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Interview: Joel Dejean — LaRouche Independent Candidate for Congress

Interview: Joel Dejean — LaRouche Independent Candidate for Congress

This is an edited transcript of the interview with Joel Dejean by Mike Billington on April 20, 2022. Mr. Dejean is the LaRouche Independent candidate for U.S. Congress from Texas’s newly-created 38th C.D. Mr. Billington is an Editor for Executive Intelligence Review magazine. 

Mike Billington: Greetings! This is Mike Billington, co-editor of the Executive Intelligence Review. I’m here today with Joel Dejean for an interview for EIR, for the Schiller Institute, and for The LaRouche Organization.

Joel Dejean is a LaRouche Independent candidate for Congress in the 38th District in Texas, running against a Republican favorite, Wesley Hunt. Joel was born in Haiti. He moved with his parents at the age of six to the Bronx, a Borough of New York City, and in 1972 won admission to the prestigious Bronx High School of Science, which is part of the New York City public school system. He earned a degree in Electrical Engineering from the state university at Stony Brook, followed by 8 years working at the Texas Instruments defense electronic group, where he worked on projects, for the U.S., Australian, and South Korean air forces. 

He has been a collaborator of Lyndon LaRouche’s Fusion Energy Foundation, and the LaRouche political movement since 1985.

In 1995, while Joel was campaign for a LaRouche associate in France, he suffered a severe retinal tear in his right eye and returned to Houston. Efforts to save that eye failed as did work on the left eye, leaving him blind. But this has in no way stopped his full-time effort to fight for the future of mankind. He’s able to read anything he wishes on the internet, through various apps, and also has access to audio books and to 500 newspapers and magazines from the National Federation of the Blind. In fact, his campaign slogan is that he’s the only candidate with a positive vision for the future.

Welcome, Joel! Would you like to add anything about your career?

Joel Dejean: Well, the only thing I’ll add, is that in July of 1969 I was 10 years old, and I remember being on a family vacation to the Niagara Falls area. The evening of July 20, I remember watching Neil Armstrong come down the ladder of the Lunar Lander and take that “giant leap for mankind.” That inspired me to study real science and eventually become an engineer, and that’s how I ended up in Texas. 

Billington: You’ve run for office in Texas before. You ran for the Houston Independent School Board in the fall of 1993, and then in 1994, for U.S. Congress from the 25th C.D. in Texas, campaigning for Lyndon LaRouche’s solutions to the unfolding economic and strategic breakdown.

What made you decide to run again, at this critical moment in global history? 

Dejean: Back then, we were running as LaRouche Democrats. LaRouche himself, in January of 1994 was still in prison. He was paroled just a few weeks later. We were trying to revive the tradition of the Democratic Party—the Franklin Roosevelt, John Kennedy tradition of scientific optimism and a control of the banking system.

Now, in 2022, both parties have completely lost any idea of the tradition of the American System. The idea of running now as an Independent, is, [a reflection of what] LaRouche said on his 90th birthday: Party politics is out, party politics is corrupt. So, we have to provide an alternative to the American people. Because if you look at the policies coming from the Republicans and the Democrats, they are in goose-step, marching toward war, depression, and famine. We have to give the American public in Texas, in the nation, and the people of the world an alternative.

Billington: So, both you and Diane Sare—a LaRouche Independent candidate running from New York State for the U.S. Senate against Chuck Schumer—are actually running as national candidates, to build a movement of citizens to take responsibility for the current global crisis of civilization, the impending dark age of economic and strategic collapse, which at this point no one can avoid.

What inspired you to join the LaRouche movement in the first place?

Dejean: The first time I ran into the LaRouche movement was March 23, 1983. I didn’t even know about him then. I had just completed a round of flight tests with an upgraded infrared detection system at the Eglin Air Force Base in the panhandle of Florida. I had gotten wind that President Ronald Reagan was going to give a national Defense speech on TV that evening. I watched the President saying that we had to get the scientific community that gave us nuclear weapons to now give us the capability to make those same weapons “impotent and obsolete.” 

Although I wasn’t working on strategic weapons, but tactical weapons, that speech spoke to me directly. I was inspired by that speech. The next day, when I went in to work, I found almost no reaction.

