Go to home page

Schiller Institute Keynote—‘Whom the Gods Would Destroy: War with Russia and China Is Worse Than MAD!’

June 26, 2021 (EIRNS)—What follows is the full transcript of Helga Zepp-LaRouche’s keynote at Saturday’s opening panel of the Schiller Institute Conference under the above title. The graphics are displayed in the panel video, which can be accessed at the Schiller Institute website or on the Schiller Institute YouTube channel.

Helga Zepp-LaRouche: I greet you, friends of the Schiller Institute, wherever you may be all over the world. These are truly extraordinary times. If the ordinary citizen of any country would be aware how close we are actually to nuclear war, which, if it would happen would lead to the annihilation of civilization, I’m sure that there would be a world revolution. We had an extremely dangerous moment on April 13th of this year, when two U.S. warships were about to enter the Black Sea, and a large mass of Russian troops amassed at the Ukrainian border.

Now, at that time it was told to them that they were playing with fire, and the two U.S. ships turned around. In the aftermath, the summit between President Biden and President Putin resulted, because there was, obviously, a recognition of the need to have such strategic dialogue. In this summit, a very important reconfirmation was made; namely the famous sentence which was spoken between President Reagan and President Gorbachev at the time, that no nuclear war can ever be won, and therefore, must never be fought.

Then in a typical British provocative way, as if to sabotage this dialogue between the United States and Russia before it can develop into an actual relationship to establish strategic stability, on June 23rd, a British Royal Navy destroyer which Dennis just mentioned—HMS Defender—violated Russian territorial waters in the Black Sea in the region of Cape Fiolent. Now, Russian border patrol vessels were delivering warning shots, and Russian jets started a warning bombing at the HMS Defender’s path of movement—not on the ship, but on the path of movement, and in this way forced the British warship to leave the territorial waters of the Russian Federation. But, this caused alarm in all capitals and military headquarters around the world, because people recognized what this could have led to.

Konstantin Gavrilov, the head of the delegation of the Security and Arms Negotiation in Vienna, said, “I warned the ex-rulers of the waves”—the British Empire—“next time, bombs will be dropped not ahead of the target, but on the target.” This was confirmed also by Deputy Foreign Minister Ryabkov. This was not the only incident, but the most provocative for sure. In the last month of last year, we had seen a whole pattern of near incidents in the air, near-collisions of NATO jets and Russian vessels last year, along the Russian border. Then, people are also very much aware of the Damocles sword of provocations around the Taiwanese moves towards independence, possibly followed by Chinese military action and a possible war between the United States and China.

It is existential to understand why this is happening, and what needs to be done to avoid an otherwise foreseeable catastrophe. If you believe the Western mainstream media, or governments, then they are on the right side of history; they are the defenders of the “rules-based order” of the “free world,” and “Western values” against “autocratic regimes” like Russia and China, who are committing one human rights violation after the other, poisoning their political opponents, oppress their population in surveillance states, etc., etc. But what makes it so difficult for the ordinary citizen is, what has vanished in the recent period is any standard of historical truth. What we see, instead, is a fight to control the various “narratives.” “Narrative” being an arbitrary account of something.

Recently, in the Global Times, they discussed that the United States were “othering” China, and that this would be a prelude to a conflict over Taiwan. Then, they quote the Merriam-Webster dictionary to explain what “othering” means; namely, to make another culture appear as a large uniform mass, rather than a diverse group of individuals; making that group appear as less human than one’s own group. One can also say to “other” somebody or “other” another country, is to create an enemy image for a coming war. That is what we are looking at with the recent anti-China, anti-Russia campaigns.

Part of this control of the narrative is, naturally, the interpretation of recent history. In this way, they count on the very short memory of citizens, and they put out narratives such as “Putin annexed Crimea,” and by that logic, naturally, the British war ship did not enter the territorial waters of the Russian Federation, but of Ukraine, and that would be legally totally OK.

