This transcript appears in the March 4, 2022 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
Panel 2 Discussion Session
This is an edited transcript of the Discussion Session immediately following the presentations to Panel Two of the Schiller Institute conference, “100 Seconds to Midnight on the Doomsday Clock: We Need a New Security Architecture!” on February 19, 2022. The participants were Dennis Small (co-moderator), Daniel Burke (co-moderator), Helga Zepp-LaRouche, Graham Fuller, Alejandro Yaya, Dr. Carlos Gallardo, Tony Magliano, Jacques Cheminade, and Zaher Wahab.
Helga Zepp-LaRouche: I want to greet all of the panelists and thank you. You have contributed to the evolution of the New Paradigm in process, especially hearing about the new alignments taking place with the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in Argentina and Pakistan. In the aftermath of the special partnership agreement between Russia and China, I’m absolutely certain we will see a lot more happening.
We hope to bring people in all countries, people who will understand the BRI not as a threat, but as an opportunity to bring the Western countries—the United States and European nations—into such a new alliance for development. We have heard a lot of interesting aspects in respect to Peru, which is very dear to my heart, because when I visited there with my husband in 1977, we had many discussions, and I have the fondest memories of that. It was very interesting to hear about the concept of small and large nations and how to define that relationship. I think that is a very important question, because even the smallest nation deserves full sovereignty. So, I am looking forward to the discussion.
Small: We have with us Jacques Cheminade from France, the head of the Solidarité et Progrès party. We also have Zaher Wahab, former senior advisor to the Afghanistan Minister of Higher Education and Professor Emeritus at Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling.
Let’s open up the floor to whoever cares to respond to the following question from Adam. It’s very short, very simple, but perhaps one of the most fundamental questions posed by this discussion:
Question: How can NATO be dissolved so that a new security architecture for the world can take place?
Zepp-LaRouche: When the Warsaw Pact dissolved in 1991 and disarmed, there was a huge disarmament going along with that. That was actually the moment when NATO lost its raison d’être and should have been replaced or reorganized by opening the membership for Russia and other former Warsaw Pact members together with Russia. This did not happen. Instead, you had what we just discussed today. NATO member countries should now start a discussion, realizing that we have come so close to nuclear war; we need something else. The idea of a new Helsinki II process that has been formulated already by several people in response to the Ukraine crisis is being discussed. We could call it Helsinki II. However, I deliberately have called for a New Peace of Westphalia. We need to go back to very fundamental principles of how mankind should organize itself for a durable survivability of all of humanity.
This could be initiated by anybody. It could come from NATO members looking to renew the agreement in a different way. It could come from developing countries demanding that there should be an inclusive new security architecture or from the P-5 of the United Nations. Most important is a broad-ranging discussion that the lesson to be learned from this present Ukraine crisis, is the need for exactly such a new international treaty and security architecture.
Graham Fuller: Helga, you mentioned a very important point, which is communication. I don’t want to single out specifically the United States, but I think it’s particularly guilty in this regard. It is the unwillingness to talk with countries that it does not like. If there’s any country that you need to talk to, it’s a country that you don’t like and with whom you have serious problems. But the United States has been in the position of can’t talk to Cuba; can’t talk to Iran; can’t talk to Syria; can’t talk to any number of other countries with whom it has conflict, if not military, at least diplomatic.
The need for constant communication, particularly between leaders who are at odds with each other, is essential as a starting point. If we don’t understand the kind of thinking, the mentality, the psychology, the national culture of these countries, then we’re not going to do very well at being able to resolve issues between them.
I would just add that I think there’s not sufficient communication at work here, and particularly open discussion of the security needs and fears and concerns that other countries possess. It’s all very easy for one country to dismiss the security fears of another, but there’s nothing like sitting down and being able to express and vocalize these fears; to begin to talk them out, see how much reality and legitimacy there is behind these fears, and if there is much reality, what can be done to deal with them.
There have been some interesting experiments, say, in talks between Palestinians and Israelis, always conducted by outside elements, unfortunately, and not so much by the Israeli government or Palestinian Authority themselves. But just where Israelis and Palestinians have had a chance to sit down and spend maybe two days: One day, one side specifically discussing their grievances, their historical sufferings, their perceptions of what is wrong and what concerns them. And then the following day, to have the other party discuss its concerns, its perceptions, and fears for the future. This is very, very educational, and among other things, it suggests to both sides that we’re talking with real people here, real human beings with real human concerns, and not just abstract geopolitical concepts.
