While there are still questions about where the Biden administration is heading in strategic policy, there are some very real reasons for concern. There is the threat of mass starvation in Yemen, and the growing danger of food shortages in Syria, due to sanctions; last week’s U.S. military strike on a base in northeast Syria; new sanctions against Russia over the fake human rights issue of Navalny; and the intent to expand NATO into the “Indo-Pacific region”, as part of a plan to “encircle and contain” China.
In discussing these concerns, Mrs. LaRouche emphasized that these crises could be addressed through cooperation. Instead of starving children in Yemen and Syria, a program of immediate food relief could be done, with a longer-term plan for reconstruction. As for the response from China to the threats from the West, “Global Times” called these measures “evil”, describing the attacks on China as part of an obvious overall plan to prevent development in all poorer nations.
Instead of tactics leading to heightened confrontation, the U.S. should begin to address the collapse of its platforms of infrastructure. A modest plan from the American Society of Civil Engineers calls for $2.5 trillion in investment over the next ten years. In reality, a much greater amount is needed — why not fund major infrastructure projects in the U.S., she asked, rather than pouring hundreds of billions into the pockets of the Military Industrial Complex, for wars and destruction around the world?
As War Danger Grows, There Is No Alternative to U.S.-China Cooperation
The LaRouche Organization Webcast with Helga Zepp-LaRouche
Thursday, March 4, 2021
HARLEY SCHLANGER: Hello, I’m Harley Schlanger, welcome to our weekly dialogue with Helga Zepp-LaRouche. Today is March 4, 2021, and there’s a lot to talk about Helga, especially on the strategic side of things, where we’re seeing, on the one hand, some tragedies that are unnecessary, but are unfolding in Yemen and Syria. We’re seeing what’s so far an undefined direction from the United States. Let’s start with Yemen: What’s the situation there?
HELGA ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Well, I think we should be conscious of this incredible double standard which is being pushed by the mainstream media, where if you listen to them or read them, the Western countries are all about human rights and democracy, and the countries of Russia and China are all the dictatorships and authoritarian regimes. But I think if you look at the situation, as you mentioned, Yemen in particular, and Syria, I think this is such a hypocrisy that it makes you sick in the stomach. Because what we see right now in Yemen is a genocide, where about 20 million people are in various phases of starvation. This is not new. This has been coming. This has been coming for more than a year: The UN authorities, the UN World Food Program has been warning about it, and nothing has happened. There was now [on March 1] the so-called “donor conference” which is a farcical expression given the fact that they don’t given anything. UN General Secretary António Guterres said that what is required for the situation in Yemen where a very large part of the population is completely food-aid dependent, because the Saudis are blocking the ports and airports, so that food aid and medical aid cannot be brought in, that there must be an immediate $3.8 billion for food and medical programs to save the population. And what was the result? It was a ridiculous $1.7 billion which is less than last year. And if you think about the trillions of dollars and euros which are being wasted and spent to save the speculators, to save a bankrupt banking system, then $1. 7 billion is less than the proverbial peanuts. Then there are reports that 400,000 children under the age of 5 are already in the process of starving to death, that their skin is like parchment, that they have hollow eyes—I mean, this is incredible! It would be so easy—and I don’t want to hear the words “democracy” and “human rights” any more from anybody, who is not mobilizing to change the fate of these Yemeni people. It would be so easy to bring in ships to the ports for Sana’a, and basically say this food will be delivered, and there is no resistance permitted by Saudi Arabia. There would be means to pressure Saudi Arabia to allow this food to go through!
The fact that this is not being done cries to Heaven. And I think this is a complete declaration of bankruptcy for Europe—they’re not doing anything about it—and the whole so-called West.
Now, not very different is the situation in Syria, where reports are that one-third of the population is suffering hunger, many of them are going towards starvation if this is not changed. And that is naturally the result of the long war waged by the United States in particular, betting on the al-Qaeda and Al Nusra for regime change against Assad. And then, naturally, the last year, everything was completely made worse by the coronavirus pandemic. So you have a country reduced to rubble and torn apart by the effects of the pandemic. So, what is now happening? Israel has been making airstrikes against Damascus for weeks! We had eyewitness reports from people in Damascus who said that they’re absolutely horrified, and the pretext is that these [strikes are against] groups which are associated with Iran.
