The Big "If..."
After the Christmas holiday, we find ourselves in the full swing of a worldwide crisis which offers the greatest prospects for a fundamental breakthrough for the human species since at latest Franklin Roosevelt's efforts of three-quarters of a century ago. This unique, unprecedented moment probably offers even greater opportunities than those that Douglas MacArthur hailed at the end of World War II—before Churchill and Truman destroyed them. While it is true that terrible dangers threaten us, yet Lyndon LaRouche's methods can provide the inspiration, through decisive and far-seeing leadership, to enable nations to overcome them.
To pursue one example to try to illustrate this point: President Trump's decisive action in withdrawing from Syria and then, presumably, from Afghanistan, has of course reminded the American people of the reasons that they elected him President. After the desolation of the Bush and Obama years, it has rekindled their vision of what the country could be.
But it has done more, as the reports below begin to indicate. The U.S. rejection of the "forever wars" foisted on us by the British empire, is simultaneously triggering an incipient process of negotiation between the Four Powers of the U.S., Russia, China and India—along with others such as Turkey, Syria, and Pakistan—on an emerging peace order for South and Southwest Asia. Not only does this mesh perfectly with China's Belt and Road Initiative, but it brings us closer to negotiations for a New Bretton Woods system—if we force those to happen.
At the same time, China's Chang'e-4, now orbiting the Moon, will soon make the first-ever soft landing on its far side—perhaps as soon as the first week in January. Just as we are now entering an unprecedented moment of all human history—so also, everything the Chinese lander finds there will be a new discovery; no one has ever been there before, and so nothing is really known.
Although the fake-news media is studiously ignoring Chang'e-4 now, this will soon be impossible even for them, and the news of this great space mission for mankind will break wide open into the midst of the ongoing mass-strike process. LaRouchePAC Texas leader Kesha Rogers has asked whether there will be a "Chang'e-4 shock" like the Sputnik shock of October 4, 1957—a fair question. Sputnik, man's first step into space, changed the world forever. Indeed, America under the Second Eisenhower Administration changed as if overnight. The revival of the country and the New Deal spirit which we associate with the Kennedy years, actually began under Eisenhower with the "beep-beep" of Sputnik.
Along with Chang'e-4, we have been celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 8 mission in which humans first orbited the Moon. This was the first time that human beings had ever left the influence of the Earth's gravitation to enter that of another heavenly body. Decades earlier, Russian space pioneer Konstantin Tsiolkovsky had called it "breaking the chains of slavery to gravity."
Apollo 8 was not only a triumph of humanity and of science—it was also a triumph of leadership. Three astronauts had been killed in 1967, and the U.S. Moon program was in trouble. Then, in August of 1968, a mere 16 weeks before Apollo 8 came to be launched, a middle-level NASA leader in Houston called two peers into a secret meeting, to propose to repurpose what would have been a redundant Earth-orbiting mission into the first manned mission into Lunar orbit. After Houston had secretly determined that the mission was indeed doable, they telephoned NASA Administrator Jim Webb in Europe for the go-ahead. Webb was furious at them, but he had to agree—and the rest is history. Science, history, leadership—they're all ultimately the same thing.
In his Y2000 autobiography Failure Is Not an Option, pioneering flight controller Gene Kranz wrote, "To keep this mission clearly separated from the current plans, I designated Apollo 8 as the X mission. Until the mission was approved, we had to keep all mission data for the originally planned E mission. The X mission was now joining the ranks of the Gemini 4 space walk, the Gemini 76 rendezvous, and [george] Mueller's all-up Saturn test concept, as examples of the high-risk, high-gain leadership we had in the 1960s. The decision to go to the Moon with Apollo 8 was made before we had ever flown a manned Apollo spacecraft."