This transcript appears in the February 11, 2022 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
The British Hand Behind the
U.S./NATO War Drive
The following is the author’s edited transcript of his presentation to the Saturday, January 29 Manhattan Project’s Town Hall meeting, sponsored by The LaRouche Organization. Mr. Schlanger, a spokesperson for The LaRouche Organization and the Schiller Institute, had been an official spokesperson for Lyndon LaRouche in his runs for the presidency. A full video of that Jan. 29 webcast, including an important selection from a May 2001 speech given by Lyndon LaRouche to an international audience, is available here.
I want to provide more background on the Russian demand for a new security guarantee, and then look at that from the standpoint of the threats and the bullying coming from the U.S. and UK, and at the deeper question of what’s really going on here, who really is behind the war drive. Because it’s really very difficult to believe that the Russians have any intention to invade Ukraine.
President Vladimir Putin’s proposal for a new security guarantee is a highly reasonable one. After 30 years of broken promises, after 30 years of Western moves toward the Russian border, wars launched, regime-change operations carried out, psychological warfare inside Russia, blaming Russia for use of chemical weapons, and on and on—after 30 years of that, Putin demanded legally binding, written security guarantees on three major points.
First, no further eastward motion of NATO. This was promised in 1990 and again in 1994, and it’s been violated ever since.
Second, no membership in NATO for Ukraine. There are a lot of reasons for this, but basically Ukraine is a divided country, it’s not a secure country and there’s a corrupt oligarchy. Its membership in NATO would require overriding most of the requirements that exist for NATO membership. So, why the push to bring Ukraine into NATO?
Third, the danger of the deployment of offensive weapons in Ukraine on the Russian border, as Putin has said, within 5-7 minutes of Moscow from launch. So, the Russian proposal is, let’s go back to the end of the Cold War, to 1997 in particular, and write an agreement which will give security guarantees to Russia, which include a guarantee that Russia will not be the target of a surprise attack from the West.
In response to this, Secretary of State Blinken went into a meeting with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov a week ago, saying he was not going to give in to Putin’s demands. “We’re not taking NATO membership for Ukraine off the table. You can’t tell us what to do. You don’t have a right to spheres of influence; no nation has a right to spheres of influence.”
It then was reported that at a January 25 meeting at the White House, a memo was produced, which defines what is meant by “severe economic measures.” The memo proposes new sanctions which will hit Putin’s “strategic ambitions to industrialize the economy,” that the aim is to stop the industrialization or the modernization of the Russian economy! That’s economic warfare! That’s what’s being talked about in the White House—denying Russia access to modern technologies. Further, such sanctions will prevent Putin’s intention to diversify from exporting oil and gas. This goes back to the argument that Russia is basically a “gas station”; that it makes all its money with the profile of a Third World country, from raw materials. And it should be kept that way by denying it access to modern technology.
That’s a wartime, aggressive prewar operation coming from the White House. Is that really what President Biden intends? We don’t know. We hear this from Secretary of State Antony Blinken, we hear this from other spokesmen from the administration. Biden himself said the United States will not get involved in a war in Ukraine, but that our allies are totally united behind the U.S. desire to protect Ukraine’s sovereignty and democracy. Which is a joke, given that the sovereignty of Ukraine was violated by the United States and its allies, including people now in the Biden State Department, who worked with George Soros and non-governmental organizations in organizing the February 2014 regime change coup.
Is NATO Really Unified?
But the other question that’s coming up now: Is NATO really unified? Well, there’s a discussion going on between Macron and Putin, in which the main discussion topic is a revival of the Normandy Four [Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine] proposals for the Minsk Accord, which essentially is being violated by Ukraine. Ukraine signed an agreement which commits it to negotiate with leaders of the breakaway republics, the Donbas region. But they refused to do it; they say they want to negotiate with Russia. But Russia says: this is part of your country. Instead of deploying half the Ukrainian army on the river facing the Donbas, why don’t you meet and discuss this with the leaders of the people who are demanding more autonomy? President Macron said that he agrees with Putin that this process should be strengthened. What that means is that Germany and France, which are the other two signers besides Russia and Ukraine, must put pressure on Ukraine.
There is the emergence in Germany of something very interesting, the tendency towards Ostpolitik—Eastern politics—which goes back to the Willy Brandt administration from 1969 to 1974, when the discussion was of a change in relations through rapprochement, détente, negotiations. This, of course, was something that was antithetical at the time to the British-U.S. control over NATO. This tendency is re-emerging in Germany, in spite of the vitriolic, pro-war intent of the Greens who are in the new Cabinet.
