Helga Zepp-LaRouche Keynote Address to February 14, 2015 Schiller Conference
Keynote Address, Schiller Institute New York City Presidents' Day Conference, Feb. 14, 2015. See the video here.
DENNIS SPEED: For forty years, as indicated in this, which is available for you in the back, Lyndon LaRouche campaigned for a new international economic order. And over the course of that 40-year period, particularly the last 25 years, the last quarter-century, that campaign took a very specific road after the fall of the Berlin Wall. A set of policies of were initiated, advanced, developed, promoted, tirelessly, particularly in Europe and particularly in Asia, the keynote speaker and founder of the Schiller Institute was the center of, the heart of, the sparkplug of, the guidon of, the banner of that policy. Not only could that policy not have occurred without her, and specific at the time that that initiative was upgrade, Lyndon LaRouche was incarcerated unjustly, in a prison in the United States, largely for what you've just heard him describe in the audio tape we just played.
One of the confusions that has existed continually among Americans, in discussion about the policies of Russia and China in particular, is that these are somehow "foreign" policies and that the United States is being asked to "join" up with the foreigners. When in fact, the policy that Russia and China in specific, and the BRICS nations as a whole have adopted, is a policy that was born in, nurtured in, developed in, and then extended from the United States, in a particular and unique collaboration between two individuals: Lyndon LaRouche and our keynote speaker.
This is important, because the concept of America, and the concept of being an American is not a geographic one. It's not the piece of dirt called the United States, though many of us may love that piece of dirt. And it's not a bad thing to love the United States, but that's not what an American is. The idea of the United States and the idea of America is a principle, it's an immortal principle. Yes, it is in fact made immortal in the form of the Preamble to the Constitution, but it's only kept immortal by the actions of individuals.
Our keynote speaker exemplifies the American principle at its highest level, because at its highest level, the American principle is the most important expression of humanist, Platonic, advanced scientific culture ever devised. And it's important that we not allow any of those terms that I just mentioned, to be dragged in the dirt by people who don't understand them. Being a human being, and aspiring to be the most that humanity can be, requires a sense of art, as well as a sense of necessity. And in the founding of the Schiller Institute, and the basing of the American initiative for economic justice and development in the bosom of poetry, our founding speaker added an essential element that was missing in the United States, which has allowed us to impel a process, worldwide, that no one else could have accomplished.
So it's always my honor, and particularly today, at this time of the Presidents' Day holiday—this is a person we would be running for President except for technical reasons—I'd like to introduce Helga LaRouche. [standing ovation]
HELGA ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Thank you for your nice welcome, and these very sweet words of you.
It is a particular pleasure to be in New York, because my last speech I concluded here by saying I talk to you as a New Yorker. Very people know that I used to live here for several years, and naturally, this was a reference to the famous speech by Kennedy in Berlin.
I think we are right now confronted with an unbelievable situation. We are still extremely close to World War III. This danger has been alleviated a tiny little bit, three days ago, when you had the intervention by Mrs. Merkel, President Hollande, Putin, and Poroshenko, at their meeting in Minsk, and an agreement was reached, the so-called Minsk II agreement.
But I hate to tell you, this is a very, very short and potentially very, very fragile breathing space of maybe hours, maybe days, maybe weeks, and the reality is, we are still absolutely on the eve, on the two minutes, or two seconds, before World War III. And that has been generally understood now in Europe, I think, much much more than in the United States, and we are still also at the verge of a potential complete blowout of the financial system. And that is the reason why we are in this war danger.
Because the war danger is not just Ukraine, and the danger that that war could go out of control. The war danger comes from the fact that the Empire—that which has developed since the end of the Soviet Union as a system of globalization—is about to blow out in a much, much bigger way than we had it with Lehman Brothers and AIG in 2008.
Let me quickly go into where we stand strategically.
This agreement, the so-called Minsk II agreement, is a 10 point agreement. It includes a ceasefire, which is supposed to start tonight at midnight. Then, it's supposed to pull back the artillery and other heavy weapons systems into a minimum 10 kilometers safe zone. It's supposed to re-establish the demarcation line which was established already in the Minsk I agreement in September, and does not include the territorial gains of the rebels in the fighting since. It is supposed to be supervised by an OSCE team. It is supposed to include an amnesty for many, not all but many, of the prisoners of war, also a prisoner of war exchange. Kiev, the government, is supposed to restore the wages, pensions, and the banking system in East Ukraine, and it will give special status of autonomy to Donetsk and Luhansk, and basically all foreign fighters are supposed to be pulled out.
It is also expressed by the four leaders—Merkel, Hollande, Putin, and Poroshenko—that the chance that this agreement would last would be greatly enhanced if there would be a better cooperation between the EU, Ukraine, and Russia.
Now, it is extremely fragile. Why am I saying this? Because it is now that what I used to call the "Ibykus principle," the nemesis of the evil deed, could haunt the people who tried this agreement. Because it was the despicable refusal of Merkel, in particular being the head of the German government, who 70 years after the end of World War II, and the end of the 12-year Nazi regime in Germany, did not admit that the crisis in Ukraine had been caused by a Nazi coup which brought into the government not just neo-Nazis, but real Nazis, going way back all the way to Stepan Bandera and that organization that had helped the Nazi occupation of Ukraine in the '40s.
