has as much chance for long-term survival as the scholastic fight over how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. But obviously, it does require a mobilization of many, many people to discuss what should the future be like in 100 years from now.
I appreciate what Ray said about the forum of the Schiller Institute, because we are trying to have these conferences, not as individual events, but to increase the number of people who start to think in terms of the deeper epistemological view on matters. We are trying to build it as an alliance of people who spread the word, to spread this kind of philosophical approach; for example, we have several organizations co-streaming this event. And that can be replicated. People can afterwards put the entire program on their websites, you can use the social media, and you can spread the word. I invite you to do that, because, I’m an optimist, but I’m not a fool: I think the dangers are enormous. I think there is something in the human nature, and I agree with Leibniz that a great evil always brings forth a greater good.
So, it’s a struggle, you know, and I want to invite you, because if you join this alliance, I think we can move mountains.
Note: EIR will feature Panel Two of this conference in its next issue, dated July 9.