The name of the German weekly magazine “Der Spiegel” actually means in English, “The Mirror.” And indeed what you see this week on the cover page of the print version of Der Spiegel—a person with a gas mask, goggles, earphones and a hoody—is the mirror image of the ugly face of the racism of its editors. The caption “Corona-virus Made in China” should actually be “The ugly face of the racist monster Spiegel.”
This piece of yellow trash journalism was so bad that the Chinese embassy in Germany issued a formal complaint on their website. The notorious Jylllands-Posten of Denmark had an equally disgusting so-called cartoon putting the corona virus on the Chinese flag. Various American so-called mainstream media use the abominable racist term “The Yellow Peril.” What all of these portrayals demonstrate is the ugly reality of an obviously deep-seated racism under a very thin varnish of “western values.”
The reality of the matter is, that the Director General of the WHO, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus,has praised China repeatedly for the excellent handling of the epidemic, noting that China has set a new standard of dealing with such problems. That the Chinese government had published a full genome-mapping of the new variants within days of the outbreak made it easier for scientists in other countries to start working on possible vaccines, but also that China has made significant breakthroughs in the biological sciences over the past 15-20 years. Other health officials stated that the response of the Wuhan regional government and the dissemination of information was “state of the art“ and that an extremely impressive quantity of new information contained in their daily updates had been published since December 31st/January 1st.
To call any virus a “Chinese” virus is as silly as to say that it is someone’s fault if he catches the flu or gets sick in general. It can happen anywhere in the world and it can happen to every person on the planet. The lesson from this recent case of the reaction to the outbreak of the coronavirus is that it shows who in the international community is capable of responding to dangers that threaten all of humanity, and who is a troglodyte, and who is not.
If Europe and the US want to be credible in talking about “human rights” and “western values” then they should join hands with China and cooperate on the fight to defeat the coronavirus. The coronavirus and the fact that every year 100,000s of people get killed by the influenza shows how urgent it is to make new breakthroughs in the fundamental understanding of living processes to overcome what are today, life threatening diseases. Europe and the US should also cooperate with the most future oriented vision on the international agenda, namely the extension of the BRI into south west Asia and Africa and the international cooperation in the Space Silk Road.
For sure we should reflect on the actuality of the judgment of Gottfried Leibniz who said:
“In any case it seems that the situation of our present conditions in light of the growing moral decadence is such that it almost seems necessary that Chinese missionaries are sent to us, who could teach us the application and practices of natural theology….I therefore believe, that if a wise man would be elected not to judge about the beauty of goddesses, but about the excellence of peoples, he would give the golden apple to the Chinese.”
I think Leibniz was a lot wiser than Der Spiegel, Jyllands-Posten and New York Times.
The “overwhelming optimism” of Trump’s State of the Union address (SOTU), combined with his likely acquittal in the Senate vote later Wednesday, create a moment of optimism in which it is possible that the strategic and financial crises threatening mankind can now be resolved. With Trump freed from the threat of being removed from office, Helga Zepp LaRouche called on viewers of her weekly webcast to support him in a full break with the geopolitical doctrines which have created the crises. She emphasized a mobilization for full funding for the Artemis program, for an emergency summit between Trump, Putin and Xi, and the exoneration of LaRouche, as among the most crucial battles ahead.
The exoneration of her husband, she said, would enable people to study his ideas, in economics, history and science, to rise to the level of strategic thinking necessary to take advantage of this moment. One of the real problems we face, which can be overcome by familiarity with LaRouche’s method, is that the connection between Energy Flux Density, and Potential Relative Population Density, is not understood.
In contrast to the optimism of the moment, she spoke of the “Rumpelstiltskin Moment” of Nancy Pelosi; the debacle of the Iowa Democratic Caucuses; the “barrage of racism” against China on the Corona Virus; and the Bloomberg campaign’s championing of Green fascism, as examples of the threat which must be overcome. 2020 is the year that the old system likely will collapse—let’s make sure it is replaced by a New Paradigm, which acts in the interest of the Common Aims of Mankind.
With their case for impeachment falling apart, the British-American coup plotters deploying against President Trump and the American electorate predictably turned to the New York Times to preview John Bolton’s “memoirs”, to try to pump some life into their efforts for a regime change in the U.S. In her weekly webcast, Helga Zepp LaRouche said this is a sign of desperation, as their case has been effectively refuted by Trump’s legal team, and a significant segment of the population is enraged at the unconstitutional assault on the institution of the Presidency, and the increasing difficulty they are having to cover the cost of basic necessities.
The biggest danger the imperial forces behind the coup face has been Trump’s commitment to establish better relations with Russia and China. Not surprisingly, Bolton, one of those virulently opposed to this shift in U.S. strategic policy, is now being embraced by the same Democrats who in the past denounced him as a dishonest war-hawk. This latest eruption on behalf of the war party occurs as the President has put forward his Middle East peace plan, which LaRouche described as a potential first step toward an expanded negotiation process—one which must include the Palestinians, as well as the Russians.
With social chaos world-wide, and the war danger still real, she called on viewers to become active in the battle to defeat the geopoliticians with a great power summit, which can assure security and economic cooperation. A major aspect of this activity must be to revive the role of classical culture as a means of uplifting people.
HARLEY SCHLANGER: Hello, I’m Harley Schlanger from the Schiller Institute with our founder and President Helga Zepp-LaRouche. Today is January 29th, 2020. And as most of you are well aware, we are in the midst of this crazy impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate. There have been some significant developments in the last hours, the last couple of days, including the resurfacing of John Bolton, courtesy of the lying New York Times. Helga, what do you make of this situation, where it’s headed now?
HELGA ZEPP-LAROUCHE: I think the emergence of Bolton, while naturally its designed to put the nail in the coffin for the impeachment of Trump, is also a sign of desperation. Because they could not prove the case, there is no criminal act which they could attribute to President Trump. But Bolton who obviously was guided to write this book — it’s supposed to come out and spill the beans about what Trump supposedly did in the phone call with President Zelensky of Ukraine. Now, this is obviously an act of desperation on the side of the Democrats, because, if you remember, they used to attack Bolton as a liar, as a completely untrustworthy fellow, but now they are relying on him as the key witness.
Where this will go it’s too early to say. It’s Wednesday. Friday is the vote. If the Senate will allow more witnesses, in which case it would open up not only the potential to have Bolton testify, but the Trump team could bring into the Senate hearing all the other crucial people — Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, the so-called “whistleblower,” and many others. Adam Schiff, for example, they could bring out the entire British involvement in the coup attempt against Trump from the very beginning, the Christopher Steele dossier, the FISA Court, all of these things which were mentioned in the Horowitz report. So it could become a big mud fight. And if the Democrats succeed in getting Bolton as a witness, then maybe you have to have the whole truth out. That was the view of President Trump in the beginning. He said, let’s have a big discussion. Later he changed it and said it may be bad for the country to drag this out indefinitely. But if it comes down to that, then maybe the whole truth has to come out.
McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, said he doesn’t have the vote to block the witnesses. This is today, we have to see how this goes until Friday. But I think it is very clear that this is not functioning with the American people. We have picked up an increasing mood of the American population, that they really are enraged. And if you need one proof, yesterday, Trump appeared at a rally in south New Jersey, and there were 175,000 people registered to go to this rally. Naturally not so many could, but that shows you there is a tremendous ferment, and south New Jersey, that is where the so-called “deplorables” live, this is a poor working-class area and obviously this is where Trump is resonating very big in the population.
So, I think we are probably in the end stage of this coup attempt, despite the fact that the Democrats have stated their intention to keep dragging this on. Maxine Waters, for example, said they will continue this impeachment throughout the election campaign; but I think the Democrats are playing a very risky game, because the population is really sick and tired of this whole story.
I think it is becoming very clear this is a coup. There is another very interesting blog piece by Pat Lang, who says that in his former capacity as a person working for the CIA or the military in the dark field of covert operations, he recognizes that there was a continuous political campaign against Trump from day one, and if one operation doesn’t function, they pull up another one: This was Russiagate, then Ukrainegate, now the impeachment, and the Bolton thing being the latest such operation. So it is really a battle where the role of what some people mistakenly call the “deep state” — it really should be better called the Anglo-American British Empire intelligence apparatus — the role of these forces is becoming very, very open. And I think that that may change the character of politics not only in the United States, but internationally, for good.
SCHLANGER: You mentioned that the case was not proven by the Democratic managers. In fact, I think Trump’s attorneys did a very good job of countering it. One of the most significant was the testimony of Alan Dershowitz, who made the point this was not just against Trump; it’s against the Constitution, it’s against the American Presidential system. I think that was quite significant, don’t you?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Well, Dershowitz is not a Trump supporter, he is a Democrat, and he had been very critical of Trump in the past. But he argued very strongly on the question that what is at stake here is the American Constitution: That this is a blatant attempt by the Democrats to turn the U.S., as a republic based on the Constitution, into a British Parliamentary system, that this goes completely against the will of the framers of the Constitution. He takes apart these arguments by the Democrats very efficiently. For example, this ominous notion, which they all of a sudden treated as if this would be the final proof of Trump’s crime, that in the discussion with Ukraine that he pursued a quid pro quo. Now Dershowitz says, so what about it? Even if everything Bolton is saying would be true, this does not constitute a crime, because a quid pro quo is what every head of state uses in any negotiation with any other state, so it is nothing special; it is what normal negotiations among states are. And I think these kinds of arguments which demystify the ghosts which are being created artificially, like this ominous quid pro quo, that he takes it down and takes it apart as a constitutional lawyer, I think is very, very useful. Because there is a lot of confetti spread around and thrown around to have a voice arguing for constitutional matters is extremely useful.
SCHLANGER: I think one of the things that came out from Dershowitz and others is this argument that a policy disagreement is not the basis for impeachment. And Helga, from the beginning we have been emphasizing that you have to look beyond the so-called facts of the case, because the facts of the case don’t exist. But what does exist is this coup, and we see this again in terms of the re-emergence of Bolton who has been opposed to what President Trump was trying to do in working with Russia.