These were networks which were kept all the way in the post-war period, by the CIA, by British MI6, and the German Gehlen organization of the BND. They were kept sort of like the Gladio operation of NATO, as a stay-behind, in the case of confrontation with the Soviet Union during the Cold War.
Now, these were "good Nazis" because they were owned by the West, but then in the evolution of the Maidan, they made a coup on the 21st of February, and that was not recognized by Germany, France, the United States, the British, the EU—they all went along with it, and they all pretended that this Ukrainian government had been a legitimate government and that basically it was okay to work with them.
It happens to be the fact that after the Minsk II agreement was just announced, immediately, Dmytro Yarosh, the head of the Right Sector, and other members of these Nazi groupings, which are in the National Guard, and several independent battalions in the Ukraine militia, they announced they will not endorse the Minsk II agreement, they will keep fighting.
These people have the ability to wreck that fragile Minsk II agreement, because they are Nazis, and they are well-equipped, and they are being better equipped by the United States, right now. Because as the Minsk agreement was being negotiated, Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, who's the head of the U.S. Army Europe, announced that he will continue with the arming of these people, with the training of them, obviously for the war against the "rebels" in the East, and potentially beyond that.
This is a situation which must stop. Because if this is not ended, if these Nazis are not disarmed, and if those people who are backing them are not blamed and put to responsibility, this has the potential of blowing up immediately into World War III.
That means that Victoria Nuland, who is Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, who has been all along the backer not only of these Nazi networks, but also of what she calls "Yats," the so-called Prime Minister of Ukraine. As you all remember this famous discussion she had on the phone, which was then taped, with the U.S. Ambassador in Kiev, Geoffrey Pyatt, in which she said these famous words, "F*** the EU," meaning that they wanted to go ahead and put in their property Yatsenyuk at the disadvantage of the German project Vladimir Klitschko. Everybody was shocked and made a spectacle that she used such vulgar language, while the real scandal, she was caught red-handed in interfering into the internal affairs of a sovereign country by imposing this Yatsenyuk, whom she calls "Yats," who is the one who is backing all these people from the Right Sector, and other Bandera networks.
So, you have something which potentially can become the tragedy of extinction of mankind, if this is not cleaned up.
So, we have published a big dossier on this, which I want you to access and to read, and really help us to get the Congress to investigate this, because this is right now the Achilles' heel of the whole further existence of civilization.
I just now returned from a two-week trip to Germany, and also Denmark, where I had a series of events, to do essentially what we are doing here—to try to mobilize more people to the reality of the strategic situation. And I can tell you that what I'm saying now is not some reading of some reports or so, but I can tell you firsthand, from many discussions I had with people in Germany, but also other people, East and Western [germany] people, and also in Copenhagen, that what caused Merkel and Hollande to all of a sudden develop this hectic diplomacy...
Because this came practically out of the blue. All of a sudden, Merkel and Hollande went to Kiev, they met with Poroshenko, they met with Yats. Then they went to Moscow. They met for several long hours with Putin. Then Mrs. Merkel came back. She rushed to Washington, talking with Obama. Running back to Germany, attending some other European Union functions, and then attending on Wednesday [Feb. 11] this Minsk meeting in Belarus.
Now I can assure what caused this sudden eruption—also from the best I can tell you, uncoordinated diplomacy, not coordinated with Washington—it was the clear perception that the world was about to blow up.
Because at that time, the news that the Americans were about to send "lethal defensive weapons," whatever that is supposed to be, into Ukraine, and that there was a perception that that would lead to an immediate provocation of Russia. Because by arming these unholy elements in Ukraine, with heavy American weapons, meant de facto a NATO-U.S. intervention into Ukraine, and given the extreme tenseness of the situation, the heavy, brutal warfighting going on in eastern Ukraine, meant that the Europeans thought, if this happens, then the Russians will react, and then you go into a big war over Ukraine, and there will be a big war, not only in Ukraine, but in all of Europe. And by the very nature of it, it will a global thermonuclear war.
And that's why they developed this extremely hectic activity.
Spiegel Online had, all of a sudden—and some of you know that, because you have been following what we have been saying and doing—we have been warning that the policies of NATO expansion to the East, the policy of Global Prompt Strike, first strike doctrine, the global U.S. missile defense system, all of that meant that we were extremely close to World War III. But nobody would talk about it. This is one of the absolute scandals: that you are about to go extinct, and the politicians, because they are too cowardly, are not talking about.
But suddenly, you had a whole eruption of articles. Spiegel Online had an article in the same days that Merkel was running around, basically saying the "nuclear specter is back." And it showed on the picture, two warheads which were directed whoever looked at the picture, so the idea that this is about to happen was clearly mediated. Quoting then the American analyst Theodore Postol, who basically had warned that the present first-strike doctrine of the United States, is a miscalculation, because it assumes that you can win a pre-emptive first nuclear strike. And it referenced many other such things.
Now, the politicians up to that point were, what we call in German, or there is an idiom saying "playing the ball very flat," which is being low key, not exposing yourself too much, just trying to get ahead. But this is now changing.
Just today, there was another Spiegel Online article, and this is a complete change in profile, basically saying, under the headline "The War Next Door: Can Merkel's Diplomacy Save Europe, or Will It Lead To An Out-Of-Control War, and Even a Nuclear War?" So, I can assure you, this is unheard of, but still, as compared to the immediacy of that danger, that we are the verge, maybe minutes, maybe hours, maybe days away, from the extinction of civilization.
