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Pakistan TV Special Broadcast on OIC Extraordinary Meeting On Afghanistan Gets Briefing From Helga Zepp-LaRouche, Hussein Askary

Dec. 17 (EIRNS)—What follows are the exchanges with Helga Zepp-LaRouche and Hussein Askary on Pakistan’s PTV panel discussion on the Organization of Islamic Countries’ Extraordinary Meeting on Afghanistan. PTV’s host was Faisal Rehman. The two-part broadcast included in-studio guests, former Ambassador Naila Chuhan, and defense analyst Lt. Gen. Talat Masood (ret.), with Schiller Institute founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche online from Germany; and in the second part, defense analyst Lt. Gen. Raza Muhammad Khan (ret.) and former Ambassador Naghmana Hashmi in studio, with Schiller Institute analyst Hussein Askary online from Sweden. Although time did not allow for transcribing the other guests, their remarks reflected important thinking, including our influence and is worth watching at this link

FAISAL REHMAN: Assalamualaikum, you’re watching PTV World, and I’m Faisal Rehman with a special cast mission on this very important OIC conference that has been held in Islamabad. And as we all know, the main reason is about the Afghan crisis. This is in fact the largest gathering after the Aug. 15, when the Taliban took over the regime in Afghanistan. As we all know, winter has approached, there are a lot of crisis, whether we talk about the economic upset that is there, or we talk about the banking collapse; there is lack of flow of money, so the government in Afghanistan currently can’t even pay the salaries of the government employees. And having said that, the crisis is so huge, that it is believed that 60% of the total population of Afghanistan is at the verge of almost starvation. There is no medical facilities as such, and the people are really depending on the neighboring countries, such as Pakistan, and Iran, perhaps; and on the northern side, the Central Asian countries as well.

But having said that, now the issue is so huge that Pakistan in fact took the initiative and called the OIC members to attend this very important summit, so that this particular issue could be taken care of.

And we all know the Western world isn’t supporting as such—the Americans, they have frozen their $9.5 billion U.S. dollars and that was much needed for the revival of their economy. And so the case is, from a lot of European countries as well, in fact, initially, they planned for help, but nothing has arrived so far.

As we will be running this transmission for the next three days, till Sunday, so this is the beginning in fact, and let us show you a report that our production team has prepared, and then I’ll introduce you to our panelists.

NARRATOR: A deepening humanitarian quandary of Afghanistan reflects the flawed approach of international community towards Afghanistan, with tragic consequences. The crumbling healthcare system, economic meltdown of aid-dependent economy, pandemic, food insecurity, access abated by drought, and harsh winter all combine to create a perfect storm for killing more Afghans than bullets. Raising further alarm, the UN envoy for Afghanistan Deborah Lyons said an estimated 60% of Afghanistan’s 38 million people are facing crisis levels of hunger in a food emergency that will likely worsen over the winter.

DEBORAH LYONS: “Now is not the time to turn away from the Afghan people. We must find ways to prevent an imminent humanitarian catastrophe and the terrible loss of life, that could happen over the winter.”

NARRATOR: According to UNICEF around 3.2 million Afghan children are acutely malnourished and 1.4 million children are at risk of dying because of severe acute malnutrition, unless we intervene with treatment. Explaining the country’s worst humanitarian disaster, Abdallah Al Dardari, the resident representative of the UNDP in Afghanistan, some 23 million people are in desperate need of food. The $20 billion economy could shrink by $4 billion or more, and 97% of the 38 million population are at risk of sinking into poverty.

As an emphatic gesture, Pakistan has announced $28 million medical, food, and other humanitarian assistance for Afghanistan, while also authorizing the transport of food aid from India through Pakistan to Afghanistan.

The ensuing catastrophe is preventable as releasing the frozen funds, the Afghan Central Bank’s $9 billion reserves, most of which are held in the U.S. would alleviate the current humanitarian crisis. UNICEF official Samantha Markle noted that “This is no time for political brinksmanship. People in Afghanistan are dying and they need our support. Humanitarian aid is the last expression of human solidarity.” [end video]

REHMAN: And now to talk about it, let me introduce you to our panelists. We have with us in our studio, on my right is Ma’am Naila Chuhan. She is a former ambassador, senior diplomat. Thank you so much for your time. And we also have Lt. Gen. Talat Masood (ret.), who is a senior analyst—thank you also for your time. And on Skype we have with us from Germany, Helga Zepp-LaRouche, the founder of Schiller Institute: Thank you so much, Helga Zepp for your time as well. A pleasure to have you on the show….

I still remember, when as a kid, when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, and there were a lot of people who migrated to Pakistan. And at the Eid time, I remember, during that time period, a lot of planes used to come from Saudi Arabia and they would bring in meat for these people. So these is what we have seen during those crises, but currently it’s worse right now, but nothing is being done.

But let’s see what Miss Helga Zepp has to share with us. Ma’am, looking at the current Afghan crisis and the summit that Pakistan is having in Islamabad, now your take: what sort of hope do you have about the Afghan people, that, yes, there is going to be some sort of help in terms of cash and kind, both.

HELGA ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Well, first of all, I think it’s extremely important what Pakistan is doing right now, by hosting this summit—by Pakistan taking the leadership in a situation where the West has morally completely failed. I mean, this is a moral bankruptcy declaration, because, this is not a crisis which was not foreseeable, because, one week after the withdrawal of the U.S. and NATO troops from Afghanistan was clear, that the country was in a complete shambles. And now, almost four months have passed since, and it is clear that more than 90% of the people are in danger of dying of hunger, of the cold in the freezing winter, and this has been known in the West for several months. But in the news, Afghanistan has completely disappeared from the Western media.

So I think this conference is a real chance to show who is the moral superior factor in the situation. And I’m so ashamed that the West is not capable of freeing—the money which is being withheld by the U.S. Treasury and the European banks, this money belongs to the Afghan people, and we are in a campaign with the Schiller Institute, both in the United States and in Western Europe to demand that these monies be unfrozen right away.

But I actually would like to mention something which is a little bit more hopeful element: I have called for an Operation Ibn Sina. Ibn Sina was probably the most famous doctor in the history of mankind, the most famous physician. He lived about one thousand years ago. And right now, to build a modern health system in Afghanistan, that would be the beginning of overcoming not only the humanitarian crisis, but also starting a real economic development and to give that the name of Ibn Sina, it would bring forward—and I would actually hope that OIC countries, being the Islamic countries of the would, that they would adopt Operation Ibn Sina. If they all would work together—Ibn Sina, the synonym for not only saving the Afghan people right now, in this incredible humanitarian crisis, but all working together to build up economically this country which has a very proud history. The whole region was once known as the Land of a Thousand Cities. Ibn Sina is not just a physician, but he was one of the great universal thinkers, who contributed a lot to philosophy and many areas of knowledge.