How do you explain this to the American people? I think this is something that has not been fully explained fully enough by the President’s team, but I think we’ve done the job. How would you explain it?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Well, Trump — who obviously is not a simple person, he has many sides to him; he does use a language which antagonizes a lot of people — and therefore it is actually very important to note the fact that, despite the fact of all these things which one can argue “is this the style I like, is it not the style I like” — the point is the biggest mortal danger to the existence of the British Empire is the demonstrated willingness by Trump to seek a better relationship with Russia and China. And that has to be understood, because that is the most important. He has made clear that, given the opportunity, he is absolutely easy with Putin; this was demonstrated especially in the Helsinki summit, despite all influences around him to the contrary. He does want to have a positive relationship with China. He still calls Xi Jinping his “good friend.” He praises the great culture of China. And from the standpoint of the British Empire this is the end of them, because once they lose the ability to manipulate the great powers in a geopolitical manner, one against the other, then they will absolutely vanish. And given the potential which we have helped to create in terms of having a summit of these major powers, they are really in a panic.
So, I think it is important for the people who support Trump, especially in the United States, people should really think through, the world is in a terrible condition. We are sitting on a powder keg of a potential blowout; there are many problems we can address as we continue to talk. And there is no way how to solve these problems, unless you have a new level of politics which overcomes geopolitics, and that requires that at least the three Presidents of the United States, Russia and China work together and work out solutions for the world’s problems. If that does not occur there are incredible dangers.
So, the people who are anti-Russian but pro-Trump, or people who are pro-Trump and anti-China, they should really rethink their prejudices. Because a lot of what people think they know or what their dear opinion is, is the result of psychological warfare coming from the mainstream media and other operations. And the fact that Trump wants to have a positive relation with Russia for the sake of world peace, positive relations with China, is the most important factor of the strategic situation and it really explains almost every other aspect of the strategic situation.
SCHLANGER: We see this very clearly in the reaction of Adam Schiff, with trying to use Bolton as the key witness. Schiff, in his presentation as a Democratic manager, constantly stressed, we’re at war with Russia. And he lied about this, he made the whole case again, the Mueller case on Russia;, and it showed that this is a pro-war faction in the Democratic Party that’s opposing Trump.
In this context you mentioned the British Empire, the geopolitics: We’ve now seen at least the beginnings of the so-called “deal of the century,” of a peace plan for the Middle East. From what you’ve seen so far, what’s your analysis of this?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Well, I mean we knew this was in the makings, it shows the handwritings of Jared Kushner. It is a first step and I think if you look at the international reactions, which I will mention in a second, it shows it has at least the potential to start a negotiation process. If you look at the proposal itself, naturally it was proposed between Trump and Netanyahu, who faces criminal trial back at home, so he was probably very happy to have that occasion. And it gives Israel practically everything they would possibly ask for: It reaffirms Jerusalem as the unified capital of Israel; it says the settlements are okay in the West Bank; the Golan Heights, the Syrian territory, belongs to Israel, so it has all of these things. It gives security guarantees to Israel fully.
The interesting thing is, that it does talk for the first time about the U.S. promoting a Palestinian state. Now the Palestinian Authority was not involved in the discussion, so they even rejected this plan before it was published, because they said all the decisions made before, point in the direction that it does not represent any Palestinian interest. President Abbas called for an emergency summit of the Arab League, which will take place on the Feb. 1. Naturally, the proposed Palestinian state, from a territorial standpoint, is extremely meager. It basically cuts out a lot of the interesting parts. To make it viable, will be very difficult. The proposed money over a certain period of time of $50 billion is not a hell of a lot.
So I think the reactions to it — I would like to mention a couple of them — first of all, Netanyahu will immediately leave Washington and go to Moscow to discuss with Putin. Various Russian spokesmen, Lavrov, Peskov, Kosachev, the head of the International Relations Committee of the Federation Council, they all said they would study it, we will look at it intensively; and negotiations have to be based on the involvement of the so-called “quartet” — the quartet meaning the United Nations, the EU, Russia, and the U.S. In any case it’s an international approach and even the EU foreign representative, Josep Borell, said it has to be based on respect for all the UN resolutions concerning Israel-Palestine, and the representative of the UN General Secretary said, it has to be in respect of all UN resolutions, including the one that Israel has to go back to its pre-1967 borders. So that naturally is not what’s here proposed, but that is the reaction from international forces.
I think it’s useful to start a negotiation process provided that the Palestinians agree to that, which they have not so far. But I want to say very clearly, that it is good to give security guarantees for Israel. That is absolutely crucial. But I think there is not going to be a peace in the region, in Southwest Asia, if you don’t give security interests to all relevant parties, and that includes emphatically Iran. If people go back in history and look at which peace treaties functioned and which didn’t, you have the Peace of Westphalia which explicitly formulated the principle that for the sake of peace, you have to take into account the interest of every other, and that’s why the Peace of Westphalia was such a groundbreaking work and led to the whole development of international law; as compared, in total contrast to the Versailles Treaty, which going against all historical evidence, presumed Germany was the only guilty party for World War I, all the reparations had to be paid by Germany, and that laid the ground for the developments which then led to the Great Depression of 1929 and naturally the emergence of the Nazis, and it led to World War II. If you don’t have a peace which takes into account the interest of every party, it cannot function.
And most importantly, you have to look at the region as a whole. You have to look at Afghanistan—a mess; Iraq—pretty bad; Syria—totally destroyed from the senseless war; Yemen. You can even go into North Africa: Libya. Look at the result of what President Trump clearly wants to end, namely, these endless wars. Therefore, if you want to reconstruct this area and have a durable peace, what you need is an economic development for the entire Southwest Asian region, and that can only happen if all the great powers work together. I think the immediate perspective is given, because the Chinese have offered to Afghanistan, to Iraq, to Syria, to extend the New Silk Road. Also the Arabs have many interests of cooperation along the Silk Road with China. That is the only way how you can have the hope to calm down this region. And rather than trying to continue geopolitical games, I think all the great powers—Russia, China, India, the United States, European countries—they should all join hands and reconstruct this area, and then you can have the hope for peace.
So, I think the extension of the New Silk Road from China via Iran, Iraq; into Turkey, Syria; into Egypt, all the way to Africa, developing Africa in the same way. Then, through Turkey, extend the New Silk Road to Europe, to the Balkans; to connect via the Central Asian corridors — If you have a total peace plan like that, I think it can be really the basis for peace.
And I would hope now, this is now a first step. It needs to have more steps. But I think it’s a negotiation basis, and people should take a positive attitude, and then, hopefully, it can lead to the result of a real peace in the region.
SCHLANGER: As we’re discussing these things, there’s been something that has just emerged as a strategic concern in the last days, really last weeks: the spread of the coronavirus out of China. President Trump, in a comment a couple days ago, praised the Chinese for the way they’re handing it. The anti-China lobby is going crazy against China. What’s your assessment of where we stand in dealing with this virus?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Well, one of the leading Chinese scientists, who is charge of managing this crisis, said that he thinks the peak of the epidemic may be in ten days from now. That would be a very good news. China has done a very big job, by putting about 60 million people into quarantine. In major cities, people are being told to stay home. They have a letter out for the elderly, that they should especially not leave their apartment, because they are more at risk than other people. I think it is an incredible job. There was just a meeting between President Xi Jinping and the leadership of the WHO, the World Health Organization. They praised China, by saying they did an absolute fantastic job, by also giving a standard of how to deal with such a crisis. From an objective standpoint, there is no question that China is handling this extremely well, building three hospitals of more than 1,000 beds in a week — I don’t know what other country could do that at this point.
As you mentioned, there are also some really degenerated minds, who have absolutely no respect for human life. One is the unspeakable Danish newspaper Jyllands-Post with its cartoon, which showed the Chinese flag with the stars in the flag being replaced by the coronavirus. China protested very strongly, and basically said that this is a complete contempt for human decency, and should not be regarded as a cartoon. I think our colleagues from the Schiller Institute in Denmark also put out a similar statement, absolutely condemning the degenerate mindset coming from such “cartoons.”
Other than that, if this Chinese scientist is correct, then hopefully this could be resolved very soon. Naturally, doomsday-sayers, who say the economic impact could be a trigger for the world financial collapse. I don’t think that is more than a cover story, for the fact that this financial system is bankrupt as it is.
SCHLANGER: These very same central bankers and financiers, who have bankrupted the financial system, are circulating this new report from the Bank for International Settlements, talking about the “Green Swan.” They are now saying that the scapegoat for the crash will be man-made climate change. Obviously, this is another aspect of the cover-up, isn’t it?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Yeah. The “Black Swan” is a synonym for the big financial crash, for the “everything bubble” to collapse, which we are very close to. So, to blame the climate crisis for such an event is ridiculous. The effort to impose green financing, and in that way destroy the basis for industrial economy is a danger to the financial system, if it needed another one, other than the one caused by the insane bailouts and quantitative easing policies.
So, I think this is an absolute lie. I think we are entering a period, where not only a crash is hanging on the horizon, but the effects of this financial policy are causing the entire society, in many countries, to disintegrate. I only want to mention two situations: One, I think now eight weeks of strikes in France; this is not reported at all, but I know about it from our French colleagues. These demonstrations and strikes are becoming more violent all the time. That is the result of the government policy, because the French police have the policy of throwing out sort of a net, isolate different groupings, and basically drive them into violent reactions.
This doesn’t only come from antifa and Black Bloc, but it comes from the Yellow Vests. For example, you have lawyers who are so absolutely furious about the attack on them, that they have thrown down their robes by the hundreds. Tax accountants who throwing their tax codes on the floor. This is really getting out of proportion. And the government of Macron is making absolutely no concession, but keeps absolutely with the line of BlackRock, which is really what this pension reform is driven by.
You have a similar situation now in Germany, where the German farmers, who are now basically fighting for their existence, they have now changed their tactic. They do flash-mobs at political meetings: All of a sudden, you have 250 tractors showing up; they block the warehouse deliveries from the large food chains. They say they are now being destroyed, between a rock and a hard place, because the food chains lower the prices for their products way below the parity price — you can forget, not even the producer’s price. And then you have the European Union legislations which make it impossible for these farmers to continue to farm.
So, we are looking at a real social explosion, not only in places like Chile and Lebanon and Algeria, but also, increasingly, in the European countries. I can only see this continuing, because if people like [European Commission President Ursula] von der Leyen implement their green legislation, thereby raising the prices for everything—electricity, transport, food—then this social ferment will just explode, because many people are already at the end of their means.
