Pre-release of EIR interview:
PAUL GALLAGHER: Today is Saturday, October 22, 2022, and this is the 60th anniversary of the day that President John F. Kennedy of the United States made a speech which told the world that it was in a nuclear warfare crisis, a countdown to nuclear war which could conceivably destroy civilization. Kennedy announced that the United States had determined evidence of Soviet provision of nuclear missiles to Cuba, and said that the United States would not tolerate this, absolutely, under any circumstances, and a crisis was on, which gripped the attention of the world and held people in fear of it for more than two weeks. [JFK speech is here.]
So now, this is Paul Gallagher of EIR. I’m speaking with Helga Zepp-LaRouche, founder of the Schiller Institute, and a frequent lead candidate of the BüSo political party in Germany, about the extraordinary situation which is developing there, and internationally.
So Helga, good afternoon to you.
HELGA ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Hello.
GALLAGHER: Let me start by saying, just in terms of setting our situation here, the Nord Stream natural gas pipeline is a submarine pipeline project of Russia and Germany under the Baltic Sea, that they worked on jointly for more than 15 years. It was suspended in 2022 under U.S. pressure, and on Sept. 26, it was sabotaged, by powerful explosions which were aimed to destroy it completely. It appears that this has had an impact on German political life, despite the fact that it’s being covered up.
Helga, can you analyze for EIR what has happened here, and what does it mean for Germany and the threat of war between NATO and Russia?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Well, the first thing to say is that the official media and channels are obviously trying to say as little as possible about it, which is already extremely ominous, given the fact that this worsens the energy situation of Germany for some time to come. Military experts have stated that the sabotage was of such a kind that it could only have been done by a state; it could not have been done by private divers, and that naturally limits the number of states which had access. Now the questions to ask is the cui bono, who had the capacity, who had the opportunity, and who had the motive? And then, as some military experts are saying, well, if it would have been Russia, it would have meant that Russia would have to go with submarines and other devices for 300 km through the Baltic Sea under the total surveillance and control of NATO, and therefore, if it would have been Russia, it would prove that they had a huge superiority in undersea warfare, in order to do that, practically under the nose of total surveillance of NATO. If that would be the case, it would have completely other implications about military balances.
But there are also now many people saying, if there would be any proof that it was Russia, you would have seen a barrage of press conferences by NATO, by the EU, by the governments; all the tabloids would have been full of it. But since nothing of this sort has happened, it doesn’t look like it was Russia.
Instead, in an answer to a question from a parliamentarian, the German government put out an official answer, which is also extremely odd: They said that they know it was sabotage—now how did they know that if there was no official investigation? Sweden, by the way, pulled out, and so there was some strange investigation involving only Germany and Denmark, but the German divers didn’t have the diving equipment to go to the depth of 70 and 80 meters, so the whole thing is very ominous. And the statement by the German government says that, for the sake of the wellbeing of the state, they will not reveal any other information.
Now, that is extremely strange: For a sabotage of such enormous economic, and therefore social and political implications, to leave it at that, naturally raises the suspicion which is being said by many people, that this was done by another state which is not friendly to the German government. Now, given the fact that the only states which could have done it would have been the U.S., the British, Poland, maybe Lithuania, but everybody says—also and knows—that nothing in this highly surveilled area of the Baltic Sea could have been done without the control and OK of the United States.
So why is the German government not saying anything? People more and more have the feeling, this present German government is not defending the interests of the German people, and that despite the fact that the German economy is going to crash against the wall this fall and winter, in a dramatic way, to which the sabotage of these pipelines will have played a crucial part.
