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Webcast: Afghanistan—Chance for a Positive Reorientation

Helga Zepp-LaRouche delivered a thoroughly composed analysis of how the world has changed since August 15, 2021, when the Taliban marched into Kabul, and the U.S. and NATO left. “A whole system is coming to an end. The policy has failed.” All the lives lost, the chaos in the country, and the money spent—and stolen—served the interests of a greedy elite, but benefited no one else.

She reported on the prescience demonstrated by participants at the Schiller Institute conference on July 31, and then the solutions presented in the follow-up conference on August 21. The solution begins with a rejection of neoliberalism and imperial geopolitics. Biden’s rejection of the demand by Boris Johnson and the Europeans that the U.S. remain in Afghanistan longer has provoked hysteria among the war hawks responsible for the catastrophe, typified by Tony Blair.

It is now up to the Americans and the Europeans to join with Afghanistan’s neighbors to forge a durable peace, based on economic development. This means the West must junk the delusion that the “Rules-Based Order” must be accepted by all nations.


Webcast: Afghanistan – Opportunity for a New Epoch

The dramatic developments surrounding the Taliban takeover of Kabul expose the failure of this regime-change war, and the previous ones since WWII. The war was wrong from the beginning, as the continuing investigation by the 9/11 families into who was responsible for the September 11, 2001 attacks are uncovering, and as Lyndon LaRouche warned that day, but more needs to be done. And there was never a viable war plan.

Some western political leaders are reacting thoughtfully. German CDU chancellor candidate Armin Laschet stated that this was the biggest failure of NATO, ever. Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod called for reflection and soul-searching. Helga Zepp-LaRouche pointed out the special responsibility that the U.S. has, in President John Quincy Adams’ words, to not go abroad, in search of monsters to destroy.

Now, as presented in the July 31, 2021 Schiller Institute video conference, “Afghanistan: A Turning Point in History after the Failed Regime-Change Era,” there is a potential for a new era of real nation-building in Afghanistan, and the rest of the world, if the Western nations cooperate with the Chinese-led Belt and Road Initiative, along with Afghanistan’s neighbors, and drop their geopolitical goals of preventing China and Russia from playing leading roles in the world. Many Afghan development plans are already on the drawing boards, and there is great humanitarian need, starting with building a modern health system, other infrastructure and agricultural alternatives to opium production. There will be great pressure on the Taliban from the outside, with offers of economic development contingent upon how they act.

International Conference

Afghanistan: A Turning Point in History After the Failed Regime-Change Era

Watch here →

Online Seminar sponsored by the LaRouche Legacy Faoundation

On the 50th Anniversary of LaRouche’s Stunning Forecast of August 15, 1971: So, Are You Finally Willing to Learn Economics?

Event Proceedings →

Stay tuned for upcoming conferences!


Webcast: How was Lyndon LaRouche Able to Forecast Today’s Systemic Crisis 50 Years Ago?

In reviewing the crises facing mankind, Helga Zepp-LaRouche began and ended with an appeal to viewers to join her and the LaRouche Legacy Foundation this Saturday, for an in-depth review of why we are facing a systemic collapse, and why it is finally necessary for the world to learn how Lyndon LaRouche was able to forecast the collapse, and constantly offer alternatives.

The central issue for her late husband, she said, was a rejection of the approach of systems analysis, typified by his opponents, such as Norbert Weiner and von Neumann, which dominates all fields; and instead putting forward solutions derived from the approach of classical science and culture. Despite the horrendous conditions facing us since the destruction of the Bretton Woods system in 1971, LaRouche maintained his optimistic belief that solutions can be found, based on application of human creativity.

Watch the conference at the LaRouche Legacy Foundation website on Saturday, August 14, at 9 AM EDT.


