This is an edited transcript of an Oct. 12 webcast by Schiller Institute chairwoman Helga Zepp-LaRouche with Harley Schlanger. The weekly webcasts are broadcast Thursday at noon, U.S. Eastern Daylight Time, at newparadigm.schillerinstitute.com This one may also be viewed on YouTube. You can also watch a more recent video interview of Helga with Harley's introduction from October 19, 2017 below or at this link. -- JWS
Harley Schlanger: Hello. I’m Harley Schlanger from the Schiller Institute, and I’d like to welcome you to our weekly webcast with Helga Zepp-LaRouche, who’s the founder and chairwoman of the Schiller Institute.
Helga is known around the world as the “Silk Road Lady,” for the work that she’s done in presenting the ideas of the Silk Road, and developing it to what is today, a Global Land-Bridge.
In less than a month, Donald Trump, President of the United States, will be making a trip to Asia, which will include stops in many countries, but none as important as his visit to China. It’s hoped that he’ll be able to build on the personal rapport he’s developed with Xi Jinping over the many months since the first meeting they had in Mar-a-Lago, because there’s quite a bit at stake with this.
To get a picture of this unfolding dynamic, let me welcome Helga, to speak to you.
Helga Zepp-LaRouche: Hello. As a matter of fact, this coming trip of President Trump to Asia will be extremely important, because this trip occurs in the context of a very, very dramatic strategic situation. We have all the signs that a new financial crash is in the works, and we will talk more about that in a little while. Most important is that there is an alternative already in existence, which is the incredibly dynamic Belt and Road Initiative, which was initiated by China four years ago.
As we pointed to earlier about the first summit between President Xi and President Trump in April, the best way to solve the strategic situation is to get the United States and China to work together in the Belt and Road Initiative. [Figure 1] That would mean Chinese investments in infrastructure in the United States, which are slowly starting to take place. There is the very good news that there is a new task force, which has been formed in San Francisco, California, which is intended to make it easier for Chinese investors to invest in infrastructure in the United States. And there is bidding going on, with Chinese railway companies trying to win the bid to build high-speed rail systems in California. So there are promising signs.
But given the enormous destruction of infrastructure, both through attrition, because all of this infrastructure in the United States—much of it is more than 100 years old—so it’s already decrepit, and then the hurricanes that hit in Florida, Texas, and Puerto Rico, and now wildfires have struck California. So there is a gigantic requirement, and we want China to invest in infrastructure in the United States, as part of the Belt and Road Initiative.
And on the other side, we want American firms to be involved in the many, many projects of the Belt and Road Initiative, in Asia, in Africa, and in Latin America. So that must somehow be moved to the top of the agenda.
We are right now mobilizing, mostly in the United States, but also elsewhere, in the hope that President Trump’s long-awaited and extremely important strategic trip, a state visit to China in the context of his Asia tour, will lead to a formal agreement on the Belt and Road Initiative. I think there is a definite potential for this to occur. If it occurs, we really are over the hump of the danger of war: That is my deepest belief, because the “win-win cooperation” of the New Silk Road offers a new model, not only of relations among nations in general, but a new model of major-power relations, which has been a big component of the proposals by China. And if there were such a transformation, I think the world would really enter a new era of cooperation to the mutual benefit of all: to end geopolitical games, and to certainly end the policies of the Bush and Obama administrations of interventionist wars for regime-change, and of color revolution, that could then be replaced with a system of sovereign nations working together for their mutual benefit.
If we can all work together to accomplish that—and I appeal to all listeners and viewers of this program to help us, because the mainstream media are still not reporting the extraordinary importance of this new dynamic, and therefore, it is not generally known well enough, but I think this must be changed in the next three weeks: So I’m really asking all of you to help to spread the message.
Schlanger: Helga, when you talk about this new dynamic, in addition to the relationship with China, we’ve also seen new developments between China and Japan. The Russians are also involved in this, and it’s clear that this is what’s being targetted by the attacks on President Trump. But I’d like you to say something about the broader relations that are developing around the Belt and Road, and the implications of that with this trip coming up.
Zepp-LaRouche: I think there is a strategic realignment going on. I would actually like to talk about the battle inside the United States first, because there is right now, as you say, an attempt to prevent Trump from having a positive relationship with China and with Russia. Now the famous Russia-gate is about to be put where it should have been from the beginning, in the trash can—because there is no evidence. There was a statement by Senator Burr, who said that they investigated all the accusations about “collusion” between the Trump Administration and Russia, and they could find nothing, but, there is still reason, they say, to assume that there was Russian interference in the election, because the intelligence community or the intelligence agencies are saying so.
