'Securing World Peace Through Embracing the Common Aims of Mankind'
On the eve of both the 15th anniversary of the September 11th attacks and the convening of the UN General Assembly, the Schiller Institute hosted an extraordinary conference in midtown Manhattan. The featured speakers of the conference, titled "Securing World Peace Through Embracing the Common Aims of Mankind", included Helga Zepp-LaRouche, EIR's Jeffrey Steinberg, former Attorney General Ramsey Clark, Virginia State Senator Richard Black, Permanent Representative to the United Nations from the Syrian Republic, Bashar Jaafari and U.S. Congressman Walter Jones.
DENNIS SPEED: My name is Dennis Speed and on behalf of the Schiller Institute I want to welcome you to today's conference, " Securing World Peace Through Embracing the Common Aims of Mankind." The Schiller Institute was begun in 1984, and prior to that, on Sept. 27th, 1976, one of the founders and collaborators of the Schiller Institute, the late Fred Wills, then the Foreign Minister of Guyana spoke to the General Assembly of the United Nations, representing the United Nations Security Council, on Sept. 27, forty years ago, and put forward, one of the earliest expressions of the development policies of Lyndon LaRouche, the economist and statesman. His wife, Helga, founded the Schiller Institute in 1984, and we're all happy and proud to have been associated with those decades-long efforts.
We're going to begin first with a video statement from Helga LaRouche, the founder and chairman of the Schiller Institute.
HELGA ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Hello. Dear Conference Participants: Naturally, Mr. LaRouche and I would have preferred very much to be in person at your conference, but we transmit greetings this way, because we are presently in Europe and we have very important things to do there.
So let me nevertheless give you a message of very good news. Because much unnoticed by the mass media in the United States and in Europe, the world has changed in the recent days for the better. There were a couple of international conferences in Asia. The first one in Vladivostok with very prominent participation of President Putin, of Prime Minister Abe of Japan, President Park of South Korea; and the focus of this meeting was to conclude very, very large economic projects and the economic integration of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and the Silk Road/Belt and Road initiative. Now that means huge development of the Far East, the economic integration of all of these Asian countries for peaceful cooperation. There was even discussion of a possible peace treaty between Russia and Japan, which has not happened since 70 years, so this is very, very important.
But then, even more important was the G20 summit which just took place in China, in Hangzhou. Now, China had a very, very ambitious plan with the G20 summit. They had prepared in depth for over a year, through numerous conferences on the level of various ministers, think tanks, various groupings, and the intention was to transform the G20 from an alliance of countries which would just want to talk about crises, like the 2008 financial crisis, into an alliance of countries who would form a body for global governance, to jointly take care of the issues of this Earth. And they succeeded in doing that.
You may not have heard about it in the mass media, or if so, with a nasty spin, but what really happened is that Xi Jinping, in already a business leaders' meeting, the so-called B20, and also at the actual G20 meeting, pronounced a plan for putting innovation into the center of the global economy; and most importantly inviting especially developing countries and emerging countries to fully participate in the benefits of science and technology, of innovation, in order not to hold up the development of these countries.
Now, this has completely changed the dynamic in the world because now you have the situation where much of Asia — and this was continued at the following ASEAN summit — is working together for peaceful cooperation in a "win-win" perspective, through basically adopting the Chinese model of economy.
All of you who have ever been in China, will confirm that China has undergone the most unbelievable economic transformation of any country on this planet. Forty years ago, or 45 years ago, China in the Cultural Revolution was completely backward, poor, people were miserable, and then, starting with the reforms of Deng Xiaoping, China started to put a lot of emphasis on intellectual development of its own labor force, of innovation, of leapfrogging; and over a long time, the period where China was just copying technologies from other countries has really stopped, and China is now the vanguard in space technology, in fast trains, in electronics, in various forms of other advanced science and technology areas.
And China has offered to the rest of the world to participate in this Chinese economic miracle in a "win-win cooperation" by developing the New Silk Road/Belt and Road initiative to the whole world as a global development perspective.
This idea has such an attraction that, for example, following the G20 meeting, at the ASEAN conference, all the ASEAN countries basically agreed to the Chinese agenda by putting to an end the conflict over the South China Sea, by saying that in the future all territorial and other conflicts will be solved through negotiation and dialogue. There will be cooperation in terms of fighting for security issues, such as fighting against terrorism, developing other means to develop each other. And so therefore, this whole threatening conflict over the South China Sea is really ended.
This is wonderful news! And it shows that if you put a development perspective "in the interest of the other" on the agenda, that there is no problem on this planet which cannot be solved. This means that we have now, for the first time, the possibility to really move to a new paradigm. Obviously, the problems of the developed sector, of the United States and Europe remain gigantic and so far there was not really a resolution of the fact that the banking system is as threatened right now as it was in 2008 with the collapse of Lehman Brothers. For example, Deutsche Bank has now the same cost for CDS, credit default swaps, for collateral derivatives insurance as Lehman Brothers had in 2008; which means that speculators are betting on the possibility of the collapse of Deutsche Bank. The interest rate policy, zero interest rate, negative interest rate of all the central banks which have applied that, has come to an end. The options are out; what more do you want to do than negative interest rates? Where banks and customers have to pay money to put their money into the bank, instead of getting interest. The whole quantitative easing has created, really, a hidden hyperinflation, and "helicopter money" is really the end of the rope.
So therefore, the efforts to implement Glass-Steagall, which are going on in the United States, and in Europe right now, must be implemented, and we have to organize Europe and the United States to simply join in this perspective of joint development. The United States has to go back to the reforms of Franklin D. Roosevelt; Europe has to go back to the policies as they were, for example, with Adenauer and de Gaulle; and then all the problems can be solved, because the New Silk Road gives not only an economic development perspective, but also has created already an alternative banking system: The AIIB, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the New Development Bank, the New Silk Road Fund, the Maritime Silk Road Fund, the Shanghai Cooperation Bank, and many other such institutions, which really apply Hamiltonian economics by having a credit policy instead of monetarist policies.
This is very good news. Because this is something Mr. LaRouche and his movement have been fighting for, for over 40 years. This is exactly what Mr. LaRouche proposed in 1975 with the International Development Bank which was the idea that the IMF should be replaced by an international development bank which would organize the technology transfer about $400 billion per year, to overcome the underdevelopment of the developing countries.
This was totally adopted by the Non-Aligned Movement in 1976 in the famous Colombo conference in Sri Lanka. At that time, the effort to bring a just world economic order into being suffered a tremendous setback: You had the destabilization of the leaders who had taken that cause as theirs. For example, Mrs. Indira Gandhi was destabilized; Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranaike of Sri Lanka was driven out of office; Pakistan Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was overthrown and killed eventually.
However, the LaRouche movement kept fighting for that. The idea to develop the underdeveloped countries of the world, because we cannot simply live with such injustice as we see in Africa right now And so, Mr. LaRouche proposed in 1982, the famous Strategic Defense Initiative, which was adopted by President Reagan in 1983 and it was official U.S. policy for about eight months. And the core of that policy was exactly the same idea which was formulated a little bit later by Mr. LaRouche as the protocol of the superpowers which was essential the idea to dismantle the military blocs, give up NATO, give up the Warsaw Pact, and then through a science-driver program, developing the additional productivity to have an gigantic transfer of technology to the developing countries to overcome their underdevelopment forever.
Stop treating the Third World as proxy countries for wars, and have a joint development perspective. And this was naturally also the idea when we proposed in 1991, when the Soviet Union collapsed, the Eurasian Land-Bridge/New Silk Road, which was the idea to connect the industrial and population centers of Europe, with those of Asia, through development of corridors. We campaigned for that for 25 years, through having hundreds of conferences.
And therefore, we were extremely happy when Xi Jinping in 2013 in Kazakhstan, put the New Silk Road back on the agenda. And now, after three years this has exploded in terms of creating a completely new paradigm of development, of a real effort to overcome the poverty of large parts of the world.
For example, like Africa right now: Africa is in a terrible condition, this is why people are in the thousands drowning in the Mediterranean trying to get to Europe, or dying of thirst in the Sahara by trying to cross the desert.
Now the German Development Minister Gerd Müller just gave a passionate speech in the German parliament by saying that what is happening in Africa and also other developing countries is that they're being torn apart by something which be compared to early forms of capitalism, where the rich become richer, where 10% own and use 90% of all resources; where 80% of all Africans don't have access to electricity; and this is creating an unbearable condition. And he called then for a New Marshall Plan for development for Africa and other developing countries. And obviously, the correct way to go is the expansion of the New Silk Road to Africa, to the Middle East, to reconstruct the war-torn countries of Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, and the adjoining regions.
This can be done now, and it just requires that we get the United States off the idea that they have to insist on a unipolar world, because that unipolar world is no longer existing: After the G20 summit everybody in the whole world can see the "pivot" of Asia that Obama tried to do, to exert American influence in Southeast Asia and these regions did not function. The ASEAN took the side of China. The TPP effort as Obama said in the Washington Post, the United States "sets the rules" of trade and not China.
It didn't work: The speakers of both Houses, the Congress and the Senate, said the TPP will not come onto the agenda this year; and the two Presidential candidates have already said that they oppose TPP. So, it's dead. And TTIP, the free trade agreement for Europe is also already declared dead by the French government, by the German economic minister.
So there is really right now a new possibility to use the G20 Summit to set up a new set of rules of trade, of cooperation, of the "win-win" perspective among countries. And I think if we can get the United States in the short term to join this chorus of nations for beauty, for cooperation, then the world can really experience a new paradigm in the very short period of time. The reason why I say, "beauty" is because the Gala preparation evening, before the opening of the G20 Summit, was a marvelous dialogue of cultures, very much like what we are trying to do with the concert series this present weekend, at the anniversary of 9/11; where it started with very beautiful Chinese folk songs; it had a beautiful scene from Swan Lake ballet of Tchaikovsky; and finally culminated with a very beautiful performance of parts of the Ode to Joy based on the poem of Friedrich Schiller and the music of Ludwig van Beethoven. And I think it was very wisely chosen by the Chinese government, to take the Ode to Joy, where the text at one point proclaims "All men become brethren," "Alle Menschen werden Brüder" as the cultural expression of this idea of a "win-win cooperation" of all of civilization.
So, my basic message to you is really one of absolute optimism. I'm not saying that all problems have been solved. We still have existential problems; we still have a war danger; we still have the danger of a financial blowout possibly this Fall. But, the alternative is already established by a powerful group of nations who altogether represent the majority of mankind, more than 4 billion people.
And we have to get the United States off geopolitics; we have to get the EU which is disintegrating anyway after the Brexit, we have to get these countries off geopolitics and organize the people of the United States and Europe to join a new paradigm which starts with the idea that mankind is one and that people can and should be patriots, but they should also be world citizens at the same time. And as the great poet Friedrich Schiller said, "It is not a contradiction to be a patriot and a world-citizen."
And it is really the time that we understand that the solutions for mankind can be only on the highest level of reason, and not on some side order or some geopolitical supposed interest of one nation against another nation or group of nations.
I'm absolutely confident that we can make that jump and create a new paradigm; and while you are going to listen later in the day to beautiful music by Mozart commemorating the deaths of the people who died in 9/11, I think we can give their lives back and make it immortal, by saying we will have a solemn commitment to bring the United States into this new paradigm, and then their lives will have contributed something immortal, and they will be in our minds forever.
SPEED: Our next speaker is Jeff Steinberg, senior editor of EIR, and general all-round troublemaker.
JEFFREY STEINBERG: I didn't know I had military rank. Thank you, Dennis for the promotion.
