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Helga Zepp-LaRouche Addresses Sare for Senate Presidents Day Conference on 'America's Next Fifty Years'

Panel 2: Sunday, February 18, 2024

DANIEL BURKE: We are now about to begin our second panel of the Diane Sare for U.S. Senate Presidents’ Day Conference, “America’s Next Fifty Years.” My name is Daniel Burke. The first speaker on the afternoon panel, I am very privileged to introduce you to: Her name is Helga Zepp-LaRouche, founder of the Schiller Institute.

HELGA ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Hello. First my very heartfelt greetings to you. I think we are in an incredibly exciting moment which is very, very dangerous, but also extremely promising. If you are an average American, and I guess you are sort of belonging into that category, you are probably used to view from the American point of view, American media. Maybe you have some friends in some other continents and you communicate with them, but primarily, you are very much influenced by the environment which is created by the Washington Beltway, by whatever social media you follow. But in general, it is an American environment. That means in all likelihood—and I’m happy if you contradict me in the discussion period—that you think more or less like what the media are portraying. Then you have all the problems in America; I know Diane was talking about some of them, José was talking about some of them. But I want to tell you that is actually a completely different world happening, and a tectonic shift in history, where totally different dynamics are going on which are actually very promising and much more optimistic than anything you can come to as a conclusion if you are just looking at it from the U.S., or even from Europe for that matter. And most people in the West have no inkling how gigantic this tectonic shift, which is taking place, actually is already, and how far it has developed.

This does not only pertain to the building of a new economic system, because the countries of the Global South have undergone a whole series of developments, whereby they are now in earnest developing a completely new economic system. It also involves a completely different outlook, different values, and not necessarily worse values, but more likely values which used to be common for Americans, for your grandparents, or even further back, during the time of the American Revolution, Lincoln, and so forth. I don’t need to develop how America thinks about itself right now, because you are sitting in the middle of it.

Let me give you two different perspectives: One, for the last three days, there was the Munich Security Conference. This is generally called the “military Davos,” where all the Western top military, top parliamentarians who have to do with military issues, top generals, top defense ministers, and so forth, are meeting. This is basically the absolute PR event for the entire military-industrial complex on both sides of the Atlantic. This time they invited a couple of people from the Global South, because they somehow realized that the Global South is moving in a completely different direction. What they basically discussed at this 60th Munich Security Conference was how fantastic it is that all the NATO countries have now increased their military budgets. In the United States, it’s almost $1 trillion per year; all the other countries have raised their budgets to 2% of their annual budget, some Baltic countries even 3%.

There was in the previous weeks before the conference, an absolute buildup about the coming war with Russia. The only differentiation was that some people said, “No, we have to prepare for the war with Russia in two years, in three years”; others said, “No, we have time; five years, or even eight years.” But the consensus is that this war with Russia will take place. And naturally, which is a sign of the times, if you have a conference which started off very positively as a platform for dialogue, naturally now Russia was not invited. There was absolutely no room for diplomacy, except the Chinese guest, Wang Yi, naturally spoke about the need to have democratic approaches and diplomacy and dialogue.

Basically it was hype, more weapons to Ukraine, why is Germany not sending the Taurus missiles, why not bring in weapons which go deep into the territory of Russia? And naturally, like a bomb, which detonated just minutes before the conference opened, was the news about the death of Navalny. Naturally, there was a complete hype-up: Now NATO can only give one answer, “We have to make sure that Putin gets the bill for this.” So, the atmosphere was absolutely unbelievable. And because Trump is supposed to win the election in the United States, there was hysteria that now Europe must have its own nuclear bomb, Germany must have the bomb. So, that is one other perspective.

Then, shifting to a completely different place, that is that over the last week there was the Chinese New Year—the Year of the Dragon. The Chinese people and many Chinese communities worldwide had celebrations with absolutely spectacular and unique scenes during these Spring Festival holidays, beautiful and colorful and full of imagination, completely amazing the whole world. Just over the weekend, traveling across the regions in China during this Spring Festival, the people who traveled from one city to the next in China, was 2.3 billion people visiting relatives and friends. There were also record numbers for the Spring Festival, for films, tourist achievements in many places. The fact that this festival is also being celebrated in many other parts of the world, shows you that the global significance of this festival is actually spreading.

Then, a third perspective, also at the same time, there is taking place the annual meeting of the African Union in Addis Ababa. Given the absolute dominant topic of the genocide in Gaza, this was a very big issue of discussion. And the other major topic was the African development and the jump into a completely new phase of African history. The Chairman of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat lamented the growth of injustice in the world presently, the hegemonism, of which Gaza is just the worst case. He got a very big applause in talking of the role of South Africa, for having brought the Gaza genocide to the International Court of Justice in The Hague. He quoted Mandela saying that the freedom of South Africa is incomplete if Palestine is not free.