I took another two years before I ran into LaRouche organizers. I was on a trip in Los Angeles. I started reading LaRouche’s material. I joined the Fusion Energy Foundation. That’s when I got a clear conception of what Reagan had been talking about. He wasn’t talking about off-the-shelf technology; he was talking about new physical principles, although he didn’t put it in those terms.

Once I met the LaRouche organization, I was inspired to learn more and more, and that’s how I came to know Lyndon LaRouche.

High-Level Texas Gerrymandering

Billington: Your District was recently created, as I understand it, through gerrymandering by a Texas state government which is Republican-led, and includes much of the world-famous Houston Energy Corridor. The gerrymandering was actually designed for your opponent, Capt. Wesley Hunt, a West Point graduate who was a helicopter pilot in the Iraq War, who is supported and funded by Donald Trump, Mike Pompeo, James Baker III and others from the military-industrial complex.

What is Hunt’s program, and what is the choice you are presenting to the voting public in contrast to that of Capt. Hunt?

Dejean: Here’s the irony: Hunt claims to be against the Green New Deal, but on his website he says he is for decarbonizing the economy, he’s for a shift away from fossil fuels. His version goes that he wants to wait until Russia, India, and China get rid of fossil fuels first. So, he wants them to commit suicide, and then we can join them. Hunt’s policy is the same as that of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the same as James Baker III—it’s for the Green New Deal, if not in name, but in actuality. His other policy is to confront Russia, crush their economy. His policies are leading us directly toward World War III with Russia and China.

A Fusion Energy Science Driver

Billington: You’re well-known as an expert on the science of nuclear and fusion energy. You’ve given classes and you have written articles on the necessary transformation of the way we live, through the development of fusion power as opposed to the Green New Deal—fusion power which could provide essentially unlimited energy for all of mankind.

What is your message regarding fusion, and why has its development been sabotaged over these past 60 years since President John Kennedy called for a crash program before he was assassinated?

Dejean: I was always for nuclear power—mostly nuclear fission power. As a matter of fact, when I was in the 5th grade I made a model of a nuclear reactor. The only thing I couldn’t get was yellow cake, so it never went critical. But I was always for nuclear power. Matter of fact, my last year at Stony Brook the IEEE [Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers professional association] caucus in the university [of which I was a member] visited the Shoreham Nuclear Power Plant. It was scheduled to come online within a few months, but Mario Cuomo, at that time Governor of New York State, shut down that plant and, after $5 billion being spent on building it, not one watt of power was produced.

So, as I ran into the Fusion Energy Foundation, I saw that not only was LaRouche in favor of fission nuclear power, he was in favor of a full-fledged development of fusion power, not just for energy, but for things like space propulsion, a way of getting to Mars and other destinations at a high-enough speed so that the occupants of the spacecraft will have a chance to arrive at their destination ready for exploration.

Billington: You’re already well-known in Houston. You’ve spoken several times in the recent past to the Houston City Council as a strong opponent of the Green New Deal, both because of the faulty science behind the carbon argument, but also because it’s used to justify the banking cartel’s diversion of credit from industry and agriculture and scientific research, in order to bail out the bankrupt trans-Atlantic financial system.

How are people responding to your message?

Dejean: Last year on Feb. 9, I testified to the Houston City Council and the Mayor, Sylvester Turner, one week before the deep freeze hit Texas. We both—Joe Jennings also testified with me—warned the City Council and the Mayor that their adoption of the Green New Deal and the Climate Action Plan would not only threaten Houston as an energy capital; it would lead to brownouts and blackouts. One week later, the whole State froze over, which obviously was blamed on global warming. We had a blackout for 48-96 hours, depending on your neighborhood, and close to 1,000 Texans died, freezing in the dark.

The people I mentioned that to, realized that not only was I right, but that this whole sham of global warming is a fraud. However, people like Sylvester Turner went on national television one week later to say that the freeze proved that global climate change is real. So, they are too dense to get it, but the population has reacted quite positively to what I said.

Billington: You spoke recently to the Houston City Council, right?

Dejean: There’s a little town in 38th C.D. called Bunker Hill. I went up there on the 19th and had 3 minutes to speak. I began by referencing the other Bunker Hill near Boston, and referenced that 247 years ago, on April 19, 1775 the Battle of Lexington and Concord occurred, which led in June 17 that same year to the Battle of Bunker Hill. I said that while we eventually lost that battle to the British, that battle proved that the Continental Army was a formidable force that eventually forced the British out of Boston. 