Webcast: Learn from the Present Crises: There is No Need for a Systemic Breakdown

The upcoming events of the Schiller Institute will make clear that there is no need for humanity to suffer from the accelerating breakdown crisis of civilization. On July 24, we will present an in depth dialogue, “There Is No Climate Emergency;” on July 31, a conference on the opportunity to use the withdrawal of U.S.-NATO troops from Afghanistan to move out of the era of endless wars, into cooperation based on mutual benefit; and on August 14, what are the lessons of Lyndon LaRouche’s forecast of the end of the Bretton Woods system, on August 15, 1971, and of the advances he made in physical economy to overcome the succession of increasingly bad policy decisions made after Nixon’s move.

In introducing this arc of events, Helga Zepp-LaRouche spoke of the disastrous flooding in western Germany, which resulted from a lack of preparedness and a failure to invest in infrastructure — not so different from the lack of preparedness when it came to dealing with the COVID pandemic. Instead of compounding the effects of these crises by making more bad policy decisions, let us learn from the development of the science of physical economy by Lyndon LaRouche, so we can move from these deadly events into a new era of peaceful collaboration and development.


Webcast: Great Opportunity to Learn from 50 Years of Strategic Insanity

In reviewing the multiple strategic crises confronting humanity today, Schiller Institute leader Helga Zepp-LaRouche kept coming back to words such as “lunacy”, “insanity” and “dangerous immaturity” to characterize the policies pursued by leaders of the U.S., the U.K. and the EU. In their zeal to confront and provoke Russia and China, impose austerity while bailing out bankrupt corporate cartels, cut funding for health care, and impose an anti-human Green New Deal, the corruption behind their genocidal intent has become ever-more obvious.

Have we learned the lessons of the dangers implicit in allowing their imperial will to dominate international policy making?

One example of the potential for change is coming from the neighbors of Afghanistan, who met under the auspices of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and engaged in serious discussion of how to bring stability to the people of that damaged nation. Instead of using the withdrawal from Afghanistan to “pivot to Asia”, to contain China and Russia, Wang Yi made a proposal for cooperative economic development.


Helga Zepp-LaRouche – AFGHANISTAN AT A CROSSROADS: Graveyard for Empires or Start of a New Era?

PDF of this statement

by Helga Zepp-LaRouche

July 10—After the hasty withdrawal of U.S. and NATO troops from Afghanistan—U.S. troops, except for a few security forces, were flown out in the dark of night without informing Afghan allies—this country has become, for the moment but likely not for long, the theater of world history. The news keeps pouring in: On the ground, the Taliban forces are making rapid territorial gains in the north and northeast of the country, which has already caused considerable tension and concern in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan, and they have captured the western border town Islam Qala, which handles significant trade flows with Iran. At the same time, intense diplomatic activity is ongoing among all those countries whose security interests are affected by the events in Afghanistan: Iran, Pakistan, India, Russia, China, to name only the most important.

Can an intra-Afghan solution be found? Can a civil war between the Afghan government and the Taliban be prevented? Can terrorist groups, such as ISIS, which is beginning to regain a hold in the north, and Al-Qaeda, be disbanded? Or will the war between Afghan factions continue, and with it the expansion of opium growing and export, and the global threat of Islamic terrorism? Will Afghanistan once again sink into violence and chaos, and become a threat not only to Russia and China, but even to the United States and Europe?

If these questions are to be answered in a positive sense, it is crucial that the United States and Europe first answer the question, with brutal honesty, of how the war in Afghanistan became such a catastrophic failure, a war waged for a total of 20 years by the United States, the strongest military power in the world, together with military forces from 50 other nations. More than 3,000 soldiers of NATO and allied forces, including 59 German soldiers, and a total of 180,000 people, including 43,000 civilians, lost their lives. This was at a financial cost for the U.S. of more than $2 trillion, and of €47 billion for Germany. Twenty years of horror in which, as is customary in war, all sides were involved in atrocities with destructive effects on their own lives, including the many soldiers who came home with post-traumatic stress disorders and have not been able to cope with life since. The Afghan civilian population, after ten years of war with the Soviets in the 1980s followed by a small break, then had to suffer another 20 years of war with an almost unimaginable series of torments.