So this is now reaching a critical point, because the special envoy for Syria of President Putin, Alexander Lavrentiev, he said that the patience of Russia is running out, also of Syria, naturally, but especially of Russia, and there could be some counterstrikes against these strikes on Damascus. Now, that would obviously immediately have the potential to flare up the conflict into a big one, and one should see that in light, also, that the Biden administration launched their first military strike last week, on the Syrian side of the Iraqi-Syrian border, also supposedly hitting some groups associated with Iran in retaliation for an attack on the U.S. and coalition forces inside Iraq, a few days earlier. Now this was completely illegal, because if that was the case, that there were these attacks, the proper way to deal with it, would have been to take it to the UN Security Council: There was no immediate danger, it was several days afterwards, and therefore fulfills the criteria of a revenge strike. Tulsi Gabbard, who is one of the few people with guts in the United States, it seems, she said it was laudable that some of her former colleagues in the Congress attacked that, but that they failed to attack the larger policy of regime change against Assad, which is still going on, where the United States, again, is working with al-Qaeda and Al Nusra to accomplish that.
I think this is really terrible, because this is the first major indication that the Biden administration is going back to the policy of “humanitarian interventions,” of regime change, and that has been also demonstrated by Blinken, who had a phone discussion with the self-appointed “president” of Venezuela Guaidó, saying that he would work with him in order to return Venezuela to democracy.
Now, it is that policy of regime change, of intervention in foreign countries for the so-called purpose of democracy but creating havoc, which has brought the world to the present point of total crisis. This should be condemned, and I think we need to absolutely seek for a different policy, because if you continue that, it is a question of time, when this really will explode into a big confrontation.
SCHLANGER: You mentioned the Russian reaction to the Israeli strikes in Syria; there’s also been new sanctions against Russia on the Navalny case, coming from the U.S., and Biden’s had some things to say, this both toward Russia and China. Where do you think this is headed?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: I think, while Biden in the virtual speech to the Munich Security Conference said that he did not want to have a reflexive return to the Cold War and bloc thinking, unfortunately, his deeds are not going in this direction. There was an assessment by the Russian Valdai Club, which is basically a think tank and an association of intellectuals; they came out with the analysis that the Biden administration is fully back on a line of confrontation against Russia and China. And naturally, the most important aspect of that, is going back to the Pivot Asia policy of the Obama administration, and unfortunately, this started already in December 2017 and January 2018, where a whole series of U.S. strategic and national security documents were published which defined Russia and China as the key adversary. And just before the Trump administration went out of office, in January, they published a document which comes from this period called the U.S. Framework on the Indo-Pacific [https://trumpwhitehouse.archives.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/IPS-Final-Declass.pdf]. And this paper was classified, but they published it, they declassified it in January of this year, obviously to create an environment where the military-industrial complex would define what would be also the policy orientation of the Biden administration.
Now, what this document basically calls for is the old thesis which comes from the policy of the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) doctrine, which the neocons developed at the end of the Soviet Union, when the Soviet Union disintegrated, and which was pushed in particular in 1992 by Dick Cheney, which was the idea that the U.S. is the only dominant country in the world, that therefore this new Indo-Pacific doctrine framework basically has the same idea, that U.S. dominance and U.S. values will be defended. And actually, what it means in practice, is a policy of containment, against China in particular, against Russia. And there were several criticisms of it, which pointed to the fact that the very harsh policy, especially in respect to Taiwan has the seed also of leading to a war, because Taiwan is part of the One-China policy of China and they have declared it to be one of the red lines.
I think this is very dangerous, and naturally, it brings up the big strategic question: It is a fact that China is a nation of 1.4 billion people; they have a 5,000-year-old history and they were the technologically leading nation of the world until the 17th century. Many of the inventions were developed in China, and they have managed in the last 30 or 40 years to bring 850 million of their own people out of poverty, and they are now a rising nation. So that large population and the policy which is absolutely based on innovation, on the emphasis on scientific and technological progress, as demonstrated by their breakthroughs in space technology, in fusion technology, in fast train systems, you cannot contain such a nation other than with war. But if the United States then says, no, we will have an Indo-Pacific policy where they built the so-called “Quad,” which is an alliance of Australia, Japan, India, and the United States, and if they try to pit these countries basically in order to contain China in the Indo-Pacific, this is the prescription for disaster.