I referenced that there was a British officer who after the battle said, “Any more victories like this will lose the war,” which they eventually did lose. I referenced that today the British control Capitol Hill, from the President who’s called for regime-change in Russia, to the Senators like Sen. Chris Coons from Delaware, who has called for American boots on the ground in Ukraine, to lunatics like Sen. Roger Wicker from Mississippi, who has called for dropping nuclear bombs on Russia.

You have this whole Capitol Hill operation in the Congress. The Democrats and the Republicans are, like I said, in lockstep in goosestep, marching toward World War III, totally oblivious to the control that the British retain over Capitol Hill, in our government.

Billington: You write in a campaign statement from March 22—which I read—that we are now facing “the front end of the final hyperinflationary collapse of the Western dollar-based, liberal, free-market edifice of Western finance, forecast decades ago by economist Lyndon LaRouche.” You note that the unsustainable bubble of several quadrillion dollars in gambling debts that can never be repaid is driving a policy of fascist austerity and outright starvation globally.

What is the solution?

Dejean: The solution is really quite simple. LaRouche laid it out back in June of 2014 in his “Four Laws to Save the Economy.

The first step is we have to reintroduce President Franklin Roosevelt’s Glass-Steagall Act, where we separate the commercial banks from the investment banks. We have to control the issuance of currency. We have to nationalize the Federal Reserve, so that we can issue long-term, low interest credit to infrastructure—things like high-speed rail, water management. The Fourth Law is that we have to have a full-scale, crash program to get controlled thermonuclear fusion, hopefully within the next decade.

Combine that with China and Russia, and India and the United States—the Four Powers—all working together, we could overwhelm this London-Wall Street dying financial system, and we can get the world on a firm security, and economic development architecture.

Rebuild and Develop Afghanistan and Haiti

Billington: You have also spoken out against the extreme evil being done to Afghanistan through the sanctions after 20 years of destruction, imposing sanctions even stealing their [financial] reserves that were on deposited in the U.S. and European banks. Afghanistan, as well as your birthplace, Haiti, represent two of the most serious threats of outright genocide now facing the conscience of mankind.

How have you acted on this, and what do you propose?

Dejean: Back in October, I held a rally outside the Houston office of the Federal Reserve, demanding that the $9 billion in Afghan funds being held by the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury be released. It was bad enough that the U.S. stole $9 billion in Afghan national money after spending $2 trillion in destroying that nation over the last 20 years.

I have endorsed the Schiller Institute’s plan for development of Afghanistan, and we released a plan in October for the development of Haiti. The plan for Haiti was originally proposed by two Chinese companies five years ago, that they would fund and develop water, sanitation, and power for the city of Port-au-Prince. Haiti, which is not a sovereign country, was told by the IMF and the U.S. State Department that they have no right to work with China. So, after the earthquake of 2010, and after the earthquake of August 2021, nothing has been rebuilt, except for a few fancy hotels for the non-governmental organizations that come in like vultures to feast off the carcasses of Haitians.

I support the Schiller Institute’s plan to develop Haiti. Today, charcoal provides 75% of the power used in Haiti. I have called for Haiti to be the first nation to go from charcoal power to fusion power in the next 10 years, with the help of the U.S. and China. That’s the way out for Haiti; that’s the way out for Afghanistan.

Now that they’ve gotten away with stealing $9 billion funds, the same Treasury Department and Federal Reserve system has stolen $300 billion from Russia. These guys are the biggest bank robbers in history.

Support China’s Belt & Road Initiative

Billington: Indeed. The world-famous MD Anderson Medical Center in Houston was one of the first targets of FBI Director Christopher Wray, both during the Trump administration and continuing in the Biden administration, carrying out an outright McCarthyite war on Chinese and Chinese-American scientists in the United States called the China Initiative, threatening them with arrest. Many have been arrested, and many have been thrown out of their jobs on the false claim that because of their collaboration with Chinese scientists, were somehow functioning as spies.

This China Initiative has recently been shut down under enormous pressure from Americans, not just Chinese-Americans, but Americans who recognize this was an abomination to be taking place in the United States. But the witch hunt against all things Chinese is continuing.

You, I know, have spoken out against this. What have you done to counter this anti-China hysteria?