Then another speaker, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia Dr. Abiy Ahmed Ali gave a very beautiful perspective of the future of Africa, saying that the African nations must become key players in shaping the economic future for all of humanity. He recounted the beautiful history of Africa having been the home of mankind, the origin of agriculture, architecture, medicine. He went through the history of how the development of Africa was held back artificially by colonialism, because the education was suppressed, culture was suppressed and undermined, there was a gigantic theft of resources. But then he turned optimistic and said what an incredible future Africa will have because it is full of rich resources, but especially because it has a very young population who will be able to carry out the very bold visions of the Agenda 2063, by which time Africa is supposed to be a fully modern and developed continent.

So, if you look at these three angles from the world, which tendency will win out? Will it be the harmonious outlook of the Chinese? Will it be the bellicose idea of the North Atlantic region? Or will it be a perspective of development as it was expressed in Addis Ababa?

In order to arrive at a positive end, whereby not the geopolitical outlook of the Atlantic faction, which has no room anymore for diplomacy or cooperation, but just more war, more weapons, more build-up, if that dominates, then the danger is that we end up in World War III. In order to look at where is the potential way out, we have to look back on how did we get to this incredibly dangerous and terrible moment?

It’s important to look at what went wrong along the way, starting maybe with the lost chance of 1989. Most of you were not yet born, or just maybe barely born, when the Berlin Wall in Germany came down and the Soviet Union disintegrated. But this was an incredible moment when history could have changed for the better, because Lyndon LaRouche and our movement proposed a peace order for the 21st century, which was the idea of the Eurasian Land-Bridge connecting Europe and Asia through development corridors, which then would have been the basic motor of the reconstruction of the entire world economy. That was eminently feasible, but unfortunately at that point you had already the neo-cons in the U.K. and the United States, who, despite all promises to Gorbachev to not move NATO one inch to the East, already were plotting their role as a dominant force in an unipolar world based on the Anglo-American relationship. This was expressed, for example, by Francis Fukuyama, who talked about the End of History, and the idea that every country in the world would adopt the democratic liberal model, and therefore history would end, because everybody would be the same and no major events would take place because of this domination of the liberal order.

We know what happened in the years following, because not all countries wanted to, by free will, submit to this idea of the neo-liberal model. So therefore, there was the medicine in store: regime-change, color revolution, interventionist wars, and six NATO expansions to the East. One part of it was Ukraine, because the neo-cons were completely convinced that Russia had to be reduced to just a regional power, as Obama would say later, or even be cut into pieces where other countries would have access to the vast raw materials of Russia. In the 1990s this was not a problem, because the Yeltsin government went along and Russia was plundered. But when Putin came in and started to undo that, to work to give Russia back its role as a world leader—after all, it is the largest country in terms of territorial expansion; it has 11 time zones. So, Russia has a certain reason to think they have a right to be one of the major players in the world. But that was attempted to be undone already with the Orange Revolution in Ukraine in 2004, because the idea from the geopolitical standpoint was that once you move NATO or offensive American weapons systems to the border of Russia, by integrating Ukraine into the Western camp, that Russia becomes indefensible. And, Russia knows that, and that’s why the situation is what it is today in terms of the Ukraine war.

Victoria Nuland bragged that, for Ukraine, the State Department alone spent $5 billion. In the meantime, the story that the war which started on Feb. 24, 2022 was “unprovoked,” and therefore criminal and whatnot, has completely been revoked by Secretary-General Stoltenberg, who said that the war actually started already in 2014.

Naturally, there are two stories about what happened in 2014. One is that there was a democratic upheaval in the Maidan; and the not-so-nice story is that it was a fascist coup supported by the West. We have documented in great detail which of the two versions is true. Merkel and Hollande in the meantime admitted that the whole Minsk Accord negotiations were just done to gain time. That was another lost chance. The first one was 1989, that the peace order was not adopted. This one, not to have peace with the Minsk II Accords, was the second major lost chance. And when Putin, on Dec. 17, 2021, after the whole situation had already become—I’m sorry I’m going for too long, but this was already a lost chance.

Then what followed was a very long series of sanctions against Russia, the idea was to ruin Russia, which did not function. It’s now the largest economy in Europe. Then the weaponization of the dollar by confiscating $300 billion of Russian assets, $9 billion of Afghan assets [in Western banks]. All of this had a gigantic blowback, a de-dollarization. Countries said it’s not safe to have your assets in dollars, so they started to trade in local currencies. And they are building their own currency. And the BRICS now have 9 member countries already, 22 more countries have applied for membership, 40 others have expressed interest in becoming members, possibly as soon as this year.