So, I think this is a moment where history can change in a positive way. I think the West has failed and now hopefully the Islamic countries, together with the neighboring countries of Afghanistan can step in. I mean, it’s unbelievable what is happening: that the world would know of such a humanitarian tragedy and not act, I think this is a point where people have to really think about what does that mean about the moral condition of the world? I think Operation Ibn Sina could be a tremendous change in the situation.

REHMAN: Now, a very interesting point, and let me take this debate to the lady in Germany: Mrs. Helga, now a couple of important points. One is when Mr. Hamid Karzai was gotten, nobody knew him. And he was there for two terms, because he was the blue-eyed boy of the Americans, certainly, when he made certain remarks, and he was pretty open. Then there was this, I would say, change, as far as the leadership was concerned, and two terms were given to Mr. Ashraf Ghani, who ended up running away, leaving the Afghan people. And interesting part is in every election, if was believed that they were rigged and they were so close that initially Abdullah Abdullah was made the Foreign Minister, and later on, again, since he was also running for President, he said, well, I’m the President; and he ended up becoming the CEO, and again then in the second term, he was again given another responsibility. Now the point is, if that is acceptable to the Americans, that Mr. John Kerry flies all the way from U.S.A., comes here, creates a new appointment, and settles down things—if that is acceptable, Ma’am, why is the Taliban regime not acceptable to the Americans? Is it because they’re ashamed of their loss in Afghanistan? Or perhaps, they never expected Taliban to take charge so quickly, within days, in fact?

ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Well, obviously, it is a shameful experience. I mean, the United States military is the strongest military on the planet, and combined with NATO, there is simply no other military force stronger—and to be defeated by essentially 65,000 Taliban fighters, is not exactly a heroic experience. I think some of the military who were involved are still licking their wounds, and they have a hard time to digest the fact that they really suffered an incredible defeat.

But that doesn’t take away the responsibility—I mean, in the history of military affairs, if you defeat an enemy, you have a certain responsibility for what happens. In the same way, even if you lose, the fact that the West, NATO and the United States, and the German Bundeswehr and many others, were for 20 years fighting in Afghanistan gives them a moral responsibility to deal with the people. And what is happening now, by sanctioning Afghanistan, by withholding the funds, they’re punishing the Afghan people! The Taliban in a certain sense, the argument that the Taliban are not respecting women’s rights, that may be true, but if you starve more than 90% of the population, you are doing much worse to the women. And the pictures of the dying children and dying babies, I would really like that these pictures should haunt the people who are withholding the help! There is no—this is bordering genocide! Because the effects are all known: Withholding the money right now, it’s the biggest crime I can imagine! So I think we have to really arouse the world public much more, because what you do, by doing this, you force the Taliban practically to go back to the drug production and the drug trade. The Taliban do not want to have drug production, it goes against their religious beliefs.

And in 2000, the UN [drug and crime] representative Pino Arlacchi was negotiating with the Taliban, and they gave up the drug production. The explosion of the drugs occurred after NATO came into the country, and now, by withholding the funds, you are forcing the Taliban to get money from somewhere. So this will have an incredible amount of deaths within Europe, in Russia, China, where the drugs will find their way to go.

It also means, if you say you have to have an opposition to the Taliban, well, you’re encouraging terrorism. I mean the refugee crisis. If this is not remedied very quickly, you will have millions of people trying to escape hunger and disease and the cold, and you will have a tremendous refugee crisis which will burden the neighboring countries. But these refugees who then try to get to Turkey or to Europe—there is just no explanation for what is happening right now which would have any rationale and justification.

I think hopefully this conference taking place in Islamabad right now, also would find an appeal to the rest of the world, to open their eyes. Because what’s at stake, these are the kinds of branching points, where you either go in the direction of becoming more human or becoming more barbarian. And right now, the West has clearly decided on the latter. And I think that has to be remedied.

REHMAN: According to our foreign minister, the Afghan interim foreign minister is also going to attend this conference, along with the Chinese delegation and the Russian, as well as the American. Now, since the American presence will be there, ma’am, do you think that the OIC members, if they agree—let’s suppose if they agree that countries like Saudi Arabia can provide fuel for a certain time, let’s say, for a year on deferred payments or something of that sort; a few countries, like Russia can provide wheat, because the wheat consumption is a lot in Afghanistan, so is the case with rice. Certain countries, Pakistan might, let’s suppose end up agreeing that the Indians can bring in food supplies via Pakistan to Afghanistan, there are these decisions—because this is also going to be some sort of a negotiation, that if India wants to help, we will let them help. But there has to be some sort of condition then; this is the way it should be. Because there is a lot trust deficit also.

Similarly, when we talk about this important point, that we’re not saying let’s accept the regime, but at least talk to them! Do you think this is the basic point from where we can start the negotiation?

Since our foreign minister was also throwing light on this very important aspect of humanitarian crisis, and he said, we will try our level best to sort this issue out, and he also said he had a meeting with the Secretary General of the OIC which was very productive.

Now, one quick comment: as far as the media is concerned, because you were saying there is no news about Afghanistan in the Western media, in Europe, is this story regarding this particular moot, where the OIC members are meeting in Islamabad, is that also a story in your television channels, or in the papers, or on the net?

ZEPP-LAROUCHE: No. The coverage of Afghanistan has practically disappeared. There was a big upset in the immediate aftermath, after the troops went out, and for three or four weeks it was the issue, but in the three months, in Italy, in France, in Germany, you don’t find any coverage at all. I think if one follows the media from the region, a lot of very promising signs—for example, I thought the fact that India and Pakistan agreed to use the Pakistan route to transport food from India this was a very important step, and I know for India what happens in Afghanistan is also extremely important. So one could only wish that the regional cooperation is overcoming older geopolitical conflicts. Also naturally the meetings which took place in the Central Asian Republics involving Russia and China. But I think the question of the Extended Troika should also be pushed because I think the involvement of the United States in a constructive effort, that in my view is the breaking issue, because if the United States could be convinced to take a positive attitude it would be an extremely important stepping stone for an otherwise extremely dangerous geopolitical confrontation between the United States, and Russia and China.

So in a certain sense, to get all the forces internationally together to help Afghanistan is in my view one of the absolute, important historical missions. In a certain sense, I think the whole destiny of mankind is in a laser, concentrated on what happens in Afghanistan. So I would really hope that all the participating and affected countries would double and multiply their efforts to make saving Afghanistan an issue of the whole world, because right now it is now. And I think all channels must be used: media, United Nations, conferences: there must be a drumbeat, a drumbeat of awakening the conscience of the world, because I think this is sort of a judgment of our ability as a human species: Are we morally fit to survive or not?

So in one sense, I think the fate of Afghanistan and the fate of humanity are much more closely connected than most people can imagine.

REHMAN: Very well said, Ma’am. Very well said. And I hope, in fact, to close this segment of our transmission on this note. And Ma’am, when we talk about U.S. President Joe Biden, he thinks he is the champion of humanitarian crisis, he always talks about the issues all over the world, doesn’t speak much about Kashmir or Palestine, for that matter. Neither have we heard much from him regarding Afghanistan. I think this is the high time that all human beings are created equal, so I think this is something really important, and the Americans should take a lead, if they consider themselves as the globe leaders or the masters in that matter, they should definitely come up and come up with some sort of solution, proper remedy for this issue. Mrs. Zepp-LaRouche, thank you so much for your presence and it was a pleasure having you.

ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Thank you….

REHMAN: Welcome back to our transmission. We are talking about this very important OIC moot that is being held in Islamabad, to make sure that the humanitarian issues should be taken care of, that are posing a significant threat to the public of Afghanistan. As we know, they have the social issue, the economic problems, the bank which is at the verge of collapse. The accounts have been frozen, $9.5 billion of the Afghan people’s funds that is being held in the United States of America and other Western countries, that has been frozen and not released. There is acute shortage of food, and it is believed that 60% of the total population is at the verge of an absolute catastrophe. 1.1 million children can die if there is no appropriate help available at the right time; plus about 3.2 children are at the verge of starvation.

So a lot of issues in Afghanistan, and Pakistan has taken the initiative to have this moot in Islamabad, so the issue of Afghanistan should be raised and the Western countries should come forward and help the Afghan people.

Now, in our second portion we are joined by Lt. Gen. Raza Muhammad Khan (ret.) who is a senior analyst…. and former Ambassador Naghmana Hashmi, senior diplomat and former ambassador—Ma’am, a pleasure to have you on the show. And from Stockholm, Sweden, we’ve been joined by Hussein Askary, who’s an expert on international relations. A pleasure to have you, Askary, sir….

Now, coming to you Hussein Askary: $2.2 trillion being spent—wisely or otherwise, that’s a separate question—20 years of war in Afghanistan. And at the end of the day, millions of people got displaced, hundreds of thousands of them got killed. Around 55, 60 countries invaded. Not even one is there to support them, now. So perhaps they were there to liberate, but they couldn’t liberate, so from liberalization to starvation: 20 years, $2.2 trillion: What sort of economic equation is this, sir? Let’s throw light on it.

NAGHMANA HASHMI: It’s more like $6 trillion.

HUSSEIN ASKARY: Also your guests have correctly pointed to some very important things [about the nature of the OIC meeting, including the UNSC P5 countries, and what should be planned]. But I think Pakistan’s efforts to alleviate the situation in Afghanistan are laudable. I read the letter written by Foreign Minister [Shah Mahmood] Qureshi, and he correctly pointed out that the danger is looming, and the urgency of nations, both in the Islamic world, but also internationally to move, quickly, to both release the funds of the Afghan people, these funds, the $9.5 billion have been frozen in the United States and European banks, these belong to the Afghani nation, they don’t belong to the Taliban.

And your Foreign Minister also correctly pointed to the fact that there are millions of people in Afghanistan are now thinking about taking their children and moving outside of Afghanistan, to Iran, Pakistan, wherever they could. And this would be an even greater humanitarian crisis. But the international institutions like the World Food Program and others, have pointed out that there are millions, 20 million at least, of these people are threatened by starvation, and therefore there should be a first step is to unfreeze the funds of the Afghan people, because that would be the quickest way to get food, medicine and other needs for the Afghan people—in addition, of course, to the humanitarian aid. But that’s primary.

Now, the thing is, what we have seen, as you have pointed out, the crisis in Afghanistan is not caused by Taliban takeover. It is caused by 20 years of failures of the trans-Atlantic world, with trillions of dollars spent, only on military operations, security operations. As your guests said, they failed to build the capacity in Afghanistan, to produce food, to have decent healthcare, to have the basics of life produced inside Afghanistan. So this is a massive failures, and now we have this cynical game, where as your foreign minister has clearly pointed out that if you now starve the Afghan people, which is a crime, actually, against humanity—this collective punishment—what you will create is a chaotic security situation which will breed terrorism, it will breed mass emigration—it will breed the same things you claim to what to prevent.

So, this is a clear failure, but we are now mobilizing, that every effort should be made to resolve the situation, to get people in the United States and in Europe back to their senses. The Schiller Institute is involved in an international campaign to push the U.S. congress, to push the European politicians and governments, and humanitarian organizations are also supporting this effort, to unfreeze the funds of Afghanistan people, and start to work with the de facto government in Afghanistan, in Kabul to start humanitarian aid.

Now, the one important thing which your guests also pointed out, is related to the OIC, the Islamic nations have been suppressed, but that is because we had an era of geopolitics which has just ended in Afghanistan. Even President Biden said, the withdrawal from Afghanistan marks the end of an era. Now whatever he means by that, what we mean by that, is there is a new paradigm in international relations: the age of geopolitics, where you can pit one nation against the other, to make geopolitical gains—not really any service to humanity, and in that geopolitical game of divide and conquer, Islamic nations, Muslim nations were pitted against each other, like in Libya, then Syria, in Yemen, and it’s continuing until today! So it is time that we move away from geopolitics, including all the Muslim nations: They should not be involved in this geopolitical game of divide and conquer—and unite the effort to push the new paradigm which is exemplified by the Belt and Road Initiative. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is the best vehicle to stretch the New Silk Road, this new strategy for reconstruction and win-win cooperation, into Afghanistan, and all the neighbors of Afghanistan will benefit from this, the world will benefit from this.

So this is the end of an era, and Muslim nations have to unite their efforts, also with other non-Muslim nations, like for example, we have in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. This will lead us, as your guests said, into both alleviating the immediate humanitarian crisis, but also pave the wave to a long-term solution based on economic cooperation, building of infrastructure, and building a health platform, which our institute, as the chairwoman of our institute has discussed on your television broadcast: We have Operation Ibn Sina to create, starting with Afghanistan and Yemen, a healthcare platform, which is based on building the necessary infrastructure—water, power, transport, education and so on—to bring modern healthcare to the people. That’s the only way nations in the East and the West can work together, so we can close the chapter, the bloody chapter of geopolitics, which has extended now for 40 years—not only the last 20 years—and cost millions of lives, caused massive misery, mass emigration, as you experienced yourself in Pakistan. So this is an opportunity as well as a crisis time. So we should seize the opportunity to unite the efforts both of the Muslim nations, but also the international community, to bring a more human solution to the situation.

REHMAN: One quick comment before I return to our guests in the studio. Earlier we had a guest from Germany, and she was mentioning the fact that there is no news about Afghanistan in the Western media. And since you live in Scandinavia, and perhaps countries like Norway and even Sweden, or Denmark for that matter, Finland, these are the countries, the champions of humanitarian crises, and the sufferings of the people, they’re always very vocal about it. What is the current scenario? Is this moot also being talked about in the Western media, in particular in Scandinavia?