Dejean: You may remember that during the last few months of the Trump administration, they actually shut down the Houston Chinese Consulate. Over the last 5 years, we’ve had a series of meetings with representatives from the Houston Chinese Consulate, talking about the Belt & Road Initiative. We had one meeting where the Chinese Consulate representative and a representative of the Pakistani Consulate here met with the Schiller Institute at a university campus to discuss the Belt & Road Initiative.

I have continued to call for the Belt & Road Initiative. I’m also calling for the U.S. to join that in what was called the North America Belt & Road Initiative. We should be part of this massive infrastructure-building. The FBI has shut down all of the Consulate activities in Houston. They have gone after Chinese scientists, and they say that the fact that Chinese scientists are working on a cure for cancer is somehow a national security threat. I continue to denounce that.

My campaign went to the Chinese New Year’s Festival this past February and got out a statement I put out on working with China. We don’t need to be enemies of China and Russia. We need to collaborate on the frontiers of science, in space, fusion, and medicine. 

Organizing in District 38

Billington: Now, of course, the focus has shifted to an all-out demonization and attack on Russia—a total degeneration of international relations with Russia from the West, and the massive and illegal economic warfare against Russia, openly aimed at destroying the Russian economy. Supposedly, this is justified by Russia’s military operations against Ukraine, but as we now all know, the U.S. killed millions of innocents and drove millions more out of their homes in totally illegal wars against Serbia, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and more, and never faced justice for these crimes.

Helga Zepp-LaRouche and the Schiller Institute have called for an international conference of all nations to establish a new security and development architecture for all nations based on the 1648 Peace of Westphalia, which settled 150 years of warfare in Europe, by establishing sovereign nation-states that recognized their interest to be the interest of the other, and forgave all previous alleged crimes committed on both sides, in order to establish peace through development.

I know you’re working on this. How are you organizing for this event, to have this international conference, and to prevent this extreme danger of a war with Russia, which also, of course, could be nuclear, and will almost certainly include a similar war against China? 

Dejean: There are a significant number of Muslims in the 38th C.D. I don’t know the exact percentage, but my campaign has gone to several of the mosques in the District, or right near the District. We have spoken to the people coming out of the service. We mentioned the obvious hypocrisy of the U.S. being “so concerned about the poor Ukrainians,” and not giving a damn about the millions of people killed in the illegal wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and Libya. The reaction has been quite positive for a large number of Pakistanis. We were speaking to them about how [Pakistan Prime Minister] Imran Khan was being targetted for daring to speak his mind and saying that Pakistan is not a slave to the West. You saw what happened last week, where Khan was overthrown.

I’m continuing to organize with the Muslims in the District, and have scheduled an event for next week, where we will bring together contacts that we have met on the college campuses. There are four community college campuses in the District where we have gotten probably over 100 student contacts of all ages.

There are a lot of veterans going to these community colleges—veterans of the Iraq War, veterans of the Afghan War who are trying to make something out of their lives, who have realized that their efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan were totally wasted, not by their service, but by people like my Republican opponent, Wesley Hunt, a graduate of West Point, and is campaigning, proud of the fact that he had 55 combat missions flying Apache attack helicopters in Iraq. As a reward for his service, he became a diplomatic liaison to Saudi Arabia—the very nation that financed and supplied the hijackers who took down the World Trade Center towers in New York City and attacked the Pentagon.

I issued a call, challenging Wesley Hunt to “fess up” to what he was doing in Saudi Arabia, and whether he is still proud of his disgraceful service in Iraq. So far, I’ve gotten no response.

I continue to organize on the campuses, at the mosques, and all over the District—city councils, wherever we can find people. Like I said, I’m holding this event next week to bring these forces together.

Sanctions and The War in Ukraine

Billington: I should also mention and ask about the situation in Ukraine, where our media, our Congress, the Biden administration, both major political parties are all talking about “saving the heroic Ukrainians,” while denying the self-evident and extensively proven fact that the cutting edge of the Ukrainian battle against the people of the Donbas since the coup in 2014 in which the U.S., Victoria Nuland, and Joe Biden openly supported neo-Nazi forces—with swastikas—supporters of Stepan Bandera, Hitler’s ally in Ukraine. And that we’re now proudly supporting what can only be described as a neo-Nazi force carrying out mass murder in Ukraine, while trying to blame everything that happens on the Russians.