This is a very complicated question about which the world has given a lot of thought in the past, not always successfully. But how do you begin these kinds of discussions? Certainly, dialogue and an appreciation of the honestly expressed fears and concerns of all parties can begin, just begin to grapple with how to take these problems and situations apart.
The New Silk Road in Ibero-America
Small: We have a number of questions that have come in about Ibero-America, and from Ibero-Americans. Two questions are addressed to Dr. Gallardo of Peru, and to Alejandro Yaya of Argentina; but as well to others who might want to respond.
The first question is from Milton in Brazil.
Let me just preface this question by noting that prior to the trip of President Fernández to China to sign onto the Belt and Road Memorandum of Understanding, out of the 146-148 countries internationally that had signed on, 20 were already from Ibero-America. However, none of the big three—Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico—had yet signed. So, the Fernández visit and signature has some particular importance.
Milton’s question is: “How is the New Silk Road seeing the role of Argentina, and how important are countries like Brazil and Mexico for this global development?”
Alejandro Yaya: Part of the importance of understanding the significance of Argentina joining in the Belt and Road Initiative is to understand the regional role that Argentina has played historically in Ibero-America. Part of this has to do with the fact that Argentina has itself developed its own infrastructural capabilities at certain moments of its history. So, to be able to understand it better is not simply a question of geopolitics, but to coin a phrase, it has to do with geo-techno-politics.
It is in that context with regard to Argentina, that we need to return to and rebuild our own infrastructure, both for our own internal development and also to help the regional integration and join with world development.
In Argentina, with Brazil, and other large countries in South America, there are already trade blocs, but the development of those trade blocs carried forward, was not development from the standpoint of the development of the infrastructure to meet the requirements of the day. And in particular, not sufficiently to allow for the development of the small and the large peoples and populations to permit the development of Ibero-America.
In the past, there was a great project of road integration, known as the Pan-American highway, which in reality was never improved on, was never built, was never realized in terms of the quality of the infrastructure involved. In fact, sincerely speaking, no other countries offered investment into the region to develop this kind of infrastructure. Therefore, we have to make sure that we all in the region have to work and guarantee that the goods and the products produced from trade and our involvement in the Belt and Road, in the New Silk Road, can’t just go in one direction.
We can’t have a situation where Argentina, Brazil, and the rest of Latin America simply export their raw materials, without the opportunity before exporting them, to have value added to those products. If we do it that way, trade will allow for progress and development for our countries, through the synergistic relationships developed from transforming raw materials into manufactured products.
What was mentioned by my colleague, Graham Fuller, with regard to the spheres of influence, will allow us to create a different kind of relationship, working in unison, so we can actually build a world based along what that poster said above my American colleague, which says that if you want peace, you have to fight for justice.
Economic Development in Ibero-America
Small: I would now like to ask Dr. Gallardo from Peru to also address this question of the relationship of the development of countries within the Americas such as Peru, and the projects of the Belt and Road Initiative, and how this can be brought to bear on other countries such as Brazil and Mexico.
Carlos Gallardo: First, we have to look at the origin of this conspiracy to stop less-developed countries from achieving a level of development. We have to say that a confrontation being pushed—we have to have the courage to say this—by imperialist forces which has been explained to us, appropriately, by our colleague engineer, Alejandro Yaya, from Argentina. We aren’t allowed to industrialize our raw materials, to add value to them. Rather, this is being done by various large economic corporations who want to keep us subservient and only suppliers of raw materials without being able to industrialize our own products and give value added.
As for the Belt and Road Initiative, as we already were explaining, we have had in our countries these very extensive long roads and routes to integrate the nations of our region. Therefore, with the Belt and Road Initiative, we have another great opportunity for our countries.
Consider the following: In the north of our country, we have a port known as the Port of Bayóvar. In fact, we have conditions there to establish a very deep-water port which would allow the arrival and use of this port by enormous ships with thousands of tons of displacement. With the unloading of these goods, they could be transported by high-speed rail in a bi-oceanic corridor that would go from the Pacific to the Atlantic coast.
This is a message for President Xi Jinping of China, because we should seek to do this. We should seek to complete this route through the north of Peru in particular, which is actually geographically closer to Asia. Therefore, with this bi-oceanic corridor, we would have a situation where the goods could be transported to the Atlantic coast and from there shipped over to Europe and Africa.