GALLAGHER: Is anyone in Germany, given the tremendous escalation of prices and the sabotage of the German economy as the result of the loss of natural gas supplies, and oil supplies—but particularly natural gas—is anyone arguing there that Russia and Germany should fix this pipeline? Or are there actions at all against this NATO policy of full warfare against Russia?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: I would say so! Just today, there are many demonstrations, and there have been many demonstrations in the last days and weeks, not only in East Germany, but especially there, but also, today, in many West German cities. And what people were saying in these demonstrations is that it is exactly like it was in 1989: This was the demonstrations in which the Berlin Wall came down as a result. And the demands are, stop the sanctions against Russia, stop the weapons sales to Ukraine; this is not our war, we demand a diplomatic solution. And most interesting is, the action of the city of Stralsund, where the parliamentary groups of the Christian Democrats (CDU), the Free Democrats (FPD), and the Linke (the Left Party) and the Social Democrats (SPD), and a citizens alliance called “Citizens for Stralsund,” all signed up for an initiative, offering the city of Stralsund to be the site for Ukraine peace talks. And they say that there’s nothing more important than peace on our Earth, and they refer to the great history of creating the Peace of Stralsund, which is a reference to the conflict resolution from 1370, when a war between Denmark and the Hanseatic League (including Stralsund) ended in the so-called Peace of Stralsund. So, more than 650 years later, they want to have a new Stralsund Peace, and that is just a most spectacular intervention, and I think the spirit of 1989 is clearly revived in these demonstrations. And they’re also demanding the resignation of the present German government.
GALLAGHER: Ah, so there is the spirit of 1989 for sure! There’s one well-known blogger and strategic expert, Alexander Mercouris, who argued in a video that this coverup of the situation with the pipelines, despite some very clear indications of what happened, that it means that the German government is under the control of a foreign power, which is unfriendly to Germany—that was the way that he put it. What’s your view of this argument? Does it bear on these demonstrations that are coming up and the behavior of the government?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Yes. There are many calls for this government to resign, which many people think is the worst government Germany has had in the entire post-war period. That applies for sure, for the Green Party—this is a so-called “streetlight coalition” involving the Greens, the Liberals [FDP], and the Social Democrats, of which the Greens are really the war party, the NATO party, with the most hawkish, belligerent policy, and you cannot differentiate what they say from Stoltenberg or Blinken. And the so-called Economic Minister Robert Habeck, who used to be very popular in the polls, has now plunged and has become an object of public contempt, because he is clearly pushing a policy which means the deindustrialization of Germany. And we are therefore facing a huge social explosion, not “facing,” we are in the middle of a huge social explosion in Germany.
GALLAGHER: Interesting. We’ve seen this recently in the United Kingdom, where Liz Truss, who was ready to push the nuclear button and a real warrior, she came in like hell on wheels into the prime ministership, and then very quickly her wheels fell off, and now she’s resigned, and they’re in a government crisis as well as a financial crisis. So, we see these things across Europe.
Let me ask you: You’re frequently featured and interviewed in the media in China, again yesterday, on CGTN’s “Dialogue” broadcast. In one interview, they focussed on your assessment of the situation in France and Germany, what can you convey to the Chinese people about the situation in Europe? What do you think is most important that they understand?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Well, they are looking at Germany, in particular, with complete disbelief: A once-proud people of poets and thinkers, and admired for its scientific and technological excellence in the whole world, is committing economic suicide in front of the world’s eyes. And it’s very difficult for people in Asia in general to understand why Europe is on such a self-destructive course.
What they are doing as a consequence is to speed up the construction of a new economic system, which consists of the countries of the BRICS, the SCO, the CICA [Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia], and other organizations of the Global South, where they building an economic system which is focussed on the alleviation of poverty in the entire developing sector; and cooperation in mutual benefit; and it has to be said, to the grace of China, or to (there’s a word I’m missing), that they continuously offer to the United States and the European countries that they should cooperate rather than try to fight. But right now, it doesn’t look like people in the West have the wisdom to respond to this offer.
GALLAGHER: Well, if German business and households’ access to natural gas coming from Russia has been destroyed, as a result of this economic warfare on Russia, are the Biden administration’s economic measures against China reaching that same scale of the all-out economic warfare on Russia? And what do you think China’s reaction will be?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: You know, if you look at the policy of the Biden administration and such people as German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, who have said many times that they want to (quote) “ruin Russia,” or (quote) “prevent Russia from diversifying from oil and gas”—this was said already on Jan. 25 by some unnamed White House official—it did not work out so well.