It was clear from the start that this war could not be won. Implementation of NATO’s mutual defense clause under Article 5 after the 9/11 terrorist attacks was based on the assumption that Osama bin Laden and the Taliban regime were behind those attacks, which would thus justify the war in Afghanistan.

But as U.S. Senator Bob Graham, the Chairman of the Congressional “Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001,” repeatedly pointed out in 2014, the then-last two U.S. presidents, Bush and Obama, suppressed the truth about who had commissioned 9/11. And it was only because of that suppression that the threat to the world from ISIS then became possible. Graham said at a November 11, 2014 interview in Florida:

“There continue to be some untold stories, some unanswered questions about 9/11. Maybe the most fundamental question is: Was 9/11 carried out by 19 individuals, operating in isolation, who, over a period of 20 months, were able to take the rough outlines of a plan that had been developed by Osama bin Laden, and convert it into a detailed working plan; to then practice that plan; and finally, to execute an extremely complex set of assignments? Let’s think about those 19 people. Very few of them could speak English. Very few of them had even been in the United States before. The two chairs of the 9/11 Commission, Tom Kean and Lee Hamilton, have said that they think it is highly improbable that those 19 people could have done what they did, without some external support during the period that they were living in the United States. I strongly concur…. Where did they get their support?”

This question has still not been answered in satisfactory manner. The passing of the JASTA Act (Justice Against State Sponsors of Terrorism) in the U.S., the disclosure of the 28 previously classified pages of the Joint Congressional Inquiry report into 9/11 that were kept secret for so long, and the lawsuit that the families of the 9/11 victims filed against the Saudi government delivered sufficient evidence of the actual financial support for the attacks. But the investigation of all these leads was delayed with bureaucratic means.

The only reason the inconsistencies around 9/11 are mentioned here, is to point to the fact that the entire definition of the enemy in this war was, in fact, wrong from the start. In a white paper on Afghanistan published by the BüSo (Civil Rights Movement Solidarity in Germany) in 2010, we pointed out that a war in which the goal has not been correctly defined, can hardly be won, and we demanded, at the time, the immediate withdrawal of the German Army.

Once the Washington Post published the 2,000-page “Afghanistan Papers” in 2019 under the title “At War with the Truth,” at the latest, this war should have ended. They revealed that this war had been an absolute disaster from the start, and that all the statements made by the U.S. military about the alleged progress made were deliberate lies. The investigative journalist Craig Whitlock, who published the results of his three years of research, including the use of documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), and statements from 400 insiders demonstrated the absolute incompetence with which this war was waged.

Then, there were the stunning statements of Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute, the Afghanistan czar under the Bush and Obama administrations, who in an internal hearing before the “Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction” in 2014 had said: “We were devoid of a fundamental understanding of Afghanistan—we didn’t know what we were doing. … What are we trying to do here? We didn’t have the foggiest notion of what we were undertaking…. If the American people knew the magnitude of this dysfunction … who would say that it was all in vain?”

After these documents were published, nothing happened. The war continued. President Trump attempted to bring the troops home, but his attempt was essentially undermined by the U.S. military. It’s only now, that the priority has shifted to the Indo-Pacific and to the containment of China and the encirclement of Russia that this absolutely pointless war was ended, at least as far as the participation of foreign forces is concerned.

September 11th brought the world not only the Afghanistan War but also the Patriot Act a few weeks later, and with it the pretext for the surveillance state that Edward Snowden shed light on. It revoked a significant part of the civil rights that were among the most outstanding achievements of the American Revolution, and enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, and it undermined the nature of the United States as a republic.