Only in that process could our population earn the right to increase its standard of living in a really extraordinary way. This would open the way to carry out economic diversification, something else our countries need. This would open the way for industrial development, for tourism, for mining, in the development of hydrocarbons, also in terms of the development of gold.
You should just take note of the fact the Peru is the sixth largest producer of gold in the world. Unfortunately, we aren’t the number one country, but that’s only because of the informality and illegality in our economy which has been encouraged by foreign interests that want to keep us in backwardness.
That’s why I say, we have a great adversary. That adversary does carry the name of a country, of a nation; but what we can say, is that we can call this adversary “avarice,” the greed of the large billionaire companies and corporations around the world. These are the groups that pressure internationally; they pressure international organizations through foundations and others to dictate and impose, overruling the sovereignty of countries. And they dictate the behavior of countries around the world. There are free trade agreements that have been established with China, with Europe, with the United States. We in Peru are prepared to move forward. We desire to have greater possibilities, greater opportunities for advancement.
We in the Christian Democratic Party of Peru, are open to work on this great project which will be of benefit not only for Peru but for all of the Americas, to bring justice and development as the new name of peace.
The U.S. Relationship to Global Reality
Small: The next question is directed really toward the United States and the situation in the United States. It’s a two-fold question. One was addressed, and it’s connected to the last question. The first part is directed to Graham Fuller or anyone else on the panel: “Do you see a problem with China’s Belt and Road Initiative moving into Ibero-America with its infrastructure and other development policies?” The other question is with regard to the United States: “Could [Special Counsel John] Durham’s investigation on the Russia hoax help not so much those around Trump, but help to bring some sane policy from the United States towards an economic policy for peace through economic development?”
Fuller: This is a very important question. I frankly am not very optimistic about the ability of the United States to negotiate the next, say, ten years of its governance in a very positive way, particularly, in international relations. To me, the basic fact is that the United States, after having had perhaps 50 years of extraordinary contribution and involvement in very positive ways, generally, in international relations, found with the collapse of the Soviet Union and finding itself—as the U.S. liked to call itself—the sole world superpower, had allowed this to go to its head and to believe that this was a unipolar moment. And that the United States could therefore really continue to generate an international hegemony over international affairs; a policeman of the world, if you will; that it would be unrivalled.
With the emergence of China—but it isn’t just China. With the emergence of countries like the BRICS—Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa—it’s finding its own global international position seriously challenged. I think the United States finds this psychologically almost intolerable, inconceivable that it could so rapidly find itself dropping from the position as the world’s sole superpower to one of now beginning to have to share international responsibilities with other countries, certainly like China, which is challenging it not only militarily, but even more importantly, economically and diplomatically.
And countries like Russia. Russia has begun to restore its position in the world to some degree after the collapse of the Soviet Union. It’s been an international player for over a century, so this is nothing new, and other countries are involved. So, I am not terribly optimistic that the United States is going to easily and comfortably accept and be able to tolerate this huge shift in America’s position in the world. That means it’s going to be difficult, with the U.S. struggling and even frankly dragging its feet in many ways, until the realities of this new world order sink in. It will, ultimately. I already see signs on the fringes at least of U.S. analysis, but the mainstream thinking, particularly in the State Department, the White House and elsewhere, is that this kind of shift in world power is unthinkable and almost intolerable.
The Humanistic Perspective of the Catholic Church
Tony Magliano: I could add the Catholic Church’s perspective on this. But first, let me preface by saying that SIPRI (the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute) stated recently in their annual report, that the world spends $1.8 trillion on weapons and military expenditures. Imagine what that amount could do for the poor of the world. Several years ago, I interviewed Jeffrey Sachs, one of the foremost economists in the world, special economics advisor to several UN Secretary-Generals. He said to me that for an extra $125 billion a year, we could completely eliminate world poverty. That’s less than one-fifth of our military budget in the United States, let alone $1.8 trillion of the world’s.
We have our priorities completely upside down from a humanistic point of view. We need to consider first and foremost, what we teach, is that the poor and vulnerable of the world have a special priority to our resources. If we did that, not only would we lift the world’s poor out of poverty, but we would create an atmosphere in the world of justice. It would be an atmosphere that would encourage peace for sure. Because once people’s basic needs are met, there’s very little reason to be hostile towards other nations.