Then there is the psychological warfare which followed the most recent call between Presidents Zelenskyy and Biden. A reporter from CNN named Matthew Chance, who by the way just happens to be a British subject, apparently either made up a source, or found a source who told him something that was not true: that Biden told Zelenskyy that the Russians will come in and sack Kiev, with a harmful impact, and you better be prepared for that. It was also said from a CNN editor that Biden said Russia will definitely invade when the ground freezes. Yet a Zelenskyy spokesman denied that Biden said that, while a National Security Council official named Emily Horn said that CNN is citing anonymous sources who are spreading falsehoods about the call.
Why should we be surprised that something like this comes from a British subject through CNN? This comes at a moment when the U.S. is talking about withdrawing the family members of diplomatic personnel in Kiev, which a former Ukrainian Defense Minister mocked by saying, “They’re safer in Kiev than they would be in Los Angeles or any of the other cities in the United States under siege.” Zelenskyy himself said this kind of talk is causing panic. It creates the perception that there’s a war with Russia underway. He said, “That’s not the case.”
Also, Zelenskyy in his response said this is harming Ukraine’s ability to get foreign aid. They require $4-5 billion in aid to stabilize the economy. Well, maybe instead of asking for billions of dollars of weapons, they should see if they can get new loans. But why are they in trouble? Why do they have such a large debt? When the coup took place in February 2014, one of the first things the new government of oligarchs did was to bring in the International Monetary Fund, which imposed shock therapy on Ukraine, supposedly to transition to a free market economy. This drove down living standards by shutting down industry, whose customers in many cases were in Russia, creating a huge problem: their loans could not be covered. They had to borrow more, and now they’re one of the most heavily indebted nations, which the World Bank warns could be headed toward a debt default, which could trigger a global financial crisis.
The present threat of war must be seen as a direct result of this post-Maidan coup process.
British Imperial Interests
As the tensions over Ukraine deepen, British intelligence agencies put out a report saying that they have evidence that the Russians are trying to pull a kind of reverse Maidan—a coup in Kiev to put in a pro-Russian president to replace Zelenskyy. This was heavily covered in Europe, heavily covered in the United States. When the Ukrainians said they don’t believe it, their response went unreported. But the story that the Russians were organizing a coup was given wide coverage.
Now, what’s the British interest here? The City of London is still the dominant financial force in terms of setting policies of the post-Cold War order. The modus operandi employed here goes back to the 19th century, the overall strategy of empire, called geopolitics. The important conception behind British policy, from the 1890s to the present, is that the greatest threat to the ability of the British, today as in the 1900s, was that of Eurasian integration. And by that, they mean preventing Western Europe—France, Germany, Italy—and the countries of Eastern Europe, uniting economically with Russia, with China, with the Asian countries, as that would undermine the power of the City of London. This is the same issue that the United States and the UK face today—to dictate the terms of the post-Cold War order in Europe in relations with Russia and China.
The City of London bases its supremacy on monetarism, on neo-liberalism, on the ability to control access to credit, and in its opposition to investing funds into physical economy. That was the fighting issue between the American colonies and the new American republic against the British Empire. The Brits are for free market policies, free trade policies. The United States was founded on policies of protectionism, investment in the physical economy, and in favor of industry based on science and technology, as opposed to looting and predatory policies based on speculation, which is the core of monetarism and has been from the time of the British East India Company in the 18th century.
Let’s look at the role of two British leaders who have shaped recent American strategic and economic policy. First is former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. In 1983, in an ongoing legal battle waged by the City of London to weaken government oversight, she supported a high court ruling on the side of the City of London, against regulatory powers of government. The result was what was called the Big Bang, which promoted deregulation of the financial system. This opened the door for speculators to shape economic policy. The government of U.S. President Ronald Reagan took its lead from Thatcher, to accelerate the pace of deregulation in the U.S. In October 1987, there was a giant stock market crash, which had been forecast by LaRouche earlier that year. Why did that happen? Because of the shift to a deregulated, speculative economy.
Thatcher’s policy was adopted by Reagan and George H.W. Bush. This continued in 1999, with the repeal of Glass-Steagall, and the United States is right there with the United Kingdom—that is, Wall Street and Silicon Valley—with the City of London, as a deregulated money center for monetarism and neo-liberalism. Nigel Lawson, who was the Chancellor of the Exchequer under Thatcher when the Big Bang took place, said after the 2008 crash, in a moment of candor, that the crash of 2007-8 was an unintended consequence of the Big Bang.
Also with Thatcher was the neo-con policy of war, the fight to protect the Empire. In 1991, when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, the question was, would the United States act or not? Margaret Thatcher was visiting the U.S. Ambassador to Britain in Aspen, Colorado for a vacation, when George H.W. Bush, the President of the United States, flew there to meet with her to discuss what should be done about Saddam. She made this famous comment to him, “Remember, George, this is no time to go wobbly.” She encouraged him to invade. Later, she said she “stiffened his spine” at that meeting. The U.S. Ambassador to Britain at that time, Raymond Seitz, whom she was visiting, had earlier been the Executive Assistant to Secretary of State George P. Shultz, a British monetarist to his core. So, that’s the Thatcher policy—neo-liberalism, neo-con, in which the U.S.-British Empire must set the rules of the “rules-based order.”