We're not talking about some war. We're talking about—if it comes to a nuclear war, using the entire arsenal of all the nuclear powers in the world, because it's the logic of nuclear war that that will happen—then nobody will be left. Mankind will be extinct. And the fact that that is not being discussed is something we have to absolutely change.
Now, behind closed doors, a lot of people admit that the situation right now is much more dangerous than during the height of the Cold War, and that includes the Cuban Missile crisis. Because at that point, even when the Cuban Missile crisis was at the absolute maximum, you had a private, secret communication between Khrushchov and Kennedy. This is now recently published, that they communicated, and it has been acknowledged in the recent period by several analysts and experts, that that kind of code of behavior does not exist between Obama and Putin. They do not communicate. There are some telephones between the military, the Russian and the American military, but, as some of these people who are very much involved in this told me personally, they do not know that what the military are talking is backed up by the political leadership.
And that creates an area of absolute, extreme worry.
But in France, in Germany, in Italy, and other countries, there is right now a behind-the-scenes discussion which only comes up a little bit: Should Europe assert its own interests, or go up in a nuclear war? And that is a new phenomenon. It's like the entire foundation of the postwar, trans-Atlantic alliance is crumbling. And when Vice-President Biden, in a recent occasion—I think it was the Munich Security Conference—almost magically repeated that there is no split in the Alliance, Merkel and I are on the same line, then that was a very meager attempt to cover up this situation.
It is interesting, because the former Chief of General Staff of the Bundeswehr, the Germany army, General Kujat, just a few days ago, two days ago, appeared on a very prominent talk show, the first channel German TV, where he said that the Ukraine breathing space which has been gained since Wednesday, can only be solved if the United States changes their profile. That only if Obama would sit at the same table with Putin and that they would agree on both the Ukraine solution and the general change in the strategy could there be a calming down of the situation. Ukraine has to agree because, or it would affect Ukraine because of the strong dependence of Ukraine on the United States, because this Ukraine Kiev government is a U.S.-sponsored government, and Russia because only Russia, and Putin in particular, has the feeling that they're being recognized as a co-equal world power with the United States and not in a disrespectful way, called a "regional power," like Obama recently did; which Kujat said is ridiculous. Any country which has ICBMs, nuclear warheads on ICBMs, is not a "regional power." So, he said also, that in order to set the record straight that Russia never wanted to directly intervene in Ukraine militarily; if they would have chosen to do so the conflict would have been over in 48 hours; it they would have wanted to, they could have occupied Kiev in a matter of days. And basically, he also pointed to the fact that despite the strong elements of Nazi components in the militias and the National Guard in Ukraine, that the Ukrainian army is in a completely desolate state and it would take years to get them to be an effective fighting force.
As I said, right now, despite the Minsk agreement, Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges said he will not slow down the proactive deployment of the U.S. military in Ukraine, and the NATO forward basing of headquarters in Poland, in Szczecin, and the transfer of a battalion of 600 paratroopers from the Vicenza in Italy of the 173rd Airborne Brigade to train the Ukrainians there is also going forward. Just to repeat, they intend to train the National Guard, the Right Sector, these Nazi groupings, groupings which openly display swastikas and other Nazi symbols.
So that is what we are dealing with. And I think we have to cause in the United States a real discussion that this is what the war danger constitutes, and if it's supposed to be stopped, then that has to be stopped. And these Nazis have to be disarmed — I don't care how — they have to be disarmed by the U.S. troops, by the OSCE, by the UN, I don't care how but they have to be neutralized! And there will be no solution to the Ukrainian potential trigger of World War III until that is done.
As I said, the real reason for the war danger, is on the one side, the fact that trans-Atlantic financial system, or what you call "globalization," the combination of Wall Street, the City of London and associated institutions, are about to blow in a complete way, where one too-big-to-fail bank goes, the whole system will come down. And that is why it is absolutely true that when Putin said, that if it was not Ukraine to find a point of conflict, they would have found some other pretext for the confrontation. Russian foreign minister Lavrov said the same thing; he said Ukraine is merely a pretext for a larger geopolitical goal, and that has also been just stated by nobody else but the former ambassador of the Reagan administration in the Soviet Union, Jack Matlock, who just gave a very, very important press conference in Washington where he said that he absolutely shares the assessment of Lavrov.
Now, you have a situation where we are hovering on the point of a collapse: Wall Street, because of the investment in the oil shale and gas investments, because of the collapse of the oil price, because of a complete bankruptcy of that system where all these banks are 40% larger than in 2008, were up to 85% more exposed to derivatives than at that time; so this is about to blow. And you heard from Professor Katsanevas that the European banking situation is not one iota better, and there, we are now in an equally dramatic situation.
Now, there is a huge change in Europe. Europe is no longer the same as it was a couple of weeks ago, exactly because of the election victory of Syriza and the Independent Greeks, because what these two parties made their election campaign with: they promised they would end the absolute, brutal austerity policy of the Troika, a policy which in the last several years had cut the Greek industry by one-third, increased the death rate, the suicide rate, and collapsed the birth rate, and led to a youth unemployed of 65%! So you can imagine what is the mood in a country where two-thirds of the young people are unemployed. So on that program that he would end the policy of the Troika and cancel the Memorandum, Alexis Tsipras won an overwhelming, not a total majority but almost, but together with the Independent Greeks, they have now a government which according to the latest polls enjoys 70% support of the people.