That’s a very important point. At Vatican II, the Ecumenical Council of the world’s Catholic bishops that ended in 1965, one of the documents, “Vatican II, The Church in the Modern World,” 1965, No. 82, said “It is our clear duty, then, to strain every muscle as we work for the time when all war can be completely outlawed by international consent.” Well, gosh, we’ve barely worked up a sweat in that regard, let alone strain every muscle.
These are the kinds of priorities that would really make the most important difference in our world. If we put the poor and needy first, made an effort to work toward eliminating military budgets and putting those resources to human development, we could indeed by making human beings the center instead of money, capital, and the power of all power.
Forecasting the Future
Small: I have two more questions:
First, from Josef in Germany: “In order to bring in the perspective that LaRouche turned to in such moments, such as saying that it is most appropriate to turn to the poets, as Lincoln and Bismarck turned to Shakespeare, or Schiller’s work on history, especially Schiller’s work on the Thirty Years’ War in Europe. Would this be appropriate?”
Second, from Venezuela: “Germany has participated in two World Wars. Is it time for Germany as a nation to occupy a place of honor in the human community? Is it possible that before those “100 seconds before midnight” are up, that Germany could tip the balance on behalf of humanity?”
Zepp-LaRouche: The Schiller Institute has always had the perspective of not accepting the status quo. If you do that, you have no choice but to be pessimistic and say there is very little hope. Consider, however, the ability of Lyndon LaRouche to forecast developments in a long-range way, like for example, when he forecast the 1971 decoupling of the dollar from gold and abandonment of fixed exchange rates by President Nixon, and then forecast that this turn to monetarism would lead in the medium-term to a danger of a new depression, a new war, and even a new fascism.
That’s exactly what we see right now, and we should anticipate unstable developments. We are about to have an international crisis in the financial system. I don’t think inflation will be brought under control. We may see, this year, massive crashes. The Federal Reserve is caught between a rock and a hard place. Do they want to fight inflation by increasing interest rates, which is a social pressure internationally? People get really freaked out about energy prices, food prices. Or what if there were an effort to prevent a collapse of the bond markets, the debt of corporations? What would be the effect of increased interest rates in the United States on the emerging markets which would be burdened with higher debt payments if there were an increase in the interest rate and a rise of the dollar? We are not in calm times.
If you have a crisis developing, if you have a perspective, a plan of where mankind should be, and you are mobilizing and organizing social forces to be influenced by these developments, I think you can actually win against the odds.
On that point, I disagree with Graham Fuller, even about the United States. I think the U.S. does have a potential to return to its better traditions. For example, John Quincy Adams had a conception of foreign policy that the United States was not as a hegemon, but as a republic among republics. There are many such forces inside the United States, maybe not inside the Beltway, but in the different states, various governors and other elected officials, who are actually quite open to cooperation with China; others are quite moral in dealing with Latin America and with, hopefully, Africa, and so on.
I don’t look at the United States as this unmovable monster, which many people nowadays do, but I look at it as something which can be encouraged.
The problem is, I don’t think the United States, if it collapsed, would collapse or disintegrate like the Soviet Union. I don’t think it would be peaceful. The Soviet Union disintegrated in an enormously peaceful fashion. The Warsaw Pact dissolved relatively peacefully. But I don’t think that the United States would do that. So, we have to really think very hard and think about options showing the perspective for cooperation between, let’s say, the United States and China and Latin America. If you want to get out of this period in a safe way and without big catastrophes, we have to be much more inventive than just saying in ten years things will be like that. I don’t think that that is sufficient.
We should be inspired by Friedrich Schiller. One of the many beautiful things Schiller said was that there is no contradiction between a world citizen and a patriot. That is exactly the quality required right now, because to come to this New Paradigm of the shared community of the one future of humanity, you have to think like a world citizen. If we build a New Paradigm in the right way, then the interest of any nation will not be in contradiction to the interest of humanity as a whole.
That is the kind of discussion we have to have, and I think everything has to be approached from the standpoint of development. Because if there is development for everybody, every problem can be solved. It’s only when you have scarcity and hoarding and you have the idea that the privileges must be collected in the hands of a few, that you have these conflicts. Once we replace that notion with the principle that the maximum development of the other is in our own interest, there is no problem we cannot solve. That does require education, organizing, and love for humanity.
Jacques Cheminade: My greetings to all of you! In this conference during the 100-year anniversary of Lyndon LaRouche, our task is obviously to build the best of all possible worlds, a world of common economic development for humanity.