I’m sure you have been speaking out against this, and I wonder if you want to comment on it.

Dejean: Yes. I’ve gone to several conservative Republican meetings, and brought this up, that Wesley Hunt and his backers, like James Baker III, are pushing policies that are leading us directly toward war with Russia—not so much over Ukraine, but I’ve spoken out to say that it was the last 30 years of NATO expansion, where after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Berlin Wall coming down, James Baker III promised the Soviet government, Gorbachev personally, that NATO would not move “one inch” to the East, if Gorbachev allowed the reunification of East and West Germany under NATO. Baker was truthful, in the sense that NATO didn’t move one inch to the East; they moved 1,000 kilometers to the East.

Any time I mentioned that this fight around Ukraine is leading toward a U.S.-Russia war, I’ve had no one say, “Yeah, we should attack Russia; we should go in for the kill”—lunatic policies that are coming out of the U.S. Senate right now.

There is a reaction against the propaganda, but given the real history of the 2014 coup in Ukraine, and the policy of regime-change that worked so successfully in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and our attempted regime-change in Syria, people realize that we’ve been going down the wrong road. And to back either a Republican or Biden Democrat is suicide. 

Billington: The sanctions policies against many nations, but now emphatically against Russia and China, and their theft of foreign nations’ reserves, which you mentioned, is now driving the majority of the world’s nations to move away from dealing with the dollar at all, since that’s used as the justification for stealing their reserves and imposing sanctions. They’re now beginning to trade in local currencies, and Russia and China, and others are even setting up a totally alternative financial structure, independent of the dollar. 

If the world devolves even further into these warring blocs, a war and global chaos will certainly become unavoidable. How can we bring Americans, and Europeans, to understand that their future depends on cooperation with all nations, rather than the dying delusion of a unitary superpower controlling the world from Washington and Wall Street?

Dejean: The spearpoint of changing the United States is Diane Sare’s campaign for the Senate from New York state, where she began petitioning yesterday, and my campaign here in Texas against these Republican lunatics like Wesley Hunt. We have to mobilize people in the oil industry, scientists, people in NASA. Ordinary Americans do realize that their self-interest is in working with Russia, working with China to develop the world, or lacking that, we’re going to march right down to World War III, where no one will come out with that war.

Fusion Energy with Helium-3

Billington: Thanks. Would you like to add anything?

Dejean: Yes. Today, we are recording this interview on April 20, is the 50th anniversary of Apollo 16 landing on the Moon. We went to the Moon, not just to beat the Russians. We landed six landers on the Moon over a three-and-a-half-year period. The astronauts of Apollo 16, Charles Duke and John Young collected 200 pounds of lunar samples which they brought back to Earth. It turns out that in those lunar samples, unknown at the time they were collected, is an isotope of helium, helium-3, which is very rare on Earth, but there is an estimated one million tons of helium-3 on the lunar surface, which we could have access to.

Helium-3 happens to be the perfect fuel for second-generation fusion reactors, using deuterium from seawater and helium-3 from the Moon. Chinese scientists have estimated that if we were to develop the helium-3 on the Moon, we would have enough fusion power to take care of the needs on Earth for tens of thousands of years. And, there’s plenty of helium-3 in the large, gaseous planets like Saturn and Neptune, so we would never run out.

So, the Chinese are aware of this. That’s why they’re pushing for a lunar program. As Lyndon LaRouche said in 1987, for his 1988 campaign for President, we have to develop fusion propulsion so we can get to Mars in a matter of days, instead of months. We can’t keep using chemical rockets like we’ve been using for the last 60 years, if we hope to develop Mars.

That is the future that I’m laying out to my constituents in Texas—is that we could use the tradition of Apollo, use the tradition of American science, which developed nuclear power, not only to develop the Moon and Mars, but give the children of today something to look forward to. Right now, all they have to look forward to is starvation and war. We have to give them a future.

Billington: Thank you, Joel Dejean, candidate in Texas for U.S. Congress. I think this extremely optimistic message, so desperately needed in a nation fearful and demoralized by the degeneration of our economy and the danger of global war, should ring true and inspire both young and old in your District and around the country. We will make sure this interview gets spread far and wide.

Thank you.

Dejean: Thank you, Michael.

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