I think it's really important in the spirit of what Helga just went through, because many of you have endured many, many meetings, where the general theme was not a kind of compilation and pile-up of good news. I think everybody in this room should start out by applauding yourselves, because the victories that we've accomplished around the release of the 28 pages, the now passage of the JASTA bill, now unanimously through both Houses of Congress, the fact that both political parties could not avoid putting Glass-Steagall's restoration in their party platforms is a tribute to the persistence and perseverance of the work that all of you have been involved in. so I think it's very appropriate to applaud ourselves and yourselves, for performing the kind of miracles that only human beings are capable of. [applause] Because these accomplishments are truly miraculous, but they're the kind of miracles that come as the result of believing that the truth matters, that there's no statute of limitations on the truth, and that we genuinely live in a democratic republic in which the voice of the population has meaning.
Now, I can tell you, from very detailed, firsthand knowledge that I don't even remotely have the time to go through today, that the reason the 28 pages were released on July 15th, is because of what we collectively, with many, many others, with the 9/11 families, with leading members of Congress, were able to stick with and force to happen.
President Obama has no intention whatsoever, of releasing the 28 pages. But the groundswell of demand for the truth on this issue reached the point, 15 years after the fact, where his closest advisors had to go to him and say, "these 28 pages by hook or by crook are going to be made public." That was made very clear on July 6th, when Congressman Walter Jones and Congressman Stephen Lynch invoked the Gravel precedent, the Pentagon Papers precedent, and said: It's our Constitutional obligation to inform the American people about critical issues of national security where secrecy has no place. The minute it became clear that they were prepared to go that far, people at the White House went to the President and said, "well, you've got a simple choice. You're either going to be the villain of this story, or we'll try to spin it so you're the hero," even though he had no intention of releasing them. He was told, "it's going to happen anyway, whether it's done by the next President, whether Congress just takes it upon themselves to make it public; so you might as well get a little bit of credit for it. And by the way, we're going to do it as the House and Senate are packing up their bags to go on vacation for two months and as the two Presidential nominating conventions are about to happen and all of the oxygen is going to be sucked out of the media for the next month; so maybe we'll sort of sneak by and people will forget about it, and we'll have gotten away with releasing it with minimum blowback."
Well, obviously, the turnout here, today, other events that will be happening this weekend, make it clear that that is not the case; that's not going to happen.
And so, as Helga indicated, we've got to build on the victories that we've established. I can tell you that the turmoil in Washington is enormous. It used to be that leadership in the Congress, leadership in other institutions in Washington was defined by who you know, and how well you "go along to get along." And that concept is dead.
The fact that people who have been ostracized — Walter Jones has no committee assignments! He should have by all rights been the chairman of a major at least subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee; he was kicked off the House Financial Services Committee because he introduced Glass-Steagall.
But people know there's a new, emerging leadership.
Clearly, what this Presidential election makes clear, is that personality is not a criterion for leadership, [laughter] but that now we're moving into a point where here in the United States, we can win on the basis of ideas and principles.
So we've had these victories about the 28 pages, about 9/11, about the passage of the JASTA bill. President Obama is having probably the worst weekend of the summer and that's saying a great deal given what he just went through in Asia, especially courtesy of President Duterte of the Philippines. He's now got a dilemma: Does he veto the JASTA bill? And Democrats are saying to him: If you do that, then you will be singlehandedly blamed for the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States, because people will hate the democrats because of your actions.
So we're at a very interesting moment, and I think, again, we've got to take the big picture into account. The whole movement that's coming out of the summit meetings that have just concluded in Asia, and by the way, starting on Tuesday, that same process is right here on our home turf, here in Manhattan, with the opening of the UN General Assembly: The discussions that took place in Vladivostok, that took place in Hangzhou, will now be taking place on the East Side of Manhattan, and world leaders, foreign ministers will be here following through, and we've got to hold their feet to the fire, that these ideas will be truly realized and implemented.
Our other minor task, by the way, is that the United States does have to be brought into full alignment with this new paradigm. And the first step on that is to make sure that Congress acts to reinstate Glass-Steagall. We're at the point right now, where, as Helga said, Deutsche Bank is on its last legs, and there's really a race between Deutsche Bank and the Dope, Inc. primo bank, HSBC, for who's going to go under first. So we're on the edge of a crisis that goes beyond 2008, beyond Lehman Brothers, because Deutsche Bank has the largest derivatives exposure of any bank in the world, and every big New York bank is a counterparty to those derivatives transactions; they'll set to blow.
The first step is Glass-Steagall. Glass-Steagall solves a piece of the problem. It basically takes out the garbage, the sanitation workers are going to be busy on Wall Street for months to come! But that just means we've reached the moment where we rebuild, and that means the other element of what Mr. LaRouche has called for, for the entirety of his political career, but which he put very succinctly in the last few years: reinstate Glass-Steagall, reestablish viable commercial banks. Go back to a long, proud tradition where Congress used to have two budgets. They used to have an operating budget, and a budget that was oriented toward investment, a capital budget. When times were tough you could always tighten the belt by 20 or 30% on the operational budget; but you never scaled back on the capital budget, because that's the future. Those are the next generations: That's the infrastructure, it's the investment in science and technology, it's the investment in education and all of those things.
So we've got to go back to those core principles. And I think the momentum going into this weekend and coming out of it is such, that we can truly win this fight in the United States. We're not going to solve the problem globally, fully, until we've won the United States back to these core principles, and based on what we've accomplished over this recent period, through many, many years of cumulative work, we're on the cusp of that kind of victory, and I think that the celebration this weekend, the Living Memorial to those who gave up their lives on 9/11, and the recent report from Newsweek indicates that there are now 400,000 people, among the first responders and others, who survived 9/11 but who are suffering from debilitating diseases, because they were heroes in the days and weeks and months that followed.
So we've got a lot of work to do, but I think we've got to carry the spirit of optimism and confidence forward, and there's no doubt that there are many more miracles awaiting us to accomplish.
Thank you. [applause]
Frmr. U.S. Attorney Ramsey Clark
SPEED: Our next speaker is only able to stay for a few moments. People from the Schiller Institute are very familiar with him. And people from around the world are very familiar with him. And I'm not going to give any introduction more than to use his name, which itself has now become, increasingly, a standard for justice, fairness, and clarity, when it comes to matters of law and universal law, and that is, former Attorney General Ramsey Clark.
RAMSEY CLARK: Thank you, Dennis and a wonderful audience. It's good to see you on a notable day, when a ceasefire has been declared in Syria in a struggle that's not been adequately noted by the world, and the Lord willing, will hold. I've been going to Syria every year, more than once usually, for more than 10 years now, and you've never been able to get through from — you drive in from Lebanon; you never can get through customs on both sides without hearing artillery in the distance. Which means it's very close to Damascus, the border being 50 miles from Damascus. And the artillery closer to the place where the highway enters Syria from Lebanon is less than that. So peace may be coming to that part of the Holy Land, as some call it, after a long and too-often unnoticed, unremembered, deadly struggle.
The history of Damascus is almost a history of Western civilization, and its struggle to bring us together, and particularly, its capital, Damascus, may be unequalled in history. Even at the Great Mosque, one of the three minarets that surround it, is names for Jesus. You go to a lot of mosques, and you'll never find a minaret named for Jesus, that I've been able to discover, except at this 700- or 800-year-old — well, the religious site is even older than that, because many early Christian leaders, St. John among others, are buried there. But today it is a memorial to what might have been the possibility, but today seems more and more the probability that we'll finally have the heart to learn to live together with dignity and respect and love.
This time last year, about a month earlier, I guess, I was in Damascus, and you could hear the distant artillery every night, unrelenting, not 15 or 20 miles away from the perimeters of the city. The city was carrying on pretty much normally. Its Old Town: I've done too much travelling in my life, but the diversity of places I find with a longer, deeper, more diversified and beautiful history than Damascus. And the fact that in the mosque, the oldest mosque in the country, in the heart of Old Town, has one of its minarets named for Jesus Christ, shows that it is possible to live together.
I've been to mosques and churches all over the place, and that's the only one I know that honors with its highest symbols, a Christian. A mosque that honors a Christian with one of its three spires to Heaven.
And now a ceasefire and hopefully peace for a country that has suffered far more than we've been informed. Every day violence, and all this time you couldn't get from the border on the southern edge of Lebanon and the southern edge of Syria, to the capital, without hearing distant artillery fire.
We're been pretty lucky here in this country! You've got to live near an artillery base to hear artillery fire, and I doubt there are more than a few thousand people in our country living in such a location.
With the heart of this great, old city, where one minaret of three at the Great Mosque honors a Christian, as I said, John the Baptist; reaching out, caring, and understanding that if you have to resort to violence to have your way, whether your way happens to be right or wrong, generally both sides believe their way is right — not always, but.
And then there are some countries where the people are so busy with material things they don't even pay attention to what is right or wrong, they're looking more to stock market reports than they are the international news on violence or the U.S. military budget. Did you ever wonder what we could have done with our military budget, if we had applied it to infant mortality? Yeah. The numbers of babies, of infants, that needlessly die in two-thirds of the world or more, maybe four-fifths, it's staggering!
And how are people aware, that's part of the problem, probably a major part of the problem; the greater part is that people are feeling helpless, "what can I do" you know? "And besides that, I got priorities: I got kids to feed, and mortgages to pay, and football games to watch..." [laughter]
But the times are changing. I'm an optimist. I've been accused of being able to walk off the edge of the planet and you'll hear me singing as I fade into the distance, "We shall overcome..." [laughter] I believe it. No matter how bad things get, I'll believe it, because I don't think if you don't believe it, you can be a part of the solution; but you'll be a part of the problem. And we all have an obligation to stand up on the issue of peace.
Our military budget represents a tragic assault on human dignity. And divert it to infant mortality, you could save millions of lives, of our most precious citizens, Save the Babies. That was a great song: I love that song, "Save the Babies." Who's the guy who sang it? He's always cracking, does anyone remember? No one's old enough — OK, just me. How embarrassing. Y'all ought to read more history, you know? That's embarrassing, you don't who wrote the song "Save the Babies?" It's a good song, it's a good tune, and you can tell it's a good moral — and at least I think so. So, if we'll all remember that we're failing to save the babies.
I travel to places where misery is greatest. I'm not smart enough to go to Paris, except passing through. And misery around the world, particularly in Third World countries, our failure to aid Sub-Saharan Africa, particularly, and other parts of the world, is an enormous reflection on our character, because the priorities of our government, if we're a democracy, reflects the priorities of we, the people. And I would hope our priority would be, probably number 1, "Save the Babies." Peace involves saving the babies, too you know. Those babies grow up and get killed, or some of them don't even grow up, they get killed in the hospital or at home when a bomb falls where they're untimely born.
Our peace has been so long and so secure, that we don't realize what it's like to live in a place, living in or threatened by, or recent memory of, violent warfare. And the amount of money we spend on military is absolutely, not only criminal, but incomprehensible. And our research and development: We're not satisfied with our technology for death, can you imagine that? I mean Hiroshima was a pop-gun, to what we can do now.
An informed and honorable and involved people would stand up and say "No! Not just my tax money, I don't mind that. But the principle of the thing! We, the people of the United States have better things to do than prepare the rest of the world for wars in our interest, and arm the world and live with war as a means of solving problems."
Our hearts have to tell us that we will not tolerate the use of violence as a means of solving problems. And until we stop our own government, from spending the billions and billions of dollars that it does on militarism, and aiding what we call "allies," in their capacity to we say "defend themselves" by attacking their neighbors, we'll be a major part of the problem, and not the solution.