I want to bring us back to the case of Ukraine, because it’s a case of war or peace. Ukraine seems to be far from what we have to do, and so near to war. But all competent strategists in Europe and in France know the solution—we must generate a system of security, stability, and peace for all of Europe. No more extension of NATO; no more NATO mal-adventures; no deployment of American nuclear weapons near the Russian borders, and progressively eliminating them from all of Europe. Neutrality for Ukraine. Stop the shock therapy; re-construct Ukraine as a nation bridging the best of Western Europe and the best of Eastern Europe. Build a Europe from the Atlantic to the Urals, as Charles de Gaulle used to say. Now to the sea of China, as Leibniz already established the concept in the 17th Century.
The scandal is that the experts know. The people who are supposed to know, do, in fact, know; but they don’t do it. In this context, the populations fear not knowing what to do. So, what is absolutely necessary and what we should demand from those who know, is that they teach those that don’t know. At this point, however, this human bet on what’s good in humanity, is not there.
Looking at the history of France, we can see many examples of that, not as a matter of misguided nationalistic pride, but to inspire thinking from above, and to engage in what Helga said—she mentioned it in that way—civil courage.
At the end of the 16th Century, at the end of the wars of religion, we have in Jean Bodin’s Six Books of the Commonwealth and Henri IV’s conception of economic development above religious affiliations, human beings conceived of as the only true wealth. At the end of European wars in the 17th Century, we have the Peace of Westphalia. This is more known.
Less known is the contribution to peace by the French Academy of Sciences, and it was not French. That’s the secret. It was European, and it was international, embodied by Leibniz himself who, in his time, enlarged the concept to China.
Today, we are reviving all this with the New Silk Road. Then, look to the end of the British occupation of the United States with the contribution of France; Lafayette, but also Rochambeau. Then, to securing the peace; look to the French École Polytechnique and Arts Métier institutions, promoting the education of artistic and scientific principles to the population. Then, in the 20th Century, Charles de Gaulle’s concept that the sense and the service of your nation and progress implies, if it’s truthful, as Helga said, the advantage for all humanity as a One, expressed in multiple forms of contributions.
This is our challenge. The World Land-Bridge, the beautiful world economic and cultural Land-Bridge, is the challenge for our 21st Century. The arch and the pillars are necessary: those that are called Yemen, that are called Afghanistan, that are called Syria, and that are called African states.
In that context, a first step that I want to mention is a common French and Chinese project. It’s not a big thing, but it’s nonetheless more than €1.3 billion. It’s a project with seven different aspects. One is a project of cleaning the waters, with water management systems in Dakar in Senegal; three hydro-electric projects in Gabon, etc. It’s only a beginning, but this beginning, if we manage to go further, is a direction in which we should go, as was said by all of our panel contributors from Ibero-America. We want to educate people and create in everyone a sense of each person’s power for peace and common development, to know that each human being respects the other and tries to make of the other the best that he has himself or herself.
It is for that reason that we evoke and listen to the music of Brahms and Beethoven, as we always do in our conferences, not only for our minds, but for our deeds.
We will improve the world, because we are better human beings and think that the whole population in that sense can all also be better. We are, unfortunately, in a world where this is not shared. There is a cultural problem that we can overcome through contributions such as those made at this conference. The lesson of this conference, I think, is that all of us should contribute to that, because we may be few, but we represent the future of all.
Building a Better Future
Daniel Burke: I have a question that came in from Twitter in response to a map that I shared of the bi-oceanic corridor. Ma Hui, China’s Ambassador to Cuba, asks “Could be a mega, mega project! How viable is it?”
Yaya: That’s quite true. The territory is so vast, the resources are so vast. This implies that there is not just one single route. There are different points of entry to addressing the same question of exchange and development. The route can begin in Central America; it can begin in Brazil; it can begin in Uruguay. Different parts of Argentina can be where it begins. It can connect the entire region together. That’s the idea.
Burke: This question is from Alexandra for Helga: “What is your message for Eastern European countries, and for their citizens, who are at the center of this dangerous escalation? Some of these governments accepted American anti-missile systems, more NATO troops, and their leaders participate in the war propaganda. What can the citizens do for peace?”