ASKARY: No, your guest from Germany was obviously correct. Afghanistan has disappeared from the media coverage. The only things that are reported are people shedding crocodile tears over the situation of women and girls in Afghanistan, but they’re ignorant of the fact that these actions, the sanctions against Afghanistan are killing women and girls and children in Afghanistan. We have a few humanitarian organizations that have actually made public calls for relaunching the humanitarian aid in Afghanistan, so we have many Nordic organizations that have been involved in Afghanistan for many years, and now they are making public calls. They get a limited coverage. But remember that now the governments and the elites here in Scandinavia, in Europe generally, and also in the United States they are united now to focus on what they call “stopping China and Russia.” Because those countries, most of them in NATO, they failed in Afghanistan. But they want to shift the attention from their failure and the misery they have created in Libya, Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, Iraq, and so on, to saying that the problems of the world are because you have two authoritarian regimes in Russia and China, and we have to stop them. And this is complete madness, because what we will get is a World War III: It will be fought not by regular armies, but by nuclear weapons. And this is a recipe for the extinction of the human race!

So those people in the media are supporting the war machine here, even in Scandinavia, to focus on how to fight and stop Russia and China.

Now, Pakistan gets part of the blame in the situation here in the media, because they say Pakistan is supporting the Taliban, and this is really evil propaganda—

REHMAN: —at the end of the day, the narratives are always set by the Western world. And these are those narratives.

ASKARY: Yes, but there is a reality on the ground. It is reality which will determine the outcome of things, not what people say in the media, not what these intelligence agencies are writing and sending to the media to tell the people. There is a reality: The world has changed. The power of the world, the economic power of the world has moved to the East. We have massive social and economic problems here in Europe. We have an electricity crisis, right here in Europe! We have a healthcare crisis, right here in Europe! So these realities will determine which way nations will go, not what people in the military-industrial complex and their media agents are saying.

REHMAN: Perfectly said, perfectly said….

Last comment from you, closing remarks, Askary, sir.

ASKARY: Thank you very much. It has been a very enriching discussion here, I think. On the question of India, it is ironical that it was on your television, or another program perhaps, I suggested a month before India decided to send wheat through Pakistan, that India and Pakistan should work together on economic cooperation. Forget about all the British geopolitics that have created the Kashmir problems and other problems: that there’s a way for India to come back to its geo-economic and cultural environment. India is not an Atlantic country. There is an identity crisis in India. They want to have one foot in Asia, but the other foot in the Atlantic, and that is creating big problems for India.

There is a reality which India cannot surpass, which is a geographical, cultural, historical situation, and this is a very good case of that geo-economics, is superior geopolitics. And it was a welcome thing when I saw that your Prime Minister Imran Khan even accepted to allow the Indian wheat to go to Afghanistan, as I had suggested a month earlier. But then, due to these, sometimes quite silly geopolitical and other games this did not go through. But this is a very good a case where Pakistan’s position in the region should be reinforced by not by these games—

REHMAN: —absolutely. Very important point, especially this particular action of Pakistan is also opening up so many avenues for both these countries to at least start talking, start negotiating.

ASKARY: And India has everything to gain from working with Pakistan—

REHMAN: All right, thank you so much, Askary, for your discussion. That’s all we have for this hour.


Helga Zepp-LaRouche and Hussein Askary Appear on PakistanTV

Dec. 17 (EIRNS)—Helga Zepp-LaRouche and Hussein Askary appeared on Pakistani PTV World today, commenting live on the meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) dedicated to Afghanistan. {A transcript of Mrs. Zepp-LaRouche and Askary’s remarks will be posted soon.}

In her intervention, Zepp-LaRouche praised Pakistan for hosting the OIC conference on Afghanistan, given the failure of the West to take responsibility for the enormous risk to life of millions of people in Afghanistan. The withholding of Afghanistan’s funds by Western banks is shameful. She promoted Operation Ibn Sina as a path forward in creating a health and development path forward for Afghanistan, and hoped that the OIC would incorporate it into its proposals.

The American-NATO defeat by the Taliban was a humiliating experience, but this does not end the responsibility to the well-being of the people of Afghanistan. The given reason for withholding funding is the Taliban’s mistreatment of women and children, but creating the conditions for mass starvation is essentially genocide, and this is what the economic blockade does. Withholding funds may also cause Afghanistan to turn to drug production, which the Taliban opposes. She appealed to the entire world to choose the side of humanity over barbarism.

Responding to another question about the discussion of Afghanistan and the OIC meeting in the West, Zepp-LaRouche emphasized the potential of the human impulse to do good could overcome geopolitics. As an example, she cited the coordination between India and Pakistan of Indian supplies going to Afghanistan via Pakistan. Another example is the collaboration of the Central Asian Republics with Russia and China. If the United States could be induced to make a positive contribution, this would be of absolute world historical importance in shifting the world paradigm: “I think the whole destiny of mankind is concentrated like a laser in what happens in Afghanistan.” It must become an issue of the whole world. Is humanity fit to survive? “In one sense, I think the fate of Afghanistan and the fate of humanity are more closely connected than most people can imagine.”

Askary praised Pakistan’s efforts to support the people of Afghanistan, both to release the billions of dollars held by American and European financial institutions and to end sanctions. Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Qureshi has made commendable efforts to these ends. The release of funds is essential, but more is required. The crisis in Afghanistan was not caused by the Taliban, but by twenty years of failures of Western military action. The current situation in Afghanistan will cause the rise of terrorism and of immigration, outcomes that Western nations supposedly oppose. The geopolitical game must be ended, replaced by the new paradigm exemplified by the Belt and Road Initiative. The immediate crisis must be addressed, but the way must be paved to the long-term solution provided by infrastructure, including health infrastructure. The Schiller Institute’s Operation Ibn Sina is a proposal that allows for international cooperation across the geopolitical divide to provide for the common well-being of the people of the world. This is the opportunity presented by the current crisis, an opportunity that must be fought for.

Askary explained that Afghanistan had fallen off the media in Scandinavia as well. Although there are many Nordic organizations pushing for humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, this receives scant coverage. But with the push among institutions to oppose China and Russia, there is little room to support useful efforts.

He emphasized that Muslim nations have been pitted against each other by British geopolitics, as happened in Libya, Syria, and Yemen. But, the age of geopolitics has ended with the failure in Afghanistan and a new paradigm beckons, based on economic cooperation. Muslim nations should join this new paradigm. He also spoke to the importance of India taking its rightful position as an Asian nation rather than an Atlanticist one, working with Pakistan and other neighbors of Afghanistan like China.

He closed by stressing that although narratives may appear to have a certain power, it is reality that ultimately has the upper hand. {The link to watch it is here.}


Helga Zepp-LaRouche at CGTN event: “Party building and the new generation”

The dialogue appeared live on Youtube, the CGTN website and different social media accounts. See here:

CGTN on Facebook
CGTN on Twitter
CGTN’s Webseite CGTN on Weibo

Schiller Institute President Helga Zepp-LaRouche added a profound call for sanity in an interview on China’s CGTN TV today. Asked to make suggestions for today’s youth in a moment of great peril, she responded that the fundamental issue is the image of mankind, with two opposite views being contested. The one is that of the Malthusian and oligarchical view, that man is a parasite, polluting Mother Nature, and the fewer people the better, a view most evident in those promoting the climate scare. The other view is that which perceives that every person is sacred, blessed with the power of reason, capable of making discoveries of new principles of nature which can be applied to enhanced production and higher standards of living for all. She said that it is time for all of humanity to unite behind this elevated view, to form a common party of mankind which unites citizens of all countries in a common mission, without contradicting the interests of the diverse and beautiful cultures of the world. To start this process, she said, mankind must unite behind the urgent need to end the pandemic, and all future pandemics, by building modern health facilities in every country. This would create a potential branching point for the human race, building the basic infrastructure required for the health of all people, and ending once and for all the idea that poverty is an unavoidable part of civilization which can not be eliminated. In 100 years, she added, when we have become a space faring species, national boundaries will be less important.