The Global South has not bought at any time the NATO narrative, because they judge the situation from the experience of colonialism and therefore, when they see what is the effect of the U.S. interventionist wars, and they compare that to the economic win-win cooperation they get when they trade with the Chinese, they see very clearly that their only chance to become fully developed countries—no more just raw material exporters—and have full industrial production in their own countries, with the idea to become medium-income countries in the short term, they see that this is possible with China. They also are very thankful to Russia, because they know what the Soviets did in the time of the anti-colonial fight. So, that is why the Global South is not moving with the Atlantic countries. If the establishments of the United States and Europe are not coming down from their high horse of Euro-centrism and correcting the flaws which led to this present situation, you will have more of what we have seen in the last weeks and months: Farmers by the hundreds of thousands in the streets, in Greece, Italy, Spain, France, Portugal, Holland, Germany, Hungary, and other countries.

So, we have, therefore, a situation where everything is down to the wire. I just want to—it’s too short now to go into it in depth, but there is a gigantic fight for the control of the narrative. The West is desperately trying to control the narrative that the liberal system, the “rules-based order,” we are the good guys, and we are in a fight against the dictatorships of Russia, China, and then some other autocratic dictators in the Global South. But I can only tell you, we are close to a war. This is because the Western system is really in a total collapse form, and therefore there is a gigantic effort to control this narrative, by means which actually are not so democratic, but they are quite dictatorial.

There is a fascinating interview which Tucker Carlson just made with Mike Benz, who used to be the head of the cyber portfolio at the State Department. He is now the Executive Director of the Foundation for Freedom Online. In this interview, which I can only advise you to watch, he goes into great detail of how there is an effort to have total control of the NATO narrative by using the tools which were previously used against the Russians, against the other outside enemies, but this time for a total censorship of the domestic population. This is not entirely new, because these were methods which were used in the postwar period by the Congress for Cultural Freedom. But with the emergence of the capacities of the internet and the control of social media, this is now orders of magnitude more efficient. This is incredible. Anybody who is challenging the narrative of NATO, not by doing anything indecent, but just by trying to bring in the larger historical context and perspective, is either labeled as a Russian agent, like Russiagate against Trump in 2016, or just as a right-wing extremist, anti-Semite, or any other such slander. There is the means of shadow bending, of using algorithms to make you disappear in the internet. So, that makes it very difficult.

I think the only way out of this crisis is that we have to make sure that the voice of the Global Majority must be heard in the United States, and also in Europe, because they do represent 85% of the world’s population.

Now I have to come to an end because of my time limit.

If you look at what is going on among the BRICS+, they are intending to build infrastructure on a completely modern level. You already have a better fast train between Bandung and Jakarta, Kunming and Laos, than you have anywhere in the United States or Europe, for that matter, maybe with the exception of Spain. Countries in the Global South want to leapfrog, they want to have nuclear energy; they want to have participation in the space projects of the large space nations such as Russia, China, and India—or the United States, but not so much.

In any case, what we have to accomplish, and I can only offer you more discussion in the Q&A, is that we need a New Paradigm in the United States. We have to convince large segments of the population to go for cooperation instead of confrontation, to go for partnership, equality, respect of the other system. Especially we have to get young people excited to learn how in the universal history the torch of progress has been given from one country and one culture to the next: For example, if you look at the ancient Silk Road, this was not only the exchange of goods, but especially of technologies. Not just silk, but how to make silk; not just porcelain, but how to make porcelain. In medicine, if you look at how the medical science developed from the Greek doctor Hippocrates, Galen, to Ibn Sina, who lived around 1000 AD in Uzbekistan and Afghanistan: If they would not have made their breakthroughs, we would not be sitting here. Because they were there, our forebears, our great-great-grandparents could live and produce children, and we are the end result of it. So, we are intimately connected to universal history in the same way that what we do is laying the foundation for better generations in the future. I think we have to take this idea of a New Paradigm, of thinking of a one humanity first, and have a dialogue of cultures, discover how beautiful other cultures are and how different and how much we are getting richer by knowing them. I think that if we intervene in the United States and in Europe with this perspective, I’m absolutely hopeful and optimistic that we can win over the population to an idea of agapē, of love for mankind. And that beautiful text by Schiller in the Ode to Joy in the Ninth Symphony composed by Beethoven about that—"All men become brothers” and sisters, as well: that we become the one humanity.