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This transcript appears in the February 25, 2022 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

[Print version of this transcript]

Harley Schlanger

What Happens After D-Day? Will Russia Invade Ukraine?

The following is the edited transcript of the keynote presentation by Harley Schlanger to Panel One of the Schiller Institute conference, “100 Seconds to Midnight on the Doomsday Clock: We Need a New Security Architecture!” on February 19, 2022. Mr. Schlanger is Vice Chairman of the Schiller Institute.

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Schiller Institute
Harley Schlanger

I would like to open this panel by welcoming everyone to the dawn of a new era, as it is becoming increasingly clear that the post-Cold War era of unipolar dominance, enforced by U.S.-NATO military—the so-called Rules-Based Order—is coming to an end. The question we are taking up today, is whether it will be replaced by an era of peace and economic prosperity, protected by a new strategic architecture committed to the security concerns of all sovereign nations; or is ended by the desperate defenders of the unipolar order in a war, which can wipe out humanity.

The present escalation over the Donbas, in which there are claims of shooting and skirmishing, combined with a heavy U.S. official deployment into Europe—at the Munich Security Conference, with NATO meetings, with G7 meetings and so on, all charging that Russia intends to invade Ukraine—shows that war is still on the agenda of the trans-Atlantic forces. President Biden himself, yesterday, said that he’s convinced that Putin has made the decision to invade Ukraine. But that doesn’t change the fact that the unipolar era is coming to an end.

Fatal Abandonment of Bretton Woods

This is not something which was unforeseeable. In a series of statements, articles and webcasts, over the last five decades, the American economist and statesman Lyndon LaRouche insisted that that order which was consolidated on Aug. 15, 1971, with President Richard Nixon’s actions ending the post-World War II Bretton Woods system, and replacing it with a speculative financial system of floating exchange rates, could not survive without resorting to Schachtian, or fascist economic policies, which would require military force to impose.

His 1971 forecast was confirmed with the bloody coup in Chile in 1973, which overthrew and murdered the elected President, Salvador Allende, and brought to power the Pinochet military dictatorship, which used brute force to impose “free market” reforms, of the “Chicago boys,” who were directed from the U.S. by a network run by well-known synarchist George Shultz, who played a leading role in shaping U.S. economic and strategic policy from the early 1970s until his death last year.

The Chile operation was a test run for many similar regime change coups, and a model for “transitions” to free market policies, including that of the shock therapy policy imposed on Russia by the same networks following the collapse of the Soviet Union, in December 1991, and those running the Ukrainian economy after the February 2014 “Maidan” coup. Those who benefitted from these so-called “transitions” were largely the looters operating in financial centers in the City of London and Wall Street.

Another among many prescient statements from LaRouche was one issued by his presidential campaign on April 28, 2003, “A World of Sovereign Nation-States,” which includes comments highly relevant today in examining the present strategic crisis.

In that piece, he examines the post-9/11 policy implemented by the Bush-Cheney Administration. He writes that the administration rejected one variety of imperial intent—the softer version of the British liberal imperial model—and adopted an approach which was a more direct echo of what he called the “Roman imperial model,” or that of the Nazis. This reflected the change which occurred after the collapse of the Soviet Union, when the decision was made by the West to reject an effort to achieve a mutually beneficial economic partnership with Russia, and instead pursue the construction of a unipolar world order.

The ‘End of History’

This was heralded by such things as: first, George H.W. Bush’s proclamation, in the flush of victory against Iraq in Desert Storm, that we are seeing the emergence of a “New World Order.” Secondly, the arrogant thesis of Francis Fukuyama that the “victory” in the Cold War over the Soviet system represents the “end of history,” meaning the triumph of the Anglo-American version of free trade and “democracy,” enforced by unilateral power of the U.S. military. The third example of this was the outlook of the Project for a New American Century grouping of neocons who launched the “endless wars” after 9/11, typified by Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Kagan.

The characteristic statement of this crowd, which had been sponsored with funds and policies generated by the military-industrial complex of U.S. and British corporate cartels, was President George W. Bush’s statement to the world in launching these wars, that “Either you’re with us, or with the terrorists.”