Sicily Daily Runs Call by Committee for Coincidence of Opposites on Afghanistan Emergency

Under the headline “Afghanistan, the Committee for the Republic: Let Us Help It,” the daily Il Corriere di Sicilia published the Dec. 10 call by the Committee for the Coincidence of Opposites with an endorsement by Alessia Ruggeri.

The paper quotes Ruggeri saying: “I join the declaration by Helga Zepp-LaRouche, president of the Schiller Institute, which has highlighted that for more than two months no one has talked about Afghanistan, totally ignoring the emergency and the fact that, with the confiscation of funds, the population is likely to die of hunger and hardship,” and it continues: “These are the words of Alessia Ruggeri, spokesperson of the political movement ‘Committee for the Republic’ member of the Committee for the Coincidence of the Opposites that supports the call by David Beasley, director of the WFP, which states that immediate support from the West is needed, defining it as a moral test for the West.” See the Italian original.


Zepp-LaRouche on CGTN Dialogue Program – “Democracy Summit” Examined

Dec. 5 (EIRNS)—On Sunday, Dec. 5, Schiller Institute founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche joined a special hour-long episode of the CGTN program “Dialogue: Ideas Matter,” with host Xu Qinduo to discuss the concept of “democracy.” This is part of an assertive and confident push by China to challenge the absurd “Democracy Summit” hosted at the end of the week by the United States.

Xu put the first question to Helga Zepp-LaRouche: what does democracy mean? Zepp-LaRouche pointed out that democracy wasn’t necessarily considered a good thing by Plato, to whom it was the other side of the coin of tyranny. Beyond the use of the term, it is essential to look at what governments do. Open-minded people considering China’s approach to democracy will recognize that it has advantages not present among the “Western” democracies.

Martin Sieff, with the Global Policy Institute spoke next, emphasizing that there does not exist a single form of democracy in the world. Social democracies, Japan, India, the United States—these are different types of democracies.

Politburo member Huang Kunming appeared next, in the form of a clip from a recent speech. He reminded his audience that the Communist Party of China arose in the pursuit of democracy to replace the old feudal order, and it continues to lead the fight for Chinese democracy. This phrase itself means that people are the rulers, and the purpose of government. And there is no one-size-fits-all approach to democracy. Indeed, having such a view is itself undemocratic. Allow the people of each nation to decide.

The next guest, Dr. Wang Huiyao, a member of the China State Council, discussed what is meant by “whole process people’s democracy.” There is a consultative democracy, whereby suggestions and criticisms from across the country are considered. The selection and election process itself is designed to ensure that the people best able to serve the people take office. The powerful development and social development of China vindicates its approach.

Michele Geraci, of Italy, agreed that the point of government is to achieve results, to provide for the people (unlike a feudal system). He contrasted process-democracy with results-oriented democracy. Which system delivers better results for the people; results that people will be happy with?

Following a clip in which the head of China Media Group asked whether the people of Afghanistan benefitted from American democracy, and whether George Floyd benefitted from democracy, Zepp-LaRouche was asked whether the police reflect the will of the people. She pointed out that the militarization of the police over decades has created problems, and that the people of the United States are extremely polarized. Biden said he’d unify the country. But the only way to bring about a unity is to collaborate on a worthwhile mission, as did the Founders, Lincoln, FDR, and JFK. Afghanistan represents the enormous failure of attempting to impose a model on another country. And the theft and withdrawal of financial and other resources from that nation is a terrible crime.

The Syrian Ambassador to the P.R.C., Imad Moustapha, spoke up to say that the United States is in no position to be the cardinal arbiter of what democracy is, or to declare whether another nation’s system is democratic. The United States is truly a single party state, ruled by the rich, which cynically uses the terms “democracy” and “freedom” to justify its policies.

Must the concept of “democracy” itself be updated to be more relevant to the modern, connected world, asked the host. Michele Geraci compared the cartelized control of social media to the feudal order in which individual rulers could make decisions, rather than a government that is answerable to the general welfare.

Sergey Shakhray, former Deputy Prime Minister of Russia, spoke in the form of a video clip, to say that by creating a division line between democracies and autocracies ignores the actual outcomes provided by China and many Western nations. Former Japanese Prime Minister Hatoyama also spoke to the need to look for commonalities with other nations, rather than focusing on differences.

Zepp-LaRouche responded that it was absolutely necessary to seek out shared interests. A dialogue of cultures can best proceed by seeking out the best aspects of other countries and cultures. She took on the descent into broadly expressed anti-Americanism that had entered the discussion to point to the powerful historical successes of European culture. The Italian Renaissance was based on the idea of man as a limitlessly perfectible being. The problem in the West is not that we did not have a great tradition, but that we moved away from it to a liberal outlook in which everything is allowed, creating a decadence of culture. “To focus on the common aims of mankind, we must appeal to the best traditions of each culture.” Zepp-LaRouche called for joining together to achieve modern health care in every nation, with a particular focus on Operation Ibn Sina to begin with Afghanistan, which is in such great need, along with such countries as Haiti, Yemen and Syria. Building health infrastructure goes hand in hand with overall development, both requiring and enabling it.

The common aims of mankind should be more clearly defined, and present conditions provide the opportunity for a breakthrough. Contrast the inflation of the trans-Atlantic with the physical economic growth typified by the Belt and Road Initiative. {The full Dialogue can be accessed here.}

The broadcast reflected China’s confident efforts to undermine the “Democracy Summit” and the need for a greater understanding in China of the history of and fights within extended European civilization, including, emphatically, the United States.


Helga Zepp-LaRouche on CGTN Broadcast ‘Dialogue, Ideas Matter’

Dec. 3 (EIRNS)–The following is a transcript, done by EIR, of the Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021 broadcast on CGTN of “Dialogue,” with Helga Zepp-LaRouche as a guest.

XU QINDUO: [recording starts in progress] … achieved over the past eight years, what are the concerns behind it, and how does it embody Green development? To discuss these issues and more for the first part of the program, I’m joined by Shiran Illanperuma, research analyst at Econsult Asia, and Helga Zepp-LaRouche, founder and president of the Schiller Institute. For the second part of the program, I’ll also be joined by Erik Solheim, president of the Green Belt and Road Institute. That’s our topic; I’m Xu Qinduo.