So, the unheard thing happened: They got elected, and after the election, they said, "we're sticking to our election promise." [laughter] Now that has never happened in recent history in any country of the West. For example, there was the famous instance of the SPD politician in Germany, Walter Müntefering who said on some occasion, "it is so unfair to be reminded of your election promises you made a couple of months ago"! No, but these people said, we stick to it, we'll cancel the Memorandum, and not only that, we are not only talking for Greece, but we are planning to use that situation to change the entire failed policy of the euro for all of Europe.
That is why they are so completely freaked out, and that is why right now, Schäuble, Merkel, even Hollande on that point, despite other lip service, Renzi from Italy, the ECB, they are all on a complete hard line, and they say, "we insist that the pound of flesh has to be paid, the Greeks must stick to the Memorandum, there is no softening of the situation."
Now, this is headed for a clash also. Today, there was a meeting of the so-called "technical" people supposed to work out some discussion of how to do this, but Tsipras just said, let these technical people talk, that doesn't mean that Greece will be blackmailed; we are not blackmailing anybody, but we do not allow ourselves to be blackmailed either. And basically, we will stick to our guns, we will not capitulate.
Now, I remember that in '89, when shortly before the G.D.R. came down, everybody knew already, East Germany was completely bankrupt, they were really collapsing, they'd lost all authority, the people wanted to travel abroad, they had these large Monday demonstrations, and then, I think it was the 8th or so of October, there was the 40th anniversary of the D.D.R. and they had this huge military parade with tanks, with rockets and whatnot, and Honecker said, "Socialism in its course, will not be interrupted by the ox or donkey" [Den Sozialismus in seinem Lauf hält weder Ochs noch Esel auf"] It means socialism will be here for 1,000 years. Twelve days later, Honecker was out; three weeks later the Berlin Wall had come down and at that point, the people who were sticking to the line until the last moment were called the "Concrete-heads," [blockheads, Betonköpfe]; heads made out of concrete, while those people who quickly changed their views were called the "Wendehälse," the turncoats, wrynecks, because they could turn their necks around so many times. Anyway, now we have these same concrete-heads, Merkel and Schäuble and they will probably have a similar fate.
Why is the euro finished? Because if the ECB makes a compromise and softens the conditions for Greece, then that will have a signal for all the other countries which suffer from similar austerity policies, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, but even France, where people really hate the kind of German austerity policy, it would be a signal for them that they will also not allow the austerity. If on the other side, they push Greece out of the euro, which could happen very quickly, then, naturally, and you heard Professor Katsanevas talking, then Greece may become by force the first country to join with the BRICS, to go for other sources of financing; they already have asked for that, with Russia; Russia already said they would help them. Kammenos, the defense minister, is right now in Moscow. The Foreign Minister Kotzias was a professor in Athens for the BRICS; the BRICS is his specialty, he would teach courses in Chinese even. The Chinese have bought into the port Piraeus and so that may go in another way.
The reason why they are so freaked out, it's not that they are only sadists — even so in the case of some of these politicians I'm not sure if that's not an element — but the reason why they are freaked out is not because of the money Greece has to pay back in terms of debt, for only 10% of all the so-called bail-out package were ever spent in Greece! Ninety percent went back to the banks! To the German banks, the French, the Italian, the Spanish banks, and that's why this new government says, why should we pay money which Greece never got and they don't want to pay? The reason why they're so freaked out is because of the derivatives bubble: Because nobody knows exactly how big the derivatives exposure is of those banks, and if they would basically cancel this regime it would not only touch the European banks, it would also probably bring down the American banks as well, because in this whole bail-out procedure you had a swap agreement between the Federal Reserve and the European banks, and when all of this quantitative easing was going on and all this money printing, a very large percentage of that money, maybe half, went in reality to the European banks. And these banks are completely entangled and that is why they are so absolutely freaked out.
Basically, the so-called Rettungspackete, the bail-out packages which in the case of Greece was in the last five years EU246 billion, so only about EU24 billion of that stayed in Greece, and that's not so much at all.
The reality is that the trans-Atlantic banking system is completely bankrupt. They all have a derivatives exposure of somewhere in the range of $2 quadrillion and that is money that cannot be paid. And these people are rather willing to go for war, and say "we want to maintain our system and especially when we see, Asia is rising, China is rising, we'd rather bring down Russia as a part of the BRICS and destroy this Asian combination, than to admit that our policies have failed."
Well, if you go back to the period when the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact collapsed, to go into the question of how did we get to this point? Pope John Paul II at that point said that the world should not conclude from the fact that the Soviet Union had collapsed, that the free market was a superior system. He said, if anybody wants to know why I'm saying that, look at the condition of the Third World, and then you know why this present system is governed by "structures of sin." And the recent Pope Francis repeated the same idea in a different way, by saying that this is an economic system, to which the Fifth Commandment must be applied, that it is a system that kills and therefore is highly problematic proposition.
In that period from '89 to 1990 — Dennis was referring to it — we had this idea of an alternative and I was making many, many speeches, saying that if one would now make the mistake and superimpose on the bankrupt communist economy, the equally bankrupt free-market economy, that it may be possible for a couple of years to extract huge amounts of profits and wealth by the method of "primitive accumulation," by just looting the economies of the former Comecon countries, but it would come then to an even bigger collapsed, sometime soon in the future, and I think that point is absolutely there.