"Save the Babies" is a great song, too, but it's a good way to conceive of where to begin. But I'd like to see our country stand up and say "We've been lucky." We're over here where the land was free — we had to kill a few Indians, but it didn't bother our conscience, they were on land that we wanted. And our freedom has permitted us to expand in almost an infinite variety of ways, not the least of which is, improving our capacity for homicidal violence. We still spend billions on that.
And we can do better. My time's up. Thank you.
Virginia State Senator Richard Black
DENNIS SPEED: I think everyone is aware, at least in this audience should be aware, that there has been an extensive battle around the question of Syria. It was referenced by Attorney General Ramsey Clark before he left, and he did it in the way he does by bringing up the issue of the humanity that gets lost in these wars. Often this is something that is not made clear.
The next speaker has distinguished himself by being one of the few Americans who has taken on the corruption of the policy of the United States, and to express that policy directly and forthrightly. He is a State Senator from Virginia; it is my honor to introduce to you State Senator Richard Black.
RICHARD BLACK: Thank you very much. Thank you. I appreciate it very much. I'm going to talk to you about the background of the Syrian war, particularly on the issues of the moderate rebels and American involvement in this. First of all, I want to let you know I'm a little bit different than Ramsey Clark. I am a conservative Republican and I have very extensive combat experience. I have been wounded in action, had my radio man killed right beside me in battle, flew 269 combat missions, and then, later, I served in the Pentagon on the general staff; I was a JAG officer advising Senate Armed Service Committee, executive orders for the President, testifying before committees in Congress. I come at this from a little different perspective than some people do. I just wanted to give that as background.
First of all, let me go back in time, and I'd like you to know a little bit about Syria and what Syria was like before the war began. Before the war, Syria was the safest of all Arab countries. There weren't any kidnappings, you could walk freely anywhere; tremendously friendly place. There had been 40 years of peace with Israel, and interestingly, they had the greatest women's rights of any Arab country. There was total religious freedom in Syria, and you heard Ramsey Clark allude to this, I think Syria is unique in the entire world, in terms of religious harmony. Not tolerance, where you are putting up with something you dislike, but a certain love among people of the Muslim faith, the Christians, the Alawites, really truly an amazing atmosphere. I visited with President Bashar al-Assad for a couple of hours during a trip I took to Syria this year. Interesting individual, he is a very thoughtful, very brilliant man, soft spoken, almost a touch shy in a sense. His wife, Asma al-Assad, is just a joyous woman, extremely bright. She was an investment banker, raised in London. And when the two of them took over in Syria, they came in with this zeal. They are young people, idealistic people, and they had a zeal for transforming Syria, rooting out corruption, improving the economy and so forth. Little did they know there were things under way that were going to prevent that.
I want to get one thing out of the way right up front. All of you have heard, probably a thousand times, that President Assad gassed his own people, he used sarin gas in Damascus, he crossed the red line. Well, this is totally incorrect, and this particular time line will show you, this is in 2013, all of this occurs in a three-month period. You go to March 30th. In Turkey there was a series of raids. Thirteen al-Qaeda homes were raided by Turkish border authorities within Turkey. They did the raids based on probable cause that resulted from extensive wire taps in which they recorded the fact that the al-Qaeda operatives were moving major supplies of sarin gas into Syria from Turkey. The precursor chemicals came from Western Europe, I'm not sure which country, but it came out of the West, so Western Europe, NATO was complicit in this. Anyway, these people were all arrested; and then President Erdogan ensured that there was a new prosecutor assigned, case was dismissed, individuals crossed the border into Syria.
Okay, that was on May 30th. On June the 20th, the Defense Intelligence Agency, which is probably one of the most respectable agencies of the United States government, it comes under the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, they issued a report and they said Al Nusra has major sarin production units in operation. This is coming out of the Pentagon at a very high level.
You go to August 13th. This is a very, very odd day. The rebels, the terrorists, whatever you want to call them, called together a very important meeting that included the CIA, MI6, various representatives from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and all of those who have been so deeply involved in this war. They announced that there would be a war-changing development, and that the United States would bomb Syria.
Now think about this. Rebels announced — here is the Ghouta gas attack [of Aug. 21]. Rebels announced eight days before the Ghouta gas attack that there would be an important event that would cause the United States to bomb Damascus and enter the war openly. I have difficulty believing there were not representatives of the United States government who were in the know, because we held enormous supplies of weapons in Turkey, in warehouses, the keys held by CIA. Based on that meeting, we immediately began transferring immense quantities of our most advanced weapons to the terrorists across the border in Syria.
Now you look. August 21st, the Ghouta gas attack which all of you heard about. Of all things, Syria, which was engaged in probably five multiple battle fronts where there was a desperate struggle going on, somehow chose to cross the red line by firing sarin gas at civilian targets. That's irrational. I'm going to tell you President Assad is not an irrational person. If he had been willing to have the United States enter the war, if he was willing to risk that, he certainly would not have wasted the chemicals. He certainly would have used it on the battle front where he could have at least turned the tide of battle.
The weapons all arrived somewhere between Aug. 21st and 23rd. As you can imagine it takes a tremendous logistic effort to get these things there. So that leaves us: How did the rebels know the U.S. was going to bomb Syria? A very disturbing question, I think.
The answer to this — Turkey and al-Qaeda executed the gas attack. We have significant evidence of this. First, we know that the 2.2 kilograms were seized. This was widely reported. This occurred three months before the red line gas attack. Also, if you really want to become educated, read the writings of Pulitzer Prize winning author Seymour Hersh. He is the guy that broke the story on the My Lai massacre during the Vietnam War, and he analyzes in great depth how Turkey and al-Qaeda executed the sarin gas attack, blaming it on Bashar al-Assad for the purpose of pulling the United States openly into the war.
Now, this is sort of the icing on the cake. The other things you can say, these are coincidental or circumstantial. However, in December of 2015, Turkish members of Parliament, two individuals, incredibly heroic, at great risk to their lives, held an extensive press conference in which they laid out all of the evidence that had been seized by Turkish authorities, the wiretap information; and they disclosed how Turkey had sent the sarin gas, and the rockets to deliver them, into Syria for the purposes of provoking the U.S. attack. Those people were immediately charged with treason for revealing state secrets. And I'm going to tell you what, in Turkey, if you cross the government, in such a significant way, your life is not worth a plug nickel. So I've got to hand it to these people. Anybody who thinks that that is not proof beyond reasonable doubt, I 'm going to tell you, those guys are likely to die for what they did. God bless them; they are true heroes.
Now, we have all heard that the Syrian war began with the Arab Spring in 2011. That's when it occurred, in 2011. The fact is, the Syrian war countdown begins immediately after 9/11. Gen. Wesley Clark, the former Supreme Allied Commander Europe, has stated very unequivocally on videos, that he was in the Pentagon and he was informed that there was a top-secret document that had come down, and that the Pentagon had been instructed to draft plans to overthrow seven Arab governments within the next five years. This is not some remote source; this is the Supreme Allied Commander of Europe saying that, this is the senior four-star general outside of the Pentagon.
Five years pass. WikiLeaks, God bless them. I'll tell you what, at first I was a little reluctant, but now the more I read the documents and I see the onion peeled away, the happier I am to see the information. In 2006, the U.S. Embassy drafted detailed plans on how to destabilize and overthrow Syria. Now, remember, there were no demonstrations; this was a stable country. It really was sort of the ideal in the Arab world of what we would hope they would have, in terms of freedom, and women's rights, and things of that sort. But we had decided they were going to go down, and the plans were drafted.
One of the most sinister and unpleasant things about it, was that part of the plan involved creating religious divisions and hatred, where they did not exist; because as you have heard before and you will hear again, Syria had this atmosphere of religious harmony, unique in all of the world — honestly.
Okay, 2011, by then Hillary Clinton is the Secretary of State. Now most people think that the Department of Defense starts wars. The DOD does not start wars. They are the executive agency; they carry out the orders given. It is the State Department/CIA which are really one and the same. They are the ones who concoct the wars, draft the propaganda, and so forth. So, 2011, this is when I got involved. Because we launched an unprovoked attack on Libya. We had had our problems with them, but we resolved them some six or eight years earlier. Colonel Qaddafi was our number-one ally in the war on terror in North Africa. Libya was the most prosperous of all North African countries, on a per-capita basis.
We launched an attack that utterly destroyed Libya. Libya does not have a government. There are various groups we recognize from time to time. Last year, the Libyan government had to meet in a ship offshore, because they could not control a ten acre plot of the country of Libya. That is not a government. So there is no government; the place has been utterly crushed and destroyed. Why did we do it? I thought it was perhaps oil, began to look into it. Came to discover the reason was Qaddafi had a very large store of advanced weapons. We needed them to overturn Syria.
A month later, after the Libyan uprising, the Syrian uprising and the Syrian war begins. One month apart. Let's look at the causes of the war in Syria. Okay, some people have said, "oh it's a domestic uprising." I'll tell you, I have spoken to people who were demonstrators and they said, "initially" — you know, all of us have probably been involved in a demonstration of some sort. Pro this or anti that, or whatever. That's the kind of demonstrations; they weren't trying to bring down the government.
But what happened is very shortly al-Qaeda flags began to show up at the demonstrations. They said, we don't want al-Qaeda flags. Then, automatic military weapons showed up, and they said "get rid of those, we don't want that." They don't have a Second Amendment in Syria. You don't go down to the corner drug store and buy a Kalashnikov. It doesn't happen. They come from somewhere. They come from covert intelligence agencies.
The third thing that happened is that they began to proselytize religious hatred. They began to exploit these little fractions, and there are always religious differences among people. And I spoke with one fellow, he said, "my uncle was the head of the demonstrators," he said "he kept trying to push these elements out. In the seventh month al-Qaeda murdered him." So it was not a domestic uprising.
However, Saudi Arabia for many years had wanted to run an oil pipeline across Syria, and they had been unsuccessful in getting Syria's agreement to allow them to do this. Then, as the war approaches, Qatar, which, their only product is natural gas, it is a country that is basically sand dunes and gas wells. There is nothing else there. My wife Barbara and I have been there and seen it. So they asked for a gas pipeline; Syria refused the gas pipeline, and this immediately caused a flood of wealth starting to move from Qatar to the rebels in Syria.
The other thing I would say was an element of this was the weaponization of religion. This is something that the United States, unfortunately, began triggering during the conflict in Afghanistan with the Soviet Union. We began to create this mujahideen movement, and we armed it, and when we found out that it was not big enough to overthrow the Soviet Union, we then worked with Saudi Arabia, CIA, and to some extent Pakistani Intelligence, and they set up these madrassas, and they taught, not the mainstream Islam, but Wahhabism. And it was extremely violent, and we had, at that point, opened Pandora's box.
And we have continued — you would think we would have learned our lesson and said, "Hey this is really dangerous. Put the top on the box." But instead we said, "Gosh, this is kind of neat. We can create hatreds between this group and that group and fissures, and we can use it in Iraq and we can use it everywhere." It is one of the most terrible things that has ever been done. And ironically it wasn't done by Osama bin Laden, it wasn't done by some terrorist, it was done by planners at the Central Intelligence Agency, who looked at the possibilities that were available, if we could create these religions divisions. And now, of course, they have gotten well out of hand.
Here are the competing oil and gas pipelines. Those are the ones favored by Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Iran had a plan to do one, also. Neither of those have been built as a result of the war.