Welcome to the show, Helga. For starters, how do you evaluate China’s Belt and Road Initiative, the BRI, over the past eight years?

HELGA ZEPP-LAROUCHE: I think it has changed the world for the better. It is historically the largest infrastructure project ever undertaken in the history of mankind. I think with all the attacks on it recently, there is a very good way of looking at it, and that is to imagine that it would not exist. Just imagine if Xi Jinping would not have announced the New Silk Road and the Maritime Silk Road and all these projects would not have been undertaken. The world would be in a much worse situation. You would have much more poverty; the pandemic would still be here. However, the developing countries would not have received a lot of help from China, because it was this civilizational contribution by China to first lift its own population — 850 million people — out of poverty. And then have the economic strength to offer to the developing countries the model and offering them to do likewise by applying the same economic principles. So, I think the world has changed for the better in ways it never has happened in history before, and I think this will be recognized eventually by everybody; including those people who don’t seem to be so happy with the existence of the Belt and Road Initiative, because they will recognize in the coming period, which will be characterized by more upheavals, inflation, even a hyperinflation in the Western liberal system. You will have new waves of the pandemic because these other countries did not manage as well as China to deal with it. And in the end, it will be clear that the cooperation with the Belt and Road Initiative is really the savior of civilization.

XU: Jiran, if you look at the Belt and Road Initiative, in particular for the developing world — more investment, more trade, more connectivity — it is a good thing in particular for developing countries, right?

SHIRAN ILLANPERUMA: Yes, I would definitely agree, especially coming from Sri Lanka, which is situated in the Indian Ocean very strategically close to some of the busiest shipping lines in the world. For example, the Hambantota Port, which was an investment from China, is situated just ten nautical miles off the shipping route. So, building that regional connectivity is really beneficial for Sri Lanka, as well as for its neighbors.

XU: Helga, the China-Laos Railway constructed in the BRI is the first international railway mainly funded and constructed by China, directly connected with the Chinese railway network after the proposal of the BRI in 2013. So, how significant is it to Laos? And how important is it to the BRI?

ZEPP-LAROUCHE: I think this is one of the most exciting projects I know of, because Laos has so far not been a very developed country. And by having a high-speed railway connecting Kunming with first Laos, but then beyond that to Singapore, Thailand. This connects ASEAN with China; it opens up the connectivity for Laos for eventually the entire Belt and Road infrastructure. Also, it’s not just a railway, even so it is very exciting and it will be very high-level technologically. But infrastructure corridors which always develop out of such transport lines open up the potential for the real industrialization of the country. So, I think this is a major breakthrough, and I think given the rather desolate condition of the railway system in the United States and Europe, I think people will go to Laos and Laos can be proud of having such a modern system, which will be a shining example for many other countries around the world.

XU: Shiran, you talked about the Hambantota Port. In 2017, Sri Lanka and China signed this deal with the leasing of Hambantota. Then there were criticisms — mostly from Western media — that Sri Lanka was forced into the deal, afterwards it was lured into a “debt trap” with easy access to Chinese money. What do you make of that criticism?

ILLANPERUMA: I think it’s nonsense, basically. The facts speak for themselves. Unfortunately, this narrative has been forward as you say by the Western media. But not just Western media. It has been picked up locally as well, whether it’s politicized or deliberate misinformation, that’s another topic. But if you just look at the facts, only 10% of Sri Lanka’s debt is to China; 50% is to international sovereign bonds, most of which are held by US banks and financial institutions. We have the same amount of debt to China as we do to Japan or the ADB, but nobody says we have a Japanese of ADB debt trap. So, that’s one thing.

Then, on the other hand, if you look at the facts of the case, Sri Lanka never actually defaulted on the loan that it took for the Hambantota Port. What happened was that in 2017 there was a huge balance of payments crisis, which forced the government to go to the IMF and then later it disinvested from Hambantota Port. But as you said, that was a 99-year lease that was given to a Chinese company, and we got an infusion of US$1 billion for that; something around that amount. That was not used to settle debt or anything like that. It was used to buffer our reserves. So, there was no debt default, there was no debt [ inaudible ] or anything of the sort.

XU: One thing is like a prominent feature of building infrastructure — it’s long-term. And also, it takes a long time to see positive results; usually like you are building a road, when does your return come back? It takes years, right? If you look at this Hambantota Port, experts say, “The Chinese-built Hambantota Port is expected to create 200,000 jobs and contribute $11.8 billion to the Sri Lankan GDP per year.” How do you evaluate the potential of the port?

ILLANPERUMA: As you said, the potential is huge. And it’s not just the port, because the port is kind of a catalyst for a lot of other things. Sri Lanka has traditionally lagged a bit behind in terms of manufacturing. The port has an industrial park adjacent to it which is also operated as part of the port. So far, there has been investments of $300 million into a tire factory; there’s been a plug-and-play electronics manufacturing factory; there have been deals signed for ship building, yacht building specifically. So, there’s a lot of potential to create jobs, and for Sri Lanka to improve its exports. Because of the way it’s situated in Hambantota Port, there is a lot of agricultural land as well as land that can be used for industrial investments. So, the potential is quite huge, and already I can tell you that there are a lot of locals who are employed there in the RO-RO facilities at the Hambantota Port. So, that’s quite a lot of potential for Sri Lanka to improve its exports, its regional connectivity, and tap into global value chains.

XU: There’s a criticism for Chinese, they say there is a lack of transparency and it’s increasing Chinese influence, or even Chinese military influence. So, what’s your response to that, Helga?

ZEPP-LAROUCHE: The argument that it’s just to increase the military influence is sort of ridiculous, given the fact that the United States has about 1000 bases around the world, and China has a meager one or two. But I think more important is not to just look at the label. I think what’s behind it is an ideological difference. I think this has been expressed most clearly by the head of the World Economic Forum, Klaus Schwab, who in his new book, Stakeholder Capitalism, says the famous sentence that “The real problem is overcoming poverty, because that desire to overcome poverty is what causes the climate catastrophe.” So, for these people, real development is the problem, because it supposedly according to their wrong science, damages the planet by causing climate change. Which is obviously completely wrong. What China is doing, look at what happened at the FOCAC meeting where China again for the I don’t know how many times, is forgiving the debt to the least developed countries. That has not been done by the countries of the Paris club likewise. But I think this ideological question that that there is a Malthusian faction who do not want the developing countries to develop. I think that has been left out of the discussion so far, but without recognizing that that is the motive, and it’s in the old tradition of Malthus, of the British Empire. It’s the same philosophy as what was behind the Opium Wars, or what was behind the British policies in India, and Africa for that matter. Nothing has changed in terms of this colonial outlook, which is the idea that the developing countries should stay undeveloped and be just the reservoir for raw materials for the rich countries.

If you look at the behavior during the pandemic right now, where the rich countries were hoarding vaccines, they were not trying to distribute masks and other medical supplies. We have now the result of that in the form of the pandemic spreading with omicron and mutations which are the result that you cannot leave pockets of the world without medical help. Then you get that as a result. So, I think we have reached a point where we need a complete change of the system. I think the model China has offered so far is the best available on the planet.