Unfortunately, people didn't listen to John Paul II, because at that point you had in the United States, the neo-cons who were convinced that they had "won" the Cold War, that the Soviet Union had been defeated, that they did it, and that their system was the superior system. In their arrogance, they created something which was called the Project for a New American Century doctrine, which was invented in '97 already and which was then the basis for this idea of spreading a world empire, spreading globalization up to the point where no country which would oppose this system basically was allowed to stay in place.
At that point, the historic chance which existed at the point of the collapse of the Soviet Union to create a new peace order, because the enemy was no longer there, communism had vanished, that chance was missed and it also failed to include Russia into any new agreement.
The contrary happened: All the promises which were given basically in the period of the collapse of the Soviet Union, in the negotiations between Bush and Gorbachov, and were given to [the German government of] Kohl and Genscher, that basically, if Russia would let Eastern Europe go free, not react with tanks or not react with violence, then basically there was the promise that NATO would not expand to the borders of Russia. That promise has obviously been broken many times and frequently and again and again, and at that point Russia, you know you had a turbulent situation, you had Yeltsin, but Russia was not hostile to the idea of an independent Ukraine, and still in 1994 the Budapest Memorandum was giving security assurances, and this so-called "Budapest Memorandum" was undersigned by the presidents of Ukraine, the Russian Federation, the United States, and Great Britain and it was signed on Dec. 5th, 1994. What it included was the idea that Ukraine, which in the Warsaw Pact had been also a heavily nuclear-armed country would give up all ICBMs and totally dismantle all its nuclear weapons, and receive guarantees in return for its political independence and that none of these weapons would ever be used against Ukraine, except in the case of self-defense, and that the West would also refrain from economic coercion.
Victoria Nuland, who presently is one of the people who should be removed from power in the United States, if World War III is supposed to be avoided, bragged publicly that the State Department spent $5 billion on NGOs in Ukraine, leading up the color revolution. And that led, as we know, not only to the Orange Revolution in 2004, but basically also to the recent developments.
It was basically part of this idea to expanded NATO to the borders of Russia, to change regimes in Eastern Europe who would not be willing to submit; but also, one to change the "narrative." This is a very important concept and I already see people a little bit worried about what I'm saying, but I know this is not what you read in the Washington Post and in the New York Times: But the brainwashing which has been done to the American people and to the European people is unbelievable! Putin was demonized and all of a sudden had the "narrative," that Putin is a dictator, Putin wants to recreate the Soviet Union, Putin is this and that — now just think: Eighty-five percent of the Russian people support Putin, now for a dictator that's a pretty broad consensus. Since the rule by consensus is sort of the opposite of dictatorship, it should pose in your mind the first question.
If you look at the historical record, the then-NATO General Secretary Wörner, on 17th of May 1990 in Brussels at a NATO meeting, that already the fact that we are ready not to station NATO forces beyond the borders of the unified Federal Republic of Germany, is providing security guarantees to the Soviet Union. Now he was as much the NATO General Secretary then as it as Rasmussen, until shortly before, and as it is Stoltenberg now. He was no less a NATO General Secretary than these people. Now, either NATO General Secretaries lie all the time, or only half of the time, I don't know.
The same thing was also admitted by Horst Teltschik who was, together with [then Chancellor Helmut] Kohl in these negotiations around the German reunification and he was the former head of the Munich Security Conference. The same thing was just, again, reiterated by the former Ambassador Jack Matlock who spoke for an organization called the Committee for the Republic, which is an American patriotic organization, fighting to defend and protect the American Constitution. He gave a press conference just three days ago, on Feb. 11 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. And he was instrumental in ending the Cold War at the time, and he blasted the present administration and the Congress, saying that they have an autistic foreign policy, that in the negotiations, he was involved with Bush and Gorbachov in '89 and '90, definite promises were made to Gorbachov. There was no written treaty, because it was self-assumed that what the word was, was valid, so nobody thought it was even necessary to write a formal treaty about it — and that was broken.
Now, the narrative is, that Russia since that time would have refused all offers for cooperation. The truth is, it is 100% the other way around. Russia has made, again and again, proposals for cooperation: For example, as Matlock was just saying, Putin, immediately after the attack on Sept. 11, offered help to the United States and eliminated immediately so-called listening posts in Cuba, to cool down the situation, he removed vessels from Cam Ranh Bay [vietnam], and basically tried to cooperate. That same year, 2001, Putin made as the first Russian President, a speech in front of the German parliament in German! And he said that he took the courage to speak in the language of Goethe, Schiller, and Kant, and he emphasized role of the Russian people in making it possible for the Soviet leadership to decide on a policy which made the peaceful reunification of Germany possible after the Fall of the Berlin Wall, without bloodshed and quite easily. And one has to note, I want it to be remembered, that it was Russia which fought the Great Patriotic War against the Nazi regime, and they suffered tremendously. And for them to be so generous to say, we allow German reunification because the Russian people have a deep feeling of friendship with the German people, meant that they had the very laudable ability to distinguish between Germans and Nazis. And that is not self-evident for everybody, and especially not for Hollywood, because the first culture shock I experienced when I came for the first time to the United States, in '73, and I watched some of the movies about World War II, where I thought "What country are they talking about?"