Zepp-LaRouche: The argument is always that the smaller East European countries are afraid of Russia and therefore need protection, and so forth. Over the last 30 years, ever since the Iron Curtain opened, we had this proposal of the Productive Triangle practically in January 1990, six weeks after the Wall came down. We had this proposal in the form of a brochure how to connect Western and Eastern Europe through the Productive Triangle, which was the idea to integrate the region Paris-Berlin-Vienna through modern infrastructure, maglev trains, other high-tech investments—make it more productive; then bring in development in the form of development corridors to Eastern Europe, to Warsaw, to Hungary, etc. I travelled in these months when everything was still completely undecided and presented this proposal. This would have been very much in the interest of these countries.
I’m only mentioning it, because I have a hands-on experience of what went wrong. The problem is that a lot of the genuine self-development which occurred in these East European countries was bought off. People came in with checkbooks from the West, and said, “No, you are not going to be the leader of this group or party; you are going to be this.” They put up a system of very corrupt people. I could tell you some stories of very high-ranking people who were absolutely horrible. I don’t want to go into details, but not everything is what it looks like in these countries.
What is most important, to really understand that with the new development between Russia and China, a lot of these countries want to have good relationships with China. You have the 16+1, Lithuania dropped out in the meantime again, but most of the East European countries have long recognized that with China, they can have access to trains, to other infrastructure projects.
It’s a question of education, and to diffuse this idea of competition. The idea to have “Build Back Better” and “Global Gateway” as competition to the Belt and Road Initiative is really stupid. If you think about it, we have world famine of biblical dimensions with up to 300 million people on the verge of starvation, according to the World Food Program. In Afghanistan, 98% of the people are food insecure, which means they are in danger of not making it.
We really have to have a paradigm shift whereby we say, if the European Union wants to have a development, if the United States wants to have a development perspective, we have to mobilize a base of people who say, “We have to put these efforts together.” The East European countries would do much better.
In the coming period, with inflation, with the pandemic really not yet under control—maybe it is with Omicron dying down, but I don’t think so. The next pandemic is lurking around the corner. I think what we have to do is, we have to think, “Where will the future of humanity be?” I see the economic integration of Europe from Lisbon all the way to Vladivostok and extending beyond that, all the way to the southern tip of Argentina and Chile and to the northern tip of North America, going through the Bering Strait.
We have to integrate all that. Even the military-industrial complex. If they kill the whole world, they have no profit left, so I think the idea that we can think in terms of what Chas Freeman said in an interview recently: “Let the Chinese build a railway and put some American goods on that railway to transport. Or let the Chinese build airports and American planes can fly in technological knowhow to transform the underdeveloped somewhere in the southern hemisphere.” We have to get people to overcome this zero-sum game idea, and the East European countries should study the options and then fight for it. Then there will be some hope. If they remain the playground and play toys of geopolitics they will be smashed and have no advantage. Maybe this conference will help them to get a better idea.
Problems and Potential
Small: Before entertaining concluding statements, I would like to return to the concept that Lyndon LaRouche stated at the very outset in the first video that we watched in Panel 1, which is that in order to understand the world and deal with the world, you have to look both at the tremendous potential—referring to Eurasia—and also the terrible problems to be resolved, referencing Africa.
The issues raised by LaRouche apply immediately to the current situation. If we don’t solve the worst problems in the world, we have solved none. In Afghanistan, because of a system of war and geopolitics, 20 million people or more are at the verge of death. We have invited Zaher Wahab, the former advisor to the Afghanistan Minister of Higher Education, and Professor Emeritus at Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling to respond to what he has heard and to address the ongoing horrendous crisis in Afghanistan.
Zaher Wahab: Greetings from Portland, Oregon! Over the last 20 years, I have spent more than half of my time in Afghanistan working with the system of higher education. I returned to Portland about two years ago. I am on the phone daily—in fact, I was on the phone with several friends and associates this morning in Afghanistan. So, I have a pretty good idea about this life, the Hell on Earth. This was pointed out by Mr. Magliano, what he said about the hunger, poverty, sickness, disease, starvation, and so forth, is quite accurate. I know that the military-industrial-congressional complex along with the corporate media are now very eager to embark on a war with Russia over Ukraine. But I’m not going to deal with that.
What I’d like to do is to again talk about what must be done in Afghanistan, and what happened. The U.S. invaded, occupied, and I would say, deliberately under-developed Afghanistan for the last 20 years. Recently, it robbed the poorest nation on Earth, freezing all of its assets and declaring a more vicious economic war on the country.