Italian Endorsements of Schiller Institute’s Operation Ibn Sina

MILAN, Nov. 23, 2021 (EIRNS)—Alessia Ruggeri, chairwoman of UPI Italia, an association of small and medium-sized enterprises, and a renowned trade unionist in Sicily, today endorsed Helga Zepp-LaRouche’s proposed “Operation Ibn Sina” for Afghanistan with a press release which was published today in Il Corriere di Sicilia, a daily read in all of Sicily and is expected to be published in the next days in other Southern Italian papers. {Read the article here.} The press release is entitled “Helga Zepp-LaRouche launches Operation Ibn Sina to save the Afghan people” and reads:

“The Committee for the Republic, through its spokeswoman Alessia Ruggeri, endorsed the Ibn Sina initiative of the Schiller Institute. ’I believe that the world is experiencing a quite sad political, economic and social moment, with the complicity of mainstream media. We have to regain the lucidity and ability to intervene in support of a right cause. The Afghan people are paying the price of international geopolitical strategies which deny their inalienable rights guaranteed by the UN Charter.

“ ‘I therefore accept with great honor the invitation of the Committee for the Coincidence of Opposites to be a part of it and give a significant European contribution,’ Alessia Ruggeri concludes, thanking Liliana Gorini, chairwoman of Movisol, an Italian political party inspired by Lyndon LaRouche.

“Also the lawyer Roberto Zappia endorses the appeal in support of the Afghan people, first exploited for the affirmation of the territorial and political hegemony of the world powers and subsequently abandoned to the voracity of the finance and to its cynical ruthless logics.”

The press release goes on to quote Helga Zepp-LaRouche on Operation Ibn Sina from the recent Schiller Institute conference and Dr. Joycelyn Elders on the recent activities of the Committee Coincidence of Opposites, particularly in Africa. {See Dr. Elders’ call, Open Letter to Virologists and Medical Experts.}


Major Breakthrough in Sanaa, Yemen: Defying New Wave of Anglo-Saudi Bombardments!

Nov. 23, 2021 (EIRNS)—Today, leaders of the Schiller Institute and the LaRouche Movement joined other international figures in participating in a conference called to celebrate the “First BRICS Day” in the capital of Yemen, Sanaa, under the auspices of Yemeni Prime Minister of Yemen Abdulaziz Saleh bin Habtour. The conference, held at the Emergency Medical College, had been organized by the Yemeni BRICS Youth Parliament and its Chairman and long-time collaborator with the Schiller Institute, Mr. Fouad Al-Ghaffari, to celebrate Yemen’s commitment to securing full independence and development by working with the BRICS nations—Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa—and playing a key role as part of the New Silk Road initiated by China.

The event took place as the Saudis were continuing a new wave of bombardment targeting the capital, Sanaa. Yet the Yemeni government considered it so important that the Prime Minister, joined by the Ministers of Vocational Education, Foreign Affairs, and Culture, all participated, joined by Yemeni parliamentarians and other national figures. The Yemeni official news agency Saba News has already published a lively wire report on the event, which conveys the deep commitment of Yemen’s leadership to help end today’s dominance of the Western liberal system, freeing nations to develop. The Prime Minister expressed his thanks to the friends in Russia, China, and the other speakers who sent messages of solidarity from Germany, India, France, Iraq, and the United States of America. (The Saba News item is linked here.)

Helga Zepp-LaRouche, Chairwoman of the Schiller Institute, was the first of the 11 international guests whose recorded video message was presented, following the opening remarks by the Dean of the Emergency Medical College. She was introduced as the New Silk Road Lady. She was followed by Tushar Gandhi, great-grandson of Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi, and Chairman of the Mahatma Gandhi Foundation. Jacques Cheminade was next, representing the Solidarité et Progress, presented as a former French presidential candidate. The Schiller Institute’s Hussein Askary followed with the video presentation on the history of collaboration with the BRICS Youth on the Yemen Reconstruction Plan “Operation Felix” and the LaRouche School of Physical Economics.

There was a high-level Russian representation, with a message from Anatoly Karpov, chess legend and member of Duma. Larisa Zelentsova, the Russian President of the International Alliance of BRICS Strategic Projects (BRICS Alliance) (iabrics.org) sent a video message. A message was also sent by Albert Zhukov, founder of the Golden Chariot Transport Award. Purnima Anand, President of the BRICS International Forum, India, also sent a message.

Two messages were sent from the United States, one by LaRouche movement organizers Marsha and Doug Mallouk, and one by independent candidate for U.S. Senate in New York, Diane Sare.

These speeches and messages were preceded with a ceremony where PM bin Habtour received the BRICS Youth Award and Transport Golden Chariot award. Minister of Foreign Affairs Hisham Sharaf signed the first copy of the new edition of the Yemeni BRICS “Sustainable Development University Curriculum,” which is a compilation by Fouad Al-Ghaffari of projects and works in economics centered around Lyndon LaRouche’s economic method. A chapter is dedicated to what the authors have characterized as “LaRouche’s Five Keys of Progress” which are a reworking of the “Metrics of Progress” from the EIR Special Report “The New Silk Road Becomes the World Land-Bridge, 2014.” Another chapter is dedicated to the latter special report. A chapter includes a short version of “Operation Felix” for the reconstruction of Yemen from 2018, completed in 2018 as a joint project of the Schiller Institute, BRICS Yemen, and the Yemeni Investment General Authority.

Many references to Helga Zepp-LaRouche and the Schiller Institute’s resolutions and calls regarding Yemen are also in the book. A chapter is dedicated to the Arabic LaRouche School of Physical Economics launched by Askary, with links. The 160-page book in Arabic language has a general outline of the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2030. But on every page the LaRouche Five keys are superimposed on the 15 UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Following the statements by the foreign VIPs, Al-Ghaffari made a 15-minute presentation on the history and nature of the Yemen BRICS operations since they were founded in December 2014.

The Minister of Vocational Education also made remarks, and the conference was concluded by a statement by Prime Minister bin Habtour.

First reports from the event are that it was a surprise for everyone, due to the high-level of international representation from intellectual and scientific layers. This is a great victory for the people and leadership of Yemen on behalf of all humanity.

And it is a celebration of seven years of hard work and cooperation with the Schiller Institute and LaRouche Movement, which began when Fouad Al-Ghaffari attended EIR’s release of its Special Report “The New Silk Road Becomes the World Land-bridge,” in Washington, D.C., keynoted by Helga Zepp-LaRouche. After meeting with Marsha and Doug Mallouk, he carried the copy of the report he purchased back to Yemen to start this new organization to teach Yemeni youth as well as policy-makers about the LaRouche economic method, the New Silk Road / Belt and Road Initiative, and the BRICS. A few months later, in March 2015, the war of aggression by Saudi Arabia and the UAE was launched with the aid of the U.S. and Britain. Despite this criminal war and subsequent murderous blockade, the BRICS Youth of Yemen continued their studies and mobilization of government agencies.