Anyway, so he pointed to this fact, and therefore, that one has to understand that not only Putin, but all the Russians are extremely disappointed about all of these broken promises. You know, the Soviet Union could have disintegrated violently! It could have led to a total catastrophe, they could have not allowed German unification. So, then came a couple of years later, the famous speech by Putin the Munich Security Conference, which used to be a prestigious conference to discuss security matters; now it's not prestigious any more, because at the recent conference they invited George Soros and the head of Greenpeace for a panel discussion!
But Putin made a speech there, at this conference [in 2007] and that should have been a wakeup call for people in the West, because Putin expressed a very deep disappointment, about the United States in particular and their effort to create a unipolar world. And he pointed to the fact that this was another word for going for an empire, and pointed to the fact that look at the numbers of wars and local conflicts which have increased as a result of that effort. He didn't go into it, but he could have said, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Tripoli, Assad, and so forth and so on.
The increase in the use of violence in international affairs, ever more conflicts, the lack of power to settle only one of them, the international law which has been violated again and again, and the more and more countries feel insecure and as a result acquire weapons of mass destruction, which has created extreme dangers to the world. So he at that point in 2007, said: Let's rethink together a global security architecture, and he already then pointed to the fact that China, India, Brazil, Russia, South Africa, are all countries growing in importance and therefore a multipolar world would be much more reasonable. And he made several proposals, for example, to create multinational for uranium enrichment which would be under strict international control and thereby eliminating the danger that countries would try to acquire peaceful nuclear energy, and then, at the sign also have weapons-grade enriched uranium, and that way you would solve the problem of nonproliferation. He also demanded a more just system of international cooperation which would give a chance for the development of all countries, something which in the meantime has evolved to become the BRICS.
In Germany, today, if you challenge somebody who has the narrative that Putin is a demon, he is being denounced immediately as a "Putin-versteher"; that means a "Putin understander," somebody who understands Putin, and that is supposed to be the two by four argument that if you are accused of being a "Putin understander," you're out, you're not talked about any more, because the official narrative is that Putin is the demon. And the person has to be silenced instantly.
And in Russia, on the other side, in the spirit of patriotic support for Putin, they have now opened a souvenir shop which says "Putin Versteher" and they're selling t-shirts which have beautiful different pictures of Putin — Putin with a dog, Putin in some other gear — and then they have quotes. They also sell rings with the picture of Putin and these are selling tremendously. So I already thought, maybe, as a polemic against these "narratives," we should open up an international chain of such souvenirs, just to — I hate it when people act stupid, so this should help.
But we have to look at this notion of narrative, and we should throw it into the garbage can. Because it is sophistry of the worst kind. A "narrative" or the notion of "narrative," has been developed by such people as Cass Sunstein, one of the advisors of Obama, the author of this book Nudge. And to nudge is not eating with maybe making noises, but to nudge means the method by which you convince, let's say, a group of people to believe the opposite of what they believed before, by "nudging" them, by manipulating them until you have them where you want them to be. And that is also not just in terms of manipulation of words, it's also policy. For example, have you heard that the sanctions against Russia are there so that Russia changes its policy? Sanctions in that theory is a policy of nudging.
In reality, sanctions are a policy of war; that has not only been stated by Lavrov and Putin but just now, by the former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir, that sanctions which have the aim to change the regime of another country are a form of war. So basically the Russian policy until they capitulate to the unipolar world.
So this is where we are. I think it is very clear that if we don't go away from that kind of axiomatic behavior and thinking, we will have World War III. And we have to urgently put an alternative to the war on the agenda, because war would be the end of mankind in any worthwhile form, and maybe altogether.
There is no legitimate reason why we should put civilization at such a risk, because all where this danger comes from is the Wall Street, City of London and similar institutions, and the people who are playing with that danger — I mean, I know that in America, the military-industrial complex, the violence, everything which goes along with this mindset, has become all-dominant. But if they risk the existence of civilization, how should you call that? Insane? Criminal? I don't think these words are enough. I think we have to invent a new category for the types of people who are putting at risk civilization's existence.
Lyn was referring to it earlier, that after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Gen. Douglas MacArthur already said that from here on, every war will lead to extinction and now, 70 years later, we are exactly at that point.
Where is the solution to this? The answer lies in the fact that mankind is the only creative species, at least known so far. I know there are some scientists right now sending signals out to find some message; others are opposing it, because they don't know whom we would encounter. But so far we are the only creative species, until the animal kingdom, and we can see the future. At least, we can have an idea what the future is like if you continue in a certain direction or in another one.
Now, most people think in terms of deduction, that is, that they cannot think of the future, because they extrapolate their experience of the past, and remain practically within the system of the present, established parameters. Now the problem we have right now, obviously, is that these parameters are all breaking apart, because we are at a point of the international crisis where either we all go dead in a thermonuclear war or, as a minimum die in an uncontrolled collapse into a dark age, which will then lead to an uncontrolled use of nuclear weapons, in a lawless state. That world is controlled by the financial oligarchy, and everything is focused around the dance around the Golden Calf. The Golden Calf is the monster which must be kept happy, even if it means the sacrifice of millions and billions of human beings.