Enter Tony Blair and
the ‘Third Way’
The next phase was initiated by UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, who was also a neo-liberal and a neo-con. His neo-liberalism was called the Third Way, democratic socialism, but also free-market policy. Blair always represented the City of London. Blair pushed further deregulation and neo-liberal economics: Tear down the role of the government, base everything on shareholder values. That’s what Klaus Schwab, who runs the World Economic Forum, is talking about now.
Lyndon LaRouche was attacking this back in the 1980s, when it started with Thatcher. But under Blair, the impact was especially profound, as President Bill Clinton signed on to the Third Way, fully embracing the deregulated economic system. In fact, Clinton, under the influence of Secretary of the Treasury Robert Rubin, signed the repeal of Glass-Steagall in 1999, which took away any prohibition against speculation by the commercial banks, opening the door to the crash of 2007-2008.
William Black, a former bank regulator, said that the Third Way pretends to be a center-left policy, but is a creation of Wall Street. He called it a “false flag operation” of Wall Street. That’s what Clinton embraced, Obama as well. That’s why Obama bailed out the banks in 2008 instead of listening to LaRouche and putting them through bankruptcy reorganization.
On the war question, Blair is the same as Thatcher. Blair is an outspoken advocate of eliminating the principle of the Peace of Westphalia, which established the modern nation state based on the principle that each state must recognize the security interests of others and engage in no interference in the internal affairs of other nations. This was signed in 1648, to end the Thirty Year’s War. Blair in 1999 said, “No, no, no, no, no, we can’t have that [the Peace of Westphalia] anymore. There’s too much evil that has to be taken on; we must get rid of the Westphalian principle.” What he put forward instead was the idea of “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P), which is a justification for regime-change coups. This was brought into the United States by people like Samantha Power, President Barack Obama’s Ambassador to the UN (who by the way was a British subject until 1993) and others who insisted that the Clinton administration get involved in the Balkan war, in which the U.S. and NATO bombed Yugoslavia, the first of the illegal wars, followed by the regime-change operations in Iraq, in Libya, in Syria and in Ukraine.
In April 2002, there was a meeting at the British Prime Minister’s country home, Chequers, which included Blair; Lord Boyce, the Chief of the Defense Staff; Richard Dearlove, the Chief of MI6; and Sir John Scarlett, the head of the Joint Intelligence Committee. They met to discuss Iraq. This occurred just after the U.S. and NATO invaded Afghanistan. Then on April 6 and 7, four days after this meeting, Blair flew to Crawford, Texas to the Bush ranch, and had two days of meetings with Bush, Jr. in which they discussed Iraq. In September of 2002, Sir Richard Dearlove provided the original “dodgy dossier,” which claimed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was building weapons of mass destruction, getting yellow cake uranium from Niger in Africa, claiming that Saddam Hussein had a capability to hit London with nuclear weapons within 45 minutes of whenever they decided to do it. This was cited by the United States at the United Nations to get support for the invasion of Iraq, in the February 2003 discredited presentation by Secretary of State, Sir Colin Powell.
There’s more you could go into on this British question. The Syrian chemical weapons charges which came from the British controlled White Helmets, the supposed Russian poisoning of the Skripals—the claims from Porton Down (the British chemical weapons lab) that Putin was deploying agents to kill off Russian defectors with a highly poisonous chemical—the same fake story used with regard to Russian dissident Alexei Navalny. And then, the most recent example, this British report, at the height of the tension over whether Russia is going to invade Ukraine or not, claiming that Russia had a plan to overthrow the Zelenskyy government and put in a pro-Russian government.
This British question is real. The British Empire’s power is the power of shifting the narrative, of creating new narratives, and of invading your mind to convince you that the greatest threat to peace and security in the world is the “demon” Vladimir Putin, and the “authoritarian dictator” Xi Jinping in China. In other words, not the fact that, under British direction, the United States has taken the lead in shifting the world to a neo-liberal economic system, which is responsible for poverty, for absolutely unsustainable debt, putting us on a pathway toward an economic crash, and at that same time, one war after another, now targeting Russia and China.
The British are highly sophisticated in their ability to shift the way you think, including in the development from Silicon Valley of social media networks and methods of “security state” surveillance, to their role in creating Russiagate. This must end. The United States has to stop being a dangerous ferocious beast on a British leash. That’s why the hope is that we can pull back from this situation with Ukraine. But more importantly, move toward a new security arrangement for the world, which does not start from the interests of the City of London, Wall Street and NATO.