This is an incredible story, and we have produced a dossier about the apparatus behind the effort to impeach Trump, or have a coup against Trump. It is all centered around Special Counsel Robert Mueller. This dossier is an absolute bombshell, because it establishes without any doubt that the same people and the same apparatus which went after my husband, Lyndon LaRouche, in the ’80s, and afterward, is the same apparatus which covered up the Saudi role in 9/11, and which is now organizing, with British intelligence, the fake story against President Trump.
This is a huge battle. There is a fight: For example, Senator Grassley and Congressman Nunes [Senate Judiciary and House Intelligence chairmen], both in their respective committees, have pointed to the fact that there is collusion—yes, but not with the Russians, but with British intelligence. Senator Grassley made a big point that the so-called evidence of Comey and Mueller about Russian involvement, is actually centered around the firm Fusion GPS, which hired the former MI6 agent Christopher Steele, who produced the infamous so-called “dodgy dossier” about Trump. Senator Grassley has now made the point that the FBI did not investigate this on its own, but took material from British intelligence as evidence.
So this is an unbelievable story, and it is at this point very unclear which side will come out on top. But it is the opposite of the way it is being portrayed: It is those people who are going after Trump who are the ones who should be investigated and put on trial. So that is really what is going on. The aim is to do to Trump—you may remember the picture in Gulliver’s Travels where Gulliver was tied down by so many little ropes that he couldn’t move. Obviously, the whole idea of the campaign against Trump is to keep him so busy defending himself, that he can never get to his actual agenda.
This is the battle on which the existence of the United States depends, and by implication the rest of the world, given the strategic importance of the United States.
Schlanger: And the dossier that we produced, which is in Executive Intelligence Review, “Robert Mueller Is an Amoral Legal Assassin,” has now been distributed to the entire Congress. And Mueller is actually demonstrating precisely what we said about him in that dossier, that he is meeting—either personally or through his staff—with Christopher Steele, the MI6 or ex-MI6 operative, who drafted the dossier which was the excuse for Comey, and Clapper, and Brennan to come together and create the “Get Trump Task Force” during the election last year. So the fact that Nunes is bringing this to the fore, and that Grassley is bringing it up, gets to the point that we’ve been insisting on, which is that you have to go at the British origins of the attacks on Trump. And then that brings us right back to the whole question, of what are they trying to stop Trump from doing? Are they really afraid that Putin won the election for Trump? That Putin controls the American voters? That’s an absurd story!
What you’ve been emphasizing, and I’d like to come back to this now, is that their fear is that the whole financial system, which is terribly fragile, depends on keeping the status quo of bail-outs and wars, and that if Trump does anything to disrupt that, this establishment is finished.
The Coming Financial Collapse
Zepp-LaRouche: Yes. There are actually many warnings. It’s almost amusing: One comes from the outgoing German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble, who said that there is a real danger of a new financial crisis, because the central banks were pumping in so much money. If I know of any man who is as responsible as Mario Draghi of the European Central Bank (ECB), for pumping money, then it is Schäuble. He imposed the most vicious austerity policy on countries like Greece, Italy, and Spain, but he is now blaming the central banks. He’s leaving his post as Finance Minister—maybe because he doesn’t want to be on the ship when the Titanic sinks. I would find this rather amusing, if there were not such horrible implications, such as if the collapse were allowed to happen without Glass-Steagall and the Four Laws of Lyndon LaRouche.
The IMF also is warning that the indebtedness of governments, of firms, and individuals is at the same level as it was shortly before the crisis started in 2007. So this is why we must urgently move to Glass-Steagall, separation of the banks, and establish new credit institutions, a national bank, basically to—I’ll make it brief—create something like the AIIB, which was created by China and has now been joined by over 80 nations; to have similar credit institutions based on Hamiltonian economics, for project financing in the United States and in Europe.
That reform is extremely urgent, but if the United States reinstates the Glass-Steagall Act—in some European countries, such as Italy, you already have several bills to this effect in the two houses of parliament—then Europe and the United States could very quickly cooperate with the Belt and Road Initiative. It is feasible, but it requires a tremendous political mobilization to get it done.
Schlanger: And Helga, the people who are trying to stop this change from occurring, have been emphasizing, putting out reports all the time, that China is creating inflation, it’s creating debt, and that it’s not going to work. And yet, there’s now growing recognition that in fact, what China is doing, is the only thing that will work, isn’t there?