The immediate and only solution to that is the conclusion that the trans-Atlantic system is finished, and that a new system is already in the making. It could be resolved fairly easily, because the new Greek government is pushing the idea of a European debt conference in the tradition of the London Debt Conference of 1953, where the German debt which resided from the time between the two World Wars and also the credits of the Marshall Plan were cut by about 60%; the total debt was cut from $38.8 billion to $14.5 billion and that cutting of that debt was what made the German economic miracle possible.
When Alexis Tsipras says he does not only want that for Greece but for all Europe, it makes total sense. Because Portugal, Spain, Italy, France, Ireland, they're all in essentially a similar situation. And, such an idea to have a European debt conference is being supported by a growing number of economists, who basically say that the German insistence and the ECB insistence — on behalf of the British, naturally, and the City of London — to have this absolute brutal austerity does not make any sense, and that therefore what needs to be done is the opposite. The aim must be to increase the living, unlike the Troika which just almost cut it in half, to link the debt pay to 5% of export surplus; if there is a deficit, then the debt payment must be interrupted until the growth comes back; there must be an encouragement to replace imports through domestic production, which is totally forbidden right now with the global free trade system; and there should be no conditionalities attached, like budget cuts and similar things.
Now if there would be such a European debt conference, which may happen, either peacefully or in a turbulent way, then the first step must be a separation of the banks according to the Glass-Steagall law, and then, basically commercial banks, savings up to a certain upper limit, state bonds, obligations stemming from the real economy, where if you would not respect them it would cause severe damage, all of that must be put under the protection of the state. While the investment banks have to sort out what is legitimate and what not in terms of their debt, and then, if they can solve the problem, because they no longer get bail-out packages or have access to the accounts of the commercial banks, they have to declare insolvency.
The second, immediate problem which has to be solved then, is the problem of the state debt. Because these states have no incurred large debts because they paid for these bail-out packages which went to the banks, and therefore that has to be sorted out and differentiated what is legitimate and what not. But much more important than that, is new credit for the modernization of infrastructure in Europe, and by the way, also in the United States, because when you run through these highways, I mean, it's almost a human rights violation, because you bump up and down like crazy!
But there was everywhere in the trans-Atlantic sector a complete negative investment in infrastructure in the last decade, and roads and bridges are collapsing. Just two days ago, in Wiesbaden, the major bridge between Wiesbaden and Mainz collapsed! It just collapsed! And there is for 50 km, no other bridge where you can cross the Rhine and to the other side. And they say they need five years to build — I mean, we have to get the Chinese to help. [laughter]
What needs to be done, then, is a credit system in the tradition of Hamilton, and basically, one can use some of the unpayable debt as capital for a European infrastructure investment bank, which could be called EIIB, , and that EIIB could perfectly work together with the Chinese AIIB, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and then, basically immediately you could start producing again! There is no reason why that should lead to any kind of interruption of the economy! Because we have developed already in 2012, when it was clear that these Troika policies would ruin Southern Europe, we wrote a program which we called "The Program for the Economic Miracle of Southern Europe, the Mediterranean, and Africa," which was consciously an extension of the Eurasian Land-Bridge and which has heavily influenced the Greek election campaign among other things, because people, at least spread this massively in many languages including in Greece.
So, the big question now, is will the euro survive this? Probably not. But this euro is an artificial currency, where it would have been better if it had never been invented. Because it was the outgrowth of the same Project of the New American Century ideology which led to this NATO expansion and encirclement of Russia, and at that time, it was for Germany to give up the very stable deutschmark for the euro, as a price for the unification and to put Germany into the straitjacket of the Maastricht Treaty which was what imposed all of this austerity regime, and the Eurozone, as we said, before the euro came into being and before there was any discussion of that, we say Europe is not an optimal currency zone, because you cannot put countries which are completely agrarian like Greece and Portugal and some others, into a currency union with highly industrialized countries like Germany, France, and some of the Nordic countries.
So for a certain amount of years, this led to a boom, in Greece, in Spain, in Italy, but this boom was a bubble, and now we have alone around Madrid, 1 million empty condominiums and tourist places which are completely empty now, naturally. So obviously, in Germany it led to stagnation of the domestic market, the euro was not to the benefit of Germany, even if that is said ad nauseam, the German wages were absolutely stagnant. So if these countries would regain control over their sovereign currency, then there is no reason why they cannot join the BRICS and the World Land-Bridge.
Now, as you see, we have published this report, EIR's "The New Silk Road Has Become the World Land-Bridge", which goes even beyond the enormous amount of projects which the BRICS countries have concluded after the summit of the BRICS countries in Fortaleza, Brazil last year, which was enormous. We have talked about it in the past, but these countries, between the BRICS, Latin America, the ASEAN countries, they are involved in an enormous amount of projects which people here have no idea about, because the mass media are not reporting about it.
What we have done with this World Land-Bridge report, which is sort of the extension of our 25-year-old world, because this is what we proposed when the Soviet Union collapsed, we proposed already the connection of European and Asian industrial and population centers, through the development corridors, and that is what these BRICS countries are now doing, and what we are proposing is to really develop a worldwide global infrastructure connection, so that in a few years, you can travel on a maglev train from the south of Chile, all the way up the Bering Strait, down to Mumbai, India, or if you like better to the Cape Hope in South Africa, and that will be faster, than if you go by ship. And that is on the horizon, and that will be not only an economic basis, it will be also the basis for a new peace order.
What we have to shift is a new paradigm. We have to leave the area of geopolitics, because it is geopolitics which has led the world two times to a world war in the last century, and we have to go to an idea of a win-win cooperation among all nations as President Xi Jinping has said it many times.
