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International Peace Coalition Meeting: Intelligence Specialists Speak Out as War Looms

by Daniel Platt

May 24, 2024 (EIRNS)—This week’s 51st meeting of the International Peace Coalition (IPC) saw a fruitful colloquy among some of the U.S.’s foremost intelligence experts: former CIA analyst Larry C. Johnson; former U.S. diplomat, CIA official, and Islamic scholar Graham Fuller; and former CIA analyst and Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) co-founder Ray McGovern; all in dialogue with Schiller Institute founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche’s strategic analysis—and proposed solutions—presented in her opening remarks. (See extended transcript of opening remarks.)

Helga Zepp-LaRouche observed that we are in a time when “history becomes more dense,” and profound change is proceeding at an accelerating pace, even as the danger of nuclear war rises. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) today issued an emergency order to halt Israel’s attack on Rafah. “The question is, will that be enforced, and if so, how?” Zepp-LaRouche asked. “It seems to be dawning on some people in the Western establishment that if you apply a double standard … the legality of the system may be there, but it is about to lose its legitimacy.” This week Ireland, Spain, and Norway joined the list of 140 UN member nations that have recognized the State of Palestine. If Israel continues to flout the ICJ’s binding orders to stop the genocide in Gaza—as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has again sworn they will do—then Israel could be suspended from UN membership.

Looking at other theaters of strategic confrontation carrying the danger of escalation into nuclear war, Zepp-LaRouche asked whether the attempt on the life of Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico was made by a “lone assassin.” There are indications that he may have had assistance. Large influxes of money have flowed into NGOs, not only in Slovakia, but in Georgia, Serbia, and Hungary as well, whose leaders are all critical of Ukraine war funding, and are speaking out against the perpetrators of the destabilization operations. Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Kobakhidze posted on Twitter/X that he received a threat from an EU Commission member, warning that he could meet the same fate as Fico.

In Asia, newly inaugurated Taiwanese President Lai Ching-te gave an inaugural address in which he insisted that Taiwan is “a sovereign independent nation.” In response, China held military exercises around Taiwan, as a clear signal that they will not tolerate secession masquerading as “independence.” Zepp-LaRouche reminded the IPC participants that for decades, “One China” has been internationally recognized. She concluded by saying that the next six months will be decisive, and that we in the IPC, along with like-minded forces around the world, must put a different narrative, a different solution on the agenda, in the tradition of the Peace of Westphalia, using the Oasis Plan.

Larry C. Johnson contrasted present U.S. foreign policy with the Nixon period, when, despite the Cold War, we could actually talk to Russia and China. Now, “The United States is like a 3-year-old child with a hammer,” and everything looks like a nail. He warned that if this continues, “the U.S. will implode upon itself…. It is pretending that it can project military force in three theaters simultaneously.” Our Navy is completely vulnerable to the hypersonic weapons that Russia and China both possess. Johnson insisted that “people in Asia, Africa and South America are sick and tired of being bullied by the United States.”

Graham Fuller followed and said, “Larry and I have both toiled in the vineyards of intelligence.” Fuller said that the U.S. is unable to face the reality of its relative decline in the world. Referencing the “complicated, perhaps triangular relationship” in the Middle East between Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Israel, he observed that China had remarkably defused tension between the Saudis and Iran, which “took the wind out of the sails of the argument that ‘The Iranians are coming! The Iranians are coming!’”

Fuller concluded by saying, “It’s a cliché to say crises promote opportunities,” but he offered the hope that this will shake people up to come up with some new ideas.

Helga Zepp-LaRouche intervened to insist that it is our job to offer those new ideas. The Western nations act as if there were no tomorrow, no consequences, but “the way out would be so absolutely, breathtakingly easy.” She identified the expanding BRICS organization and the Oasis Plan as the path to a solution. None of the Global South nations has called the U.S. the enemy. We could work with them.

Ray McGovern recalled that he had started working as a CIA analyst in January 1964, as a specialist in Sino-Soviet relations. China and Russia “were squeezing each other….” Now “they’re in a fraternal embrace that won’t stop.” He has been surprised by many things, including the Russian military operation in Ukraine and the Chinese support for it; and their announcement of tactical nuclear weapons exercises. “None were pleasant surprises; I’m just afraid of what the next one might be.”

Meeting co-moderator Dennis Speed observed that these “surprises” represent the essence of intelligence work: the careful examination of “what doesn’t add up,” adding that the analyst must “poke reality with a stick,” and change the analysis as necessary. Read the EIR Daily Alert every day!

During the discussion, one of the first comments centered on the overriding importance of Lyndon LaRouche’s breakthroughs in economics, and praise of LaRouche by leading Russian economist Sergey Glazyev. Independent Congressional candidate Jose Vega, who has just successfully filed three times the required number of signatures required to attain ballot access, reported on his visits to New York campus encampments protesting the genocide in Gaza. LaRouche movement organizer Bill Ferguson reported on the May 23 Harvard commencement exercises: Trucks were driving around with neon signs denouncing as anti-Semites the 1,000 students who walked out to support 13 seniors barred from graduation over their role in the Gaza protests. LaRouche organizers displayed a banner: “Peace through Development: Build LaRouche’s Oasis Plan.” After the LaRouche organizers choral performance of peace songs, a policeman approached, saying “You’ve got really killer voices,” encouraging them to keep it up.

An Indian journalist elaborated on the importance of unity among the three, largest and founding members of the BRICS—Russia, India, China (RIC)—and pointed to the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC), extending from St. Petersburg through Iran and Central Asia, across the Arabian Sea to Mumbai in India, as an example of regional cooperation, notwithstanding the tensions in the region. Helga Zepp-LaRouche concurred: “The anchor of stability is the connectivity projects,” such as the BRICS and BRICS-Plus.

Other participants expressed anxiety about the U.S. presidential election. One person suggested that Biden might be the lesser evil; another stated the opposite. Co-moderator Dennis Small said that the very concept of the “lesser evil” comes from Aristotle, who did not believe in the Good. Throw Aristotle in the trash, and read Plato, to learn how to think from a higher vantage point from which the Good is attainable, was his advice. Zepp-LaRouche suggested support for independent candidates like Jose Vega and Diane Sare, concurring with Sare that no candidate running is qualified to be President of the United States. She added, “I would not bet the fate of the world on these election processes.” The confiscation of Russian assets may trigger an unprecedented financial crisis which will upset the applecart. Our efforts should concentrate on the proposed new international security and development architecture and the Oasis Plan. Echoing the comments of a participant from Mali, she said that we must “put the One Humanity first.”

Webcast: Will ICC Arrest Warrants Against Netanyahu, Gallant End the Siege of Gaza?

Join Helga Zepp-LaRouche May 22, 11am Eastern/5pm CET in her Weekly Live dialogue and help usher in the Year of the New Paradigm for all Humanity. Send your questions, thoughts and reports to or ask them in the live stream.

Interview with Prof. Jefferey Sachs: Will the Death of U.S. Hegemony Lead to Peace—Or World War III?

Professor Jeffrey Sachs, currently a Professor at Columbia University, has held positions around the world as an economist, and has become one of the most outspoken peace advocates in the United States. This interview was conducted on May 15 by EIR’s co-editor Mike Billington.

Mike Billington: I listened to your interview with Jill Stein, the presidential candidate for the Green Party. I noticed that she ran through your various hats, which took her a long time to do! Rather than running through all of that, I thought I would start with your original profession, which was an economist. I want to read to you a quote from Russia’s Executive Director at the IMF, Aleksei Mozhin. Do you know him personally?

Prof. Sachs: I know him very well.

Billington: Yes, I assumed you would. What he wrote on May 3rd in Ria Novosti was this: “If American debt continues to increase, which I expect it will, confidence in the U.S. dollar will decline. Chaos will ensue in the global economy, and the possibility of a collapse exists.” What are your thoughts on that?

Prof. Sachs: First, Aleksei Mozhin has been Executive Director for Russia for, I think, three decades. He’s outstanding, absolutely outstanding. So what he says we should take very seriously. He’s been dean of the executive directors, meaning the longest serving. He presides often at the IMF. So I have great respect for him.

What he’s saying is that the public debt of the U.S., which is now more than 100% of national income and rising rapidly, will be a source of financial crisis in the years ahead. I concur with that. We don’t have any kind of political consensus in the United States about what government should do and how to fund it, so the recourse of both the Democrats and the Republicans is to run larger deficit spending.

The Republicans really like tax cuts. The Democrats like various kinds of spending increases or tax credits, but both sides like war. So both sides spend fortunes on war. The upshot is that since the year 2000, the public debt has risen from around one third of national income to more than 100% of national income. The Congressional Budget Office of the United States makes long term projections, and their long term projection for mid-century is that the debt will rise to around 200% of GDP. That’s not the precise number that they give, but essentially the ratio of debt to national income doubling. That’s not a forecast so much as saying, if we stay on the current trajectory. So the fact that we have no political equilibrium in this country means that the fallback option is raise the debt, and eventually that leads to crisis.

Billington: Right. I’m going to continue reading from Aleksei Mozhin. What he said next was about the BRICS (the organization founded by Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) and the role of the BRICS in dealing with this situation: “The BRICS are putting together an accounting unit based on a basket of currencies of the original five members of the BRICS, which will include daily quotes for the main commodities,” and he mentions in that regard oil, grain, gold, metals and timber. He goes on: “Mutual trade will be carried out in this accounting unit. If there is a collapse, it would be necessary to turn the BRICS accounting unit into a real currency backed by exchange traded goods.” 

That’s his quote. I’ll mention that this is very close to the idea proposed by Lyndon LaRouche in the year 2000 called “Trade Without Currency,” which was subsequently studied by Russian economists Sergey Glazyev and others who are planning the BRICS policies for how to deal with this global crisis. As you know, the Russians and the Chinese are also quite verbally warning of the severity of the global financial blowout that we are facing. So what are your thoughts on that idea?