Zepp-LaRouche: Oh yes! There is an unbelievable dispute. I think that the mainstream politicians, and even mainstream media that have been trying to make the world go away for four years by not reporting on the Belt and Road Initiative, now realize they can’t suppress it. So what you have in the last days, is almost a flood of articles, attacking China, and China’s “power dreams.” They say China’s taking over, that there is a need to block China,—just an unbelievable barrage. But you have also, from quite amazing places, the coming recognition, that drivel that is completely stupid, that you cannot stop the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative. It’s a dynamic which has developed such power that it is taking over. And you have for example, very interestingly, the CEO of Caterpillar, Jim Umpleby, who gave a very interesting interview to China Daily, saying that Caterpillar is enthusiastic about the Belt and Road Initiative, because Chinese customers are using Caterpillar machinery for road construction, for infrastructure, for power grids, for all kinds of things in Asia, in Africa, and in Latin America, and that Caterpillar is absolutely onboard and enthusiastic. And that view, that it brings enormous benefits to firms in the West to cooperate with China in all of these projects, is growing.
Former British prime minister Gordon Brown recently said the Belt and Road Initiative is something which is incredibly big; the West has not yet understood the significance of it—and that is absolutely the case.
I think it is even more important that there are an enormous number of conferences going on, and an enormous number of countries, speaking about why the Belt and Road Initiative is so advantageous for them. I’ll just give you a couple of examples: There was one conference in Poland, between the Central and Eastern European nations and China, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, in which context they published a 60-page report about the significance of the Belt and Road Initiative for the Western Balkans.
One of the tunnels of the Coca Codo Sinclair hydroelectric project in Napo province, Ecuador, being built by Sinohydro Corporation of China. It is the biggest hydroelectric power station on the Amazon River in Ecuador.
In the Western Balkans, the Serbians are completely happy with the New Silk Road, because China is investing not only in the railroad between Budapest and Belgrade, but now the Serbians are continuing that rail line all the way to the Greek ports. They are getting something which the EU had discussed in ’94, in a conference of the Transport Ministers in Crete, but they never went forward with it. Serbia now says that they almost have completed “Corridor 10,” which is the one connecting Central Europe with the Mediterranean. It will obviously open up the development of the Balkans for the first time since the dissolution of Yugoslavia—which the EU never did. This is very exciting.
Then, there was a big conference in Greece, where the Greek President praised the cooperation between China and Greece. Then other speakers said—which is interesting—that with the economic power center shifting from the Atlantic to the Pacific, Greece is no longer in a marginal position in Europe, but it has now moved to the center of the new dynamic. Greece is historically located at the center of three continents, and can become a hub of such development.
So all of these things are very, very exciting. Even in Spain, which is rocked by the Catalonia crisis right now, there was a huge conference in Galicia, where the Chinese think tank CASS and Spanish institutions cooperated. And similar conferences are planned this year in Paris and in Rome,—so the list is endless.
And there is a new spirit, the new spirit of the Silk Road taking over. That is my absolutely firm observation and belief.
Schlanger: Let’s look at another aspect of it, which is the Middle East, which is undergoing tremendous change right now, given the potential to defeat the terrorists in Iraq and Syria. There are a couple of aspects to this. One is the importance of the Russian role, but this comes back again to the whole question of the attacks on Trump, because when Trump came in, he was committed to working with Putin. The Russians are clearly a major factor now in the Middle East, and what do you make of that?
Big Changes in Southwest Asia
Zepp-LaRouche: It is very clear that the Russians have laid the groundwork for establishment of peace in Syria. There has been very useful cooperation between the United States and Russia, but it is not without problems: The Russian Foreign Ministry just warned that the United States is still backing terrorists in certain regions of Syria, and that makes the establishment of peace very difficult. The Russian spokesman who said that, said he’s not saying, and does not think that President Trump is behind that, but that it is sloppy management on the side of the military. That obviously must be corrected, but I would say that the general strategic intervention of Putin in the Middle East is trying to settle the situation: There was a several-day visit of Saudi King Salman to Moscow, and they seem to have reached agreements. There was a very important commentary by a Russian analyst, who said that the aim of Russia is to get Iran and Saudi Arabia to sit at the same table, because if that conflict is not ironed out, it makes it very difficult to deal with all the different terrorist rebels in various situations.
So I think there is a grand design by Putin, although one has to watch it, because the Saudi role is very problematic. There is actually a very important bill in the U.S. Congress which is sponsored by Congressman Walter Jones and three others, prohibiting the continued U.S. military support for Saudi Arabia’s genocidal war against Yemen. So this is an important bill [H.Con.Res.81] and one would hope that it gets passed, and the genocide stops.
But I still think that the overall efforts by Putin, who is closely coordinating all of this with Xi Jinping, are providing the potential framework to get peace in the Middle East. This is key to stopping terrorism, and to the extension of the Silk Road. In all of the Southwest Asian countries, from Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen, and then into the north of Africa, I think that this framework is on the agenda and must succeed, because of the wounds left by Bush and Obama, with their interventionist wars. And hopefully, this can lead to a situation where we achieve what must be accomplished—namely the cooperation of the United States, Russia, and China. If these three countries work together on such problems, they can be solved. If they don’t work together, it’s the source for potential war, and even World War III.