I think this is going to require our intervention, globally, to impose what we have proposed many times, the full package of LaRouche: the Four Laws, Glass-Steagall, national bank, New Bretton Woods, crash program for fusion and space cooperation to increase the productivity of society, and cooperate with the New Silk Road. That is the solution, but we need more people to help us in this mobilization. So, go to the links provided at the end of this webcast. Subscribe to our Alerts and other publications. Sign our petitions and mobilize together with us. I think that’s the only answer you can give.
SCHLANGER: There’s another aspect to this situation, which you’ve addressed many, many times: which is, the social explosion, the social ferment, and social disintegration are occurring at the same time as there’s a cultural collapse, which is engineered by the same British Empire, destroying the image of man. You’ve just written an article on this; you are quite prolific on this. What do people need to know about how we reverse this cultural collapse?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Well, I launched a campaign which I called an “Open Letter to the Lovers of Classical music.” I deliberately do not address this letter only to people in Germany, but I really want to address it to everybody who thinks that Classical music is important for the mental health and creativity of people.
We will put the link of this Open Letter below, so please download it, read it, circulate it, comment on it, because I want to generate a debate. There was this unbelievable assault, where some so-called modern composer dared to change the finale of Fidelio in a performance in Darmstadt. What came out was absolutely horrible ugliness. So, please read my letter and circulate it.
But it points to something which I think is really of a general nature. If you look at what is happening in the United States, you have the drug epidemic, you have the school shootings; you have a lot of violence as a potential breaking out very quickly. In Germany, you now have churches being robbed. People are stealing the sacral instruments for the church service, pictures from the walls. You have attacks on first responders, on the police — I mean, this getting very, very ugly. I think what all of these symptoms—which I could tell you a long, long, long list of, but you probably all know it—all of these are symptoms of a decaying, collapsing society, like the end of the Roman Empire, or some other cultural collapses.
This very dangerous and this is why I take this attack on Classical music as extremely important to be countered. Because if you look at Europe, Europe is in terrible condition right now; political unity doesn’t exist. We just found that the German government already in 2018, at a conference in Berlin on Africa, deliberately countered the proposal which was adopted in 2018 in Abuja, Nigeria, by the governments of the Lake Chad region demanding implementation of the Transaqua project, which we have discussed many times on this show; and Germany gave only Greenie arguments, basically perpetuating the colonial world-outlook toward Africa, condoning the disgusting policy of the EU against the refugees from Africa and Southwest Asia, which is really a murderous policy. The Pope called these camps for refugees “concentration camps,” which I think is absolutely on the mark.
So, if you look at all of these things, the only positive thing which Europe still has — other than its potential to be an industrial powerhouse, if we change our ways; but that is not in the cards right now, if you look at the EU—so the only thing which we is our great Classical tradition: The Italian Renaissance, which indirectly President Trump referred to in his speech in Davos, by pointing to the Cupola of the Florence Duomo, by mentioning the beautiful Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, by referring to the European cathedrals. That ennobled view of man, including the German Classical period, the German, Italian, and other Classical music in general, these are the most precious heritages of Europe which we could contribute to the shaping of a New Paradigm in the world.
And if you have, right now, as a continuation of the Congress for Cultural Freedom (CCF) operation, the ongoing destruction of Classical music, with disgusting Regietheater; you can’t go into a German theater any more, since quite a while, without people copulating on the stage, being naked, doing absolutely obscene things. András Schiff, the great pianist, wrote an article recently, where he said that in New York people are talking about this kind of theater as “Eurotrash.” What this unspeakable so-called composer did in this re-write of the finale of Fidelio is nothing but Eurotrash; and that is a mild expression for what was presented there.
We have to defend Classical Culture. We have to go back to the idea that we need beauty in art. I fully agree with Friedrich Schiller, who in a letter exchange with his friend Christian Körner, said that art which is not beautiful, is no art, it’s trash (those are my words, not those of Schiller).
So, I would really ask all of you who have any sense that we cannot allow the continuation of this destruction of great culture to go on, that you should join with us, and that we really create a Renaissance movement as a counter to that. This is completely in the spirit of my late husband, Lyndon LaRouche. His spirit is alive, especially as all of his prognoses in respect to the financial system, the strategic situation, become more obvious; there is a growing recognition of the increasing intellectual role of the work of my late husband. I want to encourage to always include the demand for his exoneration, because people have to have unmediated access to his works, because it is that, what great minds have written, what great composers have composed, which gives us the inner strength to get out of this crisis of humanity. So, help us in really making this Renaissance movement.
SCHLANGER: We also have the benefit that this year is the 250th anniversary celebrating the birth of Beethoven. Your husband gave us the marching orders: “Think Like Beethoven!” which is the way out of this
So, Helga, thank you for joining us today, and we’ll see you again next week.
While 190 billionaires and their corporate and institutional flunkeys gathered at Davos, pushing a Green fascist agenda, U.S. President Trump intervened with a different axiomatic background. While his speech provoked hysteria, with some accusing him of “pointless optimism,” his praise of the citizens of Florence acting with imagination and boldness in building the great Dome—a feat often referred to by Lyndon LaRouche as exemplifying the spirit of human creativity and commitment to progress which resulted in the Renaissance—highlights again why the oligarchy is committed to ending his presidency.
Helga covered a number of topics, from the war danger, to the increasing likelihood of a financial collapse, coming back to the necessity for an emergency summit of three Presidents as a means to move into a New Paradigm, to overcome the dangers. She called on our viewers to join us to change the agenda, to bring mankind back to science and culture to counter war and destruction. Use the opportunity of this Beethoven year to discover the true beauty of human culture.
by Helga Zepp-LaRouche, Chairwoman of the Schiller Institute
The first thing one can say about the performance of Beethoven’s Fidelio at the Darmstadt Theater, in a production of Paul-Georg Dittrich with a musical adaptation of the finale by Annette Schlünz, is: It’s god-awful! It couldn’t be worse. God-awful from a musical, artistic, philosophical and human standpoint. Of the long series of stupid, crude, repetitive Regietheater [fn1] performances, that have been staged for over half a century(!)—limited at first to theater, but then also inflicted on the opera—this performance was the absolute low point.
In the summer of 1966, when Hans Neuenfels—then a 25-year-old dramatist at the Trier Theater—had a leaflet distributed to promote the “First Happening in Rheinland-Palatinate,” in which he even asked, “Why don’t you rape little girls?” he was expressing the convictions of the 1968 movement, as we have known it since at least Daniel Cohn-Bendit. Since then—for 53 years now!—various nudes, rock bands, schizophrenics, or actors in Nazi costumes have been copulating on stage, and have succeeded in distorting beyond recognition the plays and compositions of Classical poets and composers. This is definitely not originality.
A scene from the Darmstadt performance of Beethoven’s Fidelio.
The Fidelio staging in Darmstadt presents a multimedia mixture of aesthetic vulgarity, Brechtian alienation effects, and the intrusion during the first part’s musical scenes of a screen filling the entire stage, on which photos and film clips are projected. They are supposed to illustrate the historical background of eight productions from 1805 until today. The overall impression is chaotic, and you begin to feel sorry for the singers who have to sing against this storm of clips, and for the heroine Leonore, who has to run around the stage the whole time like a headless chicken.
But the real monstrosity comes in the second part, when the Finale, the opera’s magnificent hymn to freedom, is literally chopped up in martial manner by the insertion of compositions in the New Music style of Annette Schlünz. In the program notes, Schlünz describes her insertions:
Little by little, a “chorus of hails” emerged, which becomes silent in part, or in which only individual voices or words remain. Sometimes I radicalize Beethoven’s instrumentation to reinforce his ideas or I repeat individual bars and then suddenly stop. I very much wanted to weave in external sounds and to color the music in some places. The trumpet fanfare, which is heard from the balcony of the State Theater before the performance begins, is something I take up and expand. It’s the signal that summons to a departure: Some instruments and musicians that drop out of the sound of the orchestra become, so to speak, rebellious, and bring in something new. The F major ensemble piece—a fantastic piece with a sacredness and coherence that I would never dare to approach—I leave untouched like a gem. The subsequent interlude with my music, in which different sounds, including the voices of eight vocalists, are sent throughout the room, completely breaks up Beethoven’s world of sound.
From the standpoint of the maltreated spectator, the noise that Schlünz inserted, during which the singers and instrumentalists trumpeted their deafening rubbish from the middle of the audience and from all sides, has nothing to do with music: It clearly crosses the line to bodily harm.
Just how emotionally damaged Schlünz is, becomes clear in the next sentences:
When listening, I often imagined that I was sitting at the controls of a mixer console and turned up the speed. And then I would just assume that Beethoven, when he composed, almost intended to go too far and fast. It’s really exulting! It reminds me of children who go crazy with excitement because they don’t know how to keep their emotions under control.
If there is anything crazy here, it is the pitiful state shown by Schlünz, in her emotional impotence to understand the sublime nature of the victory of the love between Leonore and Florestan. Moreover, she obviously cannot stand such greatness; her idea of wanting to speed up the music by adjusting a mixer console, represents the same uncontrollable freak-out that led the murderers of Ibykus [fn2] to betray themselves after the choir of the Erinyes had called forth the higher power of poetry in the theater of Corinth. Small, base minds cannot stand great ideas nor sublime feelings.
The magnificent Finale of Fidelio, in which Beethoven celebrates the defeat of tyranny through the courage of conjugal love is an expression of the noblest humanity, where love, courage and the desire for freedom are expressed in music. In Leonore’s preceding aria, she sings: “I shall not waver, I am strengthened by my duty of marital love.” Beethoven chose as subject for the opera the idealization, in Schiller’s sense, of a historical event, namely the liberation of the hero of the American Revolution, the Marquis de Lafayette, the French Republican, by his wife Adrienne. This reflects Beethoven’s own republican sentiments, which included at that time of feudal structures and Napoleonic campaigns, both personal courage and the desire for freedom.
Portrayal of Leonora in the Darmstadt performance of Fidelio.