The effect of this was that Russia turned to Asia and did relatively better than Germany, where you now have a complete blowback, and the country is under the immediate danger of deindustrialization, and given the size of the German economy, this will have a devastating effect for all of Europe.
Now, therefore, the threat to now do the same with China, what was done with Russia, I think it would only occur at the complete price of deindustrialization of the West, at least the European part of it. And China is working with about 150 countries in the context of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the Global Development Initiative; and just at the present ongoing party conference of the 20th party congress of Communist Party of China (CPC), the report that was delivered there proudly states that Chinese economic policy is focussed on continuous innovation, scientific and technological progress, and furthering the creativity of their citizens. And the result has been a continuously prosperous economy. So, if the West wants to decouple from China, they will do so at their cost, leading to their own self-destruction: So, hopefully, they will wake up before it is too late.
GALLAGHER: Well, that was the last thing I wanted to ask you about: That the Schiller Institute is obviously mobilizing a large number of leading people around the world, and also young people around the world, to stop this nuclear war threat. And you’re the one that has launched these mobilizations: What do you think can make it possible to reach a situation of peace, and perhaps even development, before we are in an unsurvivable nuclear war?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Well, if you look around the world and ask normal people, like normal parliamentarians, elected officials, trade unionists, industrialists, farmers, fishermen, and so forth, nobody wants World War III! It’s a very small apparatus which is pushing this geopolitical confrontation which threatens the annihilation of the human species. So, this initiative you’re referring to comes out of meeting with Latin American parliamentarians and ex-parliamentarians, and we recognized that a similar desire for world peace and against this confrontation is prevalent all over the world. [Live event: Stope the War Before It is Too Late, Eliminate the Causes of the War Danger.] So the fact that what is at stake is the possible destruction of mankind, that makes, automatically, every citizen on the planet, to be a world citizen who has the right to speak out for the interest of humanity as a whole. And given the fact that the Schiller Institute is named after the poet Friedrich Schiller, who argued that there is no contradiction between a patriot and a world citizen—or that there doesn’t have to be—basically, we are now appealing to world citizens from all over the world to stand up against this war, and make sure that people understand that we have to make a jump in the thinking, to think in terms of a new paradigm, where everybody learns to think as a world citizen; which doesn’t mean you’re not a patriot, it just means you have to make one more step, you have to take the interest of humanity as a whole into account, and make sure that your understanding of your national interest is not in contradiction to that larger interest of humanity as a whole.
Because only if we all start thinking about the fact that we are sitting in one boat, and that if there is a nuclear war, nobody will live, and that we have, and that we have to find a new model of international relations as the precondition to get out of this crisis, that we will actually make it. And the response so far has been tremendous, because I think everybody who is concerned about world peace and the danger of war, is responding very well about this initiative, once they know about it. So help to spread the knowledge about it. [Second Seminar of Current and Former Elected Officials of the World: For World Peace, Stop the Danger of Nuclear War.]
GALLAGHER: OK, so five days from now, on Oct. 27, there is a second conference of those present and former elected officials whose deliberations you’ve been describing, and of course, at the same time, there are other meetings and discussions of potentially a new money system, a new credit system internationally, which are going on within the BRICS and elsewhere. Do you think that this can lead to an actual formation of development, an actual economic architecture, which can make development possible in the developing sector?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: I think the need to implement that could arrive very suddenly: Because if you look at the panicky reactions in Great Britain, the desperate action to go for quantitative easing, jump to quantitative tightening, go back to quantitative easing—there’s a rapidity like that of Liz Truss going into 10 Downing Street, out of 10 Downing Street, and now they’re talking about Boris Johnson—“BoJo”—to come back, which is the farce of the century: I think the system of the City of London, and by implication the entire trans-Atlantic financial system, is teetering on the verge of dissolution. So the need to put a New Bretton Woods system, a new credit system on the international agenda may erupt more quickly than people think.
GALLAGHER: Great! OK, for EIR, I’ve been talking with Helga Zepp-LaRouche, head of the Schiller Institute, about those prospects and about this extremely complicated and dangerous situation around Europe, and Germany in particular. With that, I think we’ll wrap up our interview. Helga, thank you very much for your answers, and for taking the time with us for today.