Schlanger: One other evidence of the spirit of the Silk Road you’ve been talking about, is the spirit of the people of Yemen, who in the midst of this brutal, genocidal attack from the Saudis, are openly coming out in support of the Eurasian Land-Bridge. And the Foreign Minister of Yemen sent you a letter, thanking you and the Schiller Institute for the work that you’re doing to bring this to the attention of the world. What else can be done? There’s the importance of the Jones-Khanna-Pocan-Massie bill you mentioned, but I think we have to make sure that worldwide, there’s an outcry against this continued genocide in Yemen.
Zepp-LaRouche: Yes, it’s a genocide going on right in front of the world public. No one can say that they didn’t know about it. In the Third Reich, it was and is a question, how much did people know, and when, about the extent of the genocide? But this cannot be said now, where the information that this genocide is taking place is well-known, and the fact is that the Western governments are saying nothing about it—and this is something we absolutely have to change. There must be peace in Yemen, and Yemen must be reconstructed as part of the New Silk Road, in the very near future.
Schlanger: And on that question, there’s also been a move from China to participate in rebuilding Syria, and a discussion going on with Afghanistan—so this is part of that same process, the process of the extension of the Silk Road.
The Silk Road in Outer Space
Zepp-LaRouche: Yes. I would like to bring up one other aspect that I think is very exciting: There is a space dimension to the New Silk Road. This was mentioned by the UN Commission on Space, emphasizing the Chinese role in space exploration, and the way that China is inviting all developing countries to participate in the knowledge and progress of its space program.
This is extremely important, because it means you can uplift these countries very quickly, by educating their young people. And the reason this is so important—well, space is part of the human habitat, and it should be understood to be so. We need to find out more about what’s going on in space. Today, an asteroid passed by the Earth at only 42,000 km distance! That is very close. That’s a wake-up call, because as of now we don’t have any means to defend the planet against such events. It could happen, and therefore, what Xi Jinping always says is true—that we have to build a shared community for the future of mankind, and put the common aims of mankind on the agenda. To find ways to defend the planet against asteroids, comets, and such objects is one of these aims.
And there is another dimension which has just been beautifully indicated by former German astronaut Thomas Reiter, who says that international cooperation for space development offers a perspective to overcome the thousands of years of wars and conflict on the planet, because you realize that we are one mankind. That whole discussion is urgent: the reasons we need a new paradigm, a discussion in which we don’t talk about geopolitical conflict any more, but we look at the one human race from the standpoint of our common future—what do you want it to be in the next hundred years, and in a thousand years from now? I’m pretty certain that that will also be a major issue at the coming 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, which will meet this coming Wednesday, Oct. 18, and discuss exactly that concept.
I think that this particular national party congress will be extremely important, because all the signs are that China will come up with a new perspective for the next five years. I think we will see the consolidation of all of the things which we have talked about: peace for the Middle East, development of Africa, development of Southern and Eastern Europe, development of Latin America; hopefully cooperation between the United States, Russia, and China.
For all of these changes to succeed, I think people have to develop an optimism, that the world need not be in this kind of misery and fear of war, and fear of terrorism—but that we can actually start a new chapter in the history of mankind, in which we develop human relations and develop our own creativity as the purpose of life, as well as doing everything so that our fellow citizens develop a more creative existence than they mostly have now.
I’m optimistic that this can be done, but we need a lot of help, we need support, we need you to be active, and to share this view—we need a new kind of thinking. The possibility is there! That’s the good thing. It’s not just a utopian conception as—in a certain sense—it was for 40 years, for my husband and his movement. At this point, because China, maybe already the largest economic power, is doing all of these things, and bringing a lot of countries onto the bandwagon, we can really have a new paradigm. And people have to start thinking that way, because only if you look at the present problems from the standpoint of the solution of the future, do you find an approach to solve them in the here and now. So get onboard!
Schlanger: And Helga, I’d like to conclude by just reflecting on what you just said, that today, in the United States, we celebrate Columbus Day, which was another bold venture into the unknown, which changed history. And of course, the same people trying to stop what we’re trying to get, with the United States joining the Silk Road, are trying to destroy the legacy of Columbus Day. I think the optimism that you bring with the Spirit of the Silk Road, is the only way that we can address these kinds of problems.
So I’d like to thank you for joining us today, and we’ll be back next week, with Helga Zepp-LaRouche again on the Schiller Institute New Paradigm webcast. Thank you.