I would ask the declining empire, that is to say the declining American empire, to end this economic brutality and to do the following: Unfreeze all of the assets of Afghanistan. Return the stolen money; money that was stolen from the people of Afghanistan by Americans, by Afghans, by Afghan-Americans, and by other people. Create a credible trust fund that would be managed by a reliable, credible force, giving money to the people in Afghanistan. Rush humanitarian aid to Afghanistan. Pay compensation to Afghanistan and Afghans. End the collective punishment. Apologize to the people of Afghanistan for destroying the country and its way of life. Leave people alone. The United States and the world must end never-ending charity and aid. These are important, but a country cannot live on charity and aid forever. We must develop the country, and we must restore a normal economy to Afghanistan.
So, these are the things that must be done. To build the new architecture for peace, development, democracy, justice, we must dismantle the old structures and systems of brutality, of war, of consumerism, of capitalism, of neo-liberalism, of imperialism, of colonialism. The world is indeed in mortal danger. We must move from competition, rivalry, war, destruction, and consumerism, and learn how to coexist peacefully and normally with each other. We must support the Belt and Road Initiative. Afghanistan is a key part of that initiative. So, we must restore normalcy to Afghanistan.
I believe that the world is in mortal danger, and we live in a very difficult time. We have serious problems throughout the world that truly need active and serious participation of all countries in the world. The Afghanistan case is one of the greatest moral failures of our time. Our humanity is on trial.
Small: We’re now going to go the concluding part of the discussion. I’m going to ask each of you in turn to reflect back on all the various elements of this discussion with your concluding remarks, to think back on the purpose of this meeting, which was to bring forces together from around the world to discuss the issue that we are not only 100 seconds to midnight on the doomsday clock, but also to present and discuss the solution—a new security architecture, which Helga Zepp-LaRouche has laid out in all essential detail in her presentation: The tasks before us—what we need to do to bring the world away from the precipice of thorough destruction, and into a New Paradigm.
Magliano: Robert Kennedy once said, “I see things and I wonder why; I dream dreams, and I wonder why not.” Why not a world where everybody is seen as a brother and a sister? Not as Americans so much, or Germans or Afghans, but as human beings? Where we share our resources and our technologies, but also our love?
Even if you’re not a Christian, I think Jesus put it very well: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, and soul, and love your neighbor as yourself.” He made clear that our neighbor is everybody, including our enemies. That’s how we make enemies into friends, by the way, as He well knew, of course.
We need to come to a paradigm where all life is respected, from the first moment of conception to natural death and everything in between; with the poor and vulnerable having the most preferential option of all, because they need the most help. But to raise them to the point where they have the resources to take care of themselves, and to give back, which makes us all more human—the give and take.
It’s building this whole, what we call in the Catholic Church a “consistent ethic of life,” where all life is respected; especially human life, but that extends to the Earth. Pope Francis recently wrote his famous encyclical, Laudato si—“In Praise of You, God”—subtitled “Caring for Our Common Home.” We need to also take care of the Earth, it’s in very bad shape, and we need to pass on an Earth that is not only habitable, but flourishing as it was in the past, to future generations. We owe it to the poor, but we also owe it to the unborn generations yet to come, to make sure that we have an atmosphere, a planet that is beautiful as God made it, and not in danger of becoming—as he also said—a filthy mess; polluted and over-warmed.
Let us aim for this more holistic view, and move away from this nationalistic view, and have a global view that we’re all truly brothers and sisters with one God as our Father.
Gallardo: We all have very different experiences, different concerns, very different histories from each of our countries. I want to close with the following thought: We want to build a new international security architecture, but we cannot build on sand, because the edifice will crumble. We have to learn to build on solid rock and on fertile ground.
I would like to see all human beings in the world, above and beyond their own nations, their own histories, their own religions, to embark on an ecumenical mission. That we build on morality, that we build on virtue, that we build based on respect of others, and that we build based on solidarity and fraternity. That we all learn, and that we issue a call for all of us to drink from the cup of the weakest; that we drink of the cup of the poor and the suffering; that we consider ourselves all brothers. And that we recognize in this call for a new world, the hope of people of nations, of humanity in general.
Committed to the security of the planet as princes of this divine creation we have inherited, we from Peru, from the Christian Democratic Party of Peru, call on all men of good will, and we make the commitment to make this a reality to ensure the security and development of all of the nations of the world.