Then another such narrative is “NATO never promised the Soviet Union or Russia not to extend eastward.” Let’s take a look at this one. Just a couple of weeks ago, the British Royal Institute of International Affairs—otherwise called Chatham House—in May had a report called “Myths and Misconceptions in the Debate About Russia.” They set out to dismantle 16 myths. In particular, myth #3 about Russia, that the West promised Gorbachev to never expand NATO eastward in discussions around the German reunification after the Berlin Wall fell in November 1989.

Here you see a picture of Gorbachev and various other interlocutors at that time. According to the National Security Archives at the George Washington University, they published in 2017 a report that there are 30 classified documents with the title “NATO Expansion; What Gorbachev Heard,” which has the clear proof that Gorbachev was promised and deceived many times.

For example, the interpreter of the Soviet Foreign Affairs Minister Shevardnadze, Stepanov-Mamaladze, has in his notes from February 1990 reflecting U.S. Secretary of State Baker’s assurances to Shevardnadze during the Ottawa Open Sky conference, “And if a united Germany stays in NATO, we should take care about non-expansion of its jurisdiction to the East.” Also, President George H.W. Bush assured Gorbachev at the Malta summit in December 1989, the U.S. would not take advantage of the revolutions in Eastern Europe to harm Soviet interests. Also, on the 31st of January 1990, German Foreign Minister Genscher made a major speech in Tutzing, Bavaria, that the German unification process must not lead to an impairment of Soviet security interests; therefore, NATO should rule out any expansion of its territory towards the East, i.e., moving closer to the Soviet border.

The formulation “closer to the Soviet border” was not mentioned in treaties, that is true. But it was mentioned in multiple memoranda and conversations between Soviets and the highest-level interlocutors like Genscher, Kohl, Baker, Gates, Bush, Mitterrand, Thatcher, Major, Werner, and also Ambassador Matlock and Teltschik and others.

This is a memorandum Gorbachev wrote to Baker on the 9th of February 1990. Baker said, “The President and I have made clear that we seek no unilateral advantage in this process.” Here, on the left, you see the facsimile of these notes. Gorbachev told Kohl on the 10th of February 1990, that the future of Germany in the common European home would be more important, and therefore the Tutzing formula of Genscher would be relevant. Kohl, on his side, assured Gorbachev that NATO should not expand its spheres of activity, and at that time there was even talk about a security structure including the Soviet Union. There are 30 such documents, and the leadership of the European Union, who were in these processes at the time, obviously have either political amnesia, or they are lying when they insist on the contrary.

Now we, the LaRouche movement, are not commentators about this period, because we played a very active role by presenting an economic solution to the crisis after the fall of the Wall in January 1990. We presented the Productive Triangle of Paris, Berlin, Vienna, which was the idea to bring economic development through corridors into the countries of the Comecon.

In 1991, we presented the Eurasian Land-Bridge, which could have been a peace plan for the 21st Century, which is now coming into being in the form of a new Silk Road.

But while these promises were made, plans for a unipolar world were already in preparation. The neo-cons in the United States formed the PNAC, the Project for a New American Century. They proceeded to plan to re-establish an unipolar world with color revolutions, regime change. Then, there was the famous speech by British Prime Minister Blair in 1999 in Chicago, where he practically said from now on, the Peace of Westphalia is obsolete; international law no longer is in existence. Instead, we have the right to protect, we will have humanitarian interventionist endless wars.

So, they proceeded with that, and as Putin recently in his article for the 80th anniversary of the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941, recalled these broken promises, he says there were five waves of NATO expansion, including into the former Soviet republics. Fourteen new countries joined NATO, and many countries were put in front of an artificial choice to either go with the collective West, or with Russia.

It was that process which led to the Ukraine tragedy of 2014, where the West openly supported a coup, which brought Nazis into a position of power in the government and in the army. We all remember the infamous words of Victoria Nuland, who bragged that the State Department had spent $5 billion on NGOs in Ukraine leading up to this moment. And the vote of the people in Crimea to join Russia was the result and the response to that Nazi coup in Kiev. And that history has to be straightened out.