Such deeply human feelings, however, are no longer accessible to the disturbed emotionality of the representatives of the Frankfurt School and the liberal Zeitgeist. Stage director Paul-Georg Dittrich states most tellingly in his interview in the program notes, that the Finale seems to him “like a celebration where you don’t even know what is actually being celebrated.” While Dittrich and Schlünz may not know it, that in no way gives them the right to destroy ordinary people’s access to it by deconstructing Beethoven’s composition.
But precisely that was the intention from the very beginning of the diverse currents that formed the tradition in which Dittrich, Schlünz and the entire production in Darmstadt stand, in an amalgam of Theodor Adorno, the Eisler-Brecht School, and the Congress for Cultural Freedom (CCF).
In a noteworthy touch of truthful reporting, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) reported on November 12, 2017, in an article titled, “The CIA and Culture: How to Steal the Big Words,” about the exhibition organized on the 50th anniversary of a scandal that erupted in 1967, when it was reported that the entire gigantic operation of the Congress for Cultural Freedom was a CIA-funded operation as part of the Cold War effort. The FAZ added an admission about the whole thing that was tantamount to sensational for that daily:
The worrying point is that the secret service did not simply promote sinister reaction [i.e. the right wing], but it helped achieve the breakthrough of that same left-wing liberalism that still forms the mainstream standard of Western intellectuals.
The Fidelio production in Darmstadt is, so to speak, the terminal moraine of this process. It began with the change in U.S. post-war politics. After Roosevelt’s untimely death, under whose leadership the United States was allied with the Soviet Union in the fight against fascism in the Second World War, the intellectually much smaller Harry Truman quickly came under Churchill’s influence. The latter, in his notorious Fulton, Missouri speech on March 5, 1946, ushered in the Cold War. Thus the forerunners of those elements in the U.S. security apparatus, which Eisenhower later warned were the military-industrial complex and which are often called the “deep state” for short today, gained the upper hand. The Cold War thus proclaimed—demanded—that the deep emotions linking Americans and Russians together through the war experience, culminating in the meeting of the armies on the Elbe River in Torgau, be replaced by an anti-Russian sentiment. A new image of the enemy had to be built up and the population’s entire axiomatics of thought had to be changed accordingly. For the United States, this meant changing the basic beliefs that had contributed to the support for Roosevelt’s policies. For Europe, and especially Germany, the roots of European humanist culture, which constituted its cultural identity despite twelve years of a reign of terror, had to be destroyed and replaced by a construct—the deconstruction of Classical culture.
The Evil of the Congress for Cultural Freedom
The instrument that was created for this purpose was the Congress for Cultural Freedom (CCF), a gigantic psychological warfare operation launched by secret service circles around Allen Dulles under the direction of Frank Wisner, then head of the Office for Political Coordination of the State Department. The CCF was later moved to the covert operations department. The operation officially lasted from 1950 to 1967, when the New York Times published on April 27 the news that the CCF was a CIA operation. That revelation became the biggest cultural scandal of the 20th century. The CCF operated in 35 countries and published 20 magazines, and the CIA controlled virtually every art exhibition and cultural event. At that time, there was virtually no writer, musician, painter, critic, or journalist in Europe who was not in some way connected to this project—some knowingly, some with no inkling.
The first Congress for Cultural Freedom convention, Berlin, 1950.
The orientation of these cultural projects was essentially the same as that of the Frankfurt School, which was exiled to the United States during the National Socialist period and whose individual representatives were in the pay of the American secret services, such as Herbert Marcuse. In any case, the views of the Frankfurt School fit perfectly into the CCF’s program. Theodor Adorno, for example, defended the absurd and ignorant view that Friedrich Schiller’s idealism led directly to National Socialism, because he took a radical point of view. Therefore, Adorno claimed, beauty must be eradicated from art. In his essay “Cultural Criticism and Society,” written in 1949, his misanthropic view culminated in the much-quoted phrase: “To write a poem after Auschwitz is barbaric.”
Here again, there was nothing new about the Fidelio performance in Darmstadt. In the program notes, George Steiner expresses the exactly the same opinion:
Is it possible that classical humanism itself contains a radical failure in its tendency towards abstraction and aesthetic judgment? Can it be that mass murder and that indifference to the atrocities that abetted Nazism are not enemies or negations of civilization, but rather their hideous but natural accomplice?
What is expressed here in very clear terms is the psychological warfare carried out by the CIA-steered CCF, which was intended to eradicate the roots of the humanist identity of the German population, in favor of an Anglo-American cultural value scale.
To restate the point concisely: There can be no greater contrast than that between the sublime image of man presented in humanism and Classical art, and the barbaric image of man of the National Socialists. The Classical image of man sees man as being good in principle, as the only creature endowed with reason, who is able, through aesthetic education, to develop the potential within himself to a harmonious whole, to a beautiful character, as Wilhelm von Humboldt expressed it. Classical works of art in poetry, the visual arts, and music celebrate this beautiful humanity, and inspire in turn the creative powers of the readers, viewers, and listeners.
In contrast, the National Socialists’ image of man, with its blood-and-soil ideology, is based on a racist, chauvinistic, and Social Darwinist conception of the superiority of the “Aryan” race. To claim that because both the classics and National Socialism occurred in Germany, there is an inner connection between these diametrically opposed ideas, is just as absurd as to assert that the United States Constitution directly gave rise to the interventionist wars of the Bush and Obama Administrations, or that Joan of Arc’s convictions were the basis for French colonial policy. That claim actually came from the CIA’s devil’s kitchen, which included such recipes as “necessary lies” and “staunch denial” since at least the time of the CCF. In the recent period, the world has again been treated to an ample taste of them in the ongoing coup against President Trump by British intelligence in cooperation with the “deep state.”
The question of how it was possible to go from the ideal of the German classics to the abyss of Nazi rule, is one of the most important questions there is. To answer it, one has to consider the entire history of ideas from the Romantics’ attack on the classics, and the dissolution of the classic form it began to spawn, to the beginning of cultural pessimism, which set in with the Conservative Revolution in response to the ideas of 1789 and the political restoration under the Congress of Vienna, down to Schopenhauer and Nietzsche, the youth movement prior to World War I, and finally to World War I and its consequences.
Inducing Cultural Pessimism
Inducing cultural pessimism was also the goal of various music projects of the CCF. In 1952, it held a month-long music festival in Paris titled: “Masterpieces of the 20th Century,” during which over 100 symphonies, concerts, operas, and ballets of more than seventy 20th-century composers were performed. The Boston Symphony, which was to play a leading role in other CCF projects, opened the festival with a more-than-strange performance of Stravinsky’s Sacre du Printemps (Rite of Spring). Other pieces were performed from the atonalists Arnold Schoenberg (one of Adorno’s teachers) and Alban Berg, as well as Paul Hindemith, Claude Debussy, and Benjamin Britten, to name but a few. Further conferences for the propagation of atonal and twelve-tone music followed in Prato and Rome, which were exclusively devoted to avant-garde music. At all of these well-funded events, it was taken for granted that everyone would pretend to enjoy ugly music.
The Darmstadt Summer Courses for New Music, which were also supported by the American military government and the CCF, performed Schoenberg, Anton Webern, and Béla Bartók. Lecturers such as Adorno, Olivier Messiaen, and John Cage gave lectures on their music theory. In an official assessment of these courses, Ralph Burns, head of the Office of Military Government, United States (OMGUS) Cultural Affairs Branch’s “Review of Activities,” wrote:
It was generally conceded that much of this music was worthless and had better been left unplayed. The over-emphasis on twelve-tone music was regretted. One critic described the concerts as the “triumph of Dilettantism.”
The issue here is not about stopping anyone from composing or listening to atonal or twelve-tone music, or other forms of avant-garde music. To each his own taste. The point is, that the idea of the equality of all tones of the tempered chromatic scale massively reduces the much higher degrees of freedom flowing from the polyphonic harmonic and countrapuntal composition, as it was developed from Bach to Hadyn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, and Brahms. It eliminates the ambiguity of the notes and the relationships between the keys, and the possibility of enharmonic confusion: Motivführung is a form of composition that, out of a single musical idea, develops further themes, movements, and ultimately the entire composition. This technique of composition, as elaborated and rigorously demonstrated in various master classes by Norbert Brainin, the first violinist of the Amadeus Quartet, was developed into greater complexity and perfection from Haydn’s “Russian” quartets Op. 33, to Mozart’s “Haydn” quartets, and then to Beethoven’s late quartets.
Given the heights that Classical composition had achieved with Beethoven, so-called modern music, if it throws these principles out the window—and there are undoubtedly good modern compositions—represents a decline comparable to reducing an anti-entropically developing universe of two trillion galaxies known so far, to a flat earth.
Classical Music Ennobles
Virtually all truly creative people, from Confucius to Albert Einstein, recognized and used the effects of good or Classical music to foster their own creative abilities and the aesthetic ennoblement of the population. Confucius rightly observed that the state of a country can be seen in the quality of its music. Immersion in the works of great Classical composers opens the deepest access to the creative faculties of the human soul and spirit. Where else, other than in Classical music, can one strengthen and deepen the passion needed to look beyond one’s own concerns and to address the great objects of humanity? Or where can one educate the sensibility needed to fulfill Schiller’s demand, as stated in his speech on universal history:
A noble longing must glow within us to add from our own resources our contribution to the rich legacy of truth, morality and freedom, which we have received from former ages, and must deliver richly increased to the ages to come; and to fasten to this imperishable chain, which winds through all the generations of men, our own fleeting existence.
It is precisely this emotionality of love, as expressed in the Finale of Fidelio, love for one’s spouse, love for humanity, and the idea of freedom in necessity, the idea of fulfilling one’s duty with passion, and thereby becoming free, that Schiller defines as the qualities of his ideal of the beautiful soul and of genius. It is the quintessence of the entire aesthetic method of the classics and of Friedrich Schiller in particular: “It is through beauty that one achieves freedom.”
This notion of freedom is what all the proponents of Regietheater, disharmonious music, and postmodern deconstruction attack, because it goes against their liberal concept of “freedoms,” rather than freedom.