If you read the works of Seymour Hersh, he wrote "The Red Line and The Rat Line," a magnificent article and if you are interested in this, you have got to look it up: "The Red Line and the Rat Line." [http://www.lrb.co.uk/v36/n08/seymour-m-hersh/ the-red-line-and-the-rat-line] The Red Line was Obama's threat to enter the war if poison gas was used. Very convenient. And it tied right in with what the Turks were doing. The other thing was the Rat Line. The Rat Line was the movement of Libyan weapons into Syria. This is the way it went. Qatar had a major air fleet. They sent transports into Libya. They were loaded with weapons. The weapons were transported to Turkey, and Turkey then funneled them across the border into Syria, where they supplied all sorts of terrorist groups.
Now, this became a major concern for the Pentagon. And the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff directed the Defense Intelligence Agency to do a very extensive, highly classified, project to determine where we stood in Syria. The concern was that if Syria fell, the Pentagon believed it had major strategic implications for the entire Middle East, and perhaps beyond. The DIA rendered findings in the middle of 2013. Here is what they found: They said, first of all President Assad must remain in power or Syria will collapse in chaos, just as Libya has done. Next, they said that if Assad falls, he will be replaced by extremists.
Now, the CIA had ostensibly formed this rat line to supply moderate rebels. The Defense Intelligence Agency determined that by 2013 the Central Intelligence Agency was giving full support to all rebels, including, al-Qaeda and ISIS. The entire spectrum. Importantly, DIA determined that there are no moderate rebels. They do not exist. That is not to say there is not some fellow out there on the battle field, but for any practical purposes, the moderate rebels do not exist. As a consequence, the U.S. was arming extremists.
Now, this is the Defense Intelligence Agency, this is not my speculation or some particular group. The DIA warned of dire consequences from toppling Assad, and they repeatedly warned the White House of the dramatic strategic danger we faced if this were done. Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn was the commander of DIA, he was their director, during the relevant time, and here is a quote from him: "The Administration's policy was contradictory. They wanted Assad to go, but the opposition was dominated by extremists. We knew this, the White House knew it, and we forged on."
Here is where we are today. We've got a question, who will win the war in Syria? Well, first of all, we know it is not going to be the moderate rebels. We have a Defense Intelligence Agency finding that the moderate rebels do not exist. So it is not going to be them! Have I made that point? [Laughter.] All right.
There are two alternatives. President Assad, who is heavily supported by the army, who is heavily supported by the people of Syria, either they will win; or al-Qaeda and associated groups, there is a whole panoply of groups — they all take different names — I can't help but believe that the use of these names is designed to make things so complex that ordinary people can't comprehend it, and they give up and say, OK, whatever the government says. But the fact is, that the moderate rebels are no different from al-Qaeda.
Those are our two choices: al-Qaeda or the government that is in power in Syria today. So you have to ask the question: Are we prepared for al-Qaeda to take over Syria? We have experience with al-Qaeda. We are about to celebrate the 15th anniversary of al-Qaeda bringing down the Twin Towers and turning the Pentagon into a fireball. What awaits the Christians, the Alawites, the moderate Sunnis, the Shi'ites, the Druze? We know what will happen if al-Qaeda takes over, because we have seen what happens when al-Qaeda takes over, and this is the fate that awaits the good people, the decent people of Syria, what you see right here.
I have to go back to go back to this idea: Syria has this magnificent tradition of religious harmony. This is in 2013; the war had been going on for two years. They erected a magnificent statue of Jesus Christ that overlooks Israel, Lebanon, and Syria. Can you imagine the difficulty we would have in this country, if we did it? [laughter] You can't do that in America! You have to do it in Syria! I had to go to Syria to experience the religious freedom, that I knew when I was a child!
I spoke with the Grand Mufti. He's the leader of all of the Sunnis and I think to a good extent to the Shi'ites as well. Magnificent, wonderful man! He made the comment, — now there are 23 million Syrians — he said, "We Syrians are 23 million Christians." He said, "My mother's name was Myriam, like Mary, mother of Jesus. ""
Then I went and spoke with the Patriarch, the Christian Patriarch of Syria and the East, and he made the comment, he said, "We Syrians are 23 million Muslims." And when he said that I said, "That's interesting you say that, it's the reflection of what the Mufti said." And he stroked his beard, and he said, "Well, some people say I have a Muslim beard."
This is a reflection of the love and the affection, — it is genuine — between people of different faiths.
I went to a choral presentation one evening, and I was stunned. This is in a 70% Muslim city, the city of Homs, and all of a sudden, I'm watching and I couldn't tell what they were singing about, they were singing in Arabic, but they were singing about Christ's crucifixion, death, resurrection, ascension. It was the Christian Easter, and here they were, and I leaned over to the wife of the governor of Homs province, who is a Muslim, and said, "this is kind of surprising to me." She said, "Oh, many of the members of the choir and many of the members of the audience are Muslim as well."
Where else? Where else, but in Syria? This is on the final day of my visit. I gave an extensive interview to SANA, which is sort of like the Fox News of Syria, and as I was walking out I looked over, and here's a Christmas tree in the press pit, and I said "What is this?" And they said "This is the martyrs' Christmas tree."
You'll see the photographs there. There are seven people. All of them have been killed reporting on the Syrian war, which has been horrific. I mean this was like the American Civil War with the percentage of people slaughtered. And it occurred to me, I said here's a Christmas tree, there is a star on the top of it, it's even got the Christmas Grinch on there somewhere. And most of the pictures there are Muslims. It's sort of like, the Christians' way of honoring the Muslims for what they have done. So, it is unique in Syria.
Now, I went out to Palmyra. Palmyra is very interesting. It is one of the architectural gems of the entire world. And ISIS had captured it and the generals were showing me how they had managed to recapture, it once the Russians came in with an expeditionary force that provided some additional air support. Tremendously heroic people. And they had captured it.
However, ISIS had been allowed to capture Palmyra, and you can see the devastation. This was truly one of the architectural wonders of the world. It wasn't just a possession of Syria; it was a possession of all mankind. And it was allowed to be destroyed by ISIS. It just angered me, and I think you can see that when I'm talking to the press. Because we had a coalition of 67 nations, with aircraft that were supposedly working against ISIS, and ISIS was able to assemble a huge army — now let me just back up a second.
ISIS had to travel 100 miles across open desert, with hundreds and hundreds of vehicles—tanks, artillery pieces, trucks, all of these things. I cannot imagine that that coalition did not have the ability to spot everything that was going on, and I have confirmed they did not drop one single bomb to stop ISIS from taking Palmyra. Why? Because Palmyra is mid-way between the areas controlled by ISIS, and Damascus itself.
And I believe that we were so intent on toppling the government of Syria that we were willing to have ISIS, after all of the viciousness and horrors they had inflicted, we were willing to inflict that on Damascus, Syria, and to empower them with a far greater Caliphate than they had ever had. And it just infuriated me, and I think you can tell from the look on my face, my emotions there.
Now this will just give you some idea of where the war stands. If you look, the Syrian government—the government-controlled areas are shown in the reddish-orange there—they control 75 to 80% of the population of Syria. Much of Syria is desert. The white area is simply desert; it had very little population. The gray area is the area that was controlled by ISIS. It's gradually shrinking. You can see where Palmyra is, right in the center, right here. So you can see—they had to travel with a huge army across the desert to Palmyra, and we allowed them to do it deliberately, so that they could capture Palmyra, hoping that they would drive on to Damascus.
Now, just to bring you very current, the biggest battle that is taking place in Syria today is the battle for Aleppo. Aleppo is the industrial heartland of Syria. The rebels have held about 20% of the city for years. The government has held the vast majority of the city, but al-Qaeda controls it—it's called al-Nusra over there, but it's al-Qaeda. Even the White House has said they're al-Qaeda. And they had a supply route that went into the pocket and supplied it. And the Syrian army had tried for many years to try to seal that off. They finally attacked and they were able to do that, and they cut the supply line, and they created the Aleppo pocket.
Now, if you listen to the American mainstream media, you would think that all that's happening with Aleppo is that some civilians are in there, and they're just being bombed for no purpose whatsoever, and this kind of thing. The fact of the matter is, we really should be rejoicing, because there is a major al-Qaeda army that is trapped in there, and particularly on 9/11, we should say—Rah, here we go! We've trapped al-Qaeda! We're going to get even with these people that brought down the Twin Towers, and sent people leaping from the flaming buildings, and leaping to their death a quarter of a mile below.
But anyway, the next thing is that al-Qaeda assembled an army of 40,000 people. Now you won't know this from the mainstream media! 40,000 troops! That's two heavy American divisions, — and al-Qaeda, they've done real well. They started with 19 people on 9/11; now they're up to two, full armored, mechanized divisions, and what they did is, they attacked. The forces inside attacked, and the forces outside attacked. Now, let me tell you. If you think for a moment that the Aleppo pocket is simply civilians, they attacked with thousands of terrorists, supported by 95 main battle tanks. 95 tanks! This is one of the biggest armored battles in our lifetimes—not a word of it in the media. You've got to really dig and find it out. That's a lot of tanks.
But anyway, they managed to briefly breach the barrier, but the Syrian Army very, very skillfully drove them back, and have driven both of those arrows back, and they now have resealed the Aleppo pocket. And because they can't obtain new weapons and supplies inside, they're withering very quickly. The Syrian army is moving very quickly, and it appears that, absent something extraordinary, they have lost the battle of Aleppo.
I just want to let you know who these people we're supporting, the ones we call moderates,—who are these moderates?
One of the groups which we support is called Jaesh al-Islam. This is taken in the area of Damascus, and Jaesh al-Islam despise the Alawites. The Alawites are considered friends of Christians. They're much more moderate. And they [jaesh] captured Alawite women, and they put them in steel cages—no privacy, no facilities, and they parade them around town in cages. This is one of the groups that the United States supports, and the U.S. State Department refuses to call them extremist. I would call that pretty extreme.
But if you don't think that's extreme, here's another example. Russia and Syria insisted that Ansar al-Sham be labeled as terrorist. Secretary Kerry refused to do it, and on the 13th of May of this year, they committed the massacre at Al Zahra. This is a photograph that they have admitted is valid, but they said that the housewives that you see on the floor, they were fighters. Look for some weapons. What fighters go into battle barefooted? What kind of fighters go into battle wearing housedresses? What kind of fighters have world geographic maps on the wall, so that they can teach their children geography?
After they murdered these women, they captured—now, the children watched as they murdered their mothers. These are American allies! These are the moderates we support. After the children had to watch their mothers slaughtered, they were doused with gasoline, lit on fire, and burned to death.
What's happened to our country? What has happened to our country?
Here's a very recent one. The United States backs a group called al-Zinki—it's Nour al-din al-Zinki. They give them all these crazy names to make it hard to keep up. The United States pays the entire al-Zinki force; it's about a thousand terrorists. This group of five, paid for out of your pocket, and yours and yours, went into a hospital. They captured this little Palestinian refugee boy, terrified—if you look closely, you'll see that there's still an IV hanging out of his arm. They took him out to a town square in a pickup truck, and you can see one of them has him by the hair. And that individual who had him by the hair took him, slammed him down, sliced his head off with a knife, waved it to the crowd—"Allah Akbar! Allah Akbar!" A little boy who was so terrified, so frightened, so frail, suffering from a blood disease. The United States supports these people. We pay his salary! Your tax money pays his salary! Your tax money pays the salary of that man whose hand is on the head of that boy, and then severed it seconds later!
You won't hear about this in the mainstream media, but we also funnel TOW anti-tank missiles through these so-called moderate groups, knowing that they're going to al-Qaeda, knowing that they're going to ISIS.
This is the Syrian ambassador, the UN Ambassador from Syria, Bashar Ja'afari, a magnificent, heroic man, who — [laughter] Mr. Ambassador. [applause] I have to tell you a small story about him. One of the things that we do when we're toppling nations, is we try to buy off ambassadors, and get them to turn on their nations. Ambassador Ja'afari was approached; he was given a blank check—I think, do you still have that check? But, in any event, he's a great man of honor and courage, and he said, no, I will not betray my people; I will not slaughter my people for money. [applause] And I am very proud to know the Ambassador.