All together, NATO expansion eastward was between 800 kilometers, namely, from the border of West Germany to the eastern Polish border with Belarus; and 1000 kilometers between the eastern Norwegian border until the border of Estonia.

This idea of a unipolar world, which is based on the “special relationship” between the British and the United States, has the idea that the whole world should be run under globalization, a global empire. And, naturally, Fukuyama said at the time, in 1989, that this would be the end of history, that the whole world would adopt the Western democratic model.

Now it is the nature of empires that they tend to overstretch, and this is exactly what has happened. There is a significant blowback. You should ask your questions, were all these endless wars which happen ever since, really worth it? Were they all in the interests of the United States, or not?

Let’s take a look at a couple of those. Now, the United States and NATO are about to leave most of their troops from Afghanistan after 20 years of war. Already in 2019, people should remember, the Washington Post published the Afghanistan Papers. These were 2000 pages retrieved through Freedom of Information Act procedures which interviewed 400 insiders, who gave a ruthless account about the lies of the supposed success in Afghanistan. The absolute incompetence of conducting this war, in which 2,400 U.S. soldiers had lost their lives by 2019; 20,589 military were wounded, and 157,000 lives were lost altogether. These Afghanistan Papers quote, for example, Rumsfeld, who said, “I have no idea who the enemy is.” They quote General Lute, “We had no idea what we were dealing with; what we were supposed to accomplish.”

Even after the Afghanistan Papers were published, NATO presence in Afghanistan continued for two more years. Recently, Prime Minister Imran Khan of Pakistan said “No” to the request of the United States to set up bases in Pakistan to operate operations inside Afghanistan from there. If the most powerful military machine in history was not able to win this war in 20 years, there is, obviously, no point in having bases in Pakistan to continue this.

Let’s look at another case. We all remember that Nancy Pelosi, in response to an audience member in her December 5th, 2019 CNN-reported town hall meeting, admitted that, in her capacity as the Ranking Member of the Intelligence Committee, she knew that the basis of the Iraq War was false. She said, “So, I knew there were no nuclear weapons in Iraq. It was just not there.” The Gang of Four, which is a group which normally in the Congress gets informed about intelligence matters, all the intelligence they had, the intelligence did not show for that; that was the case. “So, I knew it was a misrepresentation to the public.”

It is very clear that if Pelosi knew, the whole Cabinet of the Bush administration had to know. On February 5th, Secretary of State Colin Powell made a presentation to the United Nations Security Council that he had solid proof of weapons of mass destruction being secretly deployed by Saddam Hussein. (Please show the video.)

Colin Powell: [video] One of the most worrisome things that emerges from the thick intelligence file we have on Iraq’s biological weapons, is the existence of mobile production facilities used to make biological agents. Let me take you inside that intelligence file and share with you what we know from eyewitness accounts. We have firsthand descriptions of biological weapons factories on wheels and on rails. The trucks and train cars are easily moved, and are designed to evade detection by inspectors. In a matter of months, they can produce a quantity of biological poison equal to the entire amount that Iraq claimed to have produced in the years prior to the Gulf War. [end video]

Zepp-LaRouche: Now, I don’t know how Colin Powell can live with himself, because, as Lawrence Wilkerson implied, they all knew ahead of time, and Pelosi admitted it, that these were lies. According to Lawrence Wilkerson, who was the Chief of Staff for Powell at the time, he said that Powell walked into his office and told him, “I wonder how we will feel if we put half a million troops in Iraq and march them from one end to the other in the whole country and find nothing?”

In the Iraq war, between 150,000 and 1 million people died, depending on whose account you look at. This war cost $2.1 trillion; this is just Iraq. Up to the present day, the country is absolutely devastated.