Prof. Sachs: Well, I think, first, it’s important to say that a number of things are in play, and one of them is that the BRICS countries want a means of settlement that isn’t the U.S. dollar. This is one part of what’s in play. That’s not even mainly because of the debt crisis in the United States. That’s mainly because of the weaponization of the dollar by the United States. The U.S. began around 20 years ago to use the currency not merely as a system of settlements for international transactions, but also as a weapon of foreign policy, by seizing the assets of countries deemed to be adversarial to the U.S. The United States seized the balances of Iran, seized the balances of Venezuela, of Afghanistan. And now the big one, Russia—roughly $300 billion of Russia’s financial assets frozen by the Western governments. So these countries in the BRICS, that’s Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa, and now five more countries added, Egypt, Ethiopia, the Emirates, Iran, and, we think, Saudi Arabia—not entirely clear about Saudi Arabia, but it seems to be the case. They are saying that they want to hedge against this kind of geopolitical risk. This is one factor in this.

The second factor is that the dollar itself may become unstable for the reasons that we were speaking about. I would say a third factor is that there is lots of technological change, creating different ways to make settlements. The current settlement system goes through banks, but in the future it will go through digital currencies, probably central bank digital currencies.

Now, all of that, then, also raises questions. If you have a central bank currency, renminbi or a dollar or ruble, how do you manage monetary policy? Should that currency be backed by a basket of commodities? If so, in what sense backed by that basket? Could be a price indicator for monetary policy? It could be a literal kind of gold standard where you can take your currency unit and convert it into units of some kind of commodity or basket of commodities. There are lots of technical choices.

But the question is: does the central bank need some kind of anchor of a commodity to be responsible? Otherwise, the claim is sometimes made that central banks are inherently inflationary. At the end of the day, unless the currency is backed by something, it will be inflated away. So these are the issues that Lyndon LaRouche raised.

These are the issues that the BRICS are tackling right now. In my view, the order of priority for the BRICS is first not to have their foreign reserves seized by the United States or Europe, because both the U.S. and Europe are misbehaving very badly. They are using what should be financial instruments as foreign policy adversarial instruments. This is a big mistake and the BRICS want something else. Second is this unit of account issue. It happens that the first five countries Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa all have currencies that start with the letter R: the Brazilian real, the Russian ruble, the Indian rupee, the Chinese renminbi, and the South African rand—so they call it the five R currency unit.

I just found it an amazing coincidence. But in any event, Aleksei is carrying the ball on this. There are lots of good ideas to have a unit of account. I think there’s an interest among these major countries to do that, and they’re working pretty hard on this right now, and I’m in favor of it. I think there’s nothing wrong with having some alternatives. I keep saying to American policymakers, “Stop wrecking the dollar, stop weaponizing the dollar, stop seizing other countries assets. It’s absolutely ridiculous. If you want the dollar to be used, you can’t use it like a punching bag this way. I’m sure you know that.”

Billington: There’s now a bill in the Congress and discussion to not just freeze the Russian money, but to use the interest earned from it to literally hand over to the Ukrainian war.

Prof. Sachs: This is part of the aid legislation—not aid, this is part of the military spending that was passed last month, directing some kind of seizure of Russia’s assets. Plainly illegal, but also plainly stupid. But I don’t count on intelligence from the Congress.

Billington: As I mentioned, I watched your interview with Jill Stein. I also saw your interviews with Judge Napolitano, which was very interesting, and with a man named Robert, whom I surmise is connected to the Vatican.

Prof. Sachs: Yes, he does a show around Vatican issues, Robert Moynihan.

Billington: I found them all very interesting. It’s obvious that you’re making your views known about the global crisis facing mankind generally as widely as you possibly can. I appreciate that, and I appreciate your agreement to do so with EIR as well. Of course, in particular, you have condemned both political parties, as you just mentioned, being totally pro-war, united in their insane view, and that their expected presidential candidates are fully subservient to the military-industrial complex and to war, including the war between NATO and Russia being fought with Ukrainian bodies, and the horrendous genocide that’s taking place in Palestine, as well as their preparation for a war with China. All of which clearly is bringing us closer and closer to global war and probably global nuclear war. Can you expand a bit on your view of the Biden and Trump situation and the danger to the U.S.?

Prof. Sachs: I think fundamentally what is at play is almost tectonic, like the plate tectonics on the Earth, but the tectonics of geopolitics. The United States, especially with the end of the Soviet Union in 1991, but really going back to the early days after World War Two, came to believe at the highest strategic level that the U.S. dominates the world scene, that it is the hegemon, to use the political science term, meaning the political power that effectively is in control of the world scene, and that its grand strategy should be to protect its hegemonic advantage. Sometimes this is put very explicitly. For example, in a very clear article written for the Council on Foreign Relations by Robert Blackwell (a former U.S. Ambassador and now at the Council on Foreign Relations) and Ashley Tellis (a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace) in 2015, where those two authors, senior analysts, one a very senior U.S. diplomat, discuss what U.S. policy towards China should be. The article says very bluntly and clearly, the U.S. grand strategy is to be number one. If China’s rise threatens the U.S. being number one, the U.S. needs to take action to curb China’s rise. Well, to my mind, this is the fundamental issue in the world scene today. 

The U.S., and by that I mean the military-industrial blob, or complex, a small number of powerful people, from the security establishment, the intelligence agencies, the Pentagon, the military companies and their supporters in the Congress. That group wants to preserve American hegemony as they see it. But the real issue is: Russia is a powerful, technologically sophisticated country. China is a very powerful, very technologically sophisticated country. And not surprisingly, neither Russia nor China, nor most countries around the world, want a hegemon. What they want is in large part to be left alone so that they can get on with their lives. But they would like peace. They really do want global cooperation, they just don’t want the U.S. to tell them what to do. The U.S., on the other hand, resents Russia for being big and powerful. The U.S. has a completely neurotic fixation on China. Again, when I say the U.S., I mean, I mean real individuals at the top of the power structure in the U.S. I don’t mean American society as a whole. 

The reason we are slipping towards World War Three is that America’s self-image as hegemon is completely inconsistent with the reality on the ground, which is: Russia is powerful. China is powerful, other regional powers are powerful, and they don’t want American dominance, period. So when the United States government declared already in the late 90s, but then committed in the year 2008, that it would expand NATO to Ukraine, Russia said, “No, not on our border. We don’t want you next door.” It’s obvious that if China said, we’re going to start putting military bases along the Rio Grande, it would trigger a kind of reaction in Washington. Not saying, “Oh, that’s just fine. You do what you want.”

Billington: We saw the response when the Russians moved weapons into Cuba.

Prof. Sachs: We ran that show at once. But one of the points about the U.S., just to digress for one moment, is that our senior officials absolutely refuse even to try to think like the other side might think, and to take that into account, much less to reflect on it and use that reflection as a way to stay out of disaster. We absolutely reject that. We do what we want, and we expect others to do what we want. And so what you raised, the war in Ukraine, the war in the Middle East, the risk of a catastrophic war in East Asia. In my mind, it all comes down at the core to this U.S. demand: “You do it our way or we’ll have war.” And the U.S. ends up getting in a lot of disastrous wars. It gets millions of people killed, because of this kind of approach. And we’re in the midst of it now. 

Biden obviously doesn’t know where the brakes are. I don’t know if he knows where anything is right now. Trump is an odd character, utterly unpredictable. He had neocons and he had anti-neocons in his administration, doing very haphazard things. It’s probably true he would be less pro-NATO in Ukraine, but he was absolutely up for goading China and as aggressive as can be pro-Israel in the Middle East. So all of it is to say, in my view, there’s not so much difference at the political personality level. Structurally, the U.S. security establishment is fighting for its hegemony and it could end up creating a world war. 

Billington: I’ll mention, since you brought up the military-industrial complex, you may know that Ray McGovern has expanded that idea to the MICIMATT which includes the Congress, the intelligence community, the media, academia and the think tanks. 

But let me first ask you about the Oasis Plan. I’m sure you’re familiar with this. This is an idea that LaRouche had way back in the 1970s, with his idea being that the only way to resolve the perpetual warfare that had been created in the Middle East by the British, the way they set it up as a cockpit for war, eventually against Russia and China. But the only way to deal with that is through a massive development plan addressing the needs of both sides, and in particular, the massive shortage of water in the region, through canals, nuclear powered desalination of seawater and related developments, Belt and Road style developments for the entire region.

We sponsored a conference on this concept last month in which four ambassadors, including one from Palestine, who basically spoke in support of it, along with scientists and water experts from around the world. Lyn argued, when he first developed this, that the idea that we have to get a political settlement first—that this is backwards, that the vision for a real solution, a solution that is long term, that actually addresses the infrastructure needs of both sides, is required, like the Peace of Westphalia, which I know you’re familiar with. You know Southwest Asia very well. What are your thoughts generally on this development solution?

Prof. Sachs: I think that we actually need a political solution and an economic approach, and the political solution is at hand, because all the world agrees to it, other than two countries. The political solution is that there should be a State of Palestine, and it should live alongside the State of Israel, and Israel should not be able to veto a State of Palestine. And we’re actually quite close to that, except the U.S. keeps vetoing it on behalf of Israel. If the U.S. would actually be sensible and say, this is what international law, international agreements, and the only way for a global consensus that exists to resolve this crisis is, we would actually get there quite quickly. 