At the same time, the five principles of peaceful coexistence, which are the essence of international law and of the UN Charter, were replaced by an increasing emphasis on the “rule-based order,” which reflects the interests and the defense of the privileges of the trans-Atlantic establishment. Tony Blair had already set the tone for such a rejection of the principles of the Peace of Westphalia and international law two years earlier in his infamous speech in Chicago, which provided the theoretical justification for the “endless wars”—i.e., the interventionist wars carried out under the pretext of the “responsibility to protect” (R2P), a new kind of crusades, in which “Western values,” “democracy” and “human rights” are supposed to be transferred—with swords or with drones and bombs—to cultures and nations that come from completely different civilizational traditions.

Therefore, the disastrous failure of the Afghanistan war—after the failure of the previous ones, the Vietnam war, the Iraq war, the Libya war, the Syria war, the Yemen war—must urgently become the turning point for a complete shift in direction from the past 20 years.

Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic at the very latest, an outbreak that was absolutely foreseeable and that Lyndon LaRouche had forecast in principle as early as 1973, a fundamental debate should have been launched on the flawed axiomatics of the Western liberal model. The privatization of all aspects of healthcare systems has certainly brought lucrative profits to investors, but the economic damage inflicted, and the number of deaths and long-term health problems have brutally exposed the weak points of these systems.

The strategic turbulence caused by the withdrawal of NATO troops from Afghanistan, offers an excellent opportunity for a reassessment of the situation, for a correction of political direction and a new solution-oriented policy. The long tradition of geopolitical manipulation of this region, in which Afghanistan represents in a certain sense the interface, from the 19th Century “Great Game” of the British Empire to the “arc of crisis” of Bernard Lewis and Zbigniew Brzezinski, must be buried once and for all, never to be revived. Instead, all the neighbors in the region—Russia, China, India, Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States and Turkey—must be integrated into an economic development strategy that represents a common interest among these countries, one that is defined by a higher order, and is more attractive than the continuation of the respective supposed national interests. This higher level represents the development of a trans-national infrastructure, large-scale industrialization and modern agriculture for the whole of Southwest Asia, as it was presented in 1997 by EIR and the Schiller Institute in special reports and then in the study “The New Silk Road Becomes the World Land-Bridge.” There is also a comprehensive Russian study from 2014, which Russia intended to present at a summit as a member of the G8, before it was excluded from that group.

In February of this year, the foreign ministers of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan agreed on the construction of a railway line from Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, via Mazar-e-Sharif and Kabul, Afghanistan, to Peshawar in Pakistan. An application for funding from the World Bank was submitted in April. At the same time, the construction of a highway, the Khyber Pass Economic Corridor, between Peshawar, Kabul and Dushanbe was agreed to by Pakistan and Afghanistan. It will serve as a continuation of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a showcase project of the Chinese BRI.

These transportation lines must be developed into effective development corridors and an east-west connection between China, Central Asia, Russia, and Europe as well as a north-south infrastructure network from Russia, Kazakhstan and China to Gwadar, Pakistan on the Arabian Sea, all need to be implemented.

All these projects pose considerable engineering challenges—just consider the totally rugged landscape of large parts of Afghanistan—but the shared vision of overcoming poverty and underdevelopment combined with the expertise and cooperation of the best engineers in China, Russia, the U.S.A., and Europe really can “move mountains” in a figurative sense. The combination of the World Bank, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) New Development Bank, New Silk Road Fund, and national lenders could provide the necessary lines of credit.

Such a development perspective, including for agriculture, would also provide an alternative to the massive drug production plaguing this region. At this point, over 80% of global opium production comes from Afghanistan, and about 10% of the local population is currently addicted, while Russia not so long ago defined its biggest national security problem as drug exports from Afghanistan, which as of 2014 was killing 40,000 people per year in Russia. The realization of an alternative to drug cultivation is in the fundamental interest of the entire world.