Fuller: Perhaps just one very simple slogan that might sum up the major task of all of us, might be in the way we think about this world. It’s a term that’s now used a bit more frequently, and I know China has often used it: That’s simply a “win-win” solution.
That has probably been somewhat alien to our black and white Western or even formerly global Cold War mentality, to think that there can be win-win. But win-win is indeed very possible, and we need to bend our thinking more in that direction. The usual response from many so-called realist political thinkers in the West or elsewhere in the world is “You can’t expect to change the world. Every nation is going to think of its own interests.” That is true, but I think the important consideration here is, what are a nation’s interests? What are the world’s interests? One can have a very narrowly defined selfish sense of one’s own interests, or one can have a very expanded vision of what one’s own interests are. That can be rather a different plan, a different approach to it.
I hope that this concept of win-win is not viewed as some kind of idealistic, unrealistic approach at all, but simply an expansion of what the interests of all countries are, which surely cannot reside in the continuation of poverty and conflict.
Cheminade: Words on Earth in the next 50 years, words of human history, words of living: let’s listen to the wise words of Lyndon LaRouche. And share the process of our Schiller conferences to improve ourselves as we have improved today. Learn, educate, create, fight, and win. Win for the advantage of the other, for the advantage of all, and have fun in winning.
Yaya: I want to tell about my original testimony as a young boy. I had the privilege to enter an educational system based on the development and learning of technology. Then, at the university, I continued my studies in engineering. What I learned throughout this entire process was how to create, out of nothing. To create out of nothing, with whatever resources were available. Then, in my profession, I had the honor to meet other professionals from around the world, also coming from the defense-industrial conglomerate sector who had received the same education as I had. They had the same ability to create. They didn’t do this to destroy; they did it to build. In speaking with them, frankly, they all said to me that even though some of them had been trained to destroy, if this were all simply turned to building rather than destroying, all of the material problems of the world would be resolved.
We are talking here about Ukraine, and the great fear in these countries, in Russia, is that they would not have time in those 15 seconds to deal with this equilibrium of terror, of destruction: all those technologies which have been used to destroy us. If all of the people that were involved in the business related to this destruction simply changed their structure of businesses, thinking, for example, about conquering outer space, they would even be able to ensure their survival as companies. Believe me, building is easier, even though it might seem more difficult, than it is to destroy.
Principles of a New International Security Architecture
Zepp-LaRouche: In thinking about what principles an international security architecture must be built upon to be durable, it seems obvious that we have to move away from opinion. Because opinions are many, there is no criteria of truth in it. We also have to move away from prejudice. But, how can we put it on a foundation which is more profound?
What is more profound than natural law? Natural law, if you want to discuss it from a religious standpoint, was the idea of humanism and theology in Europe for many centuries: that there is a lawfulness in creation which is deeper and more profound than any positive law man could make. If we don’t want to discuss this from a religious standpoint, we can say that the lawfulness of the physical universe must be somehow reflected in such a new architecture. Fortunately, we know more and more about the physical universe.
Think about the tremendous progress mankind has made in only 10,000 years, which from the standpoint of the history of the universe is a nanosecond. In 10,000 years, we have progressed in an incredible way from almost the Stone Age to now having the James Webb Space Telescope, which is already in its position at Lagrange 2. Soon it will start to give pictures and tell us about the 14 billion years our universe is supposed to have existed. Then, we will come to the crucial question: Did this universe start with the Big Bang, or did it exist even before? Was it eternal?
That brings us to the question of bringing humanity into adjustment to the laws of the physical universe, which, at least in respect to the future ahead of us, means we should try to become the immortal species. Because what a waste if all the beautiful compositions in poetry, in music—the Beethoven, Brahms we heard—and all the beautiful writings; if that would all have been for nothing; which is what is at stake if we go into thermonuclear war.
So, let’s try to become the immortal species! That can only happen if we adjust our affairs on Earth to the laws of the physical universe and the meaning of why we are here in the first place.
Small: We have our work cut out for us! We thank everyone who has attended this conference; we thank all of the panelists and speakers. We most especially thank Helga Zepp-LaRouche. We should proceed, keeping in mind what Lyndon LaRouche said in that first video we heard, which is that problems, if you’re going about solving them, are fun! So, we have a lot of problems, and I guess that means we have to have an awful lot of fun. Thank you all very much, and we seek to see you all back soon.