The U.S. alone vetoed the State of Palestine as the 194th UN member state. What’s ironic, and I speak to diplomats in the Arab region all the time, and in the Arab and Islamic countries all the time. They’re ready for peace. Peace with Israel, a peace, normalization of relations. They don’t want war in the region. The Saudis don’t want war, the UAE doesn’t want war. Egypt doesn’t want war. Jordan doesn’t want war. Lebanon doesn’t want war. But they want Palestine not to live under apartheid rule or worse, under a genocide, which is what’s happening in Gaza right now. So I think the politics is actually straightforward, except that it’s blocked by the United States. And I’m hoping that America wakes up to the very obvious point that the American people want Palestine to have political rights, and the world community is united for that, and that all the United States is doing is perpetuating war and promoting its own complete isolation, and I would say fundamentally endangering Israel as a viable state, because Israel needs some legitimacy, not just to be seen as a war crime state protected by the United States.

That’s a bad bargain for all concerned when it comes to the economics. I couldn’t agree more that there’s ample opportunity for regional development. And there is a water crisis, and desalination is the way forward. And there are so many things that could be done. One needs peace. 

Now, the reason why we have to combine the political and the economic is that one of the gambits of Trump and Biden was: “Oh, we could kind of bribe them. They don’t really need a state. All we need is some economic terms.”

But the truth of the matter is that Israel right now is absolutely radicalized, extremist compared to what it was even a quarter century ago, much less in the 1970s. It’s an extremist government. It is saying overtly, among the major cabinet members; “This is our land. We will never allow a state of Palestine. We will dominate the land,” and so forth, including the so-called occupied territories, which is Palestine, but they call it Judea and Samaria. It’s really dangerous how extremist Israel has become. And so I think we need to say, as a world community, stop the extremism. We need a political settlement. Clearly: 1967 borders, the State of Palestine, capital in East Jerusalem. And we need an economic framework that can go along with that. And I think both are possible.

Billington: With a Peace of Westphalia approach, where you acknowledge that you have to forgive the crimes of the other side, which both are so adamant in insisting upon.

In your interview with Robert, you brought up the encyclical of Pope Francis in which he spoke about the meeting of Saint Francis with the Sultan Malik al-Kamil of Egypt on the battlefield of the Fifth Crusade. I found that absolutely fascinating.

Prof. Sachs: It is a great story, a true one.

Billington: Pope Francis’s encyclical, which I looked up, is called Fratelli tutti, which means “all brothers,” which of course reminds you quickly of the Friedrich Schiller phrase “Alle Menschen werden Brueder,” “all mankind will be brothers,” which Beethoven set in his Ninth Symphony. What can you tell us about this meeting of Saint Francis and the Sultan?

Prof. Sachs: Well, this was the Fifth Crusade, and Saint Francis was saintly. He believed in peace. And he believed that there would be a way to reconcile the Christian and the Muslim world. So he trekked on foot from his native Assisi to the battlefield in Egypt in 1219 and met with Sultan al-Malik. He had an all-nighter with the Sultan in a discussion, a debate about religion, politics and war. It is a meeting that went down in history as a peace seeker. It did not end the Fifth Crusade. Saint Francis left without peace.

But he did have that conversation. And Pope Francis raised this at the beginning of this wonderful encyclical, because he said that it not only is inspiring that his namesake, Saint Francis, made this journey, but also because he and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, which is the great, great center of learning of the last thousand years, in Cairo, in Egypt, the great Muslim center of learning, the Pope and the Grand Imam have really joined hands in calling for peace and saying, there is a way forward, but you have to reach across the divide, like Saint Francis did in 1219. So that’s the message of the encyclical. It’s a wonderful encyclical. It’s really Pope Francis’s great wisdom as a great pastoral leader. He’s basically explaining, how do you deal with the other side through? Do you deal with hate propaganda, war making, or do you find a way to have what he calls encounter? And that is to meet the other side? 

In addition to the meeting of Saint Francis and the Sultan, a lot of the encyclical is taken up with the parable of the Great Samaritan, told by Jesus, where you have a Samaritan, robbed and left bloodied on the side of the road. Many pious people walk by him, Jews in the community. But it’s a Samaritan, meaning someone from, another jurisdiction and a religious group that the Jews looked down on at the time of Jesus’s parable.

And it’s a Samaritan who rescues the robbed person, brings him to an inn, gives money for his care, and, the Pope says, this is the way that the world can be saved. And the only way the world can be saved. And I find it an extraordinarily important encyclical, very basic in its intention, which is, don’t shout hate to the other side. Find the way to have a dialogue with the other side. It’s so simple and so basic and so far from what we do right now. 

For me, the telltale fact of the recklessness and foolishness of Washington is that Biden has not tried to speak with Putin one time since the end of 2021. With all the war going on, the risk of nuclear war, the disasters. Biden doesn’t even understand that there’s a role for speaking. And why do I say Biden? Because President Putin actually said repeatedly, “I’m open for discussion, but they don’t want to talk.” And the truth is, I’ve been watching this very close up, because I know all these people. The U.S. does not have the idea of diplomacy. They don’t get it. They don’t know it. We have a Secretary of State, but we don’t have a diplomat. 

Billington: On the question of the Vatican’s role in this situation, in addition to the encyclical which you just described, you’re also a member of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences at the Vatican. I’m afraid I don’t really know exactly what that is, but I’m wondering what you and others with whom you are in touch in the Vatican might be doing to try to realize the Pope’s offer, from a few years ago now, to use the Vatican as a forum for peace negotiations?

Prof. Sachs: The Pope has reiterated this. Just recently, he said that Ukraine should show the “bravery” to open to negotiations. Actually, in Ukraine, there’s a law that Zelensky pushed which says that it’s illegal to negotiate with Russia, until Russia leaves Ukraine. In other words, we can’t have negotiations to end this war. The war magically has to end first. This is completely backwards, completely destructive. It has meant that Ukraine rejects negotiations. And the United States, which is very poorly led by President Biden, takes the line, which I think is both a dodge and a delusion: “Well, we can’t do anything unless the Ukrainians ask for it. And since the Ukrainians don’t want negotiation, we say no to negotiations.” This is a complete copout. Actually, it’s almost the opposite of the truth. 

The U.S. has pushed this war all along. The U.S. has funded this war. The U.S. has armed Ukraine. It’s the U.S., by the way, that told Ukraine, “Keep fighting,” when Ukraine was ready to settle on the basis of neutrality in March 2022. Then the U.S. and UK came in and said “No, no, we arm you, you keep fighting.” That is about 500,000 deaths earlier that would have been averted but for the U.S. insistence, I would say, that its client state keep fighting. All of this has meant that while the Pope has said repeatedly, “We the Vatican stands ready to use the Pope’s good offices, to use the Vatican, to use our ability to have outreach to Patriarch Kirill and other religious leaders,” it’s been blocked by the geopolitics up until now. 

Billington: In terms of the U.S. as the unipolar power of the world, nearly the entire Global South is now quite verbally and publicly and openly rejecting the whole policy of colonialism. Really, the 500 years and more of human history has been largely defined by this colonial era. But they’re now being offered something quite different from the BRICS, from the Belt and Road, something different than the austerity and subservience that the IMF and the World Bank policies and the colonial powers have imposed on all these centuries. What do you think about the Belt and Road and the BRICS policies in terms of dealing with the continuing immiseration of much of the developing sector, the so-called Third World, as we used to call it?

Prof. Sachs: Well, the U.S. really has starkly divided the world, because the U.S. has said, “You’re with us or you’re against us.” It said that repeatedly. It said that with regard to the Iraq war in 2003 and onward, and it says it now with regard to Ukraine and the sanctions against Russia. You’re either with us applying these sanctions or you’re against us. Most of the world doesn’t want to be for or against. It wants to be left alone. Most of the world is trying to get on with living, trying to get on with facing many, many challenges and crises. And it doesn’t want to be told by the United States, you do what we say, or we somehow punish you or put on sanctions and so on. So we’re in the midst of that upheaval right now.

Europe, to my disappointment, which has the capacity to be an independent actor, has for the moment fallen almost entirely into the U.S. camp. Countries that should know better, and a European Union that should know better, act almost as if it’s simply a complete dependency on the U.S. And the European Union no longer distinguishes between the EU, which is an economic and political union, and NATO, which is a U.S. led military alliance. It’s a shame, but true, that the capital of the EU and the capital of NATO are both in Brussels, in the same city, and effectively the same thing right now. So when the world divides—you have the U.S. and Europe and a few allies in Asia, important countries, Japan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, effectively in that group. And then you have most of the rest of the world, not per se against the U.S., but saying, “Stop it, stop dividing the world, stop creating Cold War, stop your military expansionism, stop your regime change operations and all the rest. Just get along.” 

That’s the vast majority of the world, I would say, 150 countries or so. There are 27 in the European Union, plus the United States, plus the handful of non-EU countries, Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and so forth, coming up to probably about 40 countries in the “U.S. camp.” It’s a dangerous, sad, ridiculous way to behave that “we’re number one. And if we can’t be number one for everybody, we’ll be number one in our group,” among the 40 or so, “and we’ll divide the world.” It’s a lousy bargain for Americans. It’s a lousy bargain for the world. It’s pretty much where we are right now.

When you look at any other individual developing country, generally their position is: “I’d like to trade with the U.S. I’d like to trade with Europe. I’d like to trade with Russia. I’d like to trade with China. Why should I choose? I just want to get along. I don’t need to take sides.” But it’s the U.S. that is forcing this sharp division.

And it’s a shame. And it’s a huge mistake for the U.S. because when countries are forced to choose, they say, “Okay, we’ll go with the other side because it looks like a better bargain.” And when you ask specifically about what’s on offer, one of the things that’s on offer right now is this Belt and Road Initiative, which is a $1 trillion plus initiative of China to finance modern infrastructure in partner countries. Fast rail. This is a huge part of Belt and Road. Many places are getting rail service for effectively the first time, or the first time in modern technology, such as a rail line that I actually was near to just recently, in Ethiopia, running from Addis Ababa to the port in Djibouti. Many countries are getting major power systems, hydroelectric dams and so on.