Therefore, they dip unrestrainedly into the mothballed box of Brechtian alienation effects: interruptions, film clips, banners, cameras pointed to the audience, etc., so as to “shock” the viewers out of their habits of hearing and thinking. What came out of that in Darmstadt was a mixture of “Clockwork Orange” (recall the violence-ridden atrocity from Stanley Kubrick, accompanied by Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony), and the intellectual depth of pop star Helene Fischer. When Helene Fischer, in a red latex outfit and with orgiastic movements, belts out her song “Tell Me, Do You Feel That?” to an enthralled audience, it’s about as subtle as when the question, “Does it move you?” lights up the stage in large neon letters during the entire Finale of Fidelio. Obviously, the director Dittrich thinks the intellectually challenged audience needs to be awakened with a two-by-four. On top of that came the previously mentioned bombardment of deafening noise from the instrumentalists and chorus members scattered throughout the opera house.
The audience expressed its thanks for the din with a tormented mini-applause. If the goal of the staging was to summon the audience to political action in the present or to open contemporary music to a “broader audience” (Dittrich), one has to say in both cases: Mission failed. The well-known (to German speakers) “Hurz” skit by Hape Kerkeling describes quite aptly the reaction of most viewers, who have apparently grown accustomed for much too long to the outrageous demands of Regietheater and to the CCF’s cultural war, which is still ongoing.
Finally, a quote is in order from Alma Deutscher, who really can compose: “If the world is so ugly, why should we make it even uglier with ugly music?”
Before the example of Annette Schlünz is followed and other compositions of classical music are “raped,” in the spirit of Hans Neuenfels, this review should serve to launch a debate in the year of Beethoven on how to defend the classics against such assaults.
Celebrate This Year of Beethoven!
This Year of Beethoven, which will feature performances of many of the master’s compositions not only in Germany, but around the world, offers a wonderful opportunity for us to recall our better cultural tradition in Germany, to resist the moral decline of the past decades, and to find within ourselves, by consciously listening to Beethoven’s music, the inner strength to have our own creativity come alive.
The world is now in the midst of an epochal change, in which the era dominated by the Atlantic countries is clearly coming to an end, and the focus of development is shifting to Asia, where there are many nations and peoples who are very proud of their civilizations, and nourish their classical culture. Some of these civilizations are more than 5,000 years old. If Europe has anything to contribute to shaping in a humanistic spirit the new paradigm emerging in the world, then it is our lofty culture of the Renaissance and the Classics.
Many scientists, artists, and people appreciative of Germany all over the world have been wondering for some time now what is wrong with the Germans, that they have distanced themselves so much from being a people of poets and thinkers. If we let the Year of Beethoven be so ruined, then Germany will likely be written off for good as a cultured nation.
More discussion of this subject is needed and welcome.
[fn1] Regietheater, or “Directors Theater,” is a mode of performance of Classical drama and opera, whereby the director arbitrarily imposes modern (and usually degenerate) costumes and staging upon the production, thereby ripping the work out of its true historical context and ironies, and degrading the audience, the performers, and the composer himself.
[fn2]See Friedrich Schiller’s poem, “Die Kraniche des Ibykus” (“The Cranes of Ibycus”). Full text available here.
Helga Zepp LaRouche brought clarity to a situation which has left many people befuddled, disoriented, and/or fatalistic, as they try to make sense of the strategic danger following the assassination of Iranian leader Soleimani by the U.S. Starting with the stark warnings of Putin during his State of the Union speech, she showed that there are significant figures who understand why an emergency summit between Trump, Putin and Xi is needed, such as former German defense official Willy Wimmer, who said the assassination put the world on the verge of World War III.
She reviewed the role of the British in the unfolding of this crisis, tracing its roots back to imperial geopolitical policy of the mid-19th and 20th century, up through their role in shaping the war party in the U.S. today. The war drive is occurring as the neoliberal financial system is speeding toward a collapse. In this context, it is urgent that our viewers and supporters recognize how cooperation between the great powers, on strategic and economic policies, is the only way to overcome the dangers created by the empire.
She called on viewers to join the mobilization, and to master the great ideas necessary to avoid falling for the traps set by those who refuse to recognize that remaining within their paradigm will lead to the extinction of the human race.
Helga Zepp-LaRouche reiterated her call for an emergency summit between presidents Trump, Putin and Xi to diffuse tensions in the Middle East and create a comprehensive peace plan for the region. While the shock of the U.S. drone strike killing Iranian Gen. Soleimani put the world on the path towards a much greater conflict, it also provided a sobering moment which made unambiguously clear that a comprehensive peace plan must be the priority, and that can only happen with the collaboration between the U.S., Russia, and China.
Helga refers to Patrick Lawrence’s latest article in Consortium News where he calls the drone strike a “palace coup” by members of the State and Defense Departments. Read his full article here.
by Helga Zepp-LaRouche, founder of the Schiller Institute
Immediate Emergency Summit Among Presidents of US, Russia and China to Save World Peace and Define Cooperation Among the Countries Who defeated Fascism 75 Years Ago!
With the assassination on Jan. 3 of Iranian Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, Commander of the Revolutionary Guards Quds Brigade and a national hero in Iran, as well as Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of the Popular Mobilization Forces of Iraq, through a drone attack near the Baghdad International Airport, the world is confronted with the danger of an escalation of retaliations and counter-retaliations, which could not only lead to a war in the entire southwest Asian region, but beyond.
The Pentagon issued a statement, accompanying President Trump’s signing of the attack order, that Soleimani “was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region.” The statement claims that General Soleimani and his Quds Force were responsible for the death of hundreds of Americans and wounding of thousands more, and that the strike was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans.
As the spokeswoman of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, pointed out, it was the UN Security Council’s purview to make a legal assessment of attacks on countries’ embassies, and that Washington had not requested an extraordinary UN Security Council meeting on the issue. Obviously the Pentagon did not see a need to do that, since the 2001 AUMF makes it legal for the US military to attack any armed group deemed to be a terrorist threat. The official designation as “terrorist” of the IRGC in April 2019 by the US State Department—a move which was strongly supported by then National Security Adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo—made it “legal” for the US Armed Forces to attack individuals associated with the IRGC under any circumstances that may occur. At that point Col. Pat Lang wrote in his blog:
“The neocon nitwits (Pompeo, Bolton, Hannah, etc.) may think that Iran’s reaction to this declaration of war will be submission to their will, but IMO [in my opinion] that is very unlikely. IMO it is more likely that the IRGC will absorb the new reality and will prepare for war with the US.”
Unfortunately, with the assassination of Soleimani, Col. Lang’s warning that the Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) designation could lead to a war with Iran has come closer to coming true. So, while Bolton is out of the administration, his confrontational policies have created a very dangerous heritage—a set up for war—for Trump. And, no surprise, Bolton said in a twitter posting this morning: “Congratulations to all involved in eliminating Qassem Soleimani. Long in the making, this was a decisive blow against Iran’s malign Quds Force activities worldwide. Hope this is the first step to regime change in Tehran.”
As would be expected, Iran’s Supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, promised “harsh revenge,” and large crowds assembled in various Iranian cities screaming death threats to Trump and expressing their hatred for Americans. Whatever the views of other forces in the West and in southwest Asia are of Soleimani, it is a fact that he has probably done more than anyone to contribute to the defeat of ISIS, Daesh, al Nusra, al Qaida etc., and represents a national hero in the eyes of the Iranians. As is also to be expected, various Iranian proxies in the region have immediately promised revenge actions, while the Iraqi Government has announced it will introduce legislation in the Iraqi parliament on Jan. 4 to end the legal basis for the American military presence in Iraq.
Given the extreme complexity of the history of southwest Asia in terms of ethnic and religious strife, the century-old manipulations by (primarily) the British Empire with the Great Game against Russia, and with the entanglement in this region of all the world’s nuclear powers, there is no question but that this present escalation has the potential of getting completely out of control, no matter what the forces involved in the coup against President Trump may think. If there is anything one can learn from military history, it is the recognition that wars almost never go as planned. If people would have known how World War I and II evolved, they would not have started them. Before any further escalation between the US, Iran and their proxies occurs, all peace loving people in the world should support an immediate summit among the Presidents of the US, Russia and China, now, in the spirit of the Meeting at the Elbe.
It is clear, that among the three presidents, President Trump—who promised to end the endless wars and has already taken several steps in that direction—and Presidents Putin and Xi, there is the intention and the capability to outflank the maneuvers of the war-mongers and to establish a higher level of cooperation. That potential is the reason that the coup—Russiagate and now the Impeachment—is being orchestrated against Trump. It is now the time for those three outstanding leaders to fulfill the potential that historical providence has bestowed upon them.
In 1999, Lyndon LaRouche warned in a national television broadcast “Storm Over Asia” that the western-backed jihadist mercenary forces unleashed in the 1970s, were created as part of a global strategy to undermine the major powers of China, India and Russia. These mercenary wars, if not stopped, LaRouche warned, would leave these major powers no other option but to defend themselves against these mercenaries and their sponsors, potentially leading to a World War III scenario.
Over twenty years old, this keystone presentation by Mr. LaRouche is still fundamental for understanding the present geopolitical dynamics shaping the planet today.
Scott Ritter is a former US Marine Corps intelligence officer. He served in the Soviet Union as an inspector implementing the INF Treaty, in General Schwarzkopf’s staff during the Gulf War, and from 1991-1998 as a UN weapons inspector.
Larry C. Johnson is a former analyst at the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.
Below is an excerpt from the latest memo from the Veterans Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, a group of former military and intelligence officers founded by former CIA analyst Ray McGovern. The letter excerpted below is posted on Consortium News.
VIPS MEMO: Doubling Down Into Yet Another ‘March of Folly,’ This Time on Iran
January 3, 2020
MEMORANDUM FOR: The President
FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)
SUBJECT: Doubling Down Into Another “March of Folly”?
“The drone assassination in Iraq of Iranian Quds Force commander General Qassem Soleimani evokes memory of the assassination of Austrian Archduke Ferdinand in June 1914, which led to World War I. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was quick to warn of “severe revenge.” That Iran will retaliate at a time and place of its choosing is a near certainty. And escalation into World War III is no longer just a remote possibility, particularly given the multitude of vulnerable targets offered by our large military footprint in the region and in nearby waters.
“What your advisers may have avoided telling you is that Iran has not been isolated. Quite the contrary. One short week ago, for example, Iran launched its first joint naval exercises with Russia and China in the Gulf of Oman, in an unprecedented challenge to the U.S. in the region.”