Let’s look at another case. Right now, we have the 50th anniversary of the release of the Pentagon Papers, which was a top-secret study about the war in Vietnam, which, according to the New York Times, demonstrated that the Johnson administration had systematically lied to the public and to the U.S. Congress. Daniel Ellsberg, one of the authors of this report, leaked the papers to the New York Times and the Washington Post. After the injunction by the Department of Justice, approached several sitting members of Congress, who turned him down. He then gave these papers to Senator Mike Gravel, who read them into the Record of the Congress in a spectacular operation. Mike Gravel is a hero for that reason, and we greet him, because he worked with the Schiller Institute on very important topics.

President Johnson had argued that the aim of the Vietnam War was to secure an independent, non-communist Vietnam. But both Assistant Secretary of Defense John McNaughton and Secretary of Defense himself Robert McNamara admitted that the real aim was to contain China. The administration had secretly enlarged the scope of the operation with coastal raids on North Vietnam and Marine Corps attacks, all blacked out by the mainstream media. As the whole world knows, this war was also a complete disaster.

Recently, the 90-year-old Ellsberg wrote about another intervention. Because during that same time of the Pentagon Papers, Ellsberg also copied another classified study which showed how seriously the American military took the threat of nuclear war during the Taiwan crisis in 1958. This study was almost unnoticed for 50 years, until in 2017, Ellsberg published it online, and the New York Times highlighted that last month. The context for this is the present heating up of the crisis over Taiwan. These older war games showed that the Chinese would win a conventional war over Taiwan, and that this would raise the question of the United States resorting to the use of nuclear weapons just as the U.S. commanders had considered in this incident in 1958.

A redacted study of the crisis of 1958, written in 1966 for the Rand Corporation by Morton Halperin, which was classified in 1975 with one removed passage, suggests that senior military leaders, including Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Nathan Twining, felt that the use of nuclear was inevitable. Nuclear strikes deep into China would be a necessary response

So, Ellsberg called for more whistleblowers to speak out about the present debate in the U.S. military about these matters. One such whistleblower did. Franz Gayl, who until recently was the science advisor to the U.S. Marine Corps working in the Pentagon, published two op-eds in the more or less official Chinese government paper, Global Times. The title of one of them is “Why U.S. Will Lose a War with China over Taiwan Island.”

The Washington Post of June 13th reports about this, and also about geopolitical debates in the Pentagon that we are possibly sleepwalking into a war between the United States and China. Franz Gayl said, “Why would I write an op-ed for a Communist paper, and is that not outrageous for a civil servant?” Then he refers to the debates of whether the United States should change their long-term strategy in respect to Taiwan from “strategic ambiguity” to “strategic clarity” that the United States will defend Taiwan, which was left ambiguous for many years, and now supposedly is to become certain if a war breaks out. Obviously, the Taiwan Relation Act gave an encouragement for the renegade secessionists and that unlike the United States, who abandoned the Vietnam ally after 60,000 Americans had been killed there; China, in light of the history of the past 200 years, would never give up, is argued by Franz Gayl. Gayl has been suspended in the meantime, he has no longer security clearances, but he said it’s absolutely worth it, because in his view, “We are running out of time as a country.”

At a recent NATO summit on June 14th in Brussels, it was made very clear that with the NATO 2030 Agenda, there are plans to build a global NATO. They want to keep the open-door policy to have more partnerships with more countries turned into memberships so that Article V can be applied.

On the target list of turning partners into potential members are Sweden, Finland, Georgia, Ukraine—despite certain dampening by President Biden to Zelensky—Bosnia-Herzegovina, countries in Africa and the Indo-Pacific, reinforced partnerships with the quart of Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea, and future partnerships with India. Naturally, always this would be directed against Russia and China, which are characterized as a threat and a challenge to the “rules-based order.”

As the Brussels summit also talked about the NATO Climate Change and Security Action Plan 2030, it is becoming clear, and it was stated, that NATO now becomes the leading international organization understanding and adapting to the impact of climate change and security. They want to be part of reducing the greenhouse gas emissions from military activities, reaching net-zero emissions by 2050, [bringing] climate change considerations into NATO’s full spectrum of work. NATO will issue its first Climate Change and Security Progress Report at the 2022 summit, to track progress and reassess the level of ambition.