For the Americans it's also an easy concept, because what China does today is what was the foreign policy concept of John Quincy Adams, who basically had the idea not that the United States should be a superpower and a world-dominating imperium, but should be a republic in an alliance of perfecting sovereign and equal republics in the world. In order to get that, we absolutely need to have a mass movement for development and that mass movement is spreading. Because in the last couple of days, on the 11th, you had in several dozen German and European cities, support demonstrations for Greece; they have called for a new worldwide demonstrations for tomorrow, on the 15th, so I would ask all of you to join that and spread the word. So let's just think, what do we have as a choice before us? The negative one, extinction, I think nobody in their right mind, wants. But just imagine where we could be in the world in a very short period from now. If we go in the direction of the World Land-Bridge, in a few months hunger could be eliminated in a few further months, you could have safe drinking water for everybody on this planet. You could declare a war against the desert, because with the help of huge amounts of desalination of ocean water you could turn all the deserts from the Atlantic coasts of Africa all the way, the Sahara, the Sahel zone, the Arabian Peninsula, the Middle East, Iran, all the way to China, where you have a gigantic strip of desert, that could become lush farmland, gardens, woods. [applause]
In a few years poverty could be completely eliminated and every child could have access to universal education, and that would be not just "some education" but it would go back to the principle of the Humboldt education system, which also determined the education system in the United States in the 19th century, where the goal is not to make money when you are finished, but the goal is to have a beautiful character. And Humboldt defined how to accomplish that. He said there are certain categories of knowledge which are better suited to achieve that goal than others. One is the command of your own language in the most beautiful expression, like the great poets have, then universal history that you locate your identity by being thankful to the contribution of the generations before, and enriched, give it to the future generations. It means, naturally, music, science, it means geography, it just means the development of all of your talents in the most harmonious way.
If the joy of discovery would be in this way encouraged in children, then you would not have people who stopped thinking when they leave school, or even earlier, but you would have basically, soon, a common, accepted goal that the aim of education is the beautiful character, or, as Schiller calls it, the "beautiful soul."
The present popular culture of ugliness, the glorification of violence would be replaced by a love for beauty, a love for Classical music, every children around the globe would learn the bel canto method of singing, or Classical instruments; children would replicate the original discoveries of all great inventions and discoveries of the past. They would basically not only know their own culture, in depth, but they would also start to know and love other high points of other cultures, of the Chinese culture, the Indian, the Russian, the Arabic, the Persian, the Greek, the Egyptian, and out of the knowledge of these cultures would develop love for the other cultures and nations.
The silly lust for the pleasure in the here and now, would be replaced by a genuine desire for creativity, the joy of scientific breakthroughs, the discovery of new principles, of new, beautiful compositions in Classical music, people would love to write poems, write new, great dramas, and make also movies with intelligent plots. [laughter] Something which has not happened for a long time!
They would produce documentaries which would make it possible for every child on the globe has access to every universal knowledge there is, and that would change human relations. People would no longer relate to each other like in a soap opera, trying to cheap and stab each other in the back, but they would have human relations like the ones between Schiller, Goethe, Wilhelm von Humboldt, Körner, Einstein, Planck; and if you read the letters among these people, you see how richly people can relate to each other by discussing universal laws in science and in art.
But most importantly, this cultural Renaissance, would be going along with an aesthetical education of man and that would accompany scientific and technological progress. There would be the recognition that only the morally educated man is entirely free, because only such a mind carries within itself an inner fullness of life that cannot be lost. The feeling for the beautiful must be then combined with the feeling for the Sublime, because the Sublime is that which sets man truly free, because if you connect your identity to those values which transcend your own limited mortal life, that you become maybe not physically secure, but you become morally secure and nothing can defeat you.
So this is what elevates us about the power of nature. Because the sensuous instincts have no influence on reason, and our mind is only governed by our own laws of creativity. This beautiful character will be as common for that future society as you have the petty selfish man, today. And he or she will find pleasure in justice, in beneficence, in the fulfillment of all duties which will become like a light play, because people will do passionately what is necessary, and they will have a philanthropic heart, an empathy for all of mankind in which all of the talents are developed of all human beings in a harmonious way.
"The ability to feel the sublime is therefore one of the most glorious predispositions in the nature of man, which, both because of its origin from the independent capacity of thinking and of the will, deserves our attention, and also because of its influence upon moral man, deserves the most perfect development."
That is from Schiller from On the Sublime.
Now, the sublime must be added to the beautiful in order to make the aesthetical education a complete whole, and only if the sublime is wedded with the beautiful, and our receptivity for both has been cultivated in equal measure, are we perfectly citizens of nature without it being slaves and without frittering away our rights as citizens in the intelligible world. I want you to think about that, because the present condition of mankind is not worthy of man. We have sunk into such a deep dark age, and I think we have to go back to the high point of high points of Classical culture as it was expressed during the time of the American Revolution, by Benjamin Franklin, by Lincoln and such people, but also high points of other cultures to get back to who mankind is. If we want to conquer this, and find the identity of man in the future, in space development, in becoming the truly immortal species, it has to be accompanied with these ideas of beauty and the sublime, because only if the aesthetical education goes along, that we can make this necessary shift. And for that we need a true mass movement for development and also for the development of the soul.