Now, people ask me, they say, why are you so passionate about this? You don't have any Syrian relatives. You don't have any Middle Eastern relatives. Well, you know, I was a Marine, and I started at Parris Island as a private. We used to stand at night, and we'd sing the Marine Corps hymn, and we said that "I will fight for right and freedom, and to keep our honor clean. I'm proud to claim the title of United States Marine." Our honor is disgraced. Our honor has been laden with filth in Syria. There is nothing more vile than what we have done to the people of Syria that's resulted in 400,000 deaths, and I want to change, I want to bring peace there. I want the people to have self-determination. I don't want a bunch of foreign nations coming down and saying, this is the puppet government we want to install. The people of Syria want Bashar al-Assad. They should have the person that they want.
Now finally, I'll tell you, this is a group of Christian school children. We took a picture with the Patriarch, and if you look at the faces, it'll help to explain the passion that I have. If the United States continues on its present course, if the United States succeeds in toppling the government of Syria, it will be replaced by al-Qaeda. And within two years, all of those joyous, smiling young children that you see, will be dead. That's why I'm very deeply concerned, and I am determined that we will turn around American policy in Syria.
Finally, just a last photo of what happens when people like al-Qaeda take over. Now this is ISIS. They both are progeny of al-Qaeda. They captured these 19 Yazidi women, and they tried to force themselves on them, and the women refused have multiple sex with strangers. And they took them out, and seconds after this photo was taken, they took them one at a time, and they burned them to death publicly for refusing to have sex with these people. What has America done? What have we become?
We're better than this. I know the American people are better than this. But the American federal government is not. And we need to make sure that somehow we change the direction that we've taken. Thank you very much.
Syrian Ambassador to the UN Bashar Ja'afari
SPEED: Our final speaker, to the surprise of many of you, is Ambassador Bashar Ja'afari, Permanent Representative of the Syrian Arab Republic to the United Nations.
AMBASSADOR JA'AFARI: Ladies and gentlemen thank you so much for coming on this Saturday; a hot Saturday, humid Saturday, to listen to us. I know that sometimes politics are boring, would bore the listeners. However, the issue is very important. It's not only about Syria, but it is about all of us. It's about U.S.A., it's about Syria, Iraq, the Middle East, the whole Middle East — the whole world! And we will try to elaborate a little bit by adding to what my distinguished colleague, the Hon. Sen. Richard Black has just pointed out. And to what Mr. Ramsey Clark, also my distinguished friend said before my arrival.
History has shown to us that lies are not and could not be eternal. We know for sure, nowadays, that many tragic episodes in history were based on lies, meaning they were baseless and without any foundation. I could share with you, hundreds of examples about what I'm saying, derived all of them from the UN itself, from the United Nations, where I represent my country. I think that Senator Black and Mr. Ramsey Clark have not left too much for me to say. However, we have indeed too much information to share with you. We could speak about what's going on in the world in general, but in Syria, in particular, for hours, if not for days, and you would be surprised, because you have never heard anything of this information I'm going to share with you.
It is a great honor for me to have the opportunity to address this august audience from this podium in St. Bartholomew's Church in Manhattan. I convey to you my sincere salutes, and best wishes, and I thank the Schiller Institute, and thank you all, for offering this great honor to me and to my colleagues.
We meet today while we all are recalling the tragedy of Sept. 11. It was one of the most sad and grievous days in the whole history of the United States. It also was a harsh and difficult lesson to learn for all nations and governments, that terrorism recognizes no boundaries or identities, and therefore should not be justified, protected, or concealed. I'm saying this, because Senator Black somehow gave some hints about the Saudi links to the events of 9/11. And I will elaborate a little bit on this issue, later on. Fifteen of the 19 terrorists who did the 9/11 attacks, were Saudis. They were not Syrians; they were not Iraqis; they were not Algerians. They were Saudis.
These same Saudis, formed by what is called commonly speaking Wahhabism, which derives from the name of the founder of this school of thought, Mohammad Abdul Wahhab; Wahhabism derives from Abdul Wahhab, who appeared all of a sudden, in the Hijaz, the old name of Saudi Arabia, which is a fake name actually. Saudi Arabia is a fake name of the country, because "Saudi" means al-Saudi, the family of Saud; so as if you are changing the name of your own country to be the United States of Obama. [laughter] So this family stole the name of the country and transformed this country to fit to their radical agenda. That happened in the late 18th century. The funny part of the story is that this school of thought was facilitated, created, and endorsed by the British intelligence of that time. So the British intelligence facilitated the creation of this radical movement in Islam, on purpose of course, you know the British how they act. Nothing is for free. [laughter]
Immediately, in 1815, this crazy guy, moved toward Damascus and Karbala in Iraq. In Karbala, he attacked the shrines of the Shi'a Muslims, and in Damascus he tried to invade the city, but the Syrians stopped him and defeated him at the walls of Damascus. Then he retreated and went back to where he came from.
I'm giving you this background to show you that this crazy movement is not a newcomer. It has been there for centuries, a couple of times protected by the British, then by the Americans. It is not because they like them, but it is because their craziness fits to their agenda.
Islam is not about Saudi Arabia. In Damascus, and the greatest mosque in Damascus, called the Umayyad Mosque, in the middle, in the heart of the mosque, which is the biggest and great mosque in Syria, we have the shrine of St. John the Baptist, inside the mosque. The grave of St. John the Baptist is in the middle of the mosque, where Muslims as well as Christians visit the grave, and say their prayers. Senator Black told you about the Mufti of Syria, this wonderful man. Could you believe that his main political advisor is a Christian? The Mufti's political advisor is Christian. Only in Syria — only in Syria. This is why we are extremely proud of our secularism, our secularity. We are proud of what we are, whether we are Muslims or Christians, but we are not ready to become as crazy as the Saudis are. And we don't share, at all, their concepts of religion.
By the way, what ISIS is doing, and all these fanatic groups operating in Syria and Iraq, those who are beheading the boys, and women and girls, they have inherited beheading people by sword from the Wahhabis! Till now, ladies and gentlemen, in Saudi Arabia, after the Friday prayers, they behead people in the public square! Till now! It is not only ISIL! In Saudi Arabia itself, every Friday after the prayer, they behead the people, publicly, in the public square, but using swords! So the story is not new, it is not ISIL. ISIL is not a newcomer; ISIL has been there for centuries, represented by the Saudis. And this is why they are protecting them and defending them and sending them weapons and money.
Most of us in this world believed after that black day of 9/11, that there will be a united international stand against terrorism. We were all optimistic at that time, if you remember, that finally, we will get together to fight terrorists. And that all nations will fight together against terrorists, and their supporters, funders and their inspirational leaders as well. Unfortunately, what happened next, was the invasion of Iraq. So if the Saudis attacked New York, the Twin Towers, why go after Iraq? If the main reason was to avenge what happened in 9/11, and we all know, and we all knew at that time that it was a Saudi conspiracy. Then why attack in Iraq? Iraq is a secular country, like Syria. Syria, and Iraq and Algeria are only the three secular governments in the Arab world! Iraq is out the picture now; Iraq has become a hub of international terrorism, after the spreading of George Bush freedom over there. [laughter]
Algeria you know. Algeria was tested before us, in the early '90s. They sent to them an early Arab spring, but it was defeated — thank God. So, only Syria remains.. Only Syria remains; and Egypt, recently. And Egypt recently after the eviction of Morsi, who belongs to the same family of the radical movement of Islam. It is not about Islam; it is about radical movements, pretending, claiming, alleging that they are representing Islam, but they are not.
Islam has become a good business for manipulation. Very good business for manipulation, very good business. Everybody makes business out of Islam very cheaply, and we will try to explain why. It's not about politics. You are fed up with politics; I am also fed up with politics. It is about geo-political dimensions, rivalries, competition, dominance.
Then we said, what happened next unfortunately was the invasion of Iraq, under the very same pretext of fighting terrorism. That was a funny part of the story: when George Bush invaded Iraq, he said that he was doing that to combat terrorism; and getting rid of the wrongly alleged weapons of mass destruction — again, another lie. You know it. You know it, I mean, and let me tell you this story. I'm an eyewitness: I work at the UN and I know what I'm talking about, because I was there. A story that none of you have heard in the mainstream media, as Senator Black said.
After the invasion of Iraq, the United Nations, under the pressure of Tony Blair and George Bush at that time, sent what we call an investigation commission, called UNSCOM, headed by a Swedish guy, a scientist, to find the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The purpose was, to show to the so-called international community that the invasion of Iraq was based on facts! There are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and we've got to find them and show them to the international community! So they formed this commission of investigation and sent it to Iraq. Of course, when I say "commission," it's about hundreds of people all paid off by the Iraqi government, the Iraqi assets frozen by the United Nations. Billions of dollars were spent by the activities of this commission, at the expense of the Iraqi people. This commission spent — how long? — from 2003 and even before, up to 2008; 2008 it was about to close the file, because the lie has become too big to swallow.
So they gathered the Security Council and asked the commission to submit its final report. But the funny part of this story is that this final report doesn't include any hint that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, so the commission wouldn't be able to say that "Sorry Gentlemen, members of the Security Council, we haven't found anything in Iraq." That would run against the mainstream propaganda spread by George Bush and Tony Blair at that time.
So everybody was cornered in the Security Council: They need to shut down the file! Because it has become costly and Iraq has become another Iraq, and it is time to put an end to all this story. What to do?
They gathered a meeting of the Security Council — at midnight. Midnight. There were nobody, except the 15 members of the Security Council. In a few minutes, the president hammered the meeting and said, "We endorse the report of the commission" without saying anything, whether they found something or didn't find something. The issue is dead.
Now: What to do with the archives of the commission? The archives, a big scandal. The Council decided — ladies and gentlemen, listen to me carefully — to put the whole archives, in iron cages, fire resistant, with locks, digital locks that only the Security General knows the code. Number 1. Number 2: These locked cages, will not be reopened before 60 years from now. [collective groan] I'm sure you haven't heard about this story. Nobody will tell you this story. This is what happened. This is how they killed the investigation about why Iraq was invaded! And now, none of us in this room would be able to wait 60 years to disclose that a big lie took place at that time. It will be too late, to bring the responsible, accountable to justice. There will be no George Bush; there will be no Tony Blair.
There will be 3 million Iraqis killed; 1 million Iraqi widows; millions of Iraqis without fathers; millions of Iraqi refugees in the world. And the whole of Iraq is destroyed!
Plus, hundreds of billions of dollars which are the Iraqi assets overseas have gone. Evaporated. Like the $800 million of Libya. Nobody knows where this money is. $800 million, this is Libya, alone.
The result of the invasion of Iraq, was killing millions of civilians, as I said, destroying the infrastructure and having a failed state there. And more importantly, transforming Iraq into a hub of international jihadist terrorism. I'm saying this because all the so-called ISIL, all of them, grew up in the American jails in Iraq. All of them. They were taken care of by the American soldiers in Iraq: So they knew them, how dangerous they are, and they didn't deal with them accordingly. Why? Because Mr. Bremer was insisting on dividing Iraq on a confessional, sectarian, religious basis. The Iraqis lived side by side for thousands of years, until Mr. Bremer came and found out that, they shouldn't continue like this. We've got to divide the country, we've got to give a part to the Sunni, then a part to the Shi'a, then a part to the Kurds, another part to the Assyrians, and then etc., etc. Would that amount to say the Iraqis were duped and stupid for living side by side for thousands of years before Bremer came?