LaRouche wrote that the adoption of this Anglo-American assertion of total supremacy demoralized our European allies. Even as they might resist the threat implied by application of this doctrine—which is, that if you challenge this order, you will be the target—they wavered, “out of fearful regard for the hope that they might minimize the risk of becoming a virtually declared adversary of the U.S.A.”

In this statement from 2003, he said that there could be resistance to these policies from nations which would be strong enough to intervene. He identified France, Germany, Russia, and China, but added that the change must come from the United States. This later became the basis of his proposed “Four Power” alliance, of China, Russia, India, and the United States, which combined, had the power to overcome the concentration of power in the hands of the global cartels responsible for running that increasingly disastrous policy imposed by those running the post-Cold War Order.

This order has been shaken by events of recent years, starting with the financial collapse in 2007-08. The attempt to paper over the growing volumes of unpayable debt of all categories, adopted under the Obama Administration and carried out by the leading central banks, was capable of producing new bubbles, but not of generating a real economic recovery—because that was never the intent. The “wall of money” policy was designed to bail out the speculators, while hollowing out what LaRouche called the “physical economy” of nations.

Resistance to the ‘Great Reset’

But one must never mistake liquidity for solvency. The latest “everything bubble” began collapsing in September 2019, and the attempt to protect the bloated, worthless financial assets on the books of the leading banks, insurance companies, hedge funds, pension funds, etc. with a “Great Reset,” implies a new global financial system under the dictatorial control of central banks, under which all nations must surrender their sovereignty. This is something that Russia and China will not do.

Likewise, is the resistance to the global Green New Deal, based on the fraudulent idea of “man-made global warming,” which the same elites of the rules-based order say can only be combatted by accepting a zero-carbon emissions policy, which would put an end to efficient forms of energy production using fossil fuels, such as coal, oil, and natural gas, and they would eliminate nuclear power. But at the COP26 conference in November of last year, there was a rebellion—yes, there was lip service paid by many for the need to eliminate carbon-based energy production, but it is being rejected in practice.

An example is the reaction of President Macky Sall of Senegal, Chairman of the African Union, who said of the agreement signed at COP26 that it is not workable. He said more than 800 million Africans need electricity, and it will not be provided by the Green technologies promoted by such phony projects as the European Union’s Global Gateway program.

The unipolar order has also been shaken by the disastrous results in the “endless wars” conducted by the U.S. and NATO. And this is most significant. Trillions of dollars have been spent, millions of lives lost—continuing up to today, as the sanctions regimes imposed by those who launched the wars, continue to threaten millions with starvation, lack of access to health care, fuel, etc., as in the case of Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria, Iran, and many others. There is a growing moral outcry against these wars, while those who launched them are looking for cleaner ways to kill, as with the just concluded “Global Lightning 22” military exercise.

‘It’s Not about Ukraine’

Finally, we get to the present crisis, with Ukraine at the center. It is not about Ukraine, as much as it is about the demand from Russian President Vladimir Putin, that the post-Cold War encroachment of NATO, through eastward movement, threatens Russian security and must end, with a return to the agreement reached in 1997. What has enabled Putin to make his demands now—demands for no NATO membership for Ukraine or Georgia, no NATO offensive weapons deployed to Ukraine, and a diplomatic resolution of the situation in eastern Ukraine based on implementing the Minsk Agreement—is that advances have been made in science which have allowed for a significant increase in the power of the Russian military; and secondly, the growing alliance with China, the other major target of the unilateralists.

The consolidation of this relationship between Putin and Xi Jinping, between Russia and China, during their Feb. 4 summit created an in-depth panic—actually, hysteria—among leading figures committed to the unipolar order, as can be seen in two statements. First from the Daily Telegraph, Feb. 4, in an article titled “Russia and China Rise from their Knees to Challenge U.S. Dominance.” This is from the [newspaper] sometimes called the “Daily Torygraph” given its closeness to the ruling elites in the City of London. They write:

The message [from the joint statement issued] is anything but routine. At a moment of immense international tension, Russia and China are asserting the arrival of a new geopolitical era. From now on, the dominance of the U.S.-led global West will no longer be taken for granted—or tolerated.