The Covid-19 pandemic and the risk of further pandemics have dramatically underscored the need to build modern health systems in every single country on Earth, if we are to prevent the most neglected countries from becoming breeding grounds for new mutations, and which would defeat all the efforts made so far. The construction of modern hospitals, the training of doctors and nursing staff, and the necessary infrastructural prerequisites are therefore just as much in the interests of all political groups in Afghanistan and of all countries in the region, as of the so-called developed countries.

For all these reasons, the future development of Afghanistan represents a fork in the road for all mankind. At the same time, it is a perfect demonstration of the opportunity that lies in the application of the Cusan principle of the Coincidentia Oppositorum, the coincidence of opposites. Remaining on the level of the contradictions in the supposed interests of all the nations concerned— India-Pakistan, China-U.S.A., Iran-Saudi Arabia, Turkey-Russia—there are no solutions.

If, on the other hand, one considers the common interests of all—overcoming terrorism and the drug plague, lasting victory over the dangers of pandemics, ending the refugee crises—then the solution is obvious. The most important aspect, however, is the question of the path we as humanity choose—whether we want to plunge further into a dark age, and potentially even risk our existence as a species, or whether we want to shape a truly human century together. In Afghanistan, it holds true more than anywhere else in the world: The new name for peace is development!


Webcast: A World Without Geopolitics Beckons: After the Afghan Debacle, Have We Learned Our Lesson Yet?

In reviewing strategic developments of the last week, Schiller Institute Chairwoman Helga Zepp-LaRouche highlighted the prospects for peace and collaboration possible when geopolitical confrontation is rejected. The Merkel-Macron-Xi dialogue, for example, opens the door for a change in European Union policy, as the EU bureaucrats face growing tensions over their commitment to the unilateralism implied in imposing a “Super State.” The end of the Afghan war does not mean more conflict, but the emergence of an alternative based on a desire by its neighbors to overcome underdevelopment, as a competent strategy to combat terrorism.

In her report on the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party, she challenged viewers to not fall back on the axioms drummed into their heads by corrupt media and imperial oligarchs, but to look instead at the real history of China. She described the Conference of World Political Parties addressed by President Xi, which included representatives from more than 150 parties, as an “expression of friendship”, which demonstrates that overcoming underdevelopment is a mission which can be embraced by all nations. It also makes a mockery of the view pushed by geopoliticians that China “is isolated”.


Helga Zepp-LaRouche interviewed on CGTN’s Asia Today

Helga Zepp-LaRouche was interviewed by Zhong Shi today, the host of the “Asia Today” program on CGTN, as part of its lead coverage on the crisis in Afghanistan.

Zhong Shi: I want to now also bring in Helga Zepp-LaRouche, the president and founder of the Schiller Institute, a German-based political and economic think tank. Mrs. Zepp-LaRouche, welcome to the program. It’s a pleasure to have you on today.

The Pentagon says returning Bagram base to Afghan security forces was a key milestone in U.S. military withdrawal. Now, the question is, what type of milestone will this be for Afghanistan? How will this affect the country’s ability to fight against the Taliban?

Helga Zepp-LaRouche: I think it’s a very serious situation. There is the danger of civil war, not only between the Afghanistan government and the Taliban, but according to Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov, who yesterday pointed to the fact that there are now ISIS forces massing in the north of Afghanistan. I think the danger is that the war will continue, this time with Afghans killing Afghans, so I think it does require some other approach. Something completely different than just withdrawing and leaving the place as it is.

Zhong: The world is now watching the situation unfold in Afghanistan. We know the Taliban certainly has been sweeping into districts as foreign troops go home. When the United States watches what is happening right now in Afghanistan, how would you characterize Joe Biden’s policy towards Afghanistan after U.S. forces leave? He certainly has promised continued support.