Today, and after six years, my country, Syria, is still suffering from the fiercest terrorist war in the modern history of humanity. This unprecedented barbarian war reflects the bitter fact that terrorism is still privileging from safe havens, money resources, some well-known government support, and the growing of terrorist ideologies and shelters around the world. Why do I say this? Because it wouldn't be that easy for a terrorist to leave Sydney, Australia, to take the flight to, to change the flight three times, get five visas — Thailand visa, Indonesian visas, a Cambodian visa, whatever, and then find himself out of Istanbul airport in Turkey. Then, a group of people would come to welcome him upon his arrival, and escort him to the Turkish border with Syria. Then somebody would give him money and weapons, and facilitate his entry into Syria.
This is not a tourist! This is not a tourist: This is a terrorist known in advance by the Australian intelligence services, before he left!
The people in the Western world, unfortunately, some government who are betting on the fact that, you know what, we have this garbage in our societies. Let us export them to Syria. Let us get rid of this garbage by sending them to Syria and Iraq, where they will kill Syrians, and, probably, they might be killed by the Syrians also. But finally, we will get rid of them, because they are a burden on our societies.
The problem started when these terrorists killed Syrians and Iraqis, but some of them changed their mind, and wanted to get back to Australia, Belgium, Paris, London, Germany, U.S.A., Canada, and that was a big problem, because the scenario was totally different. These garbage shouldn't get back, initially speaking. But started to get back. And the Western democracy wouldn't be able to prevent them from doing so. So what was the solution? The solution is, the British prime minister, the Australian prime minister, the Belgian prime minister, the French President, decided to withdraw citizenship from these terrorists if they dare to come back.
What would that mean? That means, you know guys, continue killing the Syrians until they are killed. But don't ever think about getting back. And this is what's going on now in Syria. These garbage cannot go back to where they came from, because they lost their rights to citizenship.
Figure out that these prime ministers I have enumerated did not say that if these terrorists get back, we will take them to court; they didn't say that. We will hold them responsible, they didn't say that. We will holding them accountable, they didn't say that. So they didn't say that these people are terrorists. They said, "If you get back we will withdraw citizenship from you," meaning, "you are a good terrorist. As long as you continue to kill the Syrians, you are a good terrorist. But if you think about getting back to Paris, Brussels, whatever — Sydney, — then you will become a bad terrorist."
Yesterday, while I was reading your invitation to this great event, many noble ideas stopped me, especially those about a better future to our nations, away from wars and conflict, particularly the words of Friedrich Schiller, the founder of Schiller Institute; and I quote him: "Born for that which is better."
Unfortunately, again, what is happening up to today in my country, Syria, goes totally against these great human principles. Syrian people suffer, until this moment, from terrorism which is supported from regime of well-known countries, such as Qatar, Turkey, France, and Saudi Arabia's Wahhabi family. Needless to remind you here of the basic role of the Saudi family in supporting and funding the terrorists who committed the brutal crime of 9/11, as I said at the beginning. Without forgetting the dangerous role of their pre-historic religious clerics who still inspire terrorists by ideas of jihad and hatred of other religions and ethnicities, all around the world.
Another story — I'm a storyteller, I apologize. I was ambassador of my country to Indonesia, the biggest Islamic country in the world; 235 million Muslims in one country. But this country is composed of 17,000 islands; this is why we call it the Malay Archipelago. It's not an island, it's an archipelago, a huge amount of islands.
The story is the following, and I told Senator Black this story in one of our meetings, actually: Up until my arrival in Jakarta, I was surprised that every Friday, after the prayer, thousands of young girls and young women, gathered in front of the Saudi Embassy in Jakarta. I asked the Saudi Ambassador, what's going on Ambassador? Why are these people gathered, in front of your embassy?"
He said, "You know, Ambassador, these people are giving me a serious headache every Friday. They gather all these women are carrying with them a baby, old, and chanting slogans, asking for their rights in their local language," something that I couldn't understand at that time. So all these women happen to fall victim of the following story: Saudi businesspeople or Saudi religious clerics who come to Indonesia for business, or in a short period of time, they spend 20 days, up to one month maximum over there. So because they are so religious, they need to have sex with women, in Indonesia. How can they do it? They go to the small villages in Indonesia, very poor people — extremely poor people, but real, honest people; and marry young girls, 12 years old, 13 years old, and their dowry is only $100. So they give the father $100 and the father gives them his daughter, thinking that by giving his daughter to somebody coming from the Holy Land of Islam, is a treasure.
The guy takes the girl for 20 days, two weeks, three weeks, whatever and then he divorces her before leaving, because he doesn't need her any more!
The girl finds herself pregnant. After nine months, she has a baby, but the baby doesn't have any father, so no papers, no identity, and she cannot register the baby! Thousands of young Indonesian women find themselves in this situation every year, every month, every week!
When I ask the ambassador, I said, "You should do something. This bad for your image, I mean, you cannot go ahead with this." He told me, "you know, Bashar, I have at the embassy a person called a religious attaché," meaning a guy in charge of the religious matters, like the economic attaché, cultural attaché, military attaché, they have this specific position called the "religious attaché." "And this religious attaché is stronger than me!" This is what he said. "I cannot do anything. I am the ambassador, but I cannot do anything, to stop this hemorrhage." That was 1999.
And at that time, the Saudi regime used to spend $3 billion on forming Wahhabi Indonesian imams: $3 billion per year, to form Wahhabi Indonesian imams in the small villages. This is why, unfortunately nowadays, in Southeast Asia we now have the same ISIL we have in the Middle East, they have it over there. They did the Bali explosion if you remember, and the series of explosions of the five-star hotels in Jakarta. This is what the Saudis are.
I am Muslim myself, I am proud to be a Muslim, but I have nothing to do with this garbage. Nothing to do.
We hope that the legislation which passed yesterday in the House of Representatives and has already passed in the Senate before, allowing the families of 9/11 victims to sue the Royal family — Royal, of Saudi Arabia. [laughter] Of Saudi Arabia in the U.S. Courts. You know this Royal family what they are doing in the hotels in California, and New York.
We hope that will pose a new course in the U.S. foreign policy regarding fighting international terrorism and holding responsibilities. Moreover, this terrorist war against Syria is accompanied with policies of Western states, led by the United States administration, and Britain, And based on violating international law and the Charter of the United Nations, disrespecting the sovereign of the country, and acting against the pure will and interests of the Syrian people.
Senator Black elaborated enough on this issue, but I would like to add the following: That since the beginning of the Syrian crisis, in 2011, the Security Council endorsed and adopted 16 resolutions on Syria. Now we have 16 resolutions adopted by the Security Council on Syria. All these resolutions start with the following in the Preamble paragraph: "The Security Council reiterates the confirmation of the Syrian sovereignty, the territorial integrity of Syria, the political independence of Syria, the principle of non-interference into the domestic affairs of Syria..." all these beautiful Tom and Jerry expressions are in the first paragraph of each resolution! And who violates these principles, sacrosanct principles, the same guys who endorse the resolutions! The same influential people in the Security Council, are the ones who are violating these beautiful wordings.
Another story. I tell always the stories in my meetings, so that one day in Geneva when I was heading the Syria delegation to the intra-Syrian talks with De Mistura, the [UN Secretary General's] special envoy, he was the one who called me a storyteller. So the story is the following, and this is a very, very important one:
I will tell you this story chronologically so you will understand the message. In October 2012, meaning five months before any use of toxic chemical gas in Syria, because the first attack by using toxic gas took place in Khan al-Assal , a small town in the suburbs of Aleppo, that was in 2013. Five months later in March 2013; I'm talking about September 2012, meaning five months before the first chemical attack took place in Khan al-Assal, Aleppo, some, what is called common speaking, "Syrian opposition activists," — "Syrian opposition activists" — formed and established, in Turkey, an office they called "Office of Documentation the Use of Chemical Weapons in Syria." They formed and established this office five months before any thing related to the issue of chemical weapons in Syria. And all of a sudden, the OPCW, the Organization of the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which is based in The Hague, in the Netherlands, gave this nongovernmental center, a consultative status to the OPCW; meaning they endorsed the center, which is a non-governmental office; and as a consultative body of the OPCW on chemical issues.
We didn't understand why did they did that, because we didn't expect that something would happen five months later. Five months after, they attacked Khan al-Assal in Aleppo, using chemical gas, and they killed 18 Syrian soldiers. Of course, CNN wouldn't speak about it. But 18 Syrian soldiers got suffocated by virtue of this attack.
Immediately Al Jazeera Qatari channel started spreading the rumors that the Syrian army used chemical weapons. So the Syrian army used chemical weapons against itself. And the Syrian army killed 18 officers and soldiers of its own staffers.
Simultaneously, a series of similar attacks took place in Syria. I have the names; you are not familiar with the names, so I will not get into these details. Carla da Ponte, the Italian lady who was a member of the independent investigation committee of the United Nations on Syria, Carla da Ponte said, that the armed groups of the opposition were the ones who used the chemical weapons in the attack against the town of Khan al-Assal in Aleppo. An Italian lady said that; she was immediately fired.
Then we come to the story of the Red Line, President Obama's Red Line. Because again, after this attack on Khan al-Assal in Aleppo I got instructions the same day the attack on Khal al-Assal took place, the same day, eight hours after the incident took place, I went myself to the office of the United Nations Secretary General Bank Ki-Moon. I asked him to help the Syrian government in a) verification of whether chemical weapons were used or not in Khan al-Assal; b) identifying the perpetrators. This is what I myself asked Bank Ki-Moon that day, Aug. 21, 2013.
The guy was very nice, as you know. He asked me to give him some time to consult with the good guys on the Security Council. So he consulted with the good guys, and he came back, two or three hours later, to tell me the following: "Mr. Ambassador, tell your government that I will assist your country with a verification to prove whether chemicals weapons were used or not in Aleppo. But I'm sorry, I cannot assist you in identifying the perpetrators."
From the day 1, they knew who did it! But they didn't want to reveal the identity of perpetrators.
We said, "Yes, you know what, Mr. Secretary General, help us in verifying if chemical weapons were used or not." It took him four months and 11 days, to send to us an investigation team, headed by a Swedish scientist, well known, called Dr. Sellstrom. It took him and the Security Council four months and 11 days, to send a team to investigate whether chemical weapons were used in Aleppo. You know that this kind of weapon, they evaporate. You cannot trace them after a couple of days, they are not there.
More importantly, after four months and 11 days, Dr. Sellstrom was in Damascus and President Obama made his speech and drew the "Red Line" that was Obama did his speech on the 20th of August. Dr. Sellstrom was in Damascus at that time, on his way to Aleppo to investigate what happened in Khan al-Assal. He was still at the door of the hotel in Damascus, getting into his car. Out of a sudden, we hear that another chemical attack took place in the suburbs of Damascus. Out of a sudden, incidentally, another attack took place in the suburbs of Damascus! That was done, to shift the attention from Khan al-Assal to another place, because they didn't want, initially speaking, they didn't want anybody to investigate what happened in Khan al-Assal. So the best way to do it, was to shift, to create another spot of attention somewhere else!
And who did it? According to the very important French anchors, Georges Malbrunot and Christian Chesnot, who wrote an important book on this matter, called On the Roads to Damascus: How the Elysée Manipulated Chemical Weapons Reports, like St. Paul did. In this book, they said that the French Minister for Foreign Affairs Laurent Fabius was behind this attack. It is a French book — but CNN will never speak about it, will never say anything about it. You will never hear anything about these issues, in the mainstream media, because that would corroborate the accuracy of our statements.