So the Belt and Road Initiative is a tremendous initiative. Naturally, the United States bad mouths it, says it’s awful. It’s terrible because the United States can’t say anything good about China, because China is an affront to the American arrogant claim of superiority. So everything the U.S. says about China is badmouthing, it’s basically lies, fibs, misrepresentations and misunderstandings, because what China is doing is very constructive in the world. This is why so many other countries are saying, “Okay, you’ve forced me to choose. I choose the Belt and Road.”

Billington: Well, finally there’s some revolt going on in the United States. We now have hundreds of universities in upheaval. Students are protesting the war policies of our government. They’re spurred on, obviously, by the genocide in Gaza. But it really goes beyond that. The response of both parties and most of the Congress has been sending in the police, and perhaps soon the National Guard. People may recall that it was exactly 54 years ago, in May of 1970, that the National Guard opened fire on peaceful demonstrators at Kent State University in Ohio, killing four and wounding nine. Are we seeing this coming again?

Prof. Sachs: We’re seeing a kind of panic by the politicians and by the university administrators to what the students are saying. What the students are saying is: they don’t like genocide. They don’t support what Israel is doing. They want it to stop. And the students are absolutely correct in this. This is a shock to the politicians, who are, of course, deeply influenced, one could say bought off by the Israel Lobby, by the big money that that entails, or by the military-industrial complex. And frankly, they are shocked and amazed that there’s such a strong sentiment among America’s young people, pro-Palestinian. I don’t think the political class expected this at all. But then again, what Israel is doing is so vulgar, so cruel, so crass. It’s not really surprising. But this caught the politicians and the university administrators completely off guard. 

Remember that many of these universities have large donors, Jewish donors and other donors, very pro-Israel, very pro-military-industrial complex. And these donors immediately said, “What are these students doing? How dare they do this?” And so the administrators at Columbia panicked, behaved very incorrectly, in a very peremptory way, suddenly started outlawing student organizations, cracking down on students for being on zoom calls, and couldn’t stomach that there were overt demonstrations on the campus against Israel’s war in Gaza. Of course there would be! And so what? It’s a protest! So let it be. But the university said, “Oh, this is terrible. This is anti-Semitism. This is a danger.” Everything was exaggerated in a kind of panic. The universities wanted to prove to the Congress, “Oh, we’re going to take care of this anti-Israel sentiment.”

This is absolutely terrible. And so they cracked down. They called the police, across the United States. Students, faculty arrested. Students expelled. If they had read Pope Francis’s encyclical and actually talked to the students, they would have gotten somewhere. The President of Harvard, it seems, from what I know, and I know him, actually very, very well. And I think he’s done a good job. He spoke to the students, he discussed with them. They said, “Okay, you’ve made some promises. You’re going to take up the issues of the university’s divestment policies. We’re going to have more learning about what’s happened in the Middle East,” and so on. And they peacefully decamped. Whereas at Columbia, the police came in, twice, very brutal and absolutely unnecessarily. 

But that happened all across the country because the university administrations, by and large, wanted to show these right wingers—it’s not even right wingers, I scratch the phrase—they wanted to show both parties of Congress that we absolutely understand what free speech is, which means don’t allow it if it’s against the prevailing policy of the United States, which is to support Israel at any cost and at all costs. And so they fell all over each other to impress the politicians. The politicians did their usual demagoguery, and they came to the campuses and they called the pro-Palestinian protesters anti-Semitic and every kind of slur and slander you can imagine. And this is where we are in America. We do not speak with each other in a civilized way.

Billington: Do you know Professor Bruce Robbins at Columbia?

Prof. Sachs: No.

Billington: He’s a professor of English and literature. I sent you this morning a six minute video that he released. He describes: “I went to the encampment. I talked to them. They’re all peaceful. What they want is peace. They want to make their point about the genocide, about the evil that’s taking place. And what’s the response? The response is the police came in.” Then he said that he began to see something was amiss when after the October 6th events, Colombia set up a 3-person team to investigate anti-Semitism. But all three of the people that were chosen were Zionists! Their report just completely ignored, 100% ignored, what was going on in Gaza. All they talked about was the evil of Hamas and so forth. It’s a very interesting video.

Prof. Sachs: Yes. I didn’t see it, but it completely comports with everything that I’ve spoken about with my colleagues at length in recent weeks. I think the actions that were taken by our administrators and similar actions taken by administrators of universities and other places was wrong, completely contrary to the spirit of the university, completely contrary to First Amendment rights of free speech and the right to protest and completely neglectful of the reality, which is that Israel is killing tens of thousands of people. And I’m proud that our students are saying, “No, don’t do that.” That’s what students should be saying.

Billington: You said something similar in your interview with Judge Napolitano, which I took note of, which is that the U.S. wants to maintain its hegemony around the world, but to do so it is imposing internal suppression on the U.S. population, and that this was in your terms, “breaking apart our community, undermining the role of universities as places of debate, speaking out on ideas, and instead is bringing in the police to crush peaceful opposition.” So that’s what you’ve just explained. 

Prof. Sachs: The American people do not want or need in any way hegemony for our safety, our security, or our well-being. China is not an enemy. Russia is not an enemy. We don’t need these wars. They don’t make us safer. They don’t make us more prosperous. And the American people sense it, or know it, and they oppose the foreign policy. And of course, in the U.S. at this point, almost all foreign policy is managed secretly, really by a small group. Everything is classified, under control. What is told to us are lies, and the public is protesting. And in order to keep to the lies, the government is cracking down. That’s where we are. It’s extremely dangerous.

Billington: What else do you think is going on amongst the faculty at Columbia and perhaps other universities that I’m sure you’re in touch with as well? What do you think they are doing about this and what do you think they can do about it? I can imagine that having Hillary Clinton and Victoria Nuland becoming professors at Columbia is not going to help very much. The president of the university, Minouche Shafik, was the first university president to call in the police to shut down the student protests. I don’t know if you know her background, but she’s also a member of the House of Lords in the UK. She was Vice President of the World Bank and a Managing Director at the IMF, and a Deputy Director at the Bank of England. So we’re dealing here with a person at the very center of the global financial oligarchy. And now she’s running a leading university like Columbia. What do you think of that?

Prof. Sachs: Well, I think the main point is: her community is the students and the faculty. And I would say to her, and I have said to her and to the administration, pay attention to your community. The outsiders who are aiming to divide us, the politicians who are always ready for their bit of demagoguery, even the donors, okay, they may be generous, but they cannot run an academic community, and should not. And everybody should know that, including them, including the donors themselves. Pay attention to your community. Because if the community breaks, what do you have? What’s left?

I think that this is really the point. The faculty are very unhappy. At least hundreds of them are. There is a faculty vote of no confidence underway, right now. It’s a several day online system of voting, so I don’t know how it’s going or what the outcome is, but the fact of it, is a demonstration that a significant fraction of the Columbia faculty was really unhappy with how things have happened. The faculty is very concerned about the students: Students who were expelled, suspended for doing the right thing, protesting injustice and exercising their critical faculties, their thinking and their First Amendment rights. And they should not be suspended for that or expelled much less.

Billington: The universities are beginning to shut down now, at the end of the term and the summer break. These protests may not continue. But what, in your view, what would it take to rally the national sentiment of the students that are already expressing their concerns, and the rest of the population as well, to rally them against these wars, with something like a march on Washington or some major display of the kind of sentiment, which, as you said, the U.S. people don’t agree with these wars. How do we galvanize that?

Prof. Sachs: I think it’s likely to continue. I don’t think that even with the school year ending, the protests are going to stop. We’re in an election year also. They’re going to be lots of gatherings of people. There will be political conventions. There will be campaign events. If, which seems tragically likely, the fighting in Gaza continues the way it’s going right now, with the more senseless deaths and more violence, I’m pretty sure that the protests are going to continue to play a very big role in American society in the coming weeks.

Billington: Do you have any recommendations on how to consolidate that or to expand on it?

 Prof. Sachs: I don’t have recommendations. I’m trying on my part to move forward to diplomacy. My particular area of effort right now is to try to apply the maximum logic and geopolitical sense for the U.S. to drop its veto on the State of Palestine, because I really believe if we could have a state of Palestine in the UN, so much of the rest of making peace would follow very quickly.

Billington: Well as you certainly know, there were tens of thousands of Israelis who have been out in the streets over the last few weeks, generally demanding an end of the war and a release of the hostages. And Bibi, of course, has insisted that the planned slaughter, and now it appears the ongoing slaughter of innocents in Rafah is going to proceed, with or without a deal with Hamas. Do you see any hope that the Israelis themselves can end this? The madness of Bibi and Ben-Gvir and Smotrich and so forth?

Prof. Sachs: I’m not so optimistic. I’m not so close to it, but, this group is ruthless. This is obvious, with so many tens of thousands dead, with this senseless and absolutely brutal military campaign underway. This is a ruthless group, and the demonstrations are not exactly for peace. They’re for release of the hostages. They are anti-Bibi to an important extent, but unfortunately, there’s a lot of feeling across Israeli society, according to the opinion surveys, for very harsh, continued measures in Gaza. That is very concerning. I’m not sure that the peace is going to come from within Israel. I think it’s more likely to come from the international community, which, again, putting aside the U.S. veto, is pretty much unanimous in rejecting what Israel is doing.

Billington: I’ll ask you to close by saying what you can about China. You know China very well. You spend time there. We’ve already discussed the fact that the NATO people want a global NATO, want a war on China. What do you think we should do about this?