So I think the shift to the Indo-Pacific is something one has to pay very great attention to, and it is quite ridiculous, if one can find a humorous element in this whole thing, that the German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer is now planning to deploy one German frigate into the Indo-Pacific to show flag that she is part of this American/NATO deployment. But the big danger is that behind all of these things, and that was articulated by NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg, at a recent NATO meeting, is the effort to extend NATO globally, to have a global NATO, with the aim of regime change in Russia and China: And that is, for sure, the seed for a Third World War.
SCHLANGER: The Chinese are responding to this, as are the Russians, but mostly, patiently, but giving out more clear warnings recently. What did you hear from China, recently, Helga?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: I think the clarity with which China responds to these things is getting clearer by the day. There was on March 2 a very important article in Global Times, in which they said for the first time that the policy to try to contain the growth of China, the effort to fight together with many other developing countries for a better living standard of all its citizens, that this policy is “evil.” And also this article said that the effort to protect intellectual property is completely legitimate, but if that turns into an effort to prevent China and other developing countries from scientific and technological progress which is the precondition for an improvement in the living standard, that this is “malicious” and “evil” and cannot be tolerated. [https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202103/1217096.shtml]
So, there is a very strong response, and given the fact that Biden also has made clear in many of his election campaign speeches, that he wants to make climate change the absolute center of U.S. foreign policy and national security policy, and that he is going to basically force countries to comply with the Paris accord. Now given the fact that China presently has 250 GW in power coming from coal plants, and is building another 95 GW power plants based on coal, this is a big bone of contention. And China is also helping many other developing countries to build modern coal plants which are environmentally very clean. And China plans to have by the year 2050 still 50% of its energy coming from coal, and only comply in 2060 with the Paris accord. But you can be sure that China is in absolute certainty going to have enough nuclear power by that time, to be able to go out of coal.
But what this means is an unveiled effort to prevent the development of the developing countries, because there is no way how you can develop the third world without coal plants! In many countries this is the only way they will have the necessary energy to get out of this incredible poverty and disaster which many countries are in. So I think this is an extremely evil policy, and it should be called that way. And I’m quite in agreement when China says this policy is evil.
SCHLANGER: Given that the Chinese obviously saw what happened in Texas to weeks ago, they’re probably not going to cover much of the land area of China with windmills. Meanwhile, this brings up the question of what about the United States? We’ve heard repeatedly over the recent years of the commitment for internal improvement, for infrastructure, developing new platforms, and yet, on the whole, it hasn’t been done. And there’s a new report out from the American Society of Civil Engineers basically pointing out that this disinvestment is wrecking the physical economy. Shouldn’t we be concentrating on rebuilding America’s infrastructure as part of a global plan to upgrade power production, and so on?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: This report you mention from the American Society of Civil Engineers is a big report; it’s 170 pages, and it goes through in great detail the miserable condition of American infrastructure. Many categories get a “D” grade, not a C, but a D—that is, schools, roads, bridges—so American infrastructure is in terrible condition, which we know from many eyewitness reports from our colleagues in New York, in New Jersey, and so on. If you go through some of these roads in New Jersey, you should not drive with a little Italian Fiat 500, because you may disappear into a pothole.
It’s really something which needs to be repaired, and this entire military budget which the United States has, and every time these missiles are launched against Syria or some other country, this makes the missile producers very rich, and the military-industrial complex very happy; the missile producer Raytheon, they make billions by these actions, and they want to keep the wars going. But that money is clearly not deployed for the repair of schools, for the repair of roads, and what this report now demands, or basically says, is that the next 10 years must have an investment of $2.5 trillion in infrastructure investment in the United States.