What is happening here? From the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, to a global military power pushing the climate change agenda? How does this fit together? It is not so surprising if you look at the overlap between the military and the financial interests. We published recently a Great Reset report, where we showed that Wall Street and the City of London are behind the climate agenda.

On the 25th of April, the German paper Welt am Sonntag had an extensive article and charts also showing the complete overlap of investment banks, hedge funds, Green organizations, the World Wildlife Fund, Fridays for Future, think tanks, etc. This has to be complemented with a complete overlap between the financial interests of the City of London and Wall Street with the military-industrial complex as President Eisenhower called it in his farewell speech to the nation in 1961.

This military-industrial complex (MIC) which Ray McGovern, who we will hear from later, has called the MICIMATT—the Military-Industrial- Congressional-Intelligence-Media-Academia-Think-Tank complex—is a very useful book called Understanding the War Industry by Christian Sorenson, which documents the symbiotic relationship between the war industry and the financial “industry.” Very much worth reading; just his remedy is mistaken, because he thinks the military-industrial complex can be dismantled with the Green New Deal, and he completely overlooks that the Green New Deal is the policy of that complex.

For example, the top five investors in Lockheed Martin are some of the top financial firms of Wall Street. The State Street Corporation, Vanguard Group, BlackRock, which by the way manages $8 trillion of funds of investors, Capital World Investors, and Wellington Management Group. Renée Sigerson, in a recent book review of this Sorenson book, points out that it’s these same five investors who own large parts of the shares of all four of the big four military production firms in the United States.

Also, the mega-firms of Silicon Valley are interwoven with the surveillance apparatus of the intelligence services, who we have seen in action in Russia-gate—the British-directed coup attempt against President Trump—and all the anti-Russian, anti-China think-tanks are in sync with this policy.

For example, the Atlantic Council published recently the report of an anonymous high government official with the title “The Longer Telegram,” which openly calls for the toppling of President Xi Jinping.

Part of this is the revolving door between Wall Street firms and Congress; between the Pentagon and the military industry; between the intelligence community and the media, etc., etc.

For example, General Dynamics put former Commander of the U.S. Central Command, General James Mattis, on its Board of Directors in 2013, for a very lucrative job; he made $1 million while in this position. Then, he testified before Congress that reduced military spending was a threat to U.S. national security. Then, he became Secretary of Defense in 2017; continued the endless wars; oversaw weapons sales to European, Mideastern countries, Australia, and others; finished in January 2019 as Secretary of Defense, and rejoined the Board of General Dynamics in August.

To make sure that the media is on line, former CIA chief Brennan is now at MSNBC, and former Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, now is working for CNN.

Recently, both Gorbachev and Putin compared the United States with the Soviet Union; that the United States would be following a typical scenario of an empire. Confident of their unlimited power, empires create unnecessary problems for themselves until they no longer can cope with them. One of the contributing reasons for the collapse of the Soviet Union, if you remember, was the neglect of investment in basic infrastructure and the civil part of the economy to the advantage of the military and security apparatus.

MICIMATT has taken over a good portion of the U.S. economy at the expense of infrastructure, and is collapsing the real economy—schools, education. And what we see in the United States is a sort of primitive accumulation in the sense that Yevgeny Preobrazhensky discussed it for the Soviet Union in the 1920s, except that it is not so legitimate as Preobrazhensky thought at the time.

Now, let’s take a look at what Eisenhower in 1961 said in his farewell address:

“[W]e have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United State corporations.

“This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence—economic, political, even spiritual—is felt in every city, every state house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

“We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted; only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”

So, the urgent question today is, will this MICIMATT and its equivalent in Great Britain and NATO in general, which so far lives on the principle of the endless wars—because that is what fuels this machine—continue and expand, globalize, and very soon end up in a confrontation that would be the end of civilization?