In Helga Zepp LaRouche’s year-end webcast, she opened by reviewing the most significant developments of the last weeks, and what these mean for the year ahead. She highlighted the positive potential for the deepening of cooperative relations among Presidents Trump, Putin and Xi:
1. The promise of the Trump-Putin relationship can be advanced by Trump’s participation in events commemorating the 75th anniversary of the victory over fascism. Also of importance will be talks on arms limitations, as Russia now can deploy the Avangard hypersonic missile system, making existing U.S. counter strategies obsolete;
2. Improved relationship with China, beginning with Phase I trade agreement. This is targeted by the geopoliticians, who see the rise of China as a threat, with the Economist presenting the British war plan in their last issue.
She also spoke of the dirty tricks being run by Democrats on impeachment, which risk the party’s future; and of the Sword of Damocles dangling over the financial system, which requires the implementation of LaRouche’s Four Laws to avoid a crash.
In conclusion, she spoke of how these dangers and opportunities bring us to recognize the absolutely unique contributions of Lyndon LaRouche, especially his scientific contributions which refuted the imperial neo-Malthusianism which is pushed by today’s fascist geopoliticians. His “There Are No Limits to Growth” is essential reading for those serious about overcoming the anti-human green policies pushed by financial figures such as Carney and Lagarde.
HARLEY SCHLANGER: Hello, I’m Harley Schlanger from the Schiller Institute: Welcome to our webcast with our founder and President Helga Zepp-LaRouche. Today is Dec. 31, 2019, the last day of the decade, and what would hopefully be the beginning of a new year, with a bright future for mankind. But that’s still questionable. As we’ll be discussing today, there’s a great opportunity, but the dangers that continue with the geopolitical doctrines that are popping up everywhere.
So, let’s start with the situation with Russia, Helga, because there were what you described as “baby steps” taken with the most recent Trump-Putin discussion. Where do you see this going?
HELGA ZEPP-LAROUCHE: I think that people at the beginning of the year, which will be tomorrow, always start with deeper thoughts than usual: Where should this year go? What should be accomplished? What are the dangers? And I think President Xi Jinping, in his New Year’s speech of today, actually, said that the coming year will be a milestone year. And I would even take it a step further: I say, that everything will depend on what will happen with the impeachment process in the United States, which is around the Russia and China question of the relations between the United States and these two countries; will the crash happen? Can we make a reform in time? And by the end of this year, I think a lot of strategic decisions will have been made which will determine if the world is on a way of a big confrontation and possible war, or if we can use this coming year to put the world into order and establish a completely new set of international relations.
Now, it is very clear that the three presidents, Trump, Putin and Xi Jinping, are working in their own way to establish a good relation among these three countries, and I think this is actually the most important strategic question, because once you have an accord among these three countries, I think every other problem in the world can be tackled — not solved immediately, and it’s not overcoming all difficulties, but you have the precondition that you can solve the strategic questions.
Since you mentioned the first “baby step,” or one of the baby steps, I think it’s quite important that Trump and Putin had another very useful telephone call, where Putin thanked Trump for having provided information which helped to not have a terrorist attack over the New Year period in St. Petersburg; two Russian nationals were arrested as a result of it, and the head of the FSB, the Russian secret service, reported that there has been in the recent period an intensification of collaboration among these security forces. So this is very, very positive.
Also, I would think that, reflecting a direct intervention by Putin with tacit approval of Trump, the fact that the situation in Ukraine is easing up a little bit: There was a prisoner exchange between the Kiev government and the Donbas region. There was a treaty between Russia and Ukraine that for five years, there will be the delivery of natural gas through Ukraine to Europe, so these are baby steps which are going in the right direction.
But I think the really big question which is coming up in April and May is the 75th anniversary of the defeat of Nazism; and there, you have naturally, the big event, the 75th anniversary celebration on May 9 in Moscow, to which Putin repeatedly invited President Trump, and Trump basically expressed great interest to go there, even if details have not been decided. But there is also on April 25, the meeting at the Elbe, and this has a very big emotional importance for the Russians, because this was the first time at the end of World War II, where the U.S. and the Soviet soldiers met at the Elbe, and this was a very difficult moment, but a moment which turned into great joy, and it has an enormous significance: Because simple soldiers were embracing each other and made a solemn commitment at the Elbe that they would put all their efforts in trying all they could that something so horrible as Nazism and the Second World War would never ever happen again. And they invoked the “Spirit of the Elbe,” to say that this is something where all nations of the world — not just the United States and Russia — but all nations of the world should really think that from now on, all conflicts must be solved peacefully.
There will be a big celebration for two days [April 24-25] in Torgau, and also there, Putin has invited Trump to attend. And I think that given the fact that this is really a way of improving the relationship between Russia and the United States, on the highest level, namely, with a solemn commitment to never have war again, that we actually really want to support this idea for Trump to go to both these events — and all other leaders and people of good will. Because 75 years after World War II, it is time to return to this idea of “Never Again!” to never again have Nazism, to never again have conflict resolution through war. And since Trump is committed to ending the endless wars, and, obviously, not have a big war with the Russians — I mean, he has said that the disarmament discussion around nuclear weapons is the most important strategic question number one; I think the Russians recently have proposed to even include their new, hypersonic missile, the Avangard, which has been now made operational, to include that in the New START discussions, which I think is very, very important. Because the development of these hypersonic missiles is really upsetting the applecart of the effort to have a global missile defense system which includes the illusion of fighting and winning a limited nuclear war, which is completely upset by this Avangard missile, because it does not follow a ballistic trajectory and therefore it totally tips off the missile defense system. And the Russians now offering to include that Avangard in the New START Treaty negotiations, I think is an absolutely important signal and signal for hope.
I think that the U.S.-Russia relationship is coming center stage in this coming period in April-May, and I would appeal to all people of good will to agree and stop this Russophobia, stop this demonization of Russia, and understand that the improvement in the relationship between these two largest nuclear powers is the absolute first precondition to maintaining world peace.
SCHLANGER: The other key relationship you talked about is that between President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping of China. It appears as though there will be a meeting in January to finalize the phase one of the trade deal. There are a lot of important things coming out of China — I know that one of the things President Xi spoke about in his New Year’s address was the importance of lifting 10 million more people out of poverty during 2019. Helga, how important is it that this trade deal go ahead. And it’s clear that this is really a sticking point with the geopoliticians that are doing everything they can to stop the Trump-Xi relationship, just as they have to stop the Trump-Putin relationship.
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Obviously, that is the big problem for the geopoliticians, because the rise of China is regarded by them as a threat to their geopolitical control of the world; while Xi Jinping again offered in his New Year speech that the Belt and Road Initiative is open for all countries — and that includes, obviously, the United States. So I would really urge people to read this speech by Xi Jinping themselves, because it’s a very impressive review of the accomplishments of China in the year 2019. I cannot even go through all the aspects: you know, the beefing up of the various economic development zones, the Beijing-Hebei-Tianjin triangular which is a complete overhauling and modernization of the Beijing area. then the area of Guangdong-Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Zuhai-Macao-Hong Kong — that region is, despite the troubles in the Hong Kong, actually the motor of the world economy. This is the most advanced technologies anywhere in the world, and the powerhouse of the Belt and Road Initiative. And various other development zones. And he made also a pledge that in 2020, China will fulfill its promise to alleviate poverty in all rural areas and eliminate the last pockets of poverty in China. And given the fact that there are, I think, only 7 million poor people left in China, this is an incredible perspective, and there’s no reason not to believe it, because they have already lifted 850 million people out of poverty in the last decades.
This was a very important speech, and people who are subject to the anti-China propaganda, as well as the anti-Russia propaganda, should read that speech of Xi Jinping, and just think about it, and think what it means for not only China, but for the world as a whole, that China is taking such a constructive role.
Now, obviously, this is a thorn in the side of the British Empire, which has shown its face in Hong Kong in the most clear way, because British colonialist powers still think that Hong Kong should belong to them. And there was an article, actually only a couple of days ago, in the London Economist, which I also would encourage people to read, because sometimes you have to read crucial pieces to understand — and this is sort of a war game plan for what the British want to do in respect to Trump and China in the coming year. They say: Well, on the one side, nobody can really say that Trump is not a hawk, because, after all, in the 2016 campaign, he was very anti-China, he imposed tariffs, he imposed sanctions in the context of Huawei, but, really, he does not blame China for the trade deficit; he actually says that the Chinese leaders were smart to use loopholes, and so forth, and this would create a gap between him and his own officials, who obviously do have a much more hawkish attitude against China than Trump.
But then they say, gleefully, well, you know, events in the coming year will drive Trump into a cold war confrontation with China, because when the Hong Kong riots continue, eventually the mainland troops will have to “crack skulls” (and they use this martial language), then the Republicans in the U.S. Congress will side with the Democrats to impose sanctions on Chinese officials and taking away the special status of Hong Kong in terms of trade relations; then the human rights campaign against Xinjiang will escalate; then you will have a Tibet succession fight because the Dalai Lama is already 85 and that is coming close; the crisis with Taiwan will escalate, and also in the South China Sea. And they say, when the financial crisis will get worse, all of these conflicts will actually escalate and that will force Trump to really go into a confrontation with China.
So that is their game plan. And I just remembered, in 2007-2008, when we had the big financial crisis, there were several articles in the British press, and I’m planning to review those, where they said that, OK, it’s impossible to have regime change against the communist government in Beijing, but, if there is a global financial crisis again, then all these separatist tendencies, in Xinjiang, Tibet, Hong Kong, Taiwan, all of that can be escalated, and then the mainland government will lose control and we can replace them.
So that is their intention. I think this is an evil, geopolitical design. I don’t think it will function, but one is better off to recognize what is the intention of these forces — . and The Economist is a pretty authoritative publication for the City of London, with or without Boris Johnson. I don’t think the Brexit, which will happen at the end of January, will change that attitude much.
I don’t think it’s a realistic thing, because if you look at China, they’re doing an incredible job, their growth rates are, despite all the efforts thrown against them, still in excellent shape, and one can only wish that the end result of this would be that Trump overcomes his opposition inside the United States and can actually take up the offer of Xi Jinping to cooperate with the Belt and Road Initiative, because that would be the one thing which really would solve most problems in the world.