Now, we had many years ago estimated that and we came to a much higher calculation, because this is not just to repair the existing infrastructure, but if you want to go and build a modern transport system, like a fast train system, of which the United States has zero, if you want to build something like what the Chinese have you probably would need, minimum, an investment of $8 trillion or more. If you want to be a little bit more ambitious, and build new cities in the not so populated areas in the United States, you could easily say that an investment in the realm of $20 trillion in the next 10 years would really modernize the United States in a way which would be beneficial for all the citizens and make, really, a completely different situation.
So it really comes back to the question, is this policy of permanent war really in the interest of the United States, or not? I would say it is not: It would be much more in the interest of the United States to reconstruct the United States itself, to spend all of that money to retool all the firms which are now producing for the war machine, retool them and get them going for the domestic reconstruction of the United States. I think this would be better for the United States and it would be better for the world.
SCHLANGER: You mentioned Raytheon as one of the military-industrial complex companies. The current Secretary of Defense, Gen. Lloyd Austin (ret.) was from the board of Raytheon.
Now, instead of Cold War and containment, we’re seeing a lot of this—the Atlantic Council report on the “Longer Telegram,” and so on—are there any signs that there are people having discussions between the U.S. and China, either local or any other cooperation efforts?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Yes. There are tiny signs of hope, but hope: One is a discussion between the main person in charge of fighting the pandemic in China, Zhong Nanshan, who had a Zoom conference with Dr. Anthony Fauci. And they emphasized that the coronavirus and pandemic is the enemy of all of mankind, and therefore the efforts to fight it must be put together and united. And I think this is the right spirit.
There was also the Fifth China-U.S. Sub-National Legislatures Cooperation Forum and that included legislators from many Chinese provinces but also state legislative leaders of Alabama, California, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Michigan and Tennessee. And the ambassador of China to the United States, Cui Tiankai, he pointed to the fact that all of humanity is really sitting in one boat, that the two most important economies in the world have everything to gain from cooperating with each other, and absolutely to gain by having a policy of confrontation. http://newyork.china-consulate.org/eng/lghd/t1858437.htm
So, one would hope that on that level there is a return to a different approach, of cooperation and you know, we have so many problems in the world right now, if you think about the unbelievable misery in many countries, if people don’t change, and have an agapic approach that we are one human species, and that it would be so easy to get rid of famine; most diseases are absolutely containable if there would be common research, we could have crash programs as it was done with the vaccine for the COVID-19, where some researchers developed new technology in less than a year, and this approach, they came actually from cancer research; this was a firm in Mainz, Germany, and they basically shifted at the beginning of last year to trying to find a vaccine against the pandemic, and they succeeded. So, this you could try to do with all major diseases, and you could really go and try to find cures for many diseases which cause incredible suffering on millions of people. So why not shift?
Can we not shift the orientation? Stop geopolitical confrontation which is really the method which led to two world wars in the 20th century, and which will lead to the annihilation in the 21st century because of thermonuclear weapons if it is not stopped. So I think this effort to contain China with the Indo-Pacific policy is definitely the biggest danger right now, and I think the idea to really take a step in a different direction and define the common aims of mankind, like, for example, the defense against asteroids or comets, the idea that you can detect earthquakes through especially the exploration of space, that space research and development has so many beneficial side aspects for dealing with the problems on Earth, that I think we have to absolutely make this jump. And given the fact that we had, in February, three Mars missions which so far have all been extremely successful, where a high degree of international cooperation occurred in each single mission, why not take that a step further? And rather than trying to militarily divide space up, which some people are clearly thinking—and which also makes nuclear war only more likely, because of the time for delivery of nuclear weapons is shortened by such policies—why not really go and make a huge leap, go to a new paradigm in thinking? And rather than destroying each other on Earth, that we find a new paradigm of tackling the challenges which confront all of civilization?
So, I think there is hope, absolutely, but it requires a major shift in policy.
SCHLANGER: And I would say to our viewers that you can join us: Come to the Schiller Institute website, become a member, contribute, get our new report on “The Great Leap Backward” which exposes some of the elements of the policy of the oligarchy, the Great Reset, the Green New Deal: But become active! Because what Helga just laid out is a very positive potential, that can come because of the weakness of the people who are trying to push for war to hold their empire together.
So, Helga, thanks for joining us this week. We’ll see you again next week.
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Till next week.