Prof.Sachs: Well, since China’s rather big, 1.4 billion people, and with a very constructive role to play in the world, I hope we could have another discussion about that at length. I don’t want to oversimplify, but I will say basically one sentence: China is not our enemy. This is the most important point to understand. China is not out to run the world. It’s not out to dominate the United States. It’s not out to invade the U.S. It’s not out to hinder the United States. The idea of China as the enemy is a U.S. concoction. It’s a resentment of China being large and successful. It is not a measure of China per se, and this is the most important thing for Americans to understand. Stop making enemies where they don’t exist. If one persists long enough in calling someone else an enemy and acting that way, you’ll create an enemy. But if you have more sense and understand that China is not our enemy, we have no reason to make China an enemy, nor will it be an enemy.

Billington: All right, very good. Okay. Thanks a lot.

Copenhagen Diplomatic Seminar: Stop the Killing and Start Rebuilding Gaza and the Region with The Oasis Plan: The LaRouche Solution for Peace Through Development

Read the Invitation

The Schiller Institute’s Copenhagen seminar is designed to further the crucial dialogue held during our international online conference on April 13, 2024 entitled, “The Oasis Plan: The LaRouche Solution for Peace Through Development Between Israel and Palestine, and for All of Southwest Asia.” (See the full videos, and an hour-long summary video.)

Among the speakers from five continents were two of our guest speakers. Helga Zepp-LaRouche, the founder and international leader of the Schiller Institute, presented the dangers facing the Middle East and the world, and the hope for the future. 

H.E. Prof. Dr. Manuel Hassassian, Palestinian Authority Ambassador to Denmark, presented the ongoing tragedy of the Palestinian people, and the need for a political solution based on Palestinian sovereignty and equal rights, supported by economic development. There can be no military solution, he stated. 

Helga Zepp-LaRouche began her speech by highlighting the urgent need to inject a perspective of hope to show the way out of the catastrophic situation in Southwest Asia, warning of the potential for a full-fledged regional, and even global war.  She stressed the need for a totally new approach that considers the combined economic and security interests of the Palestinians, the Israelis, and all the countries of the region.

While immediately after the October 7th Hamas attack, the sympathy of much of the world was with Israel, that changed day after day, week after week, month after month, as the world watched, not a measured counter-reaction, but relentless ethnic cleansing, with 40% of the 33,400 deaths being children, and an entire population threatened with starvation. (See and read more at the links below.)

Now, the killing must stop, and the rebuilding must begin. 

Massive humanitarian aid must flow in. 

An international conference must be convened to find a political solution, including full international recognition of a sovereign Palestinian state. 

But where can the light come from amidst the current darkness? The Schiller Institute is convinced that a future vision of economic development for the whole region, now including a reconstructed Gaza as the first step, is needed to light the path to peace. 

This vision is the Oasis Plan, first proposed by the American economist and statesman Lyndon LaRouche (1922-2019) in 1975 after a trip to the region. The Oasis Plan addresses the greatest barrier to development in the region — the shortage of fresh water — through the construction of a network of desalination plants, ideally nuclear powered, along the Mediterranean coast and along two new canals: a Red Sea-Dead Sea canal, and a Dead Sea-Mediterranean canal. An overview can be seen in the LaRouche Organization’s 14-minute video, The Oasis Plan: LaRouche’s Solution for the Middle East. 

“[W]ithout economic development,” the video states, “without a viable and meaningful path of progress into the future, political agreements in themselves are unsustainable….This is what Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin came to realize — there is no purely military basis for peace or security; development is essential…. By cooperating to fight the desert, rather than each other, the people of the region will better be able to recognize the humanity in each other …There are no human animals.”

But how can the Israelis and Palestinians ever make peace after what has happened? While the history of Southwest Asia has been devastated by the British Empire policy of divide and conquer, Helga Zepp-LaRouche urges us to rise above the level of the conflict – of despair, hatred and vengeance, to find a common interest in increasing the welfare of all the people through economic development of the region as a whole.

This has to be accompanied by ending geopolitics and designing a new international security and development architecture.

Death, destruction and starvation have been used as weapons of war; economic development must be used as a weapon of peace: to turn swords into plowshares. We must all act now to stop the killing and start the rebuilding.

The Schiller Institute Copenhagen seminar will be an important contribution to the dialogue about how to bring peace and prosperity to this long-suffering part of the world, and initiate a new paradigm of international relations.

We sincerely hope that the Ambassador, and/or other diplomatic representatives will be able to attend.

Additional links:

The Oasis Plan: Peace Only Through Development 

Helga Zepp-LaRouche, Schiller Institute founder and international leader, and American economist and statesman Lyndon LaRouche’s (1922-2019) decades-long collaborator. (Spoke online). 

Stop the Killing, Start the Rebuilding: Palestinian Ambassador to Denmark H.E. Prof. Dr. Hassassian

H.E. Prof. Dr. Manuel Hassassian, Palestinian Authority Ambassador to Denmark. 

Formerly ambassador to the U.K. and Hungary. Master’s degree in international relations from the University of Toledo, Ohio, and Ph.D. in political science from the University of Cincinnati. Was Executive Vice President of Bethlehem University on the West Bank, and professor at the University of Maryland where he developed a course on Israel-Palestine conflict resolution. Was the PLO’s chief advisor on the status of Jerusalem.

The Impossible is Self-imposed: Peace Through Economic Development is the Only Way Forward in West Asia

Hussein Askary, Schiller Institute Southwest Asia Coordinator.

Co-author of “Extending the New Silk Road to Southwest Asia and Africa.” 

May 9—The Schiller Institute in Denmark held a seminar May 8 in Copenhagen, for the diplomatic community and other guests, on the theme, “Stop the Killing and Start Rebuilding Gaza and the Region with the Oasis Plan: The LaRouche Solution for Peace Through Development.” Four ambassadors and many other diplomats came in person from twelve embassies, which represented Southwest Asia and North Africa, nations elsewhere in Asia and Africa, and Western Europe.
The audience was intensely engaged over a three-hour period, in hearing the engaging presentations, and participating in the dialogue, whose focus was intended both to contribute to an immediate end to the death and destruction in Gaza, and to outline a development path.
Tom Gillesberg, Chairman of the Schiller Institute–Denmark, moderated the event, noting the current efforts by the Schiller Institute in many nations, to promote dialogue on the concept of “peace through development,” in Palestine, Israel and globally, to contribute to a new world economic and security architecture.

On April 13, the Schiller Institute internationally held a day-long online conference, now available in video-archive, titled, “The Oasis Plan: The LaRouche Solution for Peace Through Development Between Israel and Palestine, and for All of Southwest Asia.” Since February, a 14-minute video has been circulating on “The Oasis Plan.”

In brief, the concept is that development of infrastructure to provide reliable water, power, transportation, health care, housing, and other basics in support of modern agro-industrial activity, is the basis for mutual-interest security. In the Trans-Jordan, this involves building new water conveyances and nuclear desalination; new high-speed rail lines, interconnecting Africa, Asia, and Europe; plentiful power, and more.

In 1975, statesman-economist Lyndon LaRouche (1922–2019) presented this approach as the “Oasis Plan” for Southwest Asia, when he visited the region, and also issued that year his “International Development Bank” funding proposal.
The invitation statement from the Schiller Institute, addressed to the entire Copenhagen diplomatic community, called for discussion of a new paradigm in this spirit:

“Death, destruction and starvation have been used as weapons of war; economic development must be used as a weapon of peace: to turn swords into plowshares. We must all act now to stop the killing and start the rebuilding.
The Schiller Institute Copenhagen seminar will be an important contribution to the dialogue about how to bring peace and prosperity to this long-suffering part of the world, and initiate a new paradigm of international relations.”

Speakers, Peace through Development

The three principal presentations began with Helga Zepp-LaRouche, by video link from Germany. She is founder and leader of the Schiller Institute, and decades-long collaborator in development diplomacy with her husband, Lyndon LaRouche (1922–2019). Second was H.E. Ambassador Prof. Dr. Manuel Hassassian, Palestinian Authority Ambassador to Denmark. These two continued in dialogue their exchanges begun at the earlier, April 13, international Schiller Institute conference, including on the pressing question of whether “political” differences must be solved before “economic” development can proceed.

Speaking third was Hussein Askary, Schiller Institute Southwest Asia Coordinator, who co-authored the Schiller Institute 2017 book, Extending the New Silk Road to Southwest Asia and Africa, and made the Arabic translation of the EIR book, The New Silk Road Becomes the World Land-Bridge.
Helga Zepp-LaRouche began her presentation, titled, “The Oasis Plan: Peace Only Through Development,” with the horrifying news of the start of the Israeli attack on Rafah. She gave a global strategic analysis of the danger of regional and world warfare, describing the threat of even nuclear war from the escalation in Southwest Asia, and as an outgrowth of the NATO-Ukraine-Russia conflict.

Zepp-LaRouche called on the diplomats to collaborate to promote the “Oasis Plan” as a lever to get to a new paradigm and a new international security and development architecture, the only way out of the existential crisis the world is undergoing. She described her ten principles for a new security and development architecture, which she issued for international discussion in 2022. The transcript of her remarks in full is available in this issue of EIR.

Stop the Killing, Start Rebuilding

H.E. Amb. Prof. Dr. Hassassian spoke on the theme, “Stop the Killing and Start the Rebuilding.” He gave a very polemical speech about the ongoing tragedy of the Palestinian people, the history of the conflict, and what is necessary to stop the genocide. The Ambassador called on the 12 countries represented at the seminar, and the international community, to act to stop the killing, and he stressed the need for a political solution based on Palestinian sovereignty, supported by economic development. The discussion included the question of a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine.
Amb. Hassassian speaks from long experience and commitment. He is a former ambassador to the UK and to Hungary. He was Executive Vice President of Bethlehem University on the West Bank, and a professor at the University of Maryland, where he developed a course on Israel-Palestine conflict resolution. He was the PLO’s chief advisor on the status of Jerusalem. His Master’s degree is in international relations from the University of Toledo, Ohio, and his PhD is in political science from the University of Cincinnati, Ohio.