Then, isn't it paradoxical that Obama makes his warning, and drawing his Red Line on the 20th of August and then, incidentally, the chemical attacks in the suburbs of Damascus took place, one day after on the 21st? As if somebody is trying to "You know, Mr. President, they crossed the line. Go and punish them. Go and kill President Assad! The way your predecessor killed Saddam Hussein, or Qaddafi or whatever." Isn't it funny? Would the Syrian government use chemical weapons, while Dr. Sellstrom is Damascus? I mean....
I know that I'm sorry, maybe I have spoken too long. OK, I will finalize: I told you I could speak for hours about ... [laughter, applause]. I'm really grateful to all of you for giving me this opportunity to share with you some insights, from inside something that you have never heard about. I try my best as ambassador of my country, to share this information with the media, accredited to the United Nations. But you know what? Every time I take the floor next to the Security Council, where there are usually between 50 up to 100 reporters accredited from all over the world to the UN as reporters and journalists; when I take the floor, 50 of them disappear instantly! [laughter] Because they don't want to hear, because they know what I would say; they don't want to report. The point for them, by listening they would be somehow obligated to report, so the best way to avoid reporting is by boycotting, by not being there.
I'm saying this, because too many people, too many ambassadors of the United Nations, they come to me and they say, "You know, Bashar, you are right. Your government is right. We know the truth, but we cannot say it. You can — God bless you — but we cannot say it." So the mask has fallen. The truth is there. If you dig a little bit, you will find scandals that take place at this United Nations — scandals. It's not a place to maintain peace and security, it is a place where to demolish peace and security, where to destabilize societies. It's very easy, very easy at the United Nations, to destroy a country. [microphone disruption] It's very easy. I know — this is a signal for me to stop. [laughter]
I thank you very much. I still have too many things to say, but out of respect for the audience I thank you very much. [applause]
One more, allow me to thank the LaRouche foundation also, my old friends in New York. They are doing great, actually. And the Schiller Institute, of course, and this beautiful audience. I'm grateful to you. Sorry for being too long. God bless you.
Q & A
SPEED: The ambassador's not going anywhere. I just wanted to give us a chance to ask some questions, because I know people have them. We have a microphone which is going to start to go around. And just give us your name and to whom you're addressing the question.
Q: My name is T—C— and my question is for the Ambassador. I'm wondering what you think the U.S.'s end goal is in this? Why would they try to destabilize Syria and Iraq?
AMBASSADOR JA'AFARI: Thank you so much for this important question. The answer is a multi-facetted one. Number one, it's about settlement of old and new accounts, because Syria, historically speaking, has been a difficult country for the American diplomacy in the Middle East. When I say "difficult," I know what I'm talking about. From the beginning, after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, we were somehow in Syria allies, natural allies of President Wilson, the American President, who participated at the Versailles Conference and then [St. Raymond ph]. At this conference President Wilson, for the first time reflected on the real American values of the right of self-determination. He said peoples under European colonial rules should enjoy the right of freedom and the right to self-determination. Our own representative at that conference—that was a couple months before we were occupied by France—endorsed immediately that statement of President Wilson. It didn't fly. President Wilson found himself obligated to leave the conference. He lost the possibility to convince the British and French of giving up their colonies. So he failed and he returned. You know the history. From that moment, and for some time, we had only and exclusively problems with the colonial European powers, meaning Britain and France.
Our problem started with the American diplomacy when Israel was established in Palestine. Then we started having misunderstanding with the American administrations, in plural, one after the other. Washington tried to punish us many times, by instigating and pushing and backing Turkey to aggress us many times, in the 1950s, 1960s, etc. Then the war of 1967, the war of '73. We have been in a series of wars in this area for decades. So, number one is—and then, incidentally, the American administrations, Carter, Clinton, tried very hard to bring us and the Israelis to the table of peace talks. It didn't fly. So there is this ups and downs in the bilateral relationship, but there is a kind of respect.
Until recently, I mean recently the last 20, 25 years, the laboratories of the Western intelligence services, in plural, discovered that that they might use political Islam to oust the Soviets out of Afghanistan, if you remember at that time. So they started using Islam as a political weapon against so-called infidel communists. They succeeded; they succeeded. The Soviets left Afghanistan, then the whole world found itself in front of a bitter truth, bitter reality: "What to do with this garbage we created in Afghanistan? They are by hundreds of thousands from all over the world. We created evil and we don't know how to deal with it." The laboratories, the intelligence laboratories, came up with this idea. You know what? If we want to get rid of this radical Islam, we've got to encourage and back and help a moderate trend of Islam, who are the Muslim Brotherhood family.
So the West endorsed this Muslim Brotherhood family, backed them, helped them, taking over in Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt, Jordan, Yemen, and elsewhere. The departing point was that these moderates, moderate Muslims, would be an excellent answer to eliminate radicalism, the previous evil created in Afghanistan. It didn't fly because, unfortunately these Western laboratories are full of ignorance and stupid guys, and imbecilic dictionaries and encyclopedias. It didn't fly, and now we have this horrifying war between all these radical tendencies in Islam, killing each other everywhere, because each one of them is backed by one party. This group is backed by Qatar, this group is backed by France, the other group is by Turkey. Then you have Britain, then you have U.S.A., then you have etc., etc. They created a huge chaos because they are ignorants.
I need to give you one example about how ignorant they are! Before invading Iraq, there are in your country, in your beautiful country, there are 10,000 specialists in the Arab world and Islamic world. You have 10,000 specialists, American specialists. You know what? According to the memoirs I read here and there, none of these 10,000 was consulted by the Pentagon and the CIA before invading Iraq. This is why the American soldiers, when they went to Iraq, they were not only surprised by the resistance against their occupation they were surprised by the behavior of the people. They didn't know anything about Arabs and Muslims! In our traditions, men could hang out together putting hand by hand, so the soldiers, American soldiers, in Baghdad thought that these people are gay, and started harassing them. The harassment led to these people to fight against the soldiers. Very simple! Very simple truth. If they consulted one specialist in Arab affairs or the Muslim world affairs, they would have told the soldiers, "Guys, in the Arab and Muslim world, they behave this way, which is not like the way we behave here."
When you leave these very important decisions of making war and peace into unqualified hands, you make catastrophes. This is why, nowadays, Senator Black has eloquently pointed out that the American administration is supporting and backing people who behead kids! Washington spent $500 million on forming 49 terrorists—more than what they spend on forming an American soldier. Five hundred million dollars forming these 49 terrorists, and they called them Army of Freedom, or whatever. They wanted them to have the power in Syria with these 49 people. Incidentally, of course, they give them weapons, anti-tank missiles, whatever, all sophisticated weaponry they needed, and they send them inside Syria. After hours, only four of them remained—only four. The others—some of them got killed. Most of them joined ISIL, with their American weapons. Why did that happen? It happened because the decision was in the hands of non-qualified people.
Some people say creative chaos is what the American administration is looking for. Creative chaos—it's a beautiful, eloquent, expression. This is one of the answers.
The other answer is the geopolitical competition for the oil and the gas, which was eloquently elaborated by Senator Black. Some others say that it is not only about geopolitics and oil and gas, but it is about imposing the American version of globalization all over the world. You should think like me, you should eat like me, you should pray like me, you should die the way I die. This is globalization. Everybody should eat hamburger. Everybody should eat pizza. This is globalization. Chase Manhattan Bank should be in Damascus ruling the Syrian economy. This is globalization. Syrian fighter jets should not be Russian-made or Chinese-made, they should be American-made. So it is all of that, together. Thank you.
SPEED: OK, here's our situation. We have until 4:30. We're going to make a couple of changes. We're going to take one more question. I'm going to give it to Kesha. Then we're going to show a videotape that was prepared for this occasion by Congressman Walter Jones. So, Kesha.
KESHA ROGERS: Thank you. First of all, my name is Kesha Rogers, and I'm here from Texas, and I'm a member and representative of the LaRouche National Policy Committee. For those who are in the room who have just the remarks made by Senator Black and by the Ambassador, I know you have chills going up your spine. If you remember the words of President Franklin Roosevelt, "We have nothing to fear but fear itself, nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to turn retreat into advance."
I want you to think about that because what we have seen right now is the fact that the American people cannot act and continue to act out of fear. And if you look at the circumstances, first of all, we're talking about murders going on. It is important that the 28 pages as Jeff Steinberg [referred to] has been released, it is important that the JASTA bill just got passed, but these are not mere pieces of legislation. This is not for trial lawyers to make some money on suing the Saudis. This is bring down this imperial, murderous policy. And it's important to look at the fact that you have a President in the United States who has continued to perpetuate these murders, and who has a kill list, and who will continue to back ISIS and Al-Qaeda, and every other terrorist network.
And so my question to both the Ambassador and to Senator Black is, thank you for your courage, first and foremost, and we all have to exemplify and continue to exemplify such courage. What would you say to the American people that we must do now to make sure that we can once and for all bring the type of necessary peace to stop this war drive and to make sure that this policy of murder does not continue? What is your message to the American people? Thank you.
SENATOR BLACK: That is a great question. You know, we are presently under what I call the Bush-Obama Doctrine. There has been a steady progression, really since the time of Herbert Walker Bush, there was a time when the Republicans were sort of the party of peace. Under the Democrats you had the First World War, the Second World War, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and then it flipped. When Herbert Walker Bush took over, he basically entrapped Iraq into the war in Kuwait. He sent signals that yes, OK, you've got this border dispute, we're going to stay out of it. And as soon as they went in, we pounced on them and slaughtered a lot of innocent young fellows.
We've got to break this doctrine of regime change. And we've got to get to the point where we recognize that Americans in think tanks are not brighter than the people who run their own countries. You go back to Vietnam, and I fought in Vietnam, and I was very much a part of it; but one of the essential errors that we made, Vietnam, like all countries was very complex. It had a President, Diem. President Diem was a savvy guy; he understood the complexities. He knew who the powerful figures were. He knew the religious interactions and so forth.
President Diem, during an American-inspired coup, organized by the CIA, was taken out, taken into an armored personnel carrier and he was murdered. And when this happened, the United States, then tried to come up with somebody better, and we did that throughout the Vietnam War. We had some decent folks. I think it was Nguyen Thieu, who was an honorable man and so forth, but nobody quite had the savvy to comprehend the complexity of that nation, and as a consequence we lost 60,000 people. Some of them, maybe we would have lost if we had been a little more reasonable, but we would not have lost 60,000 people, and the war would have been resolved in a much better way for the United States and a much better way for Vietnam.
We have this terrible arrogance, where we send people to Yale and Harvard and they come out and they think, "I've got it figured out. All these foreigners are a bunch of dummies; they don't understand anything; they're idiots in their countries. We're going to go in and we're going to write a document and hand it to them and we'll say this is how you run your country." Well, we don't follow our own Constitution! You know, the idea that we're going to take over a foreign country and impose our own values is absurd.
And so we have got to pull back. We've got to become less confrontational with Russia. [applause] We absolutely do. We should be working with Russia and yet, we're moving troops. We've got eight battalions right on their border. We're running troops right up to their sea lanes, and then we say "Oh, they flew aircraft to warn us off. That's provocative." What? What's provocative is when you run your ships, your warships, right up to their territorial waters. What would we think if they sent nuclear submarines right off the coast of Norfolk? I'd be nervous. I'd be troubled by it. The Russians are no different. We've got to be able to start looking at things from other people's vantage point. So we need to relook our relations with Russia.
We need to relook our involvement in NATO. NATO should have shut down at the end of the Cold War. [applause] All of the defense and intelligence establishment of the Soviet Union dissolved. All that was left was you had Russia. Russia is not the Soviet Union. You hear it repeated over and over. Oh, they're just the Soviet Union. They're not the Soviet Union. But we got a lot of people who made their livelihoods in NATO, think tanks, and they've got to have an enemy, so that they can do something.