Even though this was in the British press, it’s a true statement.

Then we had one from Fred Kempe, CEO and President of the Atlantic Council, one of the leading pro-war think-tanks, which was created in 1961 to keep the United States under the geopolitical direction of the British, and the British Empire. He issued a statement Feb. 6 titled, “The Audacious Putin-Xi Compact.” Here’s what he said:

This is big.

The two leading authoritarians of our time have declared unprecedented common cause—perhaps even a de facto security alliance—with aspirations of shaping a new world order to replace the one fashioned by the United States and its partners after World War II....

Note that he leaves out the role of the British in that. Then he continues:

Yet for all the two countries’ historic animosities and considerable remaining differences, perhaps never in their history have they been closer. And never since World War II have the leading authoritarians of their time been so strategically aligned or personally close—at a time when both are deeply contemplating their legacies....

Note that he’s comparing Putin and Xi to the Axis powers in that statement. Then he continues:

What unites Russia and China remains mostly their opposition to the United States: They’ve cynically appropriated the concepts that define U.S. foreign policy—democracy, human rights, and economic development—though their actions are ridiculously inconsistent with their rhetoric.

One might ask Kempe: Where is the democracy in the regime-change coups run by the West? Where are the human rights of the Afghan people? Where is the economic development in the International Monetary Fund policies imposed on poorer countries? What is actually threatening to Kempe and others is the idea of Eurasian integration, which is proceeding with the Russia-China alliance, and which is going to be extended, whether they like it or not, at some point to Eastern and Western Europe. This is what’s been seen as a casus belli for nearly two centuries, since the theory of geopolitics began, which Halford Mackinder later codified.

What the likes of the editors of the imperial Daily Telegraph and Fred Kempe will never accept is that what Putin has requested, in the form of treaties with legally-binding security guarantees, has been made necessary due to the broken promises and hostile actions against Russia, beginning with the refusal to live up to the promise of no eastward expansion of NATO, made repeatedly in talks in 1990, and recently confirmed by the U.S. Ambassador to Russia in that period, Jack Matlock. Matlock wrote that he was there when the pledges were made.

It is also the case that Putin’s stand has emboldened others, such as former French Foreign Minister Roland Dumas, who stated in an interview this week that he was also there when the promise was made to Russian leaders. For those such as Blinken, Boris Johnson, Stoltenberg, and others to deny that those promises were made, or don’t count because they were not written, is the kind of lawyer’s argument that undermines the credibility of those who made the promise. Perhaps this is why Mr. Blinken is forced to repeat the same gibberish over and over about Putin’s intention to invade, and how we must have unity to protect European security.

It is clear, in the recent visits to Moscow by French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz that they have not been swayed by the repetitions of Blinken.

Instead, as we are living in a most turbulent moment, caught between hope and fear, the words spoken by a Chinese representative at the U.N. in a debate on the Ukraine crisis can resonate with all peoples. The diplomat described the tension over Ukraine as not something inherent in the Ukraine situation, but, he said, in the refusal of the U.S. and NATO to renounce the mentality of the Cold War. This is an echo of Helga Zepp-LaRouche’s insistence that one country’s security cannot come at the expense of another’s.

This is what the call for a new security architecture means. This is what Lyndon LaRouche, his wife Helga and the Schiller Institute have fought for over many decades. And now, it is in our hands, as citizens of nations, to make sure that such a new security architecture, which guarantees mutual security, can be realized.

Make no mistake about it. The unipolar era has ended, even though Antony Blinken and his warhawk sidekicks have not yet gotten the text message on this yet. Let us resolve to replace it with one which represents a commitment to protect the lives of all humans, defend the sovereign rights of all nations, and give every child an opportunity to fulfill their God-given potential in a world of peace, development, and mutual benefit for all.

Thank you.

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