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Schiller Institute Rep. Injects Necessary Principle Into Dialogue on China Policy

Schiller Institute Representative Injects Necessary Principle Into Dialogue on China Policy

Nov. 18 (EIRNS)—At a Watson Institute conference entitled “Rising Tensions in the Taiwan Straits: Will the Chinese Civil War End with a Bang or a Whimper,” the following exchange occurred between Schiller Institute representative Cloret Ferguson and the two very prominent speakers, Ambassador Chas Freeman and Professor Lyle Goldstein.

Cloret Ferguson: It’s a pleasure to see and hear both of you. My question is, why would we not seek a more Westphalian approach to the question of China and US relations? For instance, the fact that China has elevated more than 850 million of its own population out of dire poverty and has said that they are reaching out to the whole world, to solve the problem of poverty of the whole world in 30 or 40 years, why would we not approach these relationships and take that branch as a means to solve the problem on a much more noble plane? Why would we not accept this as the pathway for relations between China and the US instead of dwelling on the past. We have the biggest military arsenal in the world!

Chas Freeman: The military industrial complex is us. We have a very militarized foreign policy. The first thought when we run into a problem abroad is, sanctions, which is coercive, a form of war, an economic war; then we send in the Marines, or if the Marines aren’t available, the Army or somebody. This is our mentality, and it comes out of our history, I suppose. You are very rational; that is exactly what I think we should be doing, that is, we should accept that there is no military answer that is acceptable to the Taiwan question, either for China, or for us. We need to find a way to take it off the track that it is now on toward a fight. I don’t know about you, but at the moment, Americans have no consensus on what the past means; our founding myths are all being deconstructed, our heroes are being toppled from their pedestals. New heroes are not really being invented that appeal to everyone. We are more divided than ever. We don’t agree on what the present is; we have no common vision of the future. And if you doubt that, look at Washington DC at the present. What Ed said, China has a clear ambition and a strategy for achieving it. We are countering it with fumbling and internal division, and a focus on military uses of force.

Lyle Goldstein: I think this is a very wise question, and for those of you not familiar with 17th- Century European diplomacy, this term, the Westphalian model, is something we really ought to get back to, and I think it is generally studied in international relations classes, but I don’t think it’s known beyond that, but I’m glad you brought it up. I do think it’s absolutely critical to a way forward with China. All it is, is a basic principle, countries can be different, probably should be different, they shouldn’t interfere in each other’s affairs, and this eventually stopped the incredible warring that was going on between various Catholic and Protestant states in Central Europe. It’s very applicable to today, that most diplomats agree with these basic principles, but it seems to me, I’m not sure why this is completely broken down in the modern discourse in international politics. I have a feeling it has something to do with Twitter and journalism and Cable News, and all this, and kind of democracy run amok. I think George Kennan and people like that would certainly favor returning to the old ways, to this understanding that it is quite normal that countries are run in very different ways, and to resist the temptation to constantly be telling other countries how to run their affairs.

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The Significance of The Belt and Road Initiative

The Significance of The Belt and Road Initiative – Zepp-LaRouche contributes to dialogue

Nov. 19 (EIRNS)–On this eighth anniversary of the announcement by China’s President Xi Jinping, of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI,) which he made in Kazakhstan Nov. 19, 2013, calling it then, One Belt, One Road, President Xi spoke at the symposium on the project, discussing in detail its many achievements and continuing intent, functioning as the modern-day Silk Road, for the common good of all.

Helga Zepp-LaRouche, Schiller Institute President, and long known in China and internationally as the “Silk Road Lady,” for her advocacy of the concept, gave three interviews today, on the occasion of the BRI anniversary. She appeared on CGTN TV, in two interviews, one on Global Business, and another on the Dialogue Weekend program; and she was interviewed on her weekly Schiller Institute webcast, titled, “Most of the World Is Hungry for Change.” See transcript of both interviews here.

Beginning in the early 1990s, she and her husband Lyndon LaRouche, promoted the idea of the “World Land-Bridge,” of development corridors. The latest books they issued on this were two volumes (2014 and 2018) of the “The New Silk Road Becomes the World Land-Bridge,” along with “Extending the New Silk Road to West Asia and Africa” (2017.) These presented details, region by region, for world economic development.

In each interview today, she stressed the urgency for Western nations to rethink, and give up geopolitics and neo-colonialism, which have brought the world to the brink of nuclear war, worsening famine and persisting pandemic. Nations have been deliberately kept in poverty. These conditions, and induced strife, have produced mass migrations. She said on her webcast, “We have to have a re-thinking. Germany, the United States, other European countries should stop this geopolitical confrontation and say, ‘We have a pandemic, we have a mass famine, we have a refugee crisis of Biblical dimensions, and we must join hands and build infrastructure, hospitals, schools, industry, agriculture in all these countries…’.” She stated, “Let’s just build infrastructure, let’s build up Africa, this is the natural thing, and the Chinese are doing the natural things, and we should stop bickering about it, because we should take the moral lesson from the Chinese in this respect.”

President Xi Jinping reported that as of August, 2021, 170 nations had, in various ways, cooperated with the BRI. Now today, in terms of combatting the pandemic, 110 of these nations have received some of the 1.7 billion doses of vaccine.

Zepp-LaRouche drew attention in her webcast, to the fact that the same principle is involved in what China calls its “Belt and Road Health Initiative,” and what the Schiller Institute is campaigning for, in calling on nations to collaborate in building a world health system. This means facilities, staff, water, power, food, infrastructure.

We have a moment of special opportunity now. A week ago in Glasgow, COP26 ended as FLOP26. It was a failure for its organizers—the gaggle of royals, banksters, billionaires and the like, who want nations to agree to commit suicide, “to save the planet.” A critical number spoke out against this in Glasgow, and their view was again re-stated yesterday in Abuja, Nigeria, by Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama. He said simply, while standing alongside visiting U.S. Foreign Sec. Antony Blinken at a joint press conference, that Nigeria is “a gas-producing country…and we’re looking to gas to help to address our energy needs.” So, he called on Blinken to do something to stop the international financial institutions from refusing to lend to fossil fuels development. Nigeria has the right to use its resources and develop.

Now it is the time for all humanity to step forward and take the lead. Zepp-LaRouche replied to CGTN reporter Michael Wang’s question about her opinion of the BRI at a time of uncertainties in the world: “I think it is, for sure, the most important strategic initiative on the planet right now. Because—you say, `uncertainties’—these uncertainties show right now in the form of hyperinflationary tendencies—you see the energy prices skyrocketing, food prices, and we may actually head towards a hyperinflationary blowout of the entire system. At such a moment, to have the Belt and Road Initiative, which focuses entirely on the physical side of the economy, can actually become the absolute, important savior for the world economy as a whole. So, I think the existence of the Belt and Road Initiative is the most important initiative on the planet.”

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