SCHLANGER: I would say your review of the U.S.-Russia relationship and the U.S.-China relationship is a perfect backdrop to actually understand what’s going on with the impeachment fight in the United States, that this, as we’ve always said, has nothing to do with the so-called issues that were raised in the Mueller report, the Russiagate story, the Ukrainegate story, but has to do with these broader geopolitical issues.
And now, we see the absurdity of Pelosi, arguing that they had to rush the impeachment through the House, because every day Trump stays in office is a grave threat to national security; and then, once they get the Articles of Impeachment, withholding it from the Senate trial!
Helga, what’s your sense of where we’re headed with this impeachment fight as we go into January, with the possibility that there will be a trial in the Senate, some time during this next month?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: I wish I could give a definite answer on that, but, normally you would say, Nancy Pelosi has no case, she has no proof that Trump pressured the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky; she knows that she has no proof and that’s probably the reason that she has said that she doesn’t bring the case immediately to the Senate.
Now, however, knowing how these things work, one can only assume that they want to use this time to line up some dirty tricks, like getting certain Republican senators to withdraw support from Trump. There are two operations which have surfaced: One is an operation by William Kristol, who has formed a PAC; they want to do advertisement in the so-called “weak” Republican districts, these are cases where it’s known that they’re not so pro-Trump; they want to have advertisements and try to convince them to abandon the support for Trump. Then you have, naturally, the terrible William Weld, who is a counter Presidential candidate in the Republican Party: He also has said that he’s working on Republican senators.
But it’s not clear. I don’t think this will work, because these Republican senators are also aware, if they turn out to be traitors against Trump, where the public sentiment is still very high in large support for Trump that they could risk their own political careers if they’re not successive. So it’s an iffy game.
I think what Pelosi is doing, she is risking to ruin the Democratic Party; I think it’s very clear that these people are absolutely no friends of the U.S. Constitution. This was pointed out by the constitutional lawyer Alan Dershowitz, who basically said that Pelosi’s maneuvering, to only go to the Senate vote when she thinks she has a majority, that that as such is already unconstitutional.
But this is a coup, the coup is ongoing, so I can only say, be on alert. Our colleagues in the United States are trying very hard to get the various weak points to pop, like the revelations by [former NSA Technical Director] Bill Binney, that there was no Russian hack, that is still at the absolute core of the whole story of Russiagate. Then you have the Barr and Durham investigation, on top of the Horowitz Report, which already established the absolute crimes of the FBI. Now, the Durham investigation, which is a criminal investigation, is much more broad-ranged. It goes through the origins of where did the Russiagate start, who started it. It goes into the cooperation of the U.S. intelligence heads with British intelligence. However, this is going to take some time.
So we are really in a run against time, and it’s very difficult to say how this will end up. If Trump wins, and if the investigations all proceed, a lot of people could go to jail. But on the other side, I can only warn that people are complacent: Because some of the Trump supporters are too complacent because they think that Trump has so much support that everything is OK. But this is an ongoing coup! So, we need to get these revelations of Binney, of people like [former CIA analyst] Larry Johnson, who pointed very much to the origin of the whole thing with this Professor Mifsud working for British intelligence; so all of these leads have to be followed up. And I can only appeal to you to not be complacent, but become active with us.
SCHLANGER: This brings us to the other leading issue that will have to be resolved in the coming months, what you refer to as the “Sword of Damocles” hanging over all of us, which is the financial crisis, the continuing repo operations, the flooding of money, the helicopter funds, and the fact that there’s no solution within the existing establishment position. Where do we stand now with the financial crisis?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: The Fed put into the system over the Christmas/New Year period more than $500 billion, and they announced that they will inject as much money “as needed.” And obviously, Trump has an interest that nothing should happen during the election campaign. I think that the ECB President Christine Lagarde has announced that she will continue what her predecessor Mario Draghi had done, to take whatever it takes to save the euro, which means, more quantitative easing, more buying of state bonds, more injection of liquidity: But that basically means that the system is already at the absolute end, because if you continue with zero interest rates, even negative interest rates, this goes at the absolute expense of investment into the real economy; it eats up the savings of ordinary people because the inflation rate is higher than the negative or zero interest rates.
And, it basically brings the options for 2020, concerning the financial system, down to three options: One, a crash. That can happen because the whole financial system is a minefield, and while the central banks are intending to flood as much money as needed, it could actually happen that somewhere there’s a mistake, and a chain reaction indeed could happen, given the fact that the complexities of the system are such that no central banker, much less any other banker, has an overview any more. The trading in currencies in nanoseconds, and all of these things, means the whole system is a huge casino, run by supercomputers — it’s a completely out of control system.
So either there’s a crash, or, if the central banks continue this absolute massive liquidity pumping in order to avoid a crash, sooner or later, you will have inflation coming to the fore. They always say, this is not the case, because the money creation is just within the financial system and does not enter the realm of real physical goods, but that is not true, because you have bubbles already: You have the real estate bubble; you have the stock market bubble — don’t think that the value of the stocks reflects the actual worth of the firms involved. And eventually, if you keep pumping money like that, you end up in hyperinflation, and as we know from German in 1923, that would mean the complete destruction of the life savings of the normal depositors, normal people.
Then you have, on top of that, the insanity of Mark Carney, who wants to have a regime change: Take away any power of the sovereign governments and replace it with the central banks running the whole affair directly, and going into a green financing: He just give a horrible interview to BBC, which was guest edited by Greta Thuberg, where he said that he wants to have pension funds and others divest from coal and gas-related industries, going into Green finance, going into a “circular economy,” and all of that, means the social explosion which you already see around the globe, will increase. Because if you will force people, through increase of prices, to change their behavior towards “Green” behavior, you help fuel the already-existing mass strike process going on around the globe.
So I think the only third alternative for 2020, therefore, is a global Glass-Steagall, separation of the banks and ending the casino economy. And I would actually call on you, our viewers internationally, to contact us, because we plan to mobilize for this idea of a Glass-Steagall, together with the other Four Laws of Lyndon LaRouche: National banking, New Bretton Woods systems, crash programs for advanced technologies, like fusion power and cooperation in space exploration. And only if we change the economy, according to the principles of physical economy in time, can the first two operations, of either a crash with chaos, or hyperinflation, be avoided. So Glass-Steagall must be brought back onto the agenda.
SCHLANGER: What is clear from this review that you’ve just presented, as well as the options for the months ahead, is the absolute prescience of your husband Lyndon LaRouche, whom we lost in this last year, through his passing. And I think it’s critical, in looking at this, that 2020 is going to be the year of LaRouche’s ideas, if mankind is going to emerge from this crisis. And, as the person who is closest to Lyndon LaRouche, your thoughts on this would be most welcome right now, Helga.
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Well, you have right now, an unbelievable assault on the population: This Green ideology, which is really a brown ideology in new clothes, tries to convince people that growth is evil and destroys nature, and climate and whatnot. The way how this is discussed is old neo-Malthusianism. We’ve fought this from the very beginning, when the Club of Rome escalated the old British conservation movement, which was really a continuation of the Nazi idea of treating people like animals. So when the Club of Rome published their report in 1972, the Limits to Growth, my husband repudiated that immediately with a very powerful book There Are No Limits to Growth. And I would challenge people to read that book, because it took apart the fraudulent basis on which the Club of Rome had said the world was developing until 1972, and now we have to somehow adjust, and we are in a closed system, and we have to from now on have austerity, zero growth, because the resources are limited.
What my husband developed in this book was the absolute absurdity of this idea, because “resources” are not a fixed thing: What is a resource is always determined by the scientific and technological level with which man is using these materials; whether you have a stone with which you kill your neighbor in the Stone Age, or whether you say, this is a rare earth element and I can make mobile phones and others things out of it, entirely depends on the level of technology. And especially space research makes very clear, that the resources of the Earth are not limited, but that we are in a process of basically using resources from our Solar System, our galaxy, and who knows what beyond that in the future; so what my husband basically in There Are No Limits to Growth is put this whole question on a scientific basis, and obviously, one of the fallacies of composition which these anti-growth people are committing is to make equivalent, just mindless quantitative growth with the qualitative growth whereby human creativity discovers deeper and better principles about the physical universe, and applies them in the form of science and technology.
Right now, I can only say there is an unbelievable brainwashing, where people are really driven into a frenzy about this climate question. There is no question that there are changes in the climate, but it is not discussed out and proven among scientists, what are the causes of it, because there are many factors involving the position of the Solar System within the galaxy, processes on the Sun, many factors, and the anthropogenic aspect of climate change is very, very small, and that needs to be publicly debated.
This will obviously be a big issue in the coming year, and years, and I think that many people in the United States, in Europe, in Africa, in other parts of the developing countries, remember and recognize that my husband was the intellectual counterpole to the City of London, to Wall Street pushing these oligarchical schemes; and they are coming forward. There is a renewed interest in the scientific work of my husband — we are in the process of preparing the publication of his works: And I want to invite all of you to help to spread these ideas. Now, we had in the last year, three very successful memorials for my husband: One in New York, one in Frankfurt, one in Latin America, and I would urge people to look at these — they are on our websites — and get a sense a sense of who Lyndon LaRouche is and why the ideas which he has presented absolutely must be realized in the coming year.
SCHLANGER: Well Helga, I think what’s clear is that we have to make sure that your optimism becomes the strategic outlook of all our viewers and listeners. And on behalf of all of them, I want to wish you a Happy New Year, and let’s make sure that this coming year, 2020, is the Year of LaRouche.
On December 28, 2019 the Schiller Institute participated in the third annual memorial in honor of the Alexandrov Ensemble, at the Tear Drop Memorial in Bayonne, New Jersey. In 2016, 64 members of the Alexandrov Ensemble, along with 24 others, perished when their plane crashed into the Black Sea en route to Syria. What follows is a transcript of the memorial including remarks from Capt. Donald Haiber, Father John Fencik, Chief Keith Weaver, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation Mission to the United Nations Mr. Dmitry Chumakov, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Syrian Arab Republic Mission Dr. Louay Falouh, Schiller Institute Founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche, founder and Co-Director of the Schiller Institute New York City Chorus, Diane Sare, and Mr. Kevin Maynor.