See his interview March 15, 2024, with the Schiller Institute.

The LaRouche Oasis Plan

Hussein Askary presented concrete aspects of the economic geography and principles of development of the Oasis Plan approach, under the topic, “The Impossible Is Self-Imposed: Peace through Economic Development Is the Only Way Forward in West Asia.” He especially challenged the axioms behind the zero-growth movement and its political expression. He explained that principles of development are based on the reality that humanity’s creativity transforms nature.
Askary used examples from his recent trip to Xinjiang to show the Chinese development policy to green the desert. In the discussion periods, wide-ranging questions came up, including whether there are too many people in the world, and what to do about terrorism in West Africa, where he emphasized the need for economic development as an antidote.

Promote a Global Oasis Plan Discussion

During the discussion period, Helga Zepp-LaRouche answered one question that came up, by appealing to the Global South to make their voices heard.
A concrete proposal among the discussants is that the Oasis Plan should be on the agenda of certain of the symposia on security held annually by foundations and nations. Palestinian voices might formally request this. H.E. Ambassador Prof. Dr. Hassassian added getting the discussion going in the universities, and emphasized the importance of the Oasis Plan as a catalyst for economic development, and the work of the Schiller Institute and LaRouche movement in promoting it.

The immediate opportunity for speaking out at a formal international platform comes just two days after the Copenhagen meeting, when the United Nations General Assembly has on its May 10 agenda, the question of statehood for Palestine, for debate and, likely, a vote.
The general reaction to the seminar itself, from the diplomats, was that they were grateful for the ideas, which are very different from what is routinely presented. As one Asian diplomat said, “My mind is blown. It will take me days to think about all of the new ideas presented.”

Helga Zepp-LaRouche reported to the International Peace Coalition, “It was an extremely important follow-up meeting on the level of diplomats and ambassadors, and out of this meeting came a complete commitment to continue the organizing, kick it up to a higher level by trying to get a big international conference with the participation of states on the need to put the Oasis Plan, the development plan for the entire region of Southwest Asia in earnest on the agenda.”

Webast: The Dignity of Man Is in Our Hands -A Cognitive Leap into the Future!

Join Helga Zepp-LaRouche in her Weekly Live dialogue May 15, 11am Eastern/4pm CET and help usher in the Year of the New Paradigm for all Humanity. Send your questions, thoughts and reports to or ask them in the live stream.

Faced with an unprecedented evil—the ongoing, electronically-transmitted genocide, transpiring at this moment in Gaza, with no trans-Atlantic government acting to stop it—we, the people, are required to evoke from ourselves, and then deploy, an unprecedented good. Neither the world in general, nor we as individuals, can, or will, avoid the truth of this moment. We are being tested in the balance. Our self-conception as human beings is placed on one side of the scale. On the other side of the scale are weighed the lives of what was once 2 million people in Gaza. Over 350,000 people have been forced to flee, now from Rafah, where they were told they would be safe. The “red line” has been crossed, and nothing has been done. The Palestinians are forced to flee again some for the eighth or more time in eight months, now out of Rafah, and to where … and to what?

So far, we, and the world, have been tested in the balance, and found wanting.

This week, the LaRouche Organization, the Schiller Institute, and the International Peace Coalition, as well as all people of good will, must go beyond resources, beyond apparent influence, and beyond words, to catalyze an immediate change in the axioms of thinking, and therefore of behavior, of our fellow citizens now sleepwalking into World War Three. The doorway to that war may be through Palestine, and some are inviting it.

This is the moment to try. “The basic assumption for the new paradigm is, that man is fundamentally good and capable to infinitely perfect the creativity of his mind and the beauty of his soul, and being the most advanced geological force in the universe, which proves that the lawfulness of the mind and that of the physical universe are in correspondence and cohesion, and that all evil is the result of a lack of development, and therefore can be overcome.” Helga Zepp-LaRouche’s Tenth Principle, of her Ten Principles for a New International Security and Development Architecture, properly studied, understood and deployed as the basis for taking the next step beyond the student protests, is the moral springboard that can connect the universities and high schools with the population at large.

Excerpts are from the EIR Daily Alert. Read more and sign up here.

Ten Principles of a New International Security and Development Architecture

Join Helga Zepp-LaRouche in her Weekly Live dialogue May 15, 11am Eastern/4pm CET and help usher in the Year of the New Paradigm for all Humanity. Send your questions, thoughts and reports to or ask them in the live stream.

International Peace Coalition: Anything from This Geopolitical ‘Kitchen of Poison Must Be Overcome’

by Daniel Platt

May 3, 2024 (EIRNS)—Amid the tumult and policy crisis created by the unexpected explosion of opposition to the Biden Administration’s financial and political support of the outlaw Netanyahu regime of Israel, the International Peace Coalition (IPC) held its 48th consecutive meeting today. Schiller Institute founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche, the original initiator of the IPC, opened this session with her oft-repeated demand that “We have to replace geopolitics with the idea of cooperation instead of confrontation.” Zepp-LaRouche emphasized the importance of the internationalization of the student movement against the genocide in Gaza. She pointed out that, while there are now 90 to 100 solidarity actions in universities around the United States, there are now also corresponding actions in France, Germany, Italy, Canada, and many other nations.

On the other hand, Zepp-LaRouche warned of the “new definition of anti-Semitism” being pushed in the form of legislation by frantic genocide apologists in the U.S. Congress. (Such laws, if passed, are against the United States Constitution, whose First Amendment stipulates that government must in no way interfere with the content of speech.) She singled out the brutal police deployments against the demonstrators, saying that with that sort of repression “the word ‘democracy’ has become completely hollow.” She was especially touched by the message of the children of Gaza, expressing their gratitude to the American students for attempting to save their lives in the name of humanity.

Zepp-LaRouche, on the subject of the war in Ukraine, reported that German General Harald Kujat (ret.) recently stated that Ukraine’s aspiration to restore the 1991 borders is not realistic. In addition, the goal of the United States was to weaken Russia, so negotiations have been sabotaged. There is therefore no exit, and no winning strategy. Ukrainian men are now unable to obtain passports, because every last one of them is a candidate for conscription into the military. Worse, of the $61 billion in military aid voted up by the U.S. Congress, only about $10 billion is for new weapons; the rest has paid for weapons already produced and delivered!

Zepp-LaRouche also warned against the “loud and wrong” proposals that the U.S. seize Russian assets in Western banks, saying that in reaction to such a confiscation the Global South will come to the conclusion that their assets are no longer safe with the dollar system. The likelihood is that their response to such confiscations will be a decisive move to replace the U.S. SWIFT system, with an alternative global financial framework, as the Global South realizes that the Wall Street/City of London financial “axis of evil” empire is finished.

News From the Freedom Flotilla

The meeting received reports from organizers of the Freedom Flotilla, which is attempting to leave Türkiye with 5,500 tons of food and medicine, and six ambulances, bound for Gaza.

In an interview updating the status of the Flotilla, pre-recorded for the meeting, Dr. Mubarak Awad, founder of Nonviolence International, said Israel prevailed upon the Guinea Bissau International Ships Registry to withdraw its flags from the two lead vessels. The Turkish government offered their flag, but wanted a unit of Turkish soldiers onboard. This option was rejected by the leaders of the Flotilla as it could be construed as a warlike gesture. Dr. Awad stressed that nonviolence was a cornerstone of the Flotilla’s policy. “We are willing to be shot at by the Israelis,” he said. “We have people coming from 40 countries. I would hope that we could even have a ship of Israelis.”

He was followed by Coleen Rowley, a former FBI special agent, whistleblower, and member of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), who just returned from Türkiye. She was very impressed by the involvement of IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation. She mentioned a recent article on the Flotilla in an April 21 issue of the Washington Post, which included quotes from VIPS member and Flotilla leader Col. Ann Wright, despite the cited Israeli characterization of the IHH as terrorist.

Rowley was asked: “Is Israel a terrorist state?”

She warned against oversimplification; there are many Israelis who oppose the Likud’s policy. She quoted the late actor Peter Ustinov, “Terrorism is the war of the poor; war is the terrorism of the rich.”

The Inception of the Zionist Ideology

Prof. Cliff Kiracofe, president of the Washington Institute for Peace and Development and former senior professional staff member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, presented a précis of his book Dark Crusade: Christian Zionism and U.S. Foreign Policy. He began with Great Britain’s Lord Palmerston, who dominated British foreign policy during 1830-1865, when Britain stood at the height of its imperial power. Palmerston said that to compete with Russia and France in the Middle East, the British Empire should sponsor a Jewish return to Palestine. The ideology of Christian Zionism was concocted in the 1830s and ’40s to support Palmerston’s plan.

One of its proponents was the Rev. John Nelson Darby, who traveled to the U.S. to promote the doctrine. Consequently, from 1858 to the present, Christian Zionism has permeated many Protestant churches in the United States. A central feature is the Armageddonist/End Times dogma that we must gather Jews in the Holy Land to trigger the Apocalypse when we confront Russia, China, and Persia, our principal opponents. Southern Baptists and Pentecostals have all embraced this heresy, which Kiracofe called “a bizarre and dangerous ideology.”

He described how the influence of this doctrine explains why the Congress passed the new definition of anti-Semitism. Influential Protestant clerics like Rev. John Hagee have been calling for war against Iran since the beginning of this century.