We are becoming so reckless on the Russian border that we run the risk of triggering a nuclear war. After the end of the Cold War, we promised, and it's well documented, we promised, that we would not move NATO one inch to the east. Now, we're talking about bringing in Georgia, we've brought in Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia. Things right on the border. We've moved right to the border.
The beauty of the end of the Cold War was, all of a sudden, instead of being face to face with nuclear powers, suddenly we had distance. Distance gives you time for reflection, time for communication. Now we've moved and all of a sudden, we're toe-to-toe again.
We need a sweeping overhaul of American foreign policy from beginning to end. Our concepts are anachronistic; they are self-destructive, and the idea that we are about to celebrate 9/11, and we have supplied billions upon billions of dollars to al-Qaeda, the very people who brought down the Twin Towers. Incredible! I mean, who could've done such a thing? So we need a sweeping revision in our foreign policy; we need to move away from letting the State Department and the CIA dictate policy. [applause] We need a change.
I am hoping, I don't mean to be partisan, but I'm not anxious to have a President who has already been paid for foreign policy initiatives [applause] and the Clinton Foundation has accumulated $2 billion—that's 2,000 million dollars—in addition to $111 million that simply are in the Clintons' pockets and we don't even know—I have a feeling that's the tip of the iceberg—Saudi Arabia has a lot of money and they can move it into accounts that are not visible. I just don't want politicians who have been paid off, so I think we've got an opportunity.
I hate to be partisan, because, you get me talking about George Bush, my wife had to hear me rant and rave for six months before we invaded Iraq. I was stunned. I was absolutely stunned! I had watched Ronald Reagan, who made his mistakes, but they had built a balance of power that stabilized the Middle East at the end of the Iraq-Iran War. Everything was stable; it was in place, and all of a sudden George Bush came in and said, "You know what? Take him out!" "You know, Saudi Arabia has attacked us. If we don't do something to divert people's attention, people are going to start saying how come you aren't firing nukes at Saudi Arabia after they brought down the Twin Towers?" And so what do we do? Well, what about Iraq? Let's take them down.
We've got to get away from that. I mean this is insanity, and it's suicidal for the United States, for Western civilization. It's brutal towards the Middle East, which we've left a smoking ruins. We've just had a torrent of bloodshed — unnecessary. There was a time, in the '80s, I was part of NATO forces, I could've travelled anywhere in the Middle East in complete safety. People loved Americans. People don't love Americans any more. People fear and they hate Americans, at least they hate American policy. I want to change that. I want to get to where people look at us as reliable partners, predictable partners, and not aggressive partners. [applause]
SPEED: OK. This is Diane Sare, whom some of you will be seeing later tonight. She's a choral conductor. She's also a member of the LaRouche Policy Committee and she'd like to have a word on behalf of our intellectual sponsors. [applause]
DIANE SARE: Yes, our intellectual sponsors, namely Mozart, Handel, and others. I just want to say something very quickly, because I was really delighted to hear the passion of Senator Black in speaking as he did and the Ambassador [applause] and I wanted to convey to the people gathered here that there is no difference between the concert tonight, the mass tomorrow honoring the firefighters and those who died in line of duty on September 11th, and what we are doing with the cultural work, because, as I think everyone will agree the change the United States needs is not going to come through these elections.
And the only way the nation is going to change is through a sort of what MacArthur described, a spiritual recrudescence, a revolution of the spirit and the thinking of the American people. And I can report that in the last months, as the hope for justice in the wake of the events of September 11, 2001, that a certain kind of emotional manhole cover which has been on the heads and the hearts of the American people since that event, since thousands of Americans were killed, not to mention millions who have died in these wars, that this is being lifted because people have a glimmer that we are going to get to the bottom of this; and that we are not going to stop until the truth is out and until the policy is changed.
And that change is not going to occur in the ways that Americans typically think about it, but it will occur in the spirit of what happened in Berlin in 1989. And that is what we are hoping to recruit Americans to in the concert tonight, which will be here at St. Bart's at 8 o'clock, of the Mozart Requiem, prefaced by a set of four African-American Spirituals, and concluded by the "Amen" from Handel's Messiah. So, I would urge everyone here also to join us in that, but to take heart, because, if you're looking to the election, you're looking in the wrong direction.
DENNIS SPEED: Okay. So, we're now going to show our tape. .... Let me also point out that people should go to the literature table where our solution for what Americans should do, has been thoroughly outlined in our World Land-Bridge report. The United States should assume the identity it used to have, as a productive nation, which actually gave birth to all of the policies that we are actually talking about in Russia or China today.
People should visit the literature table. They should make sure that they get that. Actually, the best thing you could do, is to begin to act by reading about that policy, to implement that policy.
Let me know if we're ready to go with the video. ... Some of you know that something happened yesterday in the United States, and it was done by this gentleman, in addition to ourselves. He changed your lives yesterday, so you should pay close attention. .... Okay, go ahead, roll tape.
Congressman Walter Jones
WALTER JONES: [pre-recorded video] I am Congressman Walter Jones. I represent the 3rd Congressional District of North Carolina in the United States House of Representatives, and I'm so pleased to have just a moment of your time to welcome those of you to the Schiller Conference, and a beautiful weekend of remembrance. There will be music, there will be appreciation for those families whose loved ones lost their life on 9/11.
Again, I want to thank you for being in attendance today. I wish I could be with you, but because of my schedule, I am not able to be there. I work with Senator Bob Graham, who I have the greatest respect for. Also, my colleagues in the House, Steve Lynch from Massachusetts, and Thomas Massie [from Kentucky], and the 9/11 families. We spent over four years working. And I want to thank the LaRouche team for helping us with this, as well.
We were able to get the 28 pages which had been classified from the 9/11 Congressional Inquiry, declassified—the 28 pages. I'm so pleased that we've taken that step forward for the 9/11 families, and also for the American people. The truth is critical to the future of this great nation.
I think it's been very rewarding and humbling, because the majority of my colleagues really had taken the time to read the 28 pages. They found out that what we've been saying for four years: there's nothing about national security in there; it's about relationships. We know that in the 28 pages, that Prince Bandar and his wife funneled money through a conduit to the 9/11 attackers. It's just good information to add to the tragedy of that horrendous day, when so many Americans were killed.
Our plans are, as you know, this is a short year because of national elections, so what we're going to do in the month of September, myself and Mr. Massie and Mr. Lynch, we're going to write the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Intelligence Committee, and tell them that in the new Congress, if we all get re-elected, that we're going to ask for hearings in the new Congress, as it relates to the 28 pages, and the fact that there's more information that needs to be made public about that horrendous event that took place in our country.
It should influence foreign policy. To me, the Saudis, I mean the Royal Family, which is a big family—we all know that; but we know that they were somewhat complicit in what happened on 9/11, and I think additional information that comes forward will help the future leaders of America better understand the world that we live in. So I see this as it will help the pain of the families who lost loved ones on 9/11, but again, it will help to strengthen—I would hope—the administrations of today, but also the administrations of the future, as they deal with those who have not been our friends all the time.
I think for us that we should say "thank you" to the Obama Administration, because what they did, they let the House and the Senate Chairmen and Ranking Members of the Intel Committee know that they were going to recommend to the House and Senate that they declassify the 28 pages. I think what we need to do, and the people at the conference this weekend, we need not to sit back and say it's over, because it's not over. It's never over when that many—3,000 Americans—were killed, and the families have been in pain for so long. We need the total truth to come forward.
And that's why, again, I want to thank the LaRouche group that I have met in Washington, D.C. that worked so hard to help me get this done. And I also want to thank Bob Graham for being the leader on this effort, and to say to everyone in the conference: We need to demand more information to come forward. And so, with that, I'm just honored to be a very small part of this.
SPEED: All right, we're at 4:25, so I'm going to exercise a certain prerogative, which is not really mine, since in fact we have to start emptying out the room at 4:30. And it's just to say the following: Helga LaRouche, when she founded the Schiller Institute, was concerned that there's a cultural question which is bigger than any political question. There's a cultural question that's larger than any economic question. And that cultural question is, what is a culture, and what does it mean that people all over the world have different ones, but that they all have something in their culture which is advanced, which expresses what it means to be human, and can you create a concert, a kind of concordantia, as Cusa called it, among people, based on the best of who they are?
When you try to do that, people oppose you. In the meeting today—not in the meeting, but around the meeting—those forces of opposition have been made very unhappy, as should be apparent, because of the fact that the LaRouches are very involved right now in China, in Russia, and in many other nations. There is a new moment that has, if you will, emerged in the world. It's not just what you're seeing, it's the process that has been unleashed, and it's a process that went on for 40 years, as we referenced.
Schiller said in Don Carlos—he had actually the Marquis De Posa say in Don Carlos—that, "A purpose that higher reason hath conceived, which men's afflictions urge, ten thousand times defeated, may never be abandoned." You can't take up the cause of humanity, and then say, after fighting for it for a year, or 10 years, or 20 years, "Well, I fought for it. I fought the good fight. That's it. Didn't win." Doesn't work. Doesn't work. That's not what they did, and that's not what we do. You fight, and you fight, and you fight. And because you keep fighting, you cannot be defeated. That's one of Mr. Lyndon LaRouche's famous—and favorite—sayings. He can never be defeated, because he won't stop fighting.
Of course it does helps to know what the weapons of fighting are, and that's why a person like Wolfgang Mozart makes such a great difference in our history. That's why someone like Ludwig van Beethoven makes such a big difference. He once wrote a note back to his brother. He had some problems with his brother, who was a landowner, and so he writes to Beethoven: "Your brother, landowner." And Beethoven wrote back to him: "Your brother, brain-owner." [laughter] It's important. It's like the other thing: "You are merely a prince; I am Beethoven." Some of you know about this. He would say these sorts of things. He was very, very clear about what it was that the true dignity of human beings was.
And so, as we leave here now, you've been involved in something that hasn't happened in the United States before, or at least recently. Maybe you can go back to the '60s—this sort of thing may have happened. But what it is that just happened, is you have been now charged with what you have been told to go out and do something with it. And that's the responsibility of the American citizen. No other citizenry in the world has the prerogatives of action that you were given, through the actions of Alexander Hamilton, Franklin, Washington, and others.
The issue of whether or not the United States has a culture, is the issue as to whether or not the United States has the courage to listen to the persistent words and actions that Lyndon and Helga LaRouche have carried out. As you've just heard, you've heard the various people who've said, "Yeah, we want to thank you for what you've been doing." Well, what we want to say to you, is that that is thanks that is deserved only by the actions that we take, and we here highly resolve to take, not only on behalf of truth, but what's called also beauty. Because you can only really proceed to freedom through beauty, and you only can proceed to truth that way.
It's important just to say, as we close, that of course, Lyndon LaRouche has been involved in something called the "Manhattan Project." If you had questions as to what it was, you just saw what it is! It's an idea that he invented, and it came right after, actually—or during—a Schiller Institute conference that we celebrated in 2014. I would just invite everyone to join that Project. That doesn't have to mean that you're in Manhattan; it doesn't mean you're in New York City. It means that you have the same idea, about the same initiative that we ask you all to take.
I want to thank you all for coming here. As some of you know, there will be a cultural event in which we're participating. The New York City Schiller Institute Community Chorus is singing. It is an event sponsored by the Foundation for the Revival of Classical Culture, which is a separate organization, and a cultural organization here in the city. We hope to see you all there tonight. So, again, thank you for coming, and we're now going to declare that this is closed. [applause]