Zepp-LaRouche: Yes, I’m not so sure. Obviously, this is a quagmire. Twenty years of war and lost lives and lost money for nothing. I think that the withdrawal from Afghanistan has similar reasons like the United States reducing logistics in other parts of the Persian Gulf. It’s in part, in my view, this focus on the Pacific, on Russia, on China. So per se, it’s not an Afghanistan policy, but it’s more a policy led by geostrategic considerations. I think this is a path to disaster as well.

Look, Afghanistan in the last year, the opium production increased by 45%. Afghanistan produces 85% of the world’s opium production. If you just leave that, the Taliban will for sure increase that production as a way of financing their military operations. The deaths will be in the streets of the United States and Europe, of the many addicts. In Afghanistan, there are 3.5 million drug addicts, but that just shows that you need to have a completely different approach to solve this problem.

Militarily, Afghanistan cannot be won. That was proven by the Soviet Union trying to win for 10 years, now the United States and NATO for 20 years. I think it’s high time to rethink, that one needs to have a completely different approach than the continuation of the same.

Zhong: As you say, it would be 20 years of a war for nothing, if Afghanistan quickly descended back into chaos; into where it was before the war. Some fear that this is more likely to become a reality once foreign troops are gone. What do you think are the chances that this will happen? That Afghanistan will dive deeper into a civil war?

Zepp-LaRouche: As I said, if nothing is being done, it will be a nightmare. There will be more terrorism, which will spread not only in the region, but beyond. I think there must be a change in the approach. The only way there would be any hope to stabilize the situation is if you bring real economic development to Afghanistan, but also to the entire region, of Iraq, Syria, Yemen, all these countries which have been destroyed by the endless wars. This could be taken as one region, and one should understand that both the problem of terrorism, but also the problem of drugs, is one which should concern all the countries—the United States, Russia, China, Iran, India. They should all work together for an economic development perspective. One could extend the Belt and Road Initiative, the New Silk Road. The previous president, Karzai, saw that he sees the only hope for Afghanistan would be development. And the new name for peace is development, also in Afghanistan. So, my wish would be that this could become a subject of a UN Security Council special conference. President Putin has demanded, in any case, that the Permanent Five of the UN Security Council should meet. That would be one of the urgent items; how to prevent Afghanistan becoming a source of terrorism, drug trafficking, and just a nightmare for everybody. And how can you stop thinking in terms of geopolitical confrontation, and concentrate on the common aims of mankind? I think Afghanistan is one of these absolute crossroads—it is a crossroad—but also a crossroad in the history of mankind.

Zhong: This is more of a pressing issue by the day. Helga Zepp-LaRouche, we appreciate your analysis today; thank you so much for taking the opportunity to talk to us.


Webcast: Clarion Call from Schiller Institute Conference: Defeat the War Machine, Build a Political Order in the Interest of All

In reviewing the just-concluded conference of the Schiller Institute, its founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche pointed to the ongoing provocations of London-based imperial interests as a dynamic for war.  With the explicit intent of NATO’s Global 2030 policy to encircle Russia and China, to ensure that the Great Reset and Green New Deal can be successfully consolidated, we brought together leaders from all parts of the world to build an effective anti-Malthusian resistance to defeat this imperial design.


She emphasized the special importance of a change in the method of thinking, by adopting the concept introduced by Nicholas of Cusa of the “Coincidence of Opposites” — which was demonstrated in each of the four conference panels — as necessary to win this fight.  As the crises facing humanity escalate, she pointed to the fact that many more people are looking at Lyndon LaRouche’s ideas, as a hopeful sign that the New Paradigm can be brought into existence. 


Helga Zepp-LaRouche keynote: The Emergency Measures which Must Be Taken Now!

Helga Zepp-LaRouche’s keynote address to the first panel of the June 26-27 Schiller Institute conference. The opening session, “War with Russia and China Is Worse than MAD,” which included representatives from Russia, China, India and the United States, intensified the Schiller Institute’s 18-month drive for a summit of leaders of those four, genuinely to substitute collaboration in development in place of war.


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