Transcript of ceremony:
Capt. Donald Haiber, Bayonne, N.J. Fire Department: First I want to wish everyone a belated Merry Christmas. Secondly, for those of you that have been with us for the last few years, it looks like we lucked out with some balmy weather. I know it’s been cold and snowing in the past, but today looks like a beautiful day, and it’s a nice way for a remembrance.
Some of the people who are here today, we have our Office of Emergency Management Director Mr. Ferantay [ph], the chief of the department Keith Weaver; we also have the Deputy Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation Mr. Dmitry Chumakov; and also, I’d like to recognize the Deputy Permanent Representative of the Syrian Arab Republic, Dr. Fallouh. And also a very special thank to Mr. Kevin Maynor, who’s behind me. I also want to recognize Father Fencik: He’s been here every year with us, braving the cold. And the last person I want to thank is the Co-Director of the Schiller Institute New York Chorus Diane Sare, who, without her, none of this happens.
On behalf of the Bayonne Fire Department and the City of Bayonne, we welcome you all to today’s ceremony. Father Fencik, would you please do the invocation?
Father John Fencik: In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. O Heavenly King, the Comforter, O Spirit of Truth, Who everywhere present through all things, Treasury of Blessings and Giver of Life, come into all within us, cleanse us of all stain, and save our souls, O Gracious Lord.
This is the prayer that is traditionally said at the beginning of any type of function that involves the Russian people. We pray that we who are gathered here today, in memory of those departed members of the Alexandrov Choirs, those who departed with them this life in December of 2016. We pray that God give them eternal rest in His heavenly mansion. We pray that this ceremony retains their memory, and brings them all to life everlasting. Amen.
Color Guard posts colors. Chorus presents the Russian Federation National Anthem and United States of America National Anthem.
Captain Haiber: Thank you all very much. That was beautiful. I’m going to introduce Chief Weaver who wants to say a few words as well. Professionally, he is my chief, he’s my boss, but I’m honored, personally, to say that he is my friend — Chief Weaver.
Chief Keith Weaver: Good morning to everyone in attendance today. I’m grateful for this opportunity to say a few words in honor of the lives lost on Christmas Day 2016. Today, we pause to remember and honor the tragic loss of Alexandrov Ensemble. The loss of this extremely talented group was a loss for the entire globe. I’m honored to be speaking at this fitting site, as this Tear Drop Memorial was donated to our city from our world neighbors in Russia. The gift is a reminder that although we may be separated by nationality, we are united in humanity. As brothers and sisters, we share in your grief, and also share in your hope for a brighter future for all mankind. May the lives lost on that tragic day, three years ago, rest in peace. Thank you.
Captain Haiber: Thank you, Chief. Mr. Chumakov will have a few words to say.
Dmitry Chumakov: Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Friends: We are very pleased to welcome all those of you who have joined us today in the memory of the Alexandrov Ensemble, and the victims of the plane crash that happened on the 26th December 2016, just a couple of days from today, three years ago. It was a legendary ensemble, media workers from Russian TV channels, and the famous philanthropist Elizaveta Glinka: They were bringing to Syria, the Christmas mood, they were bringing into a war-torn country, and it was a big tragedy and loss.
The Russian Mission is grateful to the Schiller Institute, to the Fire Department of the City of Bayonne: without you, this event would not be possible. It’s becoming a tradition. We are getting together for the third time now, and this is a great honor for us to share these human feelings and share with you the losses and compassion. This memorial event is a great example [inaudible] honor and solidarity between our countries. The Alexandrov Ensemble has been reinstated, and I just want you to know that the new performers [inaudible] we also want you to know that that humanitarian projects started by Elizaveta Glinka are implemented by her followers. And it’s also important to say that we’re still making a lot of efforts to bring peace to Syria, and to help Syria, and to help the political settlement in this country. So, it is only with political settlement that the problems can be solved.
We once again must give tribute to these brave and merciful people who are our modern-day heroes. They are symbols of patriotism and humanity are given to us today: May their souls rest in peace. And thank you very much for joining us today.
Captain Haiber: Thank you Mr. Chumakov. We are here once again to give our condolences and sympathy to the families of the Alexandrov Ensemble and to the people of Russia. Everyone here proves, I believe, that this small remembrance shows our humanity towards one another — and God knows, we could use more of that.
Once again, it’s fitting that we’re here at the Tear Drop, because the creator of this structure was the Russian sculptor Zurab Tsereteli. In the darkness after 9/11, this monument helped to bring peace and the light of hope to the many people [inaudible] here. We now wish to pay that forward, back to the Russian people and the families of the Alexandrov Ensemble.
May the serenity and hope that I feel when I am here be conveyed back to the people of Russia. Music has meaning, and this quote from Billy Joel conveys that better than anything I could ever say: “I think music in itself is healing. It’s an explosive expression of humanity. It’s something we are all touched by, no matter where we are from, everyone loves music.” It is times like this that we are neither Americans nor Russians, nor Syrians, but we are just human beings who genuinely wish peace and happiness to one another.
Once again, I will try to convey my thoughts in Russian. I’ve been practicing and hopefully this gets it through: [Russian remark].
It is now my honor to introduce Mr. Kevin Maynor. He has sung with the Metropolitan Opera, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and many others. Mr. Maynor was the first apprentice artist from the West to study at the Bolshoi in Moscow, where he studied and sang. He will now also share a few words with you.
Kevin Maynor: Thank you. [Sings Russian folk song “Still One Star”] I don’t think anybody can talk about the Alexandrov Ensemble, the great Russian Army Chorus, and not think of the great [inaudible] that was meant to encourage, sung by the Volga boatmen. I think of the Volga boatmen and the Volga River, which I had the pleasure of seeing in the year 2000-2001 upon my return to Russia. My first experience of 1979-1980, and the Russian people embraced me with a certain kind of love that I will never, ever forget. I love them dearly, from the bottom of my heart. There’s no bass in the world — no bass in the world — no singing bass, that does not admire the training and the beauty of the great Russian basses and the great Russian singers. I think these people and the contributions they have made to the world, regardless of the confusions and the politics that might be involved between countries, one thing for sure, music, it is true, it is the healing source. It is the language that we all speak and understand. And when we don’t understand one another, we learn to appreciate, which is the key, actually, to bringing people closer together, appreciation for one another.
I want to take the time to sing for you a spiritual, one that was sung by the great Paul Robeson, who was a great singer, one that many admire — certainly the Russian people admire. He sang this song amongst them, and I want to sing it for you all: It’s called There Is a Balm in Gilead.
God bless the Alexandrov Ensemble. God bless their mission. God bless all of you who are gathered here, today.
Captain Haiber: Thank you Mr. Maynor. I do have to say, that is probably the most beautiful thing I’ve ever heard. Thank you.
Helga Zepp-LaRouche: I extend my greetings to all of you gathered today to commemorate the lives of the 92 passengers and crew, who died when the Russian TU 154 crashed into the Black Sea on December 25th, 2016. Sixty-four singers of the Alexandrov Ensemble, plus the crew of the plane, members of the Russian military, Russian journalists and the beloved relief worker Dr. Elizaveta Glinka all perished that winter night, while flying to give Christmas comfort and cheer to soldiers who were battling to liberate Syria from the terrorist scourge of ISIS.
Each of the people on that plane was like the Good Samaritan that Schiller writes about in his Kallias essays On the Beautiful. In Schiller’s story, several people stopped by the side of the road to help the injured man, but some asked for money, some wanted recognition, and to put down others who didn’t stop; but only one person stopped, and very naturally and happily put down his own load, to carry the injured man without a second thought for himself.
In 2020, the world will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the defeat of the Nazi terror in May of 1945. At that time, people vowed, “Never Again!” And now, 75 years later, mankind again is threatened with the danger of cultural decadence and even potentially a great war. As Schiller said, it is only through aesthetic education through great classical art that the ennoblement of man can occur. It is time that mankind grew into a new paradigm where, as Shelley and Schiller proposed, the poets and artists become the natural leaders of the age.
Diane Sare: Good morning, now speaking on behalf of the Schiller Institute NYC Chorus, I would like to say that a chorus is a very special thing. It is a group of diverse individuals, who discover through the art of a great composer that their diversity becomes their strength.
Our chorus had existed for just two years when I received the news on Christmas Day 2016 of the crash of the Red Army Chorus, and it was like getting punched in the stomach. Some of us quickly enlisted the help of a Russian-American chorus member to pronounce the words to the Russian National Anthem, and we went to the Consulate and sang it outside on the sidewalk.
I learned that the NYPD Ceremonial Unit had been deeply moved by the Ensemble at the Military Bands Tattoo in Quebec City in 2011, which had happened to fall on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. A wonderful baritone, Grigory Osipov sang God Bless America, which they performed as a gift to the NYPD Ceremonial Unit, and a young boy came and presented the director, Lt. Tony Giorgio, with a single white rose. You will see Osipov’s name on the list of those who perished in that terrible crash.
The United States, Russia, and Syria have all suffered the devastating effects of terrorism, but I am optimistic that perhaps the warm weather here this year may be a sign of the warmth of the friendship that our nations and peoples may share in our musical dialogue.
Father Fencik: The Church teaches us that as long as we keep a person’s memory alive, they are still with us. It is traditional at the end of any memorial service that the hymn Eternal Memory is sung, and the Russian hymn. So we will conclude this memorial service with the prayer for the departed and the singing of the memorial hymn.
O God of spirits and all flesh, who has conquered Satan and vanquished death, and granted life to your world, Lord give rest to the souls of your faithfully departed servants. in a peaceful, serene place, from which all pain and sorrow and sighing are absent. As the good and gracious God Who loves mankind, forgive all transgressions committed by them in word or in thought, voluntarily as a human frailty. There is no man living who does not sin. You alone are without sin. Your truth is truth for eternity, your word alone reality. For you are the Resurrection, the Life and the Repose for your departed servants, Oh Christ, our God. We rend You glory together, Eternal Father, holy gracious and life-creating Spirit, always now and ever, and forever. Amen.
In blessed repose grant eternal rest, Oh Lord, to the souls of Your departed servants. Make eternal their memories, Vechnaya pamyat! [Eternal memory!]