In response to Kiracofe’s presentation, Zepp-LaRouche replied, “Anything that comes from this kitchen of poison must be overcome.” She characterized the collaboration between Israelis and Christian Zionists as an “unholy alliance.”

Jacques Cheminade, the head of France’s Solidarité et Progrès party, added a quote from the Israeli philosopher Yeshayahu Leibowitz: “The idea that a country or any other specific place has an intrinsic sanctity is indubitably an idolatrous idea.”


Moderator Anastasia Battle invited students to participate in the discussion period, promising to protect them from “doxing,” which is the practice by opponents of free speech such as Bill Ackman, to publish personal information on political “undesirables” as a means to harm their professional careers.

Veterans for Peace activist Jack Gilroy reported on antiwar activism around the U.S., noting he had declined to pay a $250 fine after being arrested at an action against military contractor BAE. He intends instead to put BAE on trial.

Independent Congressional candidate Jose Vega reported from the streets of his constituency in the Bronx, where he is gathering petition signatures to get on the ballot. New York City is “on the precipice of change,” he said, and suggested that students from Gaza should be invited to come to the U.S. to study, as were Ukrainian students, since all the universities in Gaza have been destroyed. Rutgers University recently announced that they will admit some. Vega’s opponent, AIPAC darling Rep. Ritchie Torres, announced on Friday, May 3, that he plans to introduce the blatantly unconstitutional COLUMBIA Act, (College Oversight and Legal Updates Mandating Bias Investigations and Accountability Act), to impose “third-party anti-Semitism monitors” on institutions of higher education.

Helga Zepp-LaRouche concluded by reminding the participants that the Oasis Plan gives everyone in the region a “beautiful vision for a joint future,” and that it is the only way to break the cycle of violence and revenge.

Video: Why LaRouche’s Oasis Plan Can Bring Peace to Southwest Asia

For the past century and more, the region called the Middle East has been a geopolitical playground, maintained in a state of perpetual conflict as a bomb whose fuse can be lit at any time. This has exacted a terrible toll on the people of Palestine and Israel. LaRouche’s vision for the region promises productivity, not geopolitics. This is the Oasis Plan!

The Oasis Plan calls for the development of an infrastructure platform centered on addressing the terrible shortage of water in the area — a shortage of water that limits development and drives territorial conflict over the scarce natural supplies. We call for building water conveyances from the Mediterranean to the Dead Sea, and from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea. Desalination plants along the canals will provide abundant freshwater for all uses, including agriculture, while refilling the Dead Sea and creating hydroelectric power as the water descends more than 400 meters.

In addition to water and power, the region needs connectivity. Southwest Asia is the world’s pre-eminent hub for land-based connectivity. It stands at the intersection of Europe, Asia, and Africa. The latter two continents are expected to host most of the world’s growth over the coming generations. By expanding regional connectivity, freight could go from China to Egypt via Southwest Asia, with enormous potential for development of industry and market access along the transportation corridors.

By addressing the bright future of the region, and overcoming the terrible shortage of water, the Oasis Plan makes “political” solutions that seemed impossible, possible.

April 25, 11 am Webcast: Peace Requires a New Strategic Architecture: If We Unite We Can Move Mountains

Join Helga Zepp-LaRouche in her Weekly Live dialogue April 25, 11am Eastern/4pm CET and help usher in the Year of the New Paradigm for all Humanity. Send your questions, thoughts and reports to or ask them in the live stream.

Just recently, the Schiller Institute conducted a very successful online conference presenting the Oasis Plan for a comprehensive economic development perspective for all of Southwest Asia, however, the strategic situation is moving closer to the point of no return.

Two recent votes underline the urgency to expand our efforts dramatically. The veto by the US denying Palestine the requested status as a full member of the UN clearly has thrown back the possibility to end the horrible, unprecedented catastrophe in Gaza. This veto is an historic travesty, which is isolating the US and its allies further from the countries of the Global Majority, who will not forget what is happening now in front of the eyes of the world. Secondly, the vote by the US House of Representatives to provide another $95 billion for weapons and other military operations in Ukraine, Israel and the Pacific region represents a gigantic step further in bringing the world to the abyss of a global nuclear war.

Why is the spectacular failure of U.S. representative government and leadership, seen in Saturday’s “bipartisan,” “democratic” $100 billion vote to continue to finance the no-win depopulation wars in Gaza and Ukraine, a de facto active provocation for World War Three? And what can be done to reverse that failure?

Join Helga Zepp-LaRouche in her Weekly Live dialogue April 25, 11am Eastern/4pm CET and help usher in the Year of the New Paradigm for all Humanity. Send your questions, thoughts and reports to or ask them in the live stream.

Schiller Institute ‘Oasis Plan’ April 13 Conference Presents Strategic Economic Vision for Peace in Southwest Asia and Beyond

by Stewart Battle

April 13—Following the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas on Israel, and the Netanyahu government’s decision to collectively punish Palestinian civilians in retaliation, Helga Zepp-LaRouche, founder of the Schiller Institute, called for an intensified mobilization to build support for an “Oasis Plan” for Southwest Asia as a whole. Such an economic development perspective is the only means, in her estimation, of bringing about a long-term peace to the region. The April 13 conference by the Schiller Institute, “The Oasis Plan: The LaRouche Solution for Peace Through Development Between Israel and Palestine and for All of Southwest Asia,” put this subject squarely on the table for the first time since this conflict broke out over six months ago.

The international, on-line event brought together speakers from five continents, and an audience from around the world. Organized in two panels, the day-long proceedings included important discussion periods, with translation in four languages. The Schiller Institute is preparing a rush-release of an hour-long video of conference highlights, to further the mobilization to stop the genocide in Gaza, de-escalate the war danger, and initiate international deliberation on a new world economic and security architecture.

Dennis Speed, of the Schiller Institute in New York, who moderated the first panel, began by introducing a short video excerpt from Lyndon LaRouche (1922-2019) speaking at the Zayed Center in Abu Dhabi, U.A.E., in 2002. (Transcript below). LaRouche encouraged people to consider this region which we call the Middle East as if looking at it from space, seeing it as the natural crossroads connecting Eurasia and Africa, and with its accompanying defining condition: the lack of fresh water.

Helga Zepp-LaRouche continued this theme in her keynote address to the first panel, which was titled, “Creating the Conditions for Dialogue, Security, Peace, and Development in Southwest Asia.” She insisted that if the world is to avoid the near-term threat of expanding regional and potentially global warfare, a “cognitive jump” to a completely different approach is required, and issues of economics and security between nations must be considered as a whole.
After discussing details of the dangers facing the region (made all the more visceral by the news arriving during the second panel of Iran’s retaliatory strike on Israel), Zepp-LaRouche pointed to the elephant in the room: Not only is there a shortage of water in this region, but the requirements for a modern living standard cannot be satisfied from the existing “natural” water resources. In fact, many of the military conflicts here have been due to this lack of water. Therefore, solutions to this must be found—the ingenuity of mankind must be employed to increase the existing resources to provide what is required for a future-oriented and flourishing human society.

She cited multiple examples of where this has been employed to the benefit of the population, such as recently in China, where millions of acres have been reclaimed from the desert. In contrast to this, most of Southwest Asia has been explicitly barred from this opportunity due to geopolitical interests, which have seen the region primarily as a strategic chessboard rather than an area where human societies should be allowed to exist. That must now end, Zepp-LaRouche insisted.

Quoting from Friedrich Schiller’s Wallenstein trilogy in her conclusion, she said: “‘For if war does not end in war, where then shall peace come from?’ To inspire confidence in the enemy, that is the only way to peace! At the abyss of what could become the end of all life on the planet, are we, mankind, the creative species; and can we define a solution out of this danger? So let us put the Oasis Plan on the table of all governments of the world!”

A Robust Debate on Resolving the Conflict

The conference saw participation from many government representatives and high-level experts from around the world. There were three speakers from Palestine: the Palestinian Ambassador to Denmark, H.E. Prof. Dr. Manuel Hassassian, the Palestinian Ambassador to UNESCO H.E. Mounir Anastas, and Palestinian physician, author, and peace activist Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish. Other governmental representation included Ambassador of South Africa to Mexico, H.E. Beryl Rose Sisulu; Chargé d’Affaires of Belarus to the U.S. H.E. Pavel Shidlovsky; and First Secretary in Humanitarian Affairs of the Russian Federation Mission to the United Nations in New York, Ilya Andreev.

Ambassador Hassassian went through a brief history of Palestine, noting how the Balfour Mandate had unleashed a century of aggression and ethnic cleansing on its people. In effect, this has meant that the Palestinians are paying the price for the Holocaust in Europe, a reality that Western leaders are conveniently choosing to ignore, despite their claims of concern for “humanitarian rights.” Ambassador Anastas began by agreeing with Amb. Hassassian’s statements on the history of the current conflict and the genocidal nature of Israel’s actions. He added that UNESCO also sees the value in water development, and has had an intergovernmental program for water development since 1975.

While both of the Palestinian ambassadors expressed their differences with the Oasis Plan as a strategy for peace, saying that there can be no peace without a political solution first, they still expressed their support for the concept as an important element in establishing a sustainable peace over the long-term. Amb. Anastas said that the spirit and intention on which the plan is based—which is to have true economic and social development—will ultimately be the foundation for peace throughout the region, and Amb. Hassassian called it a “window of opportunity” for the two peoples to secure a common future.