Even if people may think what I’m going to say now is utopian, there is an absolutely feasible alternative approach. It is, in principle if not in detail, what Lyndon LaRouche proposed in 2005 in order to save the U.S. auto industry and what was published as “The Economic Recovery Act of 2006,” a comprehensive plan to retool large parts of industrial capacities of the United States. The United States and Europe are suffering right now from a variety of problems which could be remedied. The American Society of Civil Engineers already several years ago said that there was a backlog of $4.5 trillion in infrastructure investment. One can easily double that figure, or even say more, because we have a severe collapse of over-aged infrastructure; unsafe bridges, pot holes in roads and highways, and so forth, and so on.

There is, in the entire United States, no fast train system. The United States has a ridiculous 30 km where the speed of trains goes up to 150 miles per hour. Thirty kilometers, as compared to 40,000 km of fast-train system in China, which goes 350 kph, and operating test runs for a maglev to go for 600 kph.

What we need to do is, a national task force should be assembled, and they must pull together the most advanced machine-tool design engineers, and calculate what it requires to retool the better part of the military production capacities for the production of modern infrastructure: a modern fast train system; nuclear plants; new science cities; and so forth, and so on. Models could be the Reconstruction Finance Corporation and its amendment, the Defense Plant Corporation Act of 1940, by which thousands of auto and other industrial plants were retooled at the time for defense production. This time it could take the reverse direction for civilian production.

The entire southwest of the United States has been plagued since years by ever-larger droughts which could be remedied by water management programs such as NAWAPA XXI, which would deliver corridors of fresh water, be the framework for a new system of infrastructure, the production of nuclear fission plants, desalination of ocean water, an increase of agricultural production, and new science cities.

This is a model of a new science city for the United States modelled on the beautiful Italian Renaissance proportion to make the point that these new science cities can also be very beautiful.

This is just a rough estimate, but there are approximately 6.1 million people employed today in the military-industrial complex, not counting the other aspects of MICIMATT, like the intelligence think tanks, media and so forth. Could a portion of this highly-qualified labor force be deployed in the economic reconstruction of the United States? Naturally, this has to be combined with LaRouche’s Four Laws: a global Glass-Steagall banking separation; a national bank in every country; a credit system in the form of the New Bretton Woods as it was intended by Franklin D. Roosevelt, and not as it was implemented by Truman and Churchill; new economic platforms through international cooperation in fusion research; space research cooperation among all the space-faring nations. A change in thinking like that has to start with the agreement among leading nations of the world to collaborate in the construction of a world health system to fight the pandemic; namely, a modern health system in every country. This will be the subject of our panels tomorrow.

LaRouche anticipated the reactions to his proposals. He said, in a speech on March 18, 1998:

“[T]here’s an obvious objection to be expected from most critics. The customary objection will be, that such a sudden and radical approach is ‘politically impossible.’ Perhaps those critics are right. Perhaps it will prove impossible politically to find a significant number of governments willing to push through such radical measures in a short-term period. If those critics are right on that point, then civilization will not live out the present century in its present form. If those critics are right, then the first generations of the coming century, will experience a planet-wide New Dark Age, a catastrophe on a global scale like that which Europe experienced during the middle of the 14th century.

“I would therefore respond to such critics, with the following impassioned recommendation. I say to these critics, as President Franklin Roosevelt forewarned the Congress, during his First Inaugural: Let those political leaders who lack the will to carry out the measures I have proposed, get out of the way, and pass the authority to act to those among us who are willing and able to enact these measures, and do so suddenly.

“The immediate future of this civilization, if it is to have an immediate future, lies in the hands of those who are willing to act with pungency and force, along the lines I’ve indicated. That said, let us be optimists. Let us push the voices of those useless critics out of our minds, and concentrate on the actions which must be taken to avert the catastrophic economic collapse which now threatens to crush us all in the very near future.”

Unfortunately, LaRouche’s warnings were not taken seriously during his lifetime. Maybe it took getting to the brink of the nuclear apocalypse and the pandemic, for people to realize that we have to “listen to the wise words of Lyndon LaRouche” as López Portillo had noted in the same year of that LaRouche speech. Thank you.

Back to top    Go to home page clear