Helga Zepp-LaRouche came back to this later in the discussion, responding that an economic development policy for all sides is in fact a “precondition” for any viable peace plan. She noted Lyndon LaRouche’s response to the Oslo Accords in the 1990’s, during which he insisted that the shovels must go into the ground immediately so that a vision for the future development of the region could supersede the political turmoil of the moment. There was such an agreement in Oslo, but it was sabotaged by the World Bank, which prevented the needed funding. We must use this conference and the Oasis Plan concept to build support among governments and other institutions for an emergency comprehensive Mideast conference. Such an international conference, which puts something like the Oasis Plan on the table and its accompanying example of the Peace of Westphalia, can be the antidote to finally break the cycle of violence and despair for this region.

Dr. Connie Rahakundini Bakrie, a strategic analyst and lecturer from Indonesia, added to this discussion with a sweeping history, noting the 500 years of Muslim rule under the Ottoman Empire, then the Balfour Declaration, up through the present time, and ethnic cleansing since the 1948 boundaries were constructed in the Trans-Jordan region. She focussed on the British responsibility for this. She stressed that Indonesia, as a leading Islamic nation, has a serious role to play toward overcoming this crisis.

H.E. Donald Ramotar, former President of Guyana, expressed support for the Oasis Plan, not only as it applies to the crisis in Southwest Asia, but because such thinking is required to solve the global crisis as well. He emphasized that, ‘the world has never been so close to nuclear war,” but still, the possibilities exist for escaping global poverty and war. Peace and development are both necessary, he said; you cannot have one without the other.

Professor Georgy Toloraya, Director, Russian National Committee for BRICS Research, presented a bold concept for resolving the disaster in Gaza. The BRICS, he said, could follow—but in a positive manner—the old protectorate idea from Hong Kong, and the BRICS could “rent” the relevant area for 50-100 years, with Saudi Arabia and Egypt—BRICS members—to be the managers, and the BRICS’ New Development Bank to organize the infrastructure. Israel, he suggested, would no longer have any role.

Graham Fuller, the former Vice-Chairman of the U.S. National Intelligence Council, with many years in the CIA in the Islamic world, sent a pre-recorded message to the conference. Describing the Oasis Plan as, “the most exciting element to arise in a long time” in the Mideast, he likened it to the general character of the Belt and Road Initiative. Fuller referenced the negative impact of “decades of ugly geopolitics” in the region, with colonialist operations going back to the Crusades, “which never really ceased.”

Support for the Oasis Plan

The representatives of South Africa, Belarus, and Russia expressed support for the Oasis Plan approach. H.E. Beryl Rose Sisulu, Ambassador of the Republic of South Africa to Mexico, said that South Africa’s experience, “underscores the intrinsic link between development and peace, recognizing that sustainable peace can only flourish in societies where development is nurtured and inclusive growth is fostered.” She added later that “the Oasis Plan will ignite a lot of interest,” and can be “a tool to start peace negotiations between Palestine and Israel.” Amb. Sisulu also discussed how South Africa’s history of apartheid and its experience resolving racial and ethnic divisions give it in an important role not only in helping Palestine today, but the rest of the world.

Chargé d’Affaires of Belarus to the U.S., H.E. Pavel Shidlovsky, called the Oasis Plan “ambitious, a benefit for all,” which “grows on you the more you study it,” and said he hoped others would join. He said, “I fully agree with the statement of the Conference organizers that it falls to us to ensure that every life in the world is sacred, that international law must prevail to prevent genocide, and that economic development must be the engine for peace. We in Belarus adhere to the same approach.” Shidlovsky went on to note the emergence of a multi-polar world today, and praised the growing role of the BRICS, the Non-Aligned Movement, SCO, ASEAN, and Global South as a whole. He also pointed out that Belarus itself is an important crossroads between Europe and Asia, a fact which contributes heavily to the country’s economy.

The First Secretary in Humanitarian Affairs of Russia’s UN Mission, Ilya Andreev, said, “We support the main message, which involves the implementation of the large-scale Oasis Plan to supply the region with water, including for irrigation needs. It is precisely such a large international infrastructure project that could serve as an incentive for the economies of Palestine, Syria, Yemen, and other countries. Its launch would definitely have a positive impact on providing young people with jobs, including qualified ones; on creating conditions for the return of refugees; on the economic stability of the entire region. This is certainly a very attractive idea…. We are glad that such work is underway…under the auspices of the Schiller Institute.”

Nevertheless, Mr. Andreev emphasized that reaching a ceasefire in this conflict and halting the humanitarian catastrophe remain the highest priority today.

The Scientific and Technical Basis for a Solution

The second panel of the conference, “The Physical Foundation for the Economic Development of Southwest Asia,” clearly portrayed how a durable peace could be achieved through use of the most advanced technology and engineering methods to green the deserts of Southwest Asia. Stephan Ossenkopp, Schiller Institute-Germany, moderated.

The keynote speaker was Schiller Institute Science Advisor Jason Ross, who began with a quote from Albert Einstein: “The eternal mystery of the world is its comprehensibility….” He developed three fundamental concepts which helped set the stage for what became a captivating panel dialogue:

1) Man, endowed with the power of creativity, is fundamentally good. And through human creativity, has the power to improve nature through scientific discovery and development of new technologies. He cited Lyndon LaRouche’s 1995 paper “What Is God, that Man Is in His Image”, where LaRouche says: “Each person is given the intellectual potential which no animal has, the power not only to imagine states of nature which have never before existed in the universe, but, under certain restrictions, to impose those ideas efficiently upon the universe generally.”

2) The “green,” environmentalist ideology is fundamentally evil, by its assertion that anything man does to transform nature is inherently bad.

3) The Oasis Plan, as the basis for peace through economic development, is rooted conceptually in the 1648 Treaty of Westphalia, which brought the bloody Thirty Years’ War in Europe to an end. That treaty was crafted to create a lasting peace by promoting the “benefit of the other,” and foregoing all revenge. Ross, who used many illustrations throughout his address, showed a map of how border disputes in 17th-Century Europe were far more complicated than that of Palestine and Israel today.

The other experts on the panel included Dr. Pierre Berthelot, Associate Researcher at IPSE, director of the journal Orients Stratégiques, and member of the Académie de l’Eau in France; William DeOreo, hydrologist, President of AquaCraft, and proponent of nuclear desalination, based in Colorado, in the U.S.; and Dr. Kelvin Kemm, nuclear physicist and former Chairman of the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation. Their ensuing presentations all reflected an optimism that the problems of this region could be solved with the universal language and power of science. As Dr. Kemm said: “Over many centuries, if there’s one subject that has transcended political conflict, it’s been science.”

Of particular interest was a discussion of the advanced nuclear reactor designs now coming online—small modular reactors (SMRs), and thorium-based molten salt reactors—with the necessary power-generating capacity, cost-effectiveness, and flexibility to efficiently desalinate sea water.

William DeOreo discussed the exciting potentials in large-scale water desalination for solving the extreme water scarcity in the region, on condition that plentiful amounts of energy are made available—a distinct possibility with nuclear power. He spoke of his own work in the Kingdom of Jordan, which involved designs for desalinating seawater from the Gulf of Aqaba, and conveying it northward. He said he was frustrated by those who wanted him to craft designs for water supply solutions that would only conform to water austerity for the population. He responded: “No, no, no! What we really need to do, is we need to increase the supply, to provide Jordan with the water that they need in order to have an advanced society.”

All the participants agreed that all these problems must not be allowed to be the seeds of ongoing and future conflicts. The event drew to a close with an honest discussion of “Where do we go from here? How do we get these ideas implemented?”

Ross took this up, noting how many people there are around the world demanding a ceasefire, humanitarian aid, and work for fundamental solutions. A crucial measure of success will be getting more of these people beginning to demand: “We need the Oasis Plan! What are we doing fighting? This should be the future of the region!” By bringing this discussion more and more into the public debate, injecting this kind of future orientation, the political terrain can be drastically changed, making otherwise impossible resolutions possible.

Kevin Gribbroek and Michael Billington contributed to this article.

Lyndon LaRouche on June 2, 2002 at Zayed Center in Abu Dhabi, UAE

The full speech, and discussion, is available in EIR, Vol. 29, No. 23 [[here]] [[ ]].

The world has come to a crossroads in modern history. If the world were to continue along the pathway currently chosen by my government and some others, civilization will be plunged, for as long as a generation or more, into a global dark age comparable to that which struck Europe about seven-hundred-fifty years ago. We must not pretend that danger does not exist; but, also, we must commit ourselves to the hopeful alternative which wise governments will prefer. Therefore, I shall speak frankly, but also optimistically, of a second crossroads, the Middle East…. For as far back as known history of civilization reaches, long, long before the discovery of oil, the Middle East has been the strategic crossroads of Eurasia and Africa combined, as it is today. With or without petroleum, the historic strategic significance of the Middle East would remain…. Given the desperate situation of the world today, we can not be so naïve as to presume that powers which may be great, or even simply powerful, will, therefore, react sanely to the relevant strategic facts of the situation…. 

Zoom in, as if from an orbiting space-station, upon the past and present ecology of this region of the world’s biosphere. In our imagination, let us watch the long-range historical process, of melting of the great Eurasian glacier, over the interval from about 19,000 years ago, when ocean levels were approximately 400 feet below those today. Watch the evolution of the Mediterranean region over the following millennia. Watch the later phase of great desiccation of the once rich, desert regions of the Sahara, Gulf, and Central Asia. From the standpoint of that lapsed-time panorama, we are reminded in the most useful way of a fact we already know: that the most critical of the strategic economic factors inside the Middle East region as a whole today, is not petroleum, but fresh water….

Conference Summary Video — Urgent Call for Peace Through Development: The Oasis Plan

Ahead of the April 18 UN Security Council’s debate on the Middle East and Palestinian question, explore “The Oasis Plan.”

This initiative proposes peace through economic development, including infrastructure projects to transform the region from one of conflict and war, to a hub of connectivity